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the snow excuse


there is nothing... NOTHING... better than this - sun, fresh snow, high mountains, my skis and first tracks though the trees

To the people who have known me best over the course of my life, they know with little doubt where my first love lies – on the snow, on skis, in the mountains.  As much as I am passionate about cycling, and as much as it has become such a big part of my life, there is nothing I love more than being on skis on a cold sunny day on top of a big mountain.  Nothing.  Period.  (Apologies to my beloved bicycles.)

A little background  … my father decided put me on skis when I was a pre-schooler, and I still have fond memories of first lessons in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico before I was even able to read.  My dad became a National Ski Patrolman in the midwest where I grew up, which enabled us to ski virtually every day during winter.   I grew up racing and eventually became a ski instructor.   I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ski in the summer for several years, when I shipped off to summer race-training camps on the high mountain glaciers each June.


with "my boys" at 10,000 ft - Storm Peak, Steamboat Springs

Skiing was a huge part of my life, of my family’s life … and despite ending up living in the snowless Southeast and raising my own family, the passion continues with my own boys, who have become incredible skiers in their own right – learning to ski in North Carolina, and skiing each year in the Rockies.   They have become skilled enough to ski everything on the mountain – from the trees to the double-black diamond chutes.


Ross shows how it's done ...


Mason heads down Storm Peak

powder day ... you can't really tell, but he's grinning ear to ear :)

powder day ... you can't really tell, but he's grinning ear to ear 🙂

So what does any of this have to do with biking?  Well for me, it appears that this crazy obsession/diversion of the trip to the mountains has managed to derail #330daysofbiking.  Since I managed not to get in a single day of cycling while out West, it appears I will be two days short of meeting my goal by April 1.  Rats.  But I just couldn’t help myself – the lure of the snow and the mountains was just too irresistible to do anything other than ski.  It’s my only excuse.

Despite this “failure” – and it is disappointing, because I was so close – I think it was good to have the interruption for sake of perspective.  Maybe it was good to get off the bike for a few days and revisit another passion with the people I love.

Someday I hope that we will be living in a place where I can set another (silly) goal – one that would look something like #100daysofskiing-and-#300daysofbiking.   Load the ski equipment onto the Xtracycle and pedal to the mountain for a day on the slopes.   (Although I might have to add in a #30daysofcupcakes and #100daysofknitting just to round things out 😉 ).

For now, I have a renewed enthusiasm to be on my bike again, and the quest continues to finish #330daysofbiking one way or another.  Since I can only blame my weakness for snow for the lack of cycling in recent days, I’m leaving a few last pictures from the mountains.  Sigh.


the snowy day tree

the USSA Junior National Freestyle Championships were being held on the mountain while we were there - these kids were unbelievable; our future Olympians

the art of spotting (and not landing on your head)

I had to restrain myself from buying a pair ... but I seriously thought these would look SO hot while riding my bike

the iconic symbol of Steamboat Springs ... the old barn on a snowy day

... and as the sun sets over the mountains



Posted by savaconta on March 16, 2011
  1. 03/16/2011

    This is the best failure ever.

  2. 03/17/2011

    I second that! This hardly counts as failure. It’s not like you were sitting on the couch eating bon bons and who could resist snow and scenery like that? I’m so jealous that you still have knees. Cycling is all I really have left due to nearly zero cartilage in my right knee. Thank God for granny gears.

    Ride or Ski Happy!

  3. 03/17/2011

    These photos were totally worth missing your goal by a little bit. So glad you got a chance to do something you love!

  4. 03/20/2011

    I have to take unwanted bike breaks in the winter here in Flagstaff since we tend to get quite a bit of snow after Thanksgiving. Last year, my husband presented me with cross country skis for Christmas. He has been a skier his entire life but I grew up on SC and my parents had no interest in visiting ski resorts so I never learned. That winter was great for skiing. We had tons of snow through spring and since everyone here lives within a few blocks of national forest I could ski pretty much as often as I want. In fact, I often carried my skis to work with my and skied home after work. This year was a shorter and less consistent ski season. The road were clear for biking to work and errands most of the time but I missed treking around through the snow. Looks like we might have several inches of snow on the ground by tomorrow night however so I just might get get one more cross country session in before the end of March. Lovely picture, BTW.

  5. 01/30/2012
    J. Luchsinger

    this brings back memories of youth and innocence, being a lover of a snow bunny whose father had a second home in Steamboat Springs in the early 70’s, and me a boy brought out to ski with the family thru those same trees, and down Storm Mountain, and up the new gondola at the time….and that iconic barn…thanks for the memories…once again!! Johnne now in Seattle

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