Friday, December 21, 2007

Appalachian Nordic Skiing?

I call it West Virginia style cross country skiing. Aka survival skiing, hillbilly skiing, wild and wonderful. Kyle and I went over to White Grass for some of the fluffy stuff. Last time we went over the skiing was powdery and very user friendly. This time it was a mixed condition that required a little more effort. There were the remnants of the ice storm with every piece of vegetation having a icy coating. The climbs required more herringboning and the downhills required some quick stepping. Bushwacking is my favorite to get to know the mountain better. We traversed a lot and explored the amazing xc/backcountry skiing that is White Grass. Cabin Mountain is such a special place in the winter. I skied the Karhu solstice xt(with and edge). Its a good ski...good all-a-rounder. I look forward to skiing the revamped xcd gt.

We got some of the best soup and veggie chilli this side of the mississippi at the cafe and then got some fitness laps in on the snow farm. I like Kyle because he likes the snow farm. A lot of people aren't happy skiing unless they are going straight up and straight down. But I like the kick and glides in between. It was great to see my favorite nordic gnome on the planet, chipper!

Skyline Drive

25 miles outside of Harrisonburg is a Shenandoah National Park that includes a section of the Appalachian Trail. It is a treasure to have so close to town and provides lots of recreational activities like hiking, road biking and rock climbing. But definetly not mountainbiking. But when the weather is too cold for me to bike, hiking is a favorite activity, especially with friends who like to bushwack. It gets boring sticking to the trail all the time. The ice storm left a beautiful crystal patina on everything and ice daggers fell from the sky.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fixed Gears

I went out on a trail ride on my pretty new fixed gear. Tim build me up an Eno Hub to go on my Trek aluminum hardtail. Zack sent me a rigid carbon Bontrager fork. Its a beautiful bike. Almost as nice as Tim's carbon fixie. The universial Fixed gear champion, Joel Maynard, took us out on one of his favorite fixie trail rides...Up Hankeys and down Dowell's. I was suffering the first 10 minutes up the hill, then it got fun and very challenging. Its some hard cranking uphill, but its going to make me strong. Plus, I wouldn't be a Harrisonburg local if I didn't have a fixed gear bike.

Now the downhills are a bit scarier, but exciting. I imagine its like going from alpine skiing to backcountry on skinnier skis. It makes the mountain a lot bigger and more difficult.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pump Track

Harrisonburg is home to two new pump tracks. One is public at the Hillendale Park. The other is private at Justin's house. They are both really fun and very different from each other. I took my 69er out there and then switched to the Mirraco. Bartley is really good and Trevor gets better every round. I pretty much suck, but its a blast! Its good for staying warm, too.