Monday, December 31, 2012

Kick Wax, Tires and Stick Shifts

A Few weeks have passed since my last post and Art is healing well. He is actually getting around with a cane now, and things are looking positive. Although he is still not supposed to adduct his leg to the side, he has already, in theory, schemed a way to mount the trainer. I imagine it is just a matter of time before he starts getting on a bike in some form. I will also add that it was quite convenient that Art and his doctor scheduled appointments that made it impossible for us to go to Nationals. This is all good, just incase the idea came to mind again. Being that Madison is reporting a minus five degrees today, I think I am okay with sitting out this race, even if it is Nationals. Brrrr cold! What was I thinking anyway?

As soon as I let go of the race, I seemed to be re-energized, almost like the race had been a weight holding me back. I was able to get out for some outstanding solo mountain bike rides. I was riding longer and more confidently, cleaning sections I had not cleaned in months. Cyclo-cross is a welcome diversion and change of pace that I not only enjoy, but welcome. However, in my heart, I am a mountain biker first, and the experiences that transpire in the woods never stop to please or reward my soul.


Last week, while out mountain biking by myself in some pretty cold conditions, I suffered a cut sidewall on my tire that caused me to walk five miles back to my car. I was down on myself for failing to repair the flat, but I did not have the right tool or the ability to improvise to get things fixed. Because it was so cold, I just wanted to keep moving. So I walked out letting my failure weigh heavily on my shoulders. I did not feel so bad when later that week a well known bike mechanic admitted to walking out with a flat and called his wife to pick him up part way. I guess it can happen to anyone, and the best I can do is to try to learn from any mistakes and try to be more prepared next time.

A ride with a five mile walk, is still better than none. I am actually thankful to get out that day, as real winter kicked in a few days later, covering the woods with snow. Some people were out and about with their fat bikes, which I think are pretty cool, but with a wall full of XC skis, I grabbed my skis instead. This brings me to next subject: kick wax. After 35 years of skiing waxless skis , I have recently invested in waxable skis. I gave it a few humble tries and never got it quite right. I suppose I need to experiment until I reach enlightenment or zen in the old world tradition of ski waxing. Waxing, like driving a stick shift car is a bit of a zen thing for me, and I am not ready to give into letting go of my connection with things or even the perceived control in everything just yet.

..... 2013, still trying to keep connected, and of course, Cross Country and Super-D Nationals!

1 comment:

sean said...

Hi Ellen,

I'm starting to learn kick wax as well. I've had pretty good luck with the Toko stuff. It's pricier, but the tubes are more user friendly and the 3 wax system is really simple. The part that still gets me is that air temp and snow temp are never quite the same, and often very different. I would imagine waxing is even tougher where you are, with the warmer temps.