The Season that Wasn’t

Welcome to the season that wasn’t. Last week the xc ski trails became skiable for the first time since last April. Today the threat of rain and warm temps has scuttled my plans for a trip to the Gunflint to ski for a few days. Rain in Northern Minnesota during winter? In the words of Virginia Woolf, “Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.” In my case, the sound of throwing my skis across the garage while raindrops patter on the roof.

Last year we were literally hip deep in snow. It was cold like winter is supposed to be. Saturday morning power breakfasts of french toast with bananas propelled me into days of spectacular skiing past deeply frozen lakes, and the excitement of wolf tracks on the trail. Today I’m planning an expedition to the carwash. My only consolation is there’s no risk of frostbite whilst I vacuum the debris from the Subaru.

My mood has become ugly and cross. I’ve surrendered to global warming and hasten our doom by grilling three nights a week. “TAKE THAT!” If I can’t have winter, I will have a longer season of cycling. I am sorely tempted to put the street tires back on my mountain bike, buy some thermal tights and ride on all the days that are above freezing. There’s a certain bawdy, sadistic freedom to this thought: kind of a @#!*% THE TORPEDOES Admiral Farragut [the guy who said this] attitude toward adversity.

Perhaps it’s just as well. The start of February begins my base mileage training for the Minnesota Iron Man Gran Fondo bike race. Better to pedal on the road than on the trainer in my basement.

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