Riding through past memories

Sunday I headed out for my first road ride of 2011. As I rode along and visited all the roads in and around Missoula I thought back.

Back to what I was doing in past years on this weekend in January.

In 2010 I was up on University Mountain riding my newly made screw tires. But this year I was riding a road bike up Grant Creek. As I looked up to the Snowbowl ski area I thought back to a ride Jill and I did up this road as the sun was setting on the newly white capped peaks.

In 2009 I was taking my Trek OCLV on one of it’s last rides up Sentinel without the aid of screws in my tires. I relied on the hard pack snow for traction but just getting up to the Crazy Canyon Road was a exercise in defying death.  My next drainage this year was Butler Creek. As I rode up this road it started to rain and I thought about all the training I did in 2009 for the world championships.

In 2008 I was getting back to cross country ski racing. I would go up to Pattee Canyon every night after work to try and get some sort of form down so I could complete the OSCAR 50k without dying. As I rode up a rainy Highway 93 I was thinking about that race where indeed … I died. That has always been a tough race. As I started that race I commented to someone that I would be ok because I had been working on my core.

In 2007 I was in Seeley Lake at a skate ski race with my friend Alden.  As I neared Kona Bridge soaked to the bone and cold I remembered being cold as hell waiting for Alden to get done with his “extra” ski after the race.  The race was over and he set out for some extra skiing. I enjoyed the after race BBQ but as that ended and everyone left I sat shivering waiting for him to return. Never get a ride with someone who likes skiing so much.

In 2006 I spent my weekends at Lolo Pass skiing and taking photos of the winter beauty. This year I was nearing the end of my ride and making my way down Blue Mountain Road I thought back to the days that I thought I would be a professional photographer. Times have ch
anged. No more dreams … just bikes.

My ride ended and I stood in the shower waiting for the feeling to come back to my feet and I thought back to fond memories of late January weekends before I moved to Montana. Some of the highlights like trying to go winter camping in negative 10 degree weather up on Mount Greylock in Massachusetts in 2004. Then there was the time in 2003 when Marcy and I explored all the state parks in Connecticut.  As I approach February I can take these memories with me and look forward to new fond memories. See you on the trails.

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