Monday, 28 February 2011

Mud and Snow - must be a Scottish winter.

Just when you thought it was safe to start surveying again - it goes and snows! This time last year there was no chance of any trail work, so I should be grateful I can at least see some mud. February's been ok workwise, with some really interesting clients, new areas and "challenging" sites. The van's been racking up the miles cruising up and down the A9 (our main link to the "world") and what with the short winter days, to get maximum time on site, starts have been very early. The flip side is that with darkness arriving at 4 - 4.30, even allowing for a 2 hour drive home, I'm usually back in time for the feeding time / bath time chaos that is life with our two young boys.
Actually, surveying / planning work is really good for our family life: as my wife and I share childcare and work time, if I do a couple of days surveying, I can spend the rest of my available working week writing up the various reports from the home office, which means I'm around for school runs, kid stuff and general house "husbandry".
Mixed up in all this work / family / winter mix are skiing and cycling; skiing if the snows good and it's not too busy, cycling all other times. I love skiing, actually telemarking to be precise, but after last years powder heaven that was the Cairngorms, this years snow has gone back to being just "ok" - which in the last several lean years would have been amazing, but now means if it's a sunny, still day in the valley, I'll go riding instead. But if it snows up on the hill, everything goes into meltdown in our household, as both my wife and I try to re-arrange "life" to be first up the hill to get fresh tracks, I don't know of any other sport that has a frenzy like this, maybe surfers hearing of big waves, I don't know, but skiers get it baaaad.
The 30in30 January thing was fun (?) but I have now settled down to two longer rides a week, with maybe a wee one hour mtb blast thrown in somewhere. Not a lot for all you winter big mile folks, but all that I can manage just now. Mind you that's much better than last year, when I didn't manage a ride - worth logging - 'til April!
Actually, I've been enjoying some dry (frozen) trail mtb'ing recently, and without sounding like some magazine review, I still reckon the 29er is the bike of choice for our rocky trails, I love the fact that my Tallboy with it's 100mm of travel can help me keep up with the youths on their 160mm "trail bikes" - when did a trail bike need 160mm of travel? Or maybe it's just they feel sorry for me and are feathering their brakes.
Til next month, happy riding.