An end and a beginning

Well, after what seemed like a ridiculously quick year, 2008 is on its way out – and what a year it was. Starting with the winter that refused to end, ski season was phenomenal, and though I didn’t make it out for as much ski mountaineering as I would’ve liked, the inbounds skiing kept me happy. Spring set off with my first century ride, as well as the start of the bike-to-work mission. Summer held an amazing vacation to Washington state, camping, hiking, and climbing the Grand Teton. Autumn was generally quiet with some enjoyable skiing, relaxing, and hanging out with friends.

Since I began biking to work on June 25 (bike to work day), I have ridden in 80 times, and driven 40 – exactly 2:1. The ratio moved in favor of the bike after I took my new job though, with November seeing only one day of driving to work. My goal for 2009 is to ride my bike 80% of the time. As long as Denver doesn’t get hammered by snow through the coming months, I should be able to make the goal without issue.

I’m ending the year with my weight at 179.8 pounds. The fact that this places me at 0.15 “BMIs” into the overweight group is obscene. I’m in about as good shape as is possible. Prior to the Clinton administration single-handedly changing the upper limit of the “normal” range from 27.4 to 25, I would’ve been solidly “normal” and healthy. But no, I’m supposedly at risk of all sorts of fat-based health issues. Right.

2009 promises to be another quick year. Goals include a ski descent from the summit of Mt. Rainier, a few descents of the Colorado 14ers (Maroon Bells possibly), Sopris, and Gannett Peak in Wyoming’s Wind River Range (if their snow ever gets stable). Another century ride or two will likely be in the works, and if I get really ambitious, maybe a half marathon.

Good luck for the coming year folks, make it a great one.

Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone. The day was spent at Vail with friends, which has a disappointingly small amount of new snow. It was still soft and fun though, as there had been multiple feet of snow in the week prior. After that, it was off to a delicious and very filling dinner with family and beasts.

Amy gave Scout an adorable collar & hat set. There’s some motion blur in this photo, and it’s indicative of how she felt about the hat.

This is more like it:

Here’s a rare moment, the dogs lying quietly and behaving:


Boo sleeping in his monkey bed:And Boo a little more alert:


This really is the way to spend Christmas – with friends and family, getting to do what you love.

Solstice Skiing

It’s official, Winter is here and in full force! I spent the day with some friends at A-Basin yesterday for my 6th day of the season. It was very cold – -3F at the base mid-day, and so windy they shut down everything but the main lift at the bottom. There was only one black run open, so I lapped that for the entire day. I’m sore today as I aired a five-footer to flat about a dozen times, and had a good crash through some trees that had a couple people shouting and asking if I was ok. Got a couple photos…nothing spectacular.

Skier
Girl on a snowboard
Josh Snowboarding
And a photo from last weekend, driving on I-70 through town:

I-70 Snow
Christmas morning will be spent at Vail, and the snow is supposed to continue all the way through then!

Snowy Scenics

The following are some photos of recent snows in Denver. The first two are from Nov. 29, when Denver got its first real snowfall of the year. The rest are from today, at the recently opened bridge at Grandview Ave. and Wadsworth in Arvada.

Snowy Chimes
Bluebird on Snowy Branches
It was cold, snowy, and overcast early this morning, but the sun came out and brightened things up by noon or so (though it never warmed up).

Snowy Red House
Old Neighborhood
Black and White Train Tracks
Newly Opened Grandview Avenue
Long exposure Wadsworth

A bike-home epic

Yesterday, as most of you know, was very cold in Denver, along with a few inches of snow. In the morning, it was in the low teens, and the snow was very light, dry, and unconsolodated. I decided to bike, and only added a couple minutes to my standard ride in. Things were substantially different on the way home.

By 3:30pm, the snow had been packed down everywhere by drivers. Some of it had melted (either due to the sun or icemelt dropped by plow crews) and refrozen, as it was cooling off again. I can’t imagine it getting worse and still being able to stay upright on a bike without studded tires. Several times I was absolutely positive I was going down, yet only once did I actually hit the deck. Montview was untouched by plows so instead of a nice bike lane, it was rough partially refrozen slush thrown by cars. Not great conditions for a road bike. I took the sidewalk along Colfax for the last couple miles, and got a big thumbs-up from an enthusiastic pedestrian.

Lesson learned: stay off the bike next time it snows.