Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To Bike or To Ski? How About Both?!

Oh, the dilemmas: this past weekend’s weather offered such a wonderful choice of outdoor activities, that I was faced with having to choose how to best maximize our time in the sun.

On one hand, I knew that the alpine skiing at Bretton Woods would be absolutely picture prefect for spring skiing. The sun was out and the snow pack was so deep from this winter’s consistent snowfall that there would be more than enough hero snow to go around. And, I knew that the opportunity to get out on the slopes would be ending soon, as the closing date for the ski season is April 17.

But, after a relatively cold spring, I was itching to get on my bike. The kids had spent afternoons last week riding their trikes in the mud down the driveway. I was eager to get out on my bike as well, after I had spent Wednesday afternoon with Dave at Littleton Bike and Fitness for a BG Fit, a comprehensive look at my body’s geometry and riding style to see what changes might be made to make my bicycling experience more comfortable and efficient.

We decided to see what Bridget had in mind for her day of adventure with Mom and Dad, and she unequivocally stated that she’d like to ski with Daddy for the morning. So I stayed home for Timothy’s nap while they headed over to Bretton Woods. They checked in around noon, but Timothy was still asleep and Bridget wanted to go up to the top if the “big mountain.” Matt was took her down Range View, a wide, gentle slope directly under the Zephyr High Speed Quad. It’s a long run for a three-year-old, though, and I was delighted to learn that she made it down the whole way without needing Dad to carry her. Afterwards, Bridget seemed to be eager to take in the entire spring skiing experience, insisting they have a hot dog from the grill out on the Slopeside Deck.

Bridget was ecstatic when she came home to tell me about her accomplishments. “Mommy, I skied all the way FROM THE TOP! Well, I did crash a little, but I skied on RANGE VIEW!” I certainly was a proud Mom.

Now that Matt was back home, I still had to decide…to ski or to bike? But the grin on Bridget’s face made my decision… I knew I had to get some turns in while I could. So I made a solo trip and fully enjoyed the spring snow. Although there was still plenty of snow in the glades, today was a day to make big, arcing turns on trails like Deception Bowl, or hop in the forgiving moguls on McIntyre’s Ride or Aggasiz.

And guess what… when I returned home there was still time for Matt and I to take bike rides! It’s great to be able to take advantage of longer hours of daylight this time of year. And after a few adjustments last week on my bike, I’m happy to report that after years of just living with it, my hands didn’t feel any numbness from resting on my handlebars for long periods of time.

Sunday morning was another nice surprise as the rain held off and another sunny day presented itself. Temperatures never fell below freezing overnight, so the snow was still soft first thing in the morning, so all four of us headed back over to Bretton Woods. Bridget wanted to show me her skills on Range View, so we headed there first thing. On the lift ride I got to explain to her what “first tracks” are (the first runs of the morning on freshly groomed trails) and she told me about skiing with Daddy the previous day.

We had a bit of a rocky start because I soon found that Bridget had no interest in traversing across the slope and turning in big “snakeys” down the mountain; she wanted to go straight down. But her right leg seems to be her strong one, which makes her turn to the left, and she kept heading for the woods on the left side of the trail. I ended up skiing backward, in front of her, and making some turns that she could imitate – and I could also catch her if she got going too fast. It’s a long run for a little person, and she was ready to go in for a break when we finished.

Later, Matt took her back on the Learning Center, but when they got to the top of the lift, she declared, “ I can do it myself!” and hopped right off the lift and down the ramp without any assistance. Then she told Matt, “You go that way. I’m going down this side BY MYSELF.” So Matt went right and Bridget went left and then came down on opposite sides of the lift. I had been out playing on the Magic Carpet with Timothy, and was happily surprised to see them coming down separately. But, when she met him back at the bottom and she wanted to ride the lift by herself, Dad had to promise her that riding the lift solo would have to be an adventure for another day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martha,
    I work for Peabody & Smith Realty and found your blog through Facebook. “Wow, this is GREAT news” was my first thought. I took my first trip up the lift at Bretton Woods this past weekend and can agree that although a bit mashed potato-like in the afternoon, the sun and slopes were wonderful! After a 10-4 day and 8 runs, I'm quickly developing a new passion for skiing and have found the mountain to be excellent for beginners...I couldn't believe all of the little children tackling the double diamond runs...WOW..As a first timer, I’ve just climbed to being able to make it down the blue trails!!!

    I’m an outdoor enthusiast much like yourself and have been considering starting a similar type of blog but have not yet had the time available to pull together the necessary resources and info etc. I think your writings/ experiences would be of great interest to many guests of our rentals program and I would love to chat with you more about perhaps exchanging links and directing people to and from each other’s websites…it would be a great way to share and discover life in the White Mountains. My email is kinsleyg@peabodysmith.com. I Hope to hear from you soon! Keep up the great work!