Welcome to the party pal! Winter outdoor inline skating in Colorado is for diehards only. It’s the time of year we toss care and concern for our equipment into the arctic wind and brave the trail, where icy snow patches and that same Rocky Mountain run-off that makes your Coors Light taste like gnat’s pee penetrates the seals of our bearings, ultimately leading to the wheel chirp that precedes their final seizure in early spring.
My buddy John & I hit the trail today at Boyd Lake State Park. We may have graduated into full-fledged rink-rats, but we’ve been dying to be back outdoors. It’s been in the low 50’s for the past two days, and that means wet trail conditions as the snow melt starts. But since it’s been sub-zero for longer than Barak Obama was popular, I’ll take it. This is the only time of year I could give a flying fart about how bad the trail conditions are, I’ll brave them. I just have to skate. I could have stayed outside all day today.
The parks & recreation department in Loveland does a superb job of keeping the trails clean in the winter, but it’s been so cold that very little of the snow has melted yet. It was still a good foot deep out on the frozen lake, and ice fishers were in force. (SIDE NOTE: What on earth is the appeal of ice fishing?! John & I couldn’t figure it out…but as the John McClane’s of winter angling peer out the steamed windows of their heated ice huts and spot us skating past they probably think we’re jerkweeds too.)
Anyway – it was a blast. Colder than I thought it would be, but a lot of fun. We kept a pretty good pace, and it was nice to stretch the legs with long, purpose-driven strides. We came up on an ice patch that from a distance looked like something we could just roll right through. At the last moment I chickened out and did a spring-loaded broad jump clearing the two foot wide muck just in time to have to do it again because it was a double road cross-over…I guess those winter plyos have paid off! Then we came up on what I thought was a puddle of standing water that turned out to be thickening with ice – Splash! Cearrackkkkk! “ICE!” was all I could shout as I heard John roll through it behind me and start to laugh. It was at this point I wondered aloud, “Does this make us diehards?”
The rest of the skate was great. We were able to pound it out up one of my favorite hills at a strong pace. We took it easy on the way back, opting to walk over the slop we took vert on the way out.
When we got back to our cars I scrambled for the camera so we could document some of the trail. The batteries ran out just as I was snapping a picture of John navigating a narrow path through a snow patch on one skate like Scott Hamilton.
Knowing the weather is still going to get worse before it gets better made us both appreciate the 40 minutes we were able to steal here in the first half of January. We hope to get out again this weekend with some of the other Speed Weasels. Diehards? Ya, ubetcha. Yippy-Ki-Ay-MotherFather!
1/6/10 Training: Did an hour on the elliptical. Level 7, 6.3 miles. I’ve been reading An Artist in Treason. Incredible true story…
1/7/10 Training: Another hour on the elliptical, level 7, 6.6 miles…the story is about General James Wilkinson, head of the U.S. Army under Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison…
1/8/10 Training: Back on the elliptical with my book, 1 hour, 6.4 miles, level 7…and spy for the Spanish! Amazing, the worst spy in our history that we’ve never been told much about!
1/9/10 Training: Lead the Rink Rabbits around the rink for an hour and a half. We’re having a great time with these game/drills and they’re more focused than ever.
1/10/10 Training: We upped the reps for the plyo set, was feeling that on Monday & Tuesday! The 100 lap drill was great, and because of the size of the class we extended it to 130. We pounded the last 60 at a really good clip. The coach and kids did a full-out sprint for the last 4 laps that I couldn’t hold on for. My side started hurting big time and I couldn’t breath. Thought I had injured myself again. I didn’t get lapped but I just didn’t have what they did. They were easily in the low 9’s after 126 laps. Amazing. And the class was huge – lot’s of new faces. I hope they keep coming back!
1/11/10 Training: Back on the elliptical with Gen. Wilkinson for an hour at level 7, 6.2 miles.
11/12/10 Training: Ran the Rink Rabbits through some new foot drills that they were absolutely nutz over. This is working out really well! They’re getting solid foundational work, shown by great times for the “Chase the Rabbit” drill! Thanks to everyone who has given me ideas! Will post pics of our practices soon!
Thanks to Bill for sharing this video, so many great drills the kids love!
1/12/10 Training: 10 miles out at Boyd Lake State Park with John.
Cool Link: A really cool blog you can get lost on for hours.