Monday, July 30, 2012

Rock Lobster

View on the ride up to Palmer
The intensity of UV increases with altitude – there’s less atmosphere to absorb sunrays. Unfortunately, I was too excited about riding at Mt. Hood last week (JULY SNOW!!!) and totally ignored skincare, which resulted in a burn. Yup, total rock lobster, but a happy one. After some great meetings with colleagues at our Albany lab and Oregon State earlier during the week, I took a day of leave to ride Mt. Hood. 

This is what happens when you ride at altitude
with gloves and a t-shirt (and no sunblock).
Apparently famous people were also riding at Timberline last Wednesday. Even though it was difficult to distinguish specific famous people under gear (and I never rode close enough to them to check out their boards), their incredible skill and style distinguished them on the snow. There was this one famous-looking person in particular, being followed by a guy holding a nice camera – I watched him attack this moguled area with style and grace and everything amazing. This is the same moguled area where I attempted to work on conditioning earlier (although not as gracefully). In retrospect, I think the mystery awesome rider likely was Nick Baumgardner, US SBX Team athlete, who was at Mt. Hood for a photoshoot last Wednesday.
Lanes and gates for various ski race camps also training last week

Aside from being so thankful to be able to ride in July, I was thrilled to collect some data on the results of my past few months training with Jb. I’ve only been able to work on strength and conditioning through the gym and dryland training since last season ended in April, and the training works. Big time. The biggest excitement came when I was able to ride through some of the technical on-snow drills with better form, and faster, compared with a few months ago. I didn’t want to stop riding, and kept going until the lifts closed even though my quads were killing me.

Self-portrait before the last ride down
Before heading to the airport for my lovely red-eye flight home to Pittsburgh, I met some friends for dinner in Portland (thanks for the great restaurant pick K!). The night before I'd met some other friends for dinner (thanks for the great dinner pick, and the guest room, Tim and Mela!). Tuesday night – free range grass fed something or other burger. Wednesday night – fresh oysters and ceviche. Excellent pre-snow and post-snow meals all-around – in addition to riding, Oregon is also on my list of favorite places because of the food. After all, proper nutrition is essential for awesome training results…and a happy Ale. 


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