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Posts Tagged ‘testing grounds’

Mother Nature did not let us down by giving us more than 30 inches of snow in the past few weeks. I have been growing restless of the trainer more and more each day; luckily the weather is temporarily breaking, and I was very thankful for this lovely Sunday Ride!

West Virginia weather has been as fickle as a paper doll, as predictable as a woman, and as nasty as that one mother in-law that you hesitate inviting every year for Christmas. The snow has been coming down either in several day stints, or in major ?downpours? (is that how you say it for snow???) then pittling around for a few days after. There is still a foot of snow on some places outside, and it is starting to ice over. Many are predicting that mid-March, that we will have another blizzard-type condition of white, cold, powdery, motivation-killing snow.

I decided to ride along the local testing grounds to see if my fitness has waned or improved. According my garmin connect profile, my cadence has increased overall, speed has not; surprisingly enough… I am faster on the climbs. This does not mean I am becoming a grimpeur, but I guess some of this winter training is working.

Another great thing about the testing grounds is that you get to see changes or improvements to the area. I saw a collapsed house that I was expecting that to happen for years, I saw that farmers have their new collection of livestock, and that either horses like relaxing at the top of giant hills, or someone has placed a horse-shaped sillhouette at the peak of their property. The deer are also back out; somehow knowing that hunting season is over and they can continue their scurrying through these rural areas with little or no reprecussions of being shot just like Bambi’s momma.

At least there are quality places like this that you could have your trophy’s head placed above your mantle:

For a few weeks, the birds have been coming back in flocks, as they do every year; the ducks were no exception. I have no clue… even if it is their nature to swim around in the water… why a duck would be in water just barely above freezing point. It blows my mind. I hate tap water temperatures this time of year while washing my hands, I would hate to imagine how that feels.

When coming onto Macedonia Road, I stumbled upon several areas of road that were substandard to ride on, even with a cross bike. If I had not taken off my sunglasses, I would have believed to be riding on portions of rock gardens meant for a downhill or cross country course. 😉 Winter has really taken its toll on some of the local areas in more than one way:

At the end of this stretch of pavé, I was met by these fellows, spiked collars and all. Luckily Innotek Invisible Canine Fences™ were at work!

The Scenery and It’s People

I think the one thing I appreciate the most about West Virginia is the scenery that is provided by the widely varying terrain all around us. Everyone has something close enough to them, possibly even in their own back yard that can be appreciated and seen as a striking testament to West Virginia’s Beauty.

Sometimes nature and humans combine to create an even stronger presence on locals. For instance, take a look at this uplifting piece of local folk art (Grafitti = Art in WV?).

Nothing Could Be Truer

Right before the long stretch to montagne d’Buckhannon; A.K.A Buckhannon Mountain, A.K.A Big Bad Mamma Jamma, I passed upon an anomaly that cannot just be by the stroke of luck alone. Bum the Wonder Horse (you can read about him here.), a local celebrity was on top of one of the highest hills… or at least I think it was a real horse…

Take a look for yourself:

Bum The Wonder Horse's Home

Is that Bum The Wonder Horse??? (click for larger image)

It has to be!!!

After double-taking so many times about this Mystery Horse on a Mountain (hill), I finally reached Buckhannon Mountain. I have seen men and women broken on this mountain. When one really wants to, even though it is only 1.5 miles… This is the place you can create a gap of seconds or even minutes on someone who may not be as willing to tolerate pain as much as you, hence why Buckhannon Mountain is the local proving grounds.

"The mountain and I have an understanding. It kicks my ass, I crawl up it." - Local Resident

Conclusion

I have been too soft on myself this winter and now I am becoming soft. More miles need to be put in, and more physical tests of endurance need to be made before summer. I’m going to be ready, will you be?

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