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Posts Tagged ‘cold weather’

Shed, Port Bickerton

I have not had the best of luck with weather during the last, almost year, since beginning this blog. A very wet spring eventually lead into some (too few) decent days through the summer then as fall colors began their annual display a wind storm decimated the canopy. Winter has been mild without much snow. Without snow or ice winter photography is limited and because photography is limited I’m not motivated to explore or go very far from home. Without photos I find myself reluctant to post but because I don’t want too much time to go by without registering some life here I thought I would re-iterate a point I’ve made a few times before: short repetitive outings are essential to remaining active.

The idea of practice applies to nearly everything. When it comes to an active lifestyle it means doing activities that don’t require too much time so they can be easily incorporated into each day. If you want to be good at something then you practice the necessary skills. If you want to truly excel then you practice more and more, each individual will determine their own goals. Sometimes practice will build strength and stamina as well as skills. It seems, however, the concept of practice often has a pejorative connotation. For many practice equates with boredom and repetition. Procrastination or other excuses largely boil down to the same thing which is to consider practice as a separate aspect of an activity or sport. (more…)

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Every now and again things come together very nicely without anything to detract from the experience. So it was last night. I had to do a little eenie meenie minee mo to chose between skiing and cycling but ultimately decided on cycling because snow conditions weren’t quite as good as road conditions.

A light flurry of snow crisscrossed my headlight beam. I began the ride feeling a little apprehensive about the pavement. The temperature showed minus one which meant there could be ice. After a few kilometers without encountering any sinister glimmer on the road I relaxed and increased my pace. I ended up with some tire spray soaking through on my shins but I only noticed it when I undressed after the ride. (more…)

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Carol and I loaded the car with gear, drove five kilometers, parked at Spank’s Bridge and skied a section of the Trans Canada Trail. We went as far as Cook’s Cove then re-traced our way back to the car. The old rail bed is ideal though the trail in the other direction, from Spank’s Bridge to Ogden, is currently closed as a result of maintenance. If more snow falls and fills in the ruts then it should also be fine.

Skiing on the TCT near Cook's Cove

I didn’t think it would be wise to do too much on our first outing. Carol hasn’t been on her skis for several years and I wasn’t really out much last year either. I anticipated there being a few muscles that might be less than thrilled by the workout so going easy seemed the best bet. Carol said it was more fun than she remembered though she couldn’t actually remember the last time she went. I’m not sure what caused the negative impression but replacing it with something positive will go a long way toward seeing her back on her skis more regularly.  (more…)

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Clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.  William Faulkner

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.  James Matthew Barrie

Who forces time is pushed back by time; who yields to time finds time on his side. The Talmud

Near Port Bickerton

Time is a mystifying substance. I find it difficult to know just what an hour is. I know it is 60 minutes, of course, but beyond that everything about the notion of an hour seems rather fluid unless pressured by constraint.

New Harbour River

A few days ago I drove to Port Bickerton to follow up on information provided to me many months ago. I couldn’t find the directions I was given or the original emails but figured I could get myself in the vicinity and improvise from there. Part of getting to Port Bickerton from my house involved crossing Country Harbour by ferry. Said ferry departs on the hour. The clock in the car read 11:17 as I backed out the driveway. (more…)

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If you are a person who finds it difficult to remain warm I think you need to invest in the best clothing possible. Boots that are rated for at least -50, a down parka, well insulated snow pants over a wool under layer and ordinary nylon (not cotton) pants, heavy mitts rated for extreme cold, a balaclava or scarf to protect your face. There are other refinements to this attire I am not going to get into but, as you can easily calculate, to buy it all at once would certainly exceed $1000. An investment in this kind of clothing is often a difficult step for people to rationalize. What if I buy it all and still end up cold? (more…)

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The first thing I have to say about being active in the outdoors during the winter is that it is not mandatory. If you want to avoid it no points will be deducted from your score in life. I suspect a high percentage of people do little more than sprint from their homes to their cars, across parking lots and back again, only ever spending a few minutes per day exposed to the elements. Modern life makes it possible.

For someone who wants to play in the snow but has not done it since childhood I have no magic bullet formula. I can say from experience that doing it is worth the effort but the motivation has to come from within. Something in you has to want to give it a try. A lot of our weather involves low pressure systems, it hovers between crap and pathetic crap, and sometimes goes all the way down to absolute crap that is absolutely pathetic. Some days are not fit for a dog as the saying goes. It just isn’t realistic to think you can get out all the time, getting out three or four days per week is more realistic.

Two years ago I came upon some advice while reading a winter cycling blog which I have taken to heart. I think it applies broadly to winter activity in general. If you want to cycle in winter then do not wait for winter to begin – cycle consistently through the fall to gradually adjust as the temperature drops. This continues to make perfect sense to me. If you put your bike away in October and then think you will ride again once everything is frozen in January it will be quite a shock to the system.

If you want to walk through the winter then be sure to walk through the fall. As the mercury dips you can adjust your clothing incrementally. Don’t wait until January first when you make that momentous resolution to get your act together, get going right now while there are still temperatures above zero.

I’m going to have more to say about windchill, clothing, layering, and the three activities I enjoy most: walking, skiing and snowshoeing.

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New Harbour

It always seems odd to transport my bike using the car, however it is necessary when I want to cycle in new locations when time does not permit a long ride. Yesterday afternoon I decided I would go to Larry’s River. I did not decide beforehand where I would go from there. I parked the car at the post office in Larry’s River. The large lot at the Community Center would also be suitable. As I detached the bike from the carrier two female joggers went by. (more…)

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