Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Its not always too cold to ride

Posted by Frum Hiker on February 6, 2007

Normally around November my bikes get put away, and my skis get waxed. This year was different, I waited for the snows that accompany winters wrath, but they never showed up. Instead the east coast was blessed with November and December days in the 40s and 50s, abundant sunshine, dry trails and clear shimmering ice free lakes. I cannot remember the last time I was able to ride in shorts and a T-shirt on trails during hunting season. Hunting season is usually great since, getting shot is not high up on the list and its usually too cold with frozen ground making riding tough. Nope, this year I had an orange blaze shirt on as I rode through the woods during December. All of the sudden my Shangri-La ended with a dip in the jet stream and all at once winter dropped by for a visit. In came the cold and out went the warm. The snow never showed up, while the lakes froze and the ice fishing shacks showed up replete with pickup trucks and hearty old dudes in carhart jump suites.

No big snowstorm ushered in the cold, just a shift in the jet stream and Canadian arctic air. My bike started to gather dust along with my snowshoes and xc-skis. Luckily the big mountains could crank up the snowguns and bust out some fresh fake powder. I whipped out my skis rubbed a Chanukah candle on them and I was good to go.

Only a cyclist can understand how good it feel to ride a bike after not riding for several weeks. Only cyclist can feel that thin strip of leather under their crotch and think of all the beautiful places this machine will take them under the most renewable energy of their own. It felt this good to ride this past Friday. I was in New York for shabbos and happened to be in Queens.

I took my urban, street built rig out of my trunk and donned my shin guards and other protective gear and proceeded to hit up Queens College- a wonderful little area of ledges, banks and tons of skinny stuff to hop around on. I rode around and found this phenomenal little grass bank that was frozen solid, making for a perfect little quarter pipe to practice rear wheel stalls on, it could also be used as a hip to bust out some table tops on. The beginning of the quad is dominated by this fountain-amphitheater type affair. It has these one foot-off the ground downhill ledges that are phenomenal for manualing down, as well as multiple tiered ledges perfect jumping on and off. The college was empty being it was Friday afternoon and I enjoyed a feeling of serenity although ever mindful of the inevitable police, security guards and campus goons who sought to kick out skaters and bikers whenever they were having fun.

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