Cold Hike

Long, long ago, I mentioned that I wanted to hike all 798 miles required to earn the State Forest Trails Award.

Last weekend, I went out into the frosty mountains with Klinutus and my evil sister. It was about 16 degrees up in the snowy mountains.

I got to try out my Subaru’s AWD in the snow for the first time. It worked very nicely.

My Outback in the snow

There was a lot of rocks. I hate rocks. Especially when they’re under the snow and you can’t see them.

The trail

Because I am a very clever boy, I had a thermos full of coffee in my backpack. So, I was fully caffeinated for the hike.

Coffee Break

There are a lot of nice views on this section of the trail. Here is Klinutus contemplating endless infinities or whatever.

Klinutus contemplating endless inifities

At any rate, it was very nice, except that I twisted my ankle or something out there, and have been out of commission for the past week.

Klinutus brought along his camera tripod, so we could pose for our end-of-the-hike group photo.

Group pic

Another four miles down, only 768 left to go!

That’s a little better!

The first week of 2012 is in the bag! I’ve lost 10 pounds, and already ridden twice as many miles as I did in the whole month of January last year!

Lard-ass logging

Yesterday, the Sloth and I circumnavigated the Capital Area Greenbelt on our bicycles.

We stopped around the halfway mark to brew up some coffee. Sloth had a new coffee filter he wanted to try out, and I had a new stove that I wanted to play with.

Coffee Break

I had an entire pannier’s worth of coffee brewing accouterments. Stove, fuel bottle, extra water, pot, french press, etc. It all adds up to a lot of pannier space, but was well worth it.

Due to some miscalculations while lighting the stove, I ended up with a small fuel spill, and a gigantic ball of flame. This seemed to amuse / horrify the joggers and dog-walkers who were passing by.

Nonetheless, we had our coffee, and it was good. Personally, I think coffee / tea breaks should be mandatory on any ride over 15 miles when it’s less than 50 degrees out. Anything less would be uncivilized.

Bikes!

Fortified with caffeine, we soldiered on through the gigantic traffic disaster of the Farm Show. We made a few wrong turns (the signage on the Greenbelt is a little spotty), and ended up with about 21 miles — my longest ride for the week/month/year!

The new year appears to be off to a good start, and ambitious plans for a multi-day tour are already underway.

First Commute of 2012

Today was my first day back to work after the winter holidays. It was my first bicycle commute in many months, and the first one ever for my Cross Check.

First Commute!

Temperatures were in the mid 20’s both ways, and it was snowing. No fewer than three of my coworkers made comments about my mental health.

Huzzah!