random leftovers

A few left­over thoughts from this past week­end’s tri­als event in west­ern Washington:

The just-con­clud­ed win­ter did an real num­ber on the rid­ing area we call Deer Flats. There were a ton of trees blown down or knocked over, to the point of con­strict­ing the road in a few places. For those that might not know, we had a pret­ty severe win­ter (for west­ern WA) this year. Sev­er­al snow storms, a few bouts of real­ly heavy rain and the sub­se­quent flood­ing, and in mid-Decem­ber, a severe wind­storm that left hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple in Wash­ing­ton with­out pow­er, phone, or TV ser­vice. Per­son­al­ly, we we’re with­out pow­er for 8 days, and with­out TV, phone, and inter­net ser­vice for over 3 weeks. The effects of this tem­per tantrum by Moth­er Nature were plain­ly obvi­ous at Deer Flats. 

In addi­tion, the dev­as­ta­tion to the trees in the area was the top­ic of an amus­ing quip after the event was over; a bunch of us are stand­ing around out­side the scor­ing trail­er, await­ing offi­cial results, and some­one asks why we don’t have a bon­fire going, with it being so blod­dy cold and all? “we could­n’t find any wood” comes the lacon­ic reply from one of our local expert rid­ers! well, maybe you had to be there.

Cold weath­er and Alpines­tars tri­als boots: about 90 min­utes into my stint as the observ­er on sec­tion 10 in the morn­ing, i had a very weird sen­sa­tion. Just as a rid­er was leav­ing my sec­tion. I felt a vibra­tion in my boots. “Whoa! that was weird. the exhaust sound must have set up some kind of res­o­nance in one of the plas­tic com­po­nents in the boots. how odd.” But then it hap­pened a few more times, and then I noticed that some­times I could feel the vibra­tion when there was­n’t a bike near­by. A lit­tle exper­i­men­ta­tion dur­ing a real­ly qui­et peri­od con­firms that when the boots get real­ly cold, some­thing in their struc­ture sqeaks at a pret­ty low fre­quen­cy dur­ing very slow move­ment. Kind of a bass ver­sion of the ‘fin­ger­nails on chalk­board’ sound. how weird. And, btw, if not for being of ser­vice to my fel­low tirals rid­ers, that’s too damn cold to be just stand­ing around in the woods watch­ing it snow. Just so you know. 🙂

keep those feet up!

About the Author

Jim Harriger