Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Heading home from VA on a work day.
Skis and clothes still in the car from the long weekend
A free night since Kim and the neighbor took the boys to Hershey for the evening
Driving within sight of a ski area
season pass in possession
How could I not stop for some legwork?

Parked in a recently vacated spot in the first row
The lot was packed, but the lifts were not
The snow was what you'd expect after 50 degrees and sunny all day, then clear and 30s when I arrived. Yeah, it was fast, as they say in WV.

The fast and scratchy nature wasn't all that fun, and I thought I wouldn't even stay an hour.
Found some fun on the bermed sides of 2 large jumps in the terrain park, plus a short pump-track-like roller-berm-roller combo. It was like one-quarter of a pump track.

Whitetail built a new, short lift which just serves the terrain park. I rode that and just sessioned those berms 'till I was ready to leave. Was fun making big 180 carves on the banks.

I nearly undercut someone jumping off the side one time. Almost scary ugly. I looked before I went. There's a very small amount of token communication at the top of the park. Seems like 1 in 10 yell "dropping". People weren't expecting someone to hit that jump from the side like I was doing. The other berm/jump was more like a wide 1/4 pipe, and people were either launching straight off it, or using it like a 1/4 pipe. so my move wasn't so foreign on that feature.

Was imagining how much fun something like a high-walled S-turn section would be. Just 3 big turns would be plenty fun.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Xmas Day skiing

Bill, waving Merry Christmas

My friend Bill and I probably did this same thing 20 years ago on Xmas Day 1988. That is, leave your family holiday and go skiing. Neither of us has grown up much since then. We were partial to Timberline in those days, Whitetail didn't exist then. Now, we're both a lot closer to Whitetail.

New ways to hurt myself

Tim was working, but we never ran into him

Bonus gift: Mannke included some CDs in his xmas package from Boston. A live Meat Puppets show from 1993 which I highly enjoyed on the way to Whitetail, plus a Who bootleg from Isle of Wight, 1970 that I was dying to dig into as well. Thanks Mike!

Double Bonus: Demo'd a pair of World Pistes. Wider, stiffer, and a bit shorter than my Super Stinx. Liked them a lot, they skied really well. Might want to buy those at the end of the season.

More skiing today, gotta get it before the rains do....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ray riding a well known section on the Weds. night ride.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whitetail weekend

This was our weekend, pixels provided by our neighbor and Whitetail buddy Tim, and our old Virginia friend and 24-Hour teammate, Bill. Bill happily made use of that Dynastar snowboard I won at the Wild 100 a few years ago (and never mounted up). The board is now his, lucky I never got around to making a bench out of it. I guess the other part of that bench is now spoken for too, as Tim wants to try a free-carve board, and that's what I happen to have stored in the garage.

Amazed at Oliver's skiing. This was our 6th day this season, and there's a huge difference in today compared to Seven Springs the day after Thanksgiving. He really digs the new Sidewinder Trail at Whitetail. It has a high, long bank along the left side. The bank is pretty cool to get a little surfy on, and has formed lots of rollers and ramps with a sometimes difficult transition dip to get back onto the flat trail . Oliver goes up & down & up & down the first sections of bank, then just straight-lines the rollers of the bank the rest of the way down, and tries to hold his speed to hit a big whale at the bottom. I like how he's already discovered the fun little hits and sections off the edges of the trails. I like how he seems to be able to check his speed when necessary. I know when he's straight-lining it could go ugly in a nano, but so far....

That trail will only get better with more snow(making). Today, there were some rocks and dirt showing through on the high side. Was almost a like singletrack luge run to stay in the rollers that Oliver was skiing.
Oliver did ask to ride the high-speed to the top of the mountain. I was nervous about that, not wanting any straight-lining down that. He skied cautiously, making turns through the thick and surprisingly fun mashed potatoes. Got down with no problems and he skied right back over to the other lift, saying he didn't want to do the big one again. Was pretty happy about that too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

sweet Woodward

This entire mountain bike park looks insane.
I love how they manual those rollers, especially that table-top one. Anyone who's ridden with me in the past few months knows that I've been trying to get the manual (and a decent wheelie while I'm at it). The problem with both of them, is my fear of the sweet spot. Or, more precisely, my fear of that place one degree beyond the sweet spot.

But, I just learned a couple ways to practice and get the feel of the sweet spot for fleeting seconds. And anyone who knows me, knows I'll drill the hell out of something if I want to learn it. One trick is to manual down any little drop. A ramp, a driveway, a dip in the trail, a roller on the pump track etc.. When my front wheel is in the air, and I hit the drop, there's a natural acceleration right into the sweet spot. The other trick is handy in the woods, and that's to wheelie over small branches, logs, and rocks. I get my front up, and pedal through the impact with the object. The natural tendency is for the object to slam the front wheel down as soon as the rear smacks, so to keep it up, I have to lean back into the spot. This could make for some entertaining moments for any riders following me. I know I had some moments at Raystown a few weeks ago.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


some family skiing on Saturday

Tony should've had a Tomi Ring


frosty ride
showed Big Dog that new trail from the 50
got to sketch across the slickest log in Michaux with a dust of dry on top
impromptu call to head for some post-ride Chambersburg chili thanks to Kim!
double impromptu bonus showing them the pump track and it was 28 degrees, frozen, and dry
quik pre-chili session ensued

Monday, December 01, 2008

Not many pixels to show for the past 5 days off work.
Fun was had, starting with what Kim says was her "best Thanksgiving ever".

a little more of this,
and a ride on some of the fine Norchaux
waiting for more snaux....