Despite the Mister’s regular hints that he “needs” a fat bike, we remain devoted skiers in the winter. We usually move indoors to various forms of stationary cycling about mid-November, and hit the slopes by Boxing Day at the latest.
The first day of cycling in the spring is always a challenge – my bike is usually not yet tuned, and the bike shop has a several day wait since I have left it to the week in which every cyclist except the most organized brings in their bike. So I give it a quick onceover on my own – my skills are pretty much limited to air in the tires and lube on the chain, but it is enough to get rolling. I change the cleats on my shoes, as those I use for winter spin class are a different breed than those with which I ride. I dig through my drawer for clothes that match the volatile spring weather, play the IQ-testing match-the lids-to-water-bottles game, and then, Bob’s your uncle, I am out riding my squeaky bike within an hour.
Getting out on the first day of skiing, on the other hand, is at least a half-day affair. This year was no exception. Here I provide a bit of a historical perspective on the events leading up to the first run of the season.
April 2017: Pile ski stuff at the bottom of attic stairs to take up later. Mention optimistically to the Mister that the ski stuff is at the bottom of the attic stairs.
May 2017: Mention to the Mister, in a tone meant to convey concern and disapproval, that the ski stuff is still at the bottom of the attic stairs.
June-July-August 2017: Spend a delightful summer cycling, gardening, cottaging; avoid being indoors long enough to notice the ski stuff at the bottom of the attic stairs.
September 2017: Take the ski stuff to the attic.
October 2017: The Mister says that maybe we should bring the ski stuff down from the attic to see what can go to various fall ski swaps, but we go biking instead.
November 2017: Too busy raking leaves and scrambling to get in last bike rides to bring ski stuff down from the attic.
Sunday December 17, 2017: Have promised a friend, Anne, to meet up at the ski hill, so must bring ski stuff down from the attic.
10:00 am Find skis, poles, boots, knee brace, helmet, pants, mitts, long johns, ski socks and jacket. Jacket is ripped, ask daughter to borrow hers. Goggles and ski pass are missing.
10:45 am Find goggles in bin with cross-country gear. Daughter reports pass was last seen being used as a cat toy. Pass is recovered from underneath a dresser.
11:30 am Remember that I need to wear contact lenses when skiing, because glasses don’t fit under my goggles. Locate three left lenses, and one crispy, dehydrated right lens. Begin process of rehydrating right lens.
11:45 am Remember that the reason I am meeting the friend is to return a stack of cookie tins to her, so that she can fill them up with the world’s best shortbread. I know you think that you/your mom/your grandma/your uncle make the best shortbread, but they don’t. Anne does. Locate cookie tins.
12:00 pm Leave for ski hill, a mere 2 hours after starting the preparation process, with dull skis, last tuned in 2015.
12:30 pm Arrive at ski hill, find nut shells in one ski boot, courtesy of an attic-dwelling squirrel. Clean out boot.
12:35 pm Discover helmet padding has been removed, and that replacing it is a more difficult IQ test than matching lids to water bottles.
12:50 pm Pass helmet and padding to the Mister for reassembly.
12:51 pm Helmet together!
12:55 pm Lift line!
Phew! I think I learned a lesson from all of this. I am taking my bike in for off-season tuning first thing Monday morning. Or maybe I will hit the slopes and go first thing in the New Year…