Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nothing nice about Ice

I never liked Ice. In a glass or under foot. It always takes me by surprise and when it does, most of the time, it hurts.
I remember years ago carrying two cinder blocks across a driveway on wet ice. The rest of the story is obvious, My feet came out from under me and I landed in the water on my butt with two cement blocks on my hands. Laying in a puddle on ice doesn't last long, You stand up.
One winter day about 14 years ago, I fell through the ice and went under water over my head with the bike. I didn't stay in long. Racing home I hit a patch that had pebbles frozen in and went down fast. Ask Jerry Slack, He saw the whole thing.
Except for black ice, most of the time its in water. Crashing on ice leaves you floundering in the puddle giving drivers something to talk about and having them feel better about driving a car. Bloodied knees and torn clothing as a result of ice, is not nice. Studded tires work when there is ice, but like winning the lottery, you need to buy a ticket to win, maybe. Studded tires for most of the winter ride poorly. That's if you can get them to fit your bike. Only made in certain sizes and fat, you may need a special ice bike for your special ice tires.
Years ago while Winter off road riding in Haverhill, Mass had me encounter a section of road where the ice has formed in a sloped band around 20 feet long. The ice slopping from left to right dropped over the edge 30 feet to Kenoza Lake. Riding and falling would have you finish with a drop into the water.
After assessing the road, I figured the best plan of attack was to slide the bike across on its side and then run and "Superman" across up to the high spot so when I came down I would be on the other side. It worked. A week later with a group of friends, it was decided that we turn around and find another trail.
Adventure starts with risk. Ice is not everywhere as is risk. As with the group, risk can sometimes be avoided. The fear of "what might happen if" has a way of changing everything and repeating itself the older we get. Common sense with some people comes with age. You can see it in there eyes. Living another day is good, " Life Is Good" as long as your alive to enjoy the goodness, but the age old question comes to mind, "Is the fear of adventure and its risk, controlled by the fear of dieing, or just the fear of really being alive?"

Think about that one next time your laying in a icy puddle!

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