Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vermont Winter Adventures

The View at Bretton Woods.  Mount Washington.
On my way home from Kauai, I had the pleasure of stopping by the Specialized HQ in Morgan Hill, California for a NICA (National High School Mountain Bike League) Awards Banquet.  I was honored to be the guest speaker for this event and completely enjoyed every moment of it.  There was a ride in the morning near Monterey, CA which over fifty people attended.  Then, a healthy two hundred showed up at the awards banquet in the evening enjoying a delicious meal and awards presentation.   NICA has high school mountain bike leagues in several states (CA, CO, WA, UT) and people are nominated by the peers for awards.   Awards were hotly contested and the stories behind the winners were inspiring to say the least.  NICA is having a great impact on teenagers and the high school community at large.  I am a big supporter of their work.  Plus, it's not only getting kids hooked on cycling for life, but it's becoming a great development pipeline for american mountain bike racers.  The results are starting to show.  Kate Courtney, a product of the California league, won a junior world cup this year at Windham, NY. With Little Bellas and NICA's work, the future looks bright.
A shot from the NICA Ride

My Vermont winter training block has been going really well.  I'm getting in some solid skiing and strength training and having a blast doing it.  There have been some fun events peppered into this training block.  I went down to iSport to check in with Bill Knowles and he added some fun, new strength in my plan.  I am pumped.  It includes jumping and resistance cords so I had to give the basement gym a facelift so I wouldn't slip.  I can't believe I didn't get rubber flooring earlier.

The new and improved gym ready for some iSport moves

Two weekends ago, my mom, my sister, and myself headed up to Bretton Woods, NH for the New England Nordic Ski Association Women's Day.  Just like last year, my mom took a ski clinic, my sister gave a Swix wax clinic, and I was to give a speech at lunch time about the Olympics.  I wasn't too worried about the speech (and hadn't prepared anything) until the drive down to women's day where I found out there was going to be two hundred women at the event.  It was then that I started to become a little concerned.  Nevertheless, I gave it 'off the cuff', and I was so happy with how it turned out.  I told behind the scenes stories from the games; little tidbits that I couldn't have known without actually being an Olympian.  It was well received and the crowd actually laughed! (enter huge sigh of relief)  It's good to know that I can actually give a speech because, up until this point, I've only done the question and answer format.
I caught Mount Washington at sunset.  It was zero degrees out. 

The rest of our weekend at Bretton Woods was absolutely awesome.  This was some of the most gorgeous nordic skiing I've ever gone.  Bretton Woods has an abundant trail network at the base of Mount Washington.  I either got a view of the mountain or a view of the iconic Mount Washington Hotel the entire four hour skate ski.  It was stunning.  My sister also won a gift certificate in the 2012 Bretton Woods marathon for a dinner at the Mount Washington Hotel restaurant.  This was, hands down, the most fancy and delicious meal I've ever had.  The gingerbread pudding dessert was one of the many highlights.  The waiter even came between courses with a scraper to clear the table of crumbs.  Wow.

 It's official because it's on posted board in the lodge.  Sabe, two time winner of the Bretton Woods Marathon and a general ripper on skis.  I'm so proud!

The ski block continues.  I signed up for the Gattineau World Loppet (51k) this Sunday, and, today, I just came off one of the best skis of the winter at Craftsbury Nordic Center today.  It was a blue bird day, all eighty five kilometers were open, and the skiing was beautiful.  The conditions and fun, rolling terrain made a four hour ski a little bit easier.  Now, let's just think snow so the conditions can stay this good.

Think SNOW!

I visited the Richmond girl scout with the Specialized Olympic Fate