There, I said it aloud. It is a season that is so bad that it is normally not named, at least aloud. It is the kind of thing that at my house, my family acts like it is not really there. You know, it is the elephant in the room that no one mentions, and allows their day to just go on normally. It will be pounding down snow outside, yet my family will be wearing shorts and parading around the house talking about going for a bike ride or a run or taking Stella outside to play frisbee or... For her part, even Stella just acts like it is the same outside that it is everyday. They all do this, because they know that the mere mention of the season that shall not be named, can bring a horrible response from me.
The mere mention of you know when, can send me into a funk that I may not recover from. I hate you know when. So, people do not talk to me about winter. (There I said it's name again.) I would rather not ever have winter.
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away lived a prince. That prince decided he would never suffer the season that should not be named ever again. The Prince proclaimed that the rule of the seasons is over. Out of that proclamation came the endless summer. Not the Bruce Brown surfing movie, but the plan that I have made for myself to live a full 18 months at some point in my life with no season that shall not be named.
Winter. (Ah, he said it again!)
I am not J. Alfred Prufrock, I know winter will come. But just think of it, 18 months of mountain bike shredding, motorcycle woods riding, road bike backroad swooping, pristine devoid of snow mountains to climb and descend, cobbled roads in the spring time to bash across, Belgian beer and frites, more wicked mountain bike descents, trips to Whistler, a Moab trip or 2, general burrito gorging etc... Wow. Heaven.
Just how would you do that? I know winter (I have written the name of the season multiple times and have not committed suicide yet) will come, but I here is my version of how I could maybe avoid it.
Australia. There are some really fantastic things about Australia. First of all there is the fact that they drive Ute's. The Ute is fantastic, if you do not know what a Ute is or question if it is fantastic, check it out here. It is quite possibly the most pointless vehicle ever made. Just think of it, a car that looks like a pickup. That is almost as good as a mullet. You know, party up front and business in back. Now you might think that I am just jealous of the mullet or the Ute. In fact, I am jealous of the mullet. It is the hairstyle of the gods and hockey. I would definitely spend January trying to grow a mullet, driving a Ute in Australia and riding my mountain bike. They also have Kangaroo's in Australia, which makes sense that the place with the Ute as the most popular vehicle would also have scads of pointless animals.
February. Chile. The mountains there look fantastic. I have this feeling that you could do about a 2 week long epic mountain bike ride in mountains there. Plus, it is a long skinny country and those are the best kind.
March. This is probably the toughest month. I think I am still going to want to be in the southern hemisphere, but I will want to be riding my road bike now. Probably back to Australia, and spend time with all the Cashed Up Bogans from the west, while pouring on the road miles.
April. Belgium. For sure in April I will have to go to Belgium. It is the galactic center of the cylcling world after all. Cobbles, headwinds, frites, trappist ale... Belgium in April is really the only month that is worth suffering some bad weather for.
May. Moab. The best XC riding in the world. If you have not yet been, then it is time to cash in the government tax refund check and get there. Ride the Whole Enchilada and then get into town and down a burrito and a beer. Then the next day, get up and do it again. rinse and repeat kinda thing.
Whole Enchilada is soooo good, I had to put in 2 videos.
June. Vancouver. Here you can beef up on your Canadian speak. It is a bit like Aussies, but with more calm and maybe more sophistication. Plus, it is the center of the really cool trail universe. I could probably ride CBC trail about every day for a month. In between there will still be hockey going on, so your full on mullet by this time of the year is not out of place.
July. France, alps. Without a doubt, that is where you will want to be. Probably best to try and go in advance of a day of the TDF, ride the stage then watch the stage. The L'etape rides are really fun, and give you a feel for what it is like to be a professional cyclist. But if you have made it this far in my tail, you pretty much are a professional cyclist.
August. Wait for it, wait for it...Copper Harbor Michigan. I know you are saying, wtf? I promise you if you go there you will see what I am talking about. It is one of the most fun XC mountain bike places in the world. I really really dig it there. Plus by the time you get there in August, the sun is up the temperature in Lake Superior will allow you to get in for up to 30 seconds before you die, the bugs are gone... And, it is almost Canadian.
September. Whistler. You have seen all the video's, they are all accurate. There is nothing like Whistler. Go there, you may not come back.
October. I love fall mountain biking somewhere. This one can go just about anywhere. The northern states in the USA are still possible, but the days are getting shorter and the weather gets questionable towards the end of the month. Probably need to be somewhere like North Carolina. There we go, road riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and mountain biking in Tsali forest.
November. Spain. Road biking in Spain. Majorca, and down to Alicante and then on to Gibralter. It is still to early for all the northern Europeans to be down there getting all pink from too much sun and drinking all the beer. But, the weather is spectacular still and the road riding is really good.
December. New Zealand. Time to head back down to the southern hemisphere. I have never been to New Zealand, but it is on my list and as you can imagine it would be during December that I would want to go. Lot's of good offroad motorcycle racers and Mountain bikers of all sorts come from New Zealand. I feel like it is the kind of place that I would not want to leave once I was there.
There you have it. 12 months. I bet I could do this for a few cycles before I felt like I needed to start repeating some rides. I am willing to try though.
Maybe winter will not come...
The video below has nothing to do with winter. But, it does have a goat.