Breaking News: Snowshoes Replace Tennies in Big Race at 7,880 Feet

The mountains of Central California have beckoned me each winter since I began snowboarding in 2000.  When I was single and living in Anaheim Hills, about forty miles southeast of downtown L.A., I spontaneously tossed my tire chains and boarding gear in the trunk of my trusty Jetta, and drove the five hours to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area whenever it got a dump of snow.  I was the queen of winter as I pounded the Sierra slopes solo.

And then on one trip two girlfriends asked me to go snowshoeing.

It was supposed to be mellow.  Meandering through the evergreens.  Looking for bunny tracks.  No climbing from our 7,880 foot beginning elevation.

Us gals before the big race. I was still smiling (on the far left).

And then it was decided we should race – in our snowshoes.  Having snowshoed twice before, I figured I had this one in the bag.  I taught kickboxing, too.  I was hard core.  My opponent only taught gymnastics.  I could take her.

We lined up toe-to-toe.  “Ready, set, go!” the other friend bellowed.  Intending to shoot out from the starting line to assume an immediate lead, I was befuddled when instead, I found myself having to high step to get the dang things to come out of the snow.  Who was the wise guy who decided to make the backs of them unattached to the heel?  Instead of Wilma Rudolph, I was a Clydesdale – heavy as I clopped my way through the multiple feet of snow.

The finish line loomed before us, only yards away.  My opponent inched ahead with each flop, flop.  I lagged behind with each flloppp, flloppp.  Then she raised her hands in victory.  I dropped my head in defeat.  My crown had been snatched from my head.  My title passed on.

As I returned to my condo after my humbling race, a faint whisper floated my way.  It was the double-blacks on Lincoln Mountain.  I looked up, eying them since they rose above the town.  They were calling me back to the mountain, begging me to regain my title.  And so I did.  And decided to give up snowshoe racing.

Are you a fan of snowshoeing? Ever tried racing?

Regaining my title with friends George and David at 11,053 feet.



Biker chick (a.k.a. Heather) while snudcycling in Colorado

A few years ago I managed to make it to Denver, Colorado three to four times per year to visit my friends John and Marisa.  During each visit we made a point of snowboarding, hiking, camping, and/or mountain biking, depending on the weather.

During one visit, John and I created a new sport – snudcycling.  We went mountain biking when there were remnants of snow on the paths, and the snow that had melted turned the once frozen ground into a mini replica of the Brea Tar Pits, but with mud instead.

We were consistently either skidding across the white stuff, or stopping to remove the brown stuff from our chains.  After an hour or so of this adventurous sport, my bike chose to move no further; it had experienced enough snudcycling for one day.  Then came the bike wash in the front yard upon our return, which turned into a great diet plan for the bikes because they each lost about five pounds in the process.

Would I go snudcycling again?  Yes, if the “sn” outweighs the “ud.”

Have you ever gone snudcycling? What crazy cycling experiences have you had?

John, the Master Snudcyclist