Tuesday, March 15, 2011

redundancy, or, the shoulder season

the first time I ever heard someone use the term "shoulder season" I thought they meant weather nice enough that women would bare their shoulders.
and then I thought, well, maybe they mean a season where the shoulders of the roads become rideable.
after that, I pondered the possibility that they meant a connecting season: as a shoulder connects the arm to the body, the "shoulder" season might connect say, winter, with say, summer.

today, I played google detective and found that the term is primarily used in the travel industry, describing an abbreviated season that falls between "high season" and "low season." ah, okay, sure, whatever.
regardless of the true definition, there are quite a few of us cyclists around here who are pretending it's shoulder season: warm enough to bare a little skin (on the ascent), safe enough to travel in the bike lanes where snow has pulled back to the edges, and getting close enough to the end of ski season to be approaching a true travel-industry shoulder.

I'm going to stick with my safe-riding-shoulders definition for a bit, though, because it segues nicely into my topic today: redundancy.
yep, see, it's truly shoulder season in only one of our beautiful canyons. most are still stuffed with snow, thickly stacked against brush and scrub oak, shoved against the metal guardrails and rock walls that line our canyon roads. there's not yet much room for the cyclist who wants to climb to the top of the hill.
except in emigration canyon.
so, if one desires a ride of some length, and wants to climb, one has the opportunity to ride up emigration, ride down, and ride back up again.
I've seen cyclists doing this before, and always thought they were extremely dedicated and slightly off their rockers. who would want to climb a canyon, descend, then turn around and climb back up the same thing again?
well, now, me.
first, because it's a decent eight mile climb, about the only one available within riding distance of my house.
second, because my riding partner was on call and couldn't be more than twenty minutes from the hospital, and it's fairly easy to push down the entire canyon in that amount of time.

so, last saturday I rode up emigration. twice. breaking a huge mental barrier for me, that barrier that said why would I ever want to do that, how boring must that be, yucch, what a grind.
it's good to make yourself do things you don't think you want to do.
at least that's the philosophy I've been operating with for the last, oh, say, twenty years of my life.

I think it's working.

No comments: