If it was easy, everyone would be doing it

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Before I moved to this big, flat, paved urban landscape and spent hours a day behind a desk, I wrenched at a shop in Cleveland with a dude named Robbie. Robbie likes lots of squish, big drops, pretty brunettes and making homebrew that doesn’t suck.

He lives in Burlington, Vermont, now. He texted me the other day about his recent adventures involving two wheels and two skis. I got some more intel on his recent extravaganza, and it sounds like he might be having too much fun. Around the same time, I watched Dirty’s kayak-fatbike video from Lake Powell again. I felt responsible. You need to hear how Robbie gets down in his free time in between classes.

In late October, Robbie and his buddy Tate – both on the same college cycling team – heard rumors of snow storm blowing through Stowe, which is a ski town just east of Burlington. They woke up early on a Sunday and brought their ski gear to get their first turns of the year in. Just in case the snow didn’t fall or wasn’t any good, they decided to throw their bikes in the truck to hit some local trails out that way. (From now on, I declare this should be your SOP, dudes.)

A downhill riff on the biathlon.
A downhill riff on the biathlon.

Cut to the next morning. Turns out there wasn’t any snow at the bottom of the hill, but they hoped the story was different higher up. Putting their coffee-powered, enginerd brains together, they figured they could strap skis to their packs and ride up until they found snow.

Tate testing out the setup (he said on the way down it was perilous because he couldn't lift his head up to look down the trail because his head would hit the skis).
Tate testing out the setup. He said on the way down it was perilous as he couldn’t lift his head up to look down the trail because his head would hit the skis. You guys will make great engineers.

“It was a sufferfest. Tate’s line was, ‘If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,’” Robbie told me. They eventually reached what they thought would be the best snow, but it was nothing more than dust on grass. So they stashed their bikes in the woods and swapped SPDs for ski boots. After a quick hike to the top of the snow patch, they schralped some solid turns in the grass back to their bikes. From there, they bombed back down on their bikes. Going up sucked, but the ride down was way nicer than hiking. You can imagine.

Robbie doing his best flying squirrel jump.
Robbie doing his best flying squirrel jump.

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A few weeks later, they returned with a bigger group of guys from the bike team to get rad again, but by then the snow was actually all the way down to the parking lot. So the bikes unfortunately didn’t leave the truck. But they got much better pics that day.

Jake dodging grass.
Jake dodging grass.

Sounds like a real horrible time, eh? On a semi-related note, if you haven’t heard and are in the Vermont area in January, check out Uberwintern. The flier explains the rest.

Thanks to Robbie and Dana Greenlaw for the pics. Ethan Allen would be proud. I’m jealous of all the snow we’re missing out on here in Illinois. And the mountains. And homebrew:
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Strange brew.
Strange brew, Vermont style.


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About Wrighteous

Keeper of the DC colors in the American Midwest.

14 Replies to “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it”

  1. Pingback: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it | PEDAL CANTON

  2. Nice story Nick 2. Keep havin’ fun Robbie! Before you know it you will have a “job” and will be suffering like the author!

  3. Maybe everybody doesn’t do it because it’s a bad idea. And home, family and a job you love ain’t a bad way to live.

    Why anyone would go out in the cold and wet and think they’re having a good time is beyond me.

  4. @Joe— as a hardcore Pacific Northwest skier (50 ski days per year) for the last forty years, I can assure you it’s neither wet nor cold if you equip yourself appropriately. But do feel free to sit inside and pout.

  5. @Russ, I don’t know what these “job” things are that your talking about…
    But ive been brewing my own for about a year now! I’ll make sure to bring some by Chardon when I come home for christmas. Current batch is a honey-pale ale

    @Mikey, we’ll said! Cold is the last adjective I’d use to describe any leg-accessed skiing

  6. Supposedly my bossman went to Smuggs a couple of weekends ago then hit the MTB trails in Jericho on his way home. Yah…not quite what I managed that weekend but I ain’t complaining; enjoying my 9month- old is a different kind of fun.

  7. Try securing the skis to your top tube next time. You’ll feel like a jouster, and you head will be free to move about. Just keep your distance from things in front of you.

  8. Joe you are a straight up pussy. Stop being an old hermit, get outside in that icky cold and wet weather, and grow a pair. That or just stfu. Don’t be that weird asshole who has to go out of his way to make a retarded comment that no one agrees with. Naysayer!

  9. @Careless,

    No, no,no.

    Joe can not be compared to a feline, when I picture Joe as an animal, I see a Bulldog, slightly tattered around the ears & scarred by the worst that life could throw at him, (but shrugged it off), sitting on his porch growling at the neighborhood puppies to GetOrfMyGawdDamnedLawn.

  10. Then ‘splain me this, Francis-How is it that I love my kitteh so?
    Not that I don’t like goggies, no. Goggies are our friends. But a bulldog and a kitteh being best buds? No, that just doesn’t work for me.
    I see myself more as a feral cat missing about two inches of tail and a big chunk of ear. Older, slower and with aches and pains, but still out there amongst ’em every day. And you can keep your damned kitteh treats, thankyouverymuch. The day I can’t catch my dinner will be time for me to slink off this mortal coil.

  11. Oh, and Francis-Any neighborhood puppies that come my way will be treated to the warmest of welcomes, guaranteed.