January 18 to February 2 (Leadville & Copper, CO; Waikiki, HI) —
Sad over losing Pancha, Erin and Pete tried to distract us so we signed up for a fat bike race on snow at Copper Mountain that Erin was running (and Pete was racing). Pete assured us that the course was flat, so we were game even though it was at night. Pete hooked us up with carbon demo bikes and we bundled up and put our headlamps on for the 7pm start.
First off was the little kids’ race.
We figured if they could do it, we had no excuses. Plus, Pete said the course was flat.
We then lined up for our start, and Erin saw us off with fireworks.
After the first five minutes, the course switched back and we could see a parade of bikes being pushed up a very large hill. We then realized that Pete’s definition of “flat” was far different than ours. I guess living at 10,000 feet does that to a person.
The course was surprisingly hard (for, you know, being at night, in the snow, at 10,000′), and as we completed our first lap, Pete (on his single speed fat bike), came flying by having done both of his laps. He literally was (over) twice as fast as us.
Humbled but happy for the distraction (and exercise), we slumped to the finish and enjoyed some beers.
With no snow on the horizon anywhere out west, we decided we needed a change of scenery and booked a trip to Hawaii, figuring it would require the least amount of effort (and points) of all the places that we were considering. We left less than 12 hours after the race finished.
Upon arrival at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki, I rented a board and grabbed some easy long board waves right in front of our hotel. It was perfect weather and it felt good to be trunking it.
Still missing Pancha, but happy to be in warm weather, we hit my favorite chain restaurant in the world for dinner.
Unfortunately, I then spent the night coughing worse than I have ever coughed in my life. I spent the entire second day indoors while V explored the beach. Feeling no better on the third day, we visited a doc-in-the-box the next morning. Bronchitis was the diagnosis. Hooray.
While I worked my way through the z-pack of antibiotics, V took care of me and enjoyed the beach.
As my bronchitis cleared, it was time to head back. We arrived to a ton of snow.
Our first day back, the snow was pretty deep.
The next morning, we woke to a report of 30” at Copper, and we were frothing. But first, we had to dig Tigger out.
No action shots from that day because we were too busy trying to keep up with Pete on the slopes.
They next day was bluebird, and Pete knew where to find the good stuff. It also was Super Bowl Sunday so the slopes were empty. We had a fantastic day with Erin and Pete.
With the next storm looking to head further south, we said goodbye to Erin and Pete and decided to finally kick into storm chasing mode.
We were not disappointed.