Spinning, spinning, spinning

Unlike Dianna, I avoided running in Snowmageddon 2014-01 this morning, and headed over to the YMCA to hit the 0515 Spin class. Good times.

I will accept a certain amount of guilt about heading over for spin class instead of, say, actually riding a bicycle on the actual road, with some insulation and some reflective materials, except for:

  • There’s like three hours total of daylight up here at the high latitudes
  • Unlike when I run, when I ride I do generate at least enough wind to get some effective windchill
  • While drivers up here are pretty accommodating when it comes to cyclists, there does seem to be an open season between November and February where drivers seem empowered to act like jerks
  • It’s cold as balls
  • Which is why I head to spin.

    The 0515 spin instructor, Noreen, is AWESOME for being up at the crack of dawn. She’s usually got some pumping tunes, and hits exactly the right tone – reassuring and competent, which is what you want at 0515.

    I’ve heard my wife talk about some of the other instructors who cover the classes later in the day and say things like “high energy” and “perky” – this early in the morning, instead of being motivating, I’m guessing that I’d probably throw a water bottle instead of responding well.

    Playlist is excellent – good, solid rock and/or roll, with a couple of throw-aways (I’m sexy and i know it). And, every month or so, we do “Dark side of the Moon”, usually on a Friday morning. It’s dark in the spin room, and lit with blacklight, so the combination of still being mostly asleep, fluorescent lights, oxygen deprivation, and eventual endorphins – wow.  Almost as good as beer.

    So, I’m there for about the next 4 or 5 months, Monday and Friday…

    Follow us for the funky behavior


    May be my absolute favorite holiday EVAH.

    Good food, time with good friends and good memories of other friends, and none of the guilt about gifts associated with Christmas. No bad music.

    We had the office Thanksgiving lunch today – community turkey and potluck sides, and way, way, way too much dessert. Tryptophan coma after lunch, which was OK as I was clicking through some annual training for the dozenth time.

    About 3:45, the sun was almost gone, so I realized that if I was going to have any sort of workout, I had to hit the road. Perfect late fall run – high 30’s, sky spitting moisture, and every shade of grey from silver through soot.

    The beginning of the evening commute traffic hissed along the road, headlights and taillights blending into each other.

    Then – the transcendent.

    I passed a grove of trees for the umpteenth time, and finally realized that the two straight rows of cedars marked an ancient street – almost an alley, but lined with green and carpeted with needles, connecting one main street with another marked as a dead end.

    Dead end to cars, maybe, but a throughway for foot and bike traffic.

    100 yards of unexpected trail running, and a good run becomes a great run.



    There’s nothing quite like the first few really clear, cold mornings in New England. The leaves are off the trees, and clear sky stretches from horizon to horizon. Late autumn mornings start slowly and drag on, until the sun creeps far enough above the horizon to throw everything into sharp resolve – shadows snapped sharp, the cold air making the bright visuals stand out.


    Woke up early enough this morning to take the mountain bike out to Bluff Point for a loop. It’s been a long, long while since I’d ridden fat tires on loose soil, and for a little while, I was 13 again, barreling through the trees, branches whipping and grabbing my clothes. I don’t know if it was just enthusiasm, but I was clearing stuff I hadn’t previously cleared, and on a couple of the downhills, just felt absolutely like flying.

    The ride was too short (Stupid work). But the bike’s in the car, and there’s only 30 days of less daylight until we start heading back to the endless days of endless light we call summer around here.

    Great things afoot at the Jank household – need to write more later.