29 November 2011 - 23:26Ask George: Week 5
I bet you didn’t think I was going to keep doing this did you?
Question submission has been a bit slow, but I think I have enough in the comments to come up with some more posts before I have to start making shit up. At the very least, it will force me to get creative. So, this week’s question came from my friend Michele (aka Dr Z):
Where do you ski?
It’s a good question, but I don’t ski, I snowboard. Regardless, my participation in winter sports has been in decline since I opened the shop. But back in the day, I used to chase winter around. I was late to the “sport for fun” concept. I was not especially coordinated, nor especially quick, or even that strong. A late bloomer if you will. Growing up in England and forced to participate in team sports that I hated, I was bullied away from anything outdoors and active as a child. Ironically, I rode my bike everywhere, but it was for transportation only and I was almost always by myself. It’s how I got around, we lived in hilly country, and if I wanted to go anywhere, I had to ride there. For fun, I’d sometimes ride the 6 miles to the BMX track and ride around for a while, then pedal home. That must have been how I developed my abnormally large glutes… It was most certainly how I developed my preference for non-team sports.
It wasn’t until after high school that I discovered snowboarding, but I was hooked on it absolutely. I spent the next few years from totally sucking to being pretty OK, and eventually getting kinda good at it. I made the move to Colorado. I brought my bike, I mean, how was I going to get around right? I didn’t own a car, so in the months when there was absolutely no snowboarding, I’d ride my bike. I guess this is when I probably got hooked on for reals mountain biking. During the year I lived in Dillon CO, I shredded gnar at A-Basin, and rode my bike on trails in and around Breck. 111 days on a snowboard, maybe 15 on the bike for fun, but many more for commuting.
I moved back to VT, and continued my quest for gnar at Stowe, where I worked for my season’s pass for 2 years. I got to know a lot of the secret spots on the mountain that were really special back then. Nowadays, those stashes are veritable highways, if you don’t get the freshies, seven have already beaten you to it. Sometime during the mid to late 90s I was slowly crossing over into the bike riding camp, and was caring about snow less, and dirt more. Time passed by, and I started working in bike shops instead of kitchens and snowboard shops. I moved to SoCal to work for the BIKE INDUSTRY.
During that period of my life, friends were made who loved the snow, and went to Mammoth a fair bit. Sure it was a hike, but we would go for days at a time, often during a storm that would give us tons of that lovely Wind Buff pow. Good times. And then, almost as quickly as I was out there, I was back in VT, this time working for Burton Snowboards. Stowe was my local haunt again.
But this time, I would find myself trending more towards 2 wheeled fun instead of sliding down a hill sideways. I started riding my bike in the winter. And once I lacked the means to obtain an affordable pass, cheap or free lift tickets, it was that much easier to ride my bike in the cold. And now, I have been snowboarding twice in as many years. These days, instead of a pass, I get a plane ticket to AZ!