A few weeks back I was invited to a Dudes Ski Weekend (I think that’s the official title) up at a friend’s place near Vail, and since it’s fast approaching, I figured this last weekend was as good a time as any to, you know, ski for the first time in my life. Saturday morning was set to be a cold one, but it was do or die time, and I needed me some ski lessons. Negative degrees aren’t that bad.
Saturday morning I wake up early, put on leg warmers, tights, sweatpants, snowpants, a base layer shirt, arm warmers, a long-sleeved shirt, a vest, a fleece, a thermal jacket, and an outer windproof shell. I throw a bunch of normal clothes into a bag, as I plan to meet up with a friend afterward down in Golden, and I go out to my car. Key in, give ‘er a turn.
*Click click click*
The car doesn’t even attempt to start. Mistuh Battery—he dead. Good thing I just put all these clothes on!
I lugged the old battery several blocks to the O’Reilly Auto Parts. Who knew lead was so dense and thus comically heavy? The lack of a handle also made it not terribly fun to carry. Instead of shelling out $120 for ski rental and lessons, here I am spending that same amount just so my car will return to its previous functioning condition. I knew there was a reason I never owned a car up to this point. New battery installed, car works like new, starts like it isn’t 12 degrees outside.
Sunday: take two. I almost didn’t go, since it was even colder than the day before. But I needed to go. And damn if it wasn’t some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I annihilated the gnar out of that kiddie mountain at Eldora. My ability somehow kept catching up to my enthusiasm on each run, and my only real falls (there were several) were just silly slow-speed lapses in concentration.
This girl Taylor from the University of Denver, aka DU (more on that later) and I were a bit more agile on our skis than the other 20 adults taking first-time lessons, so she and I shared the lift several times after graduating from the lower slopes of the magic carpet. We essentially finished the lesson on our own, as the three instructors assigned to our fairly large group were all on the lower part helping out the people who needed it. Considering Taylor had actually skied before, I felt pretty good about myself. Definitely felt the bike racer in me come out with each successive run, as I desired more speed and wanted to push myself a bit more each time. Seems similar to cyclocross, in that if you finish a cyclocross race and you didn’t crash or almost-crash multiple times, you weren’t going fast enough. Though I will say I needed to go pretty slow to abide by rule number one of the “Responsibility Code,” that of remaining in control and being able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
Random aside: CU and DU are two universities. You would think they would be Colorado University and Denver University, but you’d be wrong, you dyslexic idiot! CU stands for University of Colorado, duh! And DU stands for the University of Denver. Obviously!