Still Riding in May

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by Robert Macaraeg

I am the type of guy some of you would despise: I work for a three letter organization that is part of the Federal Government, own a typical three bedroom house with a white picket fence in front, married, boring and not a ‘core rider. While sitting in my Dilbert-like cube at work, I was thinking: what I am I doing? Why am I sitting here? So I told my boss I’m taking tomorrow off. A mental health day as human resources would say. He said make sure you have everything done and somebody would cover for you. I told him no problem. I searched the web and found that Killington was still open with 5 trails.

I told my wife that evening, “I am taking tomorrow off and going snowboarding.” She looked at me like something was wrong. “Is it not May and the season over?” she said. I told her Killington is still open with 5 trails. So I made a lunch for the next epic day that evening (who can afford those prices for that kind of food?) and went to bed dreaming of smooth carving.

After driving three hours and listening to old school, So-Cal hardcore, I found that it would cost 26 dollars to ride and the five trails on their trail report were really two trails. Superstar was chopped in to three trails: headwall, middle and lower. Bittersweet was split into to an upper and lower part. In reality the five trails that Killington advertised were only two.

I was there. What could I do other than shell out 26 bucks and make the best of it? Actually, it was not that bad. You had to take your board off and walk on to the Superstar trail because there was no snow from the lift to the start of the trail. The moguls on Superstar were big, soft and slushy. Pick a good line and ride like crazy. Sometimes the slush would be moved while slipping an edge and the good old, icy, eastern cement could show its ugly face. Time to catch an edge, return to reality and smack your face on the ice. I rode that only four times that day, but my knees and legs felt like they went through a meat grinder. Moguls are really cool on a snowboard.

There was a rider on Superstar who looked like a guy on one of those commercials that use snowboarding to appeal to younger consumers or to look cool, rad or extreme. He had the dreadlocks, sunglasses, good equipment and the airs of a good rider. I on the other hand had the clean-cut corporate haircut, and some busted up gear. I was thinking: was I like him years ago before I became so-called responsible? He rode with lots of style and didn’t eat shit while crashing. He did not even crash while I was faceplanting all over the place. While riding I figured that I could not push it too hard because I had to go work and pay the mortgage.

Bittersweet was an ok run. At least you could ride straight on to the trail right off the lift. It was slushy and with lots of dirty snow. Typical spring conditions. Some parts of the trail was as narrow as my desk in my cube. But I did go fast. It felt good. No hits to spin on. Just trying to become one with the mountain through my board. Sort of a Zen thing.

While riding the lift up it was sunny or foggy- it depended on the fast moving clouds. This gave me time to think about life. What have I done? I graduated from school, got married and got a house. What is next? 2.4 kids? Go for an MBA or MCSE? I am not sure. I did have a lot of time to sit on the lift and try to sort out life. It was pretty nice to relax and enjoy the view.

While sitting in my cube the next day writing this literary masterpiece, I figured out one thing: I need more time to ride so I can figure life out.

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