Music on the Mountain

For the winter, my weekend is Tuesday-Wednesday. This is both strange and wonderful. Strange in that most of the people I know are working these two days. Strange in that I seem to want that Friday post-work run or beer, but that craving kicks in on a Monday afternoon. But wonderful to that all of the shops are open and empty. I can go to the bank, the post office, anywhere really, completely at my leisure and have these places be open and unencumbered. Including the mountain.

It this isn't nice, I don;t know what is.
It this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

This was one of the first times I’ve ever ridden with music. I tried once last year, plugging myself into some singer/songwriter mix of mine, but my mind revolted after only one run. I couldn’t stand the whispering voice, the strumming guitar.

Today, on the near-empty mountain, I dialed up Imogen Heap to keep me company, hoping that her atmospheric style would jive better with the day’s ride – sunny, warm, and uncrowded.

With “Have You Got It In You” just starting to vibrate in my ears, I dropped my hands down to my boots and leaned into the first drop. Grizzly Bear’s a pitchy run, much more so than any of the other currently open runs at Stratton. It turns sharply, forcing you to switchback across its strong fall lines, then drops you without ceremony or apology. I can already tell where the ice patches will grow come January when packs of skiers and riders scour clean what the wind misses. Right now, on this warm day, there’s just enough give for Imogen and I to dig in with two edges and cut a sharp arc in the snow.

Imogene Heap struck the right balance of music and melody to match what I needed from the day – a relaxing tour of my new home, taking the hill, my skis, and my new boots out for a test ride.

Ol' Yellow didn't always steer me right but they never did steer me wrong. Black Beauty's got a lot to live up to.
Ol’ Yellow didn’t always steer me right but they never did steer me wrong. Black Beauty’s got a lot to live up to.

My new boots, by the way, are Salomon X Max 90s. I got them because my feet and ankles are, apparently, itty bitty. even at 24.5, I still feel like I have too much wiggle room, but it’s such an upgrade from my old Rossi Race 2s. I noticed today that I’m not having as hard of a time staying up and over my skis. Usually, I’m a tragically backseat driver when it comes to skiing. I’ve been driving myself mad the past few years trying to correct the issue. Maybe I finally figured it out. Money well spent.

Do you listen to music when you ride? What tunes do you recommend? Otherwise I’ll just put this one Imogen Heap album on repeat.