It’s the end of winter here in Montreal, but it feels like spring hasn’t arrived quite yet. Call it a flying two footed kick – seasonal leaping from one mode to the next and not quite in hand yet. It’s a great time to tell stories about achievements that are partly believable and partly not, in the goal of improving quality and raising the standards that bit higher.

It’s also the perfect time for route planning, race picking and gear evaluations. Oh wait, I already did all that in January and February and then cancelled all my trips. Peeved? You bet! Aggravated? Oh yah! Taking it out on the hills with both feet?  Check, check and check.

There’s a funny thing about racing and that is that I seem to spend at least 75% of my time on the bike alone, grinding up one hill or another in preparation. After work is the best time to ride round here; there are loads of riders out, and always a good camaraderie on the Mt Royal road loops. I guess it’s not really true to speak only of riding alone, but it is closer to say that I need to motivate myself alone to get to the community that is out there.

So how to connect better with the exact niche I want? Many of us riders I am sure face this challenge. One idea I’m interested in is starting a bike-packing Meetup group as well for rides to Cornwall, Vermont, Petit Train and also for the Eastern Townships. There’s a lot of great rolling countryside around here perfect for one, two and more day expeditions. If you read this and are interested please get in touch!

More good news, I also just “discovered” another local Quebec race called Velerium. The race site claims that it’s “a unique cross-country challenge at Mont-Sainte-Anne with a great mix of single tracks”. This goes on from Aug 5-7th. Interested in the challenge of “shorter” mtb marathons to add to the mix.

So what’s the point of this short blog photo this time?  Well, firstly credit to Ronn Murray whose work is displayed outside the Biosphere here in Montreal. We had the chance to see it on a very rainy Sunday morning this weekend past. The plaque reads as follows:

“In addition to sports that are familiar to us, Inuit also practice traditional disciplines like the “One hand reach” and the “two-foot high kick” as illustrated by these photographs taken from the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in 2009. Inspired by traditional knowledge, the “Two-foot high kick” has its origin in the fact that, not so long ago, Inuit’s notified the rest of the village that a whale had been taken by running and jumping with both feet forward at the same time.”

I guess it’s this kind of courage and commitment that inspired me to think about dealing with the last of winter blues and how to get out and take down our own personal Moby Dick’s.

Happy trails.