Late afternoon at the Romontberg.
Late afternoon at the Romontberg.

Late Afternoon Fat-Biking

My weekend routine these days follows pretty much the same pattern every weekend. I hit the sack between 10 and 11 PM to be woken up by my wife between 3 and 4 AM. She goes to bed, and I go upstairs, clean our cats’ litter box, feed them, and get some more sleep on the couch with the alarm clock set to wake me up at regular intervals to feed our kitties. Most of the time, I get up after 8 AM to make breakfast for myself and our cats. Since my wife is getting a few hours of rest in our downstairs bedroom, I spend the morning with quiet activities. Lately, this has been setting up my MacBook. There’s not a lot of software I need; Edge to browse, Spark to read mail, Photos for my large photo library, Atom, and Publii to maintain this blog, Office 365 and OneDrive, music players such as Sonos, Spotify, and IINA to listen to music. I have to say, macOS Monterey is a wonderful OS.

My wife and I have been using Google’s free G Suite for our web domain, which we have had when she did some freelance graphic design. In the years since we’ve only used the domain name for our email addresses but kept it with G Suite. At work, for instance, I access my email using Google mail in the web browser. The free G Suite is coming to an end and anyone using it will have to move to a paid Workspace subscription. For the two of us that would be $12.00 per month or $144.00 a year. That in of itself is not much and Workspace offers a lot, but when one adds it to all the other paid subscriptions, it adds up to a considerable amount of cash. Since we’re already paying for Office 365 and iCloud, we’ve decided to say goodbye to Google. Since I still need Google for a few small things, I created a new Gmail account. I moved a Google sheet with a log of my Strava rides to that account and recreated my Data Studio dashboard under that new account. I also gave my MacBook a bit of work to do by moving all my archived emails out of Google and into iCloud. We’ll be moving our email domain to iCloud+. I cleaned up Google Drive and moved what I wanted to keep to OneDrive. The Office 365 subscription comes with 1 TB of storage after all. I’m ready to flip the switch. Now my wife will have to sort through her mail and move things to iCloud, and we can kill our G Suite account.

With me busy on the computer and my wife sleeping in, it got late for a fat-bike ride. I contemplated loading the bike in the car and driving somewhere, but any minute spent in the car is a minute wasted that could be spent on the bike. So, although all the snow around the house has melted, I knew that I didn’t have to ride far to find some. To my biggest surprise, the gravel roads through our forests at a bit more elevation are completely white. To gain altitude quickly, I took a steep trail that is tough to ride without snow. I did fine at first, but further up the trail was a little more exposed to the sun, which softened the snow enough to make it nearly unclimbable. I didn’t mind the occasional hike. I gained elevation and didn’t have to take my studded tires onto pavement. I did a nice loop from the Romontberg to Plagne and back, riding lots of snowshoe trails and snowmobile tracks. Back at the Romontberg, I decided to extend the loop by heading to the Stierenberg. There’s nice singletrack to get there and sure enough, it was an absolute blast to ride it. I don’t care too much for the trails down the Stierenberg, so I took another way back to the Romontberg. Unfortunately, that trail wasn’t rideable. It’s a short stretch when you can ride it. Stomping through the snow with nightfall approaching, it seemed endless. I would have loved to take another photo or two on the downhill, but with the sun gone and the light fading, I only cared to make it home as quickly as possible.

This article was updated on March 17, 2022

Patrick

Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion; always on two wheels, no suspension and certainly no flipping motor.

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