The Ghost of Christmas past got me to ride my mountain bike across the ice and through the mud in 20 degrees last weekend, but I wish it had been more of a revelation comparable to what Scrooge encountered.

I mean, I’d do it again, but mostly I had to eat a whole lot the rest of the day and stay near the woodstove.

It took a few miles to get my nerve up at speed across the lumpy ice trails. I also ate large chunks of frozen mud kicked up into my face, but that’s what happens when you’re grinning. I think the worst part of the ride was hosing the bike off in the wind on the shady side of the bike shop.

It wasn’t the kind of ride where you spend a lot of time bullshitting at the top of the mountain. Nobody wants to cool off before the cold air rips through your six layers of fleece on the descent.

My most technical layer is on the outside – beneath the shell I’ve probably got on a wool turtleneck from the 10th grade; my boyfriend’s shrunken, polyester undershirt; a fluffy scarf; and for SURE some fleece tights. I might even be sporting an extra pair of tights, which is a desperate measure when considering how binding that can be across the crotch area.

Anyway, we had to keep a move on, although I never did find a flow. It’s one of those rides where you focus on the technical details of getting your wheel over an angled log coated in ice. The ride took a good 20 minutes longer than usual.

This is all great practice for The Icycle, however…it has been cancelled. The race has been around for 16 years. It’s saturated with locals and there is ALWAYS a “nekked” story. If only I’d known that last year would be the last…maybe I wouldn’t have busted in on some guy in the middle of a Dance-Off. I had no idea that’s what was happening when I came upon this adorable guy dancing away by himself with not even anyone offering to stick a dollar in his pants. Well I felt bad for him, so I joined in on the fun. He was a little surprised, but took it well. Anyway, after feeling like a complete idiot the only thing left to do was drink beer, which I did.

Maybe the Ghost of Christmas Past will go visit somebody else and we’ll get to have the Icycle again?