He’s Back!!!!

Well folks, after a year recess, the batteries have been recharged. The Chronicles are back and I am hoping that you will enjoy some new perspectives from life in the fourth quarter. Games are won or lost in the fourth quarter so there is a lot of activity left for aging kids like us. Stay active, keep healthy, eat well and enjoy life. IMG_0334 I needed to do some things to update my profile and page which will be available soon but in the mean time, I will be posting weekly about some nonsense for your enjoyment and perhaps some perspectives from a guy who still thinks he is a kid- even though he looks in the mirror and knows he is not. IMG_0723
Stay tuned for weekly ramblings available on WordPress.com and also Facebook. Hopefully the posts will give you a laugh, some insight from the mind of a 61 year old fun seeker, and most of all, a break from the daily grind. The Chronicles are back. Have a laugh or two at my expense. IMG_0515

Determination – Ski The East

photo70_STE-SP-STEphotophoto I saw an interesting sticker on a guy’s helmet the other day that said,” Ski The East.” Being the inquisitive one that I am, I went on-line and found a really good website http://www.skitheeast.net The fellows that run this site are film makers who feature eastern skiing and have developed their site to include stickers, clothing, and other merchandise and generally provide a good vibe on all that is ……Eastern Skiing in the U.S. So what is so interesting about skiing in the East? Anyone who has skied out west knows the sunshine, the powder, the warm days, the expansive resorts, and if you ask anyone, they will tell you the west is the best…….or is it? Depending on your perspective, the East can offer what the young people call “stoke” and provide at least a memorable ski experience.

I was indoctrinated into eastern skiing right here in Pennsylvania as I have related in many past posts. In my early days, we had wooden skis and leather boots and the edges were suspect to say the least. We have this interesting weather cycle that brings us cold weather and snow off of Lake Erie and occasionally one of those clippers from Canada collides with a slow moving low pressure system that will dump some considerable snow on our area. But on the back side of those Canadian high pressure cells, warm air is pumped up from the south which allows for melting during the day and freezing at night which causes…….ICE!! Sometimes those Canadian highs are not powerful enough to overcome a slow meandering low pressure cell from the Gulf Coast that will shuffle northwards and bring rain that all but destroys the good snow from previous storms. We have to live with these cycles and in the old days, there was a lot of skidding, sliding and general, uptight, sphincter puckering runs down our icy,limited vertical, Pa. slopes. We learned how to deal with those adverse conditions and in the typical Northeast Puritan way of looking at things, it made us better skiers and also made us appreciate the good weather and the new phenomena called snow making.

Fast forward through the years of metal skis, leather buckle boots, and rocketing into the modern age, I found myself skiing in the college years in New England. Places like Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire often had similar weather cycles and the marble like surface on rather steep pitches made it challenging. I found myself teaching skiing after college at Sugarloaf, Maine as I have related in past posts. Even that far north, the weather can be fickle and you can experience the frozen clear surface on runs like the Narrow Gauge which quickly make you realize the value of a sharp edge on a ski. There are a lot of “how to” You Tube videos out there on ski tuning but my main instructor over the years has been my friend Eric who is a born and bred Vermonter. Those Killington guys sure know how to razor up a pair of skis and I still have the original vices that Eric gave me on my ski bench in my garage. A little weekly maintenance on skis can surely make a difference when the weather turns interesting. New Englanders are stoic in their description of ice. Woody Woodward, my old PSIA Examiner friend from Maine used to call it “scratchy.” ” Yea McCloskey, it is a bit scratchy out there today. Your bad habits will be exposed out there today don’t you know.” Like the New England weather, that crusty old Mainer was relentless but a good teacher and a good skier. Heck of a fireman too.

I took my PSIA Certification Exam at Killington years ago, but I will never forget the rains that fell in the first few days. Peter Duke,an examiner at the time, who went on to create SmartWool and Point 6 socks, introduced me to Bukflex which was the waterproof material that made up a sailing suit. It kept him dry and I went out and immediately bought one for that test. Wouldn’t you know the first day of the test, the weather turned really cold and the Bukflex was replaced by every bit of warm clothing I had. Cascade was a sheet of ice and the skiing part of the test was conducted on that slope with examiners licking their chops at the potential pitfalls ready to strike at each of the candidates. Fortunately I survived and my Maine training and even my lifelong familiarity with ice in Pa. helped me. One thing about rain, if you can keep yourself dry, the snow is usually soft and the skiing is rather enjoyable. Bukflex has now been replaced with Pro Gore Tex from Patagonia and last week the 59 year old kid skied in the rain and was bone dry. The same cannot be said for the poor saps who paid for the lift ticket and tried to stay dry in a garbage bag. If you related that story to a westerner, they would think you were nuts. They don’t ski on cloudy days and would never consider even thinking about rain. The skiers in the Cascades have to deal with it and are hearty enough to ski in the rain, but most westerners are spoiled with their perfect conditions. I chuckle when I hear them say it is “icy.” I tell them I am from back east where the black shimmering ice with last fall’s leaves staring up at you though the glass like surface is………….”ice.”

Grooming equipment has vastly improved over the years with tilling attachments and the glare ice of old can be groomed out making the skiing much more predictable. But nonetheless, the eastern skiing experience is for the determined, the hearty, the crusty, toughened, eastern souls who will ski no matter what because it is ingrained in their DNA. Easterners love to ski and no matter if it rains, snows, sleets or freezes to below zero temperatures, you will see these hearty souls out on the slopes battling the elements with a maniacal smile on their face. Even the ones that move out west can be spotted a mile away. They carve turns and utilize the edges when they don’t have to do it in that pronounced manner. Instructors and patrollers in the chair often remark,” There’s an Eastern guy, he skis like he does on the ice.” But some of the best ski racers and skiers the country has ever known are easterners. They had determination on their faces and their eastern hardpack skills launched legendary careers. The 59 year old kid is not legendary by any stretch of the imagination but my determination to ski anything in any condition is something that has been an aquired taste. I love to make turns and as long as the conditions don’t destroy my equipment, you will find me out there with the Gore Tex smiling like a butchers dog. I really smile when I get out west and enjoy what those folks get all the time. They won’t return the favor over here though. Can you blame them? Think snow and thanks for reading.

Jump on the Sustainability Train

photo Sustainability is a big buzz word today. In common vernacular we hear words like “green”, “environmentally conscious”, “carbon footprint” and “global warming.” We all have a responsibility to take care of our world and pass on a better world for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. My company is taking sustainability very seriously by corporate and warehouse recycling programs, utilizing intermodal transportation where tractor trailers are taken off the road and loaded on to flatbed rail cars, reducing carbon emissions,and saving on tire wear, and engine repair. It is a less expensive form of transportation as well. Companies, people, countries are all now conscious of our use of natural resources and the paths we trod on our planet.

Please take a look at the video on the following link: http://wornwear.patagonia.com This short film shows how folks utilize good clothing, repair it, and keep it often to be passed on to the next generation. Patagonia is a very progressive company founded by the well known climber Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard started the company as a hardgoods concern manufacturing pitons, ice axes, and other climbing equipment. When he ventured into the soft goods arena, he was bound and determined to make it the best quality and be socially responsible as well. If you look at my picture above, you will see the original Patagonia pile pullover that I am wearing on the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. This picture is from the late 70s and I still wear this pullover today. I still have my Vasque HikerIIs(hiking boots) from 40 years ago. My wool sport coats are from my college days and my wife finally threw out a pair of duct taped Docksiders from high school. I was bummed. Without really trying, I ventured into sustainability because wearing this stuff prevented the use of natural resources to make new clothing and boots which I really don’t need. Now my gas guzzling Jeep is setting back my credits and I do replace skis, bikes, parts,and ski boots, when necessary. But along with my contentment with clothing, I do try to do my little part to save the planet when I can.

Sustainability is really an active way of portraying the spirit of Thanksgiving. We really have a lot to be thankful for and among our blessings is our planet and our natural resources. We each can take a part in the sustainability movement by looking at what we really need and what we really don’t need. We can recycle responsibly and in our own little way, we can contribute. We may not be able to make a large impact like Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia, but maybe by looking at our lifestyles and what we can do like what is shown in the film, we can help save our world, little by little. I love Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my wife, my son, my health and the ability that God gave me to enjoy life. I love being outdoors and enjoying our world. Personally, I am glad that there is awareness that we must protect the planet. In many ways, it brings us all together even though we may have differences. Go hug a tree will ya? Thanks for reading and watch that flick!!!

“The Itch”

897c098cf79eb975fa30e492cc0490f9785665aeIngrid_Hirschhofer_Grass_Skiing_World_Championships_2009_Grass_skis My friend J.R. Ellis always sets his watch when we mountain bike ride and sees how long it will take until I mention something to the group about skiing. We have some skiers in the group and some not, and J.R is one of the nots. But thats ok because it gives me the chance to talk about my favorite activity, and perhaps evangalize a little bit to try to get some folks to give it a try. But, we laugh about it and sometimes it is not very long at all until I talk about some ski area,some ski experience or my favorite equipment upgrades. The truth be told is that I started to run and ride a bike to stay in shape for skiing. It ended up being my other passion but nothing takes the place of sliding on snow and seeing the beautiful snow covered mountains.

Around this time of year, I get what I call…….”the itch.” The first ski magazines start coming in the mail. The leaves are changing and the days and nights are cooler. I look for that first frost and the first snowflake that usually falls as a birthday gift to me from the heavens. Ever since I have been a young lad and listened for the first ski report by Lars Skylling, it was always a long time between “the itch”and that first turn. People find it funny that even after all these years and the opportunities that I have to ski larger areas out west and in New England during the season, I still love to make those first turns down Wagner Bowl at Seven Springs- our local ski area. When the back side opens up, we are in high gear in Pa. and the winter is on full bore. But until then, the lagtime between the leaves falling, the weather cooling off and those first turns seems endless.

Back in the day, when I used to teach skiing for the Ski Academy at Laurel Mountain here in Pennsylvania as a young guy, we used to practice on a synthetic surface at the local county park. The county covered one of the slopes with a polyethylene rug and small poly beads. When it was wet, it was actually pretty close to real skiing but it was fun to be out there at this time of year with rock skis and your boots skiing on the rug. We were able to make some turns and then climb back up the hill. Most of the time we reviewed the PSIA teaching system which gave us a leg up on the season. As basic as this was, it was still something to look forward to in the fall when you are a fanatic like me. The picture above is of the Snowflex area at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. This surface is very similar to the rug we skied on but this place has a lift, rentals, and a ski school that operates all year. Pretty neat for the Liberty students, and a reminder to me when we visited down there this summer of all the fun that we had at Boyce Park many years ago. One of the things we learned at Boyce was to wear long pants and long sleeves no matter how hot it was. This is one of the rules of the Snowflex Center at Liberty. If you fell, the carpet burn can be pretty severe so you are better off being protected. Nonetheless, the risk of carpet rash was no match for the fun and good times of starting the season on the synthetic surface.

Another fun analgesic activity for the “itch” was grass skiing. If you look at the other picture above, you will see the tank tread like devices that are attached to the ski bindings and ski boots. As fun as the carpet was, this was actually a bigger thrill because you were making a series of teeny tiny turns by moving your feet and redirecting yourself towards the next turn down a grass slope that was a regular ski slope in the winter. Imagine using hundreds of tiny steps with both feet in order to redirect the tank treads in the direction that you want to go. You plant your pole like regular skiing and then you start making hundreds of small directional steps. Often you were successful as you became more skilled and many times you went ass over tincups when you hit a rock or a grass pile in the middle of the slope. I had two pair of these contraptions and always talked a friend into trying. At the end of the day, elbows and knees were skinned and bleeding but the fun outlasted any pain that we incurred. Many a summer picnic had grass ski runs and the ultimate experience was a race that was held at Ski Liberty near Gettysburg which I attended. They ran the chair lift down there in the summer and the fall, and grass skiing was a regular event at the area. However on race day, they had a regular Giant Slalom course set up on the slope and the start house had a large metal tray filled with soapy water to lubricate the tank treads. It only lasted one run but boy did it make a difference in speed. I had to get used to the speed but once I did, the little steps actually evolved into turns by redirecting the treads at a higher rate of speed. For a rookie, I did ok in the race and had a decent finish but there were a lot of crashes and burns on that fall day at Liberty. I would say that by finishing my runs in one piece, I was more successful than most of the crowd. Sometimes a smooth safe run works. And that was the case in this event at Liberty.

I still get that “itch” and read everything I can to get ready for the season. I try to stay in shape with cycling and trail running so that the first turns of the season feel pretty good and I am not too sore at the end of the day. But,unlike the west where they are skiing right now at Arapahoe and Loveland in Colorado, I have to wait a bit. The Boyce carpet is long gone and so are the grass skis. But as I try on my boots on that first snow flurry day, and take off the thick coat of wax that has protected my skis all summer, that doggone “itch” is starting to really get annoying. It is supposed to snow flurry here in Pa. this week which is a teaser because it is not even Halloween yet. But if I keep scratching that itch with the reading, looking at the pictures of my buddy Eric get those first turns at Mammoth, looking at the ski reports, talking about skiing on the mountain bike rides and setting records on J.R.’s watch, I can hopefully make it to December. Or maybe if I catch a weather break…….Thanksgiving. Think snow all you skiers and thanks for reading.

The Lifechanger

imagesphoto Several posts ago, I wrote about people who are mentors. There are also folks who fall into a slightly different category and they are what I call Lifechangers. I was at a birthday party last night for one of them and his name is Hot Harry Kirsch. Harry turns 90 this week and it has been my distinct pleasure to know him. Mary Jo Neff got up last night after organizing the affair and eloquently told the assmebled crowd how much Harry has influenced all of our lives by starting and running the Hot Harry’s North Park Runners. There are people like Harry who influence us and in many ways facilitate a life change.

I first met Harry when I started running at North Park during the running boom of the 80s. I had quit tennis and was looking for a change when I saw a group run by the tennis court and I said to myself that I was going to start running. I became passionate about it and ventured into the Stone Field parking lot and one of the first guys I met was Hot Harry. He was very friendly and introduced me to some folks and invited me to have a drink out of some jugs from his open trunk. I soon found out that Harry always left his trunk open to his car and anyone who ran from Stone Field was welcome to a drink from Harry’s stash. Harry also told me about his loosely organized club and soon I was wearing the shorts and singlet in the races indicating that I was a member of Hot Harry’s North Park Runners. I was actually very proud to wear that garb and be part of the whole North Park running scene.

Harry organized a bus to go to the Marine Corps Marathon every year. He was fond of the marathon because he was a Marine.He always organized picnics at his farm in Evans City,Pa and soon the group swelled to very large proportions including family and friends of the North Park Runners. Harry has an infectious positive atttude and a smile for everyone who comes his way. There have been a lot of folks who have come to the park in a similar fashion as me and have sheepishly tried to start to walk, run, or jog to make a change in their lives. You get to the point sometimes in your life when you realize that your health and mental well being are more important than any job. Everyone has stress in their lives and exercise is a great antidote to those daily pressures which can consume our lives. Harry made sure that everyone who was new had someone to run with and if no one was available, he ran with them himself. Harry loves the park and as a retired bus driver whose wife had passed away, the park was a good way for him to reconnect with people and soon his running prowess and enthusiasm for the sport got him a lot of notoriety in the local papers. I believe that Harry has 50+ marathons to his credit including countless Boston and Marine Corps Marathons.

I had the pleasure of running in Boston with Harry and his group and was amazed at how well Harry knew the drill up there with the accomodations, the food, the travel arrangements, the expo, and all with only a small duffel bag containing a spare set of running shorts, another singlet, and a toothbrush. Harry traveled light. He loved the marathon up there and took me under his wing as a rookie and I will never forget his wisdom, humor and friendship. Four of us crashed in one room and Harry snored like a chainsaw, but we didn’t care. We were having too much fun. No hot water in the hotel after the race,the elevator was down, but Harry and his sense of humor had us all laughing through an uncomfortable end to a great run.

Harry and the North Park crew changed my life for sure. Even though I eventually gravitated to road cycling and mountain biking, I still run on trails in the winter and on nasty weather days. Running is still in my veins thanks to Harry and the wonderful people of North Park. They say that you get an endorphin high from running but I am not sure if it is more the chemical high or the psychological high that you have completed a healthy activity for the day and you did it with friends. The comraderie of the running crowd cannot be matched. I see folks from all over the country running in groups. The exercise and the lively conversations are indigenous to running clubs and if you have not had the chance to join a running, cycling, skiing, hiking, outdoors club, go do it. Chances are you will meet fun folks who will hold you accountable to join them on a daily or several times a week basis. You will be fortunate if you ever meet a guy like Hot Harry. He is one in a million and if you ever see the car with the open trunk, help yourself and allow yourself to meet one of the all time greats. Thanks for reading.

Trail Running- Peace in the Woods

https://chroniclesofmccloskey.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/02jaydash-inarticle.jpg”>02jaydash.inarticlephotoIMG00159 So, I am out on Monday early with my headlamp, rain jacket, shorts and new trail shoes (
Solomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2), and rain hat. It is pouring and I am kind of a slow starter when I run, so I like to warm up which is good advice for those of you like the 58 year old kid. I am watching out for slippery rock and leaf strewn areas along with wet roots which can play havoc with your stride in the woods and make for a potential header on the trail. As I mosey along, I am feeling better as a half hour passes and the stride becomes a little stronger and the pace a little faster and as is the usual case, I feel pretty good and loose after about 40 minutes. But I don’t usually run much longer than that-maybe an hour at best but it is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable workouts I do in the off season. This time of year, the days grow short and most often you need a light. You can get these on line or pick up a Petzl light at Dick’s or REI. They are easily found and are battery operated so have some double A’s in your glovebox. Good shoes are essential and the Solomons can be found for a pretty good price at Amazon. Foul weather gear is good and there are lots of choices for running jackets because you don’t need more than a polypropylene long sleeve running shirt, decent waterproof jacket with a hood, wool hat or baseball cap, and good wool socks. I wear shorts most of the time because I don’t like to be over dressed even in snowy conditions. A lot of guys my age complain about running on hard surfaces. That is the nice thing about running trails, they are more forgiving but you need to pay attention to obstacles.

I always ran, but was looking for an alternative to cycling in the really foul weather because I like to be outside. Years ago, I ran into Jack McArdle on the trails one night while we were cross country skiing in the dark with our lights on. He told me about his group that meets weeknights and on Saturday mornings to run trails. Now Jack knows most of the trails in our local North Park by heart and as the Pied Piper of trail running, he assembled a neat group of folks from all walks of life to follow him on the trail runs. The school teachers who tended to be a little left of center had great conversations with the business types who tended to be a little right of center and we all had a lot of laughs and solved the world’s problems out on those trails. When someone complained about the route, Jack would assign a “penalty hill” and we all would moan but laugh as we suffered up some mud encrusted slime hill for our penance. Those days have faded but there is still a trail group out there with some of the original members still running and doing the penalty hills.

As for me, I try to ride most of the year with my lights on the mountain bike. But there is the time of the year when the trails get so slimy and icy, the weather gets so foul that it is really not enjoyable to ride. That is where the run really amps up the possibilities for me. The great thing about running trails is that you can do it anywhere. When I travel, and I can’t ride my bike, I take my trail shoes, Google the local trail system and go out and do it! I can also find golf courses. I have utilized the Manassas Battlefield trails as well as the Yale University Golf Course. It has to be early there or at night because I have been bounced off that venue more times than not. But usually you can run golf courses in the off hours and there are always trails or a trail system in every town and city in America. Runnning on the road is tough on the knees anymore and the viable alternative is running golf courses or trails. This time of year with the leaves changing and the weather cooling off, it is a great alternative to cycling if you feel like doing some cross training or another physical activity.

Running trails is also kind of primal in a way. We have running in our DNA as our early ancestors ran to hunt food, or ran so as not to be food. I think of the Native American warriors in the woods in Pa. where I run. I can envision their lifestyle of hunting and gathering while running paths that are hundreds of years in the making. It is neat to smell a fireplace burning, see the changing leaves, or run in a light snow with the muffled sounds of civilization fading with each inch of snow on the ground. Trail shoes have lugs and are good in the snow and ice. They can be used with snowshoes in the winter to continue to enjoy the trails even when several inches of snow builds up. No cars, good scenery, peaceful contemplative running, even at night. I never complain about the time change, colder weather( I am a skier you know), freezing rain, rain, darkness, solitude in the winter because I know that the recipie for a potential depressing day is to go out and run when and where most people would not venture. Those of you who are looking to avoid the road running and fearing the wear and tear as well as the danger of running on a road at night- look to the trails. Those of you who are looking for an alternative to the boring regime of the gym and some fresh air as an alternative- look to the trails. You don’t have to start with running either. Buy the gear and start out slow by hiking or walking. Build up to the run. Rome was not built in a day and neither should you feel the pressure of trying to run when you can build up to it by hiking and getting used to being on trails out in the woods. Test your footing and become comfortable with the obstacles and working out at night with the lights. Trust me, you will like it and anytime the weather turns bad, you won’t have an excuse. Even if the weather is good, look for the alternative. You probably won’t get a penalty hill unless you run into Jack and Mare out in North Park. Thanks for reading and go to the trails my friend.

The Pittsburgh Off Road Cyclists

photoMcCandless-20130303-00102 I usually schedule my blog posts about two weeks in advance but I had to jump the line here to tell you all about a perfect day of mountain biking with a really fun group of riders……of all ages. The cool thing about PORC is that it is a mountain bike club http://www.porcmtbclub.org which is open to riders of all ages and abilities. The club focuses on rides in the Western Pennsylvania region. There are nightly rides during the week in a lot of different venues in and around Pittsburgh, with weekend rides in the mountains east of us as well as more local venues.

Today was the annual PORC Pignic(not a spell check-haha) As the riders assembled, it was a gorgeous day here in the ‘burg and the venue was North Park. The air was cool with a temperature in the high 50s, the sun was shining and the leaves are starting to turn color here and fall gently on the 42 miles of trails that we have in the park. It was a perfect day and there were over 50 riders participating in many different types of rides ranging from fast to beginner. Like my other passion, skiing, the neat thing is that folks can participate at their level and then enjoy the comraderie after the ride. The nice thing about mountain bikers is that they really like to eat and also drink their beer-post ride. The grills were lit, the beer was tapped after the rides, and for most of the riders the post ride hunger and thirst was satisfied at the pignic. Elizabeth and Lee Klevens shot some amazing photos. They are a talented couple who provided a really great mosaic for the new OTB Cafe in North Park which will be opening soon. http://www.otbbicyclecafe.com

Most of the rides lasted for 3 hours so you can imagine the appetites and the thirsts that developed. PORC has attracted a most interesting and eclectic group of outdoor enthusiasts. John Hinderliter is a real outdoors guy as well as a world class illustrator. Don Cunningham,a television sports engineer, brought his homebrew and poured it over fresh hops which really enhanced the taste of an already excellent brew. Dr. Jack celebrated his 65th birthday. The guy doesn’t look 45 because he keeps himself in excellent shape riding almost every day. Bob Bannon- the fearless leader of the group is one of the strongest riders and he is older than me- the 58 year old kid. You wouldn’t know it riding behind Bob with his excellent technique over the rocks and roots that define riding in our area. Johnny McWilliams had the fast guys in tow as they set a blistering pace that burned off several of the ambitious riders who joined them. I picked up the stragglers and had a more reasonably paced group where you could look at the leaves and enjoy the conversations and the laughter instead of concentrating on the guys wheel in front of you and trying to hang on the climbs. That is the good thing about being a leader. The group has to follow you and you can dictate the pace. That Johnny Mac is tough and he is the only one in that group that had some gray hair starting to sprout. But as I first commented, there were young gals and guys and older guys and gals who rode together in various groups and all had a great time with the common denominator being the love of the trails and the joy of pedaling a bicycle off road. The gray hairs and the young set together enjoying one of life’s pleasures as a team in the woods. I saw a lot of groups where some of the participants looked to be the age of other riders parents or even grandparents. It was a testament to inclusion. It just goes to show you that if you continue to exercise and enjoy sports or activities, you can stay in good shape, and meet a lot of people both young and old. The old guys live vicariously through the exploits of the fast guys and the younger set marvels at the shape and conditioning of some of the older riders. We learn from each other. The younger new riders benefit from the experience of the older folks and us older folks are brought up to speed on the cultural changes of todays society by riding with the young guns. A truly wonderful dynamic and all meet at the melting pot of the post ride meal.

Mountain biking is fun and it is a strenuous activity that keeps you in good shape. There are a lot of folks my age who have thrown in the towel. They come home, put on the boob tube, eat and go to bed. But the PORC crew kind of espouses what Jimmy Buffet says when he sings,” I’d rather die while I am living than live when I’m dead.” If you are older, don’t give up the ship. Be the Oliver Hazard Perry of life and rage against age and complacency like Oliver did against a much stronger and powerful British Navy. Riding or skiing with younger folks keeps you in the game. Riding with your peers acknowledges the fact that mutually you are still in the game. Take a tip from the PORC crew and enjoy the trails, the leaves, and all that the great outdoors has to offer. Thanks for reading.