You know that sensation when you're on a stretch of road, either running or cycling, and it looks flat but you're still huffing and puffing? When you look at the road or trail straight on there is no perceptible rise in the terrain, yet you're working extra hard to maintain your speed? That, my dear, is a false flat, and the roads in my neck of the woods are full of them. The slow creep of roads away from the San Francisco Bay offer many almost imperceptible uphill grades, but I have felt them elsewhere. False flats are deceptive and can be soul crushing; unlike discernible hills, there is no victorious summit creating a sense of accomplishment and a bit of glorious descent. One biking forum explained that the grade of these ascents as only being one to two percent, but that is enough to feel it on the climb up. Coming down a false flat on the other hand makes you feel quite speedy, but rarely will one attribute their sudden speed to the downhill false flat. The term seems mostly used to explain the difficult, if imperceptible climbs.
When glancing through a friend's recent vacay pictures, I spotted a couple of her and her boyfriend riding horses on a beach. (This is not her.) Anyway, we were chatting and she shared it was her first time horseback and that she was a bit scared at first . . . but loved it in the end.
Some of my fondest childhood memories include horses, and my informal Sugar HQ survey found that there were plenty of people who shared my interest and others who've never seen a pony up close – how about you?
I know snow is a weird topic to bring up now, but in certain parts of the world, spring hasn't quite sprung. Many of the mountains are still covered in snow, so this weekend might be the last time to snap on your skis or board and hit the slopes.
For some, spring skiing and riding is better than winter skiing because there has been tons of snowfall, the skies are clearer, and the air is warmer. There's nothing more exhilarating than flying down the mountain in a t-shirt.
Here are some tips to keep you safe and happy:
- Get some spring clothes. I know this seems obvious, but if you wear your heavy winter coat, snowpants, mittens, and base layers, you'll overheat and sweat profusely. This will make your clothes wet, and that will inevitably make you cold and uncomfortable.
Get yourself a lightweight waterproof jacket to wear over a thin fleece jacket and short-sleeved wicking shirt. You can probably ditch the base layers altogether, and some people just wear lightweight mudpants instead of bulky snowpants.
If you have glove liners, you can use them, or get yourself some lightweight mittens. Also, get yourself a cute spring hat - no need for one that's fleece-lined.
Want to hear the other tips? Then read more