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Summer Comes to Clinton

April 28, 2013   

Yes, you read correctly - Clinton had BEAUTIFUL weather this weekend! I was wandering around outside in a tank top and shorts for the first time in MONTHS. I feel especially sun-deprived after spending my last summer in Beijing. In case you don't keep up with the news, you really don't want to spend more time than necessary breathing the "fresh" Beijing air, unless you want lung cancer (I wish I was joking, but it's true). 

I love when Spring comes to Hamilton. While our campus makes for a spectacular winter wonderland, it is so beautiful with the sun out and a clear blue sky. I did homework (or rather, tried to) sitting out behind Eels, an upperclassman dorm with a scenic view down the Hill. 

It is great to see campus come alive when the weather is nice out. Today there was music playing across the green and tons of people outside throwing around a frisbee or just laying out and enjoying the sun. One of the clubs on campus hosted a grill-out and put up a volleyball net. Needless to say, I hardly got any studying done this weekend. Great weather is dangerous for my grades.

I also had my first bike-racing experience this weekend! Hamtrek, Hamilton's annual mini-triathlon event, is fast approaching. It involves 525 yards of swimming, 9 miles biking and 5k running. Luckily I am participating as part of a team with each person doing one leg of the triathlon. Which is great, because there's a good chance I would drown before completing the 21 pool laps. My friend on the water polo team is swimming, the other one is running and I volunteered for the cycling portion.

This past winter the fitness center acquired new stationary bicycles that have simulated onscreen races, which I got really attached to, for awhile. For some reason I thought real road racing would be the same. Well...it's not. So much more fun, but also extremely difficult! Not to mention that you don't have bugs flying at your face and cars trying to run you over in the simulated version. My choice of bike doesn't help - I am borrowing my friend's mountain bike, which has thick, treaded tires and an extremely heavy frame. Aw well! I am doing it for the experience, I suppose, but I tend to get overly-competitive. I wanna win!

Today there was a timed test trial, set up by a professor who participates in Hamtrek and is a coach for the Hamilton Cycling Team. The only participants were myself, another girl, and two older professors who were clearly seasoned veterans. They were decked out in Hamilton cyclist gear, riding fancy lightweight road bikes and using some sort of iPhone app that kept track of their speed and altitude. Whew. And, to be entirely honest, one of the professors, who also won an award for being the oldest Hamtrek participant last year, passed me after starting off a full three minutes behind. He ended up beating me by a lot. Wish I could place all the blame on my mountain bike, but I can't…he was just so fast!

The race is Friday and there are a lot more participants than in years past, mainly becuase the academic schedule got moved around this year. In the past Hamtrek conflicted with the end-of-classes concert called Class and Charter Day Concert, but that is now happening on a date separate from the last day of classes. Which is all a bit confusing, but the bottom line is Hamtrek has a lot more participants. I've also heard of some other teams' crazy costume plans...my team has yet to come up with a good theme, but it's in the works!