Bruce Wayne Andrus | Reader Athlete July 2011

Bruce Wayne Andrus

Bruce Wayne Andrus
Age:
49
Residence:
Norwich
Family: Wife, Stephanie; two daughters, Sarah, 21, and Erica, 18; a black lab, Domino
Occupation:
Cardiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Primary sport(s): Skiing, cycling, and hiking

VS: You ride the Prouty every year to raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. How did you get into that?
BWA: It’s a wonderful community event. My wife and I moved up here in 2000 from the Keene (N.H.) area. We didn’t know much about the region, but we were blown away by the enthusiasm for this small community ride. Last year I formed a team called Cardiac Cycle (an inside joke for cardiologists since cycle refers to the interval from one heart beat to the next). I’ve always done the century ride, but I’m not out to break any records. I like to introduce the ride to others who haven’t done that distance. If you can keep someone talking and make them eat and hydrate, you can help people reach goals they didn’t think were possible.

VS: Have you done any memorable road bike trips?
BWA: Last October I did the Grand Tour of the White Mountains. It starts in Lincoln, N.H., and goes across the Kancamagus Highway to Bear Notch Road, up 302 through Crawford Notch, and then through Franconia Notch; 80 miles with a lot of climbing. I started it late, at 10 a.m., and by the time I finished it was getting dark. When I crested the Kancamagus, I thought all my vertical was behind me, but I was probably only a quarter-way done.

VS: If you’re riding centuries, you must put a lot of miles on your road bike.
BWA: Honestly, I don’t know how many miles I do, but it’s probably less than 1,000 a year. I used to have a computer [on my bike], and one day it popped off, and the next time I rode, I realized I liked riding better without it. Once the trails firm up and the black flies are gone, I’m happier on a mountain bike.

VS: I understand you’ve taken a group of friends on a series of mountain bike trips.
BWA: We call them mancations. It’s a group of seven guys that varies in size depending on who gets a pass from their wives. Last year we spent three days on the Kingdom Trails, but we’ve taken trips to Fruita, Colo., Gallup, N.M., and Moab, Utah. The Gallup trip was very interesting because it was a sobering view of the poverty and alcoholism on Indian reservations. I was happy to be spending my tourist dollars at a place that needed the revenue.

VS: And when you’re not on the bike, you’re hiking the trails, aren’t you?
BWA: Absolutely. I tend to hike Mount Moosilauke, which is the closest 4,000-footer to where I live. I went to Dartmouth, and Moosilaukeis the spiritual home of the Dartmouth Outing Club. I love that mountain. Over the years, mostly with my brother-in-law, I’ve done all the 4,000-footers in New Hampshire and most of the ones in Vermont. A memorable trip was a hike of the Presidentials with my younger brother. We started at 4:30 a.m. at the north end and went over Madison, Adams, Eisenhower, and Washington, ending up at Crawford Notch by nightfall. We picked a day in August thinking we’d have good weather, but our visibility was never more than 20 yards. There was horizontal mist and rain the whole way. The weather made it more memorable, and it was fun to share that with my brother.

VS: You’re a 10-year veteran of the Canadian Ski Marathon. What is that like?
BWA: That is such a cool event. It started in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial and to try mending some of the tension between the French and English parts of Canada. It’s not a race, but it’s considered the world’s longest ski tour. It’s a two-day course going from just east of Ottawa to just west of Montreal, changing direction every year. It’s not like skiing on golf courses, but the trail is groomed the night before in a double track for classic skiing. It’s 100 miles; broken into roughly 10-mile sections. You have to keep moving or they don’t let you start the next section. You can enter as a tour skater and just do a few sections and take the shuttle bus, or you can enter in the Coureur des Bois (Runner of the Woods) category. The first year you are bronze level and sleep on the floor of a gym. If you manage that, you move up to silver and carry an 11-pound pack. The last level is gold; you carry a full pack and sleep under the stars. I’ve been gold level for several years. I do it in basic classic touring skis without metal edges, although sometimes on the downhill, I wish I had beefier equipment.

VS: Speaking of edges, tell me about the local Alpine team you started called the Rusted Edges.
BWA: We race on Thursday nights at Whaleback Mountain. It’s a beer league with a rotating cast of people from year to year. There are three divisions. A is pretty competitive, but we’re in the B league with no illusions of grandeur. It’s a great way to get outdoors on a Thursday night and run some gates. It’s a chance to get to know people; we gather in the lodge afterwards to drink beer and tell stories.

VS: You’re a Nordic, Alpine, and tele skier. Which do like best?
BWA: It’s just like enjoying different kinds of music. Alpine skiing is rock and roll with a driving beat, Nordic is more like folk music, and I guess tele-skiing is the blues.
VS: Is it true that you don’t watch television?
BWA: I’m pretty self-righteous about that. This year I couldn’t even sit still through the Super Bowl. Life is too short to watch TV.

—Phyl Newbeck

Phyl Newbeck

Phyl Newbeck lives in Jericho with her partner Bryan and two cats. She is a skier, skater, cyclist, kayaker, and lover of virtually any sport which does not involve motors. She is the author of “Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving.”