The Singletrack Diaries – High Speed on Ice

Black_Friday1So it’s going to be one of those winters. The kind where the snow is going to stay on the ground for weeks at a time and those parts that get travelled across will soon turn to ice. After the last big dump two weeks ago, the north side of everything remains snowbound while anything facing south is just brown. The lower trails appeared from a distance to be relatively clear so while the rest of the world was spending their Black Friday at the mall, it was a good day to take the bike out once again. The mud that ran up my backside, my Camelbak, and up to my helmet would bear witness to my activities as I crossed traffic on the way home.

Pedaling on ice is tricky. Unless you’ve installed posi on the bike, any uneven pressure on one side or the other will cause the rear tire to push the opposite way, spiking your adrenaline when you least expect it. When you get into the shade the brown, dirt-covered traps are just waiting for your knobby tires to cross them. Coast.

Black_Friday2 For many years now, the Open Space rangers have closed trail systems after a snow-melt cycle to try to control erosion. On a trail where hikers, bikers, and horseback riders are sharing space the ruts can get pretty deep. The temptation on the bike is to work the edges of the trail, out on the grassy areas to avoid the holes and find some traction. This of course tears up the edge of the trail and erodes the landscape further. Perhaps a bike path is a better choice this time of year.

But wait! I can justify the ride since pedaling on the softened ground takes twice the effort of a hardpacked trail, I burned off the Thanksgiving calories twice as fast. So fast in fact that, I was able to indulge in a nice Turkey sandwich brimming with mayoee goodness upon returning to la casa and retiring to the deck to bask in the sun with el perro. Gotta love Black Friday.

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