|Riding the North side of Camp Ingawanis on an SE Stout SS rig.|
Interestingly enough, the cycling industry was, and still is, quite interested in sending out items for testing and review at this time of year. I always was a bit taken aback by this. Don't they know it snows in the upper Mid-West? But of course, when the vast majority of companies are based in cycling-centric SoCal, or in other warm, comfortable places, then I suppose it makes sense that they might not take harsh Winter conditions into consideration. Whatever the case, I was always pressed for any time for anything outside of testing stuff from late October till whenever the snow flew or the temperatures dropped to the teens or below. That was the point at which it made any kind of riding more a game of survival than anything.
Understanding companies would sometimes allow us to hang on to bikes till Spring broke and we could ride again, which was always appreciated. But, that wasn't always the case, so I had to ride as much as I could back in '07-'10 during this time of the year. After that, I had Grannygear in SoCal and our German based rider, cg, to rely on since their weather allowed for riding in Winter with no real problems.
It was a different world back then. Once Winter snowed out the trails, it was over for riding unless the gravel was open and I could ride in the country, but sometimes that was too icy. Fat bikes weren't a thing yet. I normally would wish for enough snow to XC ski, but barring that, it was a time of rest and waiting. Trans Iowa stuff was usually done during this time, and ten years ago, I was still running registration for v4.