Thursday, February 02, 2012


I knew that the fog would burn off sooner than later, and maybe I should go for that long needed long gravel grinder ride. But you know, I had some "clerical-office type" stuff to take care of. So......I buttoned down and got it done. It took a fair amount of time, so I had to re-think my ride options.

My Post-Modern, Industrial Snow Bike Composition.
Well, I still could get out a do some gravel, but I hadn't ridden By-Tor The Titanium Mukluk in a while, so I got it out and settled on doing some exploration for snow. I might get disappointed, I knew, because the temperatures had been above freezing more often than not the past 48 hours. The snow was disappearing like a pat of butter on a steaming cob of sweet corn.

That didn't matter to me. I would take mud just as well as snow, and I figured the ground would still be frozen for the most part, since it was still February and all. So I took off shortly after lunch to see what I could see.

I found out my short cut was nearly devoid of snow. It is a south facing slope, so no big surprise there. The bike path down below was a different story. It still had snow and packed down snow-turned ice all over it. Slower going there. Still, it wasn't bad really. Then I dove off into Hope Martin Park. Nothing had crossed here and a good 4 inches of  wet, soggy snow still sat on the grass. I was surprised to find out the Mukluk could crawl right on through it.

Muddy Muk-Skipper!
Then off to the single track/ XC ski trail along Black Hawk Creek. The snow was only semi-compacted here, so slipping out, sliding, and dabbing were the rule. It was a bit frustrating. I was thinking about doing something different when I finally came out of the mushy snow into a patch of mud. Ahh! There was some stability.

Up the dike, across the four lane, and across the top of the dike again to dive into the woods. The Elixir brakes howled like an air raid siren as I descended the dike. Well, now everyone within ear shot knew I was here! Those brakes have been noisey since Triple D. Hopefully a thorough cleaning will quiet them back down once more like they had been prior to the Triple D.

The trail wasn't bad. I was half expecting to find the shifty, sliding snow I had experienced across the road, but the packed area where foot traffic had been was solid enough that I could carry some speed. Now....when I say speed I mean a bit faster than walking and a bit slower than running. This still wasn't XC race pace, by any means!

The trail showed two tracks of XC ski track- one on each of the furthest points on the width of the trail- with a track where walkers had trodden right down the middle. Nice! But after a while, this disintegrated into chaos after folks cut turns and in several places where the sun had obliterated the trail's snow cover.
Nope! Not gonna cross that!
Then I came along to my dreaded water crossing. Dreaded because I knew it would be full of ice cold, fast running water in a deep cut in the ground which had super greasy, muddy sides. Yep.......I was right about that! 

You know, I could have slid down there, gotten all muddy, wet, cold, and had some great tale to tell ya'all of after the fact. But......wisdom got the better of me! Sorry, ya'all. You will have to wait for the next time I fall victim to stupidity. I'm sure it won't be all that long from now! 

So, instead I scrambled up the dike, mounted up, and plowed through some more deeper snow. Again, I was somewhat surprised at how easily I was going along. It was almost like surfing, in a weird way. The front tire maybe sliding along more than rotating at times. At any rate, I powered through this, and by now, I was getting pretty hot.

Gettin' Dirty!

So I pointed the grey beast homeward. I still had much snow to push through on the bike trail. It was definitely a "high resistance" training day!

I know I spent a lot of time grinding away in the lower gears on the cassette, that's for sure. It was also funny how the bike was doing everything in slow motion, if you could let it. It is almost as if you need to back off on your reaction times to things these bikes do in snow. Over-reacting just gets you more out of shape. If that makes any sense.

Well, however it really is, it seems like a fun way to hone my balancing skills and handling skills. Things were happening slowly enough that I actually almost had time to think about them. Almost. It does seem like a slow motion movie out there in the snow and ice, which you wouldn't think it would. In fact, a lot of this fat biking experience has been counter-intuitive.

By-Tor was doing pretty well though, and mud and snow seemed not to phase this bike. Only the squawking Elixir brakes were taking away from my fun today. I'll have to get those looked at. I have to shorten that rear brake line someday anyway!

Then it was back to the computer where I got cue sheets for T.I.V8 completed. (You've no idea how much joy it brings me to be able to type that!)

1 comment:

SlingShotRipper29 said...

Once my Elixer's started howling, the only thing I could do to get it to stop, when everything ultimately failed, was replace the pads. Scrub Components! Silence...finally.