Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Triple D Winter Race: Training Log 6- Into The Paint Shaker

Surprisingly rideable....
Another New Year's day, another training ride. This one goes for 3.5 hours again but with less pushing, like the last log entry. Well......I could have gone the entire time without getting off, but I sought out harder paths. You know, for training purposes.....

The temperature was pretty frigid in the morning, and I slept in late, but by noon it was crawling above zero. A good sign. Then by the time I took off at 1:30pm, I had a "warm" temperature of above 10°F to enjoy! WooHoo!

The winds were light and the sun was out, so it looked great for riding. The recent traffic on the trail near my home has compacted down a nice route to ride on, albeit a bit bumpy. I suppose even a wide tired 29"er would have been good here.

That all changed a bit once I crossed Fletcher. There I had two snow machine tracks and it was a bit looser, but not bad, really. You might have been able to negotiate this on a 29"er, but it would have been sketchy, slow going. I was still cruising along at a good clip. Then Ansborough and it got a little deeper out here. Less foot traffic, but still enough of a snow machine track to support me. It maybe was a touch slower through there. Infinitely better than the last time I had ridden here a week ago.

I made my way to Martin Road and turned off to the right to see what I could do with the lake path this time. Last time I had a long hike-a-bike through here.

...and surprisingly bumpy!
Well, the snow shoe folk had beaten a path that was rideable- rough, but rideable, through to the main trail on Black Hawk Creek. I decided to go South to the rail road bridge and hike up the embankment to the hard surface trail, then back to Sergent Road.

But I didn't take the straight way there, and before I reached Ridgeway, I had been slowed to picking a line here and there. The going was definitely fat bike only by now. I noted a few new dead tree falls, and one that blocked the trail near Ridgeway. I stopped and removed it so the main way could be used again.

Once across Ridgeway I took the left trail after the entrance and went up. This trail hasn't seen enough traffic to get the shifty snow packed in yet. It was like riding through sugar with a mashed potato base. Not much good for anything but hike-a-bike. So I walked that section until the trail re-joined the more trafficked sectors.

Once I reached the rail road bridge, I dismounted and climbed up to the trail in hopes that snowmobiles had traversed through there. You never know- the trails are not for motorized use, so it could have been nothing, or just a single pass. Both would have meant hike-a-bike for quite a long ways. Fortunately, the trail had seen plenty of snowmobiles and it was easy going here.

Inspired by GNAT
Once I reached Highway 63, turned left, and headed down the Sergeant Road Trail again, I hit on some awesome drifts that had some snowmobile traffic over them. It was super cool to be riding over three to four foot drifts without punching through.

It was the confirmation I was waiting for over a year to get. The knowledge that at the right air pressure,  Big Fat Larrys on my Rolling Darryls would be just enough to float me through deep, snowmobile trail. Still, I was wondering what a couple of Bud 4.8"ers might do on Rolling Darryls for my riding in these conditions. I bet it would be about the best. While I had considered a 3.8"er on the back, I think that extra big casing is what is keeping me from punching through, and 100mm rims are just not all that necessary here. Not that it wouldn't be nice to have, but with clearance being limited, I don't think I'll go that route with my Mukluk.

Anyway, back to Martin Road, going back to the lake and hitting the opposite shoreline, then punching through the cedar trees, through the little creek run off, and hike-a-bike to the top of the dike. I rode to the Green Belt Trail and took it back to the Ansborough trail head, then back to the Sergent Road Trail till I got to the cut-off to cross 63 and over to Summit Avenue. That takes me only a few more blocks, then back home again on alleyways and city streets.

It was a great afternoon on the bike, but the main order of business was negotiating miles of really bumpy trail. I was about to give a vital organ for a suspension fork yesterday, I'll tell ya that much! My hands and shoulders were a wreck after that one. But another great effort in the log on my way to Triple D.

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