Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Winter Views: Birthday Ride

Escape Route: Green Belt Trails
Well, first of all, I want to thank all of you that bothered to take the time to offer your well wishes and cheers on the occasion of my birthday on Monday. I very much appreciated those comments both here and elsewhere on social media and in messages. 

Many well-wishers advised that I go for a bicycle ride, and of course, that is exactly what I did. The "frosting" we had on the tress and shrubs was still in effect, miraculously so, and with the addition of Sun, which we hadn't had in quite some while, it was a glorious day for a ride.

It was also frigid cold. 

So, I took out my Blackborow DS since it is currently set with pogies, and off I went. Spinning like a hamster because I left the bike in 'low-range', which if you don't understand, well that refers to the 'dinglespeed' nature of this bike. (Click the link for an ultra-nerd-out on dinglespeed gearing) Anyway, "low" range on the Blackborow DS is pretty spinny, but not low enough to winch yourself up a steep incline, such as the dike entrance to the Green Belt. At least not with snow involved.

But once I scaled that and got down the other side, the Green Belt presents no inclines worth mentioning. So, the gear was perfect for negotiating softer, churned up sections of snow and stable as you can get when it came to off-camber bits due to the wide 4.8" tires. 

It is hard to find the best of the trail to ride at times due to the multi-use nature of the Green Belt
Frosted trees overlook a free-running Black Hawk Creek

The low angle of the Sun made the snow and frost stuck to the tress yet glisten and glow like crazy. Again- a super-unusual state for things here and we have had the luxury of living in this wonderland-like atmosphere for several days. However; later on this day that Sun burned off the frosting, so to speak, and things look a little less awe-inspiring now. 

Headed out towards the Green Belt lake.

There were sights to see that just demanded I stop and soak in as much of it as I could.

It turned out to be a perfect day, or at least morning, to be out in the Green Belt. there was not a soul in sight, (other than the ice fisher I saw), and the sky was a clean, washed blue with some wispy contrails from jet traffic here and there. The contrast between shadows and brilliant snow-scapes was spectacular. The dreary, wild, unkempt Green Belt woodland looked beautiful in its new snow-white clothes. 

A lone figure pulls a sledge across the frozen Green Belt lake.

Simply stunning views!

That was most likely the most beautiful, peaceful, and precious Winter ride I have ever experienced. What a gift! And by far the best birthday ride I've yet had. I hope that you enjoyed the bit I was able to share here. 

Thanks for reading.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday ride!

Ben said...

Looks like a nice ride and great pics! The last couple weeks in Iowa have been a lot of beautiful days for riding and hiking/snowshoeing, with all the hoarfrost, light wind and fresh snow. Usually don't get that many days like that in a row without some weird super cold or oddly warm days coming through to break it up!