Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter, and how it affects my riding habits.

It is no surprise that winter changes how, where, and how much I ride. And after just how much riding I did last year, it is especially obvious to me right now.

During Spring/Summer/Fall, going on an after work ride, or heading out on a weekend shred or road ride was almost reflexive. There was no "if I go on a ride," it was more of a "Where will I go on a ride?"

But, once the snow flies, the wind kicks up, and the temperature drops, it takes a real conscious effort to get out and ride more than the bare minimum back and forth to work. "I could go on a ride.... or I could go straight home, spend less time freezing my butt, fighting with cars, and go to sleep, after a burning hot shower."

And don't get me started on shopping, though this year hasn't been as bad as years past. That's a subject for another blog post.

Every now and then, though, an urge strikes. Almost an epiphany. Like riding home, and turning right at the light instead of going straight, and tacking on a few extra miles of snow bouldered and cindered shoulder to the commute home, the first such addition for a few weeks where I ride for the heck of it, not "because I had places to go."

That was a decent enough ride. 
 Then I get a wild hair and ride the Pugsley to work, so I can see how the trails out to Fort Tuthill are.
Turns out they are reasonably well packed. 
 With the tires reading at 0 PSI on the pump, they fairly float right over the packed-by-hikers-snow, and iron out all the bumps. But man are they hard to pedal.
But so totally worth it. 
 Riding by the Soldier's Loop junction with the FUTS, I notice that it seems to have gotten a lot of traffic, and resolve to come back the next day.

The next day was windy with an approaching storm, but I didn't let that stop me.
Not quite sunny singlretrack, but it'll do.

Sunset from the back of the park.

A sane person wouldn't be caught in the snow after dark with a winter storm on the way. Good thing I'm not sane. 
I did end up leaving a few me-shaped splats next to the trail, one of which was a pretty impressive near-endo coming down the Chute. No video this time, I left the GoPro at home.

Yesterday, I woke up to a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground. Having forgotten to swap everything back over to Bi, I hopped on Snowblind again, thinking about doing another ride after work.
It's the Arctic Snow Snake again! It looks to have grown... 
 I ended up getting off work early, so I headed out and did Soldier's Loop again. Never mind the fact that it was only 30 degrees out, pedaling will keep me warm. I ended up being the first set of tracks on most of the trail since the snow fell.
Looks cool, man.
I'll take it.

On a side note... I now know what I should have named Snowblind. While rumbling down the paved road home from Fort Tuthill, I realized why the sound the tires make sounded so friendly and familiar.

It sounded a lot like this:

Mileage: None today.

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