Sunday, February 17, 2019

4 Inch Minimum



With a few inches of fresh snow on the ground for Saturday, Wilderness Park seemed like the logical choice for the SMNDFBR. Roads were snow packed but grippy with the new snow over the old ice and snow and travel was not a problem on Fat Bikes.



The city has a policy of not really touching residential streets unless there is 4" of new snow, the Parks Dept. thankfully doesn't have that same policy and they were out clearing the cycling infrastructure before we made it to N Street. Really appreciate the dedicated folks who get out there early after the snow to make sure that those who might use something besides an automobile to get around have a clear path to do so.




Everyone else got the same memo I did as far as the forecast went, they said it was supposed to be mostly cloudy and breezy, knocking the "feels like" temps down into the negative numbers but what we got was hardly any wind and sun as far as the eye could see. This meant that we were all pretty toasty by the time we got to Wilderness so the layer shedding ritual commenced before we hit the single track.



As we were shedding clothes and dropping PSI, Otis and Pat showed up. We weren't really expecting either but it's always nice to have unexpected guests on the Saturday Morning ride.


I think the more you ride in the winter, the more you learn to identify your friends by the bikes that they ride because trying to identify them by their face is often a difficult task. Hi Sarah!





For the most part the trails were in great shape, I know that a person can ride a bicycle of smaller tires just fine in winter but nothing flattens out the trail surface quite like a group of fat bikes rolling through, looking back the trail we left behind us was near perfect.




A bridge stop is almost mandatory any time you're out in Wilderness, so of course we stopped there and had a little anti freeze to help keep the motor running at peak performance. Looked like we also missed a Batman sighting, didn't know he was a fan of the fat bike but I can't say as I am all that surprised either.






By the time we made it through the Park and down to the 14th Street trail head, the clouds had started to roll hiding the sun, making things a bit chillier than they had been. There is a little bit of ice under the fresh snow in a few places south of Old Cheney, seeing it is sometimes a challenge until you're on top of it and can lead to some pucker moments. I think this is why sometimes I'll be a bit sore in unusual places on Sunday mornings, the muscles you put into sudden action to stay upright are not muscles you use all that often but it's nice to have them rather than to end up face down on a sheet of ice.




We opted to take speed over twisty fun on the way back and jumped on the Jamaican Trail back into town, it was actually a little harder going since there weren't really any bicycle tracks on the trail until after we had passed through. Once back in town folks started splitting off, ending another great Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike Ride.



As is almost always the case, there was an after party for those who wanted to tag along. This week we ended up at Yia Yia's for great food and beer while we watched the folks who were participating in the Bar Stool Open walk up and down O Street in their costumes. Good times!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

One Pair of Candy Lips

Photo Feb 08, 5 54 39 PM


I'm a huge fan of sugar, which makes the days leading up to Valentine's Day some of my favorite days of the year. Cherry hearts only seemed fitting for the start of the SMNDFBR but there is a little bit of an inside joke that goes along with it to, so there is that.





The plan was to do a shorter, in town ride so that we could get over to Zipline for the Bike Swap meet starting at 1 pm.




Initially we were going to get in about a 20 mile loop but the brisk headwind had other plans, riding into it slowed us down more than originally anticipated so we had to cut it a bit short to stay on the time table.


Those not going to the Swap Meet right after the ride broke off and found their way home, the rest of us ended up at the Hub Cafe for a little brunch.





After brunch was the swap meet, lots of good things to ogle and peruse. Ended up picking up a Yeti branded WTB Volt saddle, while the Yeti blue paint on the rails isn't an exact match to the blue on the Journeyman I think it's close enough and will make a good addition to that bike. Unfortunately I couldn't stikc around for the Hot Wheels races but I heard that they had over 100 cars racing, sounds like it would have been a good time.

Sunday has been a snowy one and Monday looks to be more of the same, should be good Fat Biking weather come tomorrow night. Hope to get over to Tranquility and get some of the pow, secretly hoping this is the last significant snow for the winter. As fun as the snow is, I'm ready for warmer days.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

45 & Icy




After being stuck in the doom and gloom of the Polar Vortex, we thought we would be in heaven on Saturday with the forecast showing temps reaching the mid 40 degree range if not a tad higher. However in reality all that moisture from the snow made it not quite as nice as we had hoped and it created a pretty dense layer of fog at times. Overcast skies kept the underlying ice frozen with just a thin layer of water over the top of it, we definitely had to be on our toes on Saturday as it was hard to tell water from water over ice at times until you were right on top of it.




Just when we thought that the trails couldn't get any worse, we met the MoPac. Without any maintenance or clearing at all, the surface of the trail was covered in a good 2-3" of slush combined with the occasional ice patch for good measure making the going slow and walking often the best mode of forward movement.



Having had enough of the slop and the mile long walk, we detoured at Hillcrest and opted for A Street's pavement over the slush the rest of the way to Walton.




Luckily the gravel was mostly good, north/south roads were in better shape than the often shaded east/west roads but both of them were better than what we had encountered so far. The original plan was to head to Unadilla and see the Unadilla Bill festivities but with all the delays we opted to just ride some gravel in a loop and head back in for a bit of a shorter ride.





The fog out there was kind of crazy, if you were one of those Flat Earthers you might think that at any moment you might fall off the edge since you couldn't see anything farther than about a half a mile or most of the ride. Thankfully the planet is not flat and nobody actually fell off of the edge.


Our first fog beer was a tasty Mexican chocolate Stout, nothing like a cold beer on a chilly day.



Photo Feb 02, 1 05 05 PM


Once back in town, it was time to warm up and refuel. Honest Abe's and then Rock'n'Joe on Glynoaks Drive fit the bill to a T. First time we'd been to Rock'n'Joe but it probably won't be the last, they had a little bit of everything even if you aren't a big fan of coffee they have other beverages that might be more up your alley and they even have sandwiches and salads. Nice cozy space to just sit and chat with friends too.



The ride back to Cycle Works was more ice, ice fishing and ice biking; thankfully Phil and Bill did not see their shadows so hopefully the snow and ice is almost out of here for this winter.

Photo Feb 02, 9 04 00 AM

While winter's days might be numbered this year, it will be back next year and on top of that the single track should be good here in a month or two and what better way to crush that than on a new Giant Yukon Fat Bike. Two models available and right now you also get $100 gift card with purchase, what are  you waiting for?