Sunday, February 16, 2014

More Winter Riding

What kind of creature leaves these tracks?

Answer: A person wearing studs on her feet who is walking her fat bike down the driveway and trying not to skid on the treacherous slab of ice that lies hidden under that innocent-looking snow.

When I go out for a ride, I wear my Stabilicers to get down the driveway. Then I take them off and leave them in my trash bin at the bottom of the driveway. I have also been leaving my Moose Mitts in the trash bin, so they're handy in case I need them. I haven't used them yet, which surprises me. I thought, based on what I had read, that I would need them when the temperature was below 32 degrees F. In reality, I have been having more trouble keeping my toes warm than my fingers.

I have been continuing to ride on my road. No more dramatic spills, I'm glad to report. Every day the conditions change. In fact, sometimes the conditions change from one moment to the next throughout a ride. This has been a sobering realization. I'd hate to be stuck out in the middle of the woods on a trail when everything softened up and became unrideable. I had romantic notions of what fat biking would be like before I actually started riding. (For example, check out the photos in this article and this blog.) Now that I have read more about what it takes to create and maintain a fat-bike trail (like this trail system in Wisconsin), I'm realizing how new fat biking is to Maine. I don't think we have a single trail in the state that is created and maintained for this purpose. I'm lucky to live where I live because I can ride pretty much every day.

One great side benefit of all this training: I am enjoying winter! Probably more than I have in a decade or more. (It helps as well that I can stay home and avoid driving during the worst of the snowstorms.)

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