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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Has made local trail riding possible the last few days.



Heck, I'd even go so far as to call it fun.





Gunnector, Tampon, and Pre-Nup are the only trails *above* the Widowmaker that are rideable right now.



Of those, Gunnector is the most fun. Be prepared to be in granny most of the way up, then middle on the way back down. Doesn't look like Gunny proper has been pushed through just yet.








If you do Gunnector, get out there early, and off the trail before ~11, as the S facing stuff has melted out and is goopy soon after the sun hits it.


Beats the hell outta mall walking and road riding...

MC
 

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Ride to the ride.
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A Series of Bad Decisions...

...Ended up as a decent ride.

First, it was supposed to be below freezing all day yesterday. And it was cloudy, so I wasn't worried about the slop. But by the time I'd run errands and was heading for the trail, it was sunny and warming the ground quickly. Shoulda turned around...

I made another bad decision by entering the LL trails via Mira Monte. I know (deep down somewhere, where I'd chosen to ignore it) that winter snow riding works best for me if I stick to the trails that get lots of traffic; packed snow makes for a smoother trail. Starting out on an obscure neighborhood entrance yielded the pleasure of a deeply boot-pocket surface of somewhat un-packed snow, crusted hard from previous sunshine. The riding was awkward, chunky, and not exactly fun.

I'd chosen my little-wheel soft-tail bike as my weapon of choice, which was also a pretty poor decision. With the mini-chunkiness of the trail, I could have benefitted from my 29" wheels. And from 5" inches of suspension. I tried to pretend my tires were as big as MikeSee's and let even more air out of the already low-pressure tires, but it was still unpleasantly rough. I only muttered all this under my breath for a little while, when it became apparent that nothing in my quiver would have been very ridable, and I was happy enough to carry the bike -- and this being the lighter bike... Well, sometimes a bad decision turns out okay.

The sun was beginning to soften the frozen mud in the places where mud showed through snow on the trail. It was probably best to head back down, and live (gumbo-free) to ride another day. But I was outside, bright day, heating up enough to be wearing almost as little as I'd worn in Tucson the week before. I was even smiling. So I kept going, riding and carrying, despite.

At the lower end of Holy Cross, the path got firmer. (That trail was only lightly tracked, and I passed it by.) On upward, I rode some steps I didn't think I'd be able to. It began to feel like a bike ride. The sun vanished behind a veil of high clouds that took the power out of it. I turned toward the Tabeguache, then onto the top of Pet-e-kes and down.

The trail wasn't smooth, but it was smoother than I'd started out with. And I was going downhill. Some semblance of occasional swoop-ish-ness. The temp had dropped with the sun; tiny puddles that had formed earlier were gathering lines of fresh ice. The trail stayed mostly firm.

I caught myself grinning again. Not the summer-blasting-down-a-sweet-flowy-trail kind of grin. But a I'm-not-sure-what-I'm-doing-out-here-but-I'm-out-here kind of grin. The occasional slip off the edge of the packed trail... A hidden stopper rock... A slip of mud avoided by tight-rope-riding a sliver of snow... A different kind or riding... Maybe even... fun.

My little loop had taken me at least twice as long (and twice the energy) than it would have two weeks ago. I rolled out at the main trailhead and headed home. Planning to be back soon.

--Greg
 

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This place needs an enema
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17,426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
zrm said:
Not that it doesn't look like fun, but I still think I'll stick to skiing on snow.
That's a tough thing to do from the house when living in GJ. Even in a heavy snow winter like this one.

Since pavement leads from my door, across town, and up to some dirt/ice/clay/snowpacked trails all winter long, and since I don't much care to drive locally to recreate, this scratches the itch.


Cheers,

MC
 

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mikesee said:
That's a tough thing to do from the house when living in GJ. Even in a heavy snow winter like this one.

Since pavement leads from my door, across town, and up to some dirt/ice/clay/snowpacked trails all winter long, and since I don't much care to drive locally to recreate, this scratches the itch.


Cheers,

MC
Got it. :) I hear ya. I live in a place where this time a year, even with the crappy snow I can ski tour out my front door and get onto a lot of the trails I mtb ride in the snow free months. It's a pretty cool way to see the same trails in a different light and on skis rather than a bike. I really like having that change of tools to go with the season but a lot of that is just a part of where I live. Some guys around here do ride on snow covered trails but 1. it leaves ruts which don't help the skiing and 2. the snow is deep and soft so it's like riding deep sand. A rig like yours I'm sure makes a big difference, but none the less, I think I'd rather stick to skis. If I lived where you do I would probably reconsider that though....

BTW, where do you get those big honkin' tires?
 

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This place needs an enema
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17,426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Feb/March I miss living in the mountains. Mostly I miss being able to pluck the skis off the porch, drop them in the front yard, step in and go. If I still lived up yonder I'd be right there with ya, skating/striding/skinning along and scratching my head at the riders struggling on their bikes.

But I don't live there anymore, so I'll have to be envious of you as I head out for another mid-winter mixed dirt/rock/snow/ice ride.

FWIW, groomed ski trails aren't really fun to ride on a snow bike, even when they're hard packed. If you see a rider on a ski trail, chances are pretty good they're a noob that doesn't know any better, or lost, or completely filled with spite and bent on pissing off the hypochondriac hypocrites in the nordic ninny crowd. Point the first two toward a packed-by-snowshoes trail and they'll probably be eternally thankful. Avoid the third at all costs!

Tires are Surly's and can be got by any LBS.

Cheers,

MC
 
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