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1406 Views 22 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  mikesee
(x-posted to 29")

Although L, Fang and I all spend lots of time out on the local trails, it's pretty rare to be out there together. L will often snipe a lunchtime or afterwork hike when she has but an hour to spend, while I prefer to ride and even hike in larger chunks of time. Recently we found a new way to get out and enjoy the trails together: snowbiking.

Fang is a bit too big to really run with the bikes on dry trails--it's just too hard on his joints. But the addition of a few inches of snow means that we have bunches of added resistance to push the bikes through, slowing us waaaaaay down. It also gives him a lot more cushion when running, thusly leveling the playing field.

Our early season wet snow crusted over and refroze immediately, making for treacherous and not-very-fun conditions whether afoot or on bike. But then last week we got a few more inches, followed by a cold snap, followed by lots of sun, which seems to be one way to make the trails fun again. No more gnarly ruts, no more sun cups, and all of the ice seems to have been covered over by an almost velcro-like layer of snow.

Although it isn't "snowbiking" in the truest sense of the word, what we did that day (and will likely be doing for the next two months) is made much easier and more fun with fatter, lower pressure tires. You definitely don't need super fats to get out there, especially on the more heavily trafficked stuff, but having the added tire girth gives you more control everywhere. L is on 50mm wide rims with 2.4" tires, run at ~15psi. My bike is kind of a work in progress, changing with every ride, so for now I won't bother with details.

Some of the south facing stuff was melted down to dirt, while most of the north facing stuff still has at least a few inch base. At worst we pushed our bikes through tracked but not yet packed snow, but never had to break trail.

The trails we rode are mostly newer. They have almost zero technical features when dry, and as such they aren't much for excitement. Stack a few inches of fresh on top of them and pack it a bit, but not evenly, and things get a bit more interesting.

It was a day of just every kind of weather--sunny, then partly cloudy, then completely flat and gray, then back to bright at sunset.

With temps in the low 20's it was easy to dress comfortably. A light base layer and a shell was pretty much it, although having a bomber set of winter shoes might have made it easier than trying to 'get by' with summer stuff.

An eternal-optimist-type could have seen signs of spring if they squinted hard enough.

I don't think so. Besides--I'm not ready for spring quite yet. Winter in all it's regional flavors has so much variety (once you learn to embrace it!) that I can happily enjoy it a bit longer. With the newfound local fun, L and Fang seem to agree.

Thanks for checkin' in...

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Thats simply awesome,i never get conditions like that over here to ride in and i wish i did,great pics and write up
Cheers for sharing

Awesome post, amazing pics. Thanks for sharing. Have never ridden in snow, but it sure does look like fun.
Wow...incredible shots. Thanks for sharing.
Beautiful. I wish I were out on the trails instead of stuck here at work, but your pictures gave me a mini-trip!

What camera do you cary on the trails?

great pics, as usual!
Nice photo post. Thanks for the stoke.

With temps in the 20-35 degree range here at the moment I find myself scratching my head a bit about the apparel choices. 3 layers of light jersey/base works but can be a bit cold in the breeze. I have been favoring it though as it breathes really well. Light layer and a shell can turn into a sauna if not careful. Good call on the shoes/boots ;)

As u always do it so Pimpin:cool: Mike seems uber fun out there.
Very nice

That drip pic is stunning!
wow. I always seem to be at a loss for words when I read and look at posts like this, dripping with true Passion! Thanks.
Again..... thanks for sharing thoughts and pics. Excellent contribution as usual. I really like those last two shots. Happy pup bouncing along next to his person.
Very, very nice ! Thanks for sharing....

Nice post mike. Lovely photos.

We had snow like that for a week or two in mid December but then we got too much to keep up with. Never did hire those sherpas.

That Milk Money piqued my interest. Love the color. What size of tire are you running in back? I'm assuming the fatties don't fit.
I hiked out there Sat to see if it was bikeable. Saw a few tracks and one guy riding. May have to give it a try.
freaking awesome this is the stuff that got me out tonight, going to try to hit a trail on Thursday. Who took the pics?
No, thank you MC!

mikesee said:
An eternal-optimist-type could have seen signs of spring if they squinted hard enough.

Thanks for checkin' in...

New desktop for the week! No bike, but bike related thanks to you. Catching one of the bikes in reflection would have been even more spectacularlur, or do I have to squint to see that too? :D. Another fine read as always. Thanks for the winter passion :thumbsup:.
Great post and beautiful photos! It's nice to see the smiles regardless of location or conditions.

BTW - love the dog looking back, saying "hey, you're too close to my tail."
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