Fun in the sun!
Clear sunny skies and a day off work meant today would be a perfect day to go riding. Only issue? Single digit temperatures. Well, not really an issue – it makes for exciting riding: if anything the elements make just a regular ride that much more memorable.
Perfectly clear skies, temperatures hovering around 5ºF, gorgeous weather to be riding in. The mile-long stretch of path from the end of the SW Commuter Path & Highway PD is completely unplowed still. The snow is just a little too deep to ride through, and not enough foot traffic has come by to allow for riding. About a mile-long hike-a-bike (twice since I came back that way) ensued. While not ideal, it’s definitely one of the realities that you come across through winter biking.
From PD on it’s plowed to almost bare ground until you hit the old start of the trail past, I think Purcell road.
I talked to a guy Skiing on the un-plowed part and found out why. Earlier in the year I noticed snowmobile tracks all the way past PD (as you can see in my header image!). Apparently there was a single guy who also had studs on his tracks and kept running up and down the Badger Trail, and ended up tearing up parts of the asphalt! It’s plainly visible in some areas – track-shaped indentations in the tarmac. This gentleman reported to those in charge, and instead of building an expensive gate system like you find on Military Ridge – all they had to do was plow the ground so there’s no snow, and that’ll keep all the snowmobilers off.
Seems to be working too. Not a single track on anything from PD to Purcell that I could see. From there on, it was beautiful thick snow. The groomers had come through so it was fairly hard topped & fast rolling. Get off near the edges and you’d sink instantly into a foot of snow. Riding on this type of trail was just fantastic. Followed this to the town of Basco! At this point I was already nearly 2 hours into my ride, and I remembered the mile-long hike I had before getting back into the City, so at this point I stopped and turned around.
I shook my head a little at the sign pointing to the Tavern – I’ll save my rant about drinking & operating snowmobiles for another time. The two snowmobilers I met along the way of my travels were good – I kept off to the side, they slowed down, and only one of the guys gunned it after he passed, with an obvious look back. Probably checking out how much cooler my ride was than his. 😉
Kept the pace for the ride home. Ate on the way. Gear kept me warm. Being able to keep food in your pogies while riding is an amazing idea. Was amazed that my CamelBak bottles kept my water unfrozen for almost the entire ride as well. For future jaunts like this I’ll have to bring more than 2 bottles though.
Gear was fairly simple: Craft pro-zero extreme short-sleeve baselayer, and bottoms as a first layer. Thermal bibs & a thicker wool jersey for a mid layers. Exterior was some windproof, thermal tights & winter cycling jacket. Wool socks, Sorel boots, thinner gloves, neck gaiter & a wool cap kept the extremities toasty. After the ride though I knew my jacket was getting a little heavier, and a lot stiffer in the arms. After I got home … I found out why:
That’s on the INSIDE of my jacket. My wool jersey was keeping me warm, even though soaked through, and keeping the layer of frost on the outer covering, but not on me. Pretty interesting to think about, especially since my core and arms were toasty warm all day. Cool!!!
What can be said of it all? Good gear and just about anything is possible. I think I might’ve gotten a little bit of a sunburn today too. Sweet. Sure beats riding the trainer for 3 hours. Be sure to check out DailyMile if you want to see the exact route (and track your own training!!!)
Getting some new racks for my bike (which needs a name btw…) that should be here Friday. Most excellent indeed.