Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter Wonderland

After a week of fantastic riding in California, we returned home to temperatures well below freezing. With ice on the road and a bite in the air, hopping on the road bike for a wind-chilled ride didn't seem that appealing.

So I met my friend D___ up at Stub Stewart State Park, a still developing cross-country and free-ride area. It's a small trail network, but close-by and suitably novice for neophytes like ourselves.

The half-inch of snow at lower elevations was a couple inches higher up, and the temperature had dropped to 7 degrees at the parking area. I hid some body armor under my Performance jacket, wore insulated tights, and neoprene socks with the sandals I wrote about earlier.
Better than mud!

We weren't sure what to expect from the trails, but riding through a couple inches of lightweight snow felt a bit like getting first tracks at a ski hill, but without the lift to get back to the top. We did a short cross-country loop and a half dozen 'runs' on the easy freeride trail. Any air was limited to 3-4 inches tops, but neither of us had any trouble.

What a revelation. While a bit nippy on the extremities at first, the layers kept my core warm and fingers and toes rapidly adjusted. After 15 minutes I was warm throughout, and we had a wonderful couple hours riding in the snow. No records were set, but a lot of fun was had.

Who says that biking has to stop when the snow falls?

Of course I needn't mention that riding in the snow gets me thinking about a nice Surly Moonlander.


Max said...

So that's uber-awesome. I would definitely be up for investing in a fattie and meeting somewhere for ski in the morning/bike in the afternoon fun.

(a) Did you wreck, ever?
(b) Was anybody else out there?
(c) Can you float on MB tires?

sam said...

No wrecks (at least not by me) and nobody else on the trail. We definitely weren't floating.

Note that this was pretty tame riding. More akin to nordic skiing than anything else.

That said, looks like UC sells a complete Pugsley build for $1750. I've priced out building one myself, and since everything on it is specialty, you can't beat that price. They have the moonlander for $2550, which is a tough sell.