A short ride in the Moose River Plains in the ADKs, from the Limekiln Lake entrance. Front shifter either broke or froze, so no way to get into the little ring for the steep stuff, which made climbing in the snow a challenge. Camelback hose froze, then the bladder proceeded to leak down my back (unrelated, but time to get some insulated bottle covers). Legs and lungs felt off – too much driving around the northeast for work this week… too little riding.
Quite a few snowmos out. A group stopped to chat at my turnaround spot and snapped a picture of me. I’m not sure if I like road riding with drivers doing 35-55 or trail riding with snowmos out, even with the posted limit of 25.
I was hoping to ride into Mitchell Ponds, but without low gears and a snowed over trail I decided to head back to the trailhead early, and ride the Limekiln Lake campground access road. No snowmos around and some good views from the boat launch out across the lake. All in a good short trip to explore a new place that has been on my radar. Lots to learn about winter travel by bike.
-8dF this morning. Local single track, lakefront bike path, and woods. Funny how 4 months ago 28dF was cold. Bodies adapt and acclimate.
Local single track, 5 minutes from the house is in great shape. Someone set classic ski tracks and an army of snow shoers has stomped down the sides of the wider trails. Narrow trails are hard packed, twisty, and fun. The last two mornings I’ve been working to clear every (short) little climb. Figuring out the gearing choice as well as momentum and position on the Pugs has been an adventure. I’ve pulled the monkey nuts and gone back to the wheel pushed all the way forward in the drop outs – it shortens up the chain stay length by 1/2″ +/- and it improves handling and climbing in the woods.
Hopeful that I’ll get a ride in the ADKs this week… looking at Moose River Plains (PDF map). With temps dropping all over the Northeast existing snow pack should harden up into a great base.
Loud crunchy snow this morning. -6F. Everything felt slow – legs a bit sore from the ski, bike felt really sluggish – even after adding some air to both tires as the snow was semi hardpack in most places. I need to research cold temp grease for the hubs, BB, and cassette. The rear trigger shifter would connect and click 1 out of 4-5 times – so I spent plenty of time pushing a lever that wouldn’t click – it seems to get worse with the cold – which is frustrating as the Pugs rewards you for being steady and maintaining momentum.
6-7 miles (maybe more?) in Little River State Park. Great fun. Need more time to explore all the way back to Cotton Brook. Saw 6 sled teams on the way out. 12-15″ of fluff on the ground with a solid base.
Much more rideable today… but still not ideal. Did pass a few skiers, and spent some time walking where the path drifted in. 4-5 psi did the trick and made a huge difference from the 8 I started the morning with.
Lots of fresh snow last night – 9-10″. Slow going, but I had to see how / where I could ride. It was almost easier to ride where no one had walked or skied…
The marks to the left and right of my track are from my pedals.
Probably put in 6 miles tops. 1/2 on the lakefront path and in the woods, then I bailed to local streets to get home and do my core / back strengthening routine of shoveling out. I started off with 8 psi in the tires and was down to maybe 4 by the time I took to the street. I should have added air – it was pretty slow going on the pavement.
I spent Friday morning on the Soma with Nokian studs. Last year these tires inspired confidence in their width and grip on ice and snow – especially in mixed conditions. Friday morning was rough. Terrain I would have cruised over on the Pugs slowed me down, had me second guessing my lines, and the (relative) high pressure (25?) and narrow width (2.1!) had me chattering on frozen ground and over frozen post holed trail. It was unnerving and exhausting.
I rode some of the same terrain Saturday morning on the Pugs, and covered all and more Sunday morning again on the Pugs. I’m much more confident on the Pugs – the float of the tires over chop and through mixed conditions is drastic, not to mention the places I could ride with the additional snow that arrived over the last two nights. I didn’t have the bite of the studded Nokians – and I payed for it a few times when the base was frozen and the snow atop simply slid out of my way as I washed out my front wheel several times – but overall it was great to be back on the fatbike. The Soma will get slightly higher gearing and I’ll keep it for fixed winter road duty. With the Pugs in the stable there is little reason to take out ‘skinny’ tires in mixed conditions.