And man did it ever. We had record-breaking snowfall here in Kansas, with places getting a total of over 20″ between Thursday and Monday. Here in Emporia we had 17″. Guess what that means?
Bike time. The snow came in two big storms. The first one on Thursday (Feb 21st), and by far the worst, brought 10-12 inches, and was too deep to ride in. The fat bikes are designed and built to be ridden on packed snowmobile trails, and anything over about 5 inches just bogs them down too much. I got about 3 feet off my front porch and did the most awesome endo ever. I spent the remainder of the day on facebook and the bike trainer. The weather slowly warmed up over the next couple of days, and we had quite a bit of melting. The snow-storm that came on Monday wasn’t near as severe as was predicted, mainly because the temperature Monday night never got below freezing, so the snow didn’t really stick. Enough of the snow had melted by Tuesday morning that riding was possible, although pretty difficult at times. I took off and hit the gravel roads south of town, as usual.
The temperature was slightly above freezing, and there was light snowfall when I took off. Heading south, I actually worked up a pretty good sweat, and my sunglasses kept fogging up, but the riding was surprisingly easy. Not too surprising, however, mainly due to the 30mph tailwind that was gusting to 45+mph. The first time I headed west, I was about blown off the bike. I continued west to road G, and headed south on that to Road 50, then turned around and started back.
I’ve never been to a spin class before, but I imagine that doing spin class in a walk-in freezer would have been far more enjoyable than the ride back, minus the shitty techno-pop that some call music. It was a low gear grind the whole way back, but man was it a great workout (and it wasn’t on the trainer). Again, the temperature was 33-34 degrees, so I was wearing a midweight poly-pro top and my 66North eVent Jacket. I also had on a pair of cycling tights and an old (made in USA old) pair of Mountain Hardwear wind pants. I stayed warm, even a little too warm when I was riding south. Even headed into the wind, the jacket and pants performed great. I was slightly cool, but never cold. Hands down the best part of this ride was the looks you’d get from people driving by. With one exception, every single person who drove by stopped and asked if I needed anything. Along one road, the snow was drifting pretty bad, and I had to walk a short section. A car was stuck, and the man driving was on his phone calling for a tow. The look on his face when I walked by pushing Pugsley was fricking priceless. MAN I wish I’d have taken a picture. To paraphrase my hero Clark W. Griswold “He wouldn’t have been more surprised if he woke up with his head sewn to the carpet.” Haha. Good times.
Around 11, the wind started to pick up, and it began snowing harder, so I decided to head for the house.
I got home shortly before noon, and it was still snowing pretty hard. By the time I got out of the shower, it had pretty much stopped. Go figure. Either way, it was a great ride, and it felt good to get outside, even though most people wouldn’t describe the conditions as “optimal.”
This was taken at Soden’s Grove Bridge, heading out of town.
Just south of Soden’s Grove Bridge.
This was taken about 4-5 miles south of town. The trees were a welcome windbreak and made a good stopping point.
This one was on Soden’s Grove Bridge as well, headed out of town.
If you’re interested about snow riding, you should ask the people racing the Iditarod Trail Invitational. It’s a race, either on bikes, skis, or foot, along the Iditarod Trail. There is a 350 mile race to McGrath, or one can race the whole 1,100 miles to Nome. Jill Homer has a great writeup about the history at Half Past Done. Jay Petervary managed to shatter the 350 mile record this year, with a run of 2 days, 19 hours, and 16 minutes. The old record, set by Pete Baysinger, was 3 days, 5 hours, and 40 minutes. It absolutely amazes me what the human spirit is capable of.
See you down the (frozen) road,