And the snowy adventures continue! We got some fresh snow on Tuesday, and the streets were in pretty good shape for the morning commute. Packed, but not so hard that the knobbies wouldn’t bite in. You could ride pretty fast.
The parking lots, or as I like to call them now, “Death Rinks”, were another story altogether. The parking lots were plowed, shaving off that precious bit of snow that bicycle tires need for traction. All that was left was shiny snow that looked like it was recently Zambonied.
Out of habit, I came into a parking lot I shortcut through as I normally do, attempting to make a big S curve through the cars to get to Highway 50. I realized it was icy too late, and had to do my turn VERY wide. I came close to crashing into someone’s car! The next turn I wasn’t so lucky, and my back end slid out. I hit my knee pretty good, and the coffee cup in my water bottle holder went flying. I got up and smiled, hoping that I gave the folks in the office windows a good show. My studded snow tires should be at the Bicycle Authority before year’s end, and it can’t be soon enough!
Naturally, most folks are busy right before Christmas, and I ended up doing the lunch ride by myself. With the high rider participation this year, it’s been a while since I’ve flown solo at lunch. I really enjoy the conversation and camaraderie, but was looking forward to some alone time.
The roads started off slushy near the office, but started to firm up nicely as I headed west. When I finally got to Ash Canyon Road, the view of the climb and mountains before me was breathtaking! Visually at first, and then as I started climbing, physically as well!
There are some good truck tire tracks up the Ash Canyon Road climb. They provided a firm climbing surface, but since the sun was out, were starting to get a little slippery. I hike-a-biked a few sections, climbing as far as the entrance to the Deer Run. I also noticed that another rider was up here before me, but their tracks kept going up past where I was turning.
The descent was phenomenal! I had mostly fresh powder all the way down, with only a few animal tracks crossing here and there. After doing Deer Run, I descended the 7 Steps Trail. Some have been wondering how the cobblestones would be in winter, so I was curious to find out. I hit the brakes on purpose over them, and they seemed to grip well enough. You really don’t need to brake until after you’re through with them though. Going down the little steps in the snow was also an all new experience.
I finished up the mountain portion of the ride with a fun twisty descent down the Vicee Rim Trail, stopping once to do a self portrait. Skimming the edge of the canyon and fighting for traction in the turns all the way down was unbelievably fun!
I met up with Jesse for a very slow ride home. The snow on the streets had melted during the day, but they never dried out. It refroze just in time for our commute. Neither one of us hit the ground, but “Oh Crap!” and “Whoa!” were frequently blurted out along with some very close calls!