Friday, December 13, 2013
On the 58th day……He Rode!!!!!
Well the crap hit the fan on Tuesday as we got our first dose of snow, I could not have been more pissed since after 2 months off the trails winter came just a few days before my time to ride. What am I to do, I can't control the weather, I kept telling myself that I remember the tough winters in Utah where the off season was mandatory 4 months. Here in CT it is quite easy to never have an off season, as I found out. I was pretty mad at the world for a few days but got some relief when I heard word a local rider made do with conditions in skinny tires. So with not very high hopes I planned to ride Thursday. I chose to set off for noon to get the most warmth and light. I really stirred my mind thinking of what I should wear for the 22F conditions I would be in for a few hours. When it was all said and done I wore some old ski thermals and my race face DH pants and up top I wore a t shirt under a rain jacket. I had a barclava that I rolled up to turn into a thin hat under my helmet to keep my ears warm. This was my best attempt to keep my body prepared to keep in the heat on this ride which I succeeded. I parked at the Pond lot at Case and began to climb what was now 2" snow. I had my dog in hand and was enjoying his company as he pranced around the snow. It was tough going, but I just kept on, I was in the granny and had to keep myself on the seat which just ain't my style but I made my way up only having to stop due to my un prepared lungs. When I reached the top I had to walk with the bike as I found fat tire tacks from my friends the night before. Once on top I was able to finally reach flat ground, this was nice, I was able to finally just pedal and not be so tense getting through the snow. I followed the fat tracks to Smookey, I have not ridden this trail before and looked for it last time I was at Case but failed. Once again I had climbs my bike could not handle, traction was just so little to be had. There was a slight breeze that blew pixie dust off the trees and sparkled adding a dose of euphoria to the scene of frozen woods. WTH was I doing out here, I was obviously the only person to have ventured on skinny tires into one of the most populated ride locations, I chalk it up to the fact that most people had a great fall riding season unlike myself. But on with it, things were rocking and rolling and for the next 20 minutes I had a remarkably good time. Ended the trail at the fire road where I crossed the river and my poor dog had to take on water that immediately froze to his feet unknown to me. That is until I made the horrible choice to take shank juice. Oh what a terrible idea, I hiked most of it until my dog started to stop on the trail and gnaw away at his feet. He stopped a few times before I went to him and took a look at his feet. Imagine if your hands and toes were being spread as wide by ice chunks and that was how my dog felt. I was so sad for him, I cleaned off his front paws with a tire lever and the rest I bit off with my teeth. It apparently did not help much. I was so desperate I bailed to the power lines and then back down to the same stream. Things are far different and slower moving when your exhausted from trudging snow on unfit lunged uphills. By now I was terribly miserable cause I could ride nothing but downhill and flat ground. Took some trails I thought were best but painfully slow hiking every inch of uphill on foot. Bentley was having a hard time the entire way. When we did finally reach the top of our ride, it was one more downhill and I was so happy to be ending this nightmare soon. When we did reach the car all I was concerned about was getting my dogs feet into some heat. I wish I had heeded my wife's advice and have stayed close to the car cause I absolutely screwed myself. What was planned to be maybe 90 minute ride turned into double that. The ride was unique and fun at times but the slow moving uphills and my dogs condition were not fun. I don't think I will be back out there anytime soon since 4-8" snow is coming our way tomorrow, sucks for now but it will get better.