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· Deranged Touring Cyclist
6,240 Posts
Less snow today, but I made it out for some really sweet miles. With temp in the upper 30's, it was merely chilly. The ice on the local reservoir I rode makes it all look a bit colder than it really was :cool:.
Water Cloud Sky Natural landscape Fluid
Not so long ago, I could have ridden all the way to the bunch of bushes in the distance. All on dry ground. Today I turned around and found a safer route.

Cloud Water Sky Natural landscape Tree

Bicycle Cloud Water Wheel Tire
Note the apparent 'waves' in the background are all frozen.

Plant Sky Natural landscape Tree Wood
In October, I rode this when it was dry. Not happening today. Water levels are up early this season.

Wheel Cloud Bicycle Tire Sky

Bicycle Wheel Tire Cloud Water

Cloud Water Sky Water resources Coastal and oceanic landforms
The little 'shelf' right on the water line is where the riding was best. Alas, in places it was occupied. The sand further to the left was much looser and easily cost more than double the effort required to ride right on the water line.
Cloud Water Sky Plant Natural landscape
That's the stuff!

Bicycle Wheel Tire Sky Cloud
Later in the ride, I found an old, abandoned section of MUP and followed it until it was swallowed by the lake.

Cloud Water Sky Mountain Natural landscape
It's been too long. So good to get out and see the sights from the saddle! I've gotta do this again, sooner.

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
6,240 Posts
Cloud Sky Snow Plant Tree
Today marked my first solid snow ride on Robbyn the Surly Ice Cream Truck. She's seen snow before this, but not for so many miles, or at the tire pressures only fat bikes can run: today I rode with my tires at 6psi, a whole psi over their minimum 5. The feel was completely different from even running them at 8psi. Those numbers continue to 🤯 my mind.

Sky Cloud Snow Plant Road surface
This view presaged one of the problems I ran into: in places where the MUP ran near the street, the MUP was plowed, but not after the streets were. The street plows tended to straight destroy any nearby MUP. Here, it wasn't so bad. In other places, the chunks were thicker and harder frozen, making for challenging progress. At one point, I simply ducked into a neighborhood to ride convoluted but smooth-frozen streets rather than risk eating sh!t and falling onto a busy 4-lane road paralleled by what is usually a really nice MUP.

Water Tints and shades Composite material Concrete Sky
I think I'm proud rather than embarrassed to say that I ride this tunnel frequently enough to be able to judge the depth of the puddle which appears following rain or melt events by its width. In this case, riding it would have meant getting my feet wet. That actually wasn't the deal breaker as I was wearing waterproof boots and hiking gaiters. The deal breaker was the ice, which didn't photograph well.

It was thick enough that I wouldn't have broken through until I was fully out on it, at which point my estimation of depth gets important. More importantly, I couldn't predict how hard it would be to break through the rest of the ice by riding through it. I turned back in favor of an alternate route. Had the ice merely been a skin over the water, I like to think I'd have tried it. I have crossed here when the water was over hub and BB deep. Not in freezing temps, however.

Sky Snow Cloud Natural landscape Tree
Note the snow still remaining on the tree branches. The storm was more properly of the spring rather than winter variety: heavy, wet, sticky snow. Lots of unhappy trees.

Cloud Sky Snow Tree Branch
What a great day to be out on the trail.

Sky Cloud Snow Plant Natural landscape
Note the depth of the snow to the right where the plow hasn't been. It's reduced a few inches from yesterday. That's one of the great things about the Denver area: we do get snow, but it melts quickly.

Cloud Sky Plant Snow Natural landscape
Once I got used to the feeling that I was riding on flat tires due to my chosen crazy-low (for me) 6psi, Robbyn showed me why such low pressures are valuable through this kind of section. Can I ride it with narrower tires? [email protected] straight, and in far worse conditions than these (given narrower, studded tires). Can I do it as easily, with minimal thought and effort past pushing those huge, fat tires? Nope. At 6psi, the rolling resistance was significant on bare pavement. Well, significant over and above the huge tires and aggressive tread. The moment the bare pavement ended, I understood why it was that the added rolling resistance there was totally worth it.

Cloud Sky Snow Natural landscape Slope
This section was fun: everything outside the pair of tire tracks was loose and deep. The tire tracks were easy, but keeping to one or the other was less so.

Cloud Sky Snow Slope Tree
There is a subtle break to the right on this hill. I never knew it until my front tire kept trying to dive that way throughout the ascent.

What a great ride.

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
6,240 Posts
The above pics make me kinda sad and nostalgic. For a good while, it was something of a running joke that when I'd post pics of bikes in the snow, another member who is no longer active here would jokingly insist that all that white stuff had to be beach sand. He was not a fan of the cold and made no bones about it. I respect that. Joking about it was silly but a whole lot of fun. Here's to you, John_V! You are missed, Sir. It's all beach sand. Every last little...beachflake.

· Deranged Touring Cyclist
6,240 Posts
Cloud Water Sky Natural landscape Plant
This is a fun time of year in the Denver area of CO: you just never know what you're going to get. Temps were near 60 today, lake ice visibly melting even as ice anglers plied their trade out on it.

Cloud Sky Water Natural landscape Asphalt
Looking back toward the reservoir's earth-fill dam. I was tempted to ride around the reservoir, but decided against it based on the looks of the sky. In the event, I watched rain spit around me without ever catching any.

Cloud Sky Water Plant Natural landscape
Conditions looked better toward the south. Too bad the wind was hard out of the NW, blowing the nasty in. I don't generally worry about rain much, but I realized that this time I'd brought a rain jacket I've never tested for water resistance. Better to avoid the rain for now :).

Cloud Sky Plant Natural landscape Road surface
I love it when a dirt road seems to run off into infinity. This one offers an excellent version of the illusion for a short time. I'll take it.
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