Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yeah, THAT went well

Snow covered the place I usually park when I ride the path as an alternative commuting route. I almost charged the drift with my car because the snow beyond looked like the car could probably manage it, but I went to the further parking area first. It was partially buried in snow. The rest was flooded. I drove back to the first place and shoved the car in the ditch.

I had hoped the trail would be fairly clear.
It wasn't.
Snowmobiles had packed the surface. The snow was deep enough to cover the rails in many places. I rode down whatever line seemed smoothest without worrying about where the official crossings were.

The bike kept slithering and catching as the side lugs of the tread stopped the skid. The snow and ice varied. Maybe a big fat Pugsley tire would have done better, or something with some really savage studs. As it was, I made about 5-7 miles per hour until I got to some open dirt. Where the snow was gone, meltwater usually saturated the dirt, so it wasn't as slithery but the drag kept my pace down.
I needed a break.

By afternoon all the frozen stuff was mushy and wet and most of the dirt was a bog. I took the paved option from Route 109.
Lake Wentworth was dazzling. The world is never brighter than when the strengthening sun can light up the late winter snow pack. There's not much pack this year, but the lake ice preserves it for a while. That and the trail, of course. The annoying part about the trail was that in places I slithered along on wet ice right next to ground that had thawed clear but was too rough or vegetated or swampy to ride on.

The path is obviously not going to cooperate with my scheme to mix base miles with park-and-ride commuting. Several days with highs in the 60s this week will dispose of a lot of snow and ice, but they call the end of winter mud season for good reason.

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