Those were the words spoken by a friend when I told him what I was planning to do for the couple of days I would be home. One thing you have to understand is that I grew up in an area where people love the outdoors, but riding a mountain bike in the dead of winter is not included in their list of activities. Now if you were to mention snowmobiles, ATV's, ice fishing, hunting, and going to the local bar for drinks and tossing bean bags, well, these would all be considered normal. Show up in town with a bike on the roof of your car and you get some odd looks from people.
Fridays ride was great and it was the first real test for the new studded tires I put on my winter bike. The Nokians turned out to be a good asset. They gripped the road really well. However, I could feel the greater rolling resistance immediately, and with the warm temps (27 F w/ freezing drizzle and mist) conditions were soft and riding was much harder than I had anticipated. I would much rather ride in colder conditions because the road surface is much more firm. The areas that were freshly plowed were much easier to ride.
Saturday I found myself venturing out on snowshoes. I can't think of a better way to enjoy the woods in the winter than on a pair of snowshoes. I love XC skiing, but I feel that I'm much more relaxed and aware of my surroundings when I am walking.
I ended up on the same trail system where a month ago I had somewhat of an adventure on my mountain bike. Of course, now the trails are under nearly two feet of snow and the only possible way of getting around is on skis or snowshoes.
Hopefully it was shot legally. It gave me a pretty good startle because it didn't fly off until after I had gotten out of my car. When it did it was only about five feet above my head. I think that's is definitely the closest I've ever been to an eagle in the wild. What an amazingly beautiful bird!
I'm home now and already looking forward to my next trip north. I do love Minnesota winters!