Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winter Returns

Well, I had actually wanted it to snow and I received what I had wished for. The forecast for Friday had actually called for 1-2 inches of the fluffy white stuff, but we actually ended getting 5-6.5 inches in some places in and around the northwest suburbs. Saturday dawned beautiful and sunny...a perfect day for some snow riding.I began by riding some of the local trails which of course had not been plowed in many spots. Those that were plowed had been reburied by the big plows that were clearing the streets and roads. From the trails I found myself drawn to the attraction of riding the lake once again. Even after encountering open water a week ago and saying to myself that I would avoid it for a period of time.

The Eagle Lake adventure turned out to be just that...an adventure and practice in futility. Keeping the bike moving forward was a lot of hard work. Once stopped, resuming forward progress was very difficult, even with the studded tires. After a slow grind all the way across the lake and through one of the channels my heart rate had pretty much redlined. Average speed was approximately 6-7 mph sometimes even slower.

After exiting the lake via a public access I picked up the trails once again. Riding the flats was just fine, but with the 5-6 inches of snow even the slightest hill was impossible. Especially with the single-speed. Once I hit the hills on the trail going through Eagle Lake Park I ended up hopping off the bike and pushing. I kept thinking that this is what it would be like in a winter endurance race. Often times just as much walking as riding along with the addition of some 20-30 odd pounds of gear and food. Fun!!
After leaving the park, I wound my way through Plymouth on the streets and trails until arriving at French Regional Park. Here I picked up the lake side trail which had been somewhat cleared of snow and headed south around the lake. When I arrived at the park on the East end of the lake I found that roads had been plowed out onto the lake for the ice fishermen to travel on. Riding these was a good deal of fun, however, the wind blowing across the lake was pretty raw. I ended riding for about two hours and forty-five minutes and only covered a meager twenty plus miles.

Saturday's ride along with the three hours on the spin bike Sunday, put me well over 12 hours of riding for the week. I would still like to be logging more saddle time. Unfortunately, I do have a life. Commuting would help, but right now I'm just not organized enough to make that happen on a daily basis.

I'm looking forward to getting out on the lake some night this week for a little nighttime cruising.


Ali B. said...

So.. when does spring appear in your world? I'm thinking it will be late around here... so much new snow!

Vito said...

We had our spring and now seem to have lost it.

Oh Ali...I would love to have all that snow. Nothing like lake effect snow. That's why I love Lake Superior.

Then of course...I'm not the one having to shovel and plow it.

We are hoping to have the road bikes out sometime in March.

Ali B. said...

Dreamy for sure = Road + Bikes! I am hoping that by early April something like that might happen. We had a few days of spring but it is certainly a very distant memory at this point.

Doug said...

"I kept thinking that this is what it would be like in a winter endurance race. Often times just as much walking as riding along with the addition of some 20-30 odd pounds of gear and food. Fun!!"

I know few people that would consider this fun, but I have a hunch you are one of the ones that might just understand how it could be fun.

Ali B. said...


Iceman registration opens tomorrow (Friday - 7pm) Great road trip for the MN crowd! :)