Monday, February 1, 2010

Northern Exposure: Day 2

Saturday dawned sunny, bright, and cold. The temperature at 6 a.m. was -21 F, but by the time I started on the trail at 10 a.m. the temp had already warmed to around 0 F. I once again headed north of town to try an area that I hadn't seen in quite sometime. At my starting point it was obvious that the road was not maintained, but someone in four wheel drive vehicles had gone down it since the snow fall earlier in the week. Probably some good ol' boys on a drunken joy ride during the night. Well, thanks to them I had some good firm riding.
The weather could not have been more perfect. Light layers was all I needed, but looking at the road I had concerns about the gearing on the bike. I'm riding a 30 x 22 set up and so far it has turned out to be a perfect choice. I love riding ss and really can't imagine riding anything else in the winter or any other time for that matter.
Hours of riding with no one else in skiers, snowmobile riders, four wheelers, planes...non-existent on this day. Only white snow, brilliant blues skies, and aside from the chirping birds, absolute silence. I was in heaven and truly enjoying it. I settled into a steady pace, probably between 5-7 mph. Hey...It's a Pugsley and a single speed, so the simple fact of the matter is, it is not built for speed.
I rode for quite sometime heading west to northwest and eventually came to the snowmobile trail above. Some food was in order so it was here that I decided to take a little lunch break.
So, two salami and cheese sandwiches later I was ready to head out to get more saddle time in.

I decided to follow the snowmobile trail for several miles before coming back out onto a maintained forest road.
Once I was back onto maintained roads the riding became much easier and the light for photography was absolutely perfect. Despite being out for near four and a half hours I was feeling quite well.
I rode through mile after mile of snow coated forests. From time to time I would glimpse a small avalanche of snow falling from pine trees onto the road below. The flakes glistening in the sunlight. How could this possibly get any better. Maybe only by adding in a good home cooked meal upon returning home.
Answer is...there is no possible way that this day could have been any better. I was definitely in my element. Solo riding has definitely become the thing I enjoy most. Call it antisocial or whatever else, but this is when I truly feel my best. Whether it be biking, hiking, running or whatever...I love having to depend on myself and my own instincts so for me going solo has always been a joy. Don't get me wrong here because I do enjoy company from time to time.
Five hours and forty minutes later I rode the last stretch of forest road to the spot where I had parked my car. Satisfied and smiling I sat there and soaked as much of it in as I could before a good chill settled into my body and it became time to leave. I definitely left feeling satisfied and now my head is swimming with ideas for warmer weather 100 mile gravel grinders and also a twelve hour push on the Pugsley up on the North Shore. Hopefully I can venture north again soon. Oh, and when I did get home my lovely folks did have a nice warm meal waiting for me.
I enjoyed their company and told them of my day, but deep down inside I know they still seem to think I'm just a little bit crazy.


Apertome said...

Fantastic! And just think, this is just the beginning of your adventures with the pugsley ... awesome.

Doug said...

I find you to be very sane. It's everyone that cannot understand the beauty and joy you experience on a day like this that is really crazy.

Tex69 said...

sounds and looks fabulous. I too do my snow riding SS, on my Monocog. I find that I would sometimes like a smaller gear, but if I'm so slow to need a smaller one, I prolly just need to push.

Tex69 said...

I cursed back through some entries and want to complement you on the red bits of flair on the Pugs. I think they're great, and subtle too.