Saturday, January 5, 2013

Riding snowmobile trails on the mountain

On New Year's Eve, Cinder Bloch, Chrissy, Colleen and I headed up to the mountain to ride some snowmobile trails.

While we were driving up, I wondered if Cinder Bloch would be able to get his little Golf into the snowy parking lot. A minute later, my phone started ringing.

"Hey, you have four wheel drive right?"

The entrance to the lot is downhill, so he didn't have any trouble getting in:
Colleen's photo
After the crusty Park Service guy helped me push, and gave Cinder Bloch a lecture about the importance of using real snow tires instead of all-seasons, he got back in his plow truck and told me to move the Danger Ranger out of his way. I did. Then we assembled our bikes and hit the snowy trail.
Also Colleen's photo
Cinder Bloch and Chrissy were both on fat bikes, while Colleen and I were on our 29ers.
Colleen's photo, not Colleen's fat bikes
I figured that if we stayed on the packed snowmobile stuff, Colleen and I would be mostly ok. I was mostly right.

We pedaled up Fire Tower Road, then dropped down into some snowmobile stuff. The snowmobilists had left a bunch of rollers on the trail from twisting the throttle. I giggled a little while we ripped down the snowy pump track.

Unfortunately, after almost 2000 feet of descending, we had to go back up. That's where things got less fun on a normal bike. Cinder Bloch and Chrissy spun their beasts up the hills easily. With her low gears, Colleen could still get up most stuff.

On my single speed, I had trouble. Which made everyone else very happy:
Intentionally resting. Photo stolen from Cinder Bloch
We rode down and down some more, then popped out on some frozen pavement at the bottom of the mountain. At which point we realized that we were lost:
Of course I know where we are. I have a map.
Then I remembered that I had a magic phone with the GPS technologies. I consulted it, pinpointed our location, then led the group in the wrong direction. We ended up on County Line Road, which was full of dickheads going to the ski resort. People passed fast and spayed salt far. Since I had been letting air out of my tires to try to get traction all day, I probably had about 5 psi at that point. It made the pavement feel like peanut butter.

We finally made it back to the snowmobile road that went towards the cars. But it was a long climb back, and the snow was starting to soften up. By the second pitch, everyone but Cinder Bloch was pushing:
A long walk. Cinder Bloch photo
After almost an hour of pushing our bikes, we hit the summit. The wind was blowing so hard up Rt. 31 that I struggled to pedal down the hill to Fire Tower. My fingers started to tingle and my face burnt. A few seconds later I made the turn back to the truck.

The ride was a sweet way to end the year. Since the conditions were good, our standard mountain bikes were fine about 75 percent of the time.

To eliminate the times that they sucked, I've got a new project going:
Does not involve handlebar mounted coffee cups.


dicky said...


Montana said...

You're a townie. Go bother some college girls.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that's intentional resting in the background there?
Though, I'll go with it if the story is not that of falling.

Montana said...

Completely intentional. For sure