I had the opportunity to ride on New Years day but I opted out. JRog threw a hell of a party the night before and, even though I spent the evening completely sober ish mostly, I was tired from staying up so late ringing in the new year. I had a chance to ride the bike but I ended up riding the couch instead. And it was good - so good. I can't remember the last time I snuck in a mid day nap and it was quite the luxury. My next opportunity to ride was today and I seized it. My first ride of the new year, 2010.
The day was sunny and in the thirties all morning and early afternoon. On Sundays the shop closes at 3 so I usually roll out around 3:30. Just as the clouds rolled in and started an immensely thick snow shower, the phone rang. It was Chris. "You riding?" "Yep." It was on.
Trail reports suggested that Picture Rock was rideable up to the silo if you stayed on the line of packed snow so we pedaled in that direction. Chris on his On One Inbred singlespeed and I on my GT Peace 9er SS. It turned out to be quite a departure to the riding I had done in Phoenix just a week prior. The rideable line was narrow.
If you strayed, you were in 5-6" deep sticky snow and were out of bounds, the flag was thrown, and you'd have to put a foot down. Sometimes it was harder to get started and we'd end up Flintstoning on a sidehill for a bit. I'm not sure if riding a singlespeed is better or worse in these conditions. They definitely have their plusses and minuses. Only one gear ensures simplicity of thought and reliability of drive train in adverse conditions but it becomes more of a balance and weight dispersion issue when you can't change your mechanical advantage on slick and soft terrain. But they're simple and it makes focus even more necessary.
Big things to ponder now that it is 2010. I was reminded of just how much I loved this trail as a winter wonderland last year. The worn in singletrack is tight. The trails slick and soft conditions mandated maintaining a tight line while riding very loose. It's a good workout for this kind of weather, too. Just enough to keep you warm. We made it up to the Silo before trail conditions deteriorated to an unrideable state.
The descent back was great. Despite the snow and ice, the descent felt criminally fast. Or maybe it was just the bumpy trail and the rigid fork.
Returning to Lyons always feels like home regardless of the approach.
The ride was invigorating and refreshing. And fun. It was just the ride to start off the new year with. Heck, the day's are getting longer. That means it's summer riding season now, right?