I have never bicycled over as much frozen water. I’d estimate that 40 % of the riding this morning was on solid ice, of which there were two forms.One was “smooth as glass”, and the other a bumpy surface that appeared under wooded cover where dripping sleet froze into micro peaks and valleys.
Five of The Bubbas showed up at 9:30 AM for the ride. Two of the smartest guys, Eric and Jason, had studded tires. I’m not sure if they even fell once. I only saw them when they were waiting for us to catch up. I know that I fell. I saw Rigger fall. I didn’t see Steve fall, but did see him recover after sliding right off a narrow wooden bridge that was coated with frozen snow.
I smacked down a few times. My most notorious dive was into moving water that was deep enough that one boot, a mitten, and a good part of my butt became saturated with icy water. It was sheer ice going into the stream crossing and more ice on the lip out. I thought I had enough momentum to shoot across on my Pugsley snow bike, but no, I dove right in plus suffered in listening to the cackle of the guys watching me laying in the running water and worming around to extract my limbs from the drowning bike.
Today, I learned that a fat tire bike without studs runs a sorry second to a studded-tire mountain bike over sheer ice. It is a good thing for me to wear knee, shin, and elbow protection on these winter rides. I did like the grip of the big Larry knobbie tires on the actual refrozen snow that was in the woods on the edges of the ice lanes. I developed a technique on the way back to the car when I veered off right into the woods and detoured the ice roads where I could. The Pugs is like a tractor in those conditions.
Here’s a short video clip of Rigger riding over the ice:
Anyone out there have a recommendations for hip protection? I don’t want to break a hip. Hockey pants?
Here’s a Strava entry about the 6.6 ride, complete with map. http://app.strava.com/runs/3707891/embed/9b4819b523630efd62ddf745a00843f132c5d66a