If you want to ride your bicycle in Maine as much as possible, you have to know how to ride on top of snow, and yes, sometimes even ice. It’s really no different than dealing with the elements in a 4-wheeled vehicle, where the name of the game is traction control.
Here’s how the Bubbas handle winter:
What we have here is not an apparent instrument of torture, but detail of a home made studded mountain bike tire. We generally make ‘em up in the off season, while watching the New England Patriots beat up on another victim team. Tools needed are a cordless wrench, a box of 3/8 “ sheet metal screws, and a socket device that is able to receive the head of the sheet metal screw. You insert the screws from the inside of the tire, placing the screws in the center of a tire lug. You don’t have to hit every lug. It is not the easiest job in the world to mount one of those porcupine tires on the rim, and you also have to remember to line the inside of the tire with a couple of layers of duct tape or an old inner tube. You are doing this to keep the heads of the screws from puncturing the inner tube.
Original Bubba Craig and I headed out to the Camden Hills State Park again, where we did an out and back of 6 miles on the Ski Lodge Trail out of Stevens Corner. It was not as icy a trail as our ride here the week before, as there was a coating of fresh snow that did cause me to sink every once and a while.
After a climb of over a mile, the road leveled off a bit, then went up and down until we arrived at our destination for the day, the newly rebuilt Ski Lodge, just adjacent to Spring Brook. There was a group inside that had rented the Lodge for the night, but the policy of the park is that the wood heated building be open to the public, so Craig and I knocked and entered.
We stripped off a layer or two and soon had the place to ourselves, as the group was just leaving a day day hike to the summit . We decided to have a “boil up”, and fired up a newly assembled backpacking wood stove inside the fireplace. Here’s a video of the break.
The Lodge was now ours, so we sat for a bit by the wood stove and dried out .We didn’t even have to forage any wood. The Park cuts and stacks it here for the public!
We’ll be back to this place, maybe renting it even, maybe fill it with more Bubbas.
After we indulged in some hot chocolate , we packed up and headed out for the ride back. Craig does a nice job of sporting some of the smooth, steady pedal technique you need to make forward progress on snow.
Craig caught this brief movie of me descending just before we reached the parking lot.
I made Craig a gift of his own Original Bubba Signature Model backpacking wood stove.