First ride on the first of 2015- 11.5 miles long. Seven Bubbas showed up.
The initial part of the ride saw a great deal of hoar frost, large white ice crystals that are deposited on the ground. They form on cold, clear nights when conditions are such that heat radiates out to the open sky faster than it can be replaced from nearby sources such as wind or warm objects. Clumps of earth and even rocks cool to below the frost point of the surrounding air, well below the freezing point of water.
In he picture below you can see some of the crystals, some up to 5″ long, mixed into frozen earth. Whoever is riding first through these patches has the hardest time, as the wheels sink through the surface of the leaf-covered crust until they reach solid ground. It’s harder pedaling- in a group, the guys at the back benefit from the work the riders up front do as they level the track.
Today there was plenty of black ice- clear and smooth. That’s not water on top. One of the extensions that we rode today had not been cleared of downed trees from our two ice storms. We’re not going back there until the local snowmobile club hauls out chain saws to clear this trail.
In the photo below, notice the faint trace of a line on the ice to the Nate’s right. A couple of us had studded tires. It’s the track from Craig Mac’s Schwalbe studded 29″ tires on his Santa Cruz Tallboy. I was also able to ride straight over the ice with my 45North studded 4″ tires. The crunch of the carbide studs on the ice underneath my Pugsley is a very satisfying sound.
I rode well today, despite having no drinking water with me. I have been experimenting with eating and hydrating less on these relatively short rides the last few months. If I drink a full quart of water before I ride, don’t overdress, and don’t sweat too much I seem to do fine. The actual moving time for even this 11 mile ride was two and a half hours.
Downed spruce trees forced a lot of hike-a-bike, and detouring through the edges of the forest.
Eric was not at his usual position near the front of the ride, but he was working a New Year’s Eve excuse .
Next up in 2 days is a rare Saturday Bubba ride. There’s a big storm coming in Sunday morning ( the usual schedule), so we’re adapting with a schedule change.
There was bit of chatter today about our goals for 2015. For me, I am hoping for 360 hours of combined biking and hiking in 2015. It is a tough goal, but after today, I’ve already banked 90 extra minutes !