Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Ride of 2008

Snuck out for my first ride of the year yesterday. Grabbed the El Mariachi and hit the road with no real game plan. I was thinking of just riding pavement as we had had freezing rain the day/night before so the roads were a bit sketchy on the edges. So cruised down Mill and then hit Browfield road. I got up to Potter and decided to see how it was holding up. It was very icy but there was enough texture in the ice to make staying upright very doable.

I figured I'd ride out to the end of where they plow, turn around and go off in another direction. The views along the lake were fantastic, it was fun to ride it in the opposite direction. When I got to the end of where the town maintains the road I noticed that it had been sort of plowed/packed down. The road looked awful and very icy so I went for it. It was a bit of a sketchy ride at times but I took it slow and managed to stay upright. Then over to Greely which had been plowed and sanded- prior to the freezing rain. Again there looked to be enough texture to get traction so I went for it.

I had forgotten that in this direction it was a good climb, and that combined with the ice made it a good challenge. I slipped a few times but managed to not dab and made it to the bottom of Leavitt, which is paved- but not maintained. Fortunately it has a southern exposure so pavement was showing but it had a thin breakable layer of ice on top. I headed up having to stay seated to make sure my rear tire didn't slip- I got almost to the top and slid out and then it got interesting as I was standing but sliding down the hill backwards holding my bike. I aimed for the snowbank and managed to "self arrest" but was then stuck for a moment while I planned how to make it to the top. I found that if I used the very edge of the snowbank I could get footing and climb my way up- I must of looked pretty foolish- but I also knew that anyone that could see me would be dealing with the same issue!

At the old farm house at the top I stopped to enjoy the view, it was pretty spectacular with clear skies and all the mountain summits very white as they broke above treeline.

I new the descent down Gulf road "should" be clear- but I was nervous as I rolled up to it. I took the approach to let the bike run when it looked glossy and grab two handfuls of brake anytime I saw road that had dirt on top of the ice. It made for an exciting ride!

Then up and over the back of Davis, with a tour of the new lots up on top- still looks like their all for sale- anyone want to be JJ's neighbor?

Then home via Mill St/302. It was a good ride, took about 1:40- certainly not record pace- but it felt good to get out.

Now it's time to load up the car to go get in some Nordic up at GGTOC.



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