Tuesday, November 13, 2007

desert to snow

Just over a week ago Jon & I were riding a desert singletrack in sunny 70-degree weather. The 22-mile trail in southern Utah was the final ride for our mountain biking vacation and road trip. We climbed, descended and swooped along trails that were at times rocky, but often just smooth routes among the thigh-high bushes and low cacti.

There was little shade and we drank all the water we had with us. The salt lines where my water pack met my back were etched on my shirt. I told Jon the ride took more out of me than a 40-mile ride on Ressurection Trail.

Fast forward to this Saturday night. Mountain bikes still in their boxes, I pulled my winter commuter off the wall and aired up the studded tires. Tomorrow, we ride. Woke Sunday morning to snow falling. Not much; I've got SnowCat rims. But it did take awhile - over an hour to pedal the nine miles to the shop. Snow clumped on my glasses - should've put in the contacts - making it a bit hard to see the best line to ride. After watching the snow fall most of the day at work, ventured out again. Deeper, sticky snow slowed the way, but then we got lucky.

Partway up Abbott Road, we stopped to drop something at a friend's house. Returning to the Abbott bike path we saw that the path plow had gone through. "Yeah!" The road wasn't even plowed yet, so we hopped on the trail and headed up to newly-renamed "Elmore Road." Maybe that would be plowed too? Sure enough. Easy going to the Campbell Tract, then a wonderful ride on Moose Track Trail.

There's nothing quite like returning from a biking vacation to find good riding conditions here at home. And while many wouldn't consider the snow to be "good riding conditions," for us it was perfect.

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