Between March 22nd and 23rd we had accumulated around nine inches of heavy, wet snow. I had been waiting as patiently for the local mountain bike trails to dry out, it seems that was a lofty hope!
I was yet again resorting to riding indoors on the stationary trainer and having sunshine and fresh air on my commute to work. The last trail ride I had was March 7th, for the Pugsley World Championships (PWC). Oh I missed my beloved single track! I had seen on Facebook that a couple folks went out to try out the new Snow Hawk that DHPT purchased so we could have some legitimate, groomed fatbike trails next winter. This was a trial run to see how it would work. I was tempted to go out, however it was still early enough in the week that the temperatures were still a bit on the warm side- it’s ideal to have the trails freeze up and “set” before going out and riding them right away.
Later in the week a friend had posted he was going to sneak out in the early a.m. to ride the groomed trails. Travis suggested I do the same. I decided “Why not?” and made plans to go out for a morning ride, one that was much needed. It was in the 20’s when I left the house and it really didn’t feel too bad! The sun was shining and I warmed up quickly. The sound of my fatbike tires against the pavement thrilled me as I made my way up to the entrance of IPT.
It was amazing! The snow was hard and I rode right on top of it, my tires not sinking in at all. I made my way through IPT, noticing that wildlife took a liking to a groomed trail as well. You could see the holes that deer hooves made. The trail was a bit lumpy/bumpy from riders being on it when it was pretty soft, along with hikers/runners, and wildlife tracks. When frozen solid, all you do is just bounce a bit; not a big deal if you don’t mind the lack of smooth flow. North 40, Gunnar, and the Pines were next. Compared to what I rode during PWC, a hard lumpy trail was absolutely glorious! I felt like I was zipping along, weaving in and out of the pine trees. I wasn’t slipping out on sloppy snow and I had excellent traction. Not to say that the PWC race wasn't a great "last snow ride of the season"- it really was. However, being able to be out on the snow this day was something that really satisfied me on a different level.
Saturday was another chilly morning and what you could legitimately describe as the “last hurrah” of snow riding. Regardless of the trail being lumpier than Friday, but it was still fun. I made sure to enjoy every moment as I figured it would be a few weeks at least before the trails would dry out. Sometimes you have to make the most of your situation. Thankfully the weather was cold enough to allow me some time on our single track before it turned to slop again. I’m extremely excited to ride trails next winter, with a groomer in our area; it will definitely take fatbiking up a notch!