Sunday, April 12, 2015

Birthday Fat Tire Bike Trip

Marta enjoying the April heat in a tank top!
Ann Marie cruising through the woods
Saturday was Ryan's birthday and we went on a fat tire bike adventure to the cabin with my cousin and a friend. Ryan was up there two weekends ago on a snowmachine and the trail was in good condition. Since then it has snowed a bit, but it has also been very warm (mid to high-40's during the day). We knew we were taking a bit of a risk with bad trail conditions, but sometimes doing something the slightly hard way is better than not doing it at all, and that was definitely the case!

When we started out late Saturday morning it was already warm and the trail was slushy. We were sliding around quite a bit and having a hard time staying on our bikes. About 100 yards into the nine mile ride, Ryan looked at me and said "Is it too slushy?" My response was "Well, we can always walk."

The first 4 1/2 miles of trail are usually easy as it follows the railroad tracks, is flat, and wide, but honestly it was quite challenging yesterday. Once we got into the woods, the next roughly 4 miles were a mix of very challenging slush with very deep puddles we had to avoid, and fairly hard sections that were comparatively easy. Unfortunately when we got to the last turn-off in the trail (the trail that goes only to our cabin), we realized how much it actually had snowed since the last time Ryan was there; the trail wasn't even visible. The snow was too soft to ride on top, so we pushed our bikes and post-holed/tried to stay on top of knee-deep snow for the last half mile. I was just happy it wasn't waist-deep!

At the cabin we enjoyed the sunshine until it clouded up, then we lounged around the woodstove drinking cocktails. Shortly thereafter, it hailed, then it snowed, and snowed, and snowed, or so it seemed (and it was in the 40s!). It was still so warm when we went to bed that I didn't think it would get below freezing for long that night and I didn't expect the trail to be much different on Sunday.

Ryan's birthday cake
On Sunday we left around 11 and when we made it back to the main trail we found that it was a thousand times better than it had been the day before! It was hard and the ~2" of new snow was fairly easy to break through. It was like a completely different ride. Ann Marie even said "So this is what snow biking is like!" It warmed up fast though and by the time we got to the railroad trail is was slushy again, but we couldn't complain at that point.

Warm enough for shorts!
Great trail conditions for fat tire biking!

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