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Feeling Minnesota  //   Friday - February 16, 2007

New flash for the locals: Sunday's big ride is postponed, stay tuned to your email for updates. It's looking like the North Pole up here. You can't even park at the trail head. I'll probably mount up the studded tires and try not to break my face. Ice skates may be a better equipment choice though. The trails no longer exist, because you can not see the ground. There's six inches of ice on top of the snow that was already there. Maybe I should take a compass too...

The local news report sums it up. And this one describes it as "like shoveling concrete". I'd say that's pretty accurate.


- riderx

White Out  //   Thursday - February 15, 2007

Who is that masked man?

Snow riding has been the main theme lately and I certainly can't complain. This weekend was possible the finest snow conditions I have ever experienced. So great I am afraid that I may never encounter something so good again in my lifetime. Saturday Ricky d and the Disco Cowboy came up and we hit some fun trails at the Watershed. It was cold, in the mid-teens when we started and we were the only cars at the parking area. We were breaking trail on a lot of our route, but it was that bad or difficult. For the second week in a row I got to lay down the first tracks on Super Sweet, a groovy piece of tight singletrack downhill tastefully decorated with logs and rock piles. The fixed gear allowed me to ride while rarely touching the brake all day. The sun was shiny, the trails were great and we wrapped up a nice big figure eight ride without seeing another soul. When we returned to the cars we were still the only ones there and I wondered how anyone could be missing the great conditions and weather we were having.


On Sunday, things got even better. We parked at Sand Flats, the same spot as the previous day, but this time there were more cars than I have ever seen there. It was only 10am but the parking area was already full, a strange juxtaposition to Saturday. This proved to be a good thing, as the riders were out packing the trails that we had already started working yesterday. The result were conditions that can best be described as groomed. Packed powder that was grippy, fun, fast and not slippery. Pure heaven. Seven of us headed out, 4 girls, 3 guys, 6 single speeds in the bunch. Big John G made it out for the ride as well as Chris from NOVA, haven't had the pleasure of riding with either of them in a while. The ladies were showing impressive rock skills in the snow. Too much fun, I am still grinning from this ride. A few more photos from the ride are here.

Things have changed radically since then, those snow conditions of pure bliss are but a memory for me to daydream about at work. Starting Tuesday and into Wednesday we got hammered with snow, sleet and freezing rain. Very little snow, most of it was ice and for a short spell it even rained even though temps were well below freezing. So now we have about 6 inches of icy crap on the ground. In my yard there is a thick ice crust on top of the rest of whatever fell from the sky. Not sure how that is going to play out for the trail riding this weekend, but I don't think it looks good.

- riderx


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