Sunday, January 27, 2013

29er Snow Ride

It was a sunny 25°F day with a few inches of fairly fresh snow on the ground.  I put a muni tire on my 29er and decided to ride to the Hojack Trail, the local railroad bed trail.

I was about to leave when I discovered my tire was flat.  The tire and tube I was using came off the non-geared spare wheel that came with the 29er.  While it was more or less flat when I took it off, I assumed it had been intentionally deflated or had been sitting around long enough to slowly lose its air, like many wheels do.  So I took off all my riding gear and went to work patching it.  Grrr.

The tube had a pin hole that was easy to find.  I used one of these Slime Skabs self stick patches for the first time. I got these in a goody bag at some race I attended. Unlike traditional tube patches, you don't need a tube of cement.  It's just like a sticker.  Too many times the traditional tube of cement is all dried up, despite any effort to close it up tightly after the last use.  Assuming these Slime patches have a shelf life and hold over time, they're awesome and I think I'll always use these now.

To get the Hojack I needed to ride a stretch of road.  The knobby muni tire was annoying.  Once I got there it became more useful.  The Hojack clearly had significant foot traffic, but most of it was within a four foot width.  That left a few feet on either side of 3" deep fresh snow.  Riding in the disturbed snow was awful as it constantly threw my balance off, took 10 times more energy, and made me look like I was a total spaz.  The fresh snow took some energy to cut through but was nice and smooth.

I made my way past North Ponds Park, but as soon as I crossed Holt Rd I found there wasn't enough undisturbed snow to continue that way.  I went back to North Ponds with the thought of cutting through and riding the route 104 bike path.  The path through North Ponds had been walked by many more people, making it more packed and easier to ride, but still crazy bumpy and not enjoyable.  As I came around to the 104 path, I found it was more or less pristine!

Heading west on the 104 path I found snowmobile tracks that tended to avoid the path but in tight areas they were forced onto it.  Just like with foot traffic, these tracks caused me trouble.  By the time I got to Five Mile Line Rd, I had enough and decided to ride the road back.

Unfortunately, in so many places the road is absolutely awful.  Roads generally have a camber so water runs off to the sides.  But geez! The grade of some of the shoulders is way more than necessary and causes me to lean so much that it's hard to ride and is fatiguing on my lower back.  It probably didn't help to have the knobby tire on.  This makes me worry a bit about doing any significant road riding.  Hopefully I just ran into some bad ones.

It looks like I road about 10 miles.

Snow Ride - 2013-01-12 at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in New York

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