Thursday, January 16, 2014

Icy Hell

Today Dustin and I got out of work early to ride at Whiting and Webster Park.  We haven't had any significant snow since a recent thaw and the only snow on the ground seemed to be in piles from snowplowing.  Today it was just below freezing for most of the day and 32°F at ride time.  This was pretty close to ideal in that mud would be frozen but it wouldn't feel terribly cold.  So it seemed like a great day to hit the trails.  Unfortunately there was evil lurking in the woods.

Icy trails.  So sad.
A few seconds into the trail it became obvious that ice was going to be a problem.  Trails that get significant foot traffic were covered in ice, at least in some sections.  It wasn't just a small amount here or there.  It was thick, solid, shiny, and slick and in many places covered the entire trail to the very edges.  It was hard enough to walk on, much less unicycle.

Dustin and I arrived at slightly different times and didn't ride together, as planned.  Were both considering racing at the upcoming Singlespeed-A-Palooza race and want to push our riding.  So riding at our own paces makes sense.  He rode Whiting and I, Webster Park.  We had similar experiences with the ice.  Most trails had at least some decent sections with no ice, but around every turn was an unrideable section.  Some icy sections had an non-icy edge I could ride.  I did find a few less popular trails with nearly no ice.  Those happen to be my favorite trails, so yay for me.

On my way out of the trails my uni suddenly freewheeled and I fell back on my butt and elbow.  I was ok, but had to walk my uni out.  It looks like one of my crank arms came loose, and in doing so, half-shifted my geared hub into a middle freewheeling state.  I'll have to inspect it closer when I get a chance, but hopefully just tightening the crank are will fix it.  Often a loose crank arm means bad wear on both the hub and crank arm, and neither are ever the same.  My fingers are crossed.

With all the trouble, I still enjoyed getting out for a ride!

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