Saturday, January 31, 2015

Poor Conditions, Poor Me

There was a fat tire bike race today, the Sweden Fat Criterium, held at Sweden Town Park in Brockport.  Actually it was two races, a two hour "fat tire race" followed by a one hour "open race".  I had considered trying to join in on the fat tire race with my new fat tire muni and so I contacted Andy, the race director, over a week ago.  He replied and said I could join in the "open race", which allowed any kind of bike.  I ended up not going for several reasons: my doubts about riding in all snow conditions, the 40 minute drive to do a one hour race, the $30 fee to ride for an hour, and the one hour race not feeling epic enough to me, but maybe it would have been.

This morning I saw some of the race pics, video clips, and comments.  It got me excited and I kind of wished I was there, though I still don't know if I could actually ride the course.  So I decided to do a big ride today.  It snowed yesterday and more this morning, giving us something like 6 new inches.  I made a plan to do my Tour de Webster route, heading toward the Hojack trail first, with a backup plan to maybe only do the Hojack and Big Field if the going was too tough.

So I suited up for the ~15°F temperature and headed out.  The first leg on Phillips Rd was easy going.  The plow had just gone by, making the normally off-camber shoulder of the road more level.   Then when I hit the Hojack, everything changed.  I expected pristine powder and hoped riding would be smooth because it can be that way sometime.  Unfortunately a snowmobile had been through, probably in the night, and whether that had an impact or not, riding was borderline impossible.  I'd get up and ride for about 10 feet before my wheel started twisting around like crazy leading to a UPD.  After about six tries I decided it wasn't happening.  So I decided to head back toward home and just ride the snowy hard-packed neighborhood roads.

Unfortunately it seemed like every turn I took led to less snow and more slush and puddles.  At first it was just the intersections where the plow drops salt but then it was the entire road.  Was the plow dropping salt everywhere?  I didn't see or feel the salt except in a few intersections, so maybe it was just melting from the sun?  At 15°F I thought it strange.  In any case, the wet conditions took any fun out of it and I decided to cut my ride short and headed home.

Altogether I rode over 6.5 miles on the road.  At least I'm keeping the unicycle muscles working.

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