It’s been a cold winter. It started out rather mild, with days in the 50s through December, but the past month or so has been brutally chilly. There have been plenty of days with highs in the single digits, and it’s been regularly dipping below zero at night. The snow is also just deep enough and just crusty enough to make most activities in the woods pretty difficult. This is about the point when I start getting pretty sick of winter, and begin to look forward to seeing the ground again and walking outside without a coat.
But the frigid weather has certainly been good for one thing—ice. Last year, we did a lot of ice rides on the frozen Raystown Lake, and this year has been similar with the addition of a new venue—Standing Stone Creek. After a couple weeks of very cold weather, it seemed that the stream had frozen over enough to ride bikes on it for a considerable distance. A couple Wednesdays ago, we decided to check it out for our weekly night ride. Five of us braved the chilly evening and potentially dangerous conditions, and it was well worth it. We discovered that the creek was even more solid than expected, and we were able to head upstream from town about 5 miles.
It was the cold and not the ice conditions that eventually forced us to turn around and head back to town. I’d like to do this ride in the daylight sometime, perhaps in the week or so we have left before spring finally arrives.