This past weekend, “Winter Storm Jonas” dumped almost 2 feet of snow on us. This meant the end of singletrack riding for a little while (or until we get some trails packed in) and the dawn of the age of snowmobile trail riding.
Luckily, there are a number of options, and since the snowfall came on a weekend, the sleds were out in full force, nicely packing a path for us crazy fat-bikers.
We got a good group out on Sunday for an afternoon ride from Greenwood Furnace. Despite the fact that the road was pretty nicely packed, the consistency of the snow was pretty slick and “mealy,” so it was hard pedaling. Once we stopped, it was hard to get going again, so that was incentive to stay on the bike as much as possible. Some sections were nice and smooth while others were very rutted or loose. Trying to keep our balance through the tricky sections was a total body workout.
I was really happy to finally have a fat bike for stuff like this. The past two winters, I’d been running my half-fat El Mariachi, which was fine most of the time, except for when we got more than a few inches of snow. Once the snow got deeper, that 29er rear wheel would just dig in and make things pretty difficult. I remember trying to ride up Rag Hollow Road last winter in similar conditions, and not being very successful. I ended up walking most of it, which was a little frustrating when my riding buddies were way ahead, just pedaling away. Full fat makes a huge difference.
We made it to the top of Rag Hollow Road and from there, we decided that trying to come down one of the trails would be impossible. But going all the way down into Alan Seeger and around would be a little bit longer of a ride than we wanted to get into. We had seen snowmobile tracks coming down the gas line, so we decided to give that a try.
It was a hoot! Coming downhill in the powdery snow was a challenge, but so fun! It was almost like skiing. I would argue that often times fat biking is more fun than skiing for me, because I like the aerobic element combined with the adrenaline. Most of us crashed a number of times, but everything was covered in so much snow that it didn’t hurt.
I did a flying Superman move off my bike on Rag Hollow Road right into a snowbank, and came up laughing. Ryan was right behind me and got to see the whole thing, which I’m sure was hilarious. Then he did the same thing.
So. Much. Fun.
In Evan’s words, “That was perfect.”