Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ironhorse still snowy

I rode from my house to Rattlesnake Lake via SVT today. Estimating around 44 miles, time was 4 hours and 15 minutes. A lot of people call this an easy trail, but they don't ride in freezing temperatures for hours like I do. One nice thing about trails like this is that you can cover a lot of distance quickly, and the sightseeing is great. Riding it solo like I did today, and it is a great feeling of independence.

Just a bit on the slow side, but my rear brake was on the whole way. I've made a lot of effort to fix that rear brake, but it keeps sticking shut, and I gotta ride. I try using isopropyl alcohol to clean the calipers, and even push them out, but they just want to stay shut. Being able to fix brake problems is critical, so hopefully I will get this figured out soon.

I experimented with the ole baggie in the shoes trick, where you put a baggie over the socks. It has some benefit, but some drawbacks. Benefit is for wind stopping, but drawback is your toes get really wet, which is fine if it is warm, but once it gets cold it gets cold real quick. Luckily my toes were warm for all but the last half hour of the ride.

Decisions...decisions... Close examination of this sign says that the park is closed, and the trail needs repairs, but does not say the trail is closed. So I rode it. Followed the letter of the law, if not the intent. The only thing wrong with the trail is a creek crossing, and at this point there is an inch of snow, in a few miles there will be 3 inches of snow.

Almost there. I get a kick out of these signs advising how far it is to Chicago. I think this trail follows a railroad grade that used to go to Chicago. It would be really cool if the trail extended the whole way, except then you would be in Chicago - doh!

The snow obviously slows me down, but is fun to ride thru. Sleet was falling for part of the ride. I came out of this ride completely soaked, but by dressing properly, taking in food and water, and minimizing breaks to keep moving, I stayed warm. No bike tracks other than mine, but there were ski tracks before me.

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