Sunday, February 15, 2009
Exploring snowy trails
Overnight, the gusting wind howled past our windows, and I saw the trees swaying above the skylight. By morning, the gusts had mostly died although I could see snow blowing off high peaks in the distance. The blue sunlit sky contrasted with our pine trees. A gorgeous Colorado day.
I decided to test what the Fatback could do by attempting to traverse an exposed west-facing trail. Depending on the trail's orientation, some sections featured rocky dirt and other sections were socked in by snow drifts. I tried not to be a tentative pilot of my Fatback but to aggressively pedal through tough sections.
K galloped with enthusiasm as she explored territory that we haven't traversed since November. In fact, it looked like no one, except the animals, had explored some sections since the first snow. This route is my gateway to taking K on longer and more interesting rides than we've been doing this winter, and she seemed to know it.
The Fatback and I did well floating over or smashing through the crusty deeper snow. On dry sections, I learned that the Fatback eats rocks for breakfast. I never even suspected that it would rumble over rock-strewn trails so easily. I did have to walk the section shown on the left below and the Fatback got completely stuck in some wind-packed crusty snow. But, it was worth the effort because we almost made it to another trail network. And, we started the process of packing down a path.
On this Continental Divide facing slope, we kept glimpsing the snow-white mountains through the trees.I almost missed this view but then my tires bogged down in the snow...
I stopped more frequently than usual: to take photos, to push through snow drifts, or to lift my bike over blown-down trees. In the summer, I rarely stop but when I do, I always give K a treat. Today, she believed that she deserved a treat at every stop. I couldn't resist those eyes...
When we returned to the relative civilization of the trails near our house, I noticed that another mountain biker had ventured onto the trails. He'd followed my super-wide tracks very precisely. It might've been a friend who's been asking about the Fatback arrival date because he planned to use me as his snowy trail groomer. Since he does a ton of trail maintenance in the spring that I'm not capable of doing due to my back, I'm glad to be the winter groomer in return.
I think that this is the beginning of many winter explorations with my Fatback!