K seemed alert, happy, and ready to hike this morning. Despite her leash, she playbowed, spun, and tried to convince me to romp with her on the way out of our clearing. After a couple of days of K seeming to be reluctant to walk much at all, her enthusiasm lifted my heart. Maybe, just maybe, she'll be ready to hike by my side for slightly longer distances before too long.
In thick snow, it's incredibly hard work, requiring more leg strength than regular mountain biking. I hammer on the pedals as my huge tires churn through a substance that feels like mashed potatoes. Despite my extreme effort, I move forward at a slug's speed. In slick and cold snow, snow biking can be scary. Going downhill at speed requires a leap of faith that I won't hit an ice patch or a drift that will send me flying off the bike. Fortunately, after two seasons of snow biking, I've learned to anticipate these tough spots. My motto always is "live to ride another day" - so I just get off my bike and walk when the snow conditions seem too tricky. It's not worth risking my spine just to avoid walking a few steps.
The joy of snow biking is that I get to ride through gorgeous snowy aspen groves, deep forests and meadows at a time of year when most people are staying home. I see animal tracks in the snow all the time, drop my bike by the trail, and start following the tracks. I love following animal tracks and getting a glimpse of a wild animal's everyday life.