Fat biking in a snowstorm
Today we have our first big snowfall. I was in the mood to try the fat tire bike through the 6 inches of fresh snow . Last year I went out once and traveled across the packed snow on mountain bike trails. Today's ride had a much different feel. What were those differences?
The tires sank right in the snow. The temperature was in the mid twenties and the last couple of days has fluctuated around freezing. This may have an impact. As expected, the tires compacted the snow leaving about a half inch. Pushing through the fresh snow was hard work for me. I moved the chain ring from the middle to the smallest gear in the front to hopefully make it easier for me.
It was slippery. I could not determine how the land slanted ever so slightly. I was wiggling to get going and I did not keep the handlebars steady. The wheel slipped through the snow and the wet grass. I stumbled to keep from hitting the ground. This happened to me repeatedly.
My lungs were screaming and stopped in stretches of an handful of pedal strokes. Frequent stops during winter exercise. I just need to focus on relaxed breathing of deep intake and slow outtake. I say to myself just calm down because you will be okay. In a few minutes I was fine to move on a little bit.
Easy gear is not perfect. Once I started going I stood up to get momentum and the rear wheel kept spinning. I wondered whether I should stay in the middle or larger chain ring. I would have to stop anyway no matter how hard I was pushing the pedals. After my next ride I will focus on the gearing impact for me.
When you struggle you do not enjoy what is around you. I was so focused on breathing, the heavy snow in the air, and staying upright that I did not look around. I made my way back I headed to the sidewalks and snow covered road. I noticed a much easier ride. I went .4 miles in 11 minutes of pedaling, but I was out much longer.
Final thoughts. I am glad that I went out. I did not go as far as I had planned, but I worked hard today. I needed a hard workout. I needed to push myself into the winter weather. I realize that next time the snow is like that go cross country skiing or snowshoeing. I got fresh air. I wanted to do this. I want you to try a fat bike.
BREAKING THE SEAR BOLT
I took the ebike out on to the trails in Stony Creek Metro Park. I was feeling fine and came down from a root bump and snapped off the bolt holding on the seat on the seat post.
The seat is only held by one bolt. I did not ever thought of this happening. My REI bikes have two bolts to secure the seat. This week I was reading a bike packer equipment list and this person mentioned taking an extra seat bolt. I can agree with this now that I had it happen.
I rely on my seat almost all of the time when I ride. Don't you? There was no way to secure this temporarily. I was going to have to stand and pedal all of the way. I probably only had three quarters of a mile to go to get back to my car. I figured that I could ride and walk without much difficulty. Someone asked if I was okay while I was stopped. I just yes, how could they help me?
Luckily I could find all the pieces. When I got home I found a bolt that would fit at my local hardware. I am hoping that the supplied bolt from the bike assembly was not as sturdy as my new one. I will not try to plop on the seat when I am mountain biking.
You see my repaired seat. I tried it on the trail and it worked.
Eight reasons this happens to me
This time of year is always hard to maintain my good workout habits. Why is this? I share this not to provide excuses to validate my behavior; it is just to provide insight for myself and maybe it relates to you.
I am ready for a break!
My heaviest mileage is during the summer. It is when I do organized ride events and tours.
My motivation to cycle is lower.
This relates to the previous factor. I do not have an immediate goal or event in the future. I just want to maintain a base level of fitness.
Fall is a harder time with allergies and acclimating to the the colder air.
I do not know when these health concerns will flare up. I am most likely to get bronchitis and I am content with cycling on the trainers inside. When I am inside I do not go as long.
The days get shorter and the sun sets faster.
By the tine I get home and fix supper my available ride time is shorter . It gets dark quicker. I need to plan my rides more carefully. Drivers do not expect cyclists now like they did in the summer. Remember to have your lights with you.
I am still not a morning person.
I cannot ride inside or out early in the day unless I absolutely need to. Sunrise is getting later too. If the Sun is not up yet, then neither am I.
I must get my house and yard in order for winter. Play time is over. Doing this always tires me out. It gets me outdoors which is good. I also find that I am more in the mood for stretching, resistance or weight workouts. I am more in the mood for bike maintenance.
More rainy days.
It has been a dry summer and I know that the rains pick up due to the seasonal shift. We also I likely to get impacted by the tropical storms giving us rain.
Keep riding fun, but keep the fitness base.
The ebike did great in the dirt and gravel. Roads were smooth and lightly traveled. The drivers were nice.
Another Michigan State Park to add to my list of campsites.
The hill was not that bad.
After dinner we went fishing. Catch and release.
I was happy that I could be there to see the joy.
I rode the bike to see the lakes. This lake was a favorite of small craft.
What beautiful views.
I love finding classics cars for sale. What a fun camping weekend. I will do this again.
An early start was on everyone's mind. They wanted everyone back to Frankfort by 3 p.m. Like myself, I am sure that everyone was ready to head to the next destination. I was up early and got packed quickly and ready to get out of the tent when I heard drops of rain.. Luckily it was not more. During breakfast we had a little shower. We have had such good weather during this tour.
I had heard that we had a long climb once we have we were leaving Traverse City. The predictions were right; miles long.
It was a beautiful ride.
The morning moved quickly. We went through some woods and lake areas. We were beating the heat, but it was overcast. This was the first day of the tour that I did not need the sunglasses.
We were there to early in the morning. There are always reasons to return. Some of this tour had segments that I had done before, but I did not mind the ride.
Many thanks the the SAG volunteers for your hard work and many hours. Thanks also to the other volunteers. They are essential for the success of the tour.
St. Ambrose was ready for our visit. Great to feel welcome.
I was happy to hear that they did beer as well as wine.
The greeting at the finish line felt so good. Piece of cake. Shower. Load gear. Drive home with sweet memories.
The weather continues to cooperate. It is sunny and hot. We started off on the TART trail that runs through the Traverse City area. We then moved onto county and state roads. Our route was out and back.
These were too cute to pass by.
The minion was my favorite.
The water was so refreshing at Elk Rapids. On the other side of town is the lake.
A home half pipe. By invite only.
Yum. A tasty cherry pie. Now I can make it back to camp.
I keep starting text and some how it erases. This is frustrating and that is why yesterday was photos with captions.
Today was packing up day. I get that done before breakfast. I ate too much for breakfast. I could not stop from piling on food. It was not a comfortable ride for the first hour with a very full stomach even after waiting a bit. I will have to do a better job of taking a reasonable portion.
I am not sure of the step of cherry processing, but this looks like a washing, holding then shipping center.
Soon after Sutton's Bay there was a pleasant spot to stop.
What a pleasant breeze off Grand Traverse Bay. Another long rest along the shore. Mid-afternoon I was ready for the boxed lunch.
The first part of the ride went around lake Leelanau.
This was the only corn along my route. I also a wheat field.
We came to Northport. Our SAG stop was there and a nice public beach. There is always a place for the public.
On further to tip of the point to see the lighthouse.
I wondered what things were done with this building during busier days.
Now I started to see vineyards.
A centennial farm. Note the wood cuts.
Fisj town. could this be a westhervane
At the end of the day while eating supper I heard similar comments; it was hot by the end of the day; we stopped to see things along the way; I am glad that tomorrow I can sleep in; and how long did you wait at the road construction?
Everyone was up early to break camp. They wanted gear on the trucks by 8:30. The camp mates have been very courteous. At the end of the day these riders know that you need to be rested up. When it is time they go to bed.
Great time st the Lake Michigan Beach.
From there we joined the pathway through the whole park. This was added since the first Trace the Mitten Tour. A very natural way to experience the area.
When the trail ended we shifted to M 22. This is also US Bike Route 35 which goes north and south through the lower peninsula.
The shower trailer is close to my tent. The best thing to do after a day on the road.