|Trace The Mitten|
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.