Thursday, January 8, 2009
With all the rain we had yesterday, I was a bit skeptical about riding when I received Marianne's email to ride. I had the afternoon off from work, and wanted to drop off some things at the park office, so I thought I would poke my head in and see how it was. What a surprise when I saw all the ice. The park employees were in the gardens taking pictures of the glittering branches and glazed plants. Driving straight into the sun, I had to stop the car to absorb all that I could see. It was spectacular.
Once dressed and ready to go, we were glad to still have our studded mountain bike tires on, because the ground was completely covered in shiny ice like a fancy french pastry. As we rode across the field trail, I couldn't help but smile with what my eyes could see. I could tell instantly that it was slippery, and I would need to be cautious with the brakes. I passed the odd green bamboo grove, which stood out against the winter palate, and they were all bowing down to me as if I were queen. Perhaps I was, riding on top of the ice like a super hero.
There were lots of ooh's and aah's mixed with yikes and uh-oh ...holy craps! Needless to say the trails were pretty tricky, so we opted for gentler grades. We got into a good groove climbing up to Pierson Ridge, but the way down was insane. Hunters trucks had made ruts combined with snow drifts and all iced and frozen solid. I managed to keep it upright, but Willy went down pretty hard. It was his first day with the studded tires, so maybe he needed to figure out his boundaries with them.
Overall it was a fantastic time, and quite unexpected. You never know exactly what you will get out in the woods, but sometimes the adventure of surprise is half the fun. Don't let the excuses keep you home. Get out and ride!