Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I (re)learned today

 Blazing a new trail

In preparation for Triple D and Trans Iowa, I've started snow riding again after a (way too long) 10 year hiatus.  I've done a few lunch hour rides on the nature trail over the last few weeks, but today I got in my first long ride on the snowmobile trails.  So what did I take away from it?

- It's fun.  I remember it being fun, but over time you forget how great a sunny day, a bike and a snowy path across a corn field can be.

- It can be a slog.  I spent a lot of time pushing my bike today.  Still, it was so nice out that I was ok with it.

- Platform pedals are the way to go.  I'm still wanting the option of clipless though.  I may switch to some crank Brothers Acids or Mallets before the season is over.

- Sometimes you have to make your own trail.  There were sections that were unridable on my setup, but some of them could be cleared by getting off the trail and riding in the fresh stuff.

- Fat tires and low pressure are king.  I slapped the fattest tires I could fit on my bike (2.4 on the front, 2.1 on the back), and aired them up to 25 pounds.  As soon as I hit the snow, I dropped that down quite a bit further.  I didn't check the pressure post-ride, but I'm guessing it's around 10-15 pounds.  Great on the trails, squirmy on the road.

- Dress for the occasion.  I thought it would be breezy today so I threw on my outer wind layer.  That turned out to be way too much though and by then end of the ride my base layer was soaked in sweat.  I was ok for today, but if the ride had gone in to the night or gotten significantly colder then I would have been in trouble.  I'm a bit of a furnace when I ride, and I need to pay attention to that.

- Calorie burn is a lot higher.  I was out for a little over three hours today and ate like I was on a typical gravel grinder.  I'm going to have to step it up a bit for these rides though, since I bonked at the end.  I've got a couple weeks to get that figured out before Triple D.  Hope that's enough time.  I might have to work some solid foods in on my rides since I don't want to suck down a GU every half hour.  I'll play with that tomorrow.

- Ride it while you can.  The snow is going to start melting tomorrow and the trails will be unridable by the weekend.  Makes me wish I hadn't been so lazy the last couple weeks...