In my last blog I wrote about riding in the snow. Lucky for me, I have riding buddies that like to pile on the clothes and ride outdoors in all kinds of weather and conditions. Yes, we all have our limits; but just when you find your personal limit, someone else has ventured out in worse weather and said, "Not that bad..."
That written, Ron Kennedy commutes to work and he commented on Sunday that 5 degrees Fahrenheit is the coldest temperature he's ridden in and he got cold. I'd imagine so.
Ron and the gang that rode last Sunday are seen below in the post-ride glow:
Left to right: Todd Singiser, me, Ron Kennedy, Kent Winters, Scott Ellis and Steve Douglas
Riding on snow-packed trails that have seen hikers, runners, skiers, dogs, bikes, sun, warmer temperatures alternating with colder temperatures makes for an interesting outing. The trail started out relatively hard packed. As the day progressed and the sun warmed the snow, it got softer and more like riding in sand.
I will admit there was a freak-out factor for me. It seems completely unnatural to ride my bike on a slick surface with unpredictable patches of ice, some visible and some not. Steve and Ron are experienced snow riders and they seemed completely comfortable. I, on the other hand, needed significant self-coaching. This, as Steve points out in his blog, comes in the form of literal self-talk "Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!" and the self-saving scream. These screams, yells and various other verbalizations are very helpful. Just as weight-lifters yell and grunt when lifting a heavy weight, I verbalize to get over obstacles, avoid end-os and somehow manage to clear a technical section of trail beyond what I think I'm capable of doing.
Try verbalizing during your mountain bike ride (or other challenging sport like snow running, downhill skiing, etc.) sometime, let me know if it helps.
Because other riders were completely comfortable, it is humanly possible to ride snowy conditions relatively fast and relaxed. Okay, that's all I need for inspiration - humanly possible. I'm a human, it should be possible.
I know, I know, there are multiple problems the last two sentences in the last paragraph, but that won't stop me from giving lots of things a shot. I won't be trying to run a sub-four-minute mile anytime soon; but I can get pretty good at riding my mountain bike in snow, I'm sure of it.
You're a human, I assume, what's possible for you? Any new plans or goals for the New Year?
PS...Thanks to Steve for the photos. Check out his other snow photos from past rides.