Monday, March 1, 2010

Mud and Ice - What a fun combination!

8 miles
42 degrees

So I made it through another Montana winter!  I know, winter is not over yet but the snow is off the streets and most of it is off the ground.  Temperatures are rising and the sun is out.  (Its 51 degrees right now!)

With the exception of a 15 mile ride last weekend to and from a scout training (it was cold!), I haven't done any real biking in the past 3 months besides riding to and from work.  Snow fell on December 1 and the roads didn't clear off until last week.  I can see asphalt now which got me all excited for a ride but we've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to get out.

My bike was calling today.  I left the office at noon for a quick ride over to Two Moon Park.  I thought I'd check it out and see how ridable it was.  When I got there, the trail dropping into the park was completely iced over so I took the road down.  The road was a sloppy, muddy mess from all the run-off coming down the hill.  I got to the trail head and decided I've come this far.  I might as well keep going.  So I took off down the trail soon realized this was not going to be an easy one.

The trail was muddy, slushy, and icy.  I was creeping along at 5 mph trying hard to push myself down the trail without dipping my foot into the mud or icy puddles.  I should have known better when the only tracks I could see on the trail were deer and dogs.  I found my new pedals quite helpful and annoying all at the same time.  Since I could clip in with my bike shoes, that meant I could power through the worst stuff by pushing and pulling on the pedals.  However, when I had to dip a foot, I had a horrible time trying to clip my cleat back into the pedal.  Once, as I was riding along top of ice, my tires broke through the surface and I dropped down about 6 inches into an ice cold slushy mess.  I was able to power through that one but the next one got me.  I came to a complete stop, unable to pedal any further.  I teetered while trying to balance my bike at a stand still, then unclipped my right foot and flung it out as far as I could to avoid stepping down in the puddle.  SPLASH!  I could reach the dry ground and got an icy cold wet foot.   I hobbled off, foot dripping, and decided the trail was getting worse.

I finally intersected a trail taking me to the river and then back to the road I had come from.  Of course the trail at the river had had more sun exposure and instead of ice, I encountered thick, sloppy mud.  I was able to power through it all but I sure made a mess of me and the bike.  And last thing Sarah said to me before I left this morning, "Don't get all muddy!"  Yeah, I think we both knew that I wasn't going to listen.


AliJ said...

Did you have an extra set of clothes at work or are you sitting at your desk all muddy:)

Russ said...

I bring a change of athletic clothes and a towel. We have showers in the basement. I'm glad I brought a change of socks!!!