Well, I guess I’ll need to renege on my statement that you won’t need studded tires for Triple D. The weather has turned warm and the snow has softened up. I’ve made all my Arrowhead training rides searches for alternate routes for Triple D, in doing so, I believe I’ll be able to have a challenging & fun course no matter what the weather conditions are. My five plus hour ride started at 10 PM last night at 30dF with about a 10 mph wind. I dressed much lighter than normal and still had to shed a layer only 15 minutes into the ride. The snowmobile trails were soft and very challenging to say the least. The soft snow created loads of rolling resistance and more parts than normal required me to dismount and push. The warm conditions also caused my cleats to freeze up (for the first time ever). While some snow bikers will ride with platforms in the winter most always use clip pedals for their efficiency, I’d bet those that have switched to platforms in the winter must have lots of days around 30dF. Wanting to get 40+ miles in I decided that the snow mobile trails were not the ticket. I then started on some of our great level B and gravel roads near Graf. The temperature had dropped a little to 23 and the winds had picked up a bunch (gusts to 25), so on with the outer wind layer I had removed earlier. The gravel roads were hard and glass smooth, or I guess I should say ice smooth. If I stayed seated, the hills were no problem, but if I stood to finish them off quickly my rear wheel would easily break loose and spin (I didn’t have my studded tires on for this ride – haven’t used them since we got a good snow base over a month ago). Traci road her ice bike today on the trails from the Grand Harbor Resort out to the start of the Heritage trail and said that a majority of the city bike trail was ice.
While Heritage trail was soft and we’re loosing lots of snow due to melt, there is still a very good base that should withstand this week long warm spell. If it turns colder before the event, the trail will be even better for the bike and foot categories. Currently Heritage trail is in good shape for traditional and stake skiing. The Foot category would be shorted a bit if it’s like this on race day.
Picture was of a tree out in the middle of nowhere north of Graf on a gravel road.