February 5, 2013 at 1:59 am #500383
Went for a ride Sunday afternoon. i was going back and forth for the hours up to the ride as to which bike I should bring. I’m glad I chose to ride the bike with the studded tires. There was all kinds of different ice in there. There was the frozen puddles of water kind of ice. Smooth, flat, with a light sprinkling of snow. There was the packed down snow that was melted by the sun and warm weather last week that got frozen again kind of ice, and it covered MOST of the trails on the West side of the river. There was the ground water seepage spots that made mushroom domes of ice on the flat trails and frozen waterfalls of the downhills. There was the floodplain areas that got littered with table sized slabs of 6 inch thick river ice when it thawed for a few days last week. And finally, there was this one section of trail that is gravel and drains extremely well where the ice looked rideable, but turned out to be what is best described as a foot thick layer of ice honeycomb.
Top of the bluff, before it got interesting
The first ice cap of seeping groundwater, right at the bottom of a very steep descent.
Slabs of ice.
It LOOKS solid, but the top is only a few mm thick, followed by a fragile honeycomb, or ice foam.
Piled up river ice from the recent thaw.
February 5, 2013 at 3:19 am #583575
Makes ol’ Donny look incredible right now.
That shot of the ice all backed up is pretty cool.February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm #583574
Boy, what a difference a week makes!
We rode the Seaton both Saturday and Sunday. We typically drop in at Manresa and go north along the west bank and cross over the frozen stream to the east side at the trail end. NOT this week. The west bank trail is not rideable without studs.
Both days we only rode to the new “stairs” by Taunton road. We typically ride to Whitevale, but not this week as we had enough trouble getting that far. Coming back we rode the lower basin and climbed “Fun Fast (New DH)” without issue. Once back on the upper ridge we rode down “Long Fast & Rocky”. What a friggin’ mistake. Cashed 3-times and ended up walking down the middle section. I am no longer going first. Also, maybe it’s time to return to flat pedals.
The ride was a lot of fun and dangerous, but that added to the excitement. Tires used were all Schwabe: pair of Rocket Rons, 2 pairs of Nobby Nics, and a pair Muddy Marrys.
I am going to order a pair of Schwabe Ice Spiker studded tires, but until then, I am going to use some of my son’s downhill armor, especially the POC padded girdle, elbow and knee pads.
Nick, you probably noticed our tire tracks on your ride this past Sunday. Other than you, we were the other crazy’s on the trail.
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