Monday, December 24, 2012

My first snow ride of the season

Snowbiking! Yeah, what else are you gonna do for activity in these cold winter months? Snowboarding. Sure, but lift tickets and availability in the Omaha area is limited. Snowshoeing, but of course! Snowbiking, even better! I made it out on Saturday for some snow riding, but despite being out there for 3 hrs, we only traveled about 4.5 miles. The snow this time around came to us last Wednesday night, most of the Omaha metro area got dumped on. About 6-9 inches...and boy were we happy!

This pic can't describe the beauty of the scene. Trees were planted parallel to each other, almost crossing at a focal point off in the distance. Only one side of the trunks covered in snow. Sun was getting low, casting a nice glow between the trees.

There were plans to meet at Tranquility last Wednesday night. But then I tried to get home. Surprisingly my Honda gets around pretty well. The traction control helps, and maybe a large part of it is just knowing how to control the car in snow? I grew up in the country driving a 77 Grand Prix with a 400 cubic inch engine, steep driveway, and tons of gravel country roads. Just got to know how to control the car! After work, no problems getting all the way home. Until I reached my neighborhood. Turn in, immediately start sliding sideways towards the curb. Not good. Step on the brake. Immediately decided to put it in reverse and do a U turn out of the neighborhood. Got out and went around the block and came down my street instead. Much better! But will I make it out to snowbike that night. Better now.

Just me biking through the neighborhood 9pm during a blizzard.

So instead I shoveled my driveway with the already 5 inches of snow on the ground that night. Then went for a spin around the block a couple times. Had both my rear and front lights on. I would have to say that the two dozen or so people outside shoveling stopped to look at this fool riding his bike in the middle of a road during a blizzard. I'm sure it was quite a sight! Even saw a father tap his son and tell him to look at me biking. It was my 15 minutes of fame! The crazy thing is that my bike was actually getting better traction than my car in the snow. And I wasn't necessarily riding in car tracks, sometimes even the fresh snow had enough bite!

I still love the look of that black anodized Salsa frame. Such a cool appearance in the sun.

Anyway, the drive to work was fine the next day. It was the drive two days later that would be bad. A usual fifteen minute drive turned into a 50 minute drive into work. A Jeep Grand Cherokee had lost traction on 120th between Fort and Maple, causing it to sit sideways on the lane and block traffic. There was a cop car sitting behind it, light on, doing NOTHING. So while we had to wait for oncoming traffic to clear in order to pass this stretch, the stop light there is also so short that only a few cars could get going through it. Took my 30 minutes to get through that four mile stretch.

Then came the hill after 120th and Blondo towards Dodge. Wow, cars stuck everywhere. I was going fine, was easily going to make the icy mess. But just saw cars stopped. Spinning tires. Red Saturn Vue 2wd with its hazards blinking, I'm gonna avoid it. So i get to the other lane to pass it. She moves over right in front of me! Stopped my cold in my tracks. Honda Civic now behind me. I try to get going again. Ahhh...spinning tires and traction control light going crazy on the dash. Stupid Saturn still in front of me with spinning tires, not going anywhere. The lady then just gave up. Not even trying anymore. I was like hey! Cars next to me also sliding and spinning. What the heck. I've never seen 120th like that in the 12 years that I've been making the drive to work.

Howard experiencing his first snow landing on the Moon. I think he liked it!

I saw a clearing next to me so I turn my wheels, get some bite, and my car was moving again! I easily made it into the other lane, but two cars ahead in that lane not moving. So I was basically having to weave in and out of traffic, on an icy uphill battle. But I got out, steam coming out of my ears because people are idiots and don't know how to drive. There were probably a good 15 cars stuck on that one part of the road. Get to Miracle Hills drive and a pickup was backing up in the oncoming traffic lane. What is going on? Oh SNAP, he is pulling a Grand Prix out of that hill with a tow rope. Tons of smoke coming from the hood of that GP, teenager behind the wheel. Go figure.

Words can't describe the beauty of being out there in woods surrounded by snow

Alright, well finally fast forward to Saturday afternoon at Tranquility. I didn't hear about any riding going on. But I decided that I should make a valid attempt at getting out to ride this weekend. The sun was out and it was bitterly cold. I bumped into Howard from Lincoln (Aaron's friend) on his Moonlander with the awesome reflective tape rim strips. Mike McColgan had just pilled into the other parking lot. Rode with those guys for awhile, at least attempted to. Head back to Kelly Field to get my small camera that I had forgotten, in pulls Chris. And then there were four fatbikes. I guess Steve was out there on his fatbike also, but I must have just missed him.

The full sized pic does this image justice, this smaller resize does not. It was framed just right, all three riders were between the gap of the two trees. Mind you, I was riding along side them on a snow covered trail with a camera pointed sideways in one hand.

Kind of a neat shot from the GoPro mounted near the rear of my bike. Gives me an idea for a photo next time I'm out.

The riding was fun, but often times not easy.the snow was actually a little too deep. Not powdery, heavy deep snow. The kind where you sink in, which made it really hard to ride. Around the creek north of Fort Street bridge the snow as perfect. Elsewhere, not so much. Man we need to find a way to pack the trail down. Even like a single run with a snowblower or a snowmobile would be perfect!!!

The riding was fun. Flew off my bike a few times, one time while flying forward my hand hit my handlebars as I was being ejected from the bike. Messed up my fingers a little bit, but oh well. All is fun. Guess I left about 10 minutes too early because Chris ended up hitting a tree. Not that I would want to be there to see that. But you know what I mean!

The rear facing Go Pro got knocked sideways, but produced a nice result anyway

I hope some of you are lucky enough the have Christmas Eve off to make it to the trail for some more riding (I was too busy today to get back out). I'll be around Christmas Day so I might try to make it down there for some more fat bike snow adventures!

No comments:

Post a Comment