Monday, March 31, 2014

Fat bikes and a road ride

I recently let Mike talk me into getting a fat bike. I decided that if the snow is going to persist into spring, maybe I should have a bike that will let me easily ride in snowy conditions, whether on the road or on trails. The Hayward/Cable area recently hosted the first official Fat Bike National Championship, the Fat Bike Birkie. It was the second running of the Fat Bike Birkie on the American Birkebeiner trail system and the number of riders increased from 300 last year to 525 this year. A fat bike club has formed here and some of the single track trails are being groomed for fat bikes. There was even a Midwest Fat Bike Grooming & Access Workshop in Cable in January.

My fat bike arrived last Thursday and on Friday we went for a ride on a nearby snowshoe trail. The nearly 4-inch-wide tires gave me good floatation but the narrowness of the trail made it a bit difficult to negotiate, especially on some of the tight turns along the way.
 On Sunday, the temperature reached 50F and, with some of our favorite roads clear of snow and ice, we went on our first road bike ride of the season. There is still lots of snow on the ground and the surrounding lakes are all still snow-covered, but at least we got in a road bike ride before April 1.
We stopped at a horse ranch along one of our favorite roads and said "hello" to our horse friends, Jo and Noah, and another horse we call "Gray."
 On the way home, we stopped at the Namekagon River where open water has recently appeared.
Tomorrow, April 1, begins 30 Days of Biking and I'm planning to ride every day in April, no matter the weather. From the website:
"What is 30 Days of Biking? Very simply, it’s a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, however far you want, no matter the weather! Next, you share your adventures online, with #30daysofbiking. That’s all there is to it. 2014 is the fifth year of this pledge, and thousands of people from all over the world have taken part. Join our community of joyful cyclists!"

This year, 30 Days of Biking has begun a  Free Bikes 4 Kidz program where, for every 30 pledges to ride, they will give a free bike to a child in need.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First day of spring

We went x-c skiing today on the first day of spring. Two springs ago we were riding bikes by now and the temperature was 78F on March 18. Last spring, my first ride was on March 27. The past two days brought a storm that dropped 8-9" of new snow. The trail we skied on wasn't groomed but we could see just a faint indication of where the previous tracks had been set. The way back was a little easier, retracing the trail we had already broken.