Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another great day for a ride

Date: Dec. 19
Mileage: 10.3
Hours: 2:00
December mileage: 439.3
Temperature upon departure: 16
Snowfall: 0"

I was supposed to go to the gym this morning. I've had a hard time getting in my twice-weekly weight lifting as it is, and I told myself I wasn't going to neglect it any longer. But when I woke up this morning to the blaze of blue sky and hints of sun on the horizon for the first time in, well, it seems like weeks - I had to get out. I decided I would go for a hike. And as long as I'm hiking, I might as well take my bike for a walk.

So it was another day of walk-up, ride-down, just like the handful of skiers I passed. Several inches of new snow and powder-stirring snowmobile use put the trail in considerably worse condition than yesterday. It was hard to gain any traction, uphill or down, and there was lots of fishtailing and lots of meetings with snowmobiles. Everyone was out enjoying the sun. Still, it was worth it just for the views. And it was worth it the hints of sun. Although the canyon spent the duration of my ride in shadow, I could at least vicariously enjoy the orange light streaked across the mountain ridges.

I am preparing right now for my weekly long ride tomorrow. I am going to shoot for nine hours, spending a lot of time on trails. It will give me more opportunity to play with my tire pressure in the cold, which I remembered today is not exactly easy. The uneven nature of trail riding also mimics Iditarod conditions much better than an intense road ride can ... but don't expect big mileage tomorrow. Temperatures should be in the teens to low-20s, and if I'm lucky, at least partly sunny with scattered snow showers. I am going to try to do it sans-Camelbak because I am still having big issues with leaking, even after I replaced the nozzle. Wish me luck!