Over the past week in biking, I’ve learned a few things. The first is that no matter what kind of bike ride you plan, no matter how crazy your schemes seem to the general public, you’ll find like minded cyclists to participate with you. The second lesson is that there are always a group of cyclists willing to put in extra miles, all you have to do is make the plan.
The first lesson is evidenced by the dangerously cold ride we did last week. I would say that a group of 8 willing to ride in that cold was a pretty decent turn out, and far more than I expected we’d get. This past weekend there was a large organized bike ride in our area. However, it was billed as a round trip ride of 8 miles, with a lot of stops. And “bad decisions.” Now, I know that you could say our dangerously cold ride would go under the heading “bad decisions,” but the bad decisions that this group was going to get involved in had to do with alcohol. And it was to be 45F outside, and sunny. I had no interest whatsoever in a bar hop, what a waste of an absolutely stunning day.
So I planned a “lake to lake” ride. Those of us with studded snow tires would ride our bikes on frozen lakes. A route was planned, a meet up place was agreed on, a time was set, and we ended up with a total of 13 winter riders out to have an adventure.
It was such a beautiful day. I ended up with over 25 miles. This is an accomplishment on studded tires, as they are considerably more difficult to keep moving than regular tires. It is hard work!
We rode frozen lakes, and startled pedestrians using the trail. I had fun watching them stop and snap our picture, imagining the conversations they’d have when they got back home.
Pedestrian: You would NEVER believe what I saw at the lake today! A whole group of people on bikes who just rode down the boat launch and out on the ice!
Family member: Pics or it didn’t happen!
Pedestrian: Check this out!
OK, I don’t actually have pictures of us riding on the ice, as the idea of trying to remove a hand from my handlebar and snap a picture is a bit distressing. But, you get the idea. The studded tires keep us (mostly) upright. The only other frozen lake riding I’ve done has been at night, so it was fun to actually be able to see the entire lake. One of the lakes had a ton of ice fishers on it, so dodging the ice fishing holes was a bit interesting. There were holes large enough to swallow entire bike tires. We just avoided them. Due to the exceedingly cold temps, the ice is about 12 inches thick, so even though we had warm temps and the ice got a bit slushy on top, we were quite safe.
We were out for 7 hours, we soaked in as much sun and relative warmth as we could, and as the sun was going down, I snapped this shot:
I am grateful for biking, and for friends who enjoy an adventure just as much as I do. I hope I can keep coming up with creative ideas for rides, as this is as much a part of my life, or more, than knitting and spinning is. And I do love winter riding so much!