|Deep snow slugging|
|River Otter tracks|
As always, conditions mean everything. In riding a bicycle in the snow however, conditions mean even more. Too much snow (and it does not take very much) and your pushing, cursing and suffering. I am not interested in riding on roads on this trip, I am not interested in riding on snowmobile trails on this trip, I am interested in natural trails, in waterways, in ice and in recreating what people traveled on since time memorial.
I am not giving up the route secrets yet. But the stats are impressive. The route is classic and it is extremely interesting. I have spent a lot of time over the past two years dreaming and learning about it and now this week, we are geared up, trained up and ready to roll.
However conditions are the key. As of last week, in my recon on the route, things were rideable, but on the "deep" side. We are talking 4 miles an hour "deep side" and that means some long days in the saddle.
I am watching the weather with trepidation. If we could leave right now, today, we would be stoked. However tonight the first of several Alberta Clippers comes rolling in and the possibility of significant snow comes with it. 4 inches of snow and we are talking about a much different trip, one that uses roads and snowmobile trails, purely out of survival....no snow and we are looking at something unique.
|Looks inviting huh.....scary stuff really.|
|Ditchbank mine fields|
|Frozen wheels add a lot of weight|
The whole endeavor came clear this weekend when I did the final recon rides, to check out conditions. In some spots, I had to push much more than I would have liked. In other spots I was grinning ear to ear as I glided smoothly over backcountry terrain that I never thought I would pedal a bicycle and most certainly where a bicycle has NEVER been before. Then I also found the dangerous spots. Places where going through the ice is a huge possibility and where reliance on my buddies will be the key piece of the puzzle. But even in those places I saw a beauty that I am already blessed to have seen.
Heres to hoping the weather forecast is wrong.....
|Thanks to Kent K for the ice fishing this weekend! Great to put my mind on something else for a bit!|