This weekend I had a nice little Saturday planned. A six mile run in the morning, 11 am Illini basketball game vs. #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, a mountain bike ride in the snow at Kickapoo in the afternoon, and then dinner at Black Dog. But, like Frank the Tank, I just didn't know if there would be enough time.
But the stars aligned and everything fell into place. The run in the morning went well with me holding 9:00 pace and still feeling really good at mile 6. The Illini game was exciting, even though they lost and there were a number of questionable calls from the officials. The mountain bike ride turned out to be really awesome, and Black Dog never disappoints on the BBQ.
The ride at Kickapoo ended up taking us just over 2 hours to do one lap. This usually takes about 1 hour. So after spending the past two days doing the math, I figured out that our average speed was twice as slow (or half as fast, if you prefer) than when we ride without snow.
I also gained a fascinating piece of insight during our ride - riding in the snow is different than riding when there is not snow. I told you it was fascinating and insightful.
You see snow covers up stuff. Like frozen ruts, frozen roots, and frozen water (or ice if you want to get all technical). So when you are riding, your tires can suddenly slide (in the the case of your rear tire) or get sucked (in the case of your front tire) in random directions by said snow-covered things in the trail. This makes riding more challenging, and watching the person in front of you ride more entertaining. On the bright side, when you fall - and it is a question of when rather than if - it doesn't hurt. It is actually quite fun.
So for two hours we made our way slowly through the trail system, not knowing when or if our tires would hold the lines we were on. Really, when I think about it, that isn't much different than when I ride the trails at other times of the year.
I enjoyed our snow ride immensely. To once again quote Frank the Tank:
"It's so good. Once it hits your lips, it's so good"
P.S. I really wish I had a video camera that I could bring on these rides so I could share them with others (who I am sure are dying to watch video of me trying to ride a mountain bike in central IL)