For my “50 rides in my 50th year” theme, I purposely have not set any guidelines for distance, time, speed or any other metric. Instead, I wanted to have 50 memorable rides that had some kind of significance. Today, for ride #4 of 50, I rode only 6 kilometres, but it was significant for a couple of reasons. First, according to my Garmin, it was -23C. Second, it was my first winter ride at The Hydrocut trails (www.thehydrocut.ca) – my home mountain bike trails. I am a member of the Trail Committee that maintains these trails and have ridden them for many years, but this was my very first winter ride there.
I’ve previously blogged about how I prepare for winter riding on Michelle’s blog (http://www.michelletherunner.com/cycling-in-winter-doesnt-have-to-be-indoors/) but this was before I got my fat bike, and before I’d ridden at this temperature!
I met my partners in crime Ana Maria, Susan and Bob at the west trail entrance at 10am and we headed off for our little adventure. Ana has a brand new fat bike and was excited to take it out for its first ride, despite the cold. When we planned this ride, we knew it was going to be cold, but when you step outside at minus 23C, you realize that any exposed skin is going to get cold very quickly. Pedalling the bike kept my body warm, but I knew I wouldn’t last too long out there. As it turned out, we rode just over 6 kilometres before we agreed that fingers and toes were cold and painful enough (about 45 minutes of riding).
The trails were in great condition for fat biking. The singletrack had just enough snow for traction and the snow was packed down enough by hikers and other riders. Today was why I got my fat bike, and this was the best 6 km ride I’ve ever had!