Mud Season is Here
March 21, 2006
I am back at Bear Brook State Park. This time I have the map and I am feeling like a lot more adventureous.
The weather is a lot warmers and the sun is out (44 versus 28 on Sunday), it is about 2:30 PM. I've been working in the morning. It is warn enough that I ride without a jacket until the sun starts to go down around 5 PM. Then the temperture drops quickly.
I ride about 10 miles in 3 hours versus 7 miles in 50 minutes last time. This time I brought a map with me and explored some of the trails. I learned there are 5 types of trails:
1. Paved Road about 4 miles
2. Unpaved Roads
3. Very bad Dirt roads
4. Snowmobile Trails
5. Cross Country Ski Trails
The warmer weather and sun have melted the ice layer under the dirt where the sun can hit it. This really slows the bike down because the wheel sinks in the soft spots. I also discovered that my cross with 700C wheels only really works on the 2 highest grades of roads (paved and unpaved).
I also learn that the map I had really didn't show the difference between the different types of roads because it assumed your were on skis. I did about 2 miles on a X-C ski Trail, that was after about 4 miles on really bad dirt road and 2 miles of paved road. I said to myself "How bad can a mile and a half or two miles of X-C Ski Trail be?".
I found that walking and carrying the bike I only average about 2 miles per hour. Also I was gripping the bars so hard on descents that my hands started to cramp after about and hour and a half.
I did find it exciting when I was riding along the board walk through the swamp between the 2 lakes near the campground and the slats started falling off. That slowed me down as much as climbing the X-C Trail carrying the bike.
I think this will be my last trail ride until summer. It looks like mud season is here and neither the Cross nor the Slipstream is a good mud bike. But I had a great work out and even enjoyed the walking.
It was a great day. After a long winter to be warmed by a bright sun and to be out riding without a jacket felt amazing. The forest that felt like I owned it because it was just me, the birds, and the sound of the wind in the trees. The bright splashs of green in the low spots grabbed my eye and made my sprit soar.
I can't wait any longer for Spring!