You Down with I-C-E?

Yeah, you know me.

We’ve had some interesting weather over the past week.  We started with 5-6″ of accumulated snow, followed up by some warmer weather and rain, and then another cold freeze.  That left just a couple of inches of snow, with an ice rime on top of it.  If you were breaking through the rime, it was challenging riding (essentially, fatbike icebreakers, putting most of your effort into constantly breaking the snowy crust).

Anywhere there wasn’t snow, it was just ice…like this:

I don’t have studded tires, as we don’t have much call for them here in Illinois.  Riding on glare ice is…well…challenging.  So when BPaul and I struck out on Saturday, we headed for the snowy bits, and hit a local forest preserve.

Honestly, riding in that small amount of crusty snow is harder than riding in 6″ of powder.

In the Carbon Beargrease realm, my Beargrease is now sporting XTR brakes and ENVE handlebars, courtesy of my former Superfly.

I ended up running about 3-3.5psi, and at that pressure, I could float on the ice rime.

Note the substantial tire deformation.  I was probably running a little bit too low…but as you can see, I wasn’t breaking through the ice.

Areas that had ice-hardened footprints were not terribly comfortable to ride.

This is the scene of last year’s Fatbike Faceplant.  If you haven’t seen that video, you should.  Everyone should.

This year, it was frozen enough that I was able to ride across with only minimal breaking through of the ice.

Here’s the Beargrease in service.

Check out that rear tire pressure…

Frozen lakebed FTW.

Yes, those are Wolvhammers and Gore Alp-X Magic Pants.  If you look close, you can see Gore WS Thermo Lobster gloves.

Then, BPaul got on the Beargrease.  Me thinks that he’d need just a little more tire pressure in the rear…

A bleak, damp day.  Crappy, crusty snow.  Not terribly beautiful terrain.

And yet, ridiculously fun.  Way more fun than we had a right to expect.  I’ve ridden in some pretty crappy conditions on the Beargrease this year, and I haven’t had a bad ride yet.  It’s an amazingly fun bike, and I look forward to continuing to spend more time in the saddle.

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