This morning, I mounted up on the Mukluk and headed into the great, untamed wilderness to take advantage of Illinois’ second real snowfall of the season. I’ve never been so excited about 4 inches of snowfall in my life. The ride started out with ChadQuest climbing mountains on his Mighty Muk…
And with the plow pile conquered, we headed into the wilds. I had brought with a fair amount of survival gear based upon the dangerous territory that we headed into, being prepared for potentially dangerous winter moments like this creek crossing:
That’s Tobie from North Central Cyclery, putting his Pugsley through the paces, and risking life and limb on thin ice. I was ready at the creek bank with a rope and emergency blanket, in case he fell through. After seeing that he was going to be able to safely cross, I looked up to the mountains in the distance and took a moment to thank God that I live in scenic Illinois.
Full disclosure time: those aren’t mountains. I know, I know. They look like mountains…but they’re not. It’s actually the back of a retail store. In DeKalb.
I had posted a while ago that adventure is where you find it. Rides like this morning continue to convince me of the truth of that statement. It was a great group–Tobie, Chad, Nevdal (the origin of the verb, ‘to Nevdal ™’, as used here), Mattias and myself. We were all on fat bikes (Chad’s custom frankenMuk, my Schweet Muk, Tobie’s Barney Pugs, and Mattias’ snow-blind Pugs) other than Nevdal, who was sporting his seriously beautiful, new Ti Salsa El Mariachi custom build (mechanical BB7 brakes and 1×9 drivetrain for simplicity, White Brothers carbon rigid fork, etc.). We didn’t climb any mountains or set any records, but we went out and rode on a day when sleeping in seemed like a better idea, and we had a great time.
We had some nice, wooded single track:
I looped around on my Big Fat Larry’s:
We rolled some creek banks:
Including some kinda-hinky off-camber action:
And even conquered the power line trails between here and there.
After a morning of churning snow, we were all a bit hungry, so we headed to a small, locally owned grocer and picked up some provisions for a late-morning snack. While the parking lot was pretty full, we managed to find a spot to park:
And we picked up some chicken sausage, corn tortillas, a dozen eggs, and some related provisions. But how to transport such delicate items back to NCC to cook? Ahh yes…my Porcelain Rocket-made booster rocket seat pack. As I’ve said in the past, I’ve been using it as my go-to bag for the Muk…because I can carry a huge fatbike spare tube, a pump, some CO2 and tools, spare warmer packs, an extra hat/gloves, snacks, and whatever else. Or, I can carry some groceries.
Yup, that’s how we roll.
This may well be the last ‘real’ snowstorm of the season–and that’s depressing, because it really wasn’t a real snowstorm. On a brighter front, even after the snow melts, the Muk will still be pressed into regular service for rides of all sorts. It will also be pressed into service in the fatbike category at the upcoming Barry Roubaix ride in a few weeks. We’ll see how well my training this winter has served me…and how well I can manage nutrition on the road.
Fun ride. Not because of great scenery, or epic conditions…but because of great bikes and even better friends.