Red in the Morning.

We have finally gotten some snow in Illinois.  Enough to stop a fatbike, in spots.

In other spots,the snowmobiles have made slightly firmer trails that offer easier going.

But from time to time, there is still walking.

Bonus points if you can ID that nose/beard.

I’ve been getting to watch how a set of Escalators dominates the snowfall…

And of course, there are always Endos and Larrys.

This week saw a lot of varied conditions.  Wednesday night, the snow was damp and thick.  It made perfect snowballs, resulting in a lot of off-the-bike amusement.  It also offered heroic levels of traction–if you could keep pedalling, you could keep going.  We were riding 6-8″ deep snow without stopping.  I was running about 7psi (high for me), and still had no problems.

Saturday morning (the above pics are from Sat), the snow was hard and crusty.  I was able to run on top of the crust quite a bit, at around 4.5-5psi.  If you broke through, it turned powdery underneath and there was no traction to be had in the deeper stuff.  Jumping up and down gets you through for a bit, but isn’t a permanent solution.

I know Eskimos have a multitude of words for snow, in the same way that my parents, who are farmers, have a multitude of words for different soil conditions (crusty, clumpy, crumpy, slabby, lumpy, slumpy, etc.).  I need to start learning some of them.  There is more to snow than just powder, slush and crust.

This morning, I first hit the gravel for some Barry-Roubaix training miles, and then went out to a forest preserve and did some fresh tracks.  I also hit another preserve and rode some cross-country skiing trails.  It’s dark at 5am.

Saw this coming up over the horizon, and knew it was time to head for home.

I think I like this shot better.

I ended up doing about 20 miles this morning, in 2 hours.  A lot of that was middle-chainring effort in deep-ish, crusty snow, working on holding a lot of resistance in a hard-ish gear.  I know the hills of Michigan are right around the corner, and I want to be ready.







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