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Dirty MTB Route I found last year. Decided to try it on the MTB. It was rought, but refreshing, in this all-road season!

Here is the link to the route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/52806296

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Started an event on Facebook last week where I invited 20+ people to come ride with the WVWC college students during their first week back. About half replied, and a quarter of them were planning on attending. No one showed up. It snowed like crazy two days before, and I guess that killed everyone’s appetite for a ride.

Not me!

I suited up, rode to the meeting point, and waited a whole five minutes longer than I said I would. After that, I scuttled off on my adventurous ride. The route I planned has been ridden by me several times, but never on the cross bike. I didn’t know how it would handle it, or how the snow would affect its maneuverability over rocks, dirt, and mud… For the most part, it rode like a dream. After a very arduous climb, I ended up not having brakes on the way down since the rims and canti’s were coated in ice. Luckily I was able to slow myself down with my foot, and death grip on front and rear shift levers.

At the bottom of the hill, I saw a stray horse. Not knowing much about horses, I didn’t know if I should confront it like a dog, or whether it would attack. Do horses attack people? Bite? Trample? What, anything?

After unsuccessfully wrangling’ up some horses, I went back on the ride. There were many photogenic landscapes and opportunities, but for some reason, this was the only shot I took during the ride:

bike ride in the snow, cyclocross, cross, snow cross

I couldn’t even keep my shadow out of the photo :( I blame using a phone to take such pics…

By this point in the ride, I had been on the bike for almost an hour and a half, and the only part of my body that was cold were my feet, despite the temperature only being 22*F. The sun was coming out, and I knew I still had enough time to have some fun…

Off I went to Gene (Fat Tire Cycle)’s house to see why he didn’t make it to the ride. I didn’t see any vehicles there, so I decided to leave him a little surprise:

cyclocross snow angel

A ‘cross snow angel! I knew he would know it was me, and I thought it would be a funny gesture.

All in all, the ride was very fun, and kept me burning calories, and improving my bike handling skills by leaps and bounds. This is the first year I have really embraced cold weather riding; I’m really wondering why I wasn’t so receptive to it before….?

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With snowfall, it is really hard to motivate yourself to do anything. After work, I was planning on doing an hour or so of cross country skiing to keep my aerobic activity up. I haven’t had too many exciting or super enjoyable ski sessions so far, so the inspiration to go out is even more difficult. With cycling, I can recall past experiences that make me remember great routes, climbs, downhills, or feelings in general. These great times allow me to know that I’d feel great after a good, hard ride.

I got on my bike and took off through the powdery snow, leaving wonderful tire tracks everywhere I went. The initial sting of the cold air hit my legs, but after the first mile… I was ready to keep on pedaling.

Oddly enough, the cross bike really feels more responsive, nimble, and under control than the MTB does in the snow. I’m sure this is due to the skinnier tires at low pressure, the tires not half-floating, half-sinking into the snow, and the differences in geometry and center of gravity.

We all know getting started for an activity is the hard part, but once I was out there, I was whipping around, trying to burn as many calories as possible. It didn’t take much discipline to have an adventure, and test out things that I have never done before on a bicycle in these kinds of conditions.

I learned a lot of new skills, and abilities of my own body (how long it takes my toes to go numb, then hurt), or about the bike (how I can powerslide down a hill by locking my rear wheel just enough..) These things made it totally worth going out.

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college

 

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college figure 8's velodrome

Figure 8's, yes.

 

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college snow velodrome

I was doing laps around the snowvelodrome, er, the rubber track at the college

cyclocross dismount uphill bike crash bike fall bike snow snow bike snowcross uphill downhill wvwc west virginia wesleyan college pomegranate post ride meal

Post ride snack~

 

 

 

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Went to Philippi, WV today and tried to get some coverage on the Barbour DeTour. End results? I was schooled by Gunnar Shogren on digital camcorders; wearing bike shorts instead of bringing a change of clothes, and the history of the local races in Philippi. Great times. I was also fortunate enough to meet up with a few of the pghracing guys who are a blast to talk to. If you live in West Virginia, I suggest to get to Philippi next time they have a race! In Fact, WVMBA #6 is tomorrow! Hope to see you there!

All in all, there were racers from at least four or five states other than WV, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’m excited for the kind of liveliness that has been seen in this year’s race series!

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Got invited on a mountain bike ride today, and an odd thing happened. Three Wesleyan Cycling Club Presidents were in attendance.

Myself – Emeritus

Current President – Graduating this year

Future President – Freshman

I see a lot of hope in this group, as long as they are able to get out a bit more often!

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