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  1. #1
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    Grand Junction Snow is Primo

    The local GJ riding has been good! Where the trails are packed, it's fun! I've been out every other day since Friday.

    I seem to have become acclimated to winter now. I was pretty dang chilly on the first couple sub-freezing rides of the season. Now I'm in a thin long-sleeve wool jersey and a nylon vest. Bike shorts under regular shorts (wind barrier), wool kneekers under my knee pads. Thin gloves. Ear warmers and helmet cover. I do have Lake winter riding boots, but my companions have been having fun in plastic bags-over-wool socks in their summer shoes.

    Sweaters! Even zooming around town I've taken to wearing a sweater or two. Warm, but enough wind gets through to let me sweat out the moisture. Those sheep may know what they're doing. If it gets into the teens or lower, a vest to lessen the chill on the torso.

    At the Lunch Loops it helps that most everything starts with a climb for warm-up. Feels a bit chilly until I get going. Vest gets unzipped, then re-zipped for the ride down.

    On Friday's ride we tried Holy Cross. Fun, but tough. Narrow and soft. Easy to slip off the packed part of the trail and ditch it.

    Today at 3:00 or so it was melty where the sun was shining. We skipped Pet-e-Kes and went right up the Tabeguache, which was snow and nicely packed. A couple trails near the squeezer, then up and back on Pre-Nup, which is pretty dang fun. And challenging. Especially on the one stretch that doesn't get any sun and has the softest snow. Then it was cooling off and refreezing, so we came down Pet-e-Kes.

    Bikes: We don't got no snow bikes. Just the regular all-terrain ones. They're made for riding a variety of terrain, right? All I've done is lower my tire pressure to a bit over 20 psi. (Your results may differ.) On a Crossmark (rear) that, I'm sure, isn't the "best" choice for snow, but it doesn't seem to matter.

    Small adventures, for sure, but dang it's good to be out riding!

    Maybe more snow tomorrow, so who knows what we'll have afterward? If it's ridable I'll ride it. If not, no problem. I'll stay inside and mope.

    --Greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grand Junction Snow is Primo-0109snonice070.jpg  

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    Photos and adventures being logged at Dirt & Dogs.

  2. #2
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    Glad to see somebody riding the Cross! I considered the possibility, but your photos pretty much captured the reason why I didn't go there.

    On Sunday, I did Pet-e-kes, High Noon, lower Squeezer, the new Miramonte Loop and back in on Kurt's Lane. Not sure if I am biking deprived, but it sure was fun!

    I saw some light freaks out last night on the way home form work. Not sure that I am that deprived, yet.

  3. #3
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    Nice to see other West Slopers gettin' out for some!
    The weatherman is claimin' a return to snow next week as El Nino cranks up again.
    We just might get good at this snowriding thing!....no moping allowed

  4. #4
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    Nice photos.
    Looks fun. But wow what a cold spell.

  5. #5
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    Cold spell? Yeah... I guess. I'm trying not to think about it so I don't cry.

    Luckily, it's been cold enough that I've been doing day riding. Last winter I remember primarily riding at night after it had frozen.

    Today was a Heat Wave of amazing proportions! I believe it actually got just about nearly almost above freezing. But not quite. Still, the sun was melting things up pretty good. I opted out of the afternoon ride, and the Girl and I rode after sunset and into the dark.

    I had fun. The dogs had fun. The Girl didn't have much fun. Night riding is more fun when you can see. She didn't have any clear glasses, and her eyes were watering so much it was blinding her. Plus the semi-crappy light I lent her. And if ya can't see, ya wander off the edges of the packed trail and wallow into the fluff, which after the 742rd time, was getting a bit tiresome for her.

    So keep those things in mind for yerself if ya git out there to try it.

    Still, good to be out there. I'm going to try again myself tomorrow morning.

    --Greg
    Photos and adventures being logged at Dirt & Dogs.

  6. #6
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    Just got back in myself. Froze up real good as of ~10pm. Slick where it melted today, which, in the dark, is sorta, kinda, a little hard to see.

    The pure white snowpacked sections are grippier than...

    ...something really grippy. Fun stuff.

    Looks like the lower parts of Pedophile and Kurt's are taking a beating (ruts/widening) from folks getting out there too late into the morning melt.

    Oddly, I didn't see any tracks down Pucker Up. Whassupwiddat?

    Snow riding is stellar right now on the Mesa. Might even be good enough to enjoy with fattish tires on a normal bike. Someone should go find out and let the rest of us know...

    Greg? Did you just volunteer? Start with West Bench and work from there...

    MC

  7. #7
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    Great pics!

  8. #8
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    Bright sunny morning yesterday. Except that it had slipped into afternoon by the time we got out. Still bright and sunny, but the dang Heat Wave (33 F!) had the thin ice softening into mud on our way out. We totally avoided the more schmud-prone Pet-e-Kes and Kurt's and stuck to the more northerly-facing stuff.

    Did Holy Cross, which is shaping up nicely with more use, though it's still twice the workout as when it's in summer clothes. Landon was trying to ignore the snow and take the alternate lines anyway.

    The weather service is threatening us with more snow next week. I'm thinking a nice light layer packed over what we have would be a good thing. But another dump would be awkward. Get out there and ride this weekend! I'd suggest you make sure it's early or after sunset and keep the ruts to a minimum.

    --Greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grand Junction Snow is Primo-0115snair08.jpg  

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  9. #9
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    Nice shots rode Holy early today. Out on trail by 9 an finish at 11:00. And the trail was starting to soften. So looks like it is a good plan to be off the trails no later 11:30am. Plus early morning the snow so cold the it has great traction. Hope to see you on the trail.
    " They May forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them Feel"
    Carl. W. Buechner

  10. #10
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    I'd guess it's a bucket-o-slop out there right now.

    We rode late yesterday afternoon. Except for a couple-minute burst while we were out, the sun hadn't been out all day, I thought it'd be super solid. As it was, there was some surface slop, but we weren't cutting ruts like someone had. Whoops.

    The ride was just the same old usual fun-to-be-out. Plus, there are some sections where I was getting up to speed and grinning stupidly.

    With today's heat wave and the expected continued above freezing temps, I'm guessing I'm off the trail for now. Sun and temps made a big dent in the snow around town today. We'll have to see what happens out there when it cools off again -- which I expect it will do before it dries out or anything. Might be good. Might be an ice slick.

    See ya on the bike path!

    --Greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grand Junction Snow is Primo-0118sox06.jpg  

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  11. #11
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    Nice

    You guys/gals further north have a bit more dirt available than we do down here, and since the pattern has been 6"-10" of new snow each morning, I'm afraid our winter rides will slow down a bit.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  12. #12
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    The recent heat wave seems to have abated. I was out today in the middle. A wisp of snow was falling as I headed out. Just enough to sprinkle powdered sugar over the frozen mud.

    The heat and re-chill has not been kind to the trails. The ice was icier. The crust was crustier. The mud wasn't muddier, but it had been, and there were some gouge-y ruts hardened into it. The snow, which had been cold-packed into smoothness in the chilly weather, had melted soft and gotten post-holed and re-frozen. The overall effect did not make the fun any funnier.

    Still, I managed. Pretty much always good to be out.

    --Greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grand Junction Snow is Primo-0126sazi60.jpg  

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  13. #13
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    Two days of wet, melty snow this week. Wasn't sure how the trails would be, but I went out today before the morning thaw. Was ice-fog over town and the river. But either it burned off, or I rode out from under it. Sunny by the time I hit the trail.

    Lower Miramonte was icy, as in the wash had been flowing red-mud water and then froze. Pure red-ice crust that cracked through much of the time and offered near-frictionless conditions in spots. One such spot threw me into the nice soft snow on the side of the trail.

    Higher up, there was plenty of crackle-crunch, but it was all pretty rideable, if not particularly flowy. The exposed sun was warming things more rapidly than I'd hoped, so I made it near Wafer Rock and headed back down as the sunny spots started to get melty on top.

    Actually saw another rider out there today. Don't seem to see that much lately.

    I'd hoped to ride for a couple hours, but got one. Dang. Do I have to start earlier? I'm not much good at that.

    --Greg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grand Junction Snow is Primo-0130sloop61.jpg  

    Photos and adventures being logged at Dirt & Dogs.

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