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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Bikezilla's Avatar
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    I'm no Stud and Proud of it.

    Cabin fever has obviously made me delirious. I couldn't even read the thermometer correctly.



    Not only did I crawl out of hibernation 3 months early, but I took to the icy trails on plain tires. (Most folks are running w/spikes round here lately)

    The logs were friendly:


    The snow didn't jump up and bite me like I expected:


    Without spikes, proceeding with caution was the rule of the day:


    The little rocks were still fun:


    The big ones not so much so:


    Log after log:


    This fallen tree has a bright future:


    Sometimes the trail had traction, sometimes it was glazed glide


    After 2-1/2 hrs I was convinced it wasn't a delusion and that I was actually enjoying myself.


    I might even do it again!



    ('scuse the carless quality, I didn't bother to set the camera for the snow, or tweak for it in PSS)
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    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: wilks's Avatar
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    good stuff Zilla - glad you got out! We rode yellow trail from TOS Saturday - the trails were very rideable - although the steep climbs were virtually impossible.

  3. #3
    not so super...
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    great photos Zilla (again) which is why I moved on to video.

  4. #4
    No, that's not phonetic
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    You should get some studs. It really opens up all sorts of new riding possibilities.

    We got out yesterday. It was sunny, calm, and reasonably warm for January. If you were out near the coast in the sun it was in the 40's. A bit chillier back in the valleys where we rode but still only around freezing.

    Riding up an access road into a quiet valley:



    Then it was a few miles of grassy riding through the cottonwoods to get to the river's edge:



    The rest of the ride is on the gravel river bed which is often dry. This creek tends to be ephemeral and prone to flooding, so it is one of the very few watercourses on Kodiak that is wide braided gravel.



    There is no trail. We just ride up the river bed over the sand, gravel, and cobbles. The ice is the smoothest surface so we followed that when available. It was probably half ice, half rock.



    My first ride on my new King bottom bracket. Mmmmmm.... King.





    We ride up the river to a point where the valley narrows and it enters a gorge and there is always water flowing. You climb almost imperceptibly the whole time so when you turn around suddenly the riding seems a lot easier but you're not sure why.



    There are some sections of chunk to negotiate, but if you pick your lines the whole route is rideable.



    Miles of rock:



    Leaving the river bed and heading back to the trail in the woods:



    Sometimes it is just easier to ride in the creek than deal with the alders:





    On the trail out:

    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: JimmyC's Avatar
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    Great photos!

    It is good to see you guys having fun in the snow!

  6. #6
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    Wow, it's amazing how little Alaska looks like Southern NY.
    Great shots Ts.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  7. #7
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    Bikezilla, your first pic is awesome. Very creative.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    ...but I took to the icy trails on plain tires. (Most folks are running w/spikes round here lately)
    Do you have a Crossmarks?? How it's going? Why not some more agressive tire?

  9. #9
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    Reputation: Locotiki's Avatar
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    Nice shots Zilla. Your trails look prime for winter riding. Ours are under about a foot and a half of snow (with more coming tomorrow). I've found here in the NE that more times than not a large volume non studded tire is better than studs. Don't get me wrong, I have studded tires and do use them if I know I'll be on more ice than snow but if the ice is just patchy and your going to be primarily on snow I would stick to normal tires. Riding packed trails like the ones in your pictures are so much fun. Just stay away from them when they soften up a little or you'll never want to ride in the winter again...unless you like the feeling of riding in cold wet sand.
    Egg

  10. #10
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    Great stuff from both 'Zilla and tscheezy

    I like riding in packed down snow. The traction can surprise you. It's that ice is what throws me, figuratively and literally.

    Bikezilla, does that first pic of your mirror say "27 ICE?" Is that one of them there "smart" mirrors?

    (it's minus 6 F. at my house at 5:30 am MST, no wind...no riding)
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I like riding in packed down snow. The traction can surprise you. It's that ice is what throws me, figuratively and literally...
    does that first pic of your mirror say "27 ICE?" Is that one of them there "smart" mirrors? (it's minus 6 F. at my house at 5:30 am MST, no wind...no riding)
    Apparently the mirror is smarter than me b/c it stayed in the car.
    Ering, tnx, I've used that kind of shot before, makes a good intro if I don't do it too often.


    Archer, Loc, yeah I know bigger tires are better on volumous snow. This was almost all hardpack with lots of hard slick ice. The crossmark was only on the front and actually was fairly sufficient. I had a Adent 2.4DH on the back. I didn't feel like changing the front at the time.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

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