Yesterday's rides-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Yesterday's rides

    Geared up yesterday morning to drive out the hot spring road and ride a favorite trail. Brought the goods (wine, cheese, bread, chicken and a headlight in case napping till dark became an issue) for hanging out at the cabin including a hard backed book which is not typical for this weight weenie but "The Education of Henry Adams" is blowing me away and couldn't be sacrificed. Parked at the empty mile 31 trailhead for Colorado-Stiles Creeks Trails. Minutes later I'm cruising up the trail, it's a little punchy so a quick stop for lowering tire pressure was in order. Up the first big hill with it's push the bike beginning to where this trail crosses the Chena Hot Springs Winter Road. It's official designation is C.H.S.W. "Trail" but ever since Alaska Parks ruined it by making it 20 ft. or more wide I call it a road. As usual the C.H.S.W.R. was well packed from mushers, unfortunately the Colorado-Stiles Creek Trail was not. I suppose I could have run the tires as low as they'd go but wasn't in the mood for a spanking. Besides all the work climbing in it would not even make for a fun-fast ride out under those conditions. After the Thanksgiving break it should be ok if the usual number of folks go into the cabin. Ok a quick blast down the C.H.S.W.R. to the Colorado Creek roadhouse and it's picturesquely deteriorating old cabins. Wow, no overflow, is that because of our summer-fall drought or will it build up later this winter? Back up to the crosstrail, down to the trailhead and then down the road to check out the North Fork trail. No traffic there yet which is normal. The river needs to be crossed to access that trail and it's too early, too warm for that. Skunked, ok back towards home and another Love Rd. trails ride.

    It was supposed to warm up but at the trailhead it's still a comfortable 10F or so. Down the pipeline pad to the main crosstrail where I take a right. The trail is a bit chewed up from some motorhead using paddle tracks, unfortunately one sees more and more of this. Strong wind at my back helps a little. Up a ways I take another right planning on making a loop back to the trailhead. Along this trail thick black spruce forest 20 ft. tall makes for somewhat calm air on the trail while the wind whips the treetops seeming close enough to almost provoke ducking. On one stretch the trail turned into a mass of movement when snow-laden treetops let loose cascades of white onto the trail making soft plops which in turn conjured images of cows eating marshmallows and what the end result of that might be. The heavy masses drop then hit branches that in turn release more white as they suddenly spring free, jump up and oscillate. Not all movement is up and down, with each snowdrop a percentage of the load is fine particles which streak sideways forming a tenuous, white curtain that gently scrubs your exposed face and makes a hissing sound as you pass thru. At the top of this trail I discover the loop is unbroken so backtracking to the trailhead is in order. With the poor trail conditions this usually short ride took over an hour and had me a bit thrashed.

    Warmer temps predicted for the next week coupled with the typical increase in trail traffic during a holiday should result in well packed trails. t

  2. #2
    FatBike Fiend
    Reputation: Wildfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Hey Winterbiker,
    Glad to here you're back at it for another winter. Been cranking the valley trails: hard packed and slick and bumpy. Waiting for the rivers to freeze to access the more remote trails but it's been pretty warm so may take a while.


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