What a great weekend of riding. I know I say this every time but this could have been the best winter riding for me yet. It was that good.
During the four hour drive up I was a bit concerned as it was bare green grass. That is, until you got about 30 miles from Marquette. Then, within a few miles it turns into a winter wonderland. Then as you get close to the big lake the skies darken and its snowing so hard you could not see far. Total white out.
So as I roll closer to town it seems that they just got at least 6 inches of snow. That was a bit concerning as riding in deep ungroomed snow is a bummer for me. And we were going to be riding in a little over an hour. We got to the AirBnB, changed into out riding clothes and headed to the trailhead. Hoping for the best.
So it was wheels on the ground at about 1230 Saturday. We decided to hit up the north side. The north has a lot more hiking and shoeing traffic than the south trails. So we thought with the fresh snow that would be the best choice. We were not disappointed. The trails were already run in and very firm. I aired up to 10 pounds with no problem. Amazing. When the trails are good here it does not take long to know it. 5 minutes in and you could not slap the smiles off our faces. Firm, fast a flowy. It was going to be a good weekend.
Saturday I rode farther than I ever have before on the north trails sans ebike. I was just so pumped to be there. I climbed everything. Albeit slow but I never got off and pushed. Almost 3 hours on the bike. Sadly, my Garmin was acting up so I have no data on my rides this weekend. I had planned to wear a HR strap to see where I was in that regards. This was really my first big ride without the Powerfly and I was pleasantly surprised with my performance.
We did about a 10 mile loop. Stopped a lot for pics and talking to others. Just a good day on the bike. Then it was out to eat, then a few (one) beers and it was lights out at 9am. I was pretty beat.
Sunday was going to be even a bigger day on the bike. I felt good. We decided to stay on the north side since we knew the conditions were prime.
We planned on doing the same exact loop as the day before but backwards. And if it was possible it was a even better ride than the day before. There was one climb I had to get off and walk but it did not bother my as much as I was not the only one. We opted to add a few smaller loops on the way back too. Bonus mileage. Other than that I was once again surprised on my ride. More climbing and having to have to stop less than I thought. All added up to a very nice two days of bike riding. Im a bit sore today but its a good sore.
It felt good to remember the spots I usually turned back and let the others go and just kept on riding past them. Maybe in the past I was just too careful? Maybe riding the ebike farther out here this summer made me more familiar with the trails and I knew what was ahead instead of riding into the unknown. Not sure. But it was all good. Im pretty sure this was the earliest Ive ever rode in snow. I mean real snow. This last weekend already was more snow riding than I had back home all last winter. I hope that changes this year.
My new Borealis Crestone is amazing. I really like it. I know… what’s not to like. What a swing in weight. The Powefly was close to 50 pounds and this bike go’s 22 and change. I sure could feel that. Even in the climbing and for sure when I leaned the bike on the trail. Mated up with Sram Eagle and HED wheels its an awesome fat bike. Very happy with it. Again, I want to shake the hand of the person at Sram that came up with the 50 tooth cassette. Makes my climbing life so much easier. Especially with the big 27.5 by 4.5 wheel\tire combo. I can’t say enough about this bike but I’ll stop.
One thing I did do before we left was add a dropper post. Its not that Im planning on hucking off any 10 foot drops. But it just makes getting on the bike on the snow so much easier. I know. Not as glamorous a reason. But really, standing in a foot of snow, drop the post, jump on and pop it back up and your off. Take it from a guy with short legs. It’s worth the pound or so of added weight. At least it is to me. And even tho I dont ride the gnarly trails with the dropper post on the bike it looks like I could. Perception is reality.
So in closing it was another amazing weekend. I’ve said this a million times before but I just can’t figure out why more dont come up. We used to get 10 bikes up here and now it two, maybe three. The riding has been steller on these weekends. And when we these mini trips its quick and easy. One nite stay, two good rides. I think the 4 hour drive there and back is totally worth it. Maybe the others just dont think that way…. Anyway, maybe another in the middle of Dec???