Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Sharp Edge of Spring

I'll admit that I'd hoped to return from southern Arizona to find that Spring had started without us. But the storm we'd driven through followed us and kept it feeling like winter.

Since then it HAS warmed up. Still freezing at night, but often barely. And daytime temps in the 40s and even 50s! Time to ride!

Except... That the trails still had winter snow all over and around them and the heat was melting it into mud. And the mud around here is awful. Not only do bikes gouge naughty grooves into the trails, but a high bentonite content can make for an impossibly slippery trail that still, somehow, sticks to bikes so ferociously that wheels can clog to where they won't roll. And then the bike weighs about a billion pounds and can't be carried.

One winter I had my bike get stuck in the mud during a thaw and had to live in the desert eating frozen prickly pear cactus until late spring when the mud finally dried up and I was able to hike out and come back with a jackhammer to crack the mud off my bike so I could ride it again. This is not true, but almost.

The warmth and sun have been drying the trails quickly. Lower sections were wet then moist then dry. Shady north-facing sections and higher trails were still too snowy or wet to ride but some are now only moist. We've been putting together some fun if short rides - out to the wet and then turning back.

I'm sure we'll get more snow yet. And there aren't any flowers blooming or anything. So it may not be Spring exactly, but it's coming on fast.

Here are some pics to prove it.
From 2010 Spring

From 2010 Spring

Sprocket surveys the trails. Or maybe he's looking for moths.
From 2010 Spring

Our buddy Landon flies through the air. As usual.
From 2010 Spring

And this: Looks like someone got grumpy about it. I guess I can relate. Every year some interesting step or ledge or embedded rock that I've been enjoying gets "improved" by someone who apparently thinks that mountain biking is all about smooth, ramped trails. I like it rough. I hope this helps keep it that way.
From 2010 Spring

No comments:

Post a Comment