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Friday’s Fargo death march

December 20, 2008

Time just keeps going even if you don’t want it too.  I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already.  I can’t believe it’s almost 2009.   This month has been crazy.   Lots of stuff going on at home and at work.  Until yesterday, I had only ridden my bike one time in December.   December will no doubt go down as my worst biking month in 2008.

I really needed a bike ride.   My psyche was off.  My metabolism was off.   My sleep was off.   Since it actually felt warm at above 10 degrees, I decided to go for the long Friday ride.

It was snowing when I left.   There is something fun and beautiful about riding in soft fluffy snow.  I love how quiet it is.  No knobbies whirring on the pavement.  Just gentle smooth riding.   It was amazing.   I also like riding in the snow because on a bike path, you often don’t even need lights.   My Friday morning commute to the breakfast spot was quite a bit slower than normal.  I was surprised I was the first one there.

1st Customer!

1st Customer!

After a hearty warm breakfast, 7 of us took off for the river bottoms.   We were going to slog into work on snowy singletrack today.  One of the guys split off as he was on a cross bike.  The rest of us hit the trail.  Our bike list consisted of 2 Salsa Fargos, 2 Surly Pugleys, 1 Rawland and 1 Salsa El Mariachi.

I've never noticed this sign before.

I've never noticed this sign before.

It was a stunning morning.  The snow had stopped.  The trail had about2-3 inches of fresh soft snow over about a 12″ wide packed snow path.  We were able to move along pretty good.   I can’t believe what kind of torque it takes to ride in the snow.  Slow but smooth pedaling is required.

Meiser was our tour guide today.  He led us on this little side path today and it was my favorite section of the ride.  I’ve ridden this trail countless times and never ridden this alternative route.

Snowy Paradise

Snowy Paradise

After another new side route, we ended up riding the streets into work.   Another successful trip into work.  All in all, I had about 3.5 hours of riding already.  Sweet.

I left work early as I needed to get home so my wife could go to a Christmas party.   I didn’t have time to ride the trail.   Instead I rode the road thinking I’d take an alternative route.   I was making OK time considering I was riding my Fargo with Gordo rims & WW 2.55 tires with about 12-15 PSI in them.   I finally reached the bike path over the river.  It’s about 1.5 miles long.  It was unridable.   We’ve had too much snow lately and all the snow that was cleared and thrown from the road got dumped on the pedestrian bridge.  It was 7-10 inches of lumpy snow.  Crap!   What to do?  Walk it to get to the other side or back track and do a very long extra loop.  Both options would likely end up with me not being home in time for my wife to go to her party.  Double Crap!

I decided to chance the walking thinking that maybe some sections would be rideable.  My home is roughly 7 miles from the other side of the bridge.    Off I went walking and sludging through the unrideable snow.   I was shocked at how long it took me.   I was only walking about .5 miles an hour with my bike.  I had to stop every hundred or so steps to rest.  I tried running & pushing but cramped both my calves.  Thankfully, I had grabbed some energy food from the free table at work.    I had been out almost 2 hours already and it was now dark.  The other end of the bridge was at least 35-45 minutes.  I knew I’d be late getting home.

I called my awesome wife and told here I was in trouble and that I’d be late (meaning she’d be late).  She was worried about me because I was tired, it was dark, it was getting colder, and I’d been sweating for over 2 hours.   She said she would meet me at the end of the bridge and give me a ride.   Great!  I was thankful, but I still had another 45 minutes of pure punishment to get across the bridge.

The one glimmer in this whole ordeal was that I got to see 3 lone deer walking across the rarely frozen river.  They looked so odd in the middle of the river all alone.   I’m not used to seeing deer so out in the open.  I felt like them.  Alone.  It was too dark to get a picture.  Frankly, even though I wanted to try to get a pic, I couldn’t bring myself to open my camera bag because I didn’t want to stop.

I finally got across the river where I met my wife at the park and ride spot.  Another 2.5 hours of riding and pushing.  All in all a 6 hour day  with my bike.  I slept well.  My metabolism spiked.  My psyche is good.  Just what I needed.

Where will my Fargo bring me next?

Where will my Fargo bring me next?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. captain bob permalink
    December 20, 2008 5:05 pm

    Now that’s a ride I wish I was on…………actually minus the snow.

  2. GreenLightGo permalink
    December 20, 2008 7:43 pm

    Some adventure! Got all 10 toes?

  3. Gnat permalink*
    December 20, 2008 10:17 pm

    Yep, all ten. Actually, I had no issues with my toes. The movement and the friction from walking kept them toasty.

  4. December 22, 2008 10:23 am

    You are too hardcore. Be careful out there.

    grannygear

  5. December 27, 2008 4:26 pm

    Dude, that Cafe pic is one of my faves so far of yours. I just LOVE it.

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