Posted by: emilybybike | January 31, 2011

Snow, Ice and Snot(cycle)

It’s been a bit rough for the self-powered, two-wheeled commuter the past few weeks. Up and down temperatures coupled with seemingly weekly blasts of winter weather are making going by bike just about anywhere quite the challenge. This past weekend I was able to go by bike at Snotcycle, the first mountain bike race of the season, out at Rockland Farm, and if the race conditions were any representation of all biking conditions in the area lately, well, it was quite the challenge to say the least. Even getting to the farm in cars/trucks was a challenge. With about 5 inches of snow covering the ground the “bike” race turned into more of a running / trudging / attempting to get on your bike race. Definitely an event for those with strong and determined souls.

What normally takes cyclists anywhere from 30-45 minutes to complete, took anywhere from 1 to over 2 hours to complete one 7 and some change mile lap. For me – it took me almost 3 hours to go the 15.5 miles my GPS recorded as 2 laps. Ouch. Running / trudging nearly 90% of my first lap exhausted me to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish my second. But I did, and am glad for it as I finished 4th in Women’s Cat 1.

Heading toward the finish of one lap – a brief moment on the bike… (Thanks to Gary Ryan for braving the cold and snow and taking photos!)

And despite the cold and ridiculous racing conditions, it was fun to get out, see some folks I hadn’t seen since race season ended and get excited for the upcoming season. But racing did teach me that if I am going to go by bike in the snow – it’s going to be slow going and I need to put some seriously knobby tires on my commuter!

Looking like a bleak week for going by bike – but if I can – you know I will!

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