Monday, January 21, 2008


Sorry I do not have a photo, I was too cold and tired. Anyway yesterday Ben, James and I decided to do a semi long (3 hour) mountain bike ride. It was about 30 and it hadn't snowed in a while. It seemed like a good idea, I don't like skiing on big holidays and this was in the desert. Not many people out there. Jake, from the store, told me that Horse Ridge was pretty good.
On the way it started to snow, about when I was passing the Pilot Butte movie theaters, and I was wondering why I couldn't be normal and just go to a movie. But on I went to meet my friends for the ride.
It started out great, 2 to 3 inches of soft powder snow over what seemed like dirt. Every once in a while one of us would slide a bit, but it is winter and we expected that. We started out on the west side of Horse Ridge and then crossed over, through Golden Basin, to the east side. The down was fun, saw a big guy in a big truck. He was thinking we were crazy. He may have been correct. The first sign of something not right happened as Ben was just riding along when his whole bike just started to slide. Down he went and slid for 20 feet. Solid ice under the snow. We kept going and it seemed fine. We had to climb back up to horse ridge and I noticed there were spots of treacherous ice under the snow. But uphill that is not a problem. We hiked up to the top and the dirt was actually powdery. We were looking forward to the single track after two hours on dirt desert road.
Well on top it was more snow and more ice. It was impossible to see the ice. Sometimes when you turned the bike went straight. At least we were riding almost level.
Now most of you know I am 57, I have got a lot more conservative in my riding and I have a no fall policy. Ben and James are young bucks. They race in the pro level of mountain bikes. They are used to riding with Adam Craig and Chris Sheppard not with me.
We got to the junction and decided that down out of the ice through Sandy Canyon was our best bet.
So down we went. I was thinking it would get better real soon. No. It was like a sheet of ice under the snow. Those guys were ahead and I was thinking: They are probably eating this up and will have to wait for me. I was careful, I walked a few spots, once it was too late to get off the bike and there was no stopping I did my best Adam Craig imitation and managed not to fall.
When we regrouped at the bottom they felt the same as me. Some of the hairiest riding they had done. Totally unpredictable. Right after that I was following Ben when he hit another huge piece of ice. Down he went with me right behind. We were not going fast so no injuries.
On the way home I looked at the what movies were playing. Probably nothing as exciting as our ride.
Take care and stay off the ice.

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