Not a date in December but the difference in temperatures at the start of the ride today vs. yesterday. I had looked at the forecast in advance so I took advantage of the warmer Saturday temperature to get in a little over 4 hours. I planned on checking out some of the trails after the snow we had gotten on Friday. I had two bikes lined up, the SS with fat tires and the geared bike with narrow tires. I planned on doing the same approximate loop on each of about two hours so I could contrast the tire combination on the trails.
I started with the SS and it seemed to float a little over the footprints but it would also break free on some areas where the snow was loose. The back roads are still covered with snow and has an ice surface beneath the snow. There was a lot of "brown sugar" snow, ugly brown crud that sat on top and would slide when you rolled over it if not careful. I tried to do a loop at Addison Oaks where there had been no traffic but gave up shortly after starting in to the trail.
I changed the SS for the geared bike and noticed that I was able to get better traction in most spots as the tires cut through the snow and reach solid ground. The front was a knobby design that allowed me to steer while the rear was a mud tire with minimal tread that is supposed to prevent mud (or snow) from packing. I made it up all the hills that I lost traction on when I was riding the SS. I even made it part way around Orion Oaks before heading back.
Today I only rode for two hours on the back roads. You had to be careful not to get caught in the icy grooves that had formed on much of the road. I don't know what type of machinery the county uses to clear the roads but it leaves multiple parallel grooves running the length of the road. It is quite exciting when coming down a hill and you feel the bike start to slide when it catches in a groove.
Last week marked the end of the power phase using the Compex. I was using it three days a week in progressively higher settings to simulate weight lifting. As a result my legs have been some what sore for the past 6 weeks. Just like the real thing. I have to measure to see if there is any increase in muscle size as well as test to see if my 1 rep max has gone up. Now I start the endurance phase but only two days a week. This phase uses very long muscle contractions to simulate multiple reps. Before too long it will be time to start higher intensity training on the bike as well.