Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mid week update

My leg felt a little better so Sandy and I did get out on a local loop yesterday afternoon to try some XC skiing. The snow was thin in spots to where the skis would occasionally drag across something. I should have used my old set of skis so I wouldn't have worried about any damage to the bottoms. As it was there were a few new scratches but nothing major.

This morning Sandy didn't want to make the 2.5 hour drive to ski up north as there were things she wanted to do around the house. My leg had improved to the point that I decided to go out for a ride.

I suited up and headed first to the school and rode most of the winter race course and then part of Bald Mountain before heading over to Stony Creek Metropark to ride the trails there. I was being very careful anytime I encountered ice since I didn't want to fall again, especially not on the same knee.

Stony didn't seem to have as much snow as by our house and there had been quite a bit of foot traffic to beat down the snow. It was a lot easier to ride most of the trails there than Bald Mountain or the school. But Stony did have quite a bit of ice on the trails. Most of it was easy to see because other bikers had scraped away the snow on top as they had slid and sometimes fallen, as evidenced by the tracks.

I managed to stay upright and rode almost all of the trails without having to stop with the exception of three different uphills that were solid ice. I wasn't going that fast anyway and treated the ride as more of skill and balance training.

On the way home I jumped on the Paint Creek Trail, one of the area rail trails that is popular with runners, walkers, and bikers all year long. Fortunately the footprints were not very deep and I could make pretty good time on the generally level path.

As I got closer to home the trail was less traveled and beat down so the foot prints were more wide spread and harder to ride. I moved off to the side to what looked like a smoother section but no sooner did I do that than the front wheel slid into a rut hidden under the snow and the bike dumped me onto the ground. I landed right on the knee I had fallen on this past Sunday. I lay there for a while until the pain subsided before getting back on the bike. Fortunately there was no one around to witness the fall or hear what came out of my mouth.

I made it home without any further incidences but I think I may invest into some downhill body armor for riding in the snow. Jason clued me into an herbal remedy for bumps and bruises called Arnica Montana that I purchased yesterday and it seemed to help with my knee. Maybe I should be buying it by the gallon.

And now more pictures from last week:


dave c said...

Hey Steve -- just discovered your blog and enjoy the updates. I live near Bald Mountain South and I think I passed you on Greenshield riding with my son a few weeks ago. Question, are you using studs? I want to keep riding and am considering the purchase.

Steve Kinley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Kinley said...

Yes, that was me. I think you were just getting started as I was finishing. I'm definitely using studs this time of year. Normally on the trails I don't need them but the rain we had at Christmas really put down some ice under the snow.

The back roads usually are much safer when riding with studs. The road crew puts grooves in the surface when they clear the roads. The wheels like to follow the grooves and having studded tires allows you to not get sucked in (and down).

I use Nokian tires that have carbide studs. I have narrow ones for normal road riding but found that the wider ones work better on the back roads. I ride a 29'er which also helps.