Snow falling on Southern Vancouver Island is unusual. A lot of snow falling is very very unusual. So when a storm pounded us Thursday night last week and I woke up to a white landscape I knew I needed to get out there and play. Problem was I had a cold and a lot of work to do. 😦
I hit my work hard from 6am until noon and then loaded up the bike and braved our winter roads. Now for a part of Canada with a proper winter road conditions were nothing special, but for the coast it was epic as people realized they had bald tires and were trying to learn snow driving techniques. The trailhead parking lot was almost empty. That helped me get stoked.
With 2″ – 4″ of wet snow on the trails it was surprisingly easy to ride fairly normally. Part of the challenge was remembering where the good lines were so I didn’t get into heavy rocky or root-y-ness. I had a blast and rode 95% of what I would do under normal conditions. So Awesome! 🙂
With a noon start I figured I would miss out on fresh tracks, but for some reason nobody was too keen on early riding on a weekday so I still had the pleasure of poaching the new snow on most of my ride. Skinny 2.4″ tires were gripping real well. In fact I think I would have done worse on a plus tire or fatbike. That’s a good reminder it’s always ride time even if you don’t have specialist gear.
I ran into one hiker walking her dog and then two bikers just as I was leaving. Having the trail network to myself and getting to play in the snow in a winter wonderland was very special. With ride conditions good enough that I could really shred the downhills this was my favourite day at the Hartland Bike Park in 2016. Made even more special by the fact it rained Friday/Sat and the snow was washed away.
My cold had me feeling pretty low energy, but the unique opportunity kept me out for over 2hrs. With heavy wet snow all over my bike it pedalled, shifted and braked with no issues. I had a few wild slides, but for the most part stupid good grip. Thanks bike! 🙂
Driving home I was very glad I made time to ride on Friday. It’s almost always a good idea to ride, but that snow day was fantastic.