Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sweet Snow Singletrack Sunday

Numerous Tall Tree riders have been out on the mtbs over the last week. Three rides went down on week nights, one of which I was party to. Kanata was the spot, and the conditions were primo, the best I've ever experiences in the winter in fact. Night riding in the winter requires far less firepower from the luminators. One light on the head is plenty to ride top speed. Our cadre of four - Thom, Greg, Steve and myself - took advantage of the traction on hand and high fudge factor (as in, one could fudge a line big time and not necessarily crash, unlike occasions where the snow off trail is deep and crash inducing), producing many a flat-tack turn and shoulder graze against our friends of the leafy/coniferous persuasion. Its fair to say we all thoroughly enjoyed our time on the trails.

Deciding what and where to ride on Sunday was simple: mtb in Kanata once again. I floated a plan-b of the roadular variety, and fortunately that option was not exercised. It was windy enough for that to have been unpleasant enough to regret the choice. Kanata it was, this time in daylight!

A little warmer today, -7 when we arrived (to a line of about 6 cars), the snow was somewhat soft in the sun, and glazed in the first section of the woods from Klondike. Not glassy enough to cause crashes, but slippery enough to afford ample opportunity. Further West the glaze transitioned back to packed snow, and many options presented themselves. Not being a trail wizard in the Kanata domain, I cannot relay trail names that were traversed today. We covered ground on both sides of the railway tracks and ended up rolling for 1hr20minutes. Not much on the clock, but most of the riding was at sprint or threshold intensity, so the ride was both fun and a great interval workout. Certainly more pleasant than riding the trainer could be. The forecast suggests we'll continue to have opportunities to ride the trails for another couple weeks. There is so little snow there, I suspect the dirt will show in many spots rather early. Mountain bike riding in Kanata will fill the gap nicely until its closer to zero, when we take to the roads and put in some solid miles. Looking forward to a snow-free parkway early this year, and spirited loops with friends. Until then, Kanata allow us to keep the good times rolling. If you're local, put on some pointy tires and give it a try.

Coming this week: the 2010 Tall Tree Cycles team roster...bigger and better than ever!


Rob Young said...

I've been wanting to get out to KL - would you say studded tires are a must?

I ended up XC skiing this weekend instead. The conditions are great in Gatineau park, despite what the website says! :)

Matt Surch said...

Hey Rob, studs are definitely not required; there is only one section that is glazed and a few icy bits. I recommend the pointiest tires you have. Mud tires are great, as long as they are not narrower than 2.0". I think I am running the best option among us at the moment, Continental Mountain Kings in 2.2. or so. They are good soft conditions tires, and work well on the snow. Well spaced deep knobs are what you want.

I've been hearing the same positive feedback about the Park. I'm happy to be able to ride instead of glide...

the original big ring said...

anyone riding Thursday or Friday night?