Looking at some local ride options for this summer. A couple of them can be ridden as loops or set up with an uphill vehicle shuttle. I am seriously pondering doing some solo rides on a few of these and using my road bike to shuttle myself back up the highway. The way this goes in my mind is that I drop my overly heavy dual suspension trail bike off at the trail head near the top of the pass then drive to the end of the trail and drop the truck off there. Then I hop on my cross bike, spin up the highway back to the trail head, unlock my mountain bike and lock up my cross bike. I enjoy a nice ride through the mountains and plenty of descending, eventually end up at the truck and all I have to do is remember to pick up my cross bike on my way back into town and I'm set. A couple of the loops I'm looking at manage to squeeze in 15-18 miles of trail with only a 4 or 5 mile cross bike shuttle required. I know I could just take one bike and ride the whole thing as a loop, but the difference between a five mile highway climb on a cross bike versus and 6inch travel mountain bike is significant in my mind.
I've set up a few rafting shuttles this way and was super pleased to be able to run some significant stretches of beautiful rivers with just one truck and no hitchhiking.
Notice the bike lashed to the back of the raft.
Sunny rides along ridge lines are just daydreams at this point in time, after a brief reprieve winter is back, and I'm not the only one excited about it. I bumped into The Local Beard today after I saw his bike parked outside of a store. He had just finished fashioning a homemade set of studded mountain bike tires based on some instructions I put together and emailed to him. He was super stoked to have them rolling and said he woke up this morning hoping that everything was covered in ice. Unfortunately not much happened overnight and the streets were pretty much bare for his commute to work. Fortunately for him it started snowing by midday and he had an inch or two of snow to roll through on his way home.
I know there are plenty of detractors of homemade studs, and I do know just how nice the Nokians are, but some of us have more time than money. With just a couple of dollars worth of sheet metal screws I cannibalized an old set of tires a few years ago and have been happily riding studded ever since. Someday when a good deal comes along I might buy some less ghetto studs, but really what I'm planning on is getting myself a Pugsley.
Hopefully sooner rather than later.
For now my home made studs are working well for me, I'll post the directions I put together sometime soon so that those of you with more time than money can also enjoy the pleasure of cruising on ice.
- bike wrider