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  1. #1
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    January MN Snow Trail Riding Sucks So I'm Making Plans for Next Year

    I really wanted to ride the snow trails this year around the Mpls area but either the trails are snowed in, the temp is below 15 deg, or above freezing and best not to ride and damage them. The biggest issue is blasted frozen glasses, so I'm making plans for next year. It's just like tweaking anything on a bike I guess.

    Things I'm going to try - an extra pair of crappy glasses that I won't worry about minor scratches on the lens. Use anti-fog stuff. Carry alcohol based washer with me to de-ice them when that happens. Find some greasy anti-frostbite stuff for my face. I used to use it cross country skiing and fishing outside) Experiment with different face masks. Carry that junk with me to try when on the trails so that I don't have to abort a ride just because one thing didn't work out as planned.

    There isn't any reason I shouldn't be able to ride down to zero deg without difficulty as long as the trails are not snowed in. Might even get a pair of snow shoes to help pack the trails and enjoy the day when there is heavy snowfall. Bottom line is that I have just discovered I can get just a little bit of "the woods" right here in the cities within an hour drive, and at least pretend I'm up north again.

    There. End of rant. And I still don't feel any better. Temp today might reach the low teens, we have 4 inches new show, but I think I'll try it anyway. Might have some hike-a-bike or whatever they call it.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  2. #2
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    Might even get a pair of snow shoes to help pack the trails and enjoy the day when there is heavy snowfall. Bottom line is that I have just discovered I can get just a little bit of "the woods" right here in the cities within an hour drive, and at least pretend I'm up north again.

    There. End of rant. And I still don't feel any better. Temp today might reach the low teens, we have 4 inches new show, but I think I'll try it anyway. Might have some hike-a-bike or whatever they call it.
    +1 on the snowshoes!

    Check out www.morcmtb.org good info there on local trail conditions and gear. I agree, frosted glasses suck ass in the cold. Do you use goggles? Another cyclist I know suggested using xc ski glasses as they allow a little more air around the lenses of your glasses, thus stopping them from fogging as much. Goggles, even the otg variety, just seem to lead to fogged glasses after a while. That said, I love biking at Lebenon Hills and Theo during wintertime. Like you say, it's a little taste of the North Woods.
    Traitor Ruben :: Redline Monocog :: Surly Pugsley

  3. #3
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    Hi SnowJob. Ya, I just ran into MORC in December - you can find me there as RoadTire. (no surprise, heh) That's where I got to thinking about the snowshoes. For that purpose, I'll probably get smaller ones that pack more. Right now I have a wooden frame that needs strung and another set that needs strung in the front, but both are much bigger.

    I've only been up to Elm Creek once, and not to Leb yet - it's quite a drive for me. Hopefully this Wed will be good enough I can be on the trails at 1:00 P.M. right after work, probably Elm Creek again.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  4. #4
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    Seems I made a good decision not to go to Elm Creek Today - the latest trail conditions were posted as, "Oh my is it tough. As of 4PM I would suggest almost 4+ miles of the trail are completely filled in with snow...."

    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  5. #5
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    It's kind of fun to try to see how far you can go through the nasty stuff. I find myself walking out of trails quite often because they're just not rideable(for me).

    However, I rode just a couple miles up to my coffee shop earlier and the 35 mph wind gusts knocked me around pretty good. Not a good day for a ride. Perhaps tomorrow?

    I haven't snowshoed a lot, but I do love the newer shoes! I know one crazy old guy who runs like 10 mile races in em. Madness!
    Traitor Ruben :: Redline Monocog :: Surly Pugsley

  6. #6
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    Glad I didn't try getting to the trails - there were times I couldn't see the end of my driveway because of blowing snow.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  7. #7
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    Try contact lenses and ski goggles. Try a fat bike and neoprene face mask. Start there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Try contact lenses and ski goggles. Try a fat bike and neoprene face mask. Start there.
    Contacts are a possibility if only for outdoor activities like biking. I had an eye infection once from contacts and haven't had the desire to wear them again. Glasses generally are so much less trouble. Except cold winter sports. Heh. *sigh* I have a nice half-face mask from REI, now mix with the contacts.... hmmm. Fat Bike would be great, but not in my budget for a few. By then the price will be down along with less heavy tires. Looking forward to that.

    You hit the strong points Leebo.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

  9. #9
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    +1 on ski goggles. You can get them to go over glasses as well, but contacts would further reduce chances of fogging. Good goggles shouldn't fog in most conditions. If you are going to wear glasses, don't get wrap round styles, you want air circulation around them to prevent fogging. I have photo-gray polycarbonate lenses in my regular glasses and use them instead of my wrap around sunglasses/safety glasses, when the temps are below freezing.

    This has been a crappy winter in MN (and elsewhere) for cycling. Around here we have had blizzard conditions almost every day I have been off. I don't mind even well below zero F if it is calm and sunny, but that has been rare. High winds, poor visibility, and bad roads have been prevalent most of the winter and it isn't any better this week. I've only got about 100 miles in this month and that was mostly over four days a couple of weeks ago. I'm in a rural area so there are no MUPs or winter bike paths, just county roads, highways, and small town streets.

    Here's hoping for a better February and an early spring.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  10. #10
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    Hey Roadtire, I'm living in Minneapolis as well. It can be really tough to motivate myself to get out and biking sometimes. What works for me is not making any distance goals as I leave, just letting myself know that however far I go whether it's 2 miles or 20 is good. First time winter biking in MPLS, but I'm really active in the warm months. I've mainly biked in temperatures between 30f and 10f. If it's below 0, I'm very careful about distance and try not to go more than 5 miles. I'm doing all of this on thin tires, and sometimes they can be a pain after a recent snow. I don't wear glasses for sight, and have never tried biking with goggles. I have gotten by fine with a simple balaclava, and even though it leaves a little exposed skin between my eyes, I've been alright. The things I've had the most problems with have been keeping toes/fingers warm.

  11. #11
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    If I was still living up in the Leech Lake area or in the NW I'd be on ski's and snowshoes a lot on the old logging roads where there isn't any car and limited snowmobile traffic. Fatbiking on those would be fun too when I get enough pack. But we are fortunate here to have a lot of bicycle support and clubs just because of massive population in a small area. I guess it's a trade-off. Not as much snow here for cross country skiing during the winter and shorter season limits the snow fun for me so I just don't do those activities any more, yet I can get a couple more weeks on the road bike. The wind can be bothersome for me too, I guess that's one reason I like getting down into the woods instead of the open roads.

    Jomemn you are right about not focusing on distance - actually that killed my biking stats last summer because I didn't go out if I wasn't going to put in less than 25 miles, so when there was a time crunch, no cycling. This year I'll bike with the time I have and count distance second.
    As far as snowbiking, I'll count time available but it pretty much has to be about 3 hours from start to finish by the time I get to the trailhead and cleaned up after getting home. Urban streets are so - unpretty - I've been sticking to the trails. Good idea too that you keep your distance short in the cold, safety counts a lot when a minor incident can get you in trouble.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

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