For the past 9 years my Sister in Law has treated us to Thanksgiving Weekend in Vermont. Last year I stayed home because I was too busy at work (and to ride my bike), but in years past, I've looked to the trip with a feel of almost dread; being stuck in a hotel without a bike.
This year was a little different. We went up on Wednesday instead of Friday, and Kim pretty much insisted I bring a bike.
I wanted to bring a MTB, but not being familiar with the area, and not wanting to drive all over the place, I chose the fixie.
Might not have been the wisest choice for ski country, especially with a 75" gear, but I feel the high speed downhill spinning, and low speed grunts back up may have payed some dividends.
We got a good start on the day Sunday and got home early enough for me to get out locally. An icy drizzle to light rain was falling, and there was a crunchy mix of sleet and snow frosting the ground just enough to make it interesting. The temperature was hovering around the freezing mark.
Between my legs aching from the fixed beating I had flogged them with, and the crummy weather I was taking it easy. But as much as my legs were aching I was still feeling strong. When ever I called upon them to power up something technical, a surprising power was there. I'd ride up whatever rock face or short steep hill, and then go back to cruising and feeling the "fixed" in my thighs.
The slight crust made for some challenges on the rocks and roots. At first I was loving my ride until I bottomed out my front tire 3 times in about a mile a decided to top it off a bit. After about 5 minutes with the mini-pump I was back on my way, only to stop 5 minutes later to let some of that pressure out, hoping to find that middle ground between rim smacking, and root sliding.
The ground was frozen, so any liquid precipitation was pooling on the trails. After about an hour and a half of surfing the icy ponds of the Metecomet trail, I was soaked to the bone. That's when the fun started to leave the ride, but I was only a half hour from home so, the suffering was minimal. On the little stretch of Main Street I hit before turning left down my street, again I was surprised by my legs when I sprinted for the corner, and power and speed came from my aching limbs (felt like someone beat the back of my thighs and calfs with a cricket bat).
Got home to a frozen hose with a muddy, ice crusted bike, with the truck still to be unloaded from the weekend, but it was great to be back on my trails again! My Soma felt light and flickible, and my trails felt like home.