Thursday, November 30

Not a Chrisicle

My sleeping bag test went well last night and I learned a lot. Some I will share here, some must be processed a bit more. I used no extra clothing that I would not have on a snowy bike ride. Actually I would have had a couple more items but for the sake of testing I just wore the basics minus my Driclime top or lobster mitts. Consider it Arrowhead testing I guess. All clothing items except the Pullover were actually worn on a ride yesterday so they contained any residual moisture they would have in normal conditions. No vapor barrier stuff was used in this test as I wanted a baseline before really confusing myself. No hot water bottles, heat pads or other tricks were used. Low temperature last night was -4degF at my house. I did not spend the whole night out, rather slept until somewhere after 2:30 am, satisfied that A) I was in no danger of freezing to death and B) between the negative temperatures and first time nerves I wasn't going to sleep more than 1 hour at a time the rest of the night. Knowing that I threw my stuff into the warm bedroom and concluded the test for the night. It's still below zero now and the Pugs and I are headed off to work again.

Sleep Specific Gear:
Marmot Sawtooth 15 deg bag (600 fill)
Thermarest Full Length (summer thickness)
3/4 Length Cheapo Blue Foam Pad
Montbell UL Bivy

Clothing Worn:
Smartwool Lightweight Wool Top and Bottom
Smartwool Lightweight Wool socks
Golite Reed Pants
Northface Diad jacket
Patagonia Micropuff Pullover
Pearl Izumi Balaclava

Lessons Learned:
My cheapish 15 Degree (F) down bag will keep me warm *enough* down to at least -5degF with my normal winter clothes
Winter camping is wet in a bivy and the corallary...
2 nights out in said bag in a bivy sack without a VB is pushing it, 3 might be very cold
I need to order a full length foam pad

Wednesday, November 29

Snow dreamin

From this yesterday afternoon...

This this today.
Got the Pugs out in some real snow and it was a freaking blast. I've never ridden up and down offroad trails in 6"+ so easily. Of course all the people in cars got a kick out of it too and the hikers who couldn't figure out what was making the 4" wide tracks.
The temperature is currently 10degF and falling. I'll be pitching the tent and climbing into my cold weather setup in a couple hours to see if it's warm enough at the predicted -1degF tonight will bring. Tomorrow Dave and I are going to ride Centennial Cone one more time after work. It's closed December 1st for 2 months due to hunting season. Perhaps I'll bring the orange jacket tomorrow just in case anyone decides to start early. Can't wait for my winter Rollins Pass adventure but I've got to make sure all the gear is up to the challenge first. Don't worry everyone, I won't freeze tonight. I've got more snow riding to do tomorrow!

Sunday, November 26

All of White Ranch

Bill and I had the grand idea to ride all of White Ranch in one day. We figured the Friday after Thanksgiving would be good because we both had off of work. No one else joined us. Maybe it wasn't a good idea? Nah...
Edited to add the Route:
All the way up Belcher with RoundUp loop
Down to Rawhide
All the way around Rawhide to Sawmill
Across Sawmill to Mustang
Down Mustang to Belcher
Up Belcher to Maverick
Maverick to Longhorn
Longhorn to Shorthorn
Shorthorn to Whippletree
Down Whippletree to Belcher and done!

Bikes are really getting tired now...

Complete! All done except a few connectors that we didn't backtrack to get. 17 miles in a little over 4 hours with stops for pictures/eating etc. Awesome, amazing riding. Bill kicked ass and I survived on the SS with 36:20 gearing wussing out from my now standard 36:18. While I don't know when I'll get the entire adventure in again the final Mavrick, Longhorn, Shorthorn, Whippletree section is going to have to become standard.

Turkey Day Lair O the Bear

Thanksgiving day I left just after 6am for a group ride with Scott, Bill and Dan at Lair of the Bear. Sunrises like this make getting up early all worth it.
Who wants beer with breakfast?
Bill trying to clean the steps

Look! Scott found the one spot of ice on the trail :)
29er SS's are cool
Wheelie on ice, so cool! Haha I'm hillarious.
Suspension sucks, hehe

Weekend Cone Action

Big group at the Cone. Erik brought out his SS for the first time and it looks sweet! Dave, Erik and I on SS's out numbering Bill and Kevin. The plague grows!