Mountains Of Snow

It’s been a strange ten days for this bike rider. Allow me to provide a recap:

  • There was the freezing rain of Dec. 18 followed by the embarrassing bike crash of December 19.
  • There was the nice weather and the cycling rebound on December 20th, during the middle of which most of my aches and pains miraculously went away.
  • There was the surprisingly warm, but rainy, bike ride on the morning of December 23rd, followed closely by . . .
  • . . . the blizzardy bike ride in the afternoon of December 23rd.
  • There was the post-blizzard, unplowed snow, and sub-zero temperatures that prevented me from riding my bike on December 24th.
  • There was the messy, deeply-rutted snow that made me say “no way” on December 25, 26 & 27.
  • In addition to the above excuses, I had to say my final good-bye to my loyal Trek mountain bike on December 26. It served me well for something like 25 years, but it’s down to a three-gear range in the middle cassette, only one working chainring, and only the rear brake. I feel like I should bury it in my back yard or something. It deserves that kind of respect.
  • There was the shame in my longest stretch of non-riding days since February.

For better or worse, I’m back today — writing about another bike ride. The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong is my new “#1 snow bike.” He’ll do for now, but we’ll get into that at a later date.

For now, let’s concentrate on the subject of this post — MOUNTAINS OF SNOW! I saw a number of such great mountains when I drove The Feeshko to her final physical therapy appointment. (Remember? She had knee surgery.) I could not wait to go back and take some pictures of them while riding my bike.

The roads looked like this. Going uphill isn’t too bad. Going downhill requires careful braking and ALWAYS being prepared to put a foot down to steady yourself.

Is there anything more beautiful in this world than a snow-capped mountain? The only thing I can think of is a mountain made entirely of snow. Like this one: Pike’s Peak.

Mount Rainier
The Andes Mountain Range from above.
The Andes Mountains from ground level. The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong is at the base of Aconcongua.
The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong at the summit of Denali.
Kids sledding and ski-boarding down the mountains of Aspen, CO.

I wish all Cycle365-ers a Happy, Covid-Free, Post-Trump New Year!

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

16 response to "Mountains Of Snow"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: December 28, 2020

    Your imagination and creativity know no bounds! Thank you for the fine, fine, fine new year wishes — and to you as well.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      Thanks, Nancy. I don’t deserve that lofty praise, and my big ego sure doesn’t need it, but feel free to keep it coming.

  2. By: Scooter Posted: December 28, 2020

    Happy new year to you also, Greg. And Be Safe! My nephew landed in in the ICU a couple of days ago with a serious injury from a fall on the ice on his e-bike – a lacerated liver. Fortunately he was wearing a helmet, but it’s still as serious an injury as it sounds. You really can’t be too careful on the ice. We’d hate to lose our Cycle365 poet laureate!

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      Holy hell, a lacerated liver does sound like a terrible injury. It certainly isn’t one that I have in mind when riding in winter. I hope your nephew has a quick and full recovery. Did he have any other injuries? Where does he live?

  3. By: Laura Posted: December 28, 2020

    Love your pictures. Snow is beautiful when it is someone else’s “My Town.” Greg, was wondering if you also cross country ski? I still have my skis, but we haven’t had a snow deep enough and dry enough here in years. It’s another sport I love. Kudos for never letting a little snow stop your riding. Sorry to hear about the demise of your much loved old bicycle.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      As incredible as it may seem, I have been living in Minnesota for 40 years and in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for six years before that, and I have never gone cross-country skiing. Or downhill skiing, Or ice skating. Or snowshoeing. The only winter sports I participate in are winter bicycling, snowball throwing, and snowman building. I like how those activities require no special equipment (other than a bike, of course.) Most likely the reason I never got into any of those other regular winter sports is because I grew up in Iowa where winters aren’t such a big deal.

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: December 28, 2020

    Those mountains of snow looked a bit like the Australian Alps, big hills. Super hot here, might do a night ride around the city tonight. Have a great 2021, I’ll be there 14 hours before you so I’ll warn you if its bad in case you don’t want to experience it.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: December 28, 2020

      And I’ll be there a few hours before you… and maybe I can send YOU a warning. Well… scratch that, I won’t be able to stay awake long enough to see it in. You’re on your own! (Not super hot here, darn La Nina is going to bring humidity this week but not much chance of rain, but no temps over 35).

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      I appreciate the offer to be my 2021 human guinea pig, Led. Send me a picture of what the new year looks like so I can make an informed decision as to whether I want to participate.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: December 28, 2020

    I am so sad to hear of the end of the mtn bike. But you should google around because there are soooo many neat homewares and things you can make from a bike. You could have a lot of fun memorialising it in various ways. Hmmm… Pikes Peak was the first fourteener I ever climbed. That was in 1995 so my memories are dim, but I don’t recall it quite being like that. I like the snow piled in the middle of the street – like, let’s prolong the slippery ice by letting this shit melt slowly a little each day onto the street to refreeze at night. This round of pics looks more like the MN of old. Bring on the dangerous icicles!

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      I think you’re right, I should research some life-after-death ideas for my bike. As to the snow in the middle of the street, that is only a temporary thing. Sometime in the next couple of days a big front-end loader will fill up a fleet of dump trucks with that snow and it will be transported to a large open area near the river. And yes, I’m still hoping to get in a “dangerous icicle” post, but that may not happen until February or March when the freeze-thaw cycle is more reliable.

  6. By: BobinVT Posted: December 29, 2020

    Now that looks like it was a great storm. You’re welcome to send a little bit of that my way. M not too happy with all the brown I’m seeing right now. Happy New Year to you!

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      It was a pretty good storm. I looked into loading some of the snow onto trucks and shipping it to Vermont, but the cost was outrageous. We’ve got another 3-5″ coming today. If it’s not too expensive, I’ll try to rent some gigantic fans to blow some of that fresh snow your way.

  7. By: Suzanne Posted: December 29, 2020

    Great job of posing Mr. Bing Bong on the snowy peaks. I find shlepping my bike to where I want it for a photo can be quite challenging.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 29, 2020

      So far, I’m able to carry my bike on my shoulder to some pretty unusual places, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. It was only a few steps up to those summits, yet I could feel myself breathing a little harder after running up and down, taking the picture, and running up and down again. On my last bike tour, I said something stupid like I would quit touring when I can no longer carry my bike — with gear attached — up the stairs to a 2nd-floor motel room. I’m sure I’ll adjust that thinking when I hit 70.

  8. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 29, 2020

    That is a LOT of snow!
    Great photos, and yes, climbing thru snow is like trying to ride thru loose sand. Strenuous!
    You sure the Trek is RIP? A visit to JR’s recycling might just supply needed parts for it Second Incarnation. 🙂

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