I Thought It Was Just an Urban Myth...

But I experienced it today. It really does snow in May! I couldn’t believe it. This morning I was out and about, and looked out the window and couldn’t believe the amount of snow falling! The temperature (without wind chill) was in the low 40s, so the snow wasn’t sticking to anything, but still… weird.

It’s been brought to my attention that I haven’t blogged enough about bikes recently, yeah I know. I have got a few decent rides in of late, but for the last week my mountain bike’s been out of commission after it decided my last ride was a good time to break the chain three times.

The ride was epic. I busted out to Fisher’s Point (4.5 miles from the house, only 2 of that being paved), then went south on the AZ Trail. It starts off all mellow and fun. Then turns up. Then turns around and up again. And then it does it another time! I thought I’d seen rocks when I lived in Marshall Lake, then started around the lake. The western side is mostly just a trail with no (or at least there’s supposed to be no) motorized traffic. As I got to the back side, I came around the corner to be greated by two huge rigor mortis laden Elk legs sticking out from under a pile of rocks. Talk about a double take. There was no flesh left and parts of the hide were starting to disappear, so I imagine it was from last fall sometime. I don’t know how it ended up in that state. It didn’t appear that it had been killed for meet as the legs were still in tack. I couldn’t see where the head was supposed to be, but I’m assuming since it wasn’t sticking out of the top of this “tomb” it wasn’t there any longer. Might have just been a trophy kill and someone stumbled across it and felt bad that it hadn’t had a proper funeral. Trophy kills like that annoy the crap out of me, but oh well…

When I got to the lake, I had 12.5 miles on the GPS; when I finished circumambulating the lake I was at nearly 18. Nice size little pond there. Since the water is way down right now, it looks more like a marsh than a lake, but there were quite a few people out fishing and several seemed to be catching things.

The ride back was pretty tame. Some of the stuff I’d had to walk up was almost sketchier on the downhill. Big loose rocks, water bars at funny angles, and the worst, a little tree with dreams of becoming a javelin hiding around one of the corners on a jeep road. By the time I realized it was there, all I could do was get my face out of the way. It still caught my arm and I ended up with a nice bruise (that’s still there over a week later) and some scratches. It was unceremoniously “redeposited” to save future hikers the same fate.

I was doing good and made it back to the bottom of the Fisher Point climb around 5. 15 - 20 minutes up the climb, taking my time, and it’s all coasting from there. The first 20 feet into the climb and boom. There goes the chain for the second time (it broke the first time during the one of the ridable sections of the day’s first climbs). I fiddle with it and get it fixed and start off taking it easy. I even hopped off a few times where the grade kicked up to keep from putting any undo strain on the chain. Now it has two stiff links after all.

I make it up to the last section of the trail - literally another 300 - 400 yards and I’m at the top and it goes again. At this point, I’m 15 minutes from the top by foot and then a flat/down’ish trail the rest of the way home. I’m tired of fixing chains so I hoof it. One of the few times I’ve walked a bike off of the trails. Another that comes to mind being a fun experience in bike tossing at Cloudcroft… :-)

I ended up with a touch over 30 miles for the day and 2:50 pedaling with another 30 - 40 minutes pushing. It was a gorgeous day; in the mid 70s. Very unlike today’s gloomy 40s and snow/sleet/rain combination. Oh well, at least the days like this make it that much more unlikely that we’ll have the forest closed this summer.