Yesterday I dared to take my On One out for a ride in snow/slush/ice, I am not a fan of riding in such conditions at all. Mainly because I fell off commuting in dodgy conditions a few years ago, trapped my left hand in or under the bars and broke the middle two fingers. It hurt, made work difficult, kept me off a bike completely for over three weeks as I couldn't brake properly and stopped me MTBing for about two months. I've not been in a hurry to repeat the experience.
What seemed to be perfect conditions on our Christmas Day doddle were replaced by total slush at Rivington on Boxing Day. Setting off about noon onto rapidly thawing snow made for a short, slow but hard ride. We met up with a friend of Jez who was bringing his young lad out for his first MTB experience. Not the best day to pick but as young kids tend to do he kept going like a trooper.
We covered about 3.7 miles in 52 minutes (of moving time, lots of stoppage). It was just such hard work in the soft snow. However, I did enjoy most of it, it was certainly good for the old bike handling skills as the front and rear would slide away in various directions and as the time wore on and the snow got softer the rear would just spin out. Here is the evidence of snow on my tyres:
As it was slush things tended to happen relatively slowly, it was just like riding in sticky mud. Our original plan to climb up past Yarrow Res then take the road was abandoned as we realised that the roads were pretty much as bad as the trails. Heading back the decision was made to take the track on the west side of Anglezarke from Knowlsey lane to Horrobin Lane.
It started off pretty well then changed to an ice rink for quite a reasonable stretch. I was riding along, just thinking to myself that "this is going well" when the front wheel caught the edge of a lump, the front wheel went away and whoomf I was on the deck pretty much instantaneously. Jez's mate turned to check I was ok and of course he hit the deck too. The little lad sailed serenly between us and Jez had already successfully ridden it.
I was ok and more importantly no Paclite was harmed. I actually think I was lacking a little speed. In the end Jez was the only one not to fall off, I can't believe how hard a less than four mile ride was. I earned my pint! Not sure its really done anything for my phobia though.