Snow! riding

Guess that tread.

As a counterpoint to the previous two days slow and coldish walking through the forest, yesterday I decided to celebrate yet more new snow with a fast and coldish ride up to Kintla Lake in Glacier NP, along the newly closed Inside North Fork road.  The dirt road up from Columbia Falls was a mess, with more snow than I had expected (we got none on our end of the valley), but I was nonetheless optimistic that there wouldn’t be enough snow to make my route unrideable on the Karate Monkey.

The NPS closes this road not so much because of snow levels, though some incautious person could easily get stuck, but because of both sloth and the tendency for top-weight to bring down the many dead and standing lodge poles.  True to form, two snags were across the road on the way back which had not been on the way out.

It was perfect conditions.  Enough fresh, dry snow (2-6″) to make things hard but always rideable until I ran out of gas.  A few hills I walked preemptively to keep my feet warm.  By the final miles I was hurting.

Good motivation to keep the focus on building up the Mukluk.  The Monkey won’t be much use for the next 4 months.

And Jill lives in southern California.  Ha.


  1. Correction: I live in what’s officially considered northern California, and if I were more motivated about driving my fat bike ~45 minutes west, there are actually several good beach-riding options around here. I’m sure I will make the trip to the coast a few times this winter as I train for the White Mountains 100. Other than that, I’ll just have to console myself with year-round mountain biking. Boo hoo.

    I’d love to have an opportunity to make it up to Kalispell sometime this winter for a snow-slog training session (also prepping for the Susitna 100.) It’s less likely I’ll be able to make that work but it would be awesome.

    1. Having lived in real NorCal (Trinidad) for a summer, I know things as they are: Sonoma south is southern Cali. Culturally and geographically.


    2. That race is awesome! Have you done it before? If you have you are totally rad. If not, you are going to be totally rad. Also, is it too nerdy that one of the highlights of my year last year was working on Jeff Oatley’s bike? Also I was psyched when I got to modify another racer’s boots to make them warmer. Have an awesome race!

        1. I have no doubt she is a total badass. There are people I’ve known who scratched on that race that were tougher than most of the riders I know.

  2. These posts make me wish I could live in Montana. You are living my dreams, enjoy the ride!

    Watkins Glen, NY

  3. We are still waiting for snow here in MN, but I have had the Pugsley out for the last month just to prepare myself for the fluffy white stuff. I’m
    getting somewhat impatient. Get going on that Mukluk!!!!

    1. We had some nice ground blizzards off and on throughout the day today. This last system has been the one to finally bring snow to the mid and low elevations for good.

      The restrictions on Mukluking are not of will, but of finance. It’ll be done by the end of the year.

  4. See, the part of Northern California you’re describing is actually called “Oregon.” Culturally and geographically ;-)

    ASoulwalker: What race are you talking about? I’ve completed the Su100 three times — once on foot and twice on bike; the White Mountains 100 twice on a bike, and the ITI 350 once. I also once placed second to Jeff Oatley in the solo 24 Hours of Light in Whitehorse, Yukon. He’s an awesome guy, completely unassuming, doesn’t seem care that he’s fast (he was the top American in the 2007 RAAM.) He just loves to ride.

    OK, off to think about not snowbiking for a few weeks. Thanks to big storms in Anchorage and Juneau and resulting social media pictures, Fatbacking and building a sled for the Susitna 100 have been invading my thoughts all day. I have a real problem, seriously.

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