Usually if its cold and sunny, its a great day to head for the woods. You can stay sheltered from the wind, and warmed ever so slightly by decomposing remains of this winter's ice storms. Or maybe its sweet trail that warms you. Or bourbon. Either way, the woods is the place to be.
Unless your mountain bike is boxed up and heading to warmer pastures. Pastures in Tucson, AZ. So we do what we do and we make do. The first attempt at this involved the cross bike. Its the next logical step in the progression; the chimpanzee to our mastery of nature. And master nature the Cross Bike does not. Took it out and up Webb Cove to that ever convenient patch of trail that circumvents the top of Town Mountain. Webb Cove was in great condition (think the opposite of Bent Creek Rd) but just a little icy at the top. The kind of ice where it got warm the day before, melted, and then froze even more slippery in the morning. The ever so fickle gravity gods saw me through that section, and onto the trail. No one had been up here since this last snow, and all the wet sections were glassed over; thin enough to hold you for a breathtaking second, and then safely, and coldly, plop you down in 4 inches of water. Just enough to freeze the brakes, and candle wax layers of ice on my rims. And don't even think about getting off and walking around the deadfall, because you won't be clipping in again anytime soon.
Add in the fact that I left with barely enough time to get this ride in before i had to get back for work, and you get a very cold, and very frantic brakeless death dive down Town Mountain, and an all out sprint through town. Continued employment makes for a good motivator when friends aren't around to ride with.
Next day the sun was supposed to be out. In Asheville anyway. Problem is we rode to Marshall, where the sun was not making its presence known. The rollers all the way through Bear Creek, and Rector Corner where fine. Enough sun and effort to stay warm. Even had the opportunity to snap this:Regardless of your views on religion, this is pretty symbolic. Its either Jesus' sheep coming home to their shepard, or indicative of the thoughtless flock mentality that leads people to organized religion in the first place. Either way, someone is missing their sheep (or goats). And it ties nicely into my mention of warmer pastures.
We stopped at the ever tempting and leg tightening Zooma cafe where I grabbed a cookie and an Americano. Socks and carbon shoes were not the recipe for the day, and I was envious of everyone's booties. But now I had a cookie, which is pretty distracting; so my feet felt better.
Then on to the very cold river road return to Asheville. The French Broad is running huge right now, and probably very cold. The valley of the permanent head wind was at its worst. There was ice everywhere, that not being the best photo representation. We also spied a crew cutting deadfall from the side of the highway.
So tomorrow I get a nice rest day for the legs, and a nice core workout splitting a Subaru full of wood.