Every Saturday we have a Dire Wolf race team training ride. This week the forcast called for heavy snow. Not the ideal conditions for road biking. Many team members were going to Snap Fitness to do some spin class style training. I absolutely hate spinning! I can't spin and spin and not go anywhere. My plan was to take the mountain bike up to Candler's Mountain. A few inches of snow would make for a fun ride. When I woke up Saturday morning, there was already 6-7 inches on the ground and still pouring snow. My friend Allen was planning on riding to my house and then we would drive up to Candler's. So I suggested we just meet somewhere and ride aound Lynchburg. The snow was getting way too deep to ride singletrack.
We decided to meet at Sheetz. The temperature when I left the house was 20 degrees! I had many layers on and my was using my snowboarding gloves. Since I ride a single speed bike I would not have to worry about shifting. My road had not been scraped, only a set of tracks. Trying to ride in these tracks was very hard. If you vere into the deep snow, you stop immediately. Lakeside Drive had been scraped and was much easier to ride on. Not much traffic. A few vehicles here and there. When I got to Sheetz, Allen was waiting. We rode up to the building, as I tried to hop over the snow bank, my front wheel landed on the curb buried in the snow and I instantly went over the handlebars. It was hilarious. The best thing about riding in the snow is that crashes don't hurt as much.
We left Sheetz and headed down 221 toward Graves Mill. After a quick stop to talk to Davy at Blackwater Bike Shop, we were on our way to Wyndhurst. Across the street from Food Lion there was a car stuck in the entrance to a parking lot. We decided to stop and help. After a couple tries with the help of the passengers, we were able to get the car unstuck. Back on our way. Enterprise Drive had been plowed, but still had a lot of loose snow. The going was tough here. Especially the long steep climb past the YMCA. Halfway through Wyndhurst there was another car stuck, this time in an intersection. We stopped again and got this motorist on his way.
Timberlake Road was a liitle busier but easier to pedal on. The temperature was now in the teens and it was taking it's toll. So we decided to stop into the Shell station and warm up a bit. Inside, the lure of the mega sized microwave burrito was too great and we each had one with a coke. Now we were refueled, warmed up, and ready to continue. Our next stop was the Exxon at Leesville Road. As we crossed the intersection, Allen's chain snapped. Luckily he had extra links and tools. Soon we were ready to travel again.
Now on Fort Avenue, across the street from Advance Auto parts, there was a minivan stuck. This was stuck good. It took us, an Advance employee, and a couple friends who happened to be in Advance to set it free. Our friends said they saw two cyclists across the street and knew there were only two guys who would be riding in that weather. haha Next we were heading down Fort Avenue. We cut across Oakley Ave. and planned to stop at the Exxon there. As we came up to the intersection, a car was spinning trying to get up the hill on the other side. A group of 4 or 5 people pushed the car for about 10 feet then walked away. We pedalled over and pushed him the rest of the way. After warming up for a few minutes, we were ready to make the last push to my house.
Oakley Ave. was very difficult to ride. Once on Lakeside, it was a little easier, but the constant snow had buily up and was making the climb up from Lynchburg College a killer. Finally we made to my house. We stayed inside for about an hour thawing out. The shot of whiskey we had helped. :) Now Allen had to ride back to his house, off Old Forest Rd. So I decide to ride with him halfway back, so our mileage for the day would be the same.
In total we road about 15 miles in 4 hours. By no means a speed record, but the effort made it feel like 60 miles. In the process, we helped 4 people get their cars unstuck. Hopefully, Karma will pay me back. This was the best ride I've had in a very long time. It was so much fun! And all the blank, unbelieving stares we got were hilarious. There will definitely be a repeat of this ride if we get another big snow!!!
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