Friday, February 16, 2007

Not for the faint of heart... or strong of brain?!?!

Perhaps Pooh said it best... "I am a bear of Very Little Brain..."

But today I decided to ride in to bikes@vienna from home in Falls Church, including about 3 miles (8.5 to 11.8) on the W&OD. The picture at left was taken around 9:00am on Friday the 16th, just on the Vienna side of mile post 10.5.

As you can see, the trail is covered in snow... and it's a hard, crusty snow at that. If it weren't for my studded tires, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it, as it seems the best bet is to pick a path to the side of the trail, where the crust is unbroken (and remains so, even under about 200 lbs of me and my bike... note the absence of tire tracks behind my bike). It was sketcy in some places, where the path is narrow and completely broken up with footprints, but most of the way there was smooth riding to the side.

While it was fun, in a weird way (I like challenges), I can't recommend it to most folks, unless you want to a) do a lot of work, including the mental work of picking a good path and b) invest in some studded tires... mine are 106 stud Nokians, which seem great. They really helped me feel secure on even the icy parts of local back streets.

Oh, and since the riding took so much concentration, the only wildlife report I can give is to say I heard a woodpecker of some kind enthusiatically going at his work near Cedar Lane.