I just got back from riding Twin Peaks in 3″ of fresh snow, beautiful! Mix of sun and snow, a little blizzard. First tracks to whole way. Thought I’d share some snow riding tips:
1) Fresh snow is best, icy stuff with studded tires is second, crusty stuff you punch through is to be avoided.
2) Keep moving, momentum is your friend
3) Follow animal tracks, they are like a tour leader, expending as little effort as possible. They tend to stick to the good lines, just follow their tracks. I followed a pair of Fox tracks for most of today’s ride.
4) Figure on a longer ride, I use the double rule. Today’s ride usually takes 1:30 to 1:45 in the dry, and today it took 3 hours.
5) Don’t over dress, riding through the snow works up a sweat. But, be prepared.
6) Pack lots of food, carry it close to your body to keep it soft. Fill your water bottles with a thick energy drink mix. The sugar will help keep it from freezing.
7) Listen, if your tires are quiet thats good, crunching is bad. Icy crunching is ok, unless you are on a lake or river.
8)Ride a 29’er, the bigger wheels float better. See our friends at Bike29 for the best 29’er gear.
9) When your derailleur freezes up with ice, piss on it… really.