Sunday, February 23, 2014

Alex Snow Biking In The Sierra Nevadas



Song:  The Eagle And The Hawk

Artist:  John Denver




Today, Alex and I went back to Royal Gorge to Snow Bike.

We were going to go to North Star...
but, although they allow Snow Bikes there...
they don't rent them.

As Royal Gorge is on the other side of the summit of the Sierra Nevada mountain range...
the nearer we had gotten to the summit...
the closer some low flying clouds became.

We left early in the morning and the temperature nearing the summit was 28 degrees F.


We drove into, and finally through, the clouds.


It was crystal clear from here on out.


That is not a lake...
but the top of the clouds we had driven through as we neared the summit.


The Snow Bikes have very large low pressure tires.

It wasn't much different from regular mountain biking...
other than having to feather the front brakes...
and carefully controlling the speed of descent.

This was the starting point of...
what was to be...
a very tiring journey...
one which we shall not repeat.


There were many trails which we could ride...
all of them winding and going down hill for miles...
which was, of course, fun during the first half  :)


You will notice the groves in the trail...
they were for Nordic Skiers.

I was amazed by those skiing past us...
on the way up!








One of our many...many rest stops on the way back up.

We were starting to heat up...
so Alex and I put some snow in the helmet air slots so it would melt
to provide cooling water over our heads as we rode.


During some of the ascents...
we had to walk the bikes uphill...
as our legs had felt like rubber
(this wasn't one of the many steeper inclines...but we were pretty fried by this point).

It took us 45 minutes to ride down the mountain...
and it took forever to go back up.

Our curiosity has been sated.
We are going to try something else in the future.
That long haul back up the ski trail cured us  :)



Right near the end.
We had to walk the bikes the last 300 meters or so.

They are training some beginner Nordic Skiers in the background.


On our way home.

Alex was so exhausted that he had nodded off in the car for awhile on the way home.

It had taken much longer than I had anticipated on the uphill trail...
and so, Alex and I had just enough time to grab a shower...
and then we were off to his Sunday math club.


Later this night...
we tried a new nearby Mexican restaurant.

Alex tried the "Ono"...
a type of white fish...grilled.

It was ok...
but we are going to go back to our old favorite...
"El Pescador". 


Soon, we will be off to new Winter adventures...
ones NOT involving long uphill travels.

Perhaps...
Snowmobiling  :)

















2 comments:

  1. Wow, that must have been agony! Was it so difficult because you couldn't get good traction on the snow (kind of akin to trying to bike on sand)? I give you both a lot of credit for trying this and persevering. Though I suppose you didn't have much choice once you had gone down. :) It doesn't sound like you want to try again (and I don't blame you) but is there anywhere where you can start on the bottom and ride up first, then go back down when you are tired? Glad you survived! :)

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  2. I should have realized there was something amiss when I rented the bikes. The staff was looking at us quizzically when I said I had wanted to rent the bikes. One then exclaimed that we were their first renters. I think she meant for the season...but perhaps she had meant ever :) The traction on the snow was actually quite good. The trails weren't fully marked...and the loop we were shown on the map that we could take by one of the employees before we departed...we had found out....twice....that it wasn't yet finished...and so we had to go up the same route back up. I had found out at the bottom...and I had verified with another employee when we got back. Never again. My legs and lower back have still not fully recovered. Alex said that his lungs burned on the way back up. With me...my nausea kept me from feeling any lung burning :) I had actually made several suggestions to the employees about the trail...the first of which was to make it uphill first. The second was for them to mark the trails at the actual intersections of trails. Some of the signs were 100 ft down the trails so I had to go to them to read them. Most were not marked well. On the way back...there was even a sign on the trail stating that there was no trespassing! Only because I frequently look back at the trail, to get the return perspective, did I remember seeing that sign. Otherwise we would have gone up another trail (a much steeper one). Oh well...it was one for the books...one we may now close...never to reopen :)

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