Ride to Old Forge & Brantingham 2/12/14

When Matt, Cal and I got together to ride at 8AM this morning, it was still -20*F after a low of -24*F. Yeah, it was COLD! The Indian Lake village trails were fast and flat with about an inch of packed snow on top. The carbides and track lugs were just enough to break up the hard pack and send it into the tunnels for cooling and lube.

Unfortunately, Cal’s helmet shield was frosting up BADLY. We couldn’t figure what was going wrong with the heated shield. Cal had to go home and try another helmet. We got out on C8 about three miles past Adirondack Mountain Sports before Cal gave up on the ride, having the same problem. Keeping the helmet shield up was causing Cal’s eyes to water and freeze up. Matt and I pressed on after Cal turned around.

C8 out to Headquarters ranged from nearly smooth to small bumps while very hard packed. At times I was wondering if there was enough loose snow getting into the tunnel, but the overheat lamp never switched on. There were a couple of nasty ice spots that can spin you into a 180 if you hit them unaware. Aside from clacking carbide occasionally, it was actually a pretty decent ride.

Moose River Plains from Headquarters to Silver Run was in nice shape. There were only hints of the remnant weekend rollers on the big hill and at bridge crossings. There was plenty of snow and the S-turns weren’t even that scratchy.

Silver Run to Big-T was fast and flat with more than enough loose matter for cooling. The Flats were an absolute rush, but whistling through there in sub-zero cold was brutal. Poor Matt nearly froze behind his 1 inch “windsheld.” Surprised he didn’t get an ice cream headache. OUCH!

Big T to Limekiln Gate had the usual icy turns and snirty hills, but the flat stuff was great. Even the final couple miles to Limekiln Gate weren’t as scratchy as I thought it would be. I didn’t clank carbide anywhere near as much carbide as I thought I would; very pleasantly surprised. I would say that from end to end, that was one of the best Moose River Plains runs that I’ve had in a while.

Limekiln Road had a groomed shelf for riding. Ole Barn to Gilbert Road was really thin in places but groomed flat. Inlet to Eagle Bay along Route 28 was the typical snirtsville, but it was groomed flat.

We met Paul and Amy Lenz of Ride Clean NY at Big Moose Yamaha. After we charted our ride course for the day, Paul’s sled wouldn’t start. With a 4 stroke turbo, there is no recoil Plan B. After some trial and error, we determined that the solenoid was going bad. With some help from Big Moose Yamaha, Paul was able to start his sled back up and it didn’t give us any problems for the rest of the day. But Paul did buy a replacement solenoid, just in case. After Cal’s helmet shield fiasco, it was good to catch a break. At least we were at Big Moose Yamaha and not in the middle of nowhere when this happened!

Trail 5 was groomed and was a fast and flat ride past Daikers then it became the typical “cinders and ashes” to Rondaxe Road. The remainder of Trail 5 into Old Forge was in pretty good shape to Enchanted Forest.

After crossing Route 28 and riding through the covered bridge, we ran the back side of town behind the school to reach the gas station near Christy’s Motel. The road sections had enough snow to ride and the short trail sections were groomed.

The sidewalk trail to Thendara was brutally rough. But Trails 6 & 7 were their usual sweet music to the Elsie Lookout. We eventually dumped on to Trail 1 and headed to Brantingham.

Some of Trail 1 was nice flat riding. Unfortunately, much of it had had icy turns and was beaten down to pebbles in places with a few rocks frozen into the trail that you would not want to hit at speed. There’s enough snow to make it through, but hearing the near constant carbide clank was painful.

One we escaped Trail 1 the riding became better with less carbide clacking. 10 Mile Road/C7B was a times a very nice ride, aside from some thin/icy turns. The final 2-and-a-half miles to Partridgeville Road was plowed for shared use with logging trucks, but had just enough loose snow on top of the ice for cooling. Be careful through there!

The remained of C7B to Kovach Repair was SWEET! It was narrow, fast and flat through there. From Kovach Repair we ran the side of the road to the Pine Tree Inn for lunch. The snowbank along the side of the road was pretty rough.

Pine Tree Inn provided a nice lunch and time to warm up. Both were equally important today. We had plenty of laughs over Cal’s antics as well. On the way back, I wanted to minimize the plowed road riding, so I lead our group through Confusion Flats and Stoney Lake via S79 and C8A. There were miles upon miles of fantastic riding through there! In the woods, the snow was so deep, it looked like someone had run a giant snow blower to cut a path. Off-trail snow cover was probably in excess of 3 feet in the deep woods. The final couple of miles back to the intersection of 10 Mile Road/C7B was twisty and had some thin spots, but at least there were no water holes.

On the way back to Old Forge the trails were showing some shred damage from the day’s traffic. Trail 1 was painful on the carbides for sure. We hit the Pipeline trail to escape that. Then we scooted through Trail 8, which was in very nice shape, over to Trail 5.

Of course, Trail 5 was nothing but cinders and ashes all the way from Rondaxe Road back to Eagle Bay. The snirt highways through Inlet were loose with icy turns as we churned through there early evening. I lead the group through the Inlet loop trails, eventually over the 7th Lake Mountain over to Moose River Plains. Aside from some thin spots that was a pretty good ride.

The ride back through Moose River Plains wasn’t much different, aside from some loosened snow from today’s traffic. It was just about dark when we got back to the Big-T, at which point Paul and Amy headed back to Old Forge. It was cold ride back to Indian Lake for Matt and I. But at least the trails didn’t have any serious bumpiness. We did clank a lot of carbide on C8 from Headquarters back to Indian Lake. But I think much of that was due to not being able to clearly discern the occasional rock tops in the dark.

After getting back to Indian Lake, we hit 42nd & Broadway, Lake Adirondack, and Little Canada; all of which were smooth and sweet! Matt and I parted ways after I refueled at the One Stop for the next ride. On the way back to the compound, I ran the Ski Hut trail, which was just a small piece of heaven on earth. After safely reaching the compound before 7:30PM with 193 miles spun for the day, I called it a ride. I didn’t care to find the extra 7 miles to call it 200.

Bottom line:

There was enough “great riding” to offset the usual sketchy stuff to make this a great day. Maybe I’ll just tell Cal that the riding sucked so he won’t feel so bad about what he missed. 😉

Weekend Outlook:

The trails need fresh snow and Thursday night’s snow should accomplish that. We should be in good shape to start Presidents’ Weekend! Get out here and ride…there is less winter ahead of us than behind us. A damaging warm-up seems likely for the second half of Presidents’ Week.

Darrin @ ilsnow.com

Comments welcomed!


Powered by Facebook Comments