Monday, December 18, 2006

Arrowhead Recon

Rick and I headed up to International Falls on Sunday to check out the trails and do some riding. Well we ended up doing more driving around than riding. We started out at Melgeorges Resort on Elephant Lake. There was quite a bit of snow up there. I'd say a good 6-8 inches on the trails. There was a couple inches of packed snow under a layer of icy snow with 4-6 more inches of fluffy snow on top of all that. There weren't any snowmobile tracks and the trails haven't been groomed yet. So, that meant they were pretty much unrideable except going downhill. On any incline we'd just spin out on the icy layer of snow. We pushed up a really long hill and then rode down it. Short but fun. We only lasted about an hour before we packed up the bikes and had the "Lumberjack" breakfast special at the Melgeorge restaurant. The ham that came with it was an inch thick and filled us right up. Good stuff!

We decided to go check out some other areas of the trail to see if we could find a section where snowmobiles had packed it down. We only found one trail crosssing where there was a snowmobile track. That was at the Gateway Store crossing. We quickly unpacked the bikes again and headed up the road to the trailhead. We started down the trail, but again found it unrideable. We rode back out to the road and packed up the bikes for the ride home.

Kind of disappointing, but Rick got to see how much work it can be to push a loaded bike through snow up a hill : ) And that was priceless. We had plenty of time on the drive there and back to talk about what we could change on our bikes. Most of the conversation on the ride home was about what gear we could lose or lighten up to save weight. I think everyone would be a weight weenie if they had to push a 60 pound bike up a long hill in the snow : ) Here are a few pictures of the adventure. Enjoy.

Rick at the trailhead by Melgeorges Resort.

The Pugs all loaded and ready for the Arrowhead.



Rick powering through the snow.

Rick not feeling so well after powering through the snow : )

Rick taking the Pugs for a spin down a hill. Weeeeeee.

Cooling down after a long ride : )

A picture in the Melgeorge Restaurant in tribute to Mrs. Paddy : )

9 comments:

Doug said...

I'm amazed to see that much snow there. We have zero snow here in Duluth. The MN DNR snow depth map only shows 4 inches, at the most, anywhere in the state, as of Friday. That is normally pretty accurate. I'm surprised, but encouraged. Too bad there weren't any snowmobiles out to make it rideable.

Brian said...

How were there no snowmobile tracks in that fresh powder?? That seems crazy.

The Pugs is looking good. Is the container on your fork for hot beverage/soup? How did the Pugs perform in the snow with the new derailleur setup?

Too bad you didn't get a chance to get more riding in...

Chris said...

I've had one unrideable snow experience so far. A bit disappointing but made me think about how to lighten up the 37lbs beast at least :) They're predicting snow again here in town so we'll see if the Pugs gets some more action before I leave town for Christmas

Simmons said...

Yeah, it's crazy that there was that much snow and no one riding their snowmobiles.

I actually have two of those containers on the front rack. It's a Nalgene bottle inside of a Outdoor Research bottle cozy type thing. I could put hot beverage or soup in them for sure. Maybe one with soup and the other with hot apple cider or water? They work really well.

Chris is that weight for the Pugs all loaded up with gear? If it is I need to find out how you did that :)

Chris said...

No I wish! :) That's just the Pugs, no racks. I have a plan to get it much lighter but it will be a slow process leading up to 2008 Arrowhead. I have an imaginary 26 lbs snowbike on paper but even without a ti frame I can get a sub 30lbs pugsley with racks if I'm willing to spend the money...

Cellarrat said...

Looks like a good road trip... Too Cool!

Doug said...

I'm going to borrow your idea of hanging the bottles off the rack. I never thought of that, I was going to stuff them in a bag or something.

Simmons said...

I got the idea from Pierre last year. It seemed to work pretty good for him.

Tex69 said...

That Pugs is a pretty amazing fully-geared rig. Looks like something the Italians brought over the Tyrol in WWII.