Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mukluk, we have a problem..

Is is corporate theft when you use the same title as found on a forum thread?  Recently there was a flurry (meant that) of excitement regarding the stock chain snapping on the Mukluk.  For me, this isn't a big deal - chains are pretty easy to replace.  Truth is there are three far more sinister issues with the Mukluk:

  • The tires are too damn big for the bike rack at work.


  • Ain't nobody making decent affordable plastic fenders for Snow bikes.

  • As a result of its ability to trundle through normally impassable conditions - one starts to grow concerned that one is "biking too much"  and decides to go do something else to offset the imbalance.

So yah, we got some snow round here.  Lots more than normal - which couldn't be better timed now that I have my beloved Mukluk.  I tried really hard not to ride her this weekend (see above photo) but while driving back from the Pulaski XC ski area - I passed the sign at George Washington Management area - that said "Snowmobile trails" and drove in, you know - just to scope it out.  This is the first thing you see beyond the parking lot:

What's a boy to do?  I headed back home (a whole 8 miles away) , brewed some coffee for my handy water bottle sized thermos and brought along some "You Bars" (or are they "me bars" ?) my sister in law gave me for Christmas.  Are they cool or what? Tasty too.

Dear lord, lead me not into premature knee failure due to this bike

As you can see, the trails and scenery were phenomenal. Along the way  I met a couple of fellows on snowmobiles who were impressed with the bike enough to stop and ask: "how hard is it?".  For the most part I was able to chug along at roughly 7mph or so.  In the spots where the trail opened up it was more difficult and at times I had to push (gasp!) - as less snow machines were packing down the same track.  Snow biking is quite different in that excess power delivery leads to digging in and loss of forward progress.  Torque needs to be delivered smoothly throughout the stroke - and for & aft balance is more important to prevent sinking in too much on one end or the other  The track left by the snowmobile ski is usually your best bet.  I went a total of 7 miles - and took my time soaking up and recording the sights.  It was as perfect a winter day as you can get.

I used to really hate Rhode Island after having grown up an outdoorsy dude in VT until 96'.   Never did much living the first year in Providence even though there was all sorts of things to do in the city.  Didn't do much living either next to Victory Highway in North Smithfield for over 10 years.  We have lived in Glocester now for a couple of years and it was this part of the state and the Glocester Grind (usually the first race of the EFTA MTB race series for those not in the know) that helped turn things around - or perhaps put my life back on course.  We have hills around here, there's actual real working farms,  we have a place to go cross-country skiing, we have a place to go ride your highly specialized snow bike!  It's quiet and pretty.  Hell, I'm almost content. I've come back home in a way and boy I didn't realize how much I missed it.

Just so you know - the sign says the beach is closed at the George Washington Management area:

 Sorry for Ansel Adaming the picture - just looked cooler to me


  1. damn, people have snowmobiles in ri?

    I snapped the chain on my mukluk on the second ride after a very minor mis-shift.

  2. Yep, snowmobiles in RI - that usually get trailered up north. Also, most weekends in Glocester you can hear someone shooting something. Sorta comforting in its own special way.

    Reckon I should replace or at least bring along a chain.. Maybe I just don't put down the power like you chain snappers.

  3. Ansel Adamming is a verb now? Holy crap. I bet he'd be delighted.

  4. Did I spell it wrong? Is it Adaming or Adamming? Leads to adding a Ming Vase one way or the other.

  5. Build up some fenders for that beauty!