Saturday’s Out Of Home Loop
For fat-biker living in the Swiss lowlands like myself, January and the whole winter so far, could be regarded as an utter disappointment. We never had to snow shovel our driveways. Changing habits and hopping into the car to drive to the snow, I can still look at this fat-biking season as a really great one and as a season where I didn’t choke my laundry machine to death with the mud I otherwise would have brought home.
Yesterday, I started a fat-biking loop from home for the first time in over a month. Temperatures had been below zero for the past few days, so chances were that trails’d be more hard than muddy. I climbed to the Twannberg and reached snow only at the very top. I made the crossover through Lamboing to reach the foot of the Chasseral, where I began the climb on snow-shoe tracks that had also been compacted by a snowmobile. The tracks ultimately dropped me into the mountain road, on which the snow was smoother than the pavement it covered. I put the legs into a constant spinning mode and motored uphill to the lefthand turn just after the tree line. For the first time this year, that was the end of riding to the top. Like much of last year, snowcat tracks went straight up to the mountaintop restaurant. Legs were ordered to climb the steep ascent one step at a time. Once at the restaurant, I was able to reach the antenna riding the majority of the way.
A brutal wind was howling across the mountain. I rode past the antenna to find a bit of cover from it and then decided to continue the same way atop the mountain crest. Snow conditions were not fat-biker friendly at first, but they rarely are up there and I’m used to it. I was hoping for better conditions at slightly lower elevation and did indeed get treated to some fine miles on beautiful snow-shoe tracks. Once at the Place Centrale, I bombed down the winter hiking trail, passed the ski resort in Les Près d’Orvin and returned home along my usual route. In the couple of hours riding, the mercury had climbed considerably and the once frozen soil now greeted my tires with a messy softness. Needless to say, I came home with a bike that demanded a hose-down and badly stained shorts that joined me in the shower. Always better to wash it off immediately and not wait to let the laundry machine to do all the work.
Once the fat-biking season ends, I was looking forward to spending spring on a new cross bike, which should have arrived in the fall, but didn’t. I changed my mind and will wait to add a cross bike back to my stable until the end of summer. Focus is bringing an all new Mares this summer which doesn’t just look great but brings a list of improvements over the current Mares lineup, most notably a considerable drop in weight and internal cable routing for hydros as well as mechanical or electronic shifting. Reason enough to wait.
|Distance:||52.3 km (32.5 miles)|
|Elevation:||1’741 m (5’712 feet)|
|Speed (avg/max):||9.7/46.4 kph (6.0/28.8 mph)|