Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Desperate times... Part II
No snow in December? But there's still cold days, right? So why not ride your bike on the beach?
Inspired by a few folks doing exactly that, folks about half my age, I rode the frozen sands of Park Point this afternoon. Not far, just enough to get a feel for it.
There's a about five bands of sand to choose from, only two of which were good riding. Right at the water's edge was a firm line of wet but unfrozen sand that was good riding, though I felt the constant danger of getting dumped into the cold cold water. I've been reading up on hypothermia lately, and I want no part of that.
There's a band about three feet wide of soft sand, not frozen. Bad bad riding there. It caught my front tire a few times while I was trying to ride the water's edge band and nearly spilled me.
Then there's the band 10-15 feet wide where waves have lapped up and left a sheen of ice mixed with snow and driftwood. It's about 95% safe for riding, since the sand and grit give enough texture for tires to grab. But the 5% of it that's really slippy was enough to dump Hans.
The prime spot is just above that icy band, where the sand was smooth, hard, but not ice-covered. That was sweet riding, and I felt I could have taken in five miles to the end of Park Point.
Just above that prime spot the sand got loose again, probably too dry from summer sun and winds to freeze solid.
My 12-year old son Hans joined me:
After a nice ride toward downtown and back, he found that slippery band. Notice the skid marks in the ice. Nice! He was fine.
Thanks to son Noah for the great photographs, including this self-portrait on a fun winter's day.