Frosty Ride 2021. As I stated in my previous Trail Rambling, I have a unique relationship with my brother-in-law Brion. We’ve been riding together for a number of years and have found the best way to motivate each other is to hurl good natured barbs back and forth if one of us decides to slack off from riding. If one of us skips a ride we consider it an open invitation for insults. It’s how we roll. That was never more clear than it was the last couple of weeks. Last fall I laid a guilt trip on Brion, coercing him into entering the Frozen Ididaride with me. The Ididaride is Cycle Work’s mid-winter fat bike race. The only problem was that at the time, Brion didn’t have a fat bike. I joked that not having a fat bike was a weak excuse for not entering the Ididaride. Brion somehow bought into my twisted logic and rectified the situation. He bought a fat bike and signed up for the Ididaride. I’m pretty sure it was 25% because he actually wanted a fat bike and 75% to fend off my ribbing. Like I said, we have a unique relationship. Two weeks before the Ididaride, Brion’s bike broke and the part was backordered. I, of course, joked that this was his grand scheme to get out of riding through the snow at Pioneers Park. I **may** have even gone so far as to call him a fair-weather cyclist, I’m not sure. The next weekend was the Frosty Ride, and we were registered for that. There was no way I would let him get out of riding two weekends in a row.
As the weekend of the Frosty Ride drew near, the forecast got worse and worse. After bearing the brunt of my ribbing for missing the Ididaride, Brion was determined to ride the Frosty Ride regardless of the weather conditions. I was also determined to ride the Frosty Ride because missing it would open me up to a whole host of payback ridicule from Brion. I had it coming and trust me, he can dish it pretty thick. Saturday morning came with a few inches of fresh snow and sub-zero wind chills. This was going to be something, but there was no turning back. Brion and I each layered up with winter bibbed tights, winter riding pants, and a thick pair of wool socks. We covered our boots with biking shoe covers. Both of us had Bar Mitts on our fat bikes and wore winter riding gloves. We had wicking base layers on our torsos and another thermal riding shirt on top of that. We also wore windproof riding jackets. We kept our heads covered and warm with thermal balaclavas, ski goggles and winter riding hats. This was plenty of clothing and kept both of us warm throughout the ride. We stopped for hot chocolate just short of the halfway point and got our pictures taken by a photographer from the Lincoln Journal Star. We joked that if our wives had to come up with the byline it would read something like “Two local idiots are too stubborn skip ride”. Thankfully, the Journal Star wording was much more kind.
It was slow going and the snow was falling steadily throughout the ride, but I completed all 16 miles. About 7 miles in, Brion developed a slow leak in his rear tire. Each of us normally carries a bike pump, but we realized we left our pumps in the vehicle when we started the ride. Luckily, another rider stopped and loaned Brion a pump. He made it another 5 miles and had to borrow the pump again. His rear tire went completely flat about a mile from the finish, so I forged ahead, got Brion’s pickup, and circled back to pick him up. In the end, the weather made the ride a bigger challenge than the previous year, but it also made it a bigger adventure. Riding through the snow and breeze was a fun experience. We learned that with the proper clothing snow and sub-zero wind chills can not prevent us from riding. We also learned to double check our gear to make sure we have a pump. Most of all, we learned that if we want to avoid each other’s ridicule on a cold and snowy day, Brion and I have to layer up and layer up. Ride on.
**I love to ride and talk about riding but by no means am I an expert. Feel free to ask questions or share advice. Jamie Wenzjamiewenz@allophone.com
To read the LJS article, go to https://journalstar.com/news/local/photos-bikers-sledders-brave-bitter-cold-saturday/collection_92650d7e-39bf-58a5-8735-8f7060c73120.html?fbclid=IwAR0EWCBlxUFB9f5I2ilk2a0JvOAcMVYhYR1njA2gfJ2LEs3sY2PjQXiMWpc