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To the casual observer, riding a bicycle through the ice and snow in 21 degree weather might just be one of those activities reserved for extreme nutcases.  Yours truly does indeed qualify for that category. 

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Today was January 1, 2014 and it means one thing for my friends and I — a bicycle ride.  Usually we have a big crowd, a group of at least twenty riders, but today it was just the basket cases that showed.  You are looking at possibly two of my best friends from the year 2013, our bond forged by our love for mountain biking.  Jim, the guy in the yellow, has been a friend for many years.  Jon was a new acquaintance in 2013.  These guys are great, worth the effort to get out for a ride on a day like today.

We didn’t freeze, although it had snowed all night and the trails had a thick layer of ice and frozen footprints or ruts in many places.  It was a challenge to stay upright during the two and a half hours we rode.  But we made it, smiles like the one in the picture frozen on our faces the entire time.  That selfie was taken in the middle of our ride, so it should speak volumes about what a good time that ride was.

One thing I found myself wishing for, besides better studded tires for my mountain bike (I purchased a used set of Nokkian Hakka 300 studded tires online yesterday), is one of those new snow bikes.  They are bikes with huge tires, made for riding in the snow.  We saw several riders on snow bikes today, rolling effortlessly along.  I laugh at those bikes during the summer, not so much today.  If I had plenty of play money, one of those snow bikes would be mine.  Alas, play money is not one of my blessings.

Thank goodness one of my blessings is friends, ones who ride bicycles!

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