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Too bad my fat bike doesn’t float.  The tires are large, but they are not buoyant.  Here in northern Illinois, we are having one of the wettest Spring seasons on record.  For off road bicyclists such as myself, that can be frustrating.  It’s not good for most people.  The trails closest to me are next to a river, are built on and in between berms that are swampy even during the dry seasons.  For more than a month, they have not been rideable.

SWK swampSome people don’t care, judging from the damage to the trails.  This picture was taken a few days ago.  It’s obvious that there are quite a few people who just rode through it.  The section pictured is a the bottom of the trail head connector.  I am surprised that it wasn’t blocked.  When I rode last night, it was still a quagmire though no longer covered with water.  I turned around and entered the trail from another connector.  Riding mud is not fun, plus it screws with a bike.

We had a few days without much rain.  Most of the trails were in great shape last night, although I still had to be careful, had to avoid some trails.  Last Sunday afternoon, I rode another trail system in the Chicago area with some friends.  They were scary difficult, rocky with steep and twisty descents/climbs.  My new bike, a carbon Salsa Deadwood SLX with 29+ wheels (2.6 tires, for now) helped give me the confidence to at least attempt everything.  Three hours of riding and I was satisfied, not as tired as I could have been.  Even though off road cycling has not been a viable option for the past month, I have been riding.

My fat tired bike has proved to be an entertaining riding option.  Pretty much out my front door are forest preserves and rails-to-trails paths, so I have been riding 4-5 days a week on those trails.  There is an old landfill a few minutes away, now a recreational area, that has added an option for climbing.  There is more resistance to riding paths, especially on a fat tired bike, so I feel stronger now than ever.  I ain’t no stud, but I ain’t no slouch either.  Of course, my roadie friends have helped me a little.  We have ventured out on the path the past two Wednesdays, rode to a little craft brewery to participate in their trivia night (third place the first time we trivia’d), then trekked home with lights.  It’s tremendous fun!

When it rains on my cycling parade, I make my own parade, I guess.

Another gully washer this afternoon.  Rats.