Winter’s Ugliness

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As lovers of the outdoors, we like to think that all of our winter activities are done in pristine white snow. Rolling fat bike trails packed tight, or skiing on trails groomed to perfection. Sadly, that is not always the case in winter. Temperatures rise and fall, snow melts in the day, freezes overnight, and then sleet and rain falls to compound the mess. Trails become useless, snow becomes slush, and mud becomes deep–it’s quite unattractive, but still worth documenting in my opinion.

This past weekend I did a quick two-hour ride that had me rolling over a little bit of everything that winter in mid-Michigan could throw at me: ice, snow, mud, slush, water, gritty sand, and more mud.

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To be honest, I thought that I would be up and in the saddle before the melt started in earnest, but laziness got the better of me, and halfway through the ride I went from rolling studded tires on hard packed ice and snow to plowing through drivetrain killing slush and mud. Sigh…I’m too slow these days to even outride snow melting in 40˚ temps. However that mess didn’t stop me from stuffing a couple of cameras [my old Canon s95 point and shoot and my Fuji X-T10] into a Ziploc baggie lined DSLR Slinger bar bag and take some pics of my time in the slop.

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Perhaps if I wouldn’t have spent so much time taking photos of hay eating cows that look like Cousin Oliver from the old Brady Bunch show and mid-ride selfies that look they were shot with a Crotch-Cam™, I would have made it home without coating myself and bike in a cement-like mixture of water, sand and mud. But what would be the fun in that?

Below is a series of photos shot during the ride. Click the image for the full-sized photo and to navigate the gallery.

While not ideal riding conditions, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane in the winter.

Thanks for looking.

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