Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quest for Dirt

In one last chance for hitting some rideable singletrack, I went over to Bass River near Grand Haven, MI this morning. There is no snow in open areas at my Mom's in Holland, but there are still pockets of snow here and there. It figures in the last mile or two heading towards Bass River, the snow multiplied several fold. The snow was so deep I debated on driving into the parking area with my Mom's Escape. I was scraping bottom on crusty snow (don't tell her that). To my surprise, I saw another person standing there as I turned in.

Holland shoreline looking north

As I drove all the way in, I saw a MTB on top of a Subaru. Cool, maybe the trails are rideable after all. But get this. This other solo rider's name was Doug. He was my age. He too was on a quest for dirt. And most eerily, lives just a few blocks from my Mom's house in Holland. What kind of coincidence is that? Doug was willing to at least try the trails, although a foot of crusty, sink in to your axles is not my cup of tea. I bailed. Doug mentioned some guys he knows rode the beach yesterday. I went back to my Mom's, about 40 minutes drive and rode from her house 3 miles to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Lake Michigan near Laketown Beach looking south. Sand covered ice was pushed 20-30ft high, completely blocking view of the lake.

The temp was rising, so the sand was starting to soften up. Many parts were like riding on pavement. Sweet. But the lake level rose dramatically this year after an all time record precip in 2008. This pushed the shoreline up to the dunes in many areas where there was not enough moisture in the sand to freeze it hard. I ended up hiking quite a few sections. After a few miles, I popped back over the dunes at Laketown Beach, climbing at least a couple hundred steps with my heavy winter bike. Great stair workout really. I hit bits of semi-legal ATV trail on the land side of the dunes on the way back home. Sun was trying to make an appearance. With mild temps, it was an enjoyable easy paced ride.

Would like to get out to the Cape and ride either ToT or Otis this week. New Years Day is possibility, but Sunday is more likely bet. We may have a posse heading to Waterville on Saturday, so a singlespeed romp through Otis on Sunday will not be a hammerfest by any means. If Cape stays clear of snow, let me know if any of you are interested.


Luke S said...

Skiing in Jackson this past weekend was decent, if warm, but the forecast is looking good. 1-2 inches last night had me on hardwax for classic this morning, and more snow over the rest of the week looks like it will freshen everything up and cover up the holes.

Dave said...

I'm interested in the Cape on Sunday.

Mookie said...

"semi-legal". Pretty funny.

Rhodesian Tread said...

DJ - weird, I lived in Grand Haven for 2 years, spent much time in Holland. Great posting man. Stellar.