I was torn today. Do I take out a road or mountain bike? I haven't been on a road bike in almost four weeks. Many roads were clear enough, but it was cold, and drivers were scurrying about since we're under a winter storm warning for tonight. I decided to risk MTB on- and off-road.
Trails in Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest were unpredictable. Some parts I could stay on top of the crust, others I'd punch through. One trail had a solitary hiker come through before the deep sleet froze. The foot prints were a butt pounder for 15 minutes. I did have an incident. Any deviation off the trail usually meant immediate front wheel punch-through. Caught off guard one time, I got hurled over the bars and slammed both knee caps into the icy crust. Mmmm, that felt so good.
After having enough of LDT, I swung by one of my employer's facilities on the Merrimack River. This was on the Cow Hampshire side of the state line, and the crust was much weaker here and involved some not so fun hike-a-bike bits. I wrapped up by coming around the back side of Seavey Hill to my house following some more challenging ATV tracks. All in all a great 24mi, 2.7hr ride that was far more interesting than riding busy Mammoth Road up to Manchester and back.