Winter in So. Ill….

Ah, The Pine Hills.....

Ah, Winter is here….and we’ve been cold this year. Usually, the average high is well above freezing, and we’ve had more than our normal share of days below freezing this January. So, I’ve been packing up and riding mountain bikes when it’s been cold and snowy. We’ve also been lucky not to get a huge dumping of snow, and we totally missed the huge blizzard that whacked everything from Dallas to Tulsa to STL and Chicago yesterday. It missed us by about 40 miles. So, we’re still riding bikes outside! I’ve managed to put in a lot of nice riding at Cedar, Trail of Tears, Panther’s Den, and several new trails in the Pine Hills. Did a bunch of exploring with Molteni and John, and we got big groups together in TOT and Cedar with Berto and Kelly and Don and Dave and Ozzie–Dave’s wonder dog. I did my first Ozzie ride with Molteni, Chief Reimbold, and Don while Dave was off scuba diving and jumping off of cliffs and even more dangerous things in Brazil. I was a little worried at first, but Ozzie doesn’t even need Dave.

The Old Marin Caked in Mud and Ice

Molteni and I got busted at Panther’s Den, which I guess is no-bike for most of it, though the Forest Service Woman (FSW) told us that the eastern trail is on the border of the Wilderness Area. FSW was very nice and told us about a legal trail in Pine Hills which I had never done (and had supposedly been fixed up last summer). We did that one a few days later, driving out to Jackoffs and starting on the roads on cross bikes.  Unfortunately, that trail started out really nice and then went completely to shit, all sticks and lots of downed trees.  Molteni had some bad luck and bent his drops on the Gunnar and torqued the rear derailleur—we thought we were going to do a 2.5 hour ride through the Pine Hills, instead we limped back to Jackoffs a bit over four hours after depart. We didn’t even have time for Cave Creek! I think if Molteni would date FSW we could have access to all of the trails in So Ill. Of course, we’d be screwed when dumps her….
Looks like it is going to be above freezing all weekend, may have to hit the Pine Hills again….



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