Riding Dirty — Braving the Spring Thaw

March 25, 2014

Adventure Cycling's Wild Country Utah van-supported tour is just one of the reasons for wanting to go south — to box up my bike, drive to the airport and just get on a plane, any plane, to any place warm and dry.

I once lived in a town that received in excess of 300 inches of snow each winter. That’s right, twenty-five feet of the cold white stuff fell between December and May. On April Fool's Day of 2001, I woke up to an overnight accumulation of 39 inches. I was not amused. 

Now, as you can imagine, when all that melts it creates some magnificent puddles. These puddles were perfect playgrounds for small children in bright yellow slickers and tall rubber boots. Their grins and shouts of joy were infectious.

The same conditions applied here in Missoula last week. We are recovering from an unusually large series of snowstorms, unusually late in the season. The puddles are pinned into place by sloppy berms of snow, the storm drains clogged with crud. Streets have become rivers, and the riding is dirty. Really dirty.

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting muddy on the spring trail through the woods on the way to Shoup Bay, Alaska, and the four-wheeler tracks along Jim Creek. I don’t mind that kind of mud in my teeth. But the slop that comes from city riding in the spring leaves me cold and wanting to go south. Hmmm … where did I put my credit card?

Post by Mandy Hale |  Top photo by Mandy Hale | Bottom photo by Julie Huck

ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2014 Guided Tours today!


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