Happy New Year everyone! I got out for my first ride of the New Year and thought I would give a little hyperborean report on trail conditions. The CAMBA winter trails are groomed and finally in great condition for riding. Most of the early snow we got in the area was dry and powdery, which is very difficult to groom. But a week ago we did get about eight inches of wetter snow. That last dump and the cold snap helped the groomed winter fat bike trails set up nicely.
Everyone should still run low tire pressure. I was running about 3psi in my 4.8″ studded Dillingers. Studded tires are not necessary, but I leave mine on my bike all winter. If you don’t have a tire gauge that reads low pressures needed for fat biking, there are gauges hanging at most of the trailheads for CAMBA’s winter trails thanks to a generous donation from Planet Bike last year.
Not only was this my first bike ride of 2022, but it was also my first ride since I fell off a ladder and fractured my L5 and L1 vertebrae two weeks ago. I fell because of a careless mistake on my part while I was in the process of evicting some freeloading flying squirrels who have set up residence in our Airbnb. I only fell about 10 feet, but my back landed on some field stones and my head smacked the frozen ground pretty hard.
I was never unconscious, but I did get a concussion. My wife took me to the Hayward Memorial Hospital ER, where I got X-rays and CT scans. My medical care was excellent, and I was able to go home after about 3 hours at the hospital. I was in a lot of pain initially, and could barely walk. I have not been able to schedule a follow-up doctor visit, but I have been getting incrementally better every day. After two weeks I finally felt well and flexible enough to try a short, smooth bike ride.
I pedaled my Salsa Mukluk down the paved Northern Lights Road thinking I could turn back if it didn’t feel good. Everything felt good though, so when I got to where Seeley Pass crosses Bodecker Road, I turned onto the groomed trail. It was set up firm, so I kept riding all the way to the new “Unnamed Trail” being groomed as a connector between the Birkie Trail, ROAM Adventure Basecamp, our neighborhood Penman Trails and the Seeley Ski Club Trails.
I’ll write up a future report about this new connector trail and include the GIS file, but you can see it on the new Seeley Overview Winter Trail Map on CAMBA’s winter trail maps page. You can check the most current conditions for all the CAMBA winter trails on their trail conditions page here.
I ended my 11-mile ride feeling just as good as I did when I started, which is encouraging. I will try to get a followup exam from an actual physician, but since it is the holidays, I am consulting Dr. Google. Dr. Google says full recovery for fractured/compressed vertebrae will take 8-10 weeks. That is a long time, but if I can slowly get back to biking, skiing and doing a little more physical work around the homestead, the time will pass quickly.
I did learn a lesson (a painful one), and that is to be more careful. I knew the ladder set-up was less than ideal but went up it anyway rather than go get a shorter ladder that would have fit the space better and been more stable. I also agreed to communicate with Liz more if I am going to be doing something like climbing a ladder, chainsawing, or anything else with an elevated risk factor.
So here is to hoping all y’all have a safe, healthy and happy 2022.