Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.
Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.

offtrail.guru

A small blog about offtrail riding, allroad cycling, fatbiking and singlespeeding.

Patrick

Did Winter Come Back One Last Time?

Hiking miles through some deep, soft snow.

After the two previous weekends, I thought that my fat-bike season had come to an early end. Years past, it wasn't uncommon to fat-bike into May. Last week, however, winter returned in full force, dropping over a foot of snow on the Swiss Alps and 8-10 inches in the Jura. Brown pastures and trees were suddenly white again. I had already washed and packed away my Bike Jacket, so I got it back out again because my studded fat-bike can't be placed inside our car without.

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Patrick

A New Mountain Bike Helmet

A hot chocolate on  cold day. Taken on November 27, 2010.

Back in the early days of mountain biking, bike helmets used to be bike helmets. Road cyclists were only just starting to put lids on and there were basically no sport-specific helmets. An XC mountain biker wore the same helmet as a road cyclist. Things have changed a lot in that regard. Mountain bikers today have a huge plethora of helmets to choose from; from lightweight XC helmets to full-face downhill helmets. For the three and a half decades I have been riding, I have primarily owned visorless road cycling helmets except for two Giro Exodus helmets, which were popular mountain bike helmets in early 2000. After those, I owned two Giro Atmos, three Aeon, and one Giro Synthe helmet. All of those are lightweight, well-vented lids you mostly see on the head of roadies.

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Patrick

All Good Things Take Time

Lots of orange components.

In early 2019, I rebuilt my 2015 Ritte Snob Disc only to take it apart again to build my Nordest Albarda in the fall of the same year. Then my wife and I moved at the end of 2019 and the Ritte hung on the bike rack in our new basement missing many parts. In 2020, I purchased a SRAM eTap AXS groupset for the Nordest and moved the eTap HRD parts back to the Ritte. Over the course of the year, I bought bits and pieces here and there to complete the Ritte once again, but alas, I never quite finished.

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Patrick

An Icy Fat-Bike Weekend

Crossing the Grenchenberg.

February has been a disappointing cycling month so far. Temperatures shot through the roof and it rained a lot. The wonderful snow disappeared at lower elevations and suffered greatly up higher. Thankfully, the mercury dropped last Friday to make Saturday the coldest day of the winter, yet. For the first time this winter I pulled my warm Smith Vantage helmet out of the armoire and strapped on my ski/fat-bike goggles. Thicker gloves were pulled out of the drawer and I put on a thicker long sleeve jersey under my winter jacket. Despite riding at temperatures of around -16°C, I felt very comfortable on Saturday's 4 1/2 hour fat-bike ride.

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Patrick

Territory Change

Downhill from the Montagne de Romont.

Ever since I began fat-biking in March of 2013, I've been roaming across the area between Biel and the Chasseral. When the snow cover didn't reach town, I used to drive to Les Prés d'Orvin or Nods. Now that I live in Grenchen, that area is out of reach. Since Christmas, snow has remained at the foot of the mountains, making the drive to higher elevations unnecessary. Instead of driving to my old fat-bike playground, I've been exploring the mountain chain north of our house, and it's pretty spectacular.

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