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It was what would seem the longest day of my riding life.

Yes, folks…I’m digging up more memories of riding my mountain bike in Indiana!

Sundays were the days that we, shop employees of Koehlingers, would head down to Huntington Reservoir to ride the loop. This loop is 11-12 miles of mostly singletrack roaming the woods around the reservoir. We would ride through fields, a little doubletrack, a small pine forest and small hills. Remember, in Northern Indiana all the hills are small! And, back in the day of more snow, these trails were made for sled dogs.

This day’s temperature was hovering in the freezing zone. Trail conditions…mostly crunchy ice/snow. Riding the Zaskar.

Did I mention the first half of the trail is in hunting territory? Yeah.

So, my friend Jim and I started out with a few others. I will have to say, it couldn’t have been more than a mile, that I lost contact with everyone. This was to be a solo ride. The OAF has left the gate!


(Jim-not from that day. I’ll give him photo credit for now.)

I’d like to go into detail of this ride, but it’s been many years. What do I remember? After loosing everyone I found that crunchy snow is a major roadblock. Uphill, it’s a push-a-bike. Downhill and flat contained absolutely no coasting. Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!

I also found out how to ice over your clipless pedal system. Because I pull my right foot out when I come to a stop, I lost any hope of clipping it back in about a quarter of the way around.

Note to self…platform pedals when temps are freezing!

At one point along the first half of the trail I ran into a hunter. Carrying his rifle. Looking for deer. He gave me a strange look and moved on.

I also remember riding down a small hill and flipping over my bars! I’m not sure why. Hey…was that a Sasquatch?!

Anyway, somewhere in the second half of the trail my drivetrain succumbed to the winter demons. My rear derailler became engulfed in ice. One gear back there. And…my front derailler picked up some ice, too. Fortunately it just took out my big ring. Not that I was going to use that this day! So, I was left with three gears.

I would guesstimate that I walked over three quarters of the trail that day. I had a lot of time to think, walking through the woods. You know, walking through the crunchy snow/ice wasn’t easy either.

I saw one other person, the hunter. Was happy that I had dressed properly. Well, except for that clipless pedal/shoe bit. And had plenty of water and food for a 1 1/2 hour ride that became a four hour ride!

Did I mention that you can’t just roll through crunchy snow/ice?

I got back to the car just as Jim was driving away. He waited to make sure I got back.

I then proceeded into town to eat at my favorite burger joint. What was that place called? Famous for their olive burgers.

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