This past weekend was warmish with temperatures above freezing. Overnight, the temperature dropped to -12 °C. Of course this meant a possibility of slick ice. As a result, studded tires were equipped on my bike, and a trip to Guelph Lake was made!
This afternoon, the sky was partially cloudy and the temperature was -11 °C.
Upon arrival at Riverside park, the trails looked promising. Snow was roughly 4” deep, but it was hard and crusty. After lowering the tire pressure to 10 psi, it was smooth pedaling as the bike floated on the snow.
Ice was everywhere as anticipated. The city side walks and Speed River Trail were full of slick ice. The single track and double track trails also had random patches of smooth ice. However, across Victoria road, on the Guelph Lake trails, smooth ice was a bit scarcer.
Broken or low tree branches were more of a problem in the lesser trafficked areas. The lower single track trails down by the river off of the Speed River Trails, was badly hit by the ice storm. The mid and upper level trails, on the other hand, were clear of debris. At Guelph Lake, West Nile was in bad shape.
Homestead was surprisingly good. There were a couple of slick ice patches, but the rest of the trails was covered in 3-4” of hardened snow. There were around 5 areas affected by low or bent tree branches. However, only a couple meters of bushwhacking was required to get through.
The main Guelph Lake dam was fantastic. It was a smooth sheet of ice! Could not resist biking end to end on the ice thanks to the studded tires. In addition, it was a blast making three meter skid marks by picking up speed and jamming the rear brakes.
Child’s Play, was in good shape except for one heavily hit area. A couple of large trees were down in one section. After walking around it, a few minutes were required to find the trail again. Luckily, though, the rest of the trails were without issues.
In summary, the trails were in good shape with the two caveats of slick ice and low tree branches.