Went for a Saturday morning bike ride at Puslinch Tract. Unlike yesterday, see Puslinch Tract (03/01/13), I ditched the studded tires and opted for a brute force setup that was surprisingly effective. It also made for great work out!
Sky was overcast, and temperature was -7 °C.
Bike was equipped with knobby tires (2.5" front and 2.1" rear) at 10 psi. Larger front tire was for flotation, smaller rear tire was for plowing through the snow. In addition, the bike was set up as a fixed gear off-road bike at a 2:1 gear ratio.
The double tracks snow trails were fair. There was at most a 1" layer of loose snow on top of a hard layer of snow. This hard layer was either a packed layer of snow or a hardened layer of snow due to colder temperatures. The packed layer was formed by increased snowmobile and walking traffic. However, there were still a few section untouched by snowmobiles. Fortunately these trails were ridable as the snow has hardened to provide increase flotation. It was not easy to bike, but with enough speed and momentum they were 100% ridable. Hence the brute force set up of the bike. Overall condition were fair, and a brisk pace was sustainable for the loops.
The single track snow trails were also much improved as the snow has hardened enough to provide minimal flotation when treaded softly. Only the pines trails were explored today, but they were 85-90% ridable with active cycling methods. The trails were covered with 2-4" of snow that had a hardened top layer. Biking was still tough as many section required brute force to plow through the snow or power the rear wheel out of a hole. Lots of shifting of the weight and pedaling out of saddle were required.
Moreover, certain sections were ultra bumpy as hikers have been through the area when the snow was soft. As result of the snow hardening, there were many 4" holes to bike through. Lots of fun though and made for a great workout! To clear these areas, just pedal at top speed, keep a straight line, and constantly shift weight before hitting a hole.
Moderate hills were climbable, while most medium hills required some walking. The only other problematic areas were the rare low lying snow drift areas that were still soft, and fallen tree branches blocking the trail.
The weather forecast is looking poor. Only Sunday and Monday's forecast have below freezing temperatures, while the rest of the week is forecast to have a high of 6 °C.
Lastly, there were very few trails users today. Some ice fishers, hikers, and dog walkers.