Yesterday's temperature was a high of 10 °C with rain. Approaching midnight, the temperature dropped below freezing followed by sleet and snow. This afternoon the temperature was around -8 °C with gust of winds up to 50 km/h. The end result, was a coarse layer of thin ice on the trails covered by 1 mm of fresh snow.
Ponds were partially frozen with a thin layer of ice.
Traction was poor in most places. The ground is frozen solid but there are many ruts, formed by cyclist and hikers, that slow the pace down. In addition, there is a thin layer of rough ice that breaks with minimal pressure. It caused significant friction to slow the pace down. Nothing dangerous, though, as it was safe to bike on the ice with regular tires. However, traction was a problem when climbing hills as the rear wheel would spin out on the ice. Studded tires would of helped.
The pines were fairly good and less trafficked. The trail were smoother, but littered with fallen trees and branches. The branches were easy to clear off the trails, and the trees were more fun to bike over.
I did not bike the hardwoods, but they looked okay.
The best part of the trails were the frozen puddles of water. It made for lots of crunchy noises as the ice would break!
Today's equipment consisted of regular tires (2.5" front, 2.1" rear) at 20 psi. Probably should of increased the tire pressure to 30 psi or higher, but it was too cold and only a casual ride.
What the trails really need are a couple centimeters of snow to smooth out the ruts and provide more traction. Thankfully, the weather forecast is for 3-6 cm of snow over the next three days. Temperature forecast for Saturday/Sunday is a high of -7 °C/-5 °C. Should make for a great weekend of winter biking.