Friday, December 24, 2010

Biking on The St Joe River

It's been cold here with little snow for the last 3 weeks. As such, liquid places, like lakes, ponds, and rivers have developed a nice, deep crusty surface.

The St. Joe River, near my home is well-frozen, with about 1 to 1 1/2" of powdery snow on top. Perfect for an ice ride. I rode a little bit on the river last year, but ice conditions weren't good with a couple of big snows delaying good freezing conditions and making biking through the deep snow on the ice difficult.

Not so today. I rode 6 miles on the river upstream from Leo, IN, to just south of Spencerville, IN. Unfortunately, my rechargeable camera battery didn't have enough juice to record the event, but I was able to take a crappy photo with my old cell phone.

The 4-wheelers and snowmobilers (and 1 dirt bike) have been out on the river, snow I knew the ice was safe. What I didn't expect was the quiet, peaceful, and easy ride made possible with no traffic whatsoever. Alex and I have canoed this stretch of river, so the landmarks were familiar, but looked different sitting so high above the water, er, ice.

The river is a great place to see birds, and today was no different. I saw 4 red tailed hawks and 1 great blue heron. The heron must be getting food from some of the holes in the ice where creeks flow into the river. I saw some heron foot prints in the snow, but didn't believe there would still be a heron hanging around. Silly beast!

Anyway, we don't have any significant snow in the 10-day forecast, so I'm excited about some ice bikin'.

An an unrelated note, my daughter, Georgia, announced she will be swimming with the Polar Bears on New Year's Day. She has made her mother and I so proud!

Happy riding!


John Romeo Alpha said...

Getting food must be a challenge out there for a bird of prey in the winter. They are tough beasts indeed...kind of like the ice bicyclist!

Pondero said...

Riding on an iced river is not something we even think about way down here in Texas. It sounds like quite an experience, with its own special rewards. Way to get out there and get it done!

rlove2bike said...

Good ice we do not have up here this year. The lakes have plenty of ice, but the heavy snow cover has created a thick layer of slush.

That is a good thing your daughter is doing. If she hasn't done something like this in the past, this advice I give from experience, do not wear shoes as they hold water...sandals are the way to go.

Merry Christmas! !

Rat Trap Press said...

I would never have even thought of riding on a frozen river! Very interesting.

Apertome said...

I've ridden on frozen lakes a bit, but never a river. Sounds like a lot of fun!

D A N O said...

Keep riding! I have a Pugsley on order for rides just like that one!

Anonymous said...

We don't get that kind of ice down here, but that sounds kind of fun. Way to get out there and do it!

Chandra said...

I walked on Lake Ontario once, when I was younger, but riding on the river --- WOW! Glad you had fun though!
Peace :)