As I wrote last year I have dreamt for a long time about riding to The Spout. I made another attempt recently. We had very good crust conditions, which are formed when rain falls on existing snow and then the temperatures drop. It is an amazing riding experience; anywhere there is snow you can ride a bike. To me it feels like the whole world has been covered with concrete. When the crust is perfect the bike sits right on top of the snow and doesn’t break through. The tires roll smoothly, silently. Winter biking heaven.
I started from Middle Pond, just like last time, and essentially followed the same route. The trail begins with a 1 km uphill and the conditions were stellar; I was confident this would be the year I rode to The Spout. I remained optimistic until I got out onto the barrens and the crust just wouldn’t hold me. Either the front wheel would break through and I would do a superman over the handlebars or, most often, the rear wheel would sink, the bike would come to an abrupt stop, and I would tumble over. After an hour of this I gave up, knowing I would have another hard hour of slogging back.
I’ve concluded that one of two situations will have to occur for a successful bike to The Spout:
1) Perfect crust conditions, or;
2) A year when there is a lot of snow and the snowmobiles venture out to The Spout again and I can follow their tracks.
The highlight of the trip was spotting a coyote – the second time I have seen one in the wild here.