Great ride last night, if a bit cold. Matt and Kurt joined Eric for a ride in the Goldstream Valley.

The Goldstream Creek weather station was showing -23F as we prepared to leave. But that’s about a mile downstream from the Ballaine Road pullout, where we met. So the temp at the pullout must have been tons warmer, right?

Took us a while to get going. Matt had his act together. He even had some nice red wheel lights for his bike. Very nice! However, Eric and Kurt spent time futzing around. Kurt’s a newbie fatbiker, so he’s got a good excuse. Eric, well, he has excuses but they are lame. We’ll just move on. One thing we learned. It’s much better to arrive as prepared as possible so that you can get riding right away, otherwise you get cold just standing around. Too obvious?

Anyway, we finally got going and headed to where the trail crosses Ballaine, where we met a nice musher who was out grooming trails and clearing brush at the road crossing. We thanked him and stopped to open a couple of chemical hand warmers for Kurt.

After that the ride was great! We rode the main trail up toward Buck’s Drive and did a little loop. Eric had planned on doing a bigger loop, but he took a wrong turn. Eventually, Kurt’s hands got warm and he was doing fine.

When we broke out of the trees, we all turned our lights off (except for Matt’s nice wheel lights) and rode in the moonlight for a while. What a blast! It was a full moon last night. Called the Cold Moon, according to Astronomy magazine. How appropriate!

We tried to take the old Willow Run road across the valley, but the first creek crossing looked to have been broken open and refrozen recently, so we decided to be conservative and head back the way we had come. We did do a slight diversion near Ballaine before heading back to the cars.

Back at the parking lot, Eric’s after-market truck thermometer was showing –33C. That’s -27.4F. Brrr! But by then we were toasty warm.

Overall, a great ride! And a great teachable moment: wear proper gear, keep moving, be ready to ride at the start. Doh!

We haven’t got next week figured out yet, but we will soon. We’ll send out notices when we do and put it on the ride page schedule.

Photos by Eric

P.S. No SOS ride this Sunday as it is New Year’s Eve.