First off, sorry to anyone that traveled a ways and planned to ride an outer loop. I was absolutely blown away that anyone could possibly think they could ride 4″ tires around a 17 mike trail somewhere that has gotten 100″ of snow in 4-5 weeks. We are totally in the deepest heart of mid-winter conditions so how can anyone think a 4″ city boy setup is going to cut it? Fat bikers have a lot to learn from skiers. Do your weather (manistee road commission snow totals at bottom) and grooming research and choose your equipment wisely. A good rule to follow is don’t ride anything less than a 4.5″ tire on this trail system unless you know exactly what it is like based on “on the snow” intel or you weigh less than 140 lbs. Enough brow beating…
Sunday should be awesome. The plan is to get out early and snowshoe in the firetower loop so it will be passable with the groomer. We are then going to groom going clockwise from big m and including the firetower loop. This snow is incredible. It is super packing stuff once it sets up. Guessing I will start snowshoeing at 8, grooming at 9:30 and we will finish the outer loop by 1. I write that timetable from my heated home with a beer in my hand. Downed trees, wind, burying the grooming equipment multiple times, Mother Nature saying “F-you”… could completely change that time table. You want to give the trail a minimum of 2 hrs to setup after the groomer goes over it.
All I know for sure is that we will groom around the loop tomorrow and in the afternoon the vast, vast majority of the trail will absolutely kick ass if you are not stupid and think your 160lb body can ride 4” tires at 5or more psi.
Forecast says we are coming up on a warm period and then a cold spell for next weekend. This should make conditions awesome for the race. We have already taken Friday off of work and plan to groom Friday and super early Saturday morning if need be to get the race conditions to be awesome. I will try to provide good updates on what the warm weather does. It could make 1.5 hour laps possible for the fastest guys or barely dent our current mid-winter conditions.