So off I go, left the house about 7:45 this morning and was greeted to a balmy 24 degrees. Figured the temps above 9000' would be low, so I packed plenty of layers and gear options. On the way through Woodland Park, my favorite refueling station is STILL lower than most of the areas around town. the road into the staging area is still dusted with snow, but not so much that traction is a problem. I got to the trail head, and the guy that said "I'll be there" ain't there. I'm by myself. There's NO ONE parked in the flat area where the trail starts. Oh well, I figure I know the place like the back of my hand so I can do it alone and just ride cautious since there's no one with me. I suit up and head out, get about 3 miles into the trail and come across the first water crossing, but something looks weird..... the water is really calm.... I would guess a 1/2" sheet of ice is over the top, the water below is still moving. It's soft enough that rolling my front tire in SORT OF breaks up the ice, but unless I just bomb through it I fear I'll get stuck and then have to put my dry feet down in not so dry (or warm) conditions. A little further in I am provided proof that Old Man Winter's coming, The ponds are starting to freeze over, and there's still a little snow left from the last couple days' storms. That's actually the trail I have to take on the far side of the pond, the one covered in snow Here's what it looks like in front of you. I got a little more into the trail, and came up on another water crossing, this one looked a lot more frozen. I was right. I am actually sitting ON TOP of the stream. I fully figured I would be picking up my bike when the kickstand busted through the ice when I ran off to get the shot, but it held. I'm riding along at a good clip and come up on yet another water crossing. This one is in direct sunlight, and looks like the sheet on top is MAYBE 1/8" thick so I just go for it and start blasting across it. What you're about to see next is very confusing. See, everything was great. Felt good on the bike, was holding a great pace (so much so that I actually thought I might break my record of finishing the loop in shorter time than I did over the summer) and then suddenly everything was in slow motion, and I was yelling what the f***........ My bike needed a nap apparently. What I can gather from this is I either hit it TOO FAST, or it was really thicker than it looked. It only cracked, and Maxxis tires are NOT approved for use in HOCKEY RINKS. So the front washed, and I took an easy soil sample, thankfully OUT of the frigid water. Anyway, laughed it off and continued on. No injury to me, just my pride. There's a LOT of dead fall in the forest now, people are coming through occasionally with chain saws and fixing some of these..... the forest is a blast to ride in. Just don't use your left shoulder to push trees out of your way. I ended up cutting it too close on a turn and glanced off an Aspen with my left shoulder, not really hurt but I am sure tomorrow it'll be a whole different story. So I get back to my truck and take a look at my GPS times. I've done this loop before with a few friends, and we finished it in about 2 hours. I beat that time by 15 minutes, I guess all the stops at trail heads to wait for everyone takes up some time. That's STILL with me stopping to take a few pics!!! Felt really good, so I ate an energy bar, loaded up with water and headed out again for another loop! One of the places we ride through takes you right between a bunch of boulders, but we never seem to stop to take pics so I grabbed a few. The trail weaves between a bunch of these rocks (it's only 48" wide so the quads can still get through) Lot of fun, but a LOT of blind corners with potential head on traffic so I usually take it easy here.