Back to the grind

The past few weeks were a blur of adjusting to a family of 4, travel to Chicago and getting into a groove of working and workouts.   The weather has been an interesting combination of intense sun and cold. At night the ambient temps were below zero at times (even during the day) but the sun still melted the snow.  The melt - freeze cycle has created great trails to ride my bike so I was excited to go for a longer 2 hr ride this morning.  
I ass-u-me-(d) the snow would have this pristine melted crust. My plan was to go cross country off trail to my friends house about 10 miles out of Nome say hello and loop back home.   

Spin and spin in place

Snowboarding with my bike. 

As soon as I got off trail the snow was, unusually, full of friction.  I wasn't breaking through deeply but I simply would spin in place, the snow had this weird loose slippery feel to it.  Even on an old snow machine track I just couldn't grab any purchase. It was incredibly frustrating, probably one of my more frustrating rides ever... maybe because I was expecting fast trails.  I had to air down almost risking breaking the bead in granny gear mashing and mashing only going 2.6 -3.4 mph.
Finally back on a firm 14 mph trail. 
I never made it to my friends house but I did manage to get on a well used trail that was super fast, finally.  The snow never ceases to amaze me in the variations of conditions.  On the low traveled trails or off trail, the sun seemed to eat under the crust causing pockets while the cold caused sort of a frost that was super slippery. Kind of like riding on a bike trainer with high resistance.