A winter cruise

Another day off, another ride. Or something like that. After playing around on the snow single-track in the immediate neighborhood (at the proving ground, behind Olbrich, and a couple of other little spots), I hit the trail for a loop around the west end of Madison that took in the Capitol City Trail, the Cannonball, the Southwest Commuter Path, the Lakeshore Path, and various bits and pieces to tie them together.


The surface of the CCT is almost ridiculously varied, due to the moronic way that it’s plowed (or not plowed, as the case may be). If you ride the entire thing, you can expect all of the following:

  • shaved smooth and slick fast
  • ice with crunchy snow on top.
  • plow tracks.
  • smooth re-freeze ice.
  • semi-plowed semi-thick snow.
  • bare pavement
  • totally unplowed, but walked on.
  • partially plowed then chewed up by snow machine (or something like)
  • various combinations of the above.

On the one hand, moronic. On the other, the most interesting part of the ride today, given that it required all of my winter riding skills, and constant vigilance.


The Cannonball from the CCT connector to the SWCP connector is entirely unplowed, and rather chewed up and not very firm. I managed to get through the entire thing only putting a foot down twice.

Meagre ice beard
Meagre ice beard

For some mysterious reason, my right knee was stiff for most of the ride. Perhaps the saddle height is wrong, or I have the cleat on that shoe not quite right.

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