Its been below 20F just about all week, but I've gotten out three times now for rides. I'm figuring out how I need to dress to manage the cold without sweating like crazy. Today I had long johns and BB shorts on the bottom, polyprop T, sweatshirt and a shell on top. Mitts, toque and my old bell bike helmet for a lid.
This morning I returned to the Gateway Trail for the first time since the snow fall. The trail had been walked more than skied. There were no groomed tracks. The loose snow was about an inch or two deep. The biggest issue was from the footsteps that went into the slushy snow earlier in the week and was now solid rutty ice. One section had two packed wheeltracks where a trail maintenance crew probably drove in to cut down a dead tree.
I had lots of get-offs from slipping over the bumps. Twice I was forced to tuck and roll, and both times whacked the same side of my knee in the process. I found that riding the snowy trail took as much or more focus as riding the horse trail in the summer. Very rugged, ice, unevenness, and you had to pick a line all the time.
I had to keep my weight off the seat a bit and keep more on the legs so I wouldn't pogo off the unicycle when I hit a bump, although that still happened several times. That extra weight on the legs, plus all the remounts, really exhausted me. The strong sun cast long shadows across the foot tracks with stark contrast of white and blue. At times the sight was almost impressionist.
On the return I tried various hand positions that gave me some ability to respond to the terrain yet keep my shoulders square. I settled on a boxer position with my hands clenched and out in front of me ready to jab and parry.