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It's been melting slowly around here for a week or a few, and there have been a few days of good intense sun. Yesterday was one of those days, so what better to do than take out the TW for a little stretch.



Started off in a dirt parking lot not far from home, aiming to take advantage of some trails that I suspected were only half melted, and probably very muddy this time of year. Traction was poor enough on much of the ride that I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted, aiming to instead keep moving, noting that I was thoroughly overdressed for offroading, and about right for the pavement.







I'm playing around with the idea of using a top-case either instead of, or in addition to my tailbag. For this trip, I opted to leave the tailbag at home and just run the case. It worked out, as I'll explain later. I headed down the mud-strips and mushy 2 year old logged skidder trails to get to the water. I have a habit of being there before April on the TW every year so far, and this one was no exception, although a bit of a close call












Enjoyed briefly, and then back up the long iced over mud-hill to the next set of trails. I really was supposed to be going to the building supply place for more drywalling stuff, here...



This is generally what all of the trails in the shade look like right about now:





Not too bad, it turns out, if I stood up and sat back on the top case
Traction improved dramatically, if I could keep my balance, to the point where I could ride right up ice hills as long as there was occasionally a spot to dig up some bare ground, kinda like this, with more hill (lets face it, I'm not stopping at the bottom or middle of a hill to take a picture, and at the top it doesn't look like a hill anyway):







And the single biggest hazard of riding on the trails this time of year in NNY: ice!



Its slippery, its unpredictable, it hurts to fall on, and .... you can fall through:









It happens that the TW dropped right to the skid plate and was standing on its own, there. Just a large mud puddle that froze over and then the water actually found some way to drain out, leaving the ice with nothing to spread the load when some fool like me went riding over it. I won't ride over *real* water this time of year, but these trails are my go-to spot for quick fun around the house, and I know how deep the ruts are. Nothing particularly unsafe if you're paying attention.
 

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Gotta love it!!! I love being out on winterish days, as long as the sun is shining!
 

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Nice pics. I live in Schenectady County, NY and there's virtually nothing iced over around here. A couple humps of snow left in shady places that's it.
 

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It happens that the TW dropped right to the skid plate and was standing on its own, there. Just a large mud puddle that froze over and then the water actually found some way to drain out, leaving the ice with nothing to spread the load when some fool like me went riding over it.


while i've never understood how, but snow melts from the bottom up. you didn't have to have a puddle drain.

looks like a great area to ride, thanks for sharing



thanks to google:

The simple answer is that snow can melt BOTH from top to bottom and from the bottom to the top…depending on the conditions.

During the day, the snow reflects a majority of the sunlight but some of the sun’s energy evaporates the solid snow directly to the vapor phase. This process is called sublimation and it eats away at the snow slowly.

If the air temperature in contact with the snow is warm enough, obviously this helps to melt the snow but the water from this melt can trickle down into the snow pack and further melt the snow if warm enough. If the air is cold however, the liquid water within the snow pack can re-freeze.

Darker surfaces such as concrete absorb the sun’s radiation therefore warming the surface. Snow piles that are next to and in contact with the exposed, warmer surface will melt from the bottom to top from conduction of heat.

The ground temperature is also critical. If the ground temperature is below freezing then snow will not melt. If the ground is above freezing than snow is likely to melt from the bottom to the top.

In other words, melting snow could depend on either the air temperature or/and the ground temperature.



Have a good weekend!



Kristin Clark

WeatherNation Meteorologist
 

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Not to hijack this thread but need to vent while we're on the subject of NY (the vampire state): In talking to Phibbs about a new TW200, dmv fees to get the thing titled and registered are well over 100 bucks. This is for a sub-300lb machine that will probably be ridden 3000 miles per year tops. This reminds me of a few years ago, when I went to register the '82 550 Yamaha Maxim I bought for $199, it cost me $50 for just a title alone. I pointed out to the woman behind the counter that the title cost more than 25% of what I paid for the machine. Obviously, she was caring and compassionate about my feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SickPuppy: indeed, the initial fees are high.. but progressive for insurance costs me $75/year for liability only, and the registration renewal is $17.50/year, inspection $6 -- Still a lot cheaper than any of my other crap
 

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while i've never understood how, but snow melts from the bottom up. you didn't have to have a puddle drain.

looks like a great area to ride, thanks for sharing


Good call, very possible! That area is rutted and usually full of water, but the fact that the ice wasn't dark colored with suspended dirt might be an indicator.
 

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SickPuppy: indeed, the initial fees are high.. but progressive for insurance costs me $75/year for liability only, and the registration renewal is $17.50/year, inspection $6 -- Still a lot cheaper than any of my other crap


Renewing isn't too bad, they just put you over the barrel for new registrations and titles.
 

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Looks like old man winter is letting go of his grip ever so slowly, with a stress on slow. Still looks like a pretty place to ride. Bet you can't wait to ride without the vanilla ice cream and chocolate mud milkshake looking stuff.
 

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Thats because the politicians have us paying for the MTAs bonuses






I was just about to mention that, now that I have the pleasure of living in Orange County, I get banged for another $25 per year for the MTA stick up tax! What a crock. I never set foot on a train. I get them in many other ways, though.
 
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