January 1, 2009: Home to Dixie's and Back

Rode in the second annual family ride this year from home up to the Normanna Pit where we all gathered (since the North Shore State Trail was closed below Jean Duluth Rd for bridge repairs), and then we all rode up to Dixie's Saloon outside of Two Harbors.

The ride up the Dixie's was pretty much uneventful - nice ride on some nicely groomed trails.

The ride back to the pit went fairly smooth as well.. The real kicker was the ride from the pit back home...

Let's start with some basics:

1. It's dumb to ride alone. I do it a fair amount, and try and let people know my route and when I expect to arrive (in case I don't show - I want them to know where to find the body).

2. There are ice ridges and ice walls on Island Lake. If you live up here, you know that.

3. See #2. I knew it because I was on the lake the week before and SAW them. I knew this because I had slowed down for multiple ridges earlier in my trek across the lake.

Now.. I'm not quite sure how I did it..but I managed to hit one of these walls doing between 40 and 50 MPH.

It doesn't look like much (and it's a little dark - the picture was taken right at dusk).

As soon as I hit the ridge I knew I was in trouble. I had no idea what happened, but had enough sense to bail off the sled as soon as it happened. I was quite lucky to have a safe landing back on the ice (not head first or any other odd positions), and was quite lucky not to have the sled land on me. They always say that any accident you can walk away from was a good one. I was able to get right up, with nothing but my pride hurt. The sled wasn't quite so lucky. I rolled it 180 degrees. I am amazed that I didn't break more on it than I did... The windshield popped off (it's held on by something that is similar to a rubber band - they're made to pop off with some force), although I didn't break or crack it. I did break a trailing arm on the left side of the machine, although there was a fair amount of metal fatigue going on there anyway I think. After I collected my wits, I was eventually able to drive the sled home - my turning was limited because the trailing arm had dropped on the ski, but otherwise things seemed ok.

A little bit of welding later and TLC and it's back to good as new!

Total miles this ride: 191
Total miles this year: 521

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