On Saturday December 17th, 3 riders managed to make it part way up the Buckhorn Canyon during the Pennock Pedaling Powwow, not quite as far as they had hoped but not bad. Considering most of the ride was in negative digits and on roads with 6 inches of fresh pow, I'd say they did pretty well. The original route would have taken them over Pennock Pass, down the Poudre and back to the Fort, 100 miles with lots of hike-a-bike.
Here's a writeup by John Stewart, one of the riders that made it the furthest.
"Last Saturday’s Pennock Ride was something I had been looking forward to for quite some time. 2015 was my first crack at the ride in the Winter season. That ride was a blast, featuring a nice 7-8 mile push-a-bike in the snow over the higher parts of the pass. Though it was tough, there were some wonderful moments of enjoying the alpine on bikes.
This years ride called for cold temperatures. Really cold temperatures. Our ride started below zero and only broke positive temperatures on our return at the end of the ride. We began as a rough dozen clad in various attire to protect us from the cold. This Winter Ralleye ride slowly moved through town in the cold morning air. Moving through the city streets we lost quite a few riders before making it to Spring Canyon Park where we regrouped as one rider added some much needed toe warmers. It seemed that around each corner we managed to loose our friends to the
cold. They would bid us good luck and turn off towards home, we wished them warmth. Eventually we reached the entrance to Horsetooth
Mountain Park and our group saw its final split. We went from six to three. It's humbling to think that mid summer many of us make this ride merely to get to the singletrack. Today the adventure was just in getting there. As we descended into Masonville we felt a strong cut from the cold, it made you consider pedaling against your brakes just for the warmth. Passing through town we were able to find a nice rhythm and continue the ride up to turn at Buckhorn Canyon. The climbs warmed nicely and were met with a few descents that ensured we never warmed up too much. We crested the last hill out of Masonville and enjoyed a brief chilly ride to the turn at Buckhorn. We all pulled off near the mailboxes and took a moment to eat. My salami was almost frozen, the gummy bears were ice cubes. The bourbon was unaffected however, so we were able to share that before discussing proceeding. One of the group had felt his feet were too cold and needed to return. Eventually we all came to see that home was best for us all. The descents gave chills as I have never felt, the cold temps and wind chill were impressive. We made the cold pedal back towards home with the enjoyable though that each pedal was closer to warm.
Right before we approached the T Intersection that is Masonville we pulled off as my face mask became detached, we pulled off near a mailbox. A gal stepped outside a house nearby and told us not to steal her mail. We obliged and said we had no interest in her mail. Just to get home. She then asked us to check her mailbox, but not to steal it. We opened it and said there was nothing inside. She again reminded us not to take her mail, to which we also obliged. A weird experience for a weird ride.
The remaining miles home were as cold as the rest but offered the solace of heat and frothy beverage. Though I was a bit disappointed to not be able to ride the pass today, given the conditions I would have to say it was still a great ride. Always fun to push limits and experience all nature has to offer in the latest installment of the Winter Ralleye, can't wait for the next one!"
More photos from the ride: https://goo.gl/photos/Y3A7Dxa3fYimHqqA6
You can read about John's experience on the Kelpie Kampout here: http://bikepacker.com/2016-kelpie-kampout/