After a day at work that was very disappointing, to say the least, I took a little detour on the ride home. I wanted to distract myself from moping and grumping, and a little off-road action seemed like it would be just the thing. Even though there isn't any hilly terrain handy on my route, I figured that dealing with the snow and frozen ruts would be interesting enough to take my mind off my troubles. As soon as I got a little way down the trail, though, I came to something even more interesting than bumps: vast sheets of ice stretching among the trees and brush, where the torrential rains of November had filled up the swamps. I hesitated for a moment, of course, but in my fatalistic mood I figured I might as well give it a shot.
And as it turns out, riding on smooth ice went remarkably well. As long as I didn't try to turn or stop, that is. Or turn too fast at least: I soon found that by avoiding sudden movements I could actually get around pretty skillfuly, and enjoyed myself for a couple minutes slaloming around the frozen-in trees. As delightful as that was, though, it was topped a few minutes later when the path led down to a whole frozen lake, or at least a pond—a vast expanse of clean ice, in any case, with a smooth clear shoreline that let me ride right down onto it. Which I did! This time, the lack of obstacles let me build up some pretty fair straight-ahead speed, and let me tell you, it's something for improving your mood to be skimming across shining white ice at twilight on a crisp 15° F December evening. There was even an island to circumnavigate. It was only three or four falls until I managed to get all the way around on one try.
Much happier, I resumed my homeward course. I was so excited by my new-found ice-biking skills that I even hazarded riding the frozen bridge that felled me the other day. I fell again, of course. Still, the most fun commute I've had in some time, and just what I needed to get the weekend off to a good start.