The title sounds kind of, uh, governmental, I know. Maybe sinister even, if you're of a conspiratorial bent.
If the google machine brought you here to show you Senator Antoine's annual farm subsidy report, or the results of the Antoine Commission's investigation into the CIA's activities in Kiribati, my apologies. You are in the wrong place.
If, however, you're wondering about midwinter riding conditions in the Antoine Peak Conservation Area, you're in exactly the right place.
I've been a dull working boy these past weeks and months and left work yesterday with a particularly strong jonesin' for some exercise. I've also been accumulating some soft packs over the winter, as I plan to convert my fatbikepacking setup from a rack-based system to a Revelate-style system, in order to reduce the obscene weight of my current setup. And then there's my photographic gear, which has been sitting under a serious layer of dust. I thought an exploratory trip out to Antoine would be just the ticket for getting a little exercise, shaking down some of the new gear and remembering how to trip a shutter.
I was hoping . . . that because it's so dry down in the valley, that the road would be somewhat rideable to the top. Boy howdy, was I dreaming. It was absolutely FILTHY, and not the wholesome-healthy-pure-goodness kind of filthy. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
From the parking lot, it looked to be all systems go.
foot traffic would subside and the surface get more rideable. At first, this looked to indeed be the case.
I thought the descent might be a different story, but it was just as tough. All up, I spent maybe 20% of my time on the bike. Here's a sampling of the crunch . . .
Though the summit attempt was a bust, it was great to get out and bang around on Antoine. I sure dig that place as just a constantly-changing environment in which to consistently get a good outdoor workout.