Monday, February 12, 2007

Dave Pramann's report 2007


Wee Doggies. -31F. International Falls to near Tower, MN last Monday. Into A 10 knot wind. Canis Lupus lurking in the shadows, soft, deceiving trail. Cold that could kill. It had to be Epic. Heart of Coldness.

At the top of my Arrowhead race memories, beside the various peeling, numb spots showing up on my face, are Ron Kadera, Kevin Ishaug, Steve Bobusch, Don Clark and the other snowmo boys saving lives Monday Night on the trail. These guys came back from early race bow-out to jump very willingly into a more critical job of helping folks out on the trail. Motoring all over the bumpy frozen WolfKingdom Monday night likely saving some REAL problems and minimalizing those that did occur. Again, way to go Ron, Kevin, Steve, Don Gabrielson's brother Todd and everybody else who was out there helping us Mon night thru Tues. And the racers who helped each other.

For me it was a nice, albeit really challenging race. Checked out the trail on the drive to I-Falls and picked my pretty-much standard monster bike Pugsley to ride as things looked real soft the middle 70 -80 miles of trail, just as Mr. Kadera had indicated in his pre-race report. -30F conditions warranted true conservativeness. My equipment and clothes all worked fine. Rode 1st or 2nd bike essentially all the way to Elephant Lake, breaking softer trail about the last 30 miles, which, in usual 20/20 hindsite, was tactical error I paid price for physically. Luck helped out with my only bad karma occurring as a sheared-valve Endomorph flat in my nice warm Lodge room at 75F. Maybe gluing one side of the rear tire at low pressure is best even on these 4" monsters. A lower gear when the legs turn to jello would have been nice too (32 X 32 was my granny).

BONK CITY at Halfway

Where's the whiskey?

Thirteen hour layover eating, drinking and sleeping at MelGeorge got me back on track at dawn after the BONK of Monday evening. Tuesday was spent riding most everything except the 83 or so steep uphills between Elephant Lake and Cook. Actually had a fine day with everything working well in another -30F start, bike and body. Bombed the hills with the stable, lovable Pugsley and cruised the flats enjoying the spectacular sunshine and views. Lack of snowmo traffic and lots of logging made the trail a bit harder to follow this year and I was rather glad not to be the lead scout. Pretty sure the race is more like 140 miles long too. Four of the ten race finishers (Shand/Krueger/Lowell/myself) stayed in my MelGeorge room so we have the MOJO!!!.

Jumped to several revelations out there on the march:

a) Al Gore is wrong. Here. Where I am. Today.
b) Taking the wolf off the endangered list maybe isn't so wrong. Here. Where I am. Today. Tracks all over I swear the size of my hand.

Left MelGeorge in 7th position about nine hours behind the brave four, fresh legs moved me up to 3rd within faltering distance of the two determined and steady leaders Joel Calahan and Dave Surly Gray. They did not falter. After finishing about 2.5 hrs behind at Bayview, had the energy to drive back to the Cities Tuesday evening to get to work. "The 2nd loser", as some of my more harsh friends/family said, guess I should have gone harder! But this was a race where just having nerve to start was winning.

Those 4 MEN (Winner Dave Gray, Joel Cahalan, Charlie Farrow and Ben Wacker) who headed out on to trail Monday evening at -30F after short 2-3 hour halfway checkpoint layovers are the REAL-THING. The Krueger and Lowell stories must be fine examples of human perseverance and faith. Thanks to the Ostors and all the Race Volunteers including volunteer wife Mary for another fine year.

My Gosh.....dave pramann.


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