by David Pramann
Feb. 9, 2010
re: Arrowhead 2010
Subject: 2010 FAIR
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Hey Kids:
 -21F again.  riding bike.  135 miles bush, kind of wide trail this year.
2010 Arrowhead, 5th time for me,  110+ other folks joined from like 26 states and 12 countries even fun, normal, decent Canadians.  Lots of Alaskans really good nice Alaskans.
Race setting up with light winds, cold firm trail, arguably best competition snowbike race so far.  It was.
Despite 30 yrs racing bikes and lots of winter experience more nervous than ever, perhaps due to expectations.  Josh deathrider Peterson and I checked out trail on way up and looked good but not as fast as a couple other years due to lack of freeze/thaw cycles ya need for concrete snow.  Enjoyed prerace meeting and all HOOPLA.  Fatbikes, Pugsleys, 907's it would be a race!
Start fun with regular paceline, chasing zigzag fashion fastest line on wide groomed trail at -21F.  Best part:  mass start actual I-Falls, and; about ten guys in line til attrition brought down to three/four at Highway 53 crossing.  Ice/wet snow brought down billions and billions of face-slapping alders trail edge dodging them was a challenge!  Not sure how folks with no eye protection/goggles did but made for a firm groomed edge path due to lack of sled traffic except down middle.  Feeling OK, dropped glove and fell back on retrieve before Gateway.  Future winter strongman Dittmer passed and streaking Lance A as well here.  After Gateway, Lance and I moved up to 1 and 2 on trail but felt way better at own pace and think others felt same.  Saw nice wolf midtrail, unfortunately he had gimpy rear foot injured somehow.
Fast to Elephant, Lance, Jeff and myself leading things in, Pete B really close behind,  keeping tradition of first into MelGeorge every year.  Nice wife Mary and a friend in the skiplane meet us on Lake and that was so cool.  Quick check-in at warm cabin but not nearly as quick as the Alaska boyz they beat us out by 10min+.
Through first set big hills daylight which helps A LOT.  Put light on at Co. 23 latest ever in this race, and marked my territory with the wolves.  Alaska Boyz Jeff and Pete helping had brief mechanical issues and caught them nicely before real big hills really big.  Here I showed Midwestern-Hospitality and shouted out brief hints on tricky spots and whats to come.  At one point following personal shear terror over sled bridge sideways at ~25mph I stated " Well, have had a fine, good life dying now wouldn't be so bad" so it must have been way fun I think.  Confident we were going SO FAST the winner would come from us three, but not so fast to break my record due to trail conditions so lets give it a go.  Pretty unusual having anybody near me at this point but thatís progress.
Nice moon, quick stop at da Crescent checkpoint.  Flat 3-up paceline to finish not really planning much cause just hanging on and enjoying riding with the big boyz.  Full-on sprint to the line,  Alaska kids left me standing still.  Legs left out there on the trail looking forward to warm Casino, wife, friends and whiskey celebration.  Quite certain Mack Truck hit me overnight and for a couple days later.  Great ride, lets do it again sometime!
this is breathable jacket.
notice jeff and I are leaning on each other to keep standing up.  Pete is fine and could turn around and ride back to the start I'm sure.