-21F again. riding bike.
135 miles bush, kind of wide trail this
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
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
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