Saturday, February 7, 2009

Devine Intervention, Arrowhead 135, and other stuff...

My first thought was to just take the day off and rest. I was feeling tired and not too excited to do much of anything. Then the sun came up and this little thought entered my head. With yesterdays warm weather and last nights cool down...Eagle Lake could be a fun ride today.

Well, as luck or devine intervention would have it...I was right. The conditions were absolutely perfect for a circumnavigation of the lake. The snow was firm and well packed by snow machines and four-wheelers which made for solid footing for riding. Those damn motorized toys are good for something I guess.

I Rode out onto the lake using a snowmobile trail through some of the high cattail grass that borders the lake pretty thickly in some areas. I knew the moment I hit that packed trail that this was going to be a fun little ride.

Roadies...hang up those road and cross bikes with their skinny tires and forsake those paved trails and roads. Grab your mountain bikes and those studded fat tires and get out on the lakes for some real fun and interesting riding. To think, I was actually going to take a day off and miss this!

I spent two hours doing laps around the lake and exploring areas haven't been able to get to in the past. As the morning wore on some of the trails began to soften somewhat, but the ice roads created by the fishermen were absolutely fantastic. Some spots were a good grind to get through and I did do a flip when my front tire broke through some softer snow pack and sent me over the handlebars. Fortunately, the landing was soft.

My only thought now is get out there at night. I was able to do this a few times last winter, but conditions limited me to the ice roads. Now that I can ride just about anywhere night riding should be an absolute blast.


The Arrowhead 135, a winter endurance race, took place earlier this week. Athletes either run, ski, or bike a 135 mile course through the forests and swamps of northern Minnesota. I mentioned this in my previous post and was planning on talking more about it, but after reading one of the racers posts and seeing his photos I felt I couldn't do it justice. You need to hear about it and see it from the perspective of one of the participants.

Mike Curiak is a seasoned endurance mountain bike racer from Colorado. He hold records in some of the world's toughest winter mountain bike races along with riding in and setting the record for the GDR (Great Divide Race). A race that runs along the spine of the Rockies from Canada to the Mexican Border.

My interest in the Arrowhead 135 started a little over a year ago. Then after following the progress of racers in the Iditarod Invitational in Alaska, my interest peaked.

Now, after reading Mike's account of the AH 135 and seeing his beautiful images I fear that I may very well become obsessed with doing this event. I wouldn't even look it as a race, but as more of a challenge of my physical and mental capacity. I would do it just to finish.

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival...Our registrations and checks are in the mail and our fingers are crossed with the hope we will all be lucky enough to get in once again. I pulled the proverbial trigger and decided that this year I will do it on the 29r single. Now all I have to do is lighten that monster up a bit. I'm all ready thinking about a new light weight wheel set along with a rigid carbon fork.

1 comment:

Doug said...

You definitely have all the skills and experience to complete the AH135. When are you going to order that Pugsley?

I loved MikeC's write-up. After I finished last years AH135 I had a been-there-done-that attitude. But not being there this year and reading Mike's account of his race, I'm feeling like I want to make another run at it. It's dangerous to commit to it, it consumes all your thoughts for the next year.