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Often described as one of the toughest bike races in the lower 48 states, the Arrowhead 135 challenges even the most prepared riders. This is a journal by a non-athlete's participation in an event where starting is often just as much a challenge as finishing.

Skin in the Game
August 20, 2010
After a discussion with Eric last night about the Arrowhead, I decided I just need to go ahead and purchase a bike for this. I suspect the first round of production bikes will all go pretty fast. So its pretty much a given that if I want one in before the race, I'm going to have to buy one now.

Thinking about a new bike also gets me thinking a lot about what accessories this bike will need, starting with pedals. This is going to take a bit of research. The pug had BMX pedals which worked well. I'm pretty well covered (hahaha) in the clothing department, but Eric and I did get into a discussion about boots. That is kind of an unknown at this point as well. I used basic fleece-lined rubber boots last winter. These worked good for keeping my feet dry and generally they were warm enough down to 0F. However, I have no doubt about their ability to work for multi-hour rides in double-digit-below-zero conditions - they won't. This lead to the question of using foot retention, to which I suggested Power Grips as a possibility I'd considered, if they we long enough to work with large boots. So the pedal-boot-retention system has yet to be fully worked out.

Next is bars, and keeping hands warm. I'll for sure get maybe two pair of cheap pogies, and perhaps use one pair as a base for modifications. By looking at ATV accessories, its easy to find a pair for about $20. I guess the large ATV market is good for something... I'll prob go with the stock handle bars initially, but I really liked this setup with H-Bars I saw on a Pug in another blog:

h-bars

These bars really offer a nice variety of hand positions while being more mechanically simple than, say, add-on aerobars.

A rear rack will be necessary, too, and so I'm looking into options for that as well. Salsa is coming to market with some new options "real soon now" so we'll see if those are available when the bike is. They also have an accessory called an "everything cage" which is like a large bottle cage with straps. This allows you to secure oversize objects like large bottles and stuff sacks.

everything cage

So now its the long wait until the bike arrives in November...

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