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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.

Bike Purgatory
November 16, 2010
So after out fantastic weather the week before, we're now getting a hard dose of November reality. A major snow storm blew in over the weekend and kind of made a mess of everything. It was more than the mountain bike could handle, and the snow bike isn't here yet. And I've not been commuting even though now, a couple days later, the snow on the streets has mostly melted off. The trouble is transition areas and trails are still kind of snow covered and icy. It's too dangerous for the road bike, and while the mountain bike could handle it, it's not set up for commuting.

With the hope that the Mukluk will arrive this week, I've been hesitant to swap pedals, attach the rack, add lights and other things to the mountain bike that would make it easy to commute because I don't want to do it all again next week. I was hoping to go right from riding the road bike to the snow bike, but the snow got here first.

But there is also the question of when exactly I might get this bike, which is starting to stress me out because of course no one can tell me until it actually gets here. I called my shop today, and they were depressingly vague about the delivery (and prob sick of people asking about it). This is basically what I know from various rumors and internet forum posts: Salsa is doing assembly now at QBP; bikes should start going out to dealers this week; some have said that dealers are not getting their full orders. This might mean that Salsa is trying to get some bikes out in ration to all dealers kind of at the same time. It just makes me wonder where I fall on the list, and not knowing bugs me. All of this to say I've never heard that my bike will be any later than anyone ever said - around November 20.

So these things combined with the boot situation (not resolved at all) has me a bit tense. I'm leaving open the possibility of scrapping the Tuscobia just to remove a little pressure from this whole situation. Trying to have all the bits in place in less than a month might be challenging. I won't make any decisions about that for a least a week, however. I have until Dec 1 to register.

Deep breath. Relax.

I'm not an athlete, I'm not a bike racer, and I'm not even young. All of this is new to me. So I'm trying to control the bits that I can control and work with the other parts, but it doesn't take very long to run up against either something I don't know (what boots to wear, how much training is proper, how to keep my water from freezing) or something I can't control (bike delivery, weather). Eric was here last weekend, and he brought me lots of goodies that will go a long way to getting me sorted for the race. But I told him that a lot of the time I'm operating way out of my normal comfort zone. His reply? "Good! Get used to it!"

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