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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.

Commute & Long(ish) Ride
November 27, 2010
After my ride on Tuesday, I'd planned to commute on Wednesday, even though (or especially because) the forecast was for a platter of winter weather - rain changing to sleet changing to snow by the afternoon with a few inches possible right over the commute.

I had tried to fit the rack, but I need some additional parts. Not too surprised about that, there is nothing "normal" about this bike. So I decided I'd just do what I did all last year which was to ride with my messenger bag.

Taking a queue from the previous evening, I wanted to try different clothes. I'll put details below, but In the morning on the way in I was too warm (it was around 20F), but I'd planned a little better for the afternoon. The ride in was fine, no bike issues and everything was pretty normal. It took about 70 minutes, or quite a bit longer than with my road bike even on pavement. I will say that I was getting my bike legs back, however, and not riding at peak effort.

We got our promised weather in middle of the day, and by the time I left we had 1 or 2 inches of powder on the ground. Basically, I hardly noticed it. There were a couple spots where there was snow left over from the week before, and I just rolled over all of it. Ice didn't matter either. It also took 70 minutes to get home, into the wind (so I think I was doing a bit better in the afternoon). Wasn't too warm, but my goggles kept fogging. That drives me nuts. It was too warm, but I wanted the snow out of my eyes.

About halfway home the goggles were causing more problems than they were solving, so I pulled them off. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared, and the rest of the ride was better.

I saw some other bike tracks and another fatbike rider (a new pug), so it wasn't too bad on the trails at that time. Later in the evening the weather got worse.

I took thanksgiving off, and instead of participating in black friday I went for a long ride - 3.25 hours. I rode the same route out to work, and then further, and then back again. I wanted to do this to open the trail a bit. 2/3 of that commute won't be plowed, which I guess is fine. That had to be one of the most fun ride I've ever done! The trails were a mix of shallow powder and hard packed snow, and the Mukluk was fantastic going through all of it. I could see that other bikes were struggling, and while I wasn't going anywhere fast, I was just happily moving right along without any problems. Never had to push. Never slid out. It was simply rock solid.

My cyclo-computer, however, was not rock solid. In fact, it was a total failure. I was excited to track my speed and heart rate on the new bike in what is getting closer to race conditions. I mounted the computer and sensor the night before, but out on the trail, neither sensor was working. Speed would only register every once in a while, and I never got a heart rate. Grrr. I think the rims are too deep making it so the speed sensor magnet is too far away to register. No clue why the HRM won't work.

After stopping for one clothing adjustment, I was warm the rest of the ride. Any warmer outside and I'd have had a problem.

I finished the ride super stoked for more snow riding.

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