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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.

Summer
July 7, 2011
This has been a tough stretch for my bikes. First the shock on my mountain bike blew out, so that was off line for 2 weeks while it was rebuilt (the shop "lost" it for a while... grrr), then yesterday I broke the crank on my road bike. So that's going to be off line for at least two weeks while I figure out what I'm going to do about that. Not to mention that my bike mileage tracking app, Bike City, is screwed as well. I don't know if that will ever be back on line and even if I do succeed in rewriting it I've lost track of my miles. It's all kind of frustrating.

On top of this, I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to plan to do for the Arrowhead next year. It's had to get excited about cycling when i'm dealing with a lot of these little challenges. I feel like I would need to change my training plan to really improve my time and experience for next year. I need to be a better hill climber. My walking/pushing muscles took a beating - being able to ride more hills would have have the added benefit of taking work from those parts of my body as well. But I need to decide soon if I'm going to participate so I can start my training plan. I kind of wish I had a coach - I probably don't push myself hard enough when it's just me. Eric has been doing a lot of mountain bike riding in Colorado lately, but he has the benefit of riding with other strong riders. I really don't know anyone to ride with.

Having completed it successfully changes my perspective on the event a lot. Obviously I have a lot better idea of the weak points in my training. I also know what kind of time committment is necessary, and what worked and what didn't. But knowing that also mean I understand what kind of things I'll have to set aside in order to make time for the required training.

So all in all I'm a little bike stressed at the moment. I did find a suitable replacement cranks set on ebay, so we'll see if I win that or not.

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