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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.

Into Training Again
October 11, 2011
Training a lot now. Sent in my Arrowhead registration last week, so I guess that's that. Trying to figure out how to shoot video on my rides. Well, shooting video is easy, shooting video that doesn't suck is much harder. I have this idea of making some kind of movie out of training and participating in this year's Arrowhead, hopefully with my daughter's help, but if all the footage is shaky POV crap it might not be worth it.

Training is mostly been riding on a near-daily basis, with the weekly long ride tossed in there. In addition, I'm doing a program at home for strength training. Longest ride so far is 5 hours on the Mukluk (about 63 miles). I probably won't ride the mountain bike / trailer combo at all this year, there really isn't that much point. Better, I think, to ride the snow bike and work those muscles.

A fellow Arrowhead rider is organizing an off-road ride this weekend along the river bottoms, I'm going to try hard to tag along on that and use some good off-road as my long ride this week. In addition, it'll give me some options for trails. I'm getting bored with my current routes. Boredom is the thing that I need to keep fighting. Sometimes, the idea of getting up on a Sunday and riding for 4 or 5 hours just makes me feel cranky. Or spending an hour lifting weights or doing pull ups.

Then I shoot some footage, and I feel like its lame, uninteresting. Its easy to get disheartened.

I made my first on-bike gear change. I picked up a handlebar harness from Revelate and I hope I can use that to dispense with the front rack. On the harness is a good-sized "pocket", which will replace the gastank bag I used last year as well as make getting to some often-used gear easier. In there will live some food, a camera, my sunglasses, some heat packs, and perhaps some other tiny items. These are things that were difficult for me last year - esp when my sunglasses were down deep in my rear bag and I didn't know where the heat packs were when my hands started freezing.

Once change is going to be that checkpoint 3 is not officially at the crescent bar, and the race people are basically saying "be prepared to be self-sufficient from the half to the end." However, we can still stop there if we get there when its open. This might impact how I pack for the second half.

My bike needs help, too, and I better get on it and get that stuff done.

From the today perspective, it all seems like a lot of work.

On the positive side, last year I told Orion in the middle of the night that in thanks for helping guide me I'd get the telescope out and show the neighbor kids some cool stuff. I did that last weekend and it was pretty fun. The kids are all pretty little, so their attention span was limited, so basically we ended up just looking at the moon. However, I think they all got a kick out of it.

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