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.
Why I Ride: For the most part, I'm a bike commuter. About 75% of my yearly miles are commuting. Originally I started riding to get into better shape after ending a few years of studying Tae Kwon Do. My first goal was to ride the MS150, a local 150 mile charity ride. After that, I realized I'd solved all the problems I thought I would have commuting - I was able to ride the distance, we had shower facilities, my bike worked great, etc. Plus, I was feeling great and saving money, and it didn't take much extra time from my regular driving commute (about an extra 30 minutes a day total).
Because of this, I began to get interested in bicycle advocacy because I was realizing that getting more people to ride can help to solve many of the issues our country and world is facing - higher energy costs and dependence on foreign governments, poor fitness, rising medial costs, and climate change to name a few. Encouraging more people to ride, and leading by example, was a goal.
But the bottom line is that its fun. I like to see things, say hi to people, experience the seasons. I just like being outside.
Why the Arrowhead: It seemed like a great long term challenge, requiring a level or preparation I'd never needed to do before. I had a friend willing to do it with me, and it seemed like the kind of event that matched our interests and skills pretty well. In addition, I wanted to use the event and my participation to highlight my company, webExpeditions, which provides web support to explorers and adventurers. This site has many technological tests built into it.
The Photo: I copied the concept from Optic Nerve, the maker of my goggles. My daughter shot the actual photo, I did the photoshop work. The jacket is from Wintergreen.