Race day (the first 14 mile section)
The day started off at 6:00am. The weather channel said the temperature was -28F. It would dip down to -30 before the start of the race. We got all the bikes loaded up and headed down to the start line. It was a staggered start, so you could start when you got there. I got my bike off the van and checked in with the race officials. The first few pedal strokes it felt like my rear hub wasn't engaging. Then it finally caught and I was on my way. I'll have to get some of that Morning Star Lube that Dave Byers was talking about for next year. I was bundled up in every piece of winter clothing I had with. Including my down jacket. I didn't think it would be possible to overheat in those temps, but I did. I took off one of my hats and the neoprene facemask I was wearing. The trail was pretty solid. In the marshy sections there were some good bumps. The first 14 mile section was uneventful for me, but Pat had a flat about five miles in. I couldn't imagine having to change a flat at -30F. That had to have been miserable. Our director sportif, Rick Mangan, was waiting at the end of the first section taking some pictures. I wish I would have taken some pictures out on the trail, but there was no way I was going to dig for my camera and stop in that cold. Here they are.
That's me. The only way I can tell is those big honkin yellow boots : ) Man did they work great. My feet stayed warm for most of the race. Only when I had to walk for most of the last five miles did they start to get cold. But they still weren't nearly as cold as they could've been.
Here's Chris Finch. He's one "Bad Mother F**ker". At least that's what the little bear on his handlebars said. Chris and I rode most of the trail to MelGeorge's Resort together after this point. Chris ended up finishing the entire 135 miles again this year. I think the bear says it all : )
Here's Doug, the MN Bicycle Commuter. His jacket matches his Pugsley. Very nice jacket and an even nicer guy. Great job Doug!
Josh Peterson giving the thumbs up.
Not sure who this is, but he was flying on those snowcats.
Pat and Jim rolling through after one of their three flats. Jim had a little frostbite on his nose the next day. My nose just lost a layer today. I think I had a little bit of the bite as well.
Pat White looking strong. He's got one tough face.
PJ Ramstack fueling the furnace. A BIG THANK YOU to PJ for stopping to help me out later in the race.
Jim Ishman's titanium Moots snowbike. Look at those rims! Drool. Unfortunately it was caught by this stop sign, and he had cut his race short : ) The lube in his 14 speed Rohloff rear hub freezing is what really stopped him.
John Storkamp actually running the course. He was the first walker/runner to reach MelGeorge's Resort at mile 74. He's an animal! I passed him earlier and he was selling hot lemonade : )
The Flying Frenchman Pierre. Sorry to hear that Pierre had some serious frostbite by the time he got to MelGeorge's. Get better Pierre.
Scott Wagner taking a drink. Those sun rays make it look warm. Don't let them fool you. The high only got up to -6F.
The rest of the race tomorrow. Too many pictures for one post.