Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First Podium

My first podium ever! Thanks to the cold temps at the Arrowhead last week. I won the weekly stage in the WCRS. Complete with podium girls and a yellow jersey. Thanks Gary. You are a very talented photo shopper. Those poor girls froze their lips off : )

Also I wanted to answer Dave Byers question as to what I would change for next year, if anything.

I need to get my clothing dialed in a little better. What I wore this year definitely kept me warm, but maybe too warm. There is a fine line there somewhere that I need to find.

I want to come up with a better packing system other than a backpack. The pack held in too much heat and it just wore on my shoulder and back muscles after a few hours. Also, trying to mess with buckles and zippers in the cold is no fun. I want to find something simpler that I can get into with big mitts on if I have to. I just might buy an old sewing machine and mess with making my own bags or have my wonderful mother-in-law sew me up some : )

More water carrying capacity. Two liters just wasn't enough in that cold. Also, I really like the idea of a small thermos with hot coffee or soup inside. I think it would be worth the weight if it's that cold again next year.

Other than that I just need to try and lighten everything up even more. Maybe a Salsaesque drill job on the Large Marges. Along with an Evingson or Surly non-offset fork and front hub.

Any other ideas out there?

8 comments:

Dave Byers said...

Thanks for the reply Dave! Was anyone able to use a hydration system other than insulated water bottles? I know that I drink more with a Camelbak on so I really want to figure out how to super-insulate one and then carry another 1L bottle in reserve. I agree on the small thermos...hot pepermint tea or soup is a nice treat when its really cold so its worth the weight to me. Maybe some super-insulated pogies that allow you to ride with less gloves on? Once my hands get cold its hard to get them back. I also think that breatheable layers are key. Regular 300wt fleece instead of fancy windstopper stuff seems to be warm but still breathe. I have a lot to learn as well before I race in AK next year.

Doug said...

I liked my panniers. Only two buckles to access a large pocket. I was thinking about cold hands when I decided to get those. Whatever you carry your food and extra handwarmers in you have to be able to access very easily. Of course, the trade-off is extra weight. The panniers I have had no bells or whistles that add weight like extra pockets or zippers. Dave Gray told me (by email last year) he wears a lot of light layers with zippered collars for venting rather then thick bulky layers. That's the approach I've always used for winter camping. No fancy gore-tex or windblocker, just layers with a windbreak that can be vented. I had a thermos for this year, but it was stainless steel. I didn't carry it. Too heavy and too cold on the hands. Impossible to open with cold hands. I use it on training rides allthe time. Dave..the podium picture made me chuckle. Thanks for the laugh.

Chris said...

I also use lots of thin light layers with zippers. It really really helps adjust temperatures from going uphill to going downhill. You can do it quickly and easily without stopping with big (but light :) ) zipperpulls. One trick is to never unzip them all the way, just 90% of the way. If I do this I don't get too sweaty which is the kiss of death in winter.

As far as losing weight on the bike and mandatory gear, I have a whole looooong list. The bike is now underway thanks to me being forced to steal some parts off it for the OP backup bike. The gear will take some further testing before I comit to any final list but by the time snow flies following this summer I will be practicing on a fully loaded Pugsley regularly.

Brian said...

Sweet picture. Even down to the TBB logo. :)

pw said...

Wait till you see the new ideas for frame bags I've got down, Dave. I'm playing with a prototype that I think has a real "135" bonus feature. I'm also playing with a few lightweight ideas.

Jim G. said...

Dave B -- I rode with Pat W. on the Arrowhead and we both used Camelbaks. My hose froze twice, but both times melted after wearing an extra synthetic coat layer over my normal layers. Pat's stayed too liquid; he had a leaking valve that wetted one hand and increased the cold factor (he ran his tube down the arm). I agree with you that generally the C-bak increases your fluid intake, but I found with the tube buried in my coat and gloves on and the trail snow unpredictable, that I didn't drink except during stops/walks. It is certainly not like running an adventure race in June.

I noticed on the Surly site a merino wool jersey they claim is better than synthetics for wicking, warmth and stink. Anyone try these? I read Charlie Farrow's Arrowhead story and he lauded wool over synthetic.

Simmons said...

Where are the blogs pw and Jim G?

G-reg said...

Just add some booze to the water, it will lower the freezing level and warm you up : )