Saturday morn. Race day. Even tho I play it off its really the reason we are all here. Up early and played it super casual. Breakfast at Sawmill at 7am. Back to the lodge and slowly got ready. Left for the 15 minute drive to Telemark at about 815. Unloaded and pedaled around a bit. Adjusted the clothing a couple times. Then watched the 47k race roll out. Almost 800 bikes puts this as the biggest fatbike race in the galaxy. Just under 200 in my shorter 20k race. 600 in the 47k race.
I have no pics of myself during the race. But your not missing much there.
So if you kept up with the media you know the conditions were “soft”. 30 degrees and sun at race time. That was a disaster for me and my weight. Issues like that are compounded when you weigh over 100 pounds more than most. This year we hit the trails 15 minutes after the long race. After 600 bikes rolled thru. Now I know what you ski racers call “mashed potatoes”. It was deep. All I can say is I struggled greatly. Walking twice as many hills as normal. I even had to pedal downhill. I lost the ability to bomb the downhills to attack the uphills. Every hill was a granny gear grinder due to lack of speed when hitting them.
After the race my arms were blown out due to having to pull back on the bars so hard to keep my rear wheel from spinning out on said climbs. You took your life in your hands if you bombed the downhills as huge ruts in the snow pulled at your front wheel. I had one yard sale at the bottom of a hill. The downhill was so steep at the bottom that I could not get up without slipping and falling a few times. I heard many others had several hard dismounts. I just had the one. I got up and kept pedaling but took me about 5 minutes to gain my wits back.
Several times I thought about bailing but really, by then I was on the way back and the fastest way was most likely the trail anyway. So, I rolled in, finished and was happy about it.
For the short race, The first 10k was the worst as the long race also used it, but after we flipped the last 10k was better as the long race did not come thru yet. For the long race that was flipped. They were doing pretty good up front until they hit the last 10k that we had been on. Then it was there turn to ride in the potatoes.
All said and done it was a good time. My time last year was 1 hour 5 minutes. This year was like 1 hour 39 minutes.
Needless to say I was blown out and there was to be no trail riding the rest of the day. After hanging for about an hour I headed back to the Lodge and rested. Then over to Sawmill for dinner and was in bed by 9pm. Everything hurt so bad I could not sleep. But I kept trying anyway.
Sunday morn I managed to once again to hit Sawmill for breakfast at 7am. The difference here is that daylights savings hit and it was still dark. That was tough to do. But we wanted to hit the trails early before the thaw. And before the masses of bikes.
Mike and Jon both joined me and as expected the trails were fine. Still set up from the overnight freeze. The other guys rode a bit farther and I stayed closer but did have a good ride. Only 40 minutes but that was fine to spin the legs a little.
When I was alone I took my time. Stopped and listened to the Bluejays and a red squirrel scolding me. I knew I had to leave this place and I for sure don’t get up here even close to enough for me. As it turned out this was my last ride on the Farley. Its sold as soon as I get back. So this was the last fatbike winter ride for me until next fall. I was happy to get one last pic as the sun came up on a beautiful Hayward morning.
Turns out that Friday was for sue my last ski too. Its 55 degrees here all week. What little snow we had is gone. So both my last winter fatbike ride and ski of the season was in Hayward, WI. And thats pretty cool.
LIke flipping a switch, the store is now in spring mode. And so am I. Shaved off the winter beard and ready for some road rides. Pulling all the ski and snowshoe stuff off the walls and into storage. The change of season is both exciting but also I will miss winter. But Im pretty sure it will come back later this year…