Saturday, January 26, 2008

Leadville Snow Bike Race

You have to try this to know what it's like.

Racing in the snow is another flavor of kick in the pants. This time of year, bikey people like me often can use this sort of kick.

I rolled up to Pb-town first thing Saturday morning, paid my entry fee, got my number, and started putting on clothing. The dressing took a notable amount of time. Who knew that I was going to be sweating like that? I think I could have worn a t-shirt and shorts.

Well, almost. I did do about half a dozen full catapults into the bottomless snow next to the snow machine tracks we were flailing through.

This racer shows you what it's about--trying to go in a straight line!

snow racer

I was out on the 11-mile course for a little under 2 hours. A volunteer told me I was in 14th place somewhere in the middle of my suffering, and I wound up passing two riders before the finish, so I'm guessing 12th?

There was some snow-packed road, but the real contest was the snow-machine tracks. Any incline and I was walking, as was anyone else I saw out there. Level ground was sometimes rideable, sometimes just a staggering slog. The downhills were a hoot. The bike won't go straight. It just will not. As you pick up speed the front wheel wiggles all over the place. Arms and shoulders get very tired wrangling with the handlebars, balance muscles get a workout too. Sometimes things go supercritical and you wind up pointing off the track, and that means the whole front of the bike dives deep into the soft snow and you follow it there.

Good fun. Good warmup for the riding I'll be doing when I head to AZ this week (woo hoo!). I intend to put in some good long rides to try to coax a bit of endurance out of my body in advance of the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.

See all you happy people who will be there February 16!


FixieDave said...

Super Good to see yah!

Nat P. well be down I think around wends as well... I'll prob be there friday night.

JenyJo said...

good job super buny! that was fun. and it sure was a treat to get to see you yesterday!

have fun in AZ. don't be surprised if you find a stow-away ;-) (can i come?!?!?)