Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guest Blogger

Everyone give a warm welcome to J-No and his Tuscobia 150 experience. I stole this from a group e-mail he set out. We here at the XRC are pooling together money for him to get his own blog.


My plan was to leave Rochester at noon on Thurs. I ended up going into work Wed overnight, so I slept for a couple hours in the am and headed out. A quick dinner, bike set up, and I went to bed at 2100. Temps at the start were about 10 deg F, lows were 0-5deg at night. The start was pretty mellow with Buffington, Lance, and Farrow taking off. I rode solo the entire ride. The trail was flat and fast. I cruised along at 7-8 mph. Much better conditions than we usually see around here.
The first 75 miles were pretty uneventful. I stayed no more than a few minutes at each of the 2 rest stops, just long enough to refill my camelbak. Mid afternoon I started to get sleepy despite having added some caffiene to my Infinit on my last order. I took a No Doz and felt better. I reached the turnaround (75 miles) in just over 10 hours. I started to think I had a shot at a 24 hour finish. At this point Buffington and Lance were a couple of hours up on me, Farrow was about 30 minutes ahead.
Three miles out from the next checkpoint (mile 88) the wheels fell off. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea were the name of the game. I took a wrong turn and realized it about a mile and a half later. It was a gravel road. I have no idea why I did not figure it out. I stayed at the checkpoint for a while, trying to settle my stomach down, ate some soup. I started to feel better and set out again. I thought I would just drink water to see how it worked out. Miles 90-100 saw more diarrhea and vomiting. I tried not eating for drinking anything for an hour, but that was not going to be a long term solution. At mile 100 I decided that maybe I needed to sleep for a few hours. I bivvied for about 3 hours and slept. My stomach felt better, but the tank was empty. I fired up the stove for some oatmeal, and started riding. It was about 4am at this point. I started to feel better and rode to the next checkpoint (mile 120). I saw Farrow's bike outside. There was a note from a volunteer stating that I should help myself to whatever I wanted, Farrow had dropped and she was giving him a ride. The next 30 miles went without incident aside from the overall fatigue from so many hours on the bike. My 24 hour finish turned into 31 hours in the end.
Most of the gear worked well. I'm not sure about the front compression sack. I had to run it length wise because of the drop bars. It obstructed my light and I was unable to see my front wheel. I found this to be a problem when I was trying to follow tracks. Farrow and Buffington used front panniers. I may try those. The compression sack is also cumbersome to quickly add/take things out of. The drop bar pogies worked fine, but are not ideal. There is no storage for food. My hands and feet stayed warm. Layering system worked well. The only thing I added at night was a vest. Temps were pretty warm, another 20 deg colder may be a different story. I will bring some heavier mittens for Arrowhead.
The only thing I did differently before I had GI distress was add a can of sugar free Red Bull to my camelbak. I was feeling sleepy and I thought it might help. I drink it all the time with no ill effects, so who knows. I am also lacking in training hours compared to last year. I have another solid month of training before Arrowhead.
There were only 7 riders who started the 150. There also were 5 runners/skiiers. I'll be back next year.
I'm planning on riding long next weekend. Arrowhead is looming...


Unknown said...

Bravo J-No, your determination impresses.

SOL 'N TYNE said...

Way to go J-No!!!! Knew you could do it.

Anonymous said...

Way to finish J. Was thinking that caffeine cocktail you were brewing up before your final departure looked pretty lethal. Hope the system is back in order.

Unknown said...

You know I really enjoy riding in the winter on the snowmobile trails. But the races that you guys do and the stories I hear make me never want to do them. Nice work but that just cant be good for you. Or at least it wouldn't be good for me.

Unknown said...

Way to stick to it, J-No. Keep up the good work and your Arrowhead will be just OK.

Charlie Farrow said...

Looking forward to seeing you @ Arrowhead...hugs, Charlie