Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013 Arrowhead recap.

Sorry, no pics at the moment.  I will try not to be too wordy, I feel like I could write a small book on everything I saw, did, and went through.

So this was my 4th year toeing the line up at the Arrowhead 135; 135 mile race on snowmobile trails from International Falls, MN to Tower.  Competitors choose to either bike, run, or ski.  I love bikes, hate running, and don't ski.  Temps range any given year from 35F to -50F.

My time there has been with mixed results; 2012, 2011, 2010.  Two DNF's due to asthma, and then a 7th place finish.

This year I had the knowledge of what it takes to finish.  This year I wanted to thrive, not just survive.  It ended up being the other way around.  However, I did survive and that is something.

The start was uneventful until Buffington got to the front and drove a nice good tempo in the roughly 20F temps.  We all loosely followed, and before we got ten miles in there was Todd Mcfadden(Local Pro Mtn Biker),  Jason Buffington (last year's run winner, this year's Tuscobia winner), Kevin Breitenbach (last year's winner), Jeff Oatley (2011, and 2010 winner), and myself (weird man-boy).  I was quite comfortable with the pace and was surprised not to see a few faces including Dan Dittmer and Ben Doom.  We would continue over Hwy 53 about 20 miles in like this, no one in sight.

After another 10 miles I asked the group their favorite breakfast as to break up the silence.  Oatley would respond with "pizza first, Chipotle second" and then got to the front to push the pace.  At this point I brought down my Cold Avenger mask thinking we were near the 32F point that I use to determine it's use.  After a bit my power would drop, and I would drop off the pace.  I soon realized my mistake, put the mask on, and continued through checkpoint #1.

Soon after I would pass Buff who said his legs were not in a race mood.  I felt good, was in a solid 4th place, and took the mask down again as we hit hills because I am an idiot.  Soon, my power was dropping again as Doom and Buff would catch up.  I would follow with Doom for a bit before the asthma started being a real pain.  Buff would pass.  Soon I would yo-yo with Dittmer a bit.  With my asthma problems I forgot to eat.  As I bit off a hunk of my carbo bomb there was no water left in my camelback.  Crap.  Dittmer would catch back up with me and let me know we still had 12 miles left to the halfway point, my stop for water.  I have only guesses as to what happened, but I found it very puzzling I was out of water.  With no water, I couldn't eat as well.

So I limped forward for the next 90 minutes or so, hungry and dehydrated.  I ate a little and washed it down with snow, but that only works so much.  Exhausted, hungry, and thirsty I would cross Elephant Lake to the Melgeorge's cabin.  I sat.  Never did I plan on sitting until the finish.  Two grilled cheeses, a bowl and a half of soup, a bunch of water, a bit of pop, and I left with a bloated gut full of food.  The next bit of trail after was fast I I felt decent again.  The steep hills that normally required pushing were now covered with snow that allowed us to ride much more than normal.

About halfway to the 3rd checkpoint my overall dehydration really was taking a toll on my muscles.  I rolled into Ski Pulk in a lot of pain.  The snow was now pouring down.  Every muscle in my body wanted me to throw in the towel, but there was never ever a thought of dropping.  If I had to push it the last 25 miles I would finish.  If I had to bivy and rest, I would finish.

I left Ski Pulk after some hot chocolate and time in a chair.  For the next 15 miles or so I would ride less and push more.  The snow was getting deeper and deeper.  I had been in 8th place, but John Gorilla and Eric Peterson zoomed by while I suffered in pain.  Not wanting to push the last ten miles, I shifted the bike into my 32X12 and stood; using only my body weight to bring forward momentum to the bike.  The last ten miles I stood, one slow pedal stroke after another.  Slowly, I would finally finish.  My time was 18ish hours.  Roughly 1 hour longer than last year.  The course was overall faster (except for the snow I rode through the last 25 miles). 

My thoughts on my race are mixed.  I was gunning for a top five or better finish.  The way the race started I thought that was going to happen.  Between my mask removal and running out of water that hope was dashed.  I still am not sure how I ran out of water.  My pace from last year was the same (effort was less).  I used the same bladder.  I MAY have not had it full at the start.  That is one guess.  I MAY have drank more especially when I took my mask off.  That is another guess.  Anyways, it happened. I have been dehydrated since.  Not hungry, just trying to rehydrate the body.

Congrats to Todd McFadden!  Bringing the win back to MN is great!  Those guys from AK are hard not to like, but you have to route for the home team.  My eventual goal of Iditarod will have to wait until I can win an entry or win the lottery.

Proto (my prototype 9:zero:7 186mm bike) was flawless.  A fantastic bike indeed.  I wish I could have done it more proud.

Now I plan for the next Arrowhead.  My favorite race of the year.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prerace meeting

Yikes, that there were a lot of fast guys. Fingers crossed for a good ride. Trail is soft, but at least there is no shortage of snow.

Time for my prerace rub down from the man servant.

Proto, you ready for Arrowhead?

First, some thank you's and recognitions are in order. My wife is amazing. She is at home with our 2 rug rats while her parents help (thank you).

Thanks to 907 fatbikes. Awesome company, awesome people, great support.

Thanks to the crew at Rochester Cycling and putting up with me and my constant needs.

Thanks to the crew at Penn in Woodbury. You did me a huge favor and it won't soon be forgotten.

Thanks to my man servant, J-Palm, aka Juicy Peach. It is great to have company

We're about ready to go to the prerace meeting. J-No, Chocalate Moose and the fancy Giovani's missed you. I guess we are next door to Oatley. I plan to send a hooker to his room tonight. Tomorrow will be tough, tough, tough. My preride today had me full of doubts of even finishing. Such is nerves

Look for updates at under results.

Btw, what is better than a cool prototype frame? One with dropouts and the ability to be ridden. Eh B.A.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

This is weird.

This is my 4th year going to the Arrowhead 135.  This is the race I dream about all year long.  This is THE most important race for me each year both in racing and sheer fun. 

But this year is weird.

My drive up with J-No will be replaced by J-Palm.  He is an Arrowhead virgin and is coming just to see the sights and sounds, not to race.  There will be no Farrow with his huge smile.  There will be no Deathrider and our constant questioning of each other's preference in "partners". 

There will be a stacked field.  The last 3 years of been won by 2 different Americans who can see Russia from their house.  I would love nothing more than to end their streak.  I feel like my fitness is the best of the 4 Arrowheads, and my breathing (my biggest handicap) has been handled really well this year.  If that goal is possible has yet to be seen.  Beyond those 2 though, there are a bunch of other strong riders, both returning and new.  I can give a list of around 7-8 names that I think are all in the running depending on how things shake out.

That said, I am sure I will have fun.  The racers are a tight knit group and I find myself more immersed in that group each year.  I look forward to seeing all those faces again.  I look forward to riding in the area again.  I look forward to seeing how I stack up.  I look forward to battling my asthma and the other racers.  I look forward to the prerace meeting.  I look forward to meeting in the building right before the start.  I look forward to the start, with frozen breath everywhere, blinky lights blinding you, people bundled up, skiers and runners pulling their sleds, and all before the sun comes up.  I look forward to the first 10 miles of straight flat as we get going, and then around Gateway where it heats up, crossing Elephant Lake to the halfway point, pushing my bike up miles of steep hills after, the last flat 25 miles, and then crossing the finish line.

I look forward to every moment and can't wait until next year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Proto can fly!

So it came to my attention from a loyal reader that I wasn't clear enough that I had won this last weekend.  Just to make it clear, I won.  I not only won, but I crushed the spirits of all who tried to get between me and the finish.  Plus, crossing the finish line the only other person that can be seen is a dog walker.  Add in I showed off a finish line celebration that will make Alberto Contador change over from his pistelero gun gestures.  I dominated like Lance at the Tour.  It was shameful the way I destroyed the egos of all who dared to toe the line with a masterful artisan fat bike dominator like myself.  All hail Charly, king of the "Get Fat with Pat" fatbike race.

There, was that clear enough?  This is a picture of me crossing the finish line with a little style.  We had about 1/2 mile of this road every lap. 
Picture viciously stolen from here.

Proto is now injured.  I found that my upper der pulley was badly cracked.  It fell apart when I simply touched it.  That could have been bad for Arrowhead.  Pulleys should be here tonight.  Then some more vroom vroom.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Congrats Salsa Cycles!

There is something that all the big brands can hold place high on their mantel.  It is an honor that has always been for the "big guys", the true movers and shakers.  It has always been that the little guys are stuck on the sidelines only wishing they could join in on this coveted acheivement.  Well Salsa, fret no more.

Say hello to your own disgraced doper riding your bike!  You have stepped up to the plate against the big boys and knocked this out of the park!  This would be Levi Leipheimer soaking up his "Adventure by Bike" by poaching a local mountain bike race.  Now I await the well thought out public announcement that they are not supporting, have never supported, nor will ever supported Levi "Wheel Sucker" Leipheimer. 

Bravo Salsa, bravo.  Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. look out!

Now I want to see Micheal Rasmussen on a Surly Big Dummy.

Good Proto, good boy.

Well, I think I said I wasn't going to race this weekend, I guess that was a lie.  I had been eyeing up the "Get Fat with Pat" race at the MN River Bottoms since Deathrider showed me around a few weeks back.  It is hard to pass up a Penn race because they are always a blast.  Also, Hillside is an extra 45 minutes of driving and I had plans for Sunday.  I robbed studs out of my old Nokians and loaded the two middle rows on my Escalators.  Studs like these are worthless when you lean the bike over hard.

It looked like a great turnout considering there were 2 other races going on that day.  The course had seen warmer temps then when I was out there, so now it was a mix of snow, mud, ice, dirt, and flooded over ice.  Chris Fisher, Jeff Young, and I got a small gap pretty early on.  I kept yo-yoing off the back as my chain would fall of my recent drivetrain modification and I would work my way back up.  Fisher would flat and Barry Tungsteth would follow close behind.  The race was 2 laps of an 8 mile course and I got a gap on Jeff while we hit the trail on the second lap.  The second lap would prove to be an even wetter and muddier affair as the warm temps would melt off ice and unfreeze the mud.  I would go on to finish it out for the win with mud on my face and freezing water up my nether regions.

Thanks to Cory "El Lion" Gross for the pics.  Josh has some good ones here as well.  A fire at the start and midpoint in the laps (complete with Hooligans) helped with the atmosphere.

Body is firing on all cyclinders.  I could have gone out for lap three and probably would have, but conditions (and me) were so wet by then and the temp was dropping.  Feeling the best I ever have going into AH.  Now, if only the lungs cooperate.

This section was early in the lap; me leading us through the swamp area on lap 1.

Me again, making some kind of smart remark to "El Lion"

We would ride in the water about 100 yards past where the water narrows in the distance.  You could ride in the grass, but that was incredibly slow.  I think everyone rode on the water's edge which was about 4" deep over ice.  Really, really fun.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Arrowhead 135, Tuscobia-This is what I eat.

So this blob I call my calorie bomb.  It is a modified version of Mike Curiak's pseudo famous cookie dough.  I added a whole bunch of stuff to keep the party going in my mouth and to aid performance.  Coconut, caramel balls, coffee grinds, and a few other ingredients were added.  There is one in there that I will keep secret unless someone can guess it.  Clue: it is easily visible, and no, it is not feces.

For Arrowhead and Tuscobia last year I used a similar mix, this one is more thought out.  I plan on carrying roughly 5,000 calories of this in my Revelate Gas Tank bag.  It is just one large blob shaped into the bag and placed in a cereal bag.  When needed I bite off chunks.  Along with this, I'll carry something salty like chips crushed in a bag.  There will always be aa good amount of EFS shot on board as that has done me very well in the past.  I start the race with everything I need to finish except for a water refill halfway through, no drop bags for me.

For the record, the body is feeling remarkably better from Sunday's body slam on the concrete.  The shoulder and back still hurt, the hip a little.  Last night's ride offered no hint of my previous crash, so all system's are go in that department.

I had hoped to race this weekend, there are about 5 or so options not terribly far from the house.  With ice compromising much of the trails I am electing to stay home and be healthy for Arrowhead the next week.  I have something there I want to accomplish.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Proto fall down, ouch.

Yesterday I went out to scope out the Eastwood singletrack.  It was really iced over and dangerous as I expected.  On my way out there I went over a 100 yard section of crazy ice on one bike path near my house and then about a 1/2 mile of glare ice on the backside path of Quarry Hill.  On my way out I patted myself on the back for showing the ice who the boss was with no studs.  I only needed one stud I figured.  On the way back I was sketchy all over the Quarry Hill section and then went down hard on the shorter stretch near my house.  As I fell to the side my new pedals didn't allow me to clip out in time and my pogies made sure I couldn't quickly get a hand out.  Boom went the dynamite.  As with any crash, I made sure nothing was missing from me or the bike and set off as quickly as possible before my body could try to shut down.  The immediate concern was a did some serious damage to my elbow or hip.  As the day went on it turned out my left hip and shoulder were going to hurt the most.  Now I limp, now I wince when raising my left hand.  Pretty much my whole left side from hip to neck feels really beat up.  Ibuprofin and wincing, that will heal it.

And Proto?  It was just fine.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Splish splash, where's the snow? Plus, how much does it weigh?

With most of the snow gone and the temps back down in the teens I went out on Proto on the super heavy, super stiff tires to check out the snowmobile trail and maybe hit the gravel. The wind was wicked fast, my desire was to hide in the shelter of the trees lining the trail.

The trail was mostly dry with pockets of iced over puddles. I has fun busting up nature's skating rinks as I went down the trail.

I took Proto out in full Arrowhead dress.  I had a chance to throw it on a scale before 5 pounds of ice clung on.  Yes B.A., my bike was more than 5 pounds heavier as it sits in this picture.  In fact, it pushed towards being 20 pounds heavier.  Whoa Proto, you need to diet.


Last weekend I was planning on an overnight camping trip.  Weather seemed good, snow was out, but then plans that I thought were Sunday night turned out to be for Saturday night.

Oh well, plans were set for this weekend.  I had a great loop planned of 100+ miles.  Plan was ride a bunch, camp, and then ride a bunch back to home.  Then the weather crapped out.  High temps+Rain= Little to no snow.  Thus, my planned ride is dead. 

I could have head up to Murphy again as the temps dropped again, but I wanted to get a long ride in; not a short ER supported trip around now icy single track. 

No snow in the forecast.  I blame Obama.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Cold/Arrowhead 135-This is how I dress

 So here is a breakdown of what I ride in the winter.  This has been a process of trial and error and is different for everyone.  Most of my gear I begged for for Christmas, I wish I had the funds to go randomly try the latest multi hundred dollar gear.

On the bottom I typically wear my Velorochester bib shorts.  If I know I will be out there for awhile under 0 degrees I may throw on my craft base layer.  If not, the storm tights I use are by far the most impressive piece of clothing I own.  They really are great at a huge temp range, maybe +30 to -20ish.  It is hard to be super accurate because despite my pleas, the weatherman does not bless us with a lot of sub zero weather.  My coldest ride this year was -4 up in Cable.  The base layer got the nod and I was snuggley warm.

Up top I will typically wear a craft base layer, then my 100 ounce bladder (not pictured), a cheap Bellweather rain jacket, and an older Nike winter cycling jacket.  I sweat a decent amount.  If that sweat gets into the jacket it can freeze and cause me to lose insulation properties.  I have actually had my arms start freezing up before.  This set up is hot for 20 degrees+.  Arrowhead last year I was hot quite a bit, but my jacket stayed dry and when the temps dropped I was not in trouble.  For regular rides I will forgo the rain jacket at warmer temps, but it does allow me to ride about 15 degrees colder.  If you want, you can google "vapor barrier" and find out more info, I will not try to explain it all.  Plus, it is not for everyone. I definitely prefer it.  I rode at Arrowhead in -20 temps with this set up.  I have a super warm Nike thermal hoodie to go over if needed.

 On the bars I upgraded to the Dogwood Pogies.  First year I used Bar Mitts, and they are adequate, but lack in many areas.  I would use those for commuting maybe, but nothing else.  Then for 2 years I used a pair of ATV pogies I modified some with good success.  The Dogwoods are not necessarily warmer, but they do the job much better than my old set up (they do make a plus version that is much warmer).  Thanks for the pogie hook up!  Underneath it my favorite mountain bike glove ever, the Bontrager Rhythm

Onto my feet.  I start with a thin base layer, than a baggie (usually Target as that is what we have a lot of) and then a thick Wigwam -40 sock.  My feet run a tad on the cold side.  I got myself a 45Nrth boot a few sizes too big, I added my insole from my big lakes to the inside (that is 2 insoles if you are counting), and I still have a bit of room.  I may add a thin or med weight sock when needed, but this set up was toasty on my -4 degree ride.  These boots are definitely warmer/nicer/better than my big Lake boots with booties.

Up top I always have my Cold Avenger on.  It keeps my lungs SOOOOOO much happier.  Unless I am in a full on XC pace, I notice little to no resistance.  I took it down for most of the race on Saturday and payed the price for it later.  This mask keeps me head really warm and ears covered.  The temp needs to get about 0 for me to throw a hat on, and it is usually a dry fit like this Arrowhead finisher hat. 

So there you go on my little "what I do" tutorial.  To give you an idea, the things I actually paid for and did not get as gifts of some sort are the shorts, base layers, rain jacket, and socks.  Like I said, I wouldn't mind having access to trying different things, but this sport is expensive enough.  The funds are not there to do everything I would like, but I have come this far after many years.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

So I did another race.

Well, ever since I realized that the Murphy race was Saturday I made it an A priority race.  That is to say I found out about it the night before and stripped my bike of bags and pogies to get it ready for some singletrack speed.

I put a lot of time on my prototype 9:zero:7 (which will from now on be known as Proto because Snow Dawg was taken).  Over my many hours, only about an hour was on anything but 10 foot wide snowmobile trails.  Murphy's 10 mile loop was all 18" wide packed snow on singletrack with short hills that you you need to just use brute force over.

I guess there was about 40 riders ready to conquer the 10 mile course, including it seemed like Freewheel's stacked A team (Kevin would be Hannibal, Brendan would be B.A. Baracus if we start choosing roles).  The start was interesting as we were on gravel for a very short stretch and then turn onto a trail of mostly mush for a 100 yards until it met the packed trail.  After an animated drive through the the mush I hit the packed stuff in 5th, and then into 4th before the trees.  Soon, I would be in 3rd as Hollywood faded while B.A. and Chris Fisher duked it out.  They would gap me soon enough and my gap on 4th seemed solid.  About halfway through my lower back was screaming from the different type of effort, add into my singletrack skills not having been honed in months, I found my lead on 4th disappear with 2 miles left.  As we reached the end Fisher would be limping in from a mechanical, boom 3rd place again.  I pathetically rolled in for 3rd behind a pair of MN's finest.

3rd place got me socks and a hat from those tyrants at Surly
Deathrider would ask me to meet him out in the woods alone afterwards to get sweaty.  I soon found out it was river bottoms riding he wanted to do when we got there so I changed my expectations while we rode and goofed around for another 90 minutes on the Penn race course for the 19th (which I think I have to make). The odd thing of the whole ride was I barely felt the hour of pain we had just suffered through.  I guess that is a good thing.

On the drive home I felt my lungs fill up with fluid because I removed my Coldavenger mask for much of the race as going balls out it gets a little hard to breath.  Today my ride was cancelled due to lack of lung power and coughing from said fluid.  It is back to my once a day inhaler I guess until Arrowhead. 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Finally, built bike pics

 So here she/he/it is.  My fancy schmancy prototype 186 9:zero:7 bike.  Notice how I keep throwing that prototype word around, it makes me so much cooler with every mention.  No, I didn't wrap it up in 100's and the 5"+ meats.  For what I do it is not needed.  I'll let the guys at the mother ship mess with the details of fitting the biggest of the big, as my job is to ride the snot out of it and hopefully knock out some good results.   So far I like it...a lot.  I can't imagine riding anything else.

 Now I am pretty big time ya know, but one company that doesn't support the "Charly Tri" brand name is Surly.  So in order to stick it to the man I drilled out my own rims, moving the valve hole to the rim joint.  Out of curiosity I weighed one of the rims; 800 grams.  Take that Surly you oppressive bastards!

Just in case there is any confusion, I labeled the top tube with one of those fancy name sticker jobbies.

So if you want some gear details, I made sure my seat/handlebars/stem were my favorite stuff (Bontrager).  I run 80mm rims, a great compromise between the big float when I need it and lighter weight when I don't.  Race Face cranks.  I run tape on the bars to protect the carbon when the sleeping bag is strapped on.  1x10 set up with a 32 front ring and a sram converted thumb shifter.  All the bags and such were taking off for some fun today.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Dear 45 Nrth

Does taking a razor to my sole to get my cleat farther back void the warranty? Sometimes you gotta make things work for you.

Edit: I cut out more than I needed.  Also, found out that I can't bring the bolts as far back as a cut out as the back plate is hitting something inside the shoe.  No matter, I got what I needed.  I have always needed to shove my cleat back anyways.

For the record I normally ride a 44 shoe.  I have these in a 47 with extra insoles, a thick sock set up, and still plenty of room.  Definitely warmer than my old Lake set up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Winter camping

With my riding up at the cabin I am now itching really bad to do some bike camping.  I told the wife I could have spent weeks up there just riding different areas.  So this Saturday is the plan.  J-No says he is a firm maybe.  I wouldn't mind figuring out a loop very close to Rochester and wooded as much as possible.  I have something in mind without hopping in the car, but I am thinking for maximum fun a very short car trip may be needed.  Suggestions welcome.  Fellow riders that won't be liabilities are welcome as well.

Tonight I worked on the wife's xmas present; a closet remodel.  I also took "the stick" and worked my legs hard.  My IT band is always tight and I rolled it, but I had a muscle on the inside of my thigh that was incredibly tight and painful and was pulling the kneecap over, causing my knee pain.  After a tough massage I was left with a bad limp on both sides the rest of the night.

Tomorrow I will try for the bike finish picture and such.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My Tuscobia 43

My new year's commitment is a daily blog post until Arrowhead later this month.  

So I have a goal.  One day I want to get the golden ticket to the Iditarod Trail Invitational.  They cost roughly $1,500 for the entry into the 300 plus mile Alaskan snow race.  The Arrowhead 135 has a lot of tough competition and a free entry for the winner.  The Tuscobia 150 has less competition and takes the winners in all the disciplines (run, bike ski) and picks one out of a hat to give the golden ticket.

So here is me, not having giving my 2012 summer much attention racing and lofty goals for the winter.  Starting back before Halloween I started my real training.  Building hours, working in training techniques, watching my diet like never before (I was carrying a bit too much bulk).  I took time off when needed, but with a week and a half before the Tuscobia I concluded my hardest stretch of training ever and my body was hurting from the effort. 

This year at the Tuscobia I met up with Mark S. to share a room because my other option was sharing a bed with Ben "come snuggle with me" Doom.  The prerace meeting saw the guys I figured I should really watch including Ben, Lance Andre, and a really fit looking Jason Buffington.  The Chequamegon Canoe Club was once again a fantastic race headquarters.  Also, with more time to prepare this year, Chris Scotch and Helen Lavin knocked it out of the park with the race details once again.  You got to hand it to the race organizers and the owners of the CCC.

The morning of the race I woke with a sore throat.  I figured this was about right as I had spent my time tapering for the race feeling worn out and tired.  After pleasantries and getting to hear about Lance tricking an elderly lady into making his costume, we set off in the dark with a police escort for the first few blocks until we got on the trail.  I have seen the trail slower, I have seen it faster, but we went at a decent clip with Buffington determined to stay on the front much of the time.  My plan was not to go out fast, but take the time I needed to make sure things went right, that including stopping to let out air and picking up my dropped food from the ground.  About 2 hours in I would be semi-comfortably trailing Buffington by around 15 seconds and Doom would follow another few minutes back.  That is when I started having shooting knee pains on my left side.  I dealt with it hoping it would go away but the pain only got worse.  I would have to stop, stretch, and play with saddle adjustment.

After a few stops Doom would catch me and refuse my request for painkillers because I rebuffed his idea for sleeping arrangements.  I would watch him disappear as I backed down my pace and stopped to stretch more.  Three hours in and I was able to get ibuprofen at the first aid station.  I limped out of there after a long stop, not sure if I could go on for another 120.  Well, my knee pain got a bit better, but my knees were now getting weak, soon to be followed by the legs and bad back pain.  I had a chance to ride and talk awhile with Joe Stiller, but again I had to stop about 43 miles in and he left me behind.  In the shape I was in the next 20 miles to the next checkpoint would have been miserable and I knew there was no way my body could handle the 150 that day without longer term ramifications.  I scooted over to the road, turned around, and slowly made my way back until 2 awesome sisters graciously stopped and gave me a ride.

My body is still in rough shape, having not got enough rest before the race.  Four days later and my throat is still a tad sore and my body feels tired and achy.  I did get out for 2 rides while up in Cable because despite the pain, the trails there are totally worth it.  The picture in the post below does not do it justice and it is like that pretty much everywhere.

Congrats to Buff as I hear he won and took the magic ticket that I really wanted.  Great job to Doom in his 2nd place.  I am not sure how anyone else did at this moment, but I am looking forward to Arrowhead right now, not back.

Oh, and the bike?  Awesome.  I love my prototype 186 bike from 9:zero:7.  Get how I throw prototype in there like I am something special?