Monday, January 11, 2010

Windchill Sucks

I may not have announced it here yet, but the truth is I have been trying to train for a race. The White Mountains 100 will happen toward the end of March and is a 100 mile human powered event that people can bike, ski, or run. The event is similar to the Susitina 100 and the ITI in format, except that it is local (a forty-five minute drive north) and the trail is anything but flat.

In the spirit of that I went out to the actual area the race is to be in and went for a ride. Several things became apparent to me. One, the trail was gorgeous. Owing to a high volume of mushing and snow machining on the trail, it is well packed and extremely rideable. Second, I don’t do a lot of climbing in the winter, and I probably need to start. There are a couple of smaller climbs in the section that I rode. Looking at course profile, the bigger climbs are six or seven times longer than the “monster” that beat me up today. I will definitely be ordering a smaller chainring soon. Lastly I need to pray for better weather. Today’s temp was fluctuation from about -5F to -15F with sustained 25mph winds. In an awesome stroke of luck, it was all headwinds during the climbs. Needless to say, it was chilly. I switched face masks at the turn around point because the non-windproof one I wore or the way out had become encrusted with a thick layer of ice and didn’t seem to be actually doing anything useful for me. I broke out my gorillaclava (which I hadn’t used yet this year) and was extremely pleased with the fact that it didn’t ice up on the way back.

I have tons (maybe literally?) of gear. The big trick is going to be finding the flexibility from the right combination of gear for this thing. I sort of already knew that from the warnings that a certain cycling god had bestowed upon me recently. Race day ought to include nothing but tried and true methods at all levels.

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