to Pranali the PT, my Doc at GHC and the staff at UW Sports Medicine for helping me straighten out whatever was going on with my knee. Thanks to Plantet Bike and Revolution Cycles. Thanks also to Chuck and Andy for the bike mojo and moral support; to my folks for hosting Lilianna the Spoiled, Furry, Black and White Chicken; and many friends and coworkers for at least smiling while telling me I was crazy. Many thanks to the organizers, Lance and Traci, and especially to the many race volunteers that made this thing possible. Finally, my warmest thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with this whole business.
Here are a few of my conclusions about doing this crazy thing now that a couple of days have passed:
Looking forward to and training for this has really improved fitness and motivation. I also decided back in July that it wouldn't hurt to lose 30 pounds by race day either. I managed to lose about 25 and I feel pretty darn good with the combined effect.
I also get out more in the winter now. For a number of years, I've gotten pretty sullen in the fall, and downright grumpy in the winter. Having something to look forward to mitigates that somewhat.
Also, there's nothing quite like winter riding to sharpen those mad bike skilz.
The unpredictable conditions can be a little frustrating. Like anyone, I have my share of frustrations already, so procuring more is a little...something...I dunno, stupid? It does tend to be part of the fun though and would make an eventual finish all that much sweeter. I guess.
I also get a little obsessive, especially as race day draws near. From here I can feel the missus rolling her eyes and asking "a little!?" But yeah, it's part of the package with me.
And then there's the spending compulsively on bike stuff. This is the worst part. The Epic bags and crankset were planned, but I also got several tires, new brakes, the handwarmers, tubes, and a few other things. Some of it didn't even get used, and that's where better discipline would benefit.
My moisture management sucked. I got soaked. I'm not sure what to do about it, but it sounds like it was a problem for many of the participants. Good thing to research over the summer.
Really, the bike I used wasn't doing it for me. The two main issues are the tires and wheel size and its weight:
Don't know what I'll do about tire size yet. I'm toying with the idea of putting my Pugs fork on a Karate Monkey and running a fat front and skinny rear. I don't really think there's a Pugs, Fatback or custom snowbike in my future. But who knows, maybe We'll strike oil in the back yard.
As much as I like the dynamo front hub for general riding, it adds over a pound and some unknown amount of drag, even when the light is off. It is likely to go. I also had a thermos of coffee along which I didn't drink. My tools and backup clothing will also be going on a diet. As much as I'd like to be prepared for any mechanical failure, I think concession has to be made for what could realistically be fixed in the cold.
Here's to next year...