|After 1 minute outside before the race.|
|You can see I left a place on my forehead for all of the heat to escape my body.|
I was out to have fun so I started near the back of the pack. The race started out almost in slow motion compared to the start of other bike races.
|Big Pack of Fat|
|The waiting is the hardest part|
Despite having a fatbike for almost a year I don't know much about fatbiking. Mostly in the area of tire pressure. I had recently been experimenting with really low pressure and that felt like trying to peddle around an elephant so before the race I had overcompensated and went with a pretty high pressure for the start of the race. During the first climb I was feeling pretty smart. I started near the back of the pack and passed about half of it with my quick rolling setup.
Then we turned onto the singletrack... It was a lot bumpier with lots of solid frozen footprints than I was expecting. My teeth were chattering and my tires were bouncing off he trail like a basketball at a 3rd grade gym class. Some of the people I passed were passing me back. Once back on the flat smooth snowmobile trail I was happy again and was in the passing lane. Then it was back to the singletrack. Since I had never ridden the course before I had no idea what the mix was so I was determined to make it a full lap without adjusting my pressure. I bounced my way around the course nearly bouncing off bridge entries. It wasn't being much fun. Once I passed through the start line I knew what I was up against so I decided I'd stop at the top of the second snowmobile trail and bleed out some air. I probably dropped from a very overinflated 12PSI down to a still slightly overinflated 8PSI. Once the pressure was adjusted it took what seemed like forever to get my hand back into my sweaty double layer of gloves. Time was lost.
|Finding my place in the back right after the start.|
The second lap went better. The bouncing was quelled some and the course seemed pretty ride-able now. There were some icy spots and the icy chute of death at the end which I rode once but decided it wasn't worth re-breaking my collar bone during it's healing.
I really could have / should have let some more air out of my tires but experimenting in the middle of a race didn't seem like a great idea so I stuck it out. I was on the last half of my 3rd lap when the first rider lapped me. I was both impressed and pissed. Impressed that he could glide through the bumpy singletrack with what seemed like ease. Pissed that he could do it so much faster than me. I was lapped by 3-4 other riders. Each time I pulled off the trail so they could race their race.
The results: I finished in 2:46:08 / 23rd out of 32 starters and about 47 minutes behind the leader. Honestly, I didn't think I was being that slow. A lot of people uploaded it to Strava and as it turns out, I was being that slow. 2014MooseBrookFatBikeRaceCourse
Now for the excuses! I probably lost 3 minutes adjusting my pressure, 3 minutes going slow enough not to bounce off the trail in the first lap, 5 minutes overall by still running over-inflated tires, 2 minutes by being cautious about my collar bone and another 3 min for not having studs (There was 1 climb that was impossible without them) So what's that 16 minutes I probably could have made up which would have put me in at 2:30. Still nowhere near the leaders who are clearly stronger and more skilled than I but not quite as far back as I was. I can live with that. Now I'm going to have to put it to the test next year. I'm hoping it will be warmer, like 10F.
This just in: I am #88 and show up at briefly at 0:55 and 2:52