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Last year my wife and I rode one-way from point 38 (Plummer) to point 11 (Pinehurst) -- about 50 miles. Yesterday, we rode from point 9 (Kellogg) to point 30 (Harrison) and back for about 80 miles. The entire trail runs about 72 miles. I took photos on the way out to Harrision and only a couple on the way back... which is kind of too bad because I think the view heading West to East is better. Plus the weather burned off and there were clear, blue skies. But I'm posting them all here because a ) it's easier than to hunt and peck for the best ones, and b ) why filter on my discretion? c ) this way I can take up more server space. They are almost all shots taken from my bicycle seat.
So there's a lot of photos here. Some good. Some bad. Mostly good. Basically the trail follows the Coeur d'Alene River to the lake... with plenty of other waterways sprinkled in. The photos are all in chronological order.
Please see my previous blog for more details on the CDA trail.
This is really a great event. They work hard on the trails, they have the support of the community, they have a nice expo at the finish line, and they have a good after-party with a ton of give-aways (fat bike fenders, Marge Lite wheels, cranksets). I just wish I had better snow skills.
The weather got too warm on Friday for this Saturday event. The snow turned crystally, sugary. The roads were thick with glare ice. But the event went on, and that's good.
I went up to Marquette the evening before the event so I didn't have to drive on icy roads to get there. It was good to get there and have my packet. I installed my GoPro and my number plate on the bike that night. The next morning I saw on FB they were suggesting air pressures of 3-4 psi. I went with 4.5.
It was neat to see all the trucks and some cars coming in with ONLY fat bikes!
According to the FB page, 171 fat bikes started the 15 mile ride. It took a few moments for us in the back to actually start moving. With that many bikes riding on mashed potato snow, it was tough even getting started. People were falling off left and right. I was actually doing fairly well, but it got too slow for me to keep my balance. I put a foot down a couple times; the third time I let the people behind me go past. Wrong. Just keep going.
We had to use a road for a bit to get from the starting line to the single track, and the road was glare ice. I feel ok on ice, but I stayed on the sides like they told us to. A little slushy, but ok. I realized I forgot to get Map My Ride going, so I stopped for that. I was standing on some gravel that was peaking through some thawed ice on the side of a hill. I decided to hike to the top of the hill, but I noticed people actually pedaling behind me. I stepped into the road and onto the ice to let them pass. My feet were not moving, but I was sliding sideways down the icy hill! I think I slid like that at least 10 feet like that. Doesn't sound like much; but when you're holding onto a fat bike and sliding uncontrollably, it's quite unnerving. A few moments later I had to do it again. More sliding. Ugh! Then I got to ride again on the road for a bit.
The single track was really hard for me to ride. That was really sad because I know it was gorgeous just a few days prior to that weekend. I have been hearing many other people were having a really tough time on this trail, but at the time it seemed like I was the only idiot who couldn't keep rubber side down.
I should have gone lower with my tire pressure. The trail ended up with a fairly deep rut running down the middle of it, and I kept getting hung up in it. You can kinda see the rut in this pic, but mostly I took it to show how a lot of the trail weaved through the trees. That's really a neat idea and quite pretty; but as you are rolling and start falling, those trees come up to your face pretty damned fast. I think 4 or 5 times I reached out a hand as I was falling to stop myself from slamming into a tree.
There was one lady who was having almost as hard a time as I was, and we kinda rode together for a while. She eventually got her shit together and left me in the dust. Maybe she aired down and got better traction? I don't know. I hope she got going ok. But here she is, and here is how pitiful my performance was. (In a little bit of my defense, this is a very switchbacky stretch of trail called FreakNnature. I'm sure it's a hoot for those who know how to handle it; I am horrible at it.)
I found this guy's video of the short route. About 14:45 in he slips and falls on the icy road, around 38 he's on FreakNnature, about 54:30 he gets to the area of the pic above, and about 1 hour and 9 minutes in, he gets farther than I did. I like that his posted comment states "14 miles of stupid." Ha!
Ya, I did horribly. I had practiced and trained for the three weeks between the IronLine and this Polar Roll, but you'd never know. I know that's not a lot of time, but it wasn't my first day on a bike even though it felt like it. I gave out about 7 miles into the 15 miles. I wasn't super tired, but I was very discouraged. I was so frustrated, I cried. Just a little though.
The nice lady with the red van hauled my bike and me back to my truck. I changed my jacket to a little bit warmer one, drove to the finish line, and checked out the expo for a bit. I was soaking wet; every footstep felt like my toes were stepping into puddles of water. I went into the warming tent and had a cup of post-ride stew.
I was shivering while I was eating it. But I still wanted to look around a bit.
I decided I needed dry clothes, so I cut it short. I headed over to the YMCA and took a shower. Just getting into the locker room warmed me up. My clothes were so wet, I had to peel them off. The chatty little girls showering after pool time with their moms made me smile. And the dry clothes made me feel much better. I headed over to Border Grill (a major sponsor of the Polar Roll event) and got some late lunch. I hung out in Marquette for a couple hours waiting for the post-race party. I got there, and there were free little plates of Border Grill food. Yay! And there was BlackRocks Brewery beers. I dove into a 51k IPA. OMG, did that beer go down well! I saw two guys who put on the IronLine race three weeks earlier and talked to them a bit. They each won swag (Marge Lite rims and a crankset!), and I was happy for them. I hung out for about an hour and then headed home. I promised myself I didn't have to put stuff away, but I did. I threw my clothes into the wash, unpacked everything, patted my bike and said, "Good ride," hung up my now clean clothes, and went to bed. The next morning I counted my bruises. It took a couple days to find them all, and there were many. My chiropractor appointment Monday was a little dicey... Ouch! Not there! Ok, that's fine. Ouch! Not there! Ha!!
I checked out the FB page and realized I didn't do as horribly as I thought.
Today I talked to the LBS owner, and he said the people he knew who rode were all bruised up too.
It was truly a test of a rider's mettle. One guy commented it was a very humbling ride. The event was put on very well, but Mother Nature sure had her say. And Smudge has her say: my fat bike is for playing, and there will be no more fat bike events for me. I enjoy getting outdoors, but these events were not fun for me. Not my cup of tea, I guess. Playing with my fat bike is fun. Running with cars on my "city bike" in New York is fun. Rolling all over the countryside on my Roubaix is fun. Winter fat bike events just aren't for me.
But I'm still glad I did it.
(Reuters) - Two cyclists died in New Hampshire on Saturday when a car slammed into an annual group bike ride up the New England coast that draws up to 1,600 riders a year, police said.
The 40th annual Granite State Wheelmen Tri-State Seacoast Century Ride had been on the road for less than two hours when a car driven by 20-year-old Darrien Hess crossed over into oncoming traffic and hit a group of four, according to a statement by the Hampton Police Department in New Hampshire.
Pamela Wells, 60, and Elise Bouchard, 52, both of Massachusetts, died in the morning crash, police said. Two more cyclists, as well as Hess, were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
The police statement did not say whether charges would be filed.
The ride has been hosted each year by the Granite State Wheelmen bicycling club since the group's inception in 1971.
It runs over two days in late September and features routes ranging from 25 to 100 miles along the Atlantic coast, starting and ending at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach State Park.
Police did not say whether the event would continue on Sunday, and calls to the club phone number on Saturday were not answered.
It was unclear how many riders had signed up for this weekend's ride, but the event site said the club limits registrants to 1,600 riders.
'I saw car coming right at me,' says survivor of fatal cycling crash Woman strikes, kills two Massachusetts women in Hampton
Driver charged in crash that killed 2 bicyclists Seabrook 19-year-old charged with 2 counts of negligent homicide
Woman accused of giving driver drugs hours before fatal crash
3rd person charged in connection with fatal Hampton crash
For years I always did the Tour Of Mercer County century ride. This year I haven't been riding much and I haven't been working out at the gym, two things I always did. I have been hanging around the house when I'm not at work and taking care of my wife after her surgery. Anyhow I figure out last night as I was sitting around the campfire in our yard with my wife that I could do the short 35.5 mile ride and be back home by lunch time. I got up at six am and got my stuff together, we had a light rain. I got to registration about 7:10 am. got signed up and went back and unloaded my bike. I noticed the guy parked next to me had a pink cue sheet (35 mile ride). I struck up a conversation with him and found out this was his very first organized ride. He was a bit unsure of himself but wanted to try it. He said he has been doing 20 mile rides from his house and has lost 40 lbs since he got his bike last year. I told him I could ride with him if he didn't mind an old slow guy tagging along. He had no clue the amount of climbing he had in store for him. I warned him that we were basically going to be climbing and descending for the entire ride. He climbed at a faster speed than I did but I had lower gears. One third of the way through the ride he said he was really glad I was slowing him down. He said if he would have rode it like he rides his normal rides he would have been calling for someone to come get him by the time we made it to Mercer. He had to get off and walk on a couple of the climbs. He has lived in Mercer County for a long time and had no idea we had hills like this. On the return part of the ride he had trouble with leg cramps. He said he had been drinking Gatoraide and lots of water. I know he drank a lot of water because I was behind him watching him.
We had a pretty steady rain on the return half of the ride. It took a different route and he was excited to not have to ride back over those hills we just rode. I told him not to celebrate too much, the return route isn't much better. We kept seeing a skinny lady and a young man looking at their map and then we wouldn't see them for awhile. It turned out they were looking for shortcuts because they were beat and just wanted to get back to their car. They took at least three shortcuts off route but we still got back before them. It was a good ride, I'm glad I went. I have been feeling cooped up during my wife's recuperation. The noob said he enjoyed the ride and plans to start training on hills so he can do the fall ride the same group puts on.
I don't know why I enjoy coaching noobs so much but it give me a good feeling to help people out while they are learning the ropes and encourage them. This guy is serious about getting in shape and losing weight. I didn't ask him how much he weighs but probably not too much more than me. He is a lot shorter than me. There were a couple Strava segments on the ride and even as slow as I am I placed well in the over 65 age group on each segment.