Fun weekend, crazy stories, messed up results. More to come!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Riding bikes, that is what we do. We live, sleep, eat thinking about riding bikes. Some people race an hour long crit. Others suck wheel for a 100 mile road race. The fat tire folks suffer for two hours in a cross country race. The others push out the grueling 100 mile endurance races. The crazies race 24 hour solos. But after all, we all love riding our bikes. We go out and ride during the day in the name of training, stress relief, fun, and other reasons that are hard to put into words. For this, we are all similar.
Well, there is one exception...
Local guy and cycling badass, Mike Curiak. He is a downright cool guy. You would never be able to tell his accomplishments just by seeing or talking to him. He is also a leader in cycling innovation, especially in the 29er movement. He is a superb wheel builder as I can personally attest to. But there is one thing that makes him different-his latest cycling adventure.
You've probably heard of the Alaska UltraSport aka Iditasport. Same route as the Iditarod dog sled race. 1,100 miles from Knik to Nome, Alaska. Temperatures up to -60F and even colder. Racers travel on bike, foot, or skis. Racers stop at checkpoints and sleep in warm cabins and eat hot food until they are ready to hit the trail again. It sounds miserable, but that is luxury compared to what Curiak has just done.
He won the race to Nome a few times I believe and set the record of just over 15 days in 2000. That would be enough for most people, not Mike. The past few years he has set off to do the race self-supported. He has had some problems with equipment, but this year he got it right. He just finished the trip to Nome in just over 21 days self-supported. That are no cabins, no hot food, no support from anyone. Isolation in the barren land of Alaska for three weeks. Sleeping in a tent every night in temperatures most of us could never think of. Cooking up all his own food and eating sugary snacks every day. No going to the local pub after a long day in the saddle.
His bike weighed 145 pounds at the start of the race. He carried 24 days worth of food and reports are that he estimated he would loose one pound per day as he could not pack any more food on his bike. Can you imagine riding a bike like that? He rides all day and only averages 50 miles. Some days are spent slogging along pushing this heavy bike through deep powder. Doesn't sound terribly fun. So, here is a HUGE congrats to Mike for finishing this ridiculous endeavor. I'm sure he's got some incredible stories. The rumor is this trip is just a trip for something bigger and more desolate in the future. That is not an everyday cyclist. That is Mike Curiak.
For more about his trip, he will likely post some stuff in the next couple weeks after he eats a small town. There are some updates and trackers on the site now. Lacemine29.blogspot.com. There is a link on the right.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Well, this past week was spring break for us. The trails are still unrideable, and the weather is nothing to speak of. Friday morning I packed up the car and headed off to St. George, Utah for some mountain biking. We arrived to mid-60's and sun. It felt HOT! Got in a couple laps of the race course and got the mountain bike feeling back. We went back to the campsite and hung out all night around the campfire bull shitting all night. Good times were had.
Race day was Saturday at noon which is a great time for racing. Sun and warm temps were back for an enjoyable race. 35 pros lined up at the start which is the biggest field the Intermountain Cup series has seen in a long time. The competition was stiff as 4 Mona-Vie/Cannondale riders lined up with 3 Jamis riders, Burke Swindlehurst and other local pros. The race sorted out on the two 400ft climbs per lap. I battled back and forth with a couple guys for most of the race and ended up finishing a content 12th. I was happy with it for the first race of the year following a tough training week.
Saturday night was spend chilling around the fire again, then hit the sack as it rained on the tent all night. We got in a good 3hr ride Sunday hitting up some fun trails in Green Valley. We then headed out for some food at In 'N Out then off to a real campground.
It rained again Sunday night, which killed our chances of riding Gooseberry on Monday. The trail would have been good, but the back road to the trail was 8" of wet clay. We hit up Hurricane Rim to the Jem trail instead which was fun and had some nice views. Once again, it rained that night just as our campfire was dying down. We woke up Tuesday morning after constant rain to big wet snowflakes. Now mind you, St George is a desert and normally never sees rain and the average temperature is 68F this time of year. We packed up and drove 6 hours back home in mostly snow, then rain.
Wednesday was rainy here in GJ. My ride was very wet and not too enjoyable as my legs did not show up to ride. Thursday was finally sunny and 40F which felt nice. Got in a good long ride with lots of climbing. Now I will be going out for a few hours before heading down to Boulder for the weekend of racing crits. Today will be ride #4 on the road bike in a looooong time. Hopefully I can figure out how to handle it.
Coming up is a weekend of racing in Fort Collins, then our home races or Fontana Pro XCT, then an I-Cup race in Hurricane, races in the Springs, Sea Otter, Fruita MSC race, then the Fat Tire Fest. Gonna be a good spring!