Saturday, February 17, 2007

Big Ride Friday with JayP

Jay leaves for Anchorage next Wed so we planned a final big shakedown ride for Friday into Friday night. Jay recently modified his bike packing and changed up his rear rack which lightened things up a bit and made critical items faster to access. Details of his final setup are top secret of course.

The ride was a huge success on many fronts. First and foremost, I survived it and actually felt pretty good riding for nearly 7 hours this early in the season. I wasn’t doing any rides of this length until early June in 2006! Jay’s bike packing mods worked out great for him and he is feeling good about being efficient out on the Iditarod Trail and having everything he needs to survive in temps from 40 to -40. Lastly, we rode a new-to-us trail called Mesa Falls paralleling the Henry’s Fork and it was sweet! Fremont County, ID has its own giant network of groomed snowmobile trails making it possible to ride from Ashton, ID to West Yellowstone.

I am not sure if I need to tweak my position on the FatBike or if it is simply early season soreness but I have some wrist and knee pain after the long rides lately. I think a quick fit session with Fitzy on the FatBike would be worthwhile.

On the gear front, I tried my new Delta Compact panniers and they rock. I ran them on the front rack and carried a down jacket on one side and wind layers plus a balaclava and clear goggles on the other side. Stuffing the down jacket loosely into one side of the pannier by itself makes it very easy to get to versus digging it out of a stuff sack every time I need it. Having panniers on the front rack did not seem to affect the handling at all. My plan is to run one on the rear drive side once I get loaded up for overnight trips since I will have a bag and sleeping pad on the front at that point.

I am still contemplating hydration options. I have been riding with an insulated 100oz Camelbak lately in temps down to 15F and it works great. I also know that this will probably not work at -20F unless I bury it beneath all of my layers and then I question whether it will be worth the trouble. I am going to work on a way to carry OR bottle insulators close to the handlebars so that I can drink without stopping.

There are two big endurance races going on this weekend and the conditions look ideal for each one. Check out racer’s progress for Susitna 100 or the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo on their respective pages.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Those panniers look strangley familiar. I agree they work great for items you need to get to easily. For the Arrowhead I wore a water bottle in a OR parka on a simple hipbelt for easy access. It worked good. I also considered trying to attatch it to my handlebars somehow, but never came up with a good solution. I really needed the water close at hand or I wouldn't have drank enough.