Monday, December 17, 2007

Army Training, Sir!

Near the end of the ride, as Jay and I were intermittently pushing our bikes throught the sugary snow, I had a flash back to the eighties. Bill Murray's voice popped into my head and I could hear him say to Seargent Hulka, "Army Training, Sir"!

Last year when I rode this loop conditions were better, but not great, and it took me 4:25:00. Yesterday, tough snow conditions turned the ride into an epic slog that took 6:25:00 (moving time). With brief stops to change air pressures, adjust layers, test boots in the icy creek, and eat, we were out there for a total time of 7:12:00.

Exposed areas were windblown and especially tough to ride.

Jay decided to test his boots in the overflow. He's crazy like that.

Jay and I guessed that we pushed our bikes 2-2.5 hours of the 6.5 hours of moving time. From a training standpoint, this ride was a great learning experience and hard effort. Several aches and pains popped up after pushing my bike for that long and now I can work on fixing them.

We rode the loop counter-clockwise yesterday and we both agreed that clockwise is a better direction.

Random post-ride thoughts:

1) The 25-mile loop version of the Togwotee Winter Classic was intended to be fun but challenging. Due to the tough conditions, most folks would probably not consider yesterday's ride fun.
2) When planning you calories for a snow bike ride, double what you think you will need.
3) Snow conditions dictate the speed. A combination of consistently cold, cloudy weather, a bit of wind, and minimal early season grooming left the trails sugary and unconsolidated. It was challenging to pick rideable lines in the wide trail all day.
4) Fig Newtons went down pretty well and are not too affected by the temps.


Dave Harris said...

Wow! x4 for the hundy and you've got yerself close to 30 hours of fun. Maybe more if you gotta melt snow for water.

That's intimidating.

So what sort of role do you think fitness plays into that sort of riding? How about the balance between fitness vs. equipment vs. nutritional choices? I get the impression fitness could be # 3 on that list...

Dave said...

DH - Jay and I had this same discussion about the 100-mile as well.

Fitness was certainly a factor yesterday but equipment and nutrition were at least as important.
Equipment; tire pressure was the difference between walking or riding most of the time.
Nutrition; I tried to eat frequently but I am still not eating enough on snow bike rides. My standard 250 calorie per hour rule is not cutting it.

Jill Homer said...

Wow ... some epic ride. Amazing how 25 miles can take two hours, or it can take nine.

I kinda envy the difficult training conditions you have access to. It's just so warm where I live. Overflow? What's that?

I also agree with the list. The secret of success to riding long distances in snow, in order of importance.

1. Gear
2. Hydration
3. Nutrition
4. Determination
5. Fitness

FixieDave said...

I'm a bit intimidated....


looks like i'll be stopping and melting alot of snow =)

Lynda Wallenfels said...

I've been trying various foods straight from the freezer - fig newtons were good! But be careful with them...I've eaten too many in a 24-solo before and figs can cause GI grief. Have a look at the apple or strawberry newtons. The apple ones are yummy and might not have the fig revenge component that I imagine would not be especially fun on a snowbike adventure

Anonymous said...

Winter riding is a blast! I live in Colorado and I enjoy my winter rides way more than my summer rides for some reason.