Since my disappointing performance at Superior I've turned my focus to the next big race: Arrowhead. It has been my #1 race for a few years now. All other races are somehow just "training races" for the big one in the Northwoods. I'm going to ski it again this year and I'm trying for better than my previous ski time of 54:21. In pursuit of that goal I've been doing a fair bit of roller-skiing.
On Saturday I skied down to Slater on the bike lane along county road R38. Not the best of places, especially on a game day, but the traffic was courteous. I had a mind to go on to the High Trestle Trail and get a few more miles in, but I was already into unknown territory on skis. I wasn't sure how my arms would hold out if I went that far. As it was I was getting pretty worn out by the time I made it back to Ames. Considering how I feel today though I think next time I'll go all the way to Woodward. I managed 22 miles in about 3:15.
(Me in Slater with the skis.)
A few weeks ago I threw my hat in the ring for the White Mountains 100 in Fairbanks Alaska. Unfortunately they have a limited number of spots available and a lottery system for figuring out who is in. I say unfortunately because I am #42 on the wait list. Meaning if 42 people (nearly 2/3 of those signed up) drop out then I'm in. That's not too likely and I'm a bit disappointed, but I'm in good company. Jeff Oatley didn't make it in either.
Now I have to consider if I want to sign up for Susitna or not. It would be less expensive to do, but is less than two weeks after Arrowhead and somehow Anchorage just doesn't appeal to me as much as the interior of Alaska. I'll probably have to do it.
(A little inspirational reading.)
I was more put out than I expected about not getting into the White Mountains so to get over it I went out for a ride on my new bike. Did I mention I got a new bike? Yeah, another one. A Cannondale Flash 29"er. That brings the total up to 8 right now. It's pretty fun, but it's taking some getting used to. I haven't had a bike with suspension for some time now and I've been doing nearly all of my singletrack riding on the 1x1 so having 30 (!) gears now is a bit of a novelty. I was a little worried about it overlapping too much with the 1x1 and Pugsley, but I needn't have worried. It is a very different bike and makes short work of some of the slogs I've put in on those other bikes. I've ridden the Skunk River Greenbelt twice now, once in the dark, and it is a blast on the faster parts of the trail where I can really get moving. Once I get the hang of it it will probably be fun on the more technical parts too.
(If you're interested I have a Cannondale Capo fixed gear, and an older Schwinn Voyageur road bike for sale).