The good times: me at the I AM FAT fatbike race in Iowa City.
In some cases this winter has been a lousy one for me, and in others it's gone fairly well. Might as well get the bad out of the way.
I signed up for three winter ultras this season and didn't finish any of them. I pulled out of the Tuscobia 150 after a paltry 63 miles due largely to a sore back. Arrowhead ended for me at the second checkpoint when a mid-race snowstorm dumped 8-10" of fresh, unrideable powder on the trail and I found myself unprepared and unwilling to push 65lbs of bike and gear for the next 60+ miles. When the racers at Triple D were rolling out, I was riding the couch and nursing a flu. And that flu? That was the second time this winter that I got sick when it's rare for me to fall ill once in a year.
But lets focus on the good.
- We had more of a winter this year, allowing me to get a fair amount of quality snow riding in. I rolled quite a bit of snow with Charles, which was a lot of fun. I also got a few good chances to do some cold weather gear testing, something that didn't happen much last year. That allowed me to do my first ride in sub-zero temperatures at a peak low of -7F after bivying out in my backyard overnight.
- I've lost 15lbs since Halloween. Only five away from my Trans Iowa goal weight.
- Back in December I rolled my fastest gravel metric ever, stopping the clock at 4 hours and 15 minutes when I hit 62.1 miles. This was no cupcake of a route either, with damp roads and 3000 feet of climbing.
- A couple days ago I headed out for one of my weekly night rides with Charles and set an new PR for getting to Ivanhoe road, knocking two minutes and 30 seconds off my previous best over seven miles.
- The week before Triple D I did the I Am Fat fatbike race. There was no snow at that point so it ended up being a cold weather MTB race in a three hour format. I raced the solo category and took third place behind Charles and Dennis Grelk with 19 laps. That had me finish ahead of about 80% of the relay racers as well.
- Technically pre-winter, but I won the American Gothic Gravel Invitational back in October. This was a 60 mile gravel race out of Marion Iowa and this was the second year I've raced it. This marked the first time I'd won a race since 1999, so that was pretty exciting.