Sunday, January 24

East Side Epic 2010

Yesterday we had a rocking time at the first Leadville snow race of the winter. Marni came up and took pictures and Brett, Bill, Ben and I raced with 42 other racers! It was a killer field for the first race (2nd biggest ever?) and there were quite a few Pugs/fat bikes out there. I had to test out the wheelie capabilities of the Fatback on 100's and I report back with success! Haha.
The new bike did really really well in the soft stuff (as it should) and I could ride uphill where no one else could even without airing the tires way down yet. The SS gear of 30x22 was a little easy for a "race" but I think it will be just about right for the long rides with a load.
Very very pretty too. Wow I feel lucky to have one.
The race went pretty well. I went into it super chill and let the leaders go right off the bat up the hill. The snow covered road was easy riding and the Fatback was way overkill. I spun my way up, was pretty spun out on the way down and hit the Mineral Belt trail (thank god) in ~12th place. From there I put those big wheels to good use and turned on the gas. I reeled in everyone but one guy from Vail who kicked some serious butt finishing on foot with a flat(!) and held me off by 2 minutes. Final result was just over 40 minutes of riding, first place SS and 2nd overall.

The crew all followed shortly and it was just nice to be out. Bill coming in.
Ben all finished up and Chad as well.
Brett hanging in there on his SS in some soft finishing snow.
There are some more pictures of the race here. Hopefully the embed features works.

Last night and today I've been working on getting this packed up for the Arrowhead 135. Bill I got a gear list almost done for you so I'll try to post that next! The Epic Designs bags are almost beyond words, adding to the pogies I got last year. I don't plug gear that often but I paid Eric for the bags and would recommend others do in a heartbeat. He's really continuing the innovation, you've got to see them up close to notice all the amazing little touches.I'm looking forward to the Arrowhead a lot. I'll be driving out starting on Friday and the race will be a big learning experience for me. Everything isn't quite as polished and dialed in as I would like due to the broken ankle and bike build delays. Luckily the adventure side of me has grown greatly over the past few years and I feel like I know enough to be safe. The rest I'll treat as a dry run for the Iditarod and hope to learn some valuable lessons. The winter riding puts a HUGE smile on my face every time I do it so frankly I feel darn lucky to be headed out on fat wheels for real this year, especially just 3 months after a broken ankle. I fully expect to get smacked around like the rookie that I am so we'll just see what happens. More tomorrow perhaps.


Vito said...

The set-up looks great. I'm really lovin' the look of that Fatback.

Dave Byers said...

Eric's bags look right at home on your new hotness. Your rig is looking ready to rock. Interested to see your gear list as well. I wish I was joining you at the AH135.

sean said...

Bike definitely looks really good. Can't wait to see it in person.

Charlie Farrow said...

Dear Chris, I am fired up to meet you up in I-Falls. You will enjoy the Arrowhead as it is full of crazies that have a zest for adventure. Thanks for the detailed info regarding the cleaning and lube regarding the bottom bracket. Very informative and helpful, I must admit that it never occurred to me that one could overall these new external bottom brackets.
Best regards,

Fonk said...

Chris - do a lot of racers ride standard MTBs at these races, or is it mostly the fat/snow bikes like yours? Can one ride these courses OK w/ standard 2.3" (29er) tires, or does it make for a lot of hike-a-bike?

Chris said...

Fonk most people are on regular MTBs. The fattys are less than 10 out of 47 this last race and that was the most yet. Most races the 29er with fat tires is probably faster than the snow bike but this time the snowbike was nice on the 2nd half.

The night race is a BLAST, you should totally come out. That will be my sendoff before the Iditarod too :)

Fonk said...

Cool. I might try to hit the next couple as part of my training. Sounds fun.

Grizzly Adam said...

I need to borrow your snow bike to haul myself up into the backcountry on the snowmobile trails. That would be a sight: fatback with fat skis on the back.

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