Wednesday, February 28

2007 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Note: I'm still doing some rereading and editing and I'm at work so the pictures will have to wait until I get home. But the jist of the story is here. Hope you enjoy the novel! -Chris

I feel like I should have some exciting start to the blog but it's taken me this long to get started so I'm just going to roll with it. More pictures will be coming shortly but Marni and I only got a few and my dad and little brother got the majority. The week leading up to the race was a bit hectic. I'm getting better and better at being prepared a couple weeks out from the race but this time I was waiting on parts to arrive to finish putting the Fuel back together. I ordered them many weeks ahead of time but I digress. Nevertheless the bikes all got built and test ridden with extra sealant in every wheel for cactus protection. I must have done something right because there would be no bike problems the entire weekend.

Thursday afternoon finally rolled around and I left work to pack up the car and get a quick ride in before we began the drive. My legs were finally coming around after tapering for two weeks and I was excited to feel strong for the first time in a while. Marni had a class after work so Turbo and I picked up dinner and waited patiently in the parking lot. We were rolling by 6pm and headed into unknown territory. Neither Marni nor I had ever been to Arizona or traveled I-25 south of Pueblo. Of course it was dark by the time we hit the road so the terrain remained hidden and we drove in silence, buffeted by the wind and trading off poor sleeping opportunities until we got to Albuquerque around 1am. After a far too short of a stay in the hotel we got back on the road to Tucson fueled by continental breakfast waffles and muffins. Friday’s drive passed quickly as we motored though Truth or Consequences and Hatch before leaving New Mexico for Arizona. Once we arrived at the Tucson city limits I was pretty anxious to get to the race site and get settled. We clicked off turns one by one until arriving on the final dirt road that led to 24 hour town. The Element wanted to play rally car but Marni made sure we arrived with all bikes, dogs and people in one piece.

By Friday afternoon the race site was a busy place. We drove all the way to the top of the pit areas and found parking but not a camping spot on the race course itself. I had never ridden here before and was eager to get my pre-ride lap in, both to assess the course and also see if a better pit location could be found. So I got out of car clothes and into shorts and a jersey without tights or a long sleeve base layer for the first time in months. Fueled by the sun and warmth my pre-ride lap was awesome and I had to keep myself reigned in repeatedly. I was expecting the fast laps to come in right around an hour that’s right where my lap put me. The course was tons of fun with it mimicking the riding I do most frequently and without the killer one or two thousand foot climbs Colorado loves to throw at me. The surface was totally dry, loose over hardpack with tons of twisty turns in and out of the cacti. In fact it was twisty enough that next year I would run a Nobby Nic up front instead of Racing Ralphs on both ends. Just after “the Bitches”, which are a series of short steep climbs followed by steep fast descents, there was an incredibly fast jeep road section. Then just as quickly as you headed out, the course began to wind you back towards the start with a nice headwind. The climbing came in small sections as the trails wound in and out of never ending cacti. Following the last of the climbing sections the course dropped down to the pits and the start/finish tent. Here I found several open pit areas and while we wouldn’t have room to park the cars, at least we’d be right on course of the race. I bypassed these temporarily to check out the final section of the downhill which had a “decision point.” The course split where you could go on an easy downhill to the right or a shorter but much more technical and steep rocky slab downhill to the left. I rode both and decided that whenever I felt good I would ride the shorter, harder route but if I was tired or out of it I would just cruise around the easy section.

Next I rode back up to find Marni and begin moving our previous camp. Hiking all our stuff up and down the hill wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing so we loaded most of it into the car and shuttled it down before reparking the car at the top of the hill. It was beginning to get dark but we had camp setup and now were just waiting for my dad, brother and Chad to arrive at the site. Unfortunately it was pretty chaotic and hard to find people, especially all the way in the back of the site. After several cell phone calls and some riding around, I found both parties and we all began to move the rest of the gear down to our spot. Chad was a huge help and I have to give a huge thank you to him for bringing out extra camping gear, the EZup, a table and tons more stuff. He was a friend of Scott’s who never met me before and I’m not sure how we would have got everything down to Tucson if it wasn’t for his help. A few more trips up and down the hill later we had the rest of camp setup and ready for tomorrow. In an error of bad planning on my part I had figured everyone would arrive at camp earlier in the day and we’d go out to get dinner in Tucson. Instead we grabbed a quick dinner from a vender down at the race site and while it was tasty I’m not sure it was ideal for me. Next time I will plan the night before dinner and morning of breakfast’s better. After we ate we all turned in for the night and tried to get some sleep. I say tried because the wind was whipping all night and sounded terrible. Sometime around 6am it got really bad and blew our EZ up 200 yards away into the field of cacti! It rolled right over our tent but luckily it didn’t hurt Marni or me and came to rest when one of the guy lines got tangled in a bush. Miraculously it was unharmed and missed hitting all the cacti so after carefully carrying it back to camp we lowered one side into the wind and restaked it down. The coolers lined the inside perimeter of the EZup to help hold our tarp walls down. Seriously racing these things requires some learning. Figuring out how to windproof a walled 10x10 shelter was not something I had ever done before. Eventually we got camp resituated and everyone was awake. Breakfast came and went, then lunch as I nervously awaited the start. I wished that I could sleep but it was far too sunny to trick my body into taking a nap.

After the pre-race meeting at 10:30 everything just began to move with a purpose. I got changed, sunscreened and took the Fuel down to check-in. I got my baton which I put in the leg of my shorts and that’s pretty much where it stayed the whole race. I racked my bike and had Chad keep an eye on it during the Leman’s start but luckily it wasn’t too hard to spot with my squeaky giraffe sticking up on the handlebars. After the obligatory restroom visit I made my way down the road to the race start. I found Fred and DaveH and we chit chatted to make those never ending last few minutes pass. I really dislike the running start but I’m not sure what else you can do about it in such a big field. Bang the cannon fired and the herd began jogging to our bikes. I followed the guy in the giant banana costume and kept a close eye for my giraffe. My legs were pretty sick of running in bike shoes by the time I found my bike so I happily grabbed it and hopped on, dodging those still running and mounting their own steeds. The fast teams were ready to ride so my whole focus for the first lap was to not crash and not pull on my own. I just jumped from wheel to wheel drafting people while keeping the effort level as low as possible while climbing. Plus that headwind hadn’t gone anywhere and I did not want to waste any more energy than I had to during the early laps.

The first two laps were a blur. I kept trying to remember all the things I had to do but I was always forgetting something. I was making good time and ahead of everyone I knew as far as I could tell. My legs felt fine, I was getting Ensure and Clif Blocks down regularly and kept drinking my water and Gatorade. I just looked for wheels to sit on and focused on keeping the pace in check. Coming through on lap 3 I noticed that Linda was pitting not too far behind me. I had already made my stop and was on my way though the timing tent but I figured she would catch me somewhere out on course. I ended up by myself though the bitches and kept things under control. It was quite fun to bomb down the backside of each climb and get as much free speed up the next one as possible. I knew things would change once it got dark so I made the best of it then. Not long after the bitches ended I could see that Linda was getting close so I slowed up into the next section of trail. Somewhere along the way she grabbed my wheel and figured out that it was me. From that point on we were a train around the course. I got some great coaching and pace control advice and she got a nice draft. Up ahead Linda spotted the lead woman and I sat up just slightly before putting the move on her up a hill and pulling Linda into the lead. The rest of the lap is a blur of very focused riding and passing people. Just before the last climb DaveH caught us and let Linda know that the woman we passed was not coming back and she was pulling away. Dave was feeling great and eventually passed us with Linda grabbing his wheel and me jumping on the back of the train. A minute later I realized that I made a big mistake as my quads got the twinge of a cramp. I immediately sat up and let the HeathFX train go, much to my dismay.

The rest of lap 3 was damage control. I climbed as easily as possible and blasted back to my pit on the descent. Once I got to my pit I upped my water intake by two and took four Endurolytes. Yes I forgot to take any electrolytes the first two laps and must have been lacking in fluid intake as well. The day wasn’t super hot but the wind must have been drying me out more than I realized. Lap 4 and 5 were more of the same, keeping my pace easy and trying to let my body get caught up on it’s electrolyte and hydration issues. By the end of lap 5 it seemed to be working because I finally had to take a leak. It’s been a long time since I was that excited to pee. My pit had been working hard to keep the rest of the plan in order. I was drinking my Ensure Plus’s and eating my Clif Blocks. I kept taking Endurolytes and Chad would clean and lube the chain every other lap. By the time night hit I was sitting somewhere around 7th place in the solo men’s field and I still hadn’t been lapped by Tinker or anyone else much to my delight. Even a stop on my first night lap to push my light cable into the battery better didn’t affect my mood. The laps kept clicking by and I was reaping the benefits of my night riding practice this winter. The HID worked fine and I was able to keep up my speed on the downhills much better than at Moab. Lap 7 I ended up in a train of team riders and that worked great. By lap 8 I had Marni get my shuffle ready and I caught Adam for the first time right before the start of the Bitches. He was doing really well and I couldn’t believe that I was a lap up. My iPod provided good motivation and even though I was starting to have a hard time eating my Clif Blocks I was still pretty happy. I was only getting a bit upset at having to stop and pee once a lap. Back again at my pits I was still pretty awake but definitely starting to feel fatigue.

I headed out on lap 9 with the one lap at a time mentality and a smile on my face. Soon after I got on course, the wheels began to fall off. I no longer could get my Clif Blocks down and I was starting to get nauseous. I felt like I was slowing way down and it was a pretty lonely lap. Every person who passed me seemed like they were much faster than me and without being able to get down my calories I was really flagging physically and mentally. I kept calculating my pace and how many laps I could do and that would pump me back up. 16 laps or more were still in reach if I could just keep turning laps until morning. Every hill was a slog though and my reactions kept getting slower and slower it seemed. By the time I reached the last climb there were more people around me and I did my best to stay near them. Even the guy in the jail suit with the CD player ductaped to his bike rack didn’t make me smile very much, definitely a bad sign. All I wanted to do was get back to my pit and find something I could eat.

I wanted salvation in my pit area. I wanted something to go in my stomach and bring back that energy that would appear every lap when I could get my clif blocks down. Unfortunately nothing worked. I tried Kissables but they were too sweet. In fact anything sweet sounded pretty bad. I tried to choke down a sandwich which always perks me up during long rides but my body was having none of it. I tried a poptart, another staple, and then a Starbucks DoubleShot but nothing worked. Everything I tried just made me more nauseous and none of the food was giving me any energy. Dejected I finally sat in a chair and that was the beginning of the end. Not that my crew wanted it to be. Marni, my dad and Chad all tried repeatedly to get me out for one more lap. They tried to get me to get up and just sit on my bike and roll down the hill. However I just couldn’t fathom trying to go out there again without being able to get anything down. The longer I waited the colder I got and eventually I made the decision to crawl in my tent and go to sleep. I wanted so bad to keep going but I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t throw up and I just felt so lifeless without getting the calories in my stomach to help me. My goal was to go all though the night and sleep, however short, seemed like failure to me at the time. So I slept. Marni tried to wake me an hour later and get me back out there but I was broken. In my mind I had given up and failed and turning a few more laps didn’t seem like it meant anything. Morning came and I ate and watched the other solos. I walked down to find Linda had broken her collarbone (I’m so sorry Linda), DaveH was in 2nd and Adam was gutting out a tough ride and hadn’t given up.

My race was over and I was pretty bummed. I debated staying until the end but it seemed like such a formality to wait until 12:01 to turn in my stick instead of just taking the DNF. In the end I turned my baton in early and our crew broke camp and headed out to find our hotel and some food. Lunch and a shower felt pretty darn good even though my stomach still hated me. Marni seemed worried as I was still out of it despite trying to keep things together. My legs felt okay though and I hated that. I wanted them to be dead. I wanted them to be so tired from riding so long that I would know I did everything I could. Instead all I had was nausea, a little soreness in my contact points and a pretty broken spirit. We had a fun time in the hotel after the race. I tried not to focus on my disappointment and enjoy getting to spend time with my dad and my brother Nick who I don’t get to see very often. They came out to support me unconditionally and I really appreciate that. Marni also did her best to make me feel better and she out of everyone understood my disappointment. Monday morning, my 25th birthday, we woke up at 6am and hit the road. 14 hours straight back home and I didn’t want to have to tell the story. I did my best to be agreeable but I apologize to Marni again for having to put up with a pretty grouchy husband.

In the past couple weeks I've had a lot of time to reflect on this race and received a lot of support from my family and friends. For that I am truly grateful. My spirit is no longer broken and I’m back to training again. I enjoy riding my bike and that’s not going to change from any race. I’ve even gotten out on some dirt here in Denver before today’s snowstorm (and yes I rode). This race taught me a lot and that is the silver lining. It taught me that racing 24 solos aren’t just about having your body prepared. Everything has to be ready, the earlier the better. I learned my nutrition still needs some work and that switching 200 cal/hr to Clif Blocks is not going to work over the long haul. I need to better prepare my nutrition plan for the inevitable deterioration of lap times so that I am not spending 50% more time on the course without a corresponding increase in calories. My crew also needs an easy way to track my cal/hr and know what foods have what calories. I learned my electrolytes need to start with lap 1, not wait until I have a problem. Time to order the powder to mix into my drink. I learned some great tips from Linda on keeping my power spikes under control and just how to ride for 25 hours. And most importantly I learned more about myself. I did accomplish some great things during the race that I’m proud of. I rode 135 miles and 9000 vertical feet of elevation gain in somewhere between 12 and 13 hours. The difference in that ride compared to my fitness level 1 year prior is amazing. My descending speed is finally coming back to where it used to be as a match to my greatly improved climbing and that will buy me a lot of “free” time.

I’ll be back to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, perhaps in 2008 or perhaps at a later date. It would be an incredibly fun course as a team and on my singlespeed as well. But I learned a lot, I’m still here and I’m not hurt which is all I can really ask for at the end of the day. And if you read this far I’ve got some really great friends which is what makes this sport so much fun.

Saturday, February 24


Well we had a fun birthday celebration last night for someone Yes I'm the big quarter century now. This has been a week of decompression from the race and a full report will hopefully be up tonight. Sorry for the blog silence but I'll be back on the air shortly now. Big thanks to everyone who helped me at the race and for all the nice words this week while I've been incognito. I'm doing good though and already back riding.

Wednesday, February 14


Well today was an interesting day for sure. The end result is that we're finally all packed to go, bikes are ready, people are ready, dog is ready. I'll drop Marni at work in the morning, go to work myself, swing home and load the car at lunch since it's supposed to be close to zero F here in Denver tonight, then pick Marni and Turbo up after work and point the car south to 70 degree weather and Tuscon, Arizona.

Can't wait to race and see my dad and brother. Can't wait for a little sunshine and riding around without tights. Sorry the post is lacking in pictures but the camera battery is doing some last minute charging for the weekend.

Full report when we get back, wish me luck!

Monday, February 12


Well the fog rolled in as I predicted albeit a bit later than expected. This morning was beautiful and reasonably warm but while out on a nice post-work ride the fog rolled in fast and I was glad I brought my flashy red tail light along! It was that weird freezing fog again and much of my outfit, grips and gloves were coated with a thin layer of frost by the time I got home. Climbing in the dense fog was a bit surreal as I thought one hill was taking a bit long to get to the false flat section when I then realized I was already at the top and about to go back down.Legs are feeling good, the Fuel is working good and all continues as planned. Tonight I picked up a spare new Avid BB7 front brakeset for $60 from a guy off craigslist to put on the backup bike. By tomorrow that bike will be back together again and ready for the race should I need it or the weather turn ugly.Right now temperatures look good though, highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s without any serious chance of precipitation. I'm excited to see my Dad and little brother and have them at the race. Not a lot else to report, we're just going through the motions of prerace week here. Eating and sleeping right, preparing all the gear and watching the weather. Spring finally does feel around the corner though with DST a month away and the mass amounts of snow generally disappearing. I hope you're all enjoying 2007 so far.

Sunday, February 11


We're back from the wedding. Michigan was cold but it was a great time and the new married couple looked very happy. Friday morning I did sneak out for a quick spin on the Fuel before we left.
Yes I do look a little crazy at 2am but I enjoyed the ride. After a few minor changes the Fuel is all ready to go for Old Pueblo.
The moon was out and I had the roads all to myself. It was almost a shame I had to be home to leave for the airport at 4am.
With no cars around I had fun testing out another light and taking pictures.
Standard bike against a signpost shot here.
They're predicting chances of snow and fog early ths week here in Colorado so I'm pretty sure there will be a lot more of this. I took this shot last week but it's not like you can see much.
And yes I don't wear bike shorts with SLR's all the time. Just jeans on the ride to work most days.

Marni even found the Element tucked into the garage for the first time in a while tonight when we got home. I'm sure she'll be really excited about that for the rest of the winter snow storms. Thanks Scott :)

In a bit of a disappointing note, we didn't get into Leadville this year. August will undoubted be punctuated by some other great riding but after taking part the last two years I have to admit it's a bit of a letdown. Oh well there will be other years to survive the LT100 lottery!

Back to the grind until the end of the week. I'll keep updating the blog in preparation for Old Pueblo but now I need my rest. Goodnight moon...

Thursday, February 8

Arrowhead 135

Well I am riveted to every post Doug and Simmons make about the race. I've read all about Mike C's adventures but at this point I'm much more interested in what guys more my experience level think. I also read the Arrowhead race blog constantly during the race checking on those guys and all the other racers. This year's race was bitterly cold at the start but I think if I ever have designs on going to Alaska for more than a 100 mile race then I need to figure out how to make me and my gear function below negative 20 degree temperatures. Anyway thanks a bunch for your pictures and stories guys. I am really impressed and enjoying them a lot. Keep them coming. I've already got a gear list and potential Pugsley modifications in mind.On clerical note, tomorrow morning Marni and I leave for Becky and Ryan's wedding at 4am. Therefore this may be the last post until we get back on Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 7


It was reasonable warm here again today and I got out for another easy ride. My mph at the same PE seems to be rapidly on it's way up which is what I want to see. If the legs are ready to feel snappy tomorrow I'll take the new and improved Fuel on a trip around the lake. I bet it will feel fast after riding around on the super knobbies.
I'm pretty psyched about how the new parts for the Fuel turned out. Still as good as before only now weighing in the 25lbs range without running the cheater tires (Klimax lites). Plus it shifts so nice with the new cables and housing that's not filled with red sand. I also installed a headset that wasn't rusty and swapped the XT rear derailleur pullies that were shot with a set of good LX pullies I had in the parts bin. Both ends needed new brake pads as I'd warn though to the backing plates at Moab. Even adding a bunch of sealant to the tires for all the Arizona cactii went smoothly and without any mess. I finally corrected the seatpost height and setback, aired up the suspension and promptly rode it around the kitchen table. Well it was dark out and I wasn't ready to go puddle bashing with it until the morning.
Dave Nice brought me over a little present today too from Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop. The white SLR is intended for the 70's Trek Fixie cross project but it looks so nice I'm tempted to throw it on the Fuel for Old Pueblo. Well that's all for now. My gearing (40x16) for TIv3 is also here but I haven't got a chance to convert the Monocog yet. That may remain a project for after OP. To bed I go!

Tuesday, February 6


Well the new parts for the Fuel arrived tonight and I got to work putting it together. I didn't get finished though because Jim came over and Marni, Jim and I put in an hour on the trainers chatting and having a good time. I also got in a great, super easy ride at lunch enjoying the mid 60 degree weather. I didn't even mind the rivers of melting snow flowing everywhere since it felt so warm out. I'll hopefully get the Fuel all fixed up tomorrow and I'll get a test ride in on it before we leave for Becky and Ryan's wedding on Friday morning.
I know a lot of you who read this are probably not weight weenies and that's okay. However if you can afford a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost in your desired size and length, you owe it to yourself to get one. They are works of art, have all the reliability and 93% of the strength of the Elite and weigh a lot less. My 31.6x350 Masterpiece weighs in at an actual 190 grams. Wow that's lighter than the 26.8 Easton carbon seatpost on the Monocog and cheaper than the new Easton posts too. Plus no worries about crappy, hard to adjust clamps or breaking carbon and you get your choice of black or silver, straight or setback. All around sweet Thomson goodness that's also light.
Last little note, Megan aka chainsaw panda rides a bike reminded me that Daylight Savings Time (DST) will start three weeks earlier (March 11) and end one week later (November 4) than in 2006. Mmmmmm, yes I am very excited about that fact. I'm pretty sure DST is like a holiday for me. I'm up too late tonight, got to get some sleep.

Monday, February 5

Sunny and warm?

My taper is starting today. The work is done and Old Pueblo is now two weeks away. "The hay is in the barn and now it's time to close the door" as Ramin wrote me today. I'll be spending the extra time I would normally be riding preparing the bikes, gear, food and race plan while cutting back and giving the legs a break.Denver is finally catching a break (three days late but I digress) for more than a day at a time and I'm not complaining. The weather was in the mid 50s today and it's supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow. Not quite as warm as the upper 70s they're getting in Arizona but it sure feels like it to me. I can't remember the last time I didn't have to wear tights. Speaking of tights however, I am thinking a lot about Doug and Simmons and all the other racers at the Arrowhead 135. It was -28F at the start this morning but the last I heard both those guys were looking good and riding strong. We're rooting for you here in Colorado!

My legs still didn't have that snap yet but I averaged over 17.5mph on my lunch ride despite rocking the 2.25" Schwalbe Nobby Nics. An encouraging sign at least. I haven't been able to do some of my normal training test pieces due to the snow and where I stand speedwise will be somewhat of a mystery for a while longer. Yes I am wearing the same outfit I wore this weekend. Marni is quick with the washing machine and takes good care of my favorite shorts that I won't let die.

Tomorrow the rest of the parts for the Fuel should finally arrive. It's lighter than ever before without giving up any reliablity thanks to the good folks at Thomson and the makers of Durace. Plus there will be some Chris King bling and a lot of maintainence parts like cables, housing, brake pads and a new chain among other things. I'm really looking forward to ripping down some actual trails on it again as it will be my primary bike for Old Pueblo. Well it's time for some more rest and delicious caramel brownies Marni made. Yum!


Wow, okay got to make this quick. I only have about 5 minutes until I need to get to work. Got this machine all put together with a big weekend of riding. It was not to be in Moab but everything sort of fell into place here anyway.
A friend in Boulder emailed me looking for a partner on Saturday and thought I'd be the only person out riding. Guess he was right :) I took off for Boulder very early and got some solid climbing in again in below freezing and rediculous, highway closing weather.
Still there were beautiful views to be had and I was the only one around.
Dirt peaking though?
Before I met up with Ramin, I climbed Flagstaff mountain. It was going to be a nice day to be out riding even if it wasn't my prefered location.
After Ramin and I met up, I refilled my water bottles and got straight to work.
We climbed up Lee Hill road and Ramin set a great pace while I just worked on following.
It was a little windy up here too.
Took some pictures at the top and got ready to head back down for some more climbing.
Next we came back into Boulder and headed out and up Sunshine canyon. The makeshift hardtail was working good enough and we climbed and climbed until the drifted snow made it impossible to go any further without a snowbike.
Ramin says "I think we need to go that way now. You know where the snow is less than 6" deep?" :)
After descending Sunshine we parted ways but not before he let me refill my bottles and gave me a bagel. I also got to see their really cute 5 month old little boy. Ramin already got him a sweet Radio Flyer bike. After I left I headed back to Boulder the long way, climbed a bunch more including the Hump and the Wall, got to talk to a state trooper after some asshat gave me the finger, TURNED around and threw his drink out the window at me and then almost caused an accident trying to get away. It was a muddy, windy but not terribly cold ride as it warmed up in the afternoon. 73 miles, 8000+ vertical feet and under 7 hours.
Plus the CAD Duck says "Free Sager".
Okay got to get to work! I'm going to be late...

Friday, February 2

Foiled again

We're still here in Colorado, not in Utah as desired to ride with DH this weekend. I-70 has been closed today at least twice and conditions range from sketchy to very bad. I very grumpily made the decision not to go after agonizing over it all afternoon. The "ground blizzard" and icy conditions over two major passes put the nail in the coffin so to speak. This weekend will still be some good riding here in Colorado somehow since it's my last big weekend before I start tapering down to Old Pueblo. I've got a couple routes in mind but they're all dependent on what the weather is like in the morning.

Okay really?

We're packed and ready to leave again for warmer training grounds. One minor problem. It snowed again yesterday and it's currently -15 deg F at our house with windchills apparently in the -20 to -30 range. Awesome. I'm going to have to wear vapor barrier booties just to get to work. By some miracle can CDOT get the roads cleaned up enough for us to get past Vail tonight?

I just gotta know, who made a bet with Mother Nature that she couldn't turn the Front Range into Alaska?!?