Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Triple D Winter Race: Training Log #8- Bring In The Gremlins

This trail is for non-motorized vehicles?
Well, I am in the "taper" phase of my training for this Sunday's Triple D Winter Race. Over the weekend, I decided to get out in the lower teens temps and I took my family with me. I figured a short, brisk walk in the woods might get the blood flowing a little bit.

Of course, the woods are the only place there is any snow now. And it isn't very deep at that. Also, it is rock hard and crustified. Not to mention icy in spots.

I happened to see some images of the course recon from the weekend. Dubuque and surrounding environs looks pretty brown. I would lay a bet that they have about the same snow/lack of snow/ice conditions that we do. It makes one wonder: "What bike do you bring to Triple D this year?" Because maybe you'd be faster on a mountain bike. Maybe. Or perhaps you decide to ride a cross bike. You could do that.

I am thinking that if I am right, and Triple D has limited spots where there is ice and really crusty snow, I am still going to ride my fat bike. Why? Well, here is my reasoning....

We probably will see little of this!
  • Northward facing slopes: There may not be many of these, but what there are of them will more than likely be snowbound yet. The ground is a lot more steeply tilted over Dubuque way, and there may be a few spots still covered in white stuff, regardless of the stories coming out of the weekend's recon. 
  • Heritage Trail: It has some pretty sheltered spots, and with the snowmobile traffic that was going on, I am betting there will still be a few icy spots here, perhaps some limited areas of crusty snow. (Not unlike our rail trail here.)
  • Woods- As mentioned above, if anything is added for single track/country riding and it goes through a wooded area, it will still be covered in snow, me thinks.
  • Creek Crossing- There were several mentions of a creek crossing, and if that is still on the docket Sunday, it will be icy, most likely. The temperatures are being forecast in the teens, so it won't be totally unfrozen, although the days leading up to Triple D are to be warm.
  • Night time riding: I will likely be coming in after dark, and hitting an icy patch with skinnier tires takes away my chances of keeping the rubber side down.
  • Lack of studs: I do not have good, functional studded tires, and in fact, I detest them, so I am stuck with going with standard issue rubber. I would choose the widest possible rubber in this instance and that's on the Snow Dog.
Okay, so I am sticking with The Snow Dog, but it must be because the event is in a few days or something, but I found an issue just yesterday. I was moving The Snow Dog around when I noticed the crank set felt as though it wouldn't turn at all.  What?! I set it in the stand and removed the chain from the crank, and it felt stiff, but it moved. Crap! Is the bottom bracket finally giving up the ghost?

Well, there was a gremlin I didn't need to see now. I rode the bike briefly outside, and all seemed perfectly fine. Of course, now I can not duplicate the issue. Perhaps it was dried up crud on the spindle/seals of that bottom bracket, but I'm not touching this bike mere days before an event. Nope! Not going to do it.

So, either the Snow Dog works, or I quick scramble to put gears back on By-Tor the titanium Mukluk. Gremlins. Gotta love 'em!

UPDATED: And now after all of that I see event organizer Lance Andre posted on Facebook that the "...snow is all but gone.", and advises a tandem rider that his regular tandem would be fine. Hmmm

Another gremlin.....

1 comment:

Doug M. said...

you've said it yourself, fatbikes are not just snow bikes ;-) no matter which bike you ride, have a good time!