I decided I needed one more tune-up/gear test ride prior to Triple D. Why not the Dickie Scramble course... I've been telling people it will be decently easy and it's the best choice I have around here for riding my Mamasita without getting it all salty.
Since Sundays 2.5 hr ride we've picked up a couple inches of snow and had some decent wind. I was curious to see how that stuff would effect the conditions. The weather was looking similar to the temperature and wind speed that is currently forecasted for Triple D too, perfect to test equipment/clothing!
Left the trailhead at 2pm. Right away noticed conditions were a bit tougher than Sunday. Things were rideable, but generally I was riding in 1 or 2 gears easier than I had on Sunday. Snapped a few pictures showing the beauty of the trail, figuring they would be helpful to promote the race.
note that the 2nd one shows my bike on the edge of the trail which we will be riding and that the trail behind the bike is snowmobile only and NOT where we will ride.
The trail started out highly packed. Later it alternated between windblown and windblown. I saw some other skinny tire tracks prior to Douglas and some Pugsley tracks after. The Pugsley hadn't had a lot of trouble, but clearly had done some wandering to find the best track. I was always able to soldier on, but some sections were definitely challenging. Around 3/4s of the way out to Pine Island I looked down at my watch and realized it was almost 4. In order to beat the sunset I would have had to turn around approximately 20 minutes earlier. Whatever! I would continue. If the conditions were like this on the 12th I'd have made everyone ride the trail in the race, how could I not finish this thing off?
The return trip was more challenging that I'd expected. There are basically no real hills on the Douglas Trail, but loosely packed snow has a tendency to show you where they are... Even the slightest change in grade can mean the difference between the totally efficient and almost straight track vs. walking.
The sun was totally gone by the time I got to the "6 mile remaining" mark. It became harder to ride. Sections that would have been easy with light were no longer so easy. I wondered why I hadn't brought a light. I thought a lot about "Point Break", (surfing is the source, man) Going zen might have helped some, but it was hard to tell.
Somewhere I snapped this-
Pounded the two slimfasts I had with me, turned and...
Which changed my whole outlook. That minor act of defiance pushed any doubts out of my mind. Screw it, I was going to ride 5 or 6 miles of bumpy, snowy, slippery shit in the dark.
Passed a couple walking their dogs near the finish, "rider back" was followed by a scream and a fall. I rode by and smiled to myself.
Todays stats- 4.25 hrs, 25 miles, on pace for about a 12 hr Triple D. Feeling humble.
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