Since this winter NW Ohio and Eastern MI has some good snow we decided to take advantage of that and put our fat bikes to use by signing up for this race! There was a 1 hour and 2 hour option. Mike decided to do just the one hour but I needed at least 2-3 hrs on the bike this weekend according to my Triathlon plan, so I signed up for the 2 hr race.
It was -1 when we started, and about 4 when I finished, not to mention the negative windchill. It was really a great course. Nicely groomed double track trails, unlike the choppy snow of a fat bike race we did near Traverse City 2 years ago. That stuff is plain hard to ride through without falling. So I was happy with these trails! There were a few spots that were choppy but that’s it. The trail was about 5.5 miles long and you just ride as many laps in the time allotted. I actually got a decent workout because the trail wasn’t too technical (although I was always really cautious).
I wore a lot of layers. All tech-moisture wicking material-a long sleeve shirt, a T-shirt, my 40 degree and up riding jacket, and a wind breaker over that. I wore my oldest and thinnest bike shorts, warm running tights, and my warm bike capris over that with crocheted leg warmers on the lower legs. I also wore a face mask, which I pulled down to my chin so I could breathe, a hat, ski goggles, and my snowboarding helmet. I wore wool socks with toe warmers, my mountain bike shoes and shoe covers. On my hands I had my gore tex snowboarding mittens with hand warmers. Wow that’s a lot! But surprisingly I never got cold or too hot. Only my feet got cold.
During the second lap (I rode 4 laps), my goggles froze- and I couldn’t see much so I stopped and tried to wipe them off but they were frozen! So I took them off and rode the rest of the lap without goggles which scared me because it was so cold I was worried my contacts would freeze to my eyes and cause damage (I don’t know if that’s true but cold temps while riding without eye protection sucks). I was almost finished with the lap and I knew Mike was probably done so I rode over to the car and there he was- his goggles didn’t fog up so he gave me his. I definitely lost some time there but I was more worried about having fun and getting the time I needed on the bike this weekend than actually racing since I’m not good at handling a bike on trails lol.
Other than that everything was great about the race- I fell a number of times through choppy snow and put my brakes on going downhill because if you get out of the snow rut you’re going to lose it and I didn’t want to while speeding downhill. So I was very cautious around corners and downhills haha.
Anyways, great race I recommend it! And if you dress for the cold, all is good. I’ll remember to bring a second pair of goggles next time!
I ended up winning for the females, though there were only 3 of us but I won $60.00 wooo! And Mike got 7th which is really good considering there were a lot more men!