Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mac5 Winter Fat Tire Festival Test Run

As mentioned in my previous post, tomorrow there is the Mac5 fat bike mountain bike race here in Webster at North Ponds Park.  There's a lot of snow out there but the race organizer, Eric Eagan of Trail Methods, has been doing a lot of work to make it rideable.  Still, I wanted to get out there and try it before committing.

This afternoon I drove to the park to check it out.  Eric and company were there doing their final work.  It's a warmer day so the snow is softer and that's not good for riding.  I brought my fat tire uni and did a test lap.

My fat tire undoubtedly enabled me to ride what I could. Every part was more work than dirt trail muni but the softer parts were much more difficult... nearly impossible even.  I found myself dismounting way too often than I like and sometimes it took about 10 tries to remount.  For most of the difficult parts I was saying to myself, "This isn't going to be worth racing."

However conditions will likely change by race time.  It will be colder overnight and in the morning so the snow should be more solid.  There are actually two races, each 60 minutes.  The first is for fat tires only and the second race is open to any tire widths, though it sure seems like a fat tire is required, though I don't really know what bikes are capable of.  I'm planning to ride the second race.  Looking at the current registration, there are few riders in the second race for me to get out of the way of, but more importantly, I'm hoping the racers from the first race will help flatten and solidify the course.

So contrary to my own thoughts during my test ride I'm going to give it a try.

My test lap took me about 26 minutes.  I did a lot more stopping and standing around than I usually do and expect to ride faster.  Also I cut a corner by mistake, but stopped and tried to figure out the right way.  So I'll likely do three laps in the 60 minutes I have.

Monday, February 16, 2015


It's been very cold out and we've gotten a lot of snow.  If I recall, we usually have a thaw every few weeks or sooner, but this winter is just solid cold.  If the combination of snow, cold and wind is right, I just might get out for a ride, but for now I've been content with working-out in the house.  I continue to do a free-form combination of P90X, Insanity, Fitness Blender, free weights, and now StrongLifts 5x5.

A coworker of mine turned me on to StrongLifts 5x5 and so far I'm liking it.  It's rather straight-forward barbell exercises for strength.  It's fast and I can still do some other workouts after.  It starts out with an empty bar (45 lbs) and slowly adds 5 or 10 lbs each week.  Maybe that's why I'm liking it... because it's easy!  At least for now.

There was a local fat bike race planned this past Sunday at North Ponds Park: The Mac5 Bike Winter Fat Tire Festival . The high temperature for the day was going to be 1°F, plus snow, so it was rescheduled for March 1st.  I still haven't registered but it's something I'm thinking about.  Again, why pay to ride a uni at a bike event with no hope of winning or prizes?  The excitement and pressure to represent helps push me to ride harder and continue to train.  If I'm convinced the trail will be rideable and not dangerously cold, I might join in.