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  1. #1
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    And They're Off!!!

    The Ultrasporters hit the trail at 14:00 today under bluebird skies, a slight north wind and 9 degrees on the thermometer (in the sun). Peter was pulling 2 guys along on his wheel (Jay and some long lankey skinny friendly dude). Pete didn't look like he felt any aftereffects of his 10-hour Susitna win. I took photos of everyone on the trail--I'll try to have them on the www.alaskaultrasport.com website by tomorrow. Jacques was looking his usual chipper self. That Japanese Bike Pusher was cruisin' along conserving energy and looking confident. First-time female racer, Lou, was grinning ear-to-ear staying out of the wind behind Erik. The guys up front should be worried. Very, very worried!

    QB
    Meanwhile, back at the hive....

  2. #2
    Bill M
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    Alaska Ultra Sport 2007

    Anyone, if you have good pics of the race start and racers,
    please send them to me, I will post them on the website.
    kathih@alaskaultrasport.com
    I will post updates later tonight.

    Kathi M.

  3. #3
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    Some photos of the start

    Kathi, I took a bunch and will send them but here's a few for the forum. I wonder how the racers are handling the temps, it must have been around -30 last night going up the river.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  4. #4
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    Wow

    Just saw that Pete has pulled into the lead leaving finger lake. Could just be a small lead though. Who knows. Sounds really fast out there, but cold. Could be a record year.

    Go Pete Go
    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  5. #5
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    Holy $hit!

    Pete made it to Finger Lake in 16 hours--that's 130 miles in, through the night, on snow, with temps well below zero.

    I *think* the previous record to that point was ~24 hours, set by Pat Irwin in 2002. To knock 8 hours off of that time speaks volumes about how packed the trail must be, not to mention Pete's motor.

    Notable too is that Jay P is still darn close to the leaders after ~100 miles. Will be really, really impressive if he can stay that close through the Range and down into Rohn.

    Getting ready to head into night 2. Curious how Pete will do with sleep deprivation combined with strong cold as he heads into the Range. Stayin' tuned, and gettin' itchy...

    MC

  6. #6
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    Wow ... Jay P is doing really well - still on the heels of the leaders.

    Pete seems to have a strong lead leaving Finger Lake. As fast as he's moving, how far do you think he'll push sleep deprivation? It's not inconceivable that he could be halfway to McGrath by the time the 24-hour mark passes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    Wow ... Jay P is doing really well - still on the heels of the leaders.

    Pete seems to have a strong lead leaving Finger Lake. As fast as he's moving, how far do you think he'll push sleep deprivation? It's not inconceivable that he could be halfway to McGrath by the time the 24-hour mark passes.
    Pete'll be the first to admit that sleep deprivation is his weak point. He gets to the point that he just can't keep his eyes open, and needs to take a nap, even as his legs are grinding him up another hill.

    Even if the trail conditions stay the same (hard and fast) beyond Finger Lake, the amount of climbing and roller coaster trail really slows things down. At a guess, I'd say that Pete will be through Puntilla well before sunset and maybe even well into the Pass by dark. It'd be darn hard (and potentially self-destructive) to push all through the night to get into Rohn before sleeping, but that's just speculation on my part, of course...

    Rocky and Jeff have each other to lean on when the cold and dark come. Pete has Pete to rely on, and come this time tomorrow we'll have a better idea of how well that works out for him.

    Jay would do really, really well (from a 'racing' standpoint) to stay close to or even team up with Jeff and Rocky. So much experience to be gained in the right and wrong way to do things, just by watching race vets. Unless Jay is purposely traveling alone. Lots to be said for that, too...

    My biggest question right now? Where's Carl? Why isn't he up there? I suspected this might be the year that he stayed with and pushed the leaders across the burn...

    Fun to speculate. Lookin' forward to the next report.

    MC

  8. #8
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    Unbe-freakin-lievable!

    Pete's into Puntilla in just a hair over 24 hours! Jeesus!

    A little premature to say that he's a lock to break the record, but not premature by much. Man it must be good conditions out there!

    FWIW, in '05 when the current 350-mile record was set, I didn't leave Finger Lake until ~4:30pm, and didn't arrive at Puntilla until ~1:30 AM. Pete's over 11 hours ahead of that pace already!

    The biggest, most obvious threat to slow him down is the reported lack-of-trail through the Pass. But by now AT LEAST three snowmachines have gone through the Pass. With no precip and little wind in the forecast, even if he has to walk the freshly broken trail he should be able to make Rohn before noon tomorrow. And once through there, the trail is virtually snow free all the way to Nikolai, which most years means VERY fast riding conditions.

    Wow.

    MC

  9. #9
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    Speechless.

    Go Pete Go!

  10. #10
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    Holy Crap Holy crap holy crap!!!!!!!!!

    Amazing speed. I have my fingers crossed that he won't self destruct from pushing too hard with too little sleep. But it looks good, and at his pace he will hit McGrath before he even gets tired.

    Sounds like conditions are amazing. Except for the cold.

    MC....11 hours ahead of your '05 pace makes my head spin. Wow, wow, wow that is fast. I hope he can hold on. Good thing he did the 100 last week as a warm up!!!

    Didn't notice Carl until you mentioned it. Hope he didn't get any frostbite, like he did last year. Or he could just be hanging out and riding with Eric W. that could be a fun ride. Looks like the start was similiar with crazy cold on the rivers. So we might see some bail outs over the next day or so as frostbite from that first night flares up.

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  11. #11
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    Go Jay!

    Way to stir up the all-Alaskan leaderboard a bit. I hope everyone got through the first cold night with no frostbite and can continue on at this blistering pace. I can't wait for the next update and to see how fast, or slow, the pass is for the frontrunners.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Holy Crap Holy crap holy crap!!!!!!!!!

    Amazing speed. I have my fingers crossed that he won't self destruct from pushing too hard with too little sleep. But it looks good, and at his pace he will hit McGrath before he even gets tired.

    Sounds like conditions are amazing. Except for the cold.

    MC....11 hours ahead of your '05 pace makes my head spin. Wow, wow, wow that is fast. I hope he can hold on. Good thing he did the 100 last week as a warm up!!!

    Didn't notice Carl until you mentioned it. Hope he didn't get any frostbite, like he did last year. Or he could just be hanging out and riding with Eric W. that could be a fun ride. Looks like the start was similiar with crazy cold on the rivers. So we might see some bail outs over the next day or so as frostbite from that first night flares up.

    Adam
    Still hard to wrap my head around getting to Puntilla in 24 hours. I remember in '01 ('02?) when the media made a big deal about Rishi Grewal getting to Finger in 29 hours. Whoopteflippindo.

    Bottom line is that the cold temps have obviously set the trails up rock hard. Doesn't mean easy (whoop de doos and blown out climbs/descents) just fast. And the cold will keep folks moving more and dilly dallying less.

    Having just read Kathi's report about the alders and lack of trail through the Pass, I'm thinking the pace is gonna slow substantially over the next 24 hours for the leaders. Once into Rohn, the remaining trail looks to be very, very fast. So a new record is still highly likely.

    Here's the entrance to the Pass. Not many alders to speak of.


    Here's the view from the top, looking north:


    No pics of the alders that await them after that. They start within a mile of the top of the Pass, and even in a good year can be pretty annoying to a sleep deprived racer that's focused on getting down to the cabin in Rohn.

    In case you can't tell, I'm kinda ants-in-the-pants to hit the trail myself. Couple more days... Hope the weather doesn't change much.

    MC

  13. #13
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    I was wondering about Carl myself. Hope he's okay!

    Sounds like the conditions are great, hoping that everybody finishes unscathed.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=mikesee]Still hard to wrap my head around getting to Puntilla in 24 hours. I remember in '01 ('02?) when the media made a big deal about Rishi Grewal getting to Finger in 29 hours. Whoopteflippindo.

    Bottom line is that the cold temps have obviously set the trails up rock hard. Doesn't mean easy (whoop de doos and blown out climbs/descents) just fast. And the cold will keep folks moving more and dilly dallying less.

    Having just read Kathi's report about the alders and lack of trail through the Pass, I'm thinking the pace is gonna slow substantially over the next 24 hours for the leaders. Once into Rohn, the remaining trail looks to be very, very fast. So a new record is still highly likely.

    Here's the entrance to the Pass. Not many alders to speak of.


    Are these pictures current/recent? what do you think the chances are that Pete, or any of the race leaders will decide to take the long way and add 33 miles? It might be a risky move but if the Alders are that bad it might be the only logical choice. then again i haven't been there so i was hoping for some input from those that have.

  15. #15
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    Holy Sh$t is right!!!
    Pete's time to Puntilla!!! is absolutlyfreakinglootly increadible!
    First time checking in since it started, and I'm dumbfounded...

    Cold is right! spent the night in a tent with friends and it was easy -15 below up in a valley, not on the rivers... in the Alaska range!

    Carl looks like he's kicking it up a few notches and chipping away, only 4 hrs behind rocky and crew at finger isnt that far back..

    wow, I cant wait to see whats next..

    ok a few more things... who is the burly looking guy behind Brij in the photo?
    Also looked like alot of Lycra at the start, hope they all stay warm out there
    Last edited by Bearbait; 02-25-2007 at 10:29 PM.

  16. #16
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    the burly guy is...

    Jay Petervary, last year's winner of the Susitna 100, from Jackson, WY. Although he is a bit inexperienced at winter riding, he's very tough and could be a factor in the race.

    Ak29
    Singletrack Advocates Anchorage, Alaska
    Susitna 100 "Race Across Frozen Alaska"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    Are these pictures current/recent? what do you think the chances are that Pete, or any of the race leaders will decide to take the long way and add 33 miles? It might be a risky move but if the Alders are that bad it might be the only logical choice. then again i haven't been there so i was hoping for some input from those that have.
    Those pics are 2 years old. Tough call on which way to go for the lead pack. No idea what kind of info they have there (at Puntilla), nor how much faith they'll put into the reports they get of the trail conditions (or lack thereof) ahead.

    I'd be thinking long and hard about it as I headed out of Puntilla and towards the trail split. A few miles of alders can take all day to whack through. 33 extra miles of marginal trail can also take all day. Do you wager that the Rohn crew has been efficient and cut a swath through on the Idita trail, or do you wager that the Iron Dog trail has set up since Bill (and possibly others) have gone through?

    Wish I knew the answer. 24 hours later it'd be a no-brainer, but right now it's the million dollar question.

    ???

    MC

  18. #18
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    Looks like Pete left Puntilla just before 6pm. Damn, why didn't he take a live feed sattelite camera with him so we could have a better sense of what he's experiencing right now? I guess he wasn't thinking too clearly when he packed for the race. He must have been too busy winning the Susitna or something useless like that.

  19. #19
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    Jay's very tough....


    GO JAY!!!

  20. #20
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    The big decision

    As if this race wasn't exciting enough, now we have the Rainy Pass situation to speculate about as we stare at the text updates from Kathi. Will the racers have much trail info by the time they get to Puntilla? Will new racers even know there is an option to go around?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Tough call on which way to go for the lead pack. No idea what kind of info they have there (at Puntilla), nor how much faith they'll put into the reports they get of the trail conditions (or lack thereof) ahead.

    I'd be thinking long and hard about it as I headed out of Puntilla and towards the trail split. A few miles of alders can take all day to whack through. 33 extra miles of marginal trail can also take all day. Do you wager that the Rohn crew has been efficient and cut a swath through on the Idita trail, or do you wager that the Iron Dog trail has set up since Bill (and possibly others) have gone through?

    Wish I knew the answer. 24 hours later it'd be a no-brainer, but right now it's the million dollar question.
    Have you ever heard of someone not going over the pass and taking the long way around? I was reading the Iditarod webiste and saw this quote about the Iron Dog trail:

    Historical Note: In a few of the early years, the Iditarod didnít use Rainy Pass. Instead, the trail made a long, 70-mile run past the mouth of Rainy Pass and south down Ptarmigan Pass to Hells Gate, a dramatic but reasonably wide and level-floored canyon through the spine of the Alaska Range cut by the South Fork of the Kuskokwim River. The trail then followed the river north back to Rohn. This route is still an option if Rainy Pass is unusable for some reason. The Iron Dog snowmachine race from Anchorage to Nome two weeks before the Iditarod always follows the Iditarod northern route, and tries to use the Hells Gate detour rather than risk the run down the Dalzell Gorge.

    As tired as these racers are at this point, I can't imagine having to decide whether to take the long way around and ADD distance.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Driggs
    Have you ever heard of someone not going over the pass and taking the long way around?
    Nope. I've seen people working their way back along the Iron Dog route after making a wrong turn, but never heard of anyone going that way on purpose. 33 miles is an eternity at that point--even with the info we have about the alders I'd have a very, very hard time convincing myself to add that many miles.

    Hopefully by tonight we'll have more info to go on.

    I'm willing to bet that Rocky, Jeff, and Jay's premature departure from Puntilla had a lot to do with an uneasiness and inability to sleep, due largely to the decision weighing on their minds, as well as the knowledge that as they lay still, Pete was covering ground.

    Great stuff.

    MC

  22. #22
    Bill M
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    found Jose

    Hi Mark ,
    I see you are on the forum.
    Found Jose.
    Your line is busy.
    Call me.

    Kathi

  23. #23
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    New question here. "Wall of Alders"

    Just talked to KathiM and she said BillM, who's trailbreaking on a snowmachine encountered a wall of alders trying to get up Rainy Pass and had to detour through Hell's Gate on the Iron Dog trail. Didn't sound like anyone else on a snowmachine had been able to get over the pass from the south side either. The checker heading to Rohn broke their snowmachine hitch trying to get over the pass yesterday. Luckily Dan, the Ultra Sport checker had Puntilla knew how to weld and fixxed that problem. Terry from Rohn had been able to break a trail up the pass from the North side to within a mile or so of the pass so there is a trail once you cross the pass. Heard the racers were not overjoyed with the prospects ahead when in Puntilla. It may be faster around Hell's Gate, 33 miles extra distance, if there's a good trail, then to bushwack through the alders of Rainy Pass.

    And one Spanish runner is not yet into Luce's, the first check point. My buddy Mark who lives up the Yentna River is coming out today and will look for him. He might have gone up Kroto Slough at Scary Tree and is off route like many racers did last year.

    Anyway, great race, especially when you're sitting in a warm house monday morning quarterbacking.

    GO CARL.
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  24. #24
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    Good info, wildfire. I was a bit confused as to why anyone would even consider the hellsgate route. But I get it now. I've always heard that there is a lot of open water that way. But I don't know. I've heard all sorts of things but don't really know anything about that route. like the old map makers used to say "here be monsters"!!

    I'm thnking about how when you get off the packed trail and break through you can feel that "mile of alders" below you. It must be a mess without snow cover. And no broken trail until after the pass sounds slow slow slow. It would take me days to get through the alders and up to the pass without a trail.

    This armchair thing is fun and warm, isn't it.

    Adam

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire
    Just talked to KathiM and she said BillM, who's trailbreaking on a snowmachine encountered a wall of alders trying to get up Rainy Pass and had to detour through Hell's Gate on the Iron Dog trail. Didn't sound like anyone else on a snowmachine had been able to get over the pass from the south side either. The checker heading to Rohn broke their snowmachine hitch trying to get over the pass yesterday. Luckily Dan, the Ultra Sport checker had Puntilla knew how to weld and fixxed that problem. Terry from Rohn had been able to break a trail up the pass from the North side to within a mile or so of the pass so there is a trail once you cross the pass. Heard the racers were not overjoyed with the prospects ahead when in Puntilla. It may be faster around Hell's Gate, 33 miles extra distance, if there's a good trail, then to bushwack through the alders of Rainy Pass.

    And one Spanish runner is not yet into Luce's, the first check point. My buddy Mark who lives up the Yentna River is coming out today and will look for him. He might have gone up Kroto Slough at Scary Tree and is off route like many racers did last year.

    Anyway, great race, especially when you're sitting in a warm house monday morning quarterbacking.

    GO CARL.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Good info, wildfire. I was a bit confused as to why anyone would even consider the hellsgate route. But I get it now. I've always heard that there is a lot of open water that way. But I don't know. I've heard all sorts of things but don't really know anything about that route. like the old map makers used to say "here be monsters"!!

    I'm thnking about how when you get off the packed trail and break through you can feel that "mile of alders" below you. It must be a mess without snow cover. And no broken trail until after the pass sounds slow slow slow. It would take me days to get through the alders and up to the pass without a trail.

    This armchair thing is fun and warm, isn't it.

    Adam
    Adam,

    Check your PM's.

    Good to hear Jose's OK, sounds like he got tangled with a dog team and stopped at Yentna Station. He hurt his ankle a bit but is going to mush on.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Nope. I've seen people working their way back along the Iron Dog route after making a wrong turn, but never heard of anyone going that way on purpose. 33 miles is an eternity at that point--even with the info we have about the alders I'd have a very, very hard time convincing myself to add that many miles.

    Hopefully by tonight we'll have more info to go on.

    I'm willing to bet that Rocky, Jeff, and Jay's premature departure from Puntilla had a lot to do with an uneasiness and inability to sleep, due largely to the decision weighing on their minds, as well as the knowledge that as they lay still, Pete was covering ground.

    Great stuff.

    MC
    I wonder also if rocky, jeff, and jay leaving Puntilla early may have had something to do with the 5 other racers that showed up just before they left. maybe too much commotion for them to sleep any longer? at any rate i'm really anxious for some information to come in from Rohn later today.

  27. #27
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    Wow!

    It looks like Pete made it to Rohn at 11:15 a.m. by going to long way. He has 140 miles to go, and I wonder if he'll try to do it without sleeping again now that he's taken a nap out on the trail.

    Amazing if he can still break the record even with the extra mileage.

  28. #28
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    Kathi's latest update says Peter got to Rohn at 11:15am via the Hellsgate route. Being the first one down the trail and having to make the decision to add distance had to be tough.

    I am dying to know whether Rocky, Jeff, and Jay followed his tire tracks or gambled that they could make time on him by going over the pass. Peter had a 6 1/2 hour lead at the previous checkpoint so we may not know for a while.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    It looks like Pete made it to Rohn at 11:15 a.m. by going to long way. He has 140 miles to go, and I wonder if he'll try to do it without sleeping again now that he's taken a nap out on the trail.

    Amazing if he can still break the record even with the extra mileage.
    It looks pretty good for Pete to break the record still. Depending on when he leaves Rohn, he's still roughly 5 hours ahead of record pace. The year that the current record was set saw pretty soft snow and lots of walking from Sullivan Creek into Nikolai. Translation? With little to no snow between him and Nikolai, it's likely that he'll be motoring along at better than average pace, and really unlikely that he'll be walking any.

    I'm guessing he'll either nap on the trail in the wee hours and get into Nikolai around sunup, or push through the night to get there before sleeping, risking blowing up in the process. Either way I'm betting on him being in and out of Nikolai by ~10am tomorrow, and possibly into McGrath by 4pm. That'd be 4 hours faster than record pace, and only two hours over the mythical sub-three day race.

    It's easy to make predictions like this from in front of the computer, but lets not forget what he has left to cover: ~140 miles of really rough terrain, plus at least one very cold night to get through. Although it's likely that he can do it, and I'm hoping that he does pull it off, it's far from in the bag.

    My biggest hope is that he gets to enjoy the scenery and terrain between Rohn and the Burn. By far the most raw and magical part of the trail IMO.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    My biggest hope is that he gets to enjoy the scenery and terrain between Rohn and the Burn. By far the most raw and magical part of the trail IMO.

    MC
    I love that stretch and the Dalzell as well. I'm glad Pete had good trail on the long way around. Adding 30 something miles but getting solid trial sure sounds faster than hitting the pass.

    It sure looks good for Pete. Its just hard to know what is going to happen next. What a great year of racing. No reports of frostbite either, that's good to hear.

    Adam
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  31. #31
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    Weeee

    This is more fun than reading cyclingnews' TdF coverage! Goooo Pete!

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    Thanks to Queen Bee for getting this started, and to Kathi for her tireless monitoring of all channels to keep us informed!

    Just wanted to throw in a little perspective on how fast the conditions are out there. Thus far, 8 people have checked into Puntilla, at roughly ~170 miles into the race. All 8 of these racers (including the lead female, Lou Kobin) checked in ahead of the previous record pace! Not suggesting that this is an easy stroll for any of them, just that in the 10 years that the race to McGrath has been held, the speeds of this year's race are unprecedented.

    Further proof: even with a few hours stop at Puntilla, plus a nap of some duration along the trail last night, PLUS an added 33 miles of trail through Hell's Gate, Pete's still ~5 hours ahead of record pace.

    Pretty amazing.

    Hope that all the others in the race are enjoying/appreciating the conditions.

    Cheers,

    MC

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    Thanks, Mike

    It's great to have commentary from the perspective of someone who's been there.

    This definitely seems to have been the year to ride the Iditarod Inviational. I know a lot can and will still happen before the first riders roll into McGrath, but this seems like this is going to be a successful year all-around.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    It's great to have commentary from the perspective of someone who's been there.

    This definitely seems to have been the year to ride the Iditarod Inviational. I know a lot can and will still happen before the first riders roll into McGrath, but this seems like this is going to be a successful year all-around.
    I'm getting firsthand experience of what my family and friends go through in waiting for the updates. So I thought I'd fill in some of the time gaps with some useful (?) info.

    Looking forward to that next fix/update...

    MC

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    I'm curious

    Mike, if you don't mind me asking ...

    When are you planning to hit the trail?

  36. #36
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    Mike - don't stop with the updates. The info is useful and entertaining. I was hoping for more updates from Kathi this year but she is obviously a little busier than me. More pictures would be great if you have them. Jeff O. e-mailed me from the start and said "I'll talk to you in 3 days, it's gonna be fast." - But they didn't have a clue about Rainy Pass at that point. Just guessing but I bet they followed Pete's tracks. 3 chasing 1 into the wind.
    Last edited by timroz; 02-26-2007 at 07:48 PM.

  37. #37
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    Just saw Kathi's latest update, with Pete out of Rohn at ~4:30pm. With a good meal or three in his belly and a bit of sleep in the cabin, he's sure to fly through the next 8 hours or so of trail. I'd wager he'll get to Buffalo Camp, recharge a bit, then steamroll on through to Nikolai. It'd take a serious mechanical or mistake (wrong turn, accidental swim in the Kusko) for him to falter at this point. And not to take anything away from the three chasers, but Pete's on a mental mission this year and I can't see anyone closing the gap on him.

    Quote Originally Posted by timroz
    Mike - don't stop with the updates. The info is useful and entertaining. I was hoping for more updates from Kathi this year but she is obvoiusly a little busier than me. More pictures would be great if you have them.
    Okee doke. Some pics below of the Rohn/Egypt Mountain area. Apologies for the quality--they're scans of slides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    Mike, if you don't mind me asking ...
    When are you planning to hit the trail?
    Barring a plane crash en route to ANC or a car crash en route to Knik, I hope to be pedaling in the wee hours of Weds PM or Thurs AM. Not soon enough!

    Cheers,

    MC
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    And once through there, the trail is virtually snow free all the way to Nikolai, which most years means VERY fast riding conditions.
    Forgive my Iditatrod-Trail-Invitational-Watcher rookieness, but if the trail isn't covered with snow, what is it covered with? Ice? Won't people slip on the ice without studded tires, or does ice cease to be slippery at such cold temps?
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  39. #39
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    Is that Dawes wearing the yellow jacket and riding the Gary Fisher?
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  40. #40
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    Those pictures are amazing!! In the past week I've gone from maybe doing the race in a few years, to maybe doing it next year, and now with all the excitement i'm feeling from just tracking it online and seeing these pictures I can't imagine not doing it next year... now i just need to decide whether to do it on foot or bike.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    Is that Dawes wearing the yellow jacket and riding the Gary Fisher?
    That's Greg Blackwell, from Fernie BC. One pic of Dawes (with fairing) below, plus a few others from past Rohn.

    I also noticed that I misinterpreted Kathi's update earlier. Pete left Rohn at 1:15, not 4:30. Considering that, it's very, very likely that he'll roll into Nikolai ~midnight or shortly after. Probably catch a short nap, then hit the river towards McGrath. Pretty much an ideal situation.

    Oh, and to belabor the point about the good weather/conditions thus far, I noticed that last night McGrath bottomed out at minus 38*. It's currently +10 there. Not *exactly* the same as the weather near Rohn or the Farewell Lakes, but *very* close and very indicative. Should be an awesome night out there, and YES that was written with some jealousy...

    MC
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    MC, I love your race coverage. It fits in well with the coverage from the web site and adds to the excitement (as if anything need to be added). I'll add in a few pics. Two of rainy pass one that seems to show some alders in the distance, and then some from the area leaving Rohn. The '05 photos are scanned, '06 are digital. Man I'm getting trail sick, which is sorta like being home sick except I am home and I wish I was not.

    Fishman there is a picture of an almost snowless trail below from somewhere between Rohn and the burn. Its not so much slick as a mix of ice, snow and frozen dirt.
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    Last edited by Adam; 02-27-2007 at 01:33 AM.
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  43. #43
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    wow... that is crazy. that is only something i dream of doing. -30 below? do parts stop working at that temp? beautiful shoots of the mountains... no better place on earth like ak...
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  44. #44
    Bill M
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    Great pics!!

    Yeah, I am really busy, hurt my feelings here, talking about the gaps I leave, you know english is not my first language. For tow days I have been typing from morning till evening, I hurt worse than when I am on the trail. Good thing I don't have an office job, it would probably kill me.
    I hope lots of folks also switch between the sites to get to see all that's going on, did ya'll see the latest news?
    Kinda upside down the conditions on the pass.
    Talked to Craig Medred today, he said there would be a story in the paper tomorrow.
    I have lots of great pics too, but I don't want to blow up the limit of the webspace we've got.
    Thanks for all the super pics you dug out !!
    Glad to have everyone wound up tight this year about the race.

    Kathi M.

  45. #45
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    There is some info. up now on Jay, Jeff, and Rocky having left Rohn at 8:01. I don't see any word yet on what route they took but I thought it would be worth talking about just how amazing this race has been for Pete thus far. Even after pushing so much harder than the rest of the field from Skwentna to Puntilla, and making the decision to take the long way over to Rohn, and traveling solo for pretty much the entire race, his time from leaving Puntilla until leaving Rohn was 8 minutes faster than Jay, Jeff, and Rocky through this same stretch. And I don't mean to take anything away from the three of them, they're obviously having an incredible race... if i'm not mistaken even the 3 of them are on pace to break the course record. This makes it even more obvious that Pete is out there just entirely kicking a$$. There's still a long way to go but things sure are looking better and better for Pete every time new info. trickles in. I'm not sure i'll be able to sleep tonight. This is more exciting than Christmas Eve.

  46. #46
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    Don't Worry...

    Kathi,
    Being the webmaster is a tough job! I only had to do it for a week once and it nearly killed me keeping track of everyone, posting email messages, news about the trail and standings, trying not to speculate too much about what's going on out there (this has been a trap in the past and led to very hard feelings). It's not as easy as it appears. I know you're getting info up as fast as you get it. Fans can use this website to cheer everyone on and to generate a community spirit for the race! The fact that everything is happening so fast (at least by ultra standards) has everyone glued to the Ultrasport website and the forum!

    QB
    Meanwhile, back at the hive....

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Yeah, I am really busy, hurt my feelings here, talking about the gaps I leave, you know english is not my first language. For tow days I have been typing from morning till evening, I hurt worse than when I am on the trail. Good thing I don't have an office job, it would probably kill me.
    I hope lots of folks also switch between the sites to get to see all that's going on, did ya'll see the latest news?
    Kinda upside down the conditions on the pass.
    Talked to Craig Medred today, he said there would be a story in the paper tomorrow.
    I have lots of great pics too, but I don't want to blow up the limit of the webspace we've got.
    Thanks for all the super pics you dug out !!
    Glad to have everyone wound up tight this year about the race.

    Kathi M.
    The info. you've been providing has been Awesome. Thank you so much.

  48. #48
    Bill M
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    Thanks

    Thanks.
    Janice you did an awesome job that year! I was actually looking through some hardcopies from that year today when comparing Steve's time to 05.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Yeah, I am really busy, hurt my feelings here, talking about the gaps I leave, you know english is not my first language..

    Kathi M.
    Oh Kathi, that's not what I meant at all. Your race updates are fine. The gaps that Mike fills in are due to the fact that he currently holds the record and has ridden the race for years and years. Its just too much for one person to cover. I think that Mike's comments fit in really nicely with your coverage, but of course your updates would be enough without him. It's just that sometimes I'm sitting here wondering "what does Mike think of this". I like hearing his predictions about what he thinks is going to happen next, and like QB said you can't really do that on the official site. So basically there are no gaps in your coverage, I just like hearing what MC says about your coverage. I really didn't mean to imply that your coverage was lacking in any way and I'm very sorry that I hurt your feelings. Keep up the good work, I know you and Bill work very hard on this race and you both do a fantastic job.

    I've edited my previous post and removed the word "gaps" because it wasn't the best way to say what I was thinking.

    Adam
    Last edited by Adam; 02-27-2007 at 01:36 AM.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  50. #50
    Bill M
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    I am a bit tired.

    Uh, I must be tired, my eyes burn, I see blurry on the screen from starring at it all day. I didn't even see that it was you that made that comment.
    Hey Adam you were our trail buddy out there in 05, it was fun.
    I guess just the word "gaps' triggered something here.
    I enyoy all the additional info you guys put in I might forget I am supposed to switch back to our site for the updates.
    Yesterday was phantastic how everyone chimed in.
    Well I can't wait to hear from Nikolai myselft I expected a call around midnight.
    And we wait..wait...wait...

    Wonder how long folks are going to stay up with their eyes peeled on the web?

  51. #51
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    Smile Kathi Rocks!

    Kathi, add another heartfelt thanks for all your efforts to keep us informed! You are doing a great job of being the eyes and ears of the race and bringing it to the whole world!

    Thanks, Chris and Lori

  52. #52
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    What a race! Pete had a 6:46:00 lead on the three chasers at Puntilla and his lead was down to 6:39:00 when the chasers left Rohn. That is a big gap to make up but a lot can happen in 140 miles.

    Bill M's quote on the latest update about the "midway to the knee" overflow on the Tatina River shoots a dose of reality into me as I sit here in my warm house drinking coffee. Even with the "favorable" conditions there are still many dangers out there. Will the racers have no choice but to trudge through the overflow or can it be avoided?
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  53. #53
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    ADN Link

    For the Outsiders, a link to the local paper

    http://www.adn.com/outdoors/winter_r...-8567844c.html

  54. #54
    Fatback
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    Pete, I wish you could feel the energy coming off this thread-we're practically willing you along, not that you need it, hammerhead. Thanks for your tremendous effort.

  55. #55
    I'm from Utah
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    Where's Pete?

    I'm worried.

    Wake up, Pete!

  56. #56
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    Maybe Pete passed through Nikolai without stopping... kind of like last week at the Little Su checkpoint. nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking, right?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    I'm worried.

    Wake up, Pete!
    Leader board now showing Pete checked in Nikolai at 9:54 am. No update on latest news, just the Leader Board.

    I guess trail conditions weren't as good as expected?

  58. #58
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    Is that usually a slow stretch? Should it have taken near 19 hours? I guess if you throw in 8 hours of sleep...

  59. #59
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    Pete for President

    I know everyone on this board is cross-checking anyway, but here is Kathy's latest update:

    "Peter just called me from Nikolai. He made it in. Here is what he told me. The trail isn't quite as good as everybody thought. It was really bumpy with 3-6 inches of fresh fluffy snow. That made for difficult riding, since you can't see all the tussocks under the snow. He said he fell about a hundred times.

    I can relate to that, we once rode out to Flathorn Lake from Point McKenzie and the trail was rutted ( from the snowmachines, it was slushy and wet when they had traveled on the trail), bumby ice under fresh fluffy snow, so I know what Peter was talking about. It can be so frustrating.

    At this stage of the race, that means he did fall off the bike a lot. He said it was also very cold last night, he wore all of his clothes and still felt cold the entire way to Nikolai. It was -28 F in Nilolai as we spoke. He stopped at Bison Camp for only 40 minutes to bivi in his sleeping bag. He said there was wood and ready to go to build a fire a bison camp, but he didn't build a fire in the woodstove, because someone might need it more than he did. Peter plans to eat and take a short nap before getting back on the trail for his final leg to McGrath. Good luck Pete! Hope you have a better trail on the river trail to McGrath."


    Go Pete Go!

    Oh, and about leaving the wood for someone else ... Pete is my hero.

  60. #60
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    Pete's in Nikolai

    From the race page:

    February 27, 2007 10:22 AM

    Peter just called me from Nikolai. He made it in. Here is what he told me. The trail isn't quite as good as everybody thought. It was really bumpy with 3-6 inches of fresh fluffy snow. That made for difficult riding, since you can't see all the tussocks under the snow. He said he fell about a hundred times.

    I can relate to that, we once rode out to Flathorn Lake from Point McKenzie and the trail was rutted ( from the snowmachines, it was slushy and wet when they had traveled on the trail), bumby ice under fresh fluffy snow, so I know what Peter was talking about. It can be so frustrating.
    At this stage of the race, that means he did fall off the bike a lot. He said it was also very cold last night, he wore all of his clothes and still felt cold the entire way to Nikolai. It was -28 F in Nilolai as we spoke. He stopped at Bison Camp for only 40 minutes to bivi in his sleeping bag. He said there was wood and ready to go to build a fire a bison camp, but he didn't build a fire in the woodstove, because someone might need it more than he did. Peter plans to eat and take a short nap before getting back on the trail for his final leg to McGrath. Good luck Pete! Hope you have a better trail on the river trail to McGrath.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  61. #61
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by timwoody
    February 27, 2007 10:22 AM

    Peter just called me from Nikolai.
    OK race vets, can he still break the record? He has ~50 miles to cover, and about 9 hours to do it (if my calculations are correct). Possible, or not?

    I think Mike is probably in the air right now, dying to know what's happening. Can anyone else tell us about these last 50 miles and how slow they are, given how rough the trail into Nikolai was?

    I've never been on the course, but have been following by map. Here's a little map I made that includes the Hellsgate detour -- at least my reading of it.



    Go Pete go!!!!
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  62. #62
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    Boy is it gonna be close.

    He's getting ready to take a nap in Nikolai at ~10:30am. Guessing (of course) he'll nap for about an hour, give or take 20-30 minutes. Once he's up and on the trail, in average conditions (some walking, mostly riding) Pete can cover the ~50 miles to McGrath in ~8 hours. Do the math and that puts him there just after 8pm. He needs to get in before 8 PM to break the current course record.

    Can he do it? Will he do it?

    Wouldn't we all like to know right now!

    I think he will. If it's simply a question of putting the pedal down and getting it over with, no doubt in my mind he'll make it with time to spare. But if the conditions are sketchy like they were coming into Nikolai (and it's quite likely that they are--look at a map to see how close the two areas are geographically), then it may be out of his hands.

    All we can do is wait to see how it turns out, and then wait a little longer til he can get on here and give us the play-by-play.

    Oh, and a word about the Buffalo Camp shelter. It's a wall tent lined with about a foot of straw on the floor, so once you lay down and get into your sleeping bag it's really, really comfy. Few that take their sleeping pads in there end up using them because it's so soft and comfy--and VERY easy to oversleep. The fact that he didn't build a fire speaks volumes about Pete's backcountry savvy--he knew he didn't need it, even though it would have been nice to have it. What's even more impressive to me is that he only stayed there 40 minutes. I've slept better on that floor than I do at home.

    I gotta get on a plane in an hour or so, so I won't know how this ended up until sometime tomorrow at the earliest. Somehow, whether he meant to or not, I think the knowledge that he's keeping me on edge until the last minute (and then some) would make Pete very happy...

    In the updates, Kathi asked "Is Peter Basinger up for a new record despite the longer route through Hells Gate (33 miles longer!)?" Ultimately, it's Bill and Kathi's call on that. My thought is that no, it's not a new record, simply because we've always had shortcuts, longcuts (with better, easier trail), and alternate routes along the trail. This seems to fall in with all of those, IMO. In other words, the time for the race is still from Knik to McGrath, regardless of which route you take. Although he added 33 miles, he's still "on course".

    Unless I'm misreading what Kathi wrote. Kathi, care to clarify?

    EDIT: OR, maybe you (Kathi) simply meant that he was going to beat the current course record, even after covering extra/new mileage. If that's what you meant, I think we're all hoping that happens.

    Hope none of that sounds like I'm trying to diminish anything that Pete has done along the way. Simply making the decision to take the long route through Hell's Gate was undoubtedly a big deal for Pete, as it would be for anyone in that position. Tough call when you're well rested and thinking clearly, with all the info at your disposal. Now consider making that call when cold, wet, tired, sleep deprived, with limited info, and feeling acutely the fact that three racers are breathing down your neck and will know (from your tracks) EXACTLY which way you went. Imagine all of his anxiety as he covered new ground and wondered what he was missing on Rainy, and whether the others may have gone that way and found good conditions. Great job, Pete. Super impressive.

    Cheers,

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 02-27-2007 at 02:23 PM.

  63. #63
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    Hmmm, well although this is a fast year, it sure is shaping up to be an "anything can happen year" too, the detour around Hell's Gate and then marginal trail across the burn (where we all expected good and fast trail). I hope he has good trail into McGrath. There is nothing harder than those last 10 miles on the river, or if they take the overland route those 12 miles of road. Ugh.

    One of the coolest things about the last 50 miles is how much the landscape changes from the first 1/2 of the race. It's amazing, to those of us from Anchorage, to be heading west and see the Alaska range on your left. And to see the range in the distance and think that you just came over that on your bike. The start of the last 50 miles is sort of euphoric. Hope Pete enjoys it as much as he should.

    And lets not all us spectators forget that there are still a bunch of folks on that race course working hard to get to McGrath. Carl, Erik W. and Louise K. are still hot on the trail of the leaders. And Jim J. and Jaques B. are having a fantastic race as well. I don't know Jim or Jaques, but they both had a great run in the 100 last weekend and are doing just as well in this race, they both were fast and strong through the little Su Checkpoint. Wow, I think it would be really hard to do both races in one year. There are lots of folks having great races out there. Gotta give a shout out to my pal Brij (The japanese bike pusher) too.

    Adam



    Quote Originally Posted by timwoody
    From the race page:

    February 27, 2007 10:22 AM

    Peter just called me from Nikolai. He made it in. Here is what he told me. The trail isn't quite as good as everybody thought. It was really bumpy with 3-6 inches of fresh fluffy snow. That made for difficult riding, since you can't see all the tussocks under the snow. He said he fell about a hundred times.

    I can relate to that, we once rode out to Flathorn Lake from Point McKenzie and the trail was rutted ( from the snowmachines, it was slushy and wet when they had traveled on the trail), bumby ice under fresh fluffy snow, so I know what Peter was talking about. It can be so frustrating.
    At this stage of the race, that means he did fall off the bike a lot. He said it was also very cold last night, he wore all of his clothes and still felt cold the entire way to Nikolai. It was -28 F in Nilolai as we spoke. He stopped at Bison Camp for only 40 minutes to bivi in his sleeping bag. He said there was wood and ready to go to build a fire a bison camp, but he didn't build a fire in the woodstove, because someone might need it more than he did. Peter plans to eat and take a short nap before getting back on the trail for his final leg to McGrath. Good luck Pete! Hope you have a better trail on the river trail to McGrath.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  64. #64
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    agree that//perspective adds to the story hugely

  65. #65
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    Way to go Pete

    Hope the trail is better for him into McGrath. I was struck by how long it took to get through there when I did the race in 2000, every swamp looks exactly the same and it has an effect on the enthusiasm of the racer. That stretch of trail should have a good smooth base as it's the main route of snowmachine travel between Nicolai and McGrath but 3 to 6 inches of sugary new snow will definately slow those racers down a lot. And the fabled ice road out of McGrath may or may not be in good condition. Anyway, everyone's dying of suspense here. Keep up the great work, Pete.
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Boy is it gonna be close.

    Oh, and a word about the Buffalo Camp shelter. It's a wall tent lined with about a foot of straw on the floor, so once you lay down and get into your sleeping bag it's really, really comfy. Few that take their sleeping pads in there end up using them because it's so soft and comfy--and VERY easy to oversleep. The fact that he didn't build a fire speaks volumes about Pete's backcountry savvy--he knew he didn't need it, even though it would have been nice to have it. What's even more impressive to me is that he only stayed there 40 minutes. I've slept better on that floor than I do at home.

    I gotta get on a plane in an hour or so, so I won't know how this ended up until sometime tomorrow at the earliest. Somehow, whether he meant to or not, I think the knowledge that he's keeping me on edge until the last minute (and then some) would make Pete very happy...MC
    You and Scott posted up while I was writing my last post so I had to reply. First off Pete keeping you on edge makes us all happy..... I gotta chime in on the Buffalo Camp thing that is my favorite place in all the world. In '05 I had no idea what was out there and when I got there it was like a magic oasis. In '06 I was looking forward to it almost the entire race. Of all the things I miss, from not doing the race this year, I miss sleeping at Buffalo camp and waking up to have a chat with PJ!!

    I think its gonna be close too. There is a big section of swamp before he hits the river if that swamp is not ridable then no record IMO, if it is then its all up to Pete, and still anything could happen. Based on his pace at the start I really think he may have been after the sub-three day mark, who knows. Just goes to show why the record stood from '98 to '05 it takes good trail and a strong rider/backcountry traveler and all those crazy little variables to line up just right. I liked your comment on Pete's backcountry skills becasue that is the X factor in the race, IMO.

    Go Pete Go!!!!!!

    Adam
    Last edited by Adam; 02-27-2007 at 01:46 PM.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  67. #67
    Caveman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    One of the coolest things about the last 50 miles is how much the landscape changes from the first 1/2 of the race. It's amazing, to those of us from Anchorage, to be heading west and see the Alaska range on your left. And to see the range in the distance and think that you just came over that on your bike. The start of the last 50 miles is sort of euphoric. Hope Pete enjoys it as much as he should.
    Adam
    Yeah Adam, that was my feeling as well, its pretty amazing looking back at the alaska range thinking that you just came from a point over 200 miles on the other side of the mountains.

    Such awesome energy here!! this one will be talked about for a long time to come. I want to see pictures of the Hells gate route... it sounded like a fun ride from pete's rohn report.

    GO PETE!!
    GO CARL!!
    GO BRIJ!!!

  68. #68
    Bill M
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    new records?

    oh boy I might burn my fingers here,
    mike aren't you supposed to be an a plane?
    yeah, extemly close, you are right Mike,
    Time counts from start to finish.
    Pete is really awesome out there, we'll se how fast he can go on the last leg, he sounded pretty good. I agree he is a hero, for leaving the wood for someone that might need it more than him at Bison Camp.

  69. #69
    Bill M
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    wait wait wait and see

    boy I put a bunch of typos in there, I am nervous as heck here too at homebase/race headquarters.
    My DSL was down this morning, that got me going, I thought no ..not right now!
    Mike have a good flight.
    Of course that is what I meant. If Pete gets in before 8:00 pm tonight.
    Your time from Nikolai to McGrath in 05 was 7 hours 5 min, boy it's gonna be close.
    This has been sooo exciting, thanks to all of you guys chiming in!!

  70. #70
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    Okay guys, hereís a little info about trail condition between Nikolai and McGrath.

    I just spoke to a friend out in McGrath who indicated that itís been bitter cold there. The morning temp. was almost -30 below and itís currently -4 below there now. The wind has been calm all day, but has just started to pick up a little out of the northwest. Itís what they call a severe clear day.

    There was a big funeral in Nikolai yesterday and a bunch of folks from McGrath traveled to Nikolai on snowmachines. Most of them returned last night and early this morning.

    My friend, who rides the trail out there, said that trail conditions should be good, but hasnít been out that way in the last few days.

    I also just got off the phone with Peter, the checker out in McGrath, who said the Nikolai trail is froze up hard and in excellent shape. I asked about Pete and he said Pete left Nikolai at 1:45 pm.

    So, there you go. Hope this is helpful.

    To all those whoíve been commenting about the race, thank you so much! Having just become a winter bike rider, youíre descriptions and pictures are making this race come alive and are a real motivator for getting out there more myself.

    Happy trailsÖ

  71. #71
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    Regardless of whether Pete finishes in the next 30 minutes it's going to be very interesting to hear his version of the race. It's been so exciting to watch this thing progress and try to guess at what's happening out there on the course. It's funny how a little twist here and there can lead to a level of "certainty" amongst us following this thing and then several hours later it becomes obvious that things were not close to what we all assumed. I just can't imagine all the things that Pete has had to go through out there that none of us ever even thought about. Amazing. completely amazing.

    Go Pete Go.... and i can't wait until you're back in front of your computer and able to let us all know the way it really went for you out there.
    geoff

  72. #72
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    With Time To Spare!!!!

    HE DID IT. Awesome job Pete. Can't wait to hear about it.
    Geoff

  73. #73
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    20 minutes to spare

    That guy knows how to slip in under a wire.

    And after everything that happened.

    I am in awe.

  74. #74
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    20 minutes - If I am not mistaken isn't that almost exactly the amount of time that Pete was behind Mike in the record setting GDR?

  75. #75
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    24 minutes, I believe

    2004 GDR:

    Pete Basinger: 16 days, one hour, 21 minutes
    Mike Curiak: 16 days, 57 minutes

    All that and a flat tire.

    I am becoming such a geek.

  76. #76
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    Wow. Good Job Pete, eat some food enjoy that McGrath lounge thing youíve earned it and then some. Amazing ride.

    Going from Nikolia to McGrath in about 6 hours blows my mind.... wow.

    Hope everyone else on the course keeps having a good ride. Iím curious to see what kind of reports we get from the burn.

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  77. #77
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    Well done, Peter

    Burgers when you get back.

    QB
    Meanwhile, back at the hive....

  78. #78
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    just woke up to find this...super good performance and exciting race...

  79. #79
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    Awesome Pete!

    I'll buy you a beer at the Bar at the start of this years GDR! Way Cool!

    See you in June!

    Dave
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  80. #80
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    Yeah!!!
    Awesome Pete!
    way to throw down!
    holy crap.. 6hrs to mcgrath is sick fast.. at 30 below!

    anyone know if it was the river route or the ice road route??

    I meant to post these photos last night but here they are anyway, some shots of the burn and the Kusko.
    cheers
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  81. #81
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    Wow! What a race! A hard one to sit here and watch unfold, for sure.

    Great job to Pete. To cover the 50 miles from Nikolai to McGrath in the time he did shows some pretty serious grit. Those that have done this race understand not just how long those last 50 miles are, but how awful/weak you can feel after 3 cold, long, sleep deprived days out. Considering all that came before, what he did on that stretch may just be the most impressive part of his race.

    Just got off the phone with him in McGrath. He had a bit of a kennel cough (no surprise) but otherwise sounded great--very upbeat. Not gonna steal his thunder as he's got lots of great stories to tell. He did say that he was gonna stick around in McGrath for another day, adding, "You know how hard it is to leave this place". He really wanted to be able to see the next three come in today, and I'm sure he can't wait to relive the race with the three of them over mancakes and omelettes and Paris Roubaix vids from the 70's and 80's.

    I did ask him if he was aware of his pace as he went along. He didn't realize how blazingly fast he'd made it to Puntilla until someone (Bill?) reminded him in Rohn. Then he had a brief thought of breaking the mythical 3-day barrier, but quickly (and wisely) stuck that thought on a high mental shelf. When he left Nikolai he knew what he had to do to beat the old record. And MAN what a ride in to do it!

    I jokingly told him that by beating the record he'd shown himself to be a young punk with no respect for his elders, to which he laughingly replied, "That's right!".

    Awesome job, Pete. Two down, one (big one) to go for '07.

    Cheers,

    MC

  82. #82
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    Pete for President 2008

    Can't wait to hear the stories from the racers.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    I wonder also if rocky, jeff, and jay leaving Puntilla early may have had something to do with the 5 other racers that showed up just before they left. maybe too much commotion for them to sleep any longer? at any rate i'm really anxious for some information to come in from Rohn later today.
    I missed this when you first posted it. A very good observation. The cabin we're given to use as the checkpoint at Puntilla is small and spartan. Anytime the door opens, no matter where you are in the cabin, you feel the rush of cold air hit you immediately. So when the other racers came in I'm sure that R, J, and J were woken up by them. Once awake, if your mind starts working over the possibilities of what's ahead, it's no use to try and sleep any longer. Best just to get up and head out at that point.

    Cheers,

    MC

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    Those pictures are amazing!! In the past week I've gone from maybe doing the race in a few years, to maybe doing it next year, and now with all the excitement i'm feeling from just tracking it online and seeing these pictures I can't imagine not doing it next year... now i just need to decide whether to do it on foot or bike.
    Tough call for sure. Both have their merits. Best part of biking is covering ground fast enough to be constantly overwhelmed by the changing scenery. Best part of walking (or skiing) is being able to constantly SEE that same scenery, because (unlike on a bike) you aren't totally focused on the trail surface.

    Either way it's hard to go wrong--you're still out there.

    Somewhat ironic (to me at least) that ~two weeks ago Pete was seriously talking about skiing both the Su 100 and the ITI...

    MC

  85. #85
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    Hey Mike aren't you supposed to hit the trail?
    Did you get a hold of Pete?

    Kathi M.

  86. #86
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    It looks like things are really getting brutal out there

    From Kathi's latest report:

    "The phone has been busy. Much happened since my last update. I talked to Rajko Podgornik on the radio phone, his water was frozen after just one hour on the trail, the temperature was -30 F with a 45 mp/h wind. That creates a wind chill of -72!! Any exposed skin freezes in seconds at those extreme temperatures."

    It's a reminder of just how harrowing this race really is. It seems like the race started out with ideal conditions, and in a matter of days trail/snow conditions and weather have swung this year's race toward some of the most extreme conditions it has to offer. Wow.

    I hope Brij sticks with it. Go Brij!
    Last edited by Jilleo; 02-28-2007 at 04:00 PM.

  87. #87
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    Wow about conditions at Puntilla..
    Sounds full-on brutal
    Hope Brij can pull some spicy indian food out of his drop and stay warm...

    Rooting for you man!

  88. #88
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    Sounds a lot like last years pass crossing. It was unreal and brutal. But even last year the ambient temp. wasn't that cold. It was cold enough that the wind burned any exposed skin instantly. And blinding white out etc. But for some reason I didn't think it was all that cold at the cabin in Puntilla. Hmm, maybe passing time makes everything sound better. This year sounds really rough, colder, longer and no relief in sight. Oddly enough, last year it felt so good to be out there in that storm, all alone pushing for the pass.

    I hope Brij, keeps going, but more than that I hope he makes the right decision. This is a fun race there is no reason to take chances and risk non-fun, or injury. I've never had to make that decision, in the winter race, but I think it is probably harder to know "when to say when" than to just charge ahead blindly and get yourself in trouble. Personally, I'm more naturally inclined to do the latter so he has a tough call ahead.

    Go everybody go!!!

    Adam
    Last edited by Adam; 02-28-2007 at 05:23 PM.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  89. #89
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    Tough calls indeed. He has been taking his time though, treating it more as a tour. He's also probably the most methodological dude I know, I'm glad he's not throwing in the towel despite the harsh conditions ahead.

  90. #90
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    Rookie of the Year award goes to ...

    Jay Petervary, tying for second in 4 days, 1 hour.

    Great work.

  91. #91
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    My heros, all-around. Stupendous job, from Pete to the lantern rouge! Great race coverage and punditry here too!
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  92. #92
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    I have a weather question for the locals. Is it common to have really bad weather on the trail that doesn't show up on a weather site?

    As I follow this race I have been watching a few internet weather sites, including the Weather Underground link Kathi posted, and for the most part the conditions listed have been cold and calm.

    Kathi posted the following update yesterday:
    "I talked to Rajko Podgornik on the radio phone, his water was frozen after just one hour on the trail, the temperature was -30 F with a 45 mp/h wind. That creates a wind chill of -72!!
    Last year we had the same conditions, myself, my husband Bill Merchant and Mark Gronewald found shelter in a shelter cabin 9 miles from Puntilla and waited out the storm. After leaving Puntilla where the wind was hardly blowing we encountered horrific conditions, drifting snow, cold temperatures and high winds."

    That is a whole lot worse than anything I read about on a weather site. Thanks to Kathi for providing a more accurate picture of what's really happening out there. I hope everyone stays safe in those brutal conditions.
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  93. #93
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    Yep, The weather sites are just reporting conditions at places with airstrips.
    So the link shows conditions at rainy pass and finger lake for the station at skweetna. Also Rohn is showing the weather at Nikolai. So basically the middle 220 miles of the race has different conditions than weather underground.

    Weather underground is great, but in alaska you always have to check where the reporting station is because usually even though the site recgonizes the name, it wount have its own telemetary station, and could be hundreds of miles away.

    That being said MANY factors affect the weahter out there, River beds are cold sinks, even if you just get out of the banks the temperature can increase 5 degrees or more. And needless to say the alaska range can funnel what ever it wants through rainy pass. The area around Rohn is in a precip shadow of the Mountains so its dry, really cold and windy. Closer to finger lake and Puntilla there is usually more snow than earlier in the race.. than this year it seems.

  94. #94
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    Brutal

    Last year, we had similiar weather going over the pass as they are having now but it was a bit warmer, around 0 with 45-50 mph winds right in your face. It was very uncomfortable then, I can just imagine what it must be like at -30 with the prospect of 33 extra miles of exposed travel, drifting snow, and marginal trail. I bet the shelter cabin 9 miles out of Puntilla is a popular place right now. It was like an oasis of protection last year despite gaping holes in the walls with piles of rock hard snow in the corners. Hope everyone's okay as this is a very unforgiving part of the course.

    Congratulations to Peter, Jay, Rocky, and Jeff. I'm eagerly awaiting word from Carl and the others between Nicolai and McGrath. Thanks for keeping us all posted Kathi, huge job, I know.

    Here's a pic of the Halfway Lakeshelter cabin and a couple of riding up toward the pass in the windstorm taken last year.
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  95. #95
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    In all the excitement about Pete chasing the record and the group of 3 chasing Pete I didn't notice until last night just how amazing of a pace that Joseph Dundee is on. The roster lists that he is going to Nome and at 5:30 pm yesterday he left Nikolai. Presumably he is now in McGrath, in under 5 days and resting up for the remainder of his journey. Does anyone know for sure if he is planning on going all the way to Nome, and if so perhaps there's going to be another record chaser to follow in the coming weeks??

  96. #96
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    As long as he doesn't get too "comfortable" in McGrath. Which would be pretty easy to do......And congrats to the finishers and those still on the course, you are all winners.

  97. #97
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    Brij Brij Brij....

    Is he still waiting in Puntilla ? everyone around him has bailed. Must be demoralizing
    Hope his will power holds out till the winds die down.

    or something.

  98. #98
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    jose

    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    In all the excitement about Pete chasing the record and the group of 3 chasing Pete I didn't notice until last night just how amazing of a pace that Joseph Dundee is on. The roster lists that he is going to Nome and at 5:30 pm yesterday he left Nikolai. Presumably he is now in McGrath, in under 5 days and resting up for the remainder of his journey. Does anyone know for sure if he is planning on going all the way to Nome, and if so perhaps there's going to be another record chaser to follow in the coming weeks??
    Joseph had a great ride and will rest up at least 1 more day in mcgrath,maybe leaving friday.Hes in good shape,a little swelling and a few niggles but hes doing good,For those that know Alaska its pointless talking about records this early.Its a winter trail and wildy unpredictable not to mention the southern route which comes with its own problems but if i was a betting man then i would say hes going all the way to front street Nome.Its survival out there at times and joseph displayed a cool air of competence,hes quite a guy whos racing ultrasport for the first time.

    Well done Joseph.

  99. #99
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    Iíll try to write up a full report later. Still lots of stories from other racers and 3 very full days of stuff to digest and organize in my brain.
    Pretty cool that folks were able to get excited following it and it sounds like Kathi did an awesome job with the updates this year.

    The race had a little bit of everything this year. Cold, overflow, wind, and trail finding, but overall the trail surface was pretty fast.
    The Burn was by far the biggest slow point this year for me. With no packed snow base this year, the trail was pretty bumpy and slippery. A few inches of light snow on top of the dirt, roots and tussocks just added to the misery. I got pretty beat up over the first 65 miles or so and then had a long sleepy walk into Nikolai as the temps dropped down to about minus 30.

    Lots of good stories from the trail. Hopefully Jay and Jeff can fill us in later.

    I know a lot of people on here were following Jay and I have to say that he is by far the best prepared and strongest rookie that Iíve ever seen or heard about on the trail. Experience is a big advantage in this event so I can only imagine what it will be like to race against him next year.

    P

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhutch
    Joseph had a great ride and will rest up at least 1 more day in mcgrath,maybe leaving friday.Hes in good shape,a little swelling and a few niggles but hes doing good,For those that know Alaska its pointless talking about records this early.Its a winter trail and wildy unpredictable not to mention the southern route which comes with its own problems but if i was a betting man then i would say hes going all the way to front street Nome.Its survival out there at times and joseph displayed a cool air of competence,hes quite a guy whos racing ultrasport for the first time.

    Well done Joseph.
    Southern Route ... Isn't that your record?

    Congratulations on the great ride. I can't wait to hear the stories. And it will be fun to follow this race all the way to Nome.

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