Hardest thing I've done on a bike (ride report w/pics)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    @adelorenzo
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    Hardest thing I've done on a bike (ride report w/pics)

    Well, I've done some pretty hard rides in my life but yesterday I think topped them all.

    165km (over 100 miles) from my front door. 99.9% of it on trails (near my house I have to cross one street and later go over a bridge on the sidewalk.) It took me about 11:30 riding almost non-stop.

    So, begin at the beginning. After a short trail ride downtown I dropped on to the Yukon River and the start of the trail used by the Yukon Quest sled dog race and the Yukon Arctic Ultra. It was about -10 when I started so perfect temps for biking.

    The first 50km or so follow the Yukon and Takhini rivers. Within the first 200m on the river I hit fresh, hidden overflow that was over the tops of my rotors and totally iced up my bike and my boots. D'oh. That is the only overflow I crossed all day that wasn't frozen.

    The river trails were in good shape and, being flat, always a temptation to hammer. I was pretty careful not to push myself too hard here, but I was rolling along over 20km/h. (I don't ride with anything that tells me time or distance but I can reconstruct this roughly from my spot tracker.)

    Leaving the river, the route joins the Dawson Overland Trail. Back in the day, paddlewheelers traveled the river in the summer and in the winter this overland route was created. Oriiginally it was used by horses pulling sleighs and then later by cat trains. One roads were put in, some became part of the new highway while other sections of the route were no longer used.


    Old Cat by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

    The old section between the Takhini River and Braeburn, about 110km long, has become part of the Trans Canada Trail and is maintained by the local snowmobile club. It gets a fair bit of traffic in the winter from mushers, snowmobilers, bison hunters and a local trapper, along with the above mentioned races. And of course, the occasional party of crazy fatbikers.


    Trans Canada Trail by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

    I've done this trail in the winter a number of times (including a few weeks ago) so I know it pretty well. The sun was out and it was quite warm, and the first sections went by relatively quickly and I reached the 100km mark of my trip feeling pretty good.


    Dog Grave Lake by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

    It was a great day out and some nice views from the trail.


    Miners Range by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

    I had some friends riding in from the other end of the trail to stay overnight at a cabin along the way. When I passed the cabin a musher was camped there with his dog team but no sign of them so I kept rolling. I had some nice sections of untouched trail that were super fast.


    Fresh Tracks by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

    I ran into my friends with about 35km to go, according to their GPS. This was welcome news as I'd now been on a bike for almost nine hours. I was stopping briefly to hang a leak, get food or drink from my pack but mostly trying to keep rolling (or walking) while eating just to save time. Also the reason I only took a few photos.

    My friends had dropped my truck off for me so all I had to do was make it to Braeburn Lodge. Well, that last 35km took about 3 hours but it felt like FOREVER. Coming into the final, long stretch to the lake I was still in OK shape overall but just tired and sick of being on a bike.

    It was starting to get dark and this may have been the time my tire started going flat. I'm not totally sure what happened with that, but as I dropped down onto the final lake crossing, the trail was blown in and I was struggling to ride and ended up walking some of it. In the final few km of trail I could barely push my lowest gear on the flats. I assumed I was just really shattered but, no, in fact when I got to the end my tire was almost totally flat.

    I remember thinking to myself that it felt like my tire was going flat, but in hindsight even if I had checked to confirm that fact, I doubt I would have bothered fussing with it. Temps had dropped below -20, it was dark and I would have just wanted to push on to the finish.

    I've done some pretty hardcore rides but that might be the toughest. There is no rest on a snow bike ride, you are always having to push to keep the pace up. It was pretty relentless, out of 11:30 I'd guess I had less than 20 minutes where I was actually stopped.

    Now it's a great day to relax in front of the fire with the dog.

    As an added bonus, here's what I brought to eat:


    Quality Trail Food by Anthony DeLorenzo, on Flickr

  2. #2
    ride more
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    I think that probably qualifies as an "epic" ride !

  3. #3
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    Congratulations! Thats a big day on the bike. The pictures are great, and the air looks so clear, I think they really convey the largness of the ride.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Steven
    Lucky neighbor of Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park, 39.23,-76.76 Flickr

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Very, very lucky to have that near you.

    Well done

  5. #5
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    I salute you. That is indeed an epic ride.

  6. #6
    Geordie biker
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    well done, i cant imagine that distance on a fatbike, but i guess the scenery helps push you along.

    the most i have rode in a single day is 73 miles (117km) and that was with very basic food, just a few bananas and a snickers!

    you must of burnt about 5000 calories if not more!
    2014 milage so far - 2,485
    www.ukfatbikes.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Epic, dude! Don't think I could do it.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Obsessed
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    Nice! I'm fairly certain i couldn't do that kind of distance on a fatbike...road bike yes, as you can cruise along at 25km/h with minimal effort.

  9. #9
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    Great ride.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  10. #10
    aka bOb
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    Yeah they would find me curled up under a pine tree froze to death. I sure wish I could do that, very epic indeed!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Still cleaning my Fatback.
    It's a life style.

  12. #12
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    Thar's epic.

  13. #13
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    Epic ride, amigo. I am impressed and inspired.

    I'm not even sure what you could do with a little more bomber nutrition. Your carb fuelling is excellent, but you might even get better mileage on burning more fat, especially since fat conveys more cold adaptation. (I don't have the references hand, but I'm sure it's intuitive to you considering the native Alaskan population's traditional diet and their massive tolerance to cold, and also, poetically, because you already ride fat.

    Keep spinnning those big wheels.

  14. #14
    gran jefe
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    very nice. thank you for posting.

  15. #15
    @adelorenzo
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    Hey, thanks guys.

    I've done some pretty adventurous rides before, including a 12-hour day in the backcountry with a 2 hour hike-a-bike through a lake at the end of it, but somehow this was harder. Been thinking about it, it's probably just having to push steady for that length of time. Usually on any ride you are taking breaks or whatever, this was just relentless solo effort. Probably familiar to guys that race the Su100 or Arrowhead but even they have checkpoints every now and then.

    Also, when you start the overland trail, you are looking at 100km in front of you with no exit points other than the start and end of the trail. Once you are committed to push through, which is a bit of a mental challenge.

  16. #16
    @adelorenzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcuNinja View Post
    I'm not even sure what you could do with a little more bomber nutrition. Your carb fuelling is excellent, but you might even get better mileage on burning more fat, especially since fat conveys more cold adaptation. (I don't have the references hand, but I'm sure it's intuitive to you considering the native Alaskan population's traditional diet and their massive tolerance to cold, and also, poetically, because you already ride fat.
    I hear ya, it might not look like it but I've got the fat covered.

    Those sandwiches are filled with peanut butter, bacon, pumpkin seeds for lots of fat (also bananas). Snickers bars and chocolate/peanut butter covered pretzels are both 50% calories from fat, and the chimichangas are about 1/3 calories from fat. Also lots of cheese, olives, capicolli, olive oil on the pizza.

    I can pretty much run on whatever I put in there so I'll generally just take stuff I want to eat.

  17. #17
    @adelorenzo
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    Checked out my tire finally. There was a small, sharp piece of stone trapped inside the tire that eventually caused a pinhole leak. Means my tire was going slowly soft for a good chunk the day.

    In hindsight I wasn't feeling as bad as I thought I was.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Wow!

  19. #19
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    If you added in some sleeping outdoors, you would have my idea of a great weekend.

  20. #20
    @adelorenzo
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    Here's a pic of me taken by my friends I passed heading the other way. You can see the rear tire getting soft here, 35 km to go.

    (PS: Not my dog)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hardest thing I've done on a bike (ride report w/pics)-417010_10150698238230610_741290609_11796502_1565571763_n.jpg  


  21. #21
    get down!
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    Good job dude! Thanks for sharing.
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  22. #22
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    Can we change the name of this post to "Anthony's ride on the Overland Trail"? That way the rest of us can post about our 4 hour ride through 6" of snow, show a picture were we fell off the edge of the trail, and had a few beers in the parking lot.

    Anthony, absolutely amazing, especially as a solo effort. Thanks for a gret story.

  23. #23
    @adelorenzo
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    I'm actually thinking about changing the title to "boy do I feel stupid" as clearly it was much harder than it needed to be.

    Also, this was about 1% as hard as what the riders in the Alaska Ultra Sport are dealing with right now. Hats off to those guys, they don't get the opportunity to wait for the right conditions like I did.

  24. #24
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    Don't beat yourself up about not fixing your tire. Just about everyone who does long fatbike rides in the cold can tell a story of not wanting to stop and fix a soft tire in the cold (except possibly Mike Curiak, that man is amazing) Even in perfect conditions, a snow century is a non-trivial accomplishment. Next time it will be that much more fun.

  25. #25
    @adelorenzo
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    More so that I didn't realize what was happening. I kept thinking "man, my tire feels flat" but never really looked at it. The leak was slow enough I could have easily put some air back in and been good for an hour or two. I definitely didn't want to fix it in the dark and cold but should have taken care of it before then.

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