Rovaniemi150 snow race in Finland- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rovaniemi150 snow race in Finland

    This was a first, a long-distance snow race for bikes in Europe. There wasn't much enthousiasm (14 participants combined, on foot and by bike) but it being a first we simply had to go .
    Unfortunately in the week prior to the race temperatures went up from -30C to -5C and a lot of snow fell, resulting in soft trails. On top of that there was a heavy snowstorm (5-6 beaufort winds) during the race itself which resulted in lots of snow, snowdrift and a steep drop in temperatures. It made for a very tough race, with only 3 finishers - all the rest abandoned...
    One hiker had to be rescued after he got desoriented and hypothermic in the snowstorm during the night, luckily for him he was found by Andy and Jane - two British bikers - who got him back to a road and an ambulance (he was released from hospital the next day and is ok).
    Repect to Andy and Jane for that, who were in turn forced to abandon because of the long wait for the ambulance to arrive (and thus getting really cold too). They didn't want to leave the hiker alone, the guy was in pretty bad shape. Which was a prudent thing to do, because one of the snowscooters sent out by the organisation to look for the hiker got itself buried so deep in the snow that they were only able to dig it out two days later.

    Much respect to them and to the 3 bikers/finishers, they managed to bike, push, drag and curse their bikes across the 150k in 32 hours and finished almost together within half an hour or so... the organisation had estimated 11 to 13 hours in normal conditions for the bikers.

    Here are some pictures of the race https://picasaweb.google.com/1182535...emi150Finland#

    And here's a little video we made, including some fooling around in the Rovaniemi area after the race.

    We'll definitely go back next year, it was a fun adventure above the polar circle and we met a lot of very nice people. We'll also try to stay a bit longer to enjoy the sights and the things to do around there.
    And a bit better prepared this time, it was our very first winter race (and we only became aware of the race a few weeks before it started) so we basically packed way too much and too heavy gear. If you compare the load on John Ross's bike (an Iditabike veteran) to the others...
    The organisation was very good for a first, here's the offical website: Rovaniemi 150 - Rovaniemi 150 Winter Race

  2. #2
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    I would really like to do this race next year. Going to have to try and convince Alex to make it a weekend earlier though in order to get back and rested in time for the ITI.

  3. #3
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    Interested too, willing to share what worked and not gearwise?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by constantijn13 View Post
    Interested too, willing to share what worked and not gearwise?
    We rode with basically pretty standard bikes, apart from the grease in all bearings and freehubs (we used a marine grease that's quoted to -50C) and wider rims & tires - we ran 80mm rims and Big Fat Larry 4.8" tires.
    The guy who finally won ran way too much pressure in his tires (0.7 bar) because the organisation kept saying "now it's bad, but soon there will be better" hinting at a fast rolling road - which never materialised .
    Not until the last stretch over the frozen river (12k) did he deflate to 0.4 bar.

    The tandem worked very good on hard packed trails (check the last part of the video) but was in these conditions pretty worthless (just like all the other bikes...). The advantage was that between the two of them, they could push the tandem faster than the solo bikers - they lost their terrain trying to ride it .

    The big gain is to made made in the "non-biking" equipment. Because of the rush preparing and the inexperience with these sort of races everybody from our little group had basically followed the mandatory AND the recommended gear list with the things they had lying around from mountaineering and such. And bundled everything on their bikes. Which translated into considerable more bulk and probably more weight than "dedicated" racers like John who had his gear fine-tuned.

    John and his bike:



    Elias and his bike:


  5. #5
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    That was a great event despite the stupid weather. Not as remote or hilly as the ITI but a lot had gone in to the organization and there was a really good vibe.


    IMG_1480 by Shaggy John, on Flickr

    Closer picture of my bike (and me busting a pose). Its a Prototype On-One Floater. 20-30-40 x 11-34. 80mm rims and Larrys. BFLs would have been better. Worked a treat. Compared to the other guys I was carrying much less but I didn't go super minimal.

    I've done a write up which will be on the On-One site at soon. Looks like there will be an article in Singletrack mag at some stage.

  6. #6
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    Top Marks to Andy and Jane the real winners for their sacrifice.

  7. #7
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    Jane and Andy were just happy that they got to sleep in a mass murderer's shed :-o

    Wee article here. Shaggy and fatty get icey | Teams And Riders | News - On One Bikes - doing it wrong for over a decade

  8. #8
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    Thanks for sharing! Great write-up.

  9. #9
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    Sandman have posted a video now. Another good one.
    Race Rovaniemi150. Finnish Lapland on Vimeo

  10. #10
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    SJ, what kind of boots are you wearing?
    Looks like sudded neos with cleats..?

  11. #11
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    They are Lake MXZ302 winter boots with Berghaus Yeti gaiters glued on and a few other little mods. I got the idea Mr Curiak. Unfortunately I managed to melt a hole in one of them.

  12. #12
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    Awesome vid Martin!!! Captivating. If I had a coin slot on my laptop I would put in a pound to see it again. Enjoyed the Himalaya ones as well.

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