First ever snow bike race on the famed American Birkeneiner xc-ski Trail. This link pretty much covers the event but as a quick over-view.
Temps slightly below freezing the night before the race and warming to possible rain on race day had pretty much everyone a bit puzzeled how the trail would be and how it would hold up, what tires to have on and what pressure would be best.
But, with it groomed to perfection a few days before and a decent freeze for the nights leading into the race the trail was hard and fast at the start and stayed that way for most of the ride. Some of my friends hit 30 mph on some of the downhills so you know the leaders were really crushing it. Wish I would have put on my Garmin!
I called my buddy Al late afternoon on Friday before the race and he was getting a pair of 120tpi Nate's put on and when he told me the price (20% off) I asked him to buy one for me for my rear. I arrived just in time to have the great guys at Freewheel Bike out of Minneapolis who had a booth setup swap out my Big Fat Larry for the traction of the Nate. With the amount and steepness of the hills on the Birkie trail, I knew I'd like to have the traction of the Nate.
When I go back to flat rides and snowmobile trails and want less rolling resistance vs. traction the Nate will come off and the BFL will go back on.
Lynn came up and we had a great time at the race and hanging with friends Daryl/Lynn from Rochester, MN, Al/Julie, Warrens, WI and Greg from Madison. Many others were there that we knew and got to spend some time with including Charly Tri, who I bought my 9:zero:7 fat bike from last fall.
I didn't see any pics of Greg on his "tractor" (fat-bike with John Deere motif) in the race pics so added one from the last local race did below.
Jesse LaLonde, who I got to know while living in Madison, came in 2nd. He said the "kid" that won was fast..he'd have to be to beat Jesse!
All pics below taken by Kelly Randolph and came of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation page Facebook Page.
At the start. Friends Darly and Lynn (who we shared a condo with) me (with my head turned, dang) and friend Al.
Al on the course
Couple shots of Jesse.
A good friend of our future Daughter-In-Law took 1st. in her division. Great job Pam Nielsen!
FarmGuy and his JD tractor:
Me on the Birkie course. Things were fun out there, better than I expected. I started near the back but rode at what I considered my pace to make my way up a bit. Once it thinned out, it seemed there were 3-4 of us that yo-yoed back and forth. We picked off a few riders that went out too fast and a few faster guys passed us, but for most of the race it was pretty set.
On one uphill a skier who had pulled over to give us more room or to just watch the parade asked me how I was feeling and I said about the same as I did 2 weeks before (during the ski Birkie). He chuckled and said he knew what I meant.