First for the good news: The foot racers and skiers are going to have a great time out there. Remember, anybody can change categories... Trail is being groomed today as I write this. When you finish there will be free drinks at the Handle Bar in Durango (finish line for foot/ski category) while you wait for a ride back to the Grand River Center.
The bad news: The 4-5" of snow that we got is dry and powdery and will not improve by tomorrow due to the extremely low temperatures. I had to push on a number of uphill sections, even with my very aggressive Kenda 2.5" tires on wide rims.
More bad news: while I know I’m not going to be the fastest one out there... at 5 hours I had only gone half way to Dyersville and back, I didn’t go past Graf at all... so, in hopes of having someone finish this event, I (may) do the following for the bikers:
- 1. The entirely uphill 2 mile section of ATV trails from Hwy52 will be substituted with the paved City Bike Path.
- 2. The ATV Trails along Northwest Arterial may be substituted for the gravel shoulder.
- 3. If you do not make Dyersville by 4 PM, the route back will be entirely on Heritage Trail (no Snowmobile or ATV trails).
Even more bad news: it’s going to be REALLY COLD! You should already know this, but there are some of you that may have never attempted to Bike in -5dF with 15 MPH wind for 5-8 hours. So, I’ll offer up an option that a couple of racers have already committed to, and this isn’t a bad idea for all. Start the race and ride to a point where you feel that you are halfway to having enough fun at -5f and call the sag coordinator to tell her you all turning around and heading back. It’s important with these temperatures that we keep track of everyone! I’ll be altering the results to include time on trail and distance covered just incase we have to give out awards and nobody finishes the entire route.
And lastly I’ll end with some good news: local artist Gene Tully (and lifelong cyclist) has created the awards for the top finishers in each category. So, in addition to the fun everyone will have, the cash lottery (which you only need to start to be entered in – finishing gets you more entries), we will have awards. Also, local bike collector & racer Bill Stoffel will be bringing by some his 100+ year old bikes for all to admire.
Area maps will be posted soon.