Friday, January 11, 2008

Trail Report: Fast & Hard

Ned, Dustin & I road Heritage Trail and the Humkie Level B tonight Starting at Sundown Ski Mountain heading west towards Dyersville (Ned and Dustin road a lot more than I - due to me running late by an hour). Sorry no pictures... everyone forgot their cameras. I will include a bunch of photos from tomorrows ride.

Heritage Trail was hard enough that a cycle cross bike could have ridden it. The foot racers will have no problem. It was very hard and very fast. However, a 1/2 mile section was nothing but ice. Not the kind you can gently ride over; this was ice-skating rink stuff that was near impossible to keep a bike pointed in the strait direction. None of us had studs on tonight - Ned went down hard once, Dustin and I scratched a couple of times... with me running my extra wide snow tires, I was able to ride off the trail surface in the sun crusted virgin snow to avoid most of the ice). If this section is still like this late next week, we can easily bypass it for bikes and runners if they so choose (may leave that up to the individual raiders, as the bypass would add a 1/4 mile). The bypass is a parallel gravel road only a hundred yards away. Other than this section of ice, the trail was still in remarkably good shape considering the 5 days of 40dF weather that we had…

The gravel was in typical top winter condition (you could barely tell you were on a gravel road). Note: there's still that glazed top where too much acceleration on the climbs may slip a tire and caution should be used on the descents.

The Level B's were in primo condition, challenging but completely ridable in both directions. Smiles all around on this section.

I'm fairly sure that Heritage Trail, the gravel and Level B's will be nearly the same next week with the forecasted high temps only reaching into the high 20's and the low temps in the single digits. In addition, the forecast is only calling for a maximum of 4-6 more inches of snow before race day. Because of this, I’m going to ride the currently proposed course (in its entirety) tomorrow to get an idea of total miles that I’ll need to include to keep the likes of our $$$ hungry hammer heads at 5 hours and make a good 8 hour Arrowhead training ride out of it.

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