Sunday, January 18, 2009

Triple D 2009 - My View (and Arrowhead Ultra 135 Prep)

Photo by Mark Hirsch Photography

I had planned on posting a race update on the Triple D... so here it is: it was the worst bike race I’d done, pushing a bike through a foot of powder snow which has a sheet of glare ice underneath is not my idea of fun. Last year only 4 bikers finished the Triple D (which was perfect, I designed the course to make it difficult enough that only the toughest could finish), this year NONE! Taking into consideration the caliber of racers that attempted this race it is arguably the toughest 1 day race in North America or anywhere for that matter, multiple veterans of TransIowa, Idiasport 350, Sustana 100, and Arrowhead 135 all bailed before hour 11 (Ya, nearly 11 hours and nobody finished a little 55 mile bike race in Dubuque County Iowa). These are the guys that never give up... Nevertheless, it was fun, in a strange slogfest kind of event. It was also disappointing to a number of us having prepared physically and mentally for anything, and then to have THIS... I mean come on; could it have been any worse? (Don’t answer that, because the sun was shining and it was in the positive temps with a light wind, so yes it could have been worse).

The part that got me at Triple D was a bad “heat of the battle” decision… Dave Pramann, Dennis Grelk and I were trading spots for 1st for quite a while. I had ran out of water (had plenty to get me to Dyersville if we hadn’t been pushing for hours vs. riding). I had been eating snow for about two hours but was dehydrating… I needed water or I was going to drop or have to detour into one of the small towns… my decision… A beautiful running stream with crystal clear water (what could go wrong with this decision?). Filled up a water bottle and down the hatch! I nearly puked immediately it was the worst tasting water anybody could imagine! Long story short, Lots of antibiotics, antimicrobials and anti vomiting medication for two weeks! I lost nearly 10 lbs. in the four days after the race

This weekend I went for my first “ride” since Triple D and have started back on solid foods, so all is good. Today’s ride was with a bunch of roadie’s that I train with down here in FL. I showed up in shorts and fingerless gloves for a ride that rolled out at 30d F at 20+ MPH (it was colder than I remember Triple D being… I hate the cold).

I feel good about my gear and training for arrowhead, my goal this year is sub 24 hours which is achievable as long as the trail conditions are favorable. Reports from snowmobilers this weekend said the trails were great! Great for snowmobiling… not great for biking, the base isn’t firm and is difficult to walk on… this translates into awful to bike on. On the bright side: I got to ride with the master of snow biking (Dave Pramann) for a “couple of hours” at Triple D… I had nicknamed him Jesus after watching him ride his Pugsley over trails that the rest of us were having trouble pushing our bikes on. Watching his calm and relaxed riding style on tires with about 1-2 psi was awe inspiring, after doing my best to imitate him I too was riding, but more Charlie Farrow like, than the straight as an arrow no wasted energy Pramman. Dennis Grelk followed me in dropping his tire pressure way down and off he went… He’s the man to mark at AH135 this year as he rode Dave and me off his tire and was looking strong all the way until the end.


Anonymous said...

Lance, we must work together to defeat Darth Pramann, if for no other reason than to save the human race from utter destruction!!!

Lance Andre said...

I found his weakness during Triple D:
1. From DDD 2008, he doesn’t like to race when soaking wet (fix his camel back to leak)
2. From DDD 2009, he hates to push his bike (hire snow mobiles to tear up the trail forcing us to push).
3. I could also put some triple d stream water in his camel back, but that may be too slow, will have to put it in his drinks the night before.

Jill said...

Yikes. 11 hours of pushing and a parasite? You have my vote for gnarliest snow bike race of the year (so far ;-)