If you have any questions, about anything…. here is the answer
Why a 2 Month Delay? And Why Now?
Man. I was busy the last 2 months. Ok. No I wasn’t, I was CONSUMED the last 2 months. Iditarod Trail Invitational consumed all my thoughts and energy and actions. And then the ITI recovery… recovery? Whatever. (Just to plug the ITI adventure: Iditarod Trail Invitational v2019: Fear and Loathing, Fame and Fortune, Death and Destruction)
The Preacher Demands It. The Preacher is Demanding
But yeah. Seems like every week The Preacher would sent me a not-so-friendly reminder “Dude Finish the Arrowhead 135 Race Report”. So… I’m working on it. Below are the basics. Maybe I’ll cycle back with specifics. Or not. Depends.
At the back of the pack we pride ourselves in our Out-of-this-World endurance… with a focus on the single speed lifestyle, well some of us. We are not quitters, even when we quit. But… quitters quit. And I, as The Leader, must acknowledge The Arrowhead Quitters. Because. Well. Just Because we can’t forget about the horror, the mental pain, the suffering, all that horrible stuff that happens DURING the long drive home. Yes. Quitting is a horrible thing. And it should never happen again. And if it does… I better not be involved.
So let’s take a moment to acknowledge the BPR Quitters of the Arrowhead 135. Let’s get this out of the way. Because we need to focus on The Winners. And you need to leave this race report with a Vision of Winning. Cuz Winners Win. Quitters Don’t Win and Winners Don’t Quit. Or something like that.
#1 Quitter: Afterburner. Yeah. The Afterburner was running with the throttle to the max and then he… quit. Something about a sore knee. I’ve never heard of such a thing. But I guess it happens to athletes.
#2 Quitter: The Philosofizer. Quitting is not my specialty. (Although The History shows that I deviate from the plan, often.) But this Arrowhead turned into a disaster because of a bad gear choice and no way to recover from that choice. (Unsupported = no change of gear). So I quit. Wanted to survive another day. Yep. Quitters Quit.
#3 Quitter: The Ti-Machine. Well The Ti-Machine, now known as The Wrecking Ball, just quit. I think (I know?) that his mind was on other things, Like the Iditarod Trail Invitational, gotta head into that race with all phalanges, digits, whatever. So quitting was an A-Ok decision. This time.
#4 Quitter: Deuce aka The COO. Quitter. Rookie Quitter. Like a Rookie that Quit. Why. Something like a sore knee. What is up with all this ‘sore knee’ stuff?
The Winner. The Real Winner. Arrowhead 135 v2019 Ladies Champion…. Leah aka Leah
Leah: 1st place Women Bike. The Champion. 23 Hours 10 Minutes. Another impressive finish from the BPR Minnesota Super Freak from Duluth.
Some info from the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06zr9j9?ocid=socialflow_facebook&fbclid=IwAR08vCUqscYAJrU6zQTAAhxoTDGRp_EBS7fJU3jwfu6VnOBpMtz1SUENbKY
The Front Man: 24 hours 10 minutes. Always a winner. And mostly winning at the front of the back of the pack. JB put the hammer down and cruised from checkpoint to checkpoint. And us quitters, who were prepared and focused, couldn’t even beat JB to the finish line… in a vehicle. So it goes.
The Preacher: 36 hours and 5 minutes. The Good S*^T Doesn’t Freeze. Just say’n. The Preacher starts at the start and only finishes at the finish. Cold? No problem. Hurricane Winds? No problem. Combined = -68F. No problem. Brakes that freeze and fail shut. No problem. The Preacher Just Finishes. And Finishing is Winning. Most of the Time… at the back of the pack.
Stout: 40 hours and 2 minutes. Just when you think Stout is gonna pack it in and pound some beer, like at 3AM, Stout says “I’m headed out, gotta make the push and finish the beast”. Yeah. Stout is one of these freaks that likes to ride bikes. And usually the finish line is the only way he’ll get off the bike. Well. He’ll walk big hills. I’m guessing. So he gets off the bike, but won’t let go of the bike. (Maybe a bike insecurity thing?)
The Good S*^T Doesn’t Freeze:
Let’s say that again. Repeat After Me. The Good S*^T Doesn’t Freeze.
The Arrowhead 135 v2019 was an amazing adventure. And an amazing challenge. The forecast was for insane cold, Polar Vortex type stuff. And the forecast delivered.
The Day Before: -45F, true air temp. In International Falls. That was crazy.
Race Day: Just guessing. It was maybe -15F at the start. Quickly dropped to -25 near the 1st low land swamp area. (Rumor has it.) Then warmed up during the day. Then dropped quicker on night #1. Who knows what the temp was on the trail. Easily -30F, true air temp. Maybe -40F. I’m sure it was nuts. And then add in the wind. Pure Nuts. Not Pure Horror. Cuz almost all super freaks at the Arrowhead have the skills to survive. And if survival means… quitting. Then some quit. (Who you looking at?)
But out of 150+ racers, rumor has it that only a few had minor frostbite. So I hear. Yep. No death and destruction on The Arrowhead, this year. But there is always next year. So don’t get cocky MoFos.
And Yes. The Bad Shit Freezes. But the Good Shit Doesn’t Freeze. Just Say’n
And Just Some Words of Wisdom from The Preacher… a super freak the sits on the BPR Supreme Council. Because he is The Leader of Ludacracy.
“I was taught in diver training when you think you can’t go on any more, you actually can. You won’t know when you’re done, because you will just wake up thinking… what happened? Then you just start walking again”
So. We all need to learn a lesson from The Preachers commitment to endurance.. at the back of the pack. And The Preacher’s commitment to Ludacracy. Just Say’n
And Just for Fun, For the Data Enthusiasts.
The Trail Profile. v2017. Because v2019 didn’t really have The Finish for The Philosofizer.
And let it be known. The record at the back of the pack, single speed style, is still at 21 hours. And that record may stand for a long long time. Or not.
Ever see a car auto combust? Peace Train and Afterburner did. And they saved the Lady in Distress, the lady that we now call FireStarter.
Pics Of Winners
Pics of Quitters
Pics on The Trail
Random Trail Pics
Surly (formally known as Ski Polk)
A New Dude in The Crew….
We had a first @ the back of the pack. We had a pre-race induction into the crew. Yep. D.S.D was surprised with a set of patches. What did he do to earn a spot in The Crew? Simple. He shows up, like all the time, like everywhere. And he is a titanium addict and a single speed nut-job. Most of the time. And… he once was and athlete or will be an athlete or something like that.
So welcome to the Crew, D.S.D.
Gear: Geez. All professionals know that a dude should not change gear or try out new gear at The Arrowhead. And what did I, The Philosofizer, do? I changed gear without testing it. Dumb. Huh. Yeah. I ordered / acquired a custom made jacket that was ‘guaranteed’ to make me a super hero athlete. I was all in. I did two short ‘check’ rides once in International Falls. The jacket was steaming hot. But hell. I figured that it would work out. Wasn’t worried. Anyway. To make a long and soggy story -> not so long… the jacket trapped every once of wetness, aka sweat, and the jacket turned into a pile of mush. I rolled into Mel Georges with a 20 lbs sauna wrapped around my upper body. Geez. If only I had rolled out with my proven jacket, proven gear. The proven gear that was in the BPR truck but that I couldn’t access due to my ‘unsupported’. Oh well. So it goes.
And guess what The Preacher, BPR’s #1 proven professional, did. The Preacher was going to use my backup jacket, the proven jacket. But then The Kitten said “Preacher… you don’t change gear the day before the race”. And, as professionals always do, The Preacher finished The Arrowhead unsupported with HIS proven gear.
Cold: Cold is a State of Mind. So said the great Bud Grant. (Parents had season tickets to the Vikings in the late 60s. The old outdoor Metro Stadium. So… The Padre has a bunch of great Bud Grant quotes.) Anyway. Cold is Just a State of Mind. And pure athletes at The Arrowhead understand this. And these pure athletes just make it happen. Don’t understand what I’m talking about? Well. Cycle back up and read about all The Winners at The Front of the Back of the Pack.
Endurance: Endurance? At an ultra-endurance event? At the back of the pack. Man. I don’t know. Seems like we need another definition of Endurance. I think Endurance means putting one foot in front of the other, one crank revolution at a time. Endurance means moving forward. And that is how the freaks at the back of the pack make it happen. For the most part.
Some Other Pics
The Day After