1st off. Thank you Ken and Jackie and Crew. Without the awesome work of the race director(s) and volunteers. The Greatest Race wouldn’t happen. We all know it. And we all are so thankful for the Arrowhead Crew. Just Say’n
Wow. What do I say? Back on the Winter / Snow Ultra Endurance circuit after a two year pandemic driven layoff, a forced 24 month retirement, a long period of time where a dude or dudette can forget all the ‘secrets’ to winter endurance racing. What am I talking about? Well. I bet more than a few people showed up to the Arrowhead with a few too many demons, a few too many stored calories, a few too many LEARNED LESSONS UNLEARNED. No Joke. So it goes.
Anyway. Arrowhead 135 v2022. Let’s summarize it with a Ti-Machine Statement: One Day 3 of the Race, The Day After for us Bikers, while we were packing the Titanium Single Speed Machines at Fortune Bay Casino, we had a standard debrief with Ti-Machine aka Wrecking Ball. And Ti-Machine said during the post race debrief “Your heart is in it. But it’s still a crap shoot. Anything can happen.” And everything did happen. BPR ‘athletes’ had a ‘union’ of possible Arrowhead Experiences. Keep reading for some info. If you remember how to read the not-so-standard BPR race reports.
The Place to Start: The BPR Results
Leah aka Leah. BPR MN. 2nd Place Women’s 1st Place UnSupported Women. 24 Hrs 42 Min. Wicked fast for Unsupported. 9th finish out of 11 starts.
Stout aka Ishman. BPR CO. Finished. Unsupported 34 Hrs 58 Min. 2nd finish out of 3 starts
Preacher aka Woody. BPR MI. Finished. Dingle Style. 35 Hrs 20 Min. Maybe 9th finish out of 12 starts. Maybe More. Who knows.
After Burner aka Jesse. BPR MN. DNF. Single Speed Style. Unsupported Style. At MelGeorges. Lots of ‘intestinal’ issues due to a wicked pace and …. Something. Stuck at 5 finishes out of 7 (?) starts. Just a Guess.
Judd aka The Philosofizer. BPR NM. DNF. Single Speed Style. At MelGeorges. One bad crash. A Few bad psuedo crashes. Re-injured a lingering injury from Marji Gesick chaos. So it goes. If you want to know the real story. Keep reading. Stuck at 6 finishes out of 9 starts.
Chico aka Chico. BPR WI. DNF. Foot Style. At MelGeorges. Bad feet = bad attitude. Or something line that. Still has many foot finishes out of many starts. Who the hell knows.
Rock aka Roach. BPR MN. DNF Single Speed Style. Terminated the adventure somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Stuck at 3 ‘foot’ finishes (maybe?) out of many starts. Just a guess. (Just Wondering… Does ‘FOOT’ category = ‘Walker’ ? Ha Ha Ha. That cracks me up!)
And a Public Display of BPR gratitude to those Chill’n with the BPR Racers.
TroyTonyTodd. aka Rock’s Driver. Cruise’d up with BPR MN. Volunteered at the Arrowhead Finish. A v2023 foot racer? We hope.
Kate. aka After Burner’s Moral Support. Volunteered at the Arrowhead Finish. A v2023 bike racer? We hope.
Wolves. Wolves and more Wolves!
There were wolf tracks, aka tracks of wolves, all over the trail. INSANELY COOL! Wolves are awesome creatures. Although wolves like to eat creatures. Like deer, moose, maybe even humans. Who knows. Anyway. Check out The Voyageurs Wolf Project. Super cool. Wolves are everywhere!
Some Pics from Arrowhead 135 v2016… just to remind you of…. WOLVES!
if you want to check out some cool wolf tracking data, and data on other Northern Minnesota creatures. Check out these sites. Super Cool.
Voyageurs Wolf Project: https://www.voyageurswolfproject.org
Voyagers Wolf Project Animations: https://www.voyageurswolfproject.org/animations
The Chaos in The Alternate Reality. BPR Style.
The search for The Pagan, a very thirsty pagan aka The Thirsty Pagan: So, some of you freaks may remember the classic stories of BPR driving across the Great USA, from New Mexico to the Arrowhead start in International Falls MN. And you freaks may remember that we usual stop at The Thirsty Pagan in Superior Wisconsin. (And how do we end up in Wisconsin when travel to IF, MN? Well. That’s a story from 2013. Search the archives.). Anyway. Long story, long story.
So. We couldn’t find The Pagan this year. We circled around everywhere. Then we finally found a pizza joint that is now where The Pagan was. Weird. Then ‘shit hit the fan’ as two Sausage McMuffin’s with egg won the battle with the Preachers Insides. So. After 4 McMuffin puke sessions there became a desperate need to find a ‘purge’ room. So. We pulled into a ‘pizza parlor’ near the train tracks in Superior and…. The old Pizza Parlor is the New Thirsty Pagan. And the old Pagan is a new pizza parlor. No joke. It’s the Matrix… At The Back of the Pack.
The Voyager is… The Voyager. New owners. Still original 1960s rooms. Awesome.
The Viking … is no more. And we are BUMMED OUT. But the new place, On The Rocks, is basically The Viking. So we can close our eyes and visual Viking Chaos, Viking-esque Hooliganism… at the back of the pack
The Library, a new Library that dishes out awesome food, is the place to be. You know. The Moose was The BPR HangOut. But…The Moose now has the best dollar sized omelettes, if you’re into an $11, dollar sized omelette. That’s Eleven Dollar, Dollar Sized Omelette. Or $11, $1 sized Omelette. (We tend to like $11, eleven dollar sized omelettes. If you understand.) So let’s just visualize Racer Food and think about what $11 should ‘get’ you.
Talk about Stress! Ken, aka Bad A$$ Ken, aka Arrowhead Race Director. The dude stopped us in the hallway at the Fortune Bay Casino / Race Finish and inquired: “I saw a 30 pack of Old Milwaukee left in a hallway at The Voyager courtesy of BPR. What’s the story behind that?”. Feeling stressed, as if we violated a MN no free booze policy… I quickly threw Chico under the bus “I have no idea. Wisconsin beer? Oh that’s all Chico. I’m innocent!” And then I ran off.
Every wonder: Ever Wonder how long it takes a BPR dude to figure out that another BPR dude planted a Hockey Puck in a Poogie? Well. How about 36 miles. That’s some weird trivia.
And after all that…. The BPR Victory Burnout on Lake Superior. Just because we can, just because we should.
And Just a Simple Reminder. If you are off The Winter Race Circuit for a couple of years. Just remember to blow out the water tube after taking a shot of water. Why? Well. Water tubes still tend to freeze. And thawing out a water tube isn’t all that easy when rage’n down the trail in Full On Athlete Mode. Duh.
Every have a random song on the Arrowhead trail? And that random song sticks with you for miles and miles and miles. How about Uptown Girl by Billie Joel. The Link: The Nightmare ‘Race Song’ in YouTube. Talk about a nightmare. Seriously.
The Plan for Next Year, Arrowhead v2023
Light & Fast. Time to STOP PREPARING FOR THE WORST. Maybe. Time to start preparing like an athlete. Light and Fast.
I’m thinking. Maybe a WorldWide-Survey of the best beer … in the world. Then again. Us Leaders of the Back of the Pack are entering into Pure Athlete mode, training for the Marji Gesick in Sept. So maybe a Panel of Judges won’t be available. Maybe.
Based on Initial Input & Votes. # 1 Upper Hand IPA, #2 Blackjacks 51K IPA, #3 Surly Furious IPA.. Thirsty Pagan IPA, Crowler Style, Don’t Bother.
Get’n Bored? How about Some Pics?
A FEW PRERACE PICS
A FEW RACE PICS
A FEW FINISH PICS
And The Post Race Stuff
And. IF you want to know, want to Visualize the Arrowhead 135, Single Speed Style. The 2020 Data: https://backofthepackracing.com/2022/02/13/arrowhead-135-just-the-data-tourist-mode/
If you made it this far. I’ll reward you with some info on my race experience
Background: Arrowhead. It’s about the Trail Time for me. Time to think. Time to scan my inner mind. It’s not necessarily about the physical challenge… although it’s an insane physical challenge. It’s about the mental challenge. The mental adventure combined with some single speed psychotic leg pain. Yeah. I’m not going to win the race. (Well… the unofficial single speed category?) But I will win the battle against my demons… my fears… my inner conscience. Or I won’t. It’s not about personal records. It’s not about exceeding my own expectations. It’s about time on the trail. And if you don’t understand. You don’t understand.
Blah Blah Blah. Just More Diarrhea of the Mouth
So. The Arrowhead 135 v2022. I was totally prepared, so I thought. Not a worry in the world. (That’s stretching the Truth). But I was good mentally. My setup was ok, just like v2020. My fitness was ok. I really wasn’t worried about anything. And then…
The real reason. A big loss resulted in the inability to suffer, the inability to control my mind. A very important friend, a part of my immediate family, a fellow alien-tologist passed away 5 days before the race. The vacuum of sadness created an emptiness that was hidden deep in my soul. Then The Solitude on the trail produced an environment that allowed me to revisit memories. My mind was then lost. My ability to focus was lost. I was lost. I didn’t have the ability to suffer. I just needed time to deal with my memories and thoughts, time without outside chaos. Time without Single Speed Leg Trauma. So it goes. Tough times yesterday. Better times tomorrow.
Rest In Peace CT Madre. We’ll all be back together soon enough on The Mothership!