Sunday, May 21, 2017

ALMANZO with Nadia DNF expierense

ALMANZO 100 have special space in my heart.Because this is 1st race which I did in USA.
I do not know what waiting me at this race, I just knew that everyone from Minneapolis bike community going to this race.

So, my experience:
2012 - on the old school GT mtb bike, finished

2013 - REEB 29er bike , finished
2014 - Surly Fat bike, finished
2015 - Salsa Fargo bike . I did  40 miles ( I was pregnant and do not feel good to finished)  DNF
2016 - skepped )
2017 - the year when I planned to try to do this with my older daughter Nadia (12 years old)/
She is in a pretty good shape with good experience .
 But  all last week we had a rain. I had a hard brain fight to go with her or no... I know that I can do it myself in that weather...
Finally I decided that we will go together and try. I hoped that rain will be more like rain shower.. And with some breaks..
 I prepared very good... For both of us rain pants, jackets, extra gloves. I used for Nadia bar mitts , 45 north gloves and dish gloves ( thanks Java Velo for idea), for feet wool socks and some kind waterproof plastic socks from Alex O , for myself ( i am not sensitive for cold I use kind of neoprene gloves for hands and for feet 2 wool socks and between  plastics bags .

In the morning all way to the Spring Valley  was rain. 
Regular you see so many cars with bikes on your way to the start..But on this time just few. We running late. I was surprised that I was able to parked my car right to the registration building!! At the time when we just came to the start line - was START. Regular this is HUGE amount of people but not in that day.

I quickly put my GPS and put wrong button and my route is not  recorded , I do not see speed, time, mileage . Good thing that I had que cards and it let me know WHERE I am and our speed.

 Rain was all the time. Sometimes like a shower , but other time hard rain... I so that mentally it was not easy for Nadia. We rode with her many times at the rain, but on that day was about 40 degree.

Racers passing us all the time. I use my Fat bike (what can help me to keep Nadia's speed).
The roads was soft from the rain.

 All the way Nadia was quiet . Never say that she is cold, tired.... Just keep going. I always turn around and looked at her face and try to read her emotions.

  At the 10  miles on of the hardest uphill . I was sure that Nadia will not able to do it (my first and second Almanzo I walked this ))) I was surprised that Nadia GOING... on the bike. I showed her how to do this easier (ride like a snake zigzag ) and she did it ( In that moment I was the most proud mama)
 Bad moment of the race. I wrote about it on FB. One guy use all the way support car , which is moved with our speed . He warming up in the car and then keeps going in the fat bike ( BOO! If you are not able to do this - sit at home).  In the moment when car started to move on the middle of the hill and pushed Nadia I was MAD!

 Since about 5 miles we started to see riders who back to the start line .... At first it was 1,2,3 people that it was a group of people...I look at their eyes and try to find answer WHY? It was like a movie.. Our eyes meet up and  no emotions..
I met Tina and Joy (they have trouble with bike and had to back).

About 20 miles we saw old farm building where 2 bikers standing. We decided to make stop and have some snacks . 
2 guys was in summer clothes and It was cold just to look at them ). They make decision to go or drop of ? I saw how their bodies were shaking from the cold   and recommended to drop.
Nadia's hands was cold (bad signal).

We keeps going..All the way one couple boy and girl passing us . The girl walked a lot of hills and I was proud that Nadia RODE all of them.
Thanks all bikers who fount few good words to Nadia when they passing her.

Rain do not stopped. I lost feeling at my left hand.  But I can keep going. In that moment I started to thinking. If I am (woman who it OK with cold) feel cold , what MY GIRL FEEL!?
MamaSveta  to thinking about PLAN A and Plan B..
We do not have support and it is mean that nobody can come and pick up us if something will be wrong, As far away we from the start as much far we have to ride back.. I have only one more pair of gloves for each of us. We probably can buy some at gas station but I took only 20 $ with me,we do not had extra socks . Our speed was SLOW... and it it mean that if we have to finish it will be LONG time in front of us...
In that moment  one story from my life was in my mind. At the mountain winter trip to Altai (Russia) I get frozen my feet and my  instructor ( and my friend) made decision to turn back . Turn back when we almost on the top of mountain. I do not wanted to do this. He said to me " Remember mountains was before you was born and will be here when you will die. You always can back again. But today I want to keep your  feet ,this is what is matter to me". Thank you Boris. If one more day at the -40 C and  I will lost at least my toe  .
photo from that  trip 2009 .

Do I really want to finish and then have a trouble with health of my girl ? We always can come back and try to do it again.  She is young an is not responsible for this situation. And I have to be good mother. With this weather it is big risk to get sickness for her, NO. 
Last moment when I finally make decision to go back to the Spring Valley was a moment when we switched out wet gloves for last extra pair and spend about 5 minutes trying to put on to the wet hands .

At the next stop at 32 + miles I looked at the map. 8 miles to go to the check point. and about 15  miles on the pavement to the Spring Valley.
I choose right turn to the right decision BACK to the city.

We rode on the pavement and we saw many other riders who did same... 
Then we met Charly Tri on the MY BIKE GUY service car
He helped people to get in the city. But we was able to do it on our bikes and let to use space for people who really needs it.

 So we made 45 miles (32 of course and other for the get to the city) .
I proud of my brave girl . I saw how she ride and know that in good weather she will able to do it. It is mean that during the summer break I will be back with my girls to do it !
I am proud of every riders who even try to do it.
Thank you so much Spring Valley Tourism and Penn Cycle for keep doing this event.
Thanks all organizers, volunteers .. Sadly that weather changed amount of people who came do it.. and Spring Valley do not get some profit (((
Thank you my husband that keeps Yeva during my another adventure .

 mamaSveta wet and happy. I  also realized that my hills training had result I do all hills without and problem (years ago it was so hard to me)


  1. You & Nadia! Both so much inspiration for me. I'm proud just to know you both. <3