Thursday, December 29, 2016

Winter bike camping with my girls.

Dreams comes true. I started to dreams about winter camping with my girls since last winter. When Dan mads possible to me to rode  fat bike with trailer , my dream started to be more real.
But I have only one warm sleeping bag...
 2 weeks ago  started game from GearJunkie  - Check Point MN  

and I saw that they have sleeping bag The North Face for winter.  13 hours driving for checkpoint hunting with my friend and sleeping bag is MINE! This mean that I have all what I need and now i can planning my bike camping.
For school vocation we went to the Two Harbor (to the Dan's mom) and this is perfect wild place with wonderful nature place to make my dream.
Of course I was not sure about many things/
First of all winter camping needs more stuff that in summer . My Salsa beargrease do not have bike rack and possibility to do it and a lot of questions how I can put all together for 3 of us.
 I packaged all stuff on my bike, trailer, backpack, frame bag  and all fit. No extra space left.
We started and weather do not promised nothing good. Snowy!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Training ride and night outside

When I looked weather at the middle of this week I decided to go for a ride and sleep outside, test my gear , clothes and experience
I tried to find someone, who would love to going with... but it was hard .. some people have other plans, some people live far away, some people worked.
But SOLO this is what I really love for my challenge!

My husband, as always, never tried  to stopped me with my adventures. He stayed with girls at home.
I packed my stuff..and went to the River Bottoms , what is  17 miles from our house.
 I do not scared to be alone, I do not scared  the cold.. I am scared creepy people at the city.. That is why I rode Greenway as fast as I can . Also I decided that in that cold weather small chance to meet anyone anywhere ))) And I was true. For all my way I met 1 biker in the city.
All way to River Bottoms was fast (because not often I ride without trailer ) and I feel that I am flying
But I got surprise. Bridge across the river on the HWY was not cleared of snow..
Snow was in bad condition and 1 miles I had to walked and pushed my bike... Ha ha.... exactly like at Arrowhead 135 at the some places

River Bottoms looked wild. Only some skiers and walkers were here after big snowfall on Friday
I did not went far away ..It was already about 9 pm/
I spent 10 minutes for preparation:
cleaned snow, locked my bike, made my bevy-sleeping bag and sleeping pad, put my boots and other stuff inside sleeping bag and jumped inside...
I used for night -15F sleeping bag, extra wool socks and down sleepers  + fresh wool hat and light down jacket

I put all lights and devices  inside. Looked some FB. Jon Rosenberg was also at the solo cold night adventure at Afton park. It is great to know that someone doing same things )

Yes, it was not warm night. I woke up often... Looked at the sky.. and asleep again.
I had back home early (Nadia have tutor math lessons). That is why I woke up at 5 am and packed all my stuff back. Same as AH 135 in 2014 (when I had to sleep outside in -32 C) very hard to packed your stuff back.. (sleeping bag and bevy are wet)

 Anyways , I was ready pretty fast .. and rode home. Temperature was - 19 F (-29 C)
 My face got nice paint from cold.. I love it . Mask (wind stopper) works nice. At night I put musk in the sleeping bad and it was almost dry.
 Some selfie and 16 miles to go home.Sometimes  I had to stopped and walked , because my feet was really COLD

 At home I got cold feet. I was lucky to back home in right time.. Some pills against pain... cup of hot espresso , hot shower and all was OK.... Probably I got some frostbite for my left feet toes... but not as bad as I got in Russia some years ago (III stage of frostbite).

Little bit about my gear. 
Since I had big experiences about winter camping I made some of my favorite combination for long distance cold ride
About boots - this is not perfect, but much better what I had before :
45 noth boots ( I will say this boot good for 1-2 days race , not for Adventure long trip, because you could not take off insulate from boots to dry, and you have to be careful if they will wet inside in a cold). They have better model for race like AH 135 - Wølfgar

 2 pair of smart wool socks and hand warmers . and over boots I got for gift from Jo Stiller what is makes more warmer
 I try to used hand warmers with expiration date 1 year ago and it is work good ))

 About my legs :
I really like Gore wind stopper bib with zipper ( which let you go in the restroom easy!!))) .Also keep your back warm

 I used under bib thermo leggins and  BEST thing for women Marmot down skirt.. Few years I rode with down skirt and my butt always warm
 On the top I use for ride :
merino blend jersey, fleese jersey and Gore-tex REI jacket - this is best for work combination.
 For the stop and night and emergency  I have a down light jacket , worm big pair of wool socks , down sleepers , dry wool hat (to change wet mask for night) , few different pair of gloves (2 pair military Russian old school and US military) WOOL is ALWAYS WARM , even wet... And for ride in cold I use lobster Pearl Izumi gloves .


In this year (after experiences at Arrowhead and other races) I do not packed my stuff so tiny. Most important to easy  take on and put on stuff on the  bike, because when outside is -15 and lower you had so small amount of the time to to it .. because you can freeze so fast.

I used OR gore-tex bevy  , it is good for 1 night , next night it will be wet  ( 
But it is  very light

Also I always have 45 north wool gloves ( always keep your hand warm)

 Sleeping bag is not perfect, but this is very expensive to change it, and I am good with that, not hot inside but  you can sleep in that temperature.
It was good experiences yesterday   to make your fine decision about stuff for the race.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuscobia 150 . Part II. Dental abscess

Now I want to tell you about the race Tuscobia 150 

 The  second part of my holiday was intended for the marathon. The race started 2 days after I finished my 3 days solo trip. I wrote about it here >>
I want to tell story about THIS race.. because this was the hardest race which I did before. 
This is race when I can say that I am PROUD of my FINISH.. Because many factors was on that race which could to stopped me:
-my stuff 
-my expierence 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuscobia 150 . Part 1 . Solo trip

Since I have already some good experience about winter camping, hiking, skiing and bike endure racing . I think my English much better than 5 years ago  and have a chance to share my stories about  it .
My part # I will be about how I came in winter endure racing.
I came in USA 5 years ago ( I won Green card).

I kept riding in USA. I opened for myself that I like long distance race. I did "Almanzo 100 , then I did "Rusty ride" 100 miles race at Cuyuna.  I saw first time Fat bike in USA. It was something unreal to me...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bike trip .The Elroy Sparta Trail.

instead of an epilogue First of all I am SORRY for my bad English and mistakes, hope you can read and understand what I wrote in this blog. I just want to share my experience with my friends

This year I  was not able to racing a lot. I changed my priority. First of all family. But is is hard ..
I love to ride with my girls. After our 2 days bike trip from Minneapolis to Duluth  I started to dream about another. Now I know that Nadia is strong girl and could ride all day long.
I talked with my friend Alex Oenes about interesting rote, because this guy know everything . I love his wild style of riding. And he told me about this rote.He said that will be tunnel  .. Oh I saw picture one day from some of my friend and so wanted to see it.But when I saw rote I was not sure about  can we do all? Alex prepare to me all info, map ... I am lucky to have so nice friend.

Nadia had days off at school in October and I decided to use this days for our another wild trip.
I "forgot"that winter camping gear is much more heavy than in summer time.When I started to pack my stuff i had a panic : HOW i can pack all of this? How I will ride with trailer and all this stuff?????
Because Nadia's bike seat is so low I can not put anything at her bike. I put some her stuff in bike frame bag, all rest of the stuff was in my bags and trailer.

Friday, July 22, 2016

City Hiking with girls

Very often people ( and me too before) thinking that interesting life and nature everywhere except your city. It is wrong. You can find a lot of interesting place in your city and it will be big fun for your kids and for you.
Friday and Nadia did not have school camp . This is mean we need to go somewhere. As I am not working  I am able to do this. And I would love to share my lovely place in city with my girls.
 The hiking , swimming in the secret waterfall , little climbing. All this almost in Downtown. That is why I love Minneapolis.I want to share all my skills with my girls, I want that they will love nature and wild style of life as I do. I hope they will.

Monday, July 11, 2016

From Minneapolis to Duluth with kids

It was my dream to come from Minneapolis to Duluth. I did not done that before pregnancy and then was too late. But last few month I was thinking about that. I saw that Nadia (my 11 years old daughter ) in this year ride bike for long distance pretty good. And Yeva (7 month old daughter) have good experience  sitting in the trailer last 4 month  also.
After Riotgrrravel  ride|race where Nadia and me with trailer did 33 miles and did it good. I started to thinking about  ride to Duluth. And I was need adrenaline. I do not had race long time and so need some challenge )

 On Sunday I made test ride for 50 miles with Nadia and Yeva to  River bottoms . With 10 miles per hour as middle we did our distance.
The most complicated to me was  to makes Yeva happy too. That is why we need to stopped about every10-15 miles and play with her .

Thursday, March 24, 2016

9 month on the wheels

9 month on the wheels 

I was active enough during the first pregnancy 12 years ago. It was in Belarus.  In my country Belarus people have  stereotypes that pregnancy it is sickness. Most doctors says that you need sit at home on the couch and be careful about everything. But my opinion was different.  I did not thought that active life is worth then couch for baby.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The gravel ride with baby.

It is SPRING! It is mean that gravel season are open!
I have a 3,5 month old baby and I love to ride my bikes. The best combination to me now to  ride my bike with baby in the bike trailer .
At the  last two weeks  I rode gravel roads twice in Lakeville area.
2 week ago my husband bought bike trailer.  A he makes  me much more happier person.
I love a gravel roads. It is reminds me my childhood time and place where  I grown-up: farm, gravel roads, nature... Only you and nature . It is the best way to  resting after big city.

Last weekend  I did 20 miles ride with Yeva. I tried  to  ride careful (especially on the downhills ) to keep Yeva safety. Most of the time she is slept.

 Sometimes we need to make break for feeding and rest. To be breastfeeding mom is a wonderful - you always have food for baby with you. I am enjoying this time together.

 The elevation in this area good enough for hard training.  For 20 miles about 1 500 ft elevation. For Minnesota it is  not so bad.
I am dreaming  about next ride...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cleaning your bike. Small secrets

 For many years I used  these secrets to clean my bike.
This is what  you need: 

  • a used  toothbrush
  • synthetic ripped women's  tights
  • water and a rag

 During the "cleaning" process   I  found  a sticker that I  NEVER saw before , on my lovely Salsa Fargo bike . This bike was "born" for gravel road. And I really like it. My husband bought this bike for himself and I stole it from him :).

 You also could find  missing part on your bike ( as I did ) .
 Now I can show you how you can use women's  tights
( Do you see my spoke card from "30 days of biking" ? DO not forgot to pledge here >>  and  ride your bike all April )

 You could see how wonderfully women's  tights work for your bike cassette

The  toothbrush could help you to clean small dirt spots on your bike
You see it is a cheap and easy way with nice results. And you give second life to used stuff which means - a little less trash in the world )

Monday, February 22, 2016

Arrowhead 135

This is my first post. This is my another goal for 2016 (to make my blog on English).
My good friend Lara Long edited my post and help me with learning English

Well, a little rested and ready to write the report.
Arrowhead 135 (135 miles or about 220 kilometers on snowmobile trail) on the wild part of the state Minnesota - is one of the 50 most difficult races in the world of winter. Number of participants is limited (not more than 150 cyclists, skiers and runners). To register for the race you have to have experience of participation in the race for a long distance.
photo credit by

Burgess Eberhardt

Here is the elevation of our marathon

For me it was the third Arrowhead. Each year different.
In the first year of my participation in 2014, I called race «Frozen butt», the butteries is died in my headlamp. I had to drop off from the race in the middle of the route. But I was one of the few people who spent the night outside in minus 30 C, and due to a poorly inflated mat, I had a bad frostbite over my butt.

The second 2015 race I called "Diarrhea". At the first check-point, which was located in the store, I bought some prune juice. And then I started having terrible diarrhea during the remaining 100 miles. But this did not prevent me from coming 2nd among women.

After the race in 2015 race, I told my husband that I was ready to have a baby. A few months later, I got news that I was pregnant. The doctor said that the child would be born at the end of November ( Yeva was born December 3). I thought that I would have a chance to give birth and race in Arrowhead 2016. I would have time to prepare for 1.5 months.
From that moment I began to think about this. I went to work, rode a MTB trail, trying to keep fit. The last few months I rode to work for 15-20 miles every day. My last ride was the day before the birth of my daughter.

During pregnancy, I also ran, but not as a much as biking.

In September, I asked permission from my husband to register for a marathon. And he let me do it. I was very happy.

Since I gave birth a week later than the due date, then I had less time for my preparation for a marathon. Therefore, I left the hospital after 24 hours after birth. I went to my first training session one day after we were back home.

The whole body ached. My speed ​​was 1 mil
e per 15 minutes. I wanted to cry with such a result. It seemed to me that nothing could does not work; I was too ambitious, thinking that I could do this marathon.
But with each new exercise, I showed better results than the previous times.. I remember that was the first 10 miles. 2 weeks before the marathon I ran a half marathon with a stroller.
A few days after the birth, I began to train on the trainer in the basement. Sometimes I had to do it with my daughter in my arms, when she won’t sleep by herself.

Later, my husband began to stay with our child and let me go on training on the fat bike. I used every opportunity for training.

I remember well my first competition 5 weeks after birth. I came to train on mtb trail and saw that the competition will be held there. My husband allowed me to take part. 
As a result, I took 2nd place. It was unexpected for me. And this result had given me more confidence.
As for the logistics of the race, I came up with this. The plan was such: I take with a breast pump with me, and my husband with the child arrives at the two warm check -points and I breast feed the baby. I still had to find a breast pump, as my own was very heavy and it must carry it with me, as the race rules required that all personal equipment has to be on you. My Russian friend gave me portable breast pump.

Then I bought a variety of stuff to help my husband stay with our child: the heater for milk (one for hotel and one for the car) and other things.
At the time of race Yeva was 7 weeks old.
As soon as my daughter was born and when I could, I started pumping extra breast milk freezing it, so that we had extra for the time of my absence or any unpredictable situation.
The last week before the marathon, I was very nervous. I saw that 11 strong women were registered for the race. But I knew that I could not compete full strength because of my stops for pumping and feeding. Each stop was going to take 15-20 minutes.
The forecast showed that there would be warm weather. Someone cheered the news, but not me. I understood that there would be warm, and it meant that the trail would be warm and have a lot to go on foot.
Then the was evening briefing, meeting with friends from different cities and states. I love this special caste of people – of endurance style.
80% are permanent participants, people with big experience. And 20% is a novice and casual people. I call those
«casual» who come to this marathon one time in their life, so they could add it to their race book and never return again.

Yeva is in the arms of my friends - legendary racers Tracey and Jay P  of Salsa Team, these guys are very cool. Once again, they are the winners of the marathon (and I never doubt it)

We drove my oldest daughter to Dan’s mother in Two Harbor
, MN.
On Sunday morning, we went to register. I was registered. I rode 6 miles with all the equipment on the trail (to test) and realized how difficult it would be.
Besides had on unpleasant surprise; I had a broken spoke on the rear wheel. We’d not have tools. Dan put this spoke to another with a duct tape.
Night before I did not sleep well. Yeva woke up often and various thoughts kept me awake.

When I began pack for the race, I realized that I did not take the cycling shorts ... This was a big mistake ...

In the morning I went to the start. And my family stayed in a motel.


Before race I met my friends

I went with a good speed of 13 miles per hour, the first 1.5 hours, until the route allowed me to do. So then the trail started to be soft. I lowered the pressure in the tires. But I got it down too much and my speed had fallen sharply. I stopped to pump up the wheel – and I broke my pump ...
I had to go on a kind of flat tire.
I lost positions very fast. Well, okay. After 10 miles, I asked to use someone’s pump. I pumped up defined  the wheels and it had  gotten easier.
I reached the first check-point, after 5+ hours . My husband and baby were waiting  for me. I asked permission from volunteers to use the back room for feeding  my daughter. After feeding Yeva, I pumped milk, than ate hot pasta with meat, and rode on.
This marathon always has very positive and good volunteers.

Psychologically, it was easier for me in this year, because I knew this distance well.. You mentally divide
the distance apart ...
I rode part of the distance during daylight .. I stopped at the shelter for pumping. After a couple of stops for pumping milk started get dark. My milk was going less. Probably because I was getting dehydrated.. But I began to worry a little. I would not want to loose milk, because I raced in the marathon.

Then some wet fresh snow filled at  the second part of the marathon. I was not happy about that, my speed went down. The last 5 miles I walked a lot and  pushed my bike. Snow could  not hold the weight of me and my bike. During the second part of the route my bike computer and I became sad, because you do not know how many miles ahead. I asked the bikers I met, about the mileage and updated my computer.

At the second check-point  my husband and daughter were waiting for me. I was very tired from walking for the last few  miles with my bike..I fed my baby , pumped  my milk, and for the first time I used the "clothes dryer". Since I did have  very high expectations of the placement in the race I decided I could afford it. There was one racer girl already. Volunteers gave me  a hot cheese sandwich and a delicious chicken soup with wild rice (Minnesota dish). It was very tasty.
Photo by Tina Stiller

Dry clothes and a hot meal gave me straight. Two more girls shows up.. I saw Mark Scotch had already left. I also saw began to gather another Mark Seaburg began to leave.

I said
«goodbye» to my husband and daughter (next time I would meet them only at the finish). I knew that this was only half way.  Route to the 3 check point is the most difficult one. It was already dark. With the coming of night, the speed fell from prolonged uphill and the increased desire to sleep. I had to walk or ride very slowly. I did not want to eat and drink ,but I forced myself, because I knew the physiology and how human body works.

At 2 am I was very sleepy .. I rode past the shelter, where the skier was asleep. I asked him if he was well. I wanted to sleep. I pumped  milk and  moved on to the path. At some point, I closed my eyes ... When I opened them I realized that I was in the diteh.. I fell asleep for a single moment.
my bicycle.

At one point, I caught up with one guy and he began to rode in silence beside him. We did not talk .. just shared "ooh" and "ah" as we were  fed up with these hills).

2 times during the race, due to the fact that I wrong  change
в the gear my chain dot  "tightly" between the cassette and spokes. An incredible effort needed to pull it out stuck. I was afraid to make matters worse, because even before the start I had a broken spoke and it was only attached by the tape to the other spoke. I was no longer afraid to be alone in the woods, in the dark.
At some point the dawn broke out ...

The weather was terrible, sleet was coming down.
The last 5 miles to the  check -point were exhausting. At every turn  you're hoping to see the people and the check-point .. But they weren’t there. The guy behind me was visibly tired mentally.. and he was  just following  me ..
My big problem was that I had forgotten my bike shorts. Sitting on the saddle it was very painful. VERY PAINFUL. I realized that I had a problem called Saddle sore
And here was the long-awaited check -point .. and very positive volunteers. I drank a Coke, Christina (volunteer) told me that I was strongly support on Facebook and friends  want to «keep going» / strong moral support was important. I asked permission to express my milk in a teepee (where it was warmer).
I was offered coffee and Christine told me that  I was , 3 girl .. ????
 I thought that I was 4 th ..
she said, a 3rd.
But where was Pam?
She had droped off  the race ...
OK!!! I needed to go. I had a chance to be in the top three women .. 

So, I did  not finish my coffee and kept going . The guy who was riding with me at night went in front of me ... At some point I realized that he missed his turn. .He was far ahead (perhaps about 1 kilometer). I screamed with all my strength might at him, so he turned around and rode back ..

.... At this point, there was a great nuisance. In women after childbirth have such consequences, which are called incontinence(I spoke with the doctor before the race, and she said that small incontinence during training is normal for up  to 3 months after delivery of the baby)
At this moment of great fatigue my muscles completely relaxed and I (hate to say this) I just "leaked" .. That was so silly and stupid ...... at 33 .years old (((.
Here I stood before a huge hill .. I knew that after that it was very "easy" 25 miles ... I was wet .. I cried from resentment, anger at myself and at the situation in which I found myself. I had no spare pants .. I rubbed my butt to the bloody mess.
But I went. It was the most horrible and painful 25 miles in my life. I did not stop for the pumping milk anymore. By my calculations, I should have completed this part of the route in 4 hours ...
The last couple of miles .. I caught up to the guy I turned around from the wrong route. Many times he thanked me and went ahead.
Here was the last uphill.. Kind and smiling volunteers (volunteers were the best in the world) waiting at the finish line. So I finished ...

Nothing mattered any more. I went to get the equipment checked. I  found my husband and daughter and was happy. Finally, I was happy when took a shower and changed from the dirty, wet clothes.

Later it turned out that due to my "breakdowns" I had broken 8 spokes. Thank God was able to finish before they finally broke

My husband was the best teammate with me. He let me get my dreams.
My result 31 hour 44 minutes  (lats year less than 24 hours), 3 rd in women's category , 27- place   form 58 bikers who finished

PS long way in ahead about English (((
some articles 

Minnesota Mom Finishes Grueling 135-Mile Winter Bike Race – While Breastfeeding
To Carry the Day, Racers Must Fill Their Packs Carefully
Super Mom: Woman breastfeeds baby during 135-mile snow endurance race
 Super-Mom Crushes 135-Mile Winter Bike Race