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