Sunday, January 27, 2008

Excuse me, there's an elephant in the room!

Second guessing is one of many personal flaws…Last night I rode my trusty Kelly Knobby X equipped with a Stans’ 2.0 ultra light Crow (my favorite tire) on the front and a 1.8 Bontrager low tread Jones on the back and I was able to fly on those snowmobile trails…I was staying right up with the smokin' sno-jets (well not exactly), but the set-up was appreciatively faster than the Gunnar. The Kelly is so versatile that I could run the same wheels, drive train, racks, etc. as the Gunnar. The only differences would be geometry (yet both bikes are comfortable for the long haul), weight (the Kelly is a lot lighter), and the fact that I would be limited to 2 inch tires on the Kelly. It is the tire limitation that could hurt me if the course is loose, as opposed to hard-pack. Of course, if we get any snow over about two inches, the whole equation changes and the snowbikes enjoy a major advantage, but the forecast looks promising, if not a bit too warm for my blood. …[Note: If, God Forbid, it does snow, I am versed in tracking pugsley's and even pretty good at keeping my little tires within their paw tracks]...If I was a man, a real man, like John Wayne, I’d show up at the Dance on my Kelly (I love that bike)…but it would involve a major assumption; a make or BREAK assumption—
That the entire 134+ mile trail up there is very similar to the ones that are within the immediate area near Duluth right now…thatz a great big risky “if.” Last year’s course started out relatively good and was pretty good until after the half-way point, where it abruptly turned into an unrideable morass, but the 30+ mile abyss was such a mess that even the endomorphs could not ride it (except Pramann, as the rumor is that he was able to ride much of it), so in that case, it would not have mattered…The Kelly is just as easy to walk as the Gunnar!
If the weather holds and I can get away from Duluth with enough time to test the start of the course, I might at least bring the old girl along, just for the ride...I got room in my sporty Chevy Prism. Wouldn't that get the girlz a buzzin' if I lined up at the start on a cross-bike next to all those Pugsleys!!!! From what I can ascertain from secret sources and satelite imagery, I may well be the only boy at The Ball on a standard issue bicycle.


  1. Sure am enjoying these posts Charlie! Have you seen the latest issue of Minnesota Monthly proclaiming Pierre as the Toughest Man Alive? Pretty cool!

  2. CPF:

    Completing the Arrowhead on a real bike is morally superior to "racing" on a clown bike.

    One could cross the finish line first on a Pugsley, but she or he can't win on one.

    Stay on the high road---You may be the only man in the race. Yeah, I said it.


  3. If luck would have it, it rains. I had you pegged for becoming the next heavy weight (don't read into this too much) champ and getting your mug in all the magazines since the conditions up until YESTERDAY were perfect for you and the Gunnar. I fear your skinny tires and ice riding skills will be no match for the icy trails. Invest in some sheet metal screws for the bottoms of your hiking boots...


  4. A. Much of the course had little rain yesterday, just temps slightly above freezing a bit of drizzle and a few sleds over that with a warmer weekend will make studs totally stupid and slow and did I say unnecessary. Much of it is a flat Pine Swamp remember.
    B. The 3 yr old Arrowhead has been won on a Medium Evingson frame/tires once, a 1991 Bontrager w/2.25" tires/snowcats once and a Puglsey once. Record times will not come on a 4" tire bike. A skier will never win this race. Running or skiing is plain brave or something else.
    C. Man has survived by being intelligent and adaptation. This includes changing size as needed. It does not affect your manhood yeah I said it.

  5. Should be your year Charlie! Firm track for your weak-snow but fast 29er if storm Monday stays south. Not too icy so you don't crash as much as usual. Sounds like maybe you have the extra-gearstuff thing ruled out by experience and weight and getting smarter. Bring your best stuff fella. Watch out for the unmarked whoopdedoos. And Cheryl.