Sunday, March 04, 2007

Frigid Moose Drewl

Bike Boy, Capt'n Balance aka "The Sweeper" and I did the 1st Annual Frigid Moose Drewl race yesterday and it was a whole lotta fun!

The weather was PERFECT. We had been having some very high winds but they died down and the race was on!

Bike Boy was on his weekend visitation with his dad in Wasilla, so I headed out there to pick him up. I grabbed all the clothing, bikes and other gear I could think of. In the rush, I forgot his COAT. Darn. Fortunately his dad let him borrow a coat, so all was good. We get to the race location and the REAL RIDERS were showing up. Bike Boy and I spent some time trying to decided how may layers to pile on. I decided to go for more layers than I had originally planned. Bike Boy was good to go, even in his tennis shoes - that kid doesn't feel cold, blessing of youth I guess. He did have 2 pairs of socks on - one was a woolen pair.

Then Carlos and Mark, the organizers, start talking about the courses, I'm trying to listen and finish getting my gear on when Capt'n Balance suddenly appears! He wasn't going to come because he had too many other things to do. He decided at the last minute to come and be the course "sweeper", hence the helmet he made from the hand broom we use to sweep up ashes around our wood stove. He cracks me up, what a goof. He's almost always there to support me in my attempts to do this kind of thing. He knows how frustrating it sometimes is for me to be what I am now, because I still remember how it felt to be tough and kick ass like I used to.

The race starts, the most of the real bikers are on fat tire bikes, a few on regular tires. We have on our studded tires. The beginning of the trail was churned up a little then was nicely groomed but full of post holes from horses and moose. This is our 1st real winter trail ride (I mostly ride around a icy, paved road around my home), a new experience. I have to say, those post holes suck. They are not hugely difficult to ride over but they definitely ruin a nicely groomed trail.

We got past the post holes and then the fun really started. Nice, smooth packed trail, little ups and downs and corners - the kind that make me want to yell "WooHoo"! Just plain fun. Then we got to a frozen swamp and it was just beautiful! I just had to stop and look around. That is one of the things that makes me a slow mountain biker. I HAVE to look around. The sun was shining, the mountains were beautiful, it was just perfect. Then Capt'n Balance got out the camera and had me back track a few times for some pictures. Bike Boy took off ahead so we didn't get any pictures of him - he takes racing seriously - HA!

We finished the race, which was a race-at-your own pace, for us, anyway. It was a great ride. It's a lot more work riding snow but packed trails than icy roads. I loved it. Those are not staged smiles!

We chatted with Mark of
Wildfire Designs Bicycles and Carlos of Anchorage's Frigid Bits, I got to plug into some of Carlo's knowledge - Thanks Carlos!

The famous Frigid Bits burn barrel was fired up and I have to say, this is the coolest burn barrel ever. Customized for the Frigid Bits SnoBoys, made by a rider called Thirsty Work. He also made Frigid Bits Burn Barrel Ale labels and relabeled some beer bottles with them. They are really cool also. The best part (to me) is the Government warning on the label. Instead of warning pregnant women not to drink or whatever, these say "GOVERNMENT WARNING: DON'T WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT"

That is like a message from GOD or something...ok, not near that profound, but pretty darn funny. I'm going to take the label to work...I work for the State government issuing federal and state benefits. It can be a grind on a persons very being. We need all the laughs we can get. I think most of my co-workers will get a good laugh.

It was a great day, a great ride, my world has expanded a little. I hope to someday do the long course, it would be great to be as fast as the real riders but for now I'm happy I got out there and did it.

Now Bike Boy wants a Wildfire fat tire bike. Maybe when he stops growing...that should give me a few years to save up some $$.

Check out more pictures of
the burn barrel and the post-ride party


Chris said...

Good job! It looks like a blast. Though, I think our ideas of "perfect weather" differs significantly.

George said...

I like the sweeper helmet:-)

Michelle said...

Chris - I am sure I would MELT in your Texas "perfect" weather, anything over 85 is too warm to do anything but drink mojitos and beer.

George - Capt'n Balance is pretty proud of that helmet but now I don't have a handbroom...:)

Tim said...

Sorry I missed all the fun. I plan to be at the second annual Frigid Moose Drewl on a new Pugsley.

Michelle said...

I will be looking for you Tim - I will probably still be on my $50 Kona :)
Hopefully we will have SNOW next year. Since we have lacked snow of the last few years, this was my 1st trail ride on the snow. Much better than teeth rattling frozen ground.