Monday, January 27, 2020

Merely Melancholy Bamboo Munchers

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Photo Jan 24, 5 07 33 PM

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Photo Jan 24, 5 38 59 PM

Saturday was the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Frozen Ididaride out at Pioneers Park in Lincoln but before we could get to playing bikes in the snow, we had registration and packet pickup at the shop to attend to. All work and no play might make Jack a dull boy but all play and no work makes for a poorly run event and ain't nobody got time for that.

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With registration and packet pickup accomplished there was nothing left to do but get bikes and gear ready for the morning. I won't bore you with those details, it's about as exciting as watching paint dry but without the contact high from the fumes.

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Up and at it before the sun, Rick, Bruce, Corey, MG and I descended on Pioneers Park getting things ready before the racers started filing in. Not overly difficult work but having a fire and a nice heated tent are welcomed site when racing on the snow.

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Just after the sun came up, things started to pick up considerably as racers started to file in and begin their last minute preparations or pick up their packets if they missed the previous nights event. I always enjoy wandering among the vehicles and peeking at what everyone is racing and how they decided to set up their race sled.




Not many people show up for a fat bike race in a hearse but then again, Gary is not most people. I have to admit that casket slider made a pretty convenient bike storage tray.


Of course a race wouldn't be a race without a little race fuel to help you go faster. Nothing says I want heartburn like a shot of Fireball before putting down maximum effort on a 4 mile lap. Course was marked of at right around 4 miles a lap, three laps if you were riding solo and you were done. If you opted for more fun, less race then teams of three were the way to go. Just Sad Pandas decided to get back together this year and give it another go.


Even though she wasn't racing, Sarah came out to cheer us on and I managed to talk her into taking photos; so most of the pictures you see in the blog were taken by Sarah. She did a fantastic job and I'm glad she was there for the support and to capture the great time that was had by all.








Course was in great shape and made for some fast lap times, we have really lucked out the last two years and got a few inches dumped on us in the week before the big day. I hope that trend continues as a fat bike race just isn't the same without a little of the white stuff. Different from last year was the elimination of a sub fat bike category, I know that probably ruffled some feathers but those skinnier tires turned the track into the consistency of mash potatoes last year and 3.8 minimum is pretty much the standard for a fat bike race. Without those Ginsu tires slicing and dicing the track actually improved on the second and third laps, by the time the race was done the track was pretty near perfect. 

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Photo Jan 25, 2 33 23 PM

One of the best parts of the race was this very spontaneous tunnel that several of the racers built to welcome Isabel and help cheer her onto the finish line. Awesome lady whose current job keeps her very busy on the weekends so it's always awesome when we can steal her away for a few hours. Gravel family might be a tight knit community but the snow folk aren't too far behind, heck as cold as it can get being as close to another source of heat is often a welcomed thing.




Post race we all headed to the tents for a little propane heated air, warm chili, hot coffee/cocoa and camaraderie while we waited for the results to be tabulated. The chili and hot beverage really hit the spot and helped to warm folks up from the inside out.


Just Sad Pandas defended our third place finish from last year with a follow up third place finish this year, I guess there is something to be said for consistency. It was also awesome to have the full team there this year, due to Doug's wife's cancer he was not able to race with us last year. Not having him there last year, it just felt like we were missing something so it was good to be whole this year even if the results were the same.


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Post race a crew of the Lincoln folks and a crew of the Omaha folks headed over to Method for beverages or all shapes, sizes and flavors.



Thankfully it was park where you want Saturday, which was good because I actually didn't remember to bring any quarters for the meters, I mean, it does happen.

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Photo Jan 25, 1 58 04 PM

After Method we got some pie from Yia Yia's while we were watched over by CVO's awesome rabbit painting. The guy was such a talented artist who was really just starting to get his stuff out there into the world before he passed away from  Amyloidosis in 2017. You can't help but wonder what could have been for him had he not been taken so  young.

Next weekend is the Oklahoma Gravel Growler in Shawnee, I'm planning on SAG-ing for Doug who is actually racing in it but with the forecast calling for temps in the 60s, you know I'm taking a bike with me to sneak in little riding of my own. Who knows, maybe I'll event get a wild hair and sign up last minute and do the thing.

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