Wednesday, February 17, 2010
A multi sport weekend
While Brian was slogging away at the Susitna 100, a couple of friends and I were headed up to Nancy Lakes Area to stay at a cabin on Lynx Lake. Since Laura and Mel couldn't get out there until 4:30 pm, I thought I'd ride my bike around, explore the area, and haul some stuff out to the cabin to get some miles in.
Niko and I started out on the Nancy Lake Parkway where conditions were good. I got my "Springer" dog walker attached to my Pugsley so that Niko wouldn't run off in front of all of the expected snow machine traffic.
Conditions on the road were good but as soon as we dropped down onto one of the lakes the ride started to deteriorate. About every ten minutes the trail would get to soft to ride and I would feel that familiar sink of the front tire down into deep snow. For five hours I was on and off the bike, happy when I could ride, happy when I couldn't. I didn't have any real agenda for the day except to pass by the cabin and drop some stuff off, so pushing never really bothered me.
I thought about Brian out on the Susitna course and wondered if he was experiencing the same conditions. I hoped that the conditions were better for him, which it turns out they were. He ended up riding 98 percent of the course. I'd say I rode about half of the five hours I was out on Saturday.
At 5 pm we arrived back at the car to meet Laura and Mel. Niko was wiped out and he took his place in his bed in the back seat with a look of relief for being back at the car, ready to nap on the long drive home. He stared at me curiously as I packed up the bike and proceeded to get out the skis and pack up a sled. I literally had to pick him up out of his bed and set him on the ground as he whined and squirmed.
"Just four more miles buddy."
Me, Mel, Laura, Niko, Deuce (Mel's dog) and Aly (Laura's dog) set out for the cabin in the dark.
We were happy that I had been out to the cabin earlier that day, because the only way we found it in the dark night was by following my Endomorph tracks. Eventually we arrived at the cabin around 9pm and settled in with a warm fire, some Jambalaya and many, many well earned chocolate Valentine treats.
I fell asleep wondering where Brian was. Was he pushing his bike up the Yentna River? Was he riding? Soaking in the hot tub at Luce's? Already at home? Was he going to finish? Would he aggravate his foot injury? There were so many possibilities, but I had a feeling he was pressing on to the finish line.
In the morning I was stiff and tired from the nine hour day before, so I was glad to only have to ski four miles back to the car and with a much lighter sled.
I decided to check my messages because Brian said he would call when he was done. There was one message. At 8am he had called and said, "I finished in 21 hours and 48 minutes, I'm going home to sleep, see you there." Yay! I was happy for him and relieved that I didn't have to wonder any more.
We packed up the stuff and headed onto the lake at a slow pace.
Ahhh... back at the car, this time Niko could really take a nap.