Very early Sunday morning I head to International Fall for the opportunity to grind metal and bone for 135 miles. I hope to finish 20 hours later at Lake Vermilion.
This is my bike rigged to take the line. The saddle bag is a change of cloths and other extras. The bag on the front is a -25 down bag, inflatable pad, and bivi bag. Frame bag holds stove, tube, pump, repair tool, and food to the top like gravy. The bags in blue are DogWood Designs pogies, think huge mittens. I also use then to hold my camera, and other small items that don't chew well when frozen. The triangle bag is called a gas tank and I use it mostly to hold Cinnamon PopTarts.
This is the first time I've done this distance in winter. I trained to suffer and go slow and not think about time. I see the world through a soda straw when I'm racing a bike or other activities that require the greatest depths of human resolve. To disengage and watch what happens like a bystander is key but with the concentration of the best human dramas. Next time you're on the edge of your seat and you're leaning forward to see what happens next, that is the soda straw. At times you emerge from the straw and find yourself in the moment, be it hell or heaven.
I can do the time and I've already made an agreement with myself. Under nothing but the grimmest of conditions will I quit. In exchange, I'll not ride for about 2 months while I catch up on my ice diving. My ice diving buddies think I'm getting soft. How big is their soda straw!