I have the Arrowhead next week and the warm weather and poor snow hasn't helped me train the way I'd like. What I'd like is, bitter oppressive cold. Cold so bad your boogers freeze when you inhale. That is correct, booger just made a one and only cameo on this blog, now pull it together. I can do cold and I can ride a bike but can I ride fast in the deepest cold. I've had problems with cold feet so I upped the boots and added Sorrel brand liners but the issue may be my eating. In a short yet savage ride I bonk, blow up, hit the wall! I've had a blood sugar crash (bonk) many times but this last one was controlled and I saw it coming but in the cold I felt it first in cold feet! Wahoo! If I eat better my feet stay warm.
I've put 600 miles down in the last 2 months, maybe more. I got a 7 hour snow ride in powder. I got 10 hours of snow machine trails and a lot of road. I've worn-out everything but the handlebars on my bike, upgraded the wheels and added a rear rack. I'd like to throw a big thanks to Jay over at Hollywood Cycles for keeping my rigs rolling. I destroy gear, limp in over lunch and he fixes me up. If you're tired of being a stranger in your bike shop, go see Hollywood.
That's enough of the small talk about how I trained or didn't. My father stopped by today and I showed him my gear. After, he said, "And you have fun doing this?" to which I say, "No, but it's fun to be done!" It doesn't answer why I start but I don't have that answer. I trained mentally because you can gear for everything but a weak mind so let's go ride on the ice.
I stud up and roll under the Grays Bay Bridge just skirting the water on my way to Big Island. I've wanted to look around it for a long time. Ever since I started diving the ferries that shepherded the tourists long ago.
Below, the ice is at least 12 inches thick but clear. I took this to show those that think my ice dives are dark. The white ice you see most of the time is compressed snow but this winter it's all lake ice, not snow, so it's clear.
It's in the singles and with hard ice and studs I can go quite fast but a hard headwind holds me back. People are always asking about windchill but as you can see I don't allow any skin so the chill is minimal.
It's reported to be thin and it probably was last week when it was in the 40's but last night it was below zero and I can now see cracks that report over a foot of ice. I had to stop and repair the sign so I took the photo of my work.
Below is a pressure ridge. We all learned in school that water expands 1/9th it's volume when it freezes so the larger body if water overtook the bay I'm leaving and created the ridge to make room for the larger sheet of ice. They are hard to cross because the ice is very unstable and can be a foot thick yet not frozen in places.
The smooth pond you see was probably open water last week. The pressure opened it and the wind kept it open until maybe yesterday.
The same goes for this. The pressure ridge is behind me. Today this ice is maybe 10 inches or more.
This is a tributary crack to show how much pressure is in the ice. This is old ice over a foot and split 5 inches wide for 100's of feet maybe 1,000. It can and did make a floating burg but has since frozen.
This person was not thinking clearly and tried to cross the major pressure ridge and tributary cracks. It looks like everyone got out but left everything behind. I didn't touch anything because it's still private property so I get about as close as I would in a parking lot and take some pictures for your entertainment.
I'm disappointed, I park my bike to take a picture of the landing at Big Island when I see this old beam and lose my mind. I forget to take the photo and take off into the woods to find more. Big Island was an amusement park from 1906 to about 1911 and I was excited to find what was left.
This piece of steel has been laying here since the island was dismantled in 1917! I want to restate that, it's been in this very spot for 95 years. I've passed it a few dozen times in a boat but today my personal history crosses with its history. I'm sure it's just me but when I touched the rivets I wondered about the steel workers that bucked it into place in 1891 if I assume it's part of the hotel.
I didn't expect to find underground plumbing. That is a stick but this island had power from shore to run the rides and lights. I didn't have time for a detailed search but very little was exposed in the thin layer of snow so most is lost in time. If you get a dive computer and jump the lakes wrecks you'll find more.
The historical map shows this was likely a shop or service building.
I find no less than 6 of these. They look like well pipes. Threads on well pipe look different and that is well pipe threads. Clearly it was drilled in so it must be well pipe but I couldn't see a reason to explain so many.
I was surprised to see trails on the island. It also has posts that look like campsites but a sign later on clearly says no camping. How do they expect people to obey rules if they set up campsites.
The rules are long but the only one that matters is the last, NO FUN ALLOWED.
This gets me to the best part of the island. This is the main gate that greeted the tourists in large hats and formal attire. Remember the Titanic sank a year after this Island closed its doors. The photos are the same.
This is an early time for Big Island because the tower is not complete. I could see the foundations for the two guard towers that flank the stairs. If I could "see dead people" this place would be awesome.
The day can't last forever and I have to ride back but first I have to sit on the ice and have a snack, remember the warm feet. I stop right in the middle of the lake because it's the strangest place to be. It was kind of funny how I can be totally happy eating a pop tart in the middle of the lake when it's maybe 5 degrees out.
A quick read over at this site will fill in all the parts I skipped. History of Big Island
On that my training for the Arrowhead is done. The cold I've had available is easy to control and the mind is as strong as it's ever been to just stay head down and peddle.