Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Arrowhead 135 - The Coldest Bike Race on Earth!

Well here we go again, jetting off to go and do a ridicules bike race. This time we were heading to a place in Minnesota called International Falls and its only claim to fame is that it’s the coldest place in America oh and it’s where Hot Tub Time machine was filmed!


The Arrowhead 135 is recognized in the book "The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges" by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore as one of the 50 toughest races in the world. It is a human powered Ultra Marathon taking place in the coldest part of winter in the coldest city in the lower 48 states. The average finish rate is 50%; the finish rate for new racers is much lower.

Historically this is the coldest race anyplace even the Arctic. Arrowhead 135 is organised by local folks dedicated to the promotion of human powered ultra-endurance events across beautiful Arrowhead Region of Northern Minnesota.


I’ve now been snow bike racing for 3 years I have committed a lot and time and money into racing fatbikes in various locations around the world. Preparing me to be physically and mentally fit for a race in January can be very hard work, especially with the endless wet and muddy conditions and long dark nights. This year I have been praying for a hard cold winter and I have ended up with the opposite. My body could be in for a bit of a shock with a second polar vortex due to hit North America next week with potential temperatures of -55oC.  Due to the very wet and muddy conditions in the UK I have mainly been training on some of the classic road routes within the Yorkshire Dales as well as strength training and structured training on the Turbo trainer. I am using a Tacx Flow Trainer http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/.Tacx-Flow-Multiplayer-VR-Trainer-2012-_125627.htm which measures loads of parameters for those like me like to train to numbers. I had planned to do some long mountain bike rides up at Glentress over the Christmas period but I came down with a mystery viral infection which hampered those plans. This has not done much for my confidence going in the race but I’ve had to put this behind me and concentrate on the positive aspects of my training to date.


For the race I will be riding a Salsa Carbon Beargrease http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/.Salsa-2014-Carbon-Beargrease-Fat-Bike_130415.htm which is considerably lighter than my Salsa Mukluk I’ve ridden in previous races. I have also gone from 60mm rims to 82mm I am hoping this will help me out in the softer snow conditions that may arise.    


Clothing I will be wearing 3 pairs of socks made of both man made fibers and wool. Shoes I have modified a pair of winter mountain bike boots by attaching a gator to them to keep my feet dry from potential overflow that can occur on lake crossings. On my legs I will be wearing a pair of Endura Equipe Bib longs http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/equipe%20bibs/list/search and on my top half I will have on various layers Starting with an Endura Baa baa wool base finished off with the Endura Stealth Jacket http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/.Endura-Stealth-II-Waterproof-Jacket-_128364.htm. My hands will be buried inside a pair of massive bar mitts imported from Alaska and I will be wearing the Endura windshield gloves. I will be carrying extra clothes and survival gear including an Everest grade down sleeping bag, bivvy, stove, insulated water and food.

We have a wide range of adventure bikes and fatbikes by both Surly http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/surly/list/search and Salsa http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/salsa/list/search at All Terrain Cycles http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk. Please feel free to pop down and see us should you have any questions regarding these quirky bikes or bikepacking. You can find me working in our Salts Mill store http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Store/Directions and will be more than happy to help you get your adventure started.


Please see link below for a small inspiring film of last years race.




Jane Chadwick



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Take care of your Bicycle and it will take care of you

there is no need to be a mechanical Wizzard.
Many routine jobs can easily be done by yourself, saving you time, money and more importantly prolonging the life of your bike.
Here are my top 3 tips for today:
1.Clean that Chain
Most folk lub their chain as they is only right.
But there is a right and wrong approach.
Lub should only be applied between the side plates and rollers, anywhere else doesn't do any good unless you like gooey muck!
Before you lub try wiping down the chain with a rag, best to do this after every ride to reduce build up and save your righthand sock!
2.Clean and grease your seatpost.
There are few things on your bike that cause more frustration and damage than a stuck seatpost.
Its so easily avoided.
Mark your post by wrapping some tape around it where post meets the frame to record your saddle height. Remove the post and clean it. Apply grease inside the seat tube ( fibre grip  if its a carbon post ), then slide the post back into the frame to the height marked by the tape. Tighten the seat clamp using a torque wrench to manufactures tolerances.
Now you are ready for your ride !
Neglecting to do this can lead to total seizure both of heart and seatpost, in extreme cases you may need a new frame so well worth 10 minutes work.
3. Lub your bottom bracket cable guide every time you you lub your chain.
It takes 30 seconds , hugely reduces friction on the cables and will help fill you day with love and beads.

If you don't fancy this we have -25% sale on servicing costs throughout January and February http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Store/ServiceDepartment

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The best cure for a Hangover

All Terrain Cycles Team Rider, Chris Whitfield had the answer http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Store/RaceTeam.
Ripley Castle Cyclo Cross http://www.ripleycastlecx.org.uk/.
Held on January 1st what more could you ask for any hangover cure !
Here is Chris battling the mud , pictures courtesy of Yaz Lapin , ATCs roaming David Bailey !