I've seen the future of Human-Powered Mountaineering, and it's hot white and surly.
That's right, I got a new bike. And not just some new bike, but the Hummer of all bicycles; the Surly Pugsley snow bike.
If you haven't heard of a snow bike, or fat bike, it is a bicycle with extra large super fat tires. These tires are so fat that it makes me want to piss and giggle when I ride it. The tires are huge and they hum on the pavement at high speed. The idea here with the extra fat tires is for flotation on snow or sand or whatever medium that comes your way. The tires are made to be able to ride at incredibly low air pressure; as low as 5-30 psi. Super Cool!!
The traction is amazing, and yesterday was my first test ride with the new machine. I rode from my house to work at Bridger Bowl ski area. A 16 mile ride, up Bridger Canyon Rd, and in a bit of snow storm. The tires worked amazing on the slick and icy roads. I've ridden for years in the winter on mountain bikes, and I've ridden with studded tires on my bike before too. The performance and traction yesterday on the Pugsley (with non-studded tires) was far better than I've experienced before with any other bicycle.
I left for work at 6am and started riding by headlamp out of town and into the canyon. By sunrise I was out of the city lights and enjoying the peacefulness of the morning ride. Once up into the canyon, the winds started to howl, and the visibly became difficult as the snow swirled into my eyes as I tried to hide my face behind the hood of my jacket. I love this type of masochistic nonsense. My feet froze, I was hot sweaty and cold all at the same time, and the ride was brutal on my poor tender bum from months of not sitting in the saddle, but I loved it. I grinned, I howled out loud, and I felt like a crazy man on a mission. Then I got to work for the day, taking people out skiing... ( i love my job at Eagle Mount )
The ride home was equally exciting. The wind was blowing harder, and I was forced to peddle the whole way back down the canyon road. My bum hurt, pellets of snow stung me in the face, and the traffic on the road was a constant reminder that I must be crazy to be doing this.
But I'm so excited about the idea of being able to ride up snow-machine roads, and access backcountry ski terrain totally human-powered, that morning rides, and suffering a little, are just a small part of becoming the human machine.
|Can you see the beauty in the irony here?|
|Knowing your limits is more about failing than succeeding.|
The stoke is back.
That feeling of madness mixed with divine purpose.
It's the way of the peaceful warrior.
The modern language of the climber, surfer, or ski bum.
It's the way we show the world who we are,
what we want,
and that once the stoke comes boiling up from the inside;
we'll do anything.
Anything that comes to mind.
Whatever we imagine.
Proving to ourselves,
and to the world;
that nothing is impossible.
Just keep trying...
|The poster on the wall says it all|
I've entered the Equinox Ski Challenge March 24th in West Yellowstone. This is a xc-ski, snow bike, or run challenge, for 3, 6, 12, or 24 hours. I'm super stoked. I haven't entered a competition is 20 years. The Equinox Ski Challenge sounds awesome, and is fundraiser for non-profit organization here in Montana that focus on community health; mental and physical.
I've entered in the 12 hour challenge category, and while I'm not worried about placing, or winning, I'm stoked to try. I'll be stoked to just make the finishing line, with or without peeing in my uniform.