|A day of fun awaits|
Carl, from Squirtlube told me about this race, the Iditarod Trail Invitational he did in Alaska a few times at the Skills weekend last year when he kindly joined us. He degreased each of our chains and re-applied/induced our chains with Squirtlube. So I’ve been trying to think of when and where to host an event where he can get the opportunity to talk to us about this extraordinary race which he has completed twice, and even WON.
A group of 11 keen, energetic guys met at Dorking station on Saturday morning. I joined the ride for the first hour just because I didn’t want to miss out and it is more fun to ride with people than on your own.
We did a new trail at Denbies before we hit over to Whitedowns lane. I was in a bit of trouble over here as the last time I rode this area was about 3 months ago with a few of the guys and I threw a proper tantrum as it is very steep and rooty. The long, steady climb on the tar road up Whitedowns Lane to the start of the trails as well as a leaking Camelbak contributed to this bad start. Poor Rich Hemmings got the brunt of my strop and were mocking me on Saturday as suddenly I rode down it and didn’t make as much as a peep about the steepness etc. In my defence, I’m stronger & more confident now than I was back then - might be these rides with the boys, I’d never admit that to them though!
I left the group at route 22 as they were heading back towards Dorking and I went right onto the 22 towards Abinger before I joined Hoe Lane to pick up the key for Peaslake Village Hall. I booked the hall the week before with a lovely lady called Marg who has been living in Peaslake all her life. What a lovely place to grow up in?
|Our beautiful playground|
Photo: Zane Smith
We had cold beers ready for the guys on their return (which they were VERY grateful for) and we all sat round the fire as Louis braaied the boerewors for us. The guys were tired out as Iain & Lizzie dragged them up & down hills and showed them new trails around the North Downs Way and Shere. A few of the guys who know these trails said they felt like they had now conquered every single hill to conquer in the Surrey Hills. It may have been a bit of a shock to the system for some of the newcomers.
We headed inside once had all refuelled ready to listen to Carl from Squirtlube talk about his experiences of the gruelling Iditarod Invitation Trail ride. This ride is an unmarked route covering 1000 miles over the snow covered Alaska. It includes riding your bike over snow, frozen lakes, frozen rivers and even frozen sea. Carl attempted this ride 5 times, completed it twice, won it once where he also set a new course record! This is a no jokes ride. The effort and planning that goes into this race purely on how to survive and move forward in this race is astounding. Things that I would never even think about but what he had to prepare for. Things like: defrosting snow so that you have enough drinking water, blowing the water in your camelbak pipe back once you sipped from it so that it doesn’t freeze in the pipe, not wearing 2 pairs of socks to keep your feet warm, but rather having more movement in your boot.
|Carl's Bike & equipment|
I would like to thank everybody who joined in on the day. Iain & Lizzie for taking the lead on the ride. Carl for taking the time to join the ride, prepare the presentation and share it with us. Julie, Nicole & Louis for their help in setting up, cleaning up & preparing the food.