Extreme Cold Endurance Mountain Biking

, , , | UltraRob | Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

This afternoon 50 hardy endurance racers will be heading out into the Alaska wilderness for the Iditarod Trail Invitational. The majority of them are racing the first 350 miles of the Iditarod dog sled race course to finish at McGrath. 9 of them have the goal of going the full 1,100 miles to Nome.

The racers get to choose whether to do the race on bike, ski or foot. Nearly every year it is won by someone on a bike. This year there are 30 mountain bikers, 18 runners and 2 skiers. I’m not sure why so few skiers do it. Any ideas?

Those on bikes use snow bikes. Snow bikes are basically mountain bikes with more clearance for wide tires. Not only are wide tires used but the rims can be twice was wide as normal mountain bike rims. This gives a lot of tire volume allowing tire pressure to be around 5 psi and a large contact area to spread the weight over the snow.

The last couple years I’ve been keeping track of Jill Homer during the race but she’s not doing it this year. This year I’ll be most interested in how my friend Chris Plesko is doing. Of couse I’m also interested in the other racers too.

Chris and I did a moonlight hike of Pikes Peak a couple years ago in the winter. Ok, it started in moonlight and turned into a blizzard in the wee hours of the morning. Since then Chris has finished the brutal 2745 mile Tour Divide from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, NM. Not only did he finish it but he was on a single speed.

The Iditarod Invitational leaderboard is kept updated throughout the race along with some commentary on the blog. I imagine Jill will also be writing some about the Iditarod Invitational on her blog. It looks like Craig Medred plans to be tweeting updates on twitter.

Men’s 350 Mile Records

  • Peter Basinger – bike – 2007- 3 days 5 hours 40 minutes
  • Jim Jaeger -ski – 200 – 4 days 8 hours
  • Steve Reifenstuhl – foot – 2005 – 4 days 15 hours

Women’s 350 Records

  • Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant – bike – 2005 – 5 days 7 hours 48 min
  • Gail Koepf – ski – 2005 – 7 days 6 hours 18 min
  • Loreen Hewitt – foot – 2008- 7 days 14 hours 40 minutes

1100 Mile Records – Northern route (even numbered years)

  • Mike Curiak – bike – 2002 – 17 days 2 hours
  • Roberto Ghidoni – foot – 2002 – 22 days 6 hrs 6 min
  • Women’s Record Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant – bike – 2008 25 days 12 hours 58 minutes *** first female cyclist to Nome***

1100 Mile Records – Southern route (odd numbered years)

  • Carl Hutchings – bike – 2005 – 22 days 47 min
  • Tim Hewitt – foot – 2009 – 25 days 9 hours and 29 minutes


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One response to “Extreme Cold Endurance Mountain Biking”

  1. […] for the Iditarod Trail Invitational would weld 2 rims together to get enough flotation in the snow. Then the Surly Pugsley was created […]

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