Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quadrathaloning in Winter

In no official capacity -- as in sponsors, check points, water stations, sobriety tests, etc. -- I pulled off the "Whitefish President's Day Winter Quadrathalon" yesterday. According to Wikipedia, a traditional quadrathalon consists of swimming, kayaking, biking, and running. Variations can include mountain biking or roller blading. Mine was a little different ... at no point was there any aero equipment, paddles, Roller Blades ...

Part 1: The bike up.
Rig up the trailer, throw the hiking gear in, lash the snowboard down. Cody looked sad. Either he was bummed because he wanted to come and wasn't or he was bummed because he thought I was going to make him come. Cody vs. the trailer vs. coming with me on bike trips is still a point of contention.

I made it, 7.5 miles, 1,600 feet of climbing. It was slow going: I rode my 'cross set up, knob tires and a 38x23 low gear, while dragging about 40 pounds behind me. I feel like I got as many "Right on!"s as I did "You're an idiot!"s from the cars going by me up Big Mountain Road.

Part 2: The hike.

Trade the bike for boots, two wheels for two feet, snowboard on my back, 2,300 more unpaved, snow-packed feet to go. Going up!

On the way up, I only got one "Get a pass!" and no "You're going the wrong way!"s, less than usual ...

Part 3: The snowboard.

Summit! That's Canada back there. Hell of a view on a cloudy, windy day, eh? The ride down was okay; it was icy and my legs were tired.

Remember: All this up for one run down ...

Part 4: The bike down and the drink.
Descending back into town, 7.5 miles, 1,600 feet, at about 40 miles per hour with about 40 pounds of gear in a rickety trailer trailing behind me was a little sketchy ...

Before heading home, I stopped at the Great Northern Brewery and celebrated my "victory" with a pint of the great Good Medicine.

So my quadrathalon didn't include kayaking, swimming, or roller blading, but Big Mountain Road and Big Mountain, about 3,900 vertical feet, conquered, bike, boot pack, snowboard, beer, in winter, below freezing, lots of snow, without car or ski lift!

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