06 January 2015

Frosty Bottom Plus and Middle Fork trail

Frosty Bottom Plus

The Frosty Bottom is a race put on by the local cycle shop Chain Reaction Cycles, it takes place in early January and is pretty much a road race on snow (or ice depending on conditions).  The Frosty Course has two distance options, the Frosty 25 and the Frosty 50, both races start at Kincaid park and ride out to Hillside the 50 course then returns back to Kincaid.  This is the course description, which is really well written.  Both race distances are open to Runners, Skiers and Bikers.

Last year (2014 Results) I really didn't have the greatest races.  I went out to hard,  missed the pacelines at the front of the race, didn't fuel correctly, had not been riding enough before the race as I was out of the country.  All told it took me 4 hours 20 min to complete and I generally had a rough two thirds of the race, first third was fine last two were not so great.

This year I decided to do things a little differently, I am currently training for the Susitna 100 (100 mile fat bike race, well for me it will be) so I decided to ride the Frosty with a partially loaded bike and then continue riding once the race had finished.  Owing to my strategy it wouldn't matter if I missed out on the pacelines at the front of the race, or how everyone else was doing all I wanted to do was get some good solid training miles in.

On Saturday morning we all lined up at the start, the weather had finally got a little colder and it was around 20F with a steady northerly wind blowing also known as cold when you are doing nothing.
On your marks
The race started at its usual ballistic pace, even more noticeable this year as we for the first time started on ski trails rather than a neutralised start down the hill.
From where I started I luckily managed to avoid two crashes on the ski trails then set into my rhythm for the rest of the day.  On the coastal trail I was passed by a couple of groups then pretty much rode the whole course on my own,

Not serious selfie

The eventual winner of the 25 event passed me along Chester Creek trail then another group passed me along the tour trail whilst I was refuelling (PB and J).
The race took me 3:28:58 (Full Results here) which is almost 50min slower than the winner but almost 50min faster than last year, the course was really fast this year though so that is part of the improvement in my time but mostly my time improvements were due to riding much more sensibly.

When I finished the race, I chatted with a few friends and had some more food then I got back on my bike and rode home taking in a few fun trails on the way.  Thanks for riding with me Oscar for the local loop.  My total distance was 72miles ish and my legs felt pretty good.


Hansel and Gretel

Almost home sunset

Ice Beard

woo hoo 72 miles

All in all a great day out on the bike.

Middle Fork

The Middle Fork trail is a permit only trail that can be ridden only in the winter, the trail is part of the Chugach State Park.  This is the first time I have gotten up to the trail for a while with all the warm weather we have had.  The recent snow fall up high (rain in Anchorage) has really improved the trail conditions.  I rode with Andrew and we decided to ride from home in order to increase my mileage (sorry Andrew you get to climb!)
When we started it was a cooler 4F and as always wearing the right layers helps with staying sweat free for riding.  We stopped a couple of times to adjust layers, this is part way up the STA trails.

Top of Drone Lane

Top of the STA trails
It is around 9 miles to the top of the route by Glen Alps and mostly uphill.
Made it to the top
Once at the top, the real fun trail begins.  We layered up although the temperatures had risen to 16F and started downhill. The middle fork trail runs on the other side of the valley to where the above picture was taken.

Middle Fork single track

Packed to perfection

Nice views

Food break

The views were spectacular with freezing fog and clouds smothering Anchorage it changed the whole perspective of the ride.

Power Line with Denali

Once here, see above picture we are almost back onto familiar trails and enjoyed soaking up the sunshine for a while before heading down to our usual trails, with a little detour to try out some new trails.
Andrew getting ready to ride a new section of single track
Your Trail

It was a fun ride and we managed to explore some new trails which is always a bonus, thanks for riding with me Andrew, lets hope this weather holds and we get to ride some more epic trails again soon.

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