2017 Fargo to SF Ride

2017 Fargo to SF Ride
South Dakota Winter

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Winter Ultra Adventure – What do I bring to stay safe on a multiple day winter ride?

This last weekend I planned a little winter biking adventure so I thought I would share what I took with me to stay safe and cozy warm.

The Situation
Needed to attend a wedding with my wife in Moorhead, MN.  My wife needed to take the car to Minneapolis for work and I did not want to drive two cars to Fargo/Moorhead.  So, I planned a small winter adventure to get myself home.

The Plan
Ride 260 miles south from Fargo/Moorhead to Sioux Falls, SD in winter conditions.


The start
Home sweet home!













The Forecast
Always important to understand the weather forecast when planning for winter ride.  Most importantly remember weather professionals never get it right so your plan needs to adaptable to all winter weather conditions. 

Day 1
·         Forecasted
o   Snow forecasted over night over northern portion of route.
o   Mid 20’s with 15-20 mph, NW winds with a zero degree wind chill.
o   Clear partly sunny

·         Actual
o   Up to 5 inches, snow fell in mid part of route and freezing drizzle fell northern region.
o   Mid route, the roads were snow packed and icy.
o   No sun!
Day 2
·         Forecasted
o   Mid 20’s with 5-10 mph E winds with a mid-teen wind chill
o   Clear partly sunny
·         Actual
o   Overnight the forecast changed.  4-6 additional inches of snow fell over the night from Sioux Falls north to where I was to begin my ride.
o   Snow was to continue throughout the day.
o   No sun again!

The forecast changed drastically from what I was originally planning to deal with so I had to be mentally ready to adapt as I moved south into the wintery adventure.

The Gear
This is what works for me after years of testing so please experiment to get your gear figured out.  I use this gear if it is between 10 – 30 degrees outside.  I use my jacket zipper to regulate core temperatures to prevent sweating.  Moisture during winter riding can act as a thermal transfer to your body and have a negative effect so it is important to control.


Fully Loaded Cutty
Gear during ride
·        Head – Helmet, Oakley Sunglasses, Ear Warmer, Wool Buff, and Thermal Skull Cap.
·        Hands – Mid grade wool gloves with an Outdoor Research mitten over.  I like this combo because I can easily curl my fingers to keep warm.
·        Feet – Point 6 expedition socks, normal mtb shoe with 3mm waterproof shoe cover.
·        Core - Pearle Izumi Thermal Long Sleeve Base layer, jersey, thick wool jersey with an Eddie Bauer First Ascent permaloft jacket.  Jacket is quick to dry and very breathable so great for moisture control.
·        Legs - A combo bibs with Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Bike Tights over. 

Gear packed in bags
I packed this gear just in case the South Dakota winter weather took a nasty turn for the worse or if I had a significant breakdown, I would layer up to stay safe.
·        Seat bag - Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket, Smartwool Base Layer Hoody, Pom Beanie Stocking Hat, Vapor barrier socks and gloves, light and heavy wool socks for layering with vapor barrier socks, cook stove with coffee and ramen noodles to cook in a pinch warming the inner core up quick.
·        Frame Bag – Several pairs of extra gloves, balaclava mask, tubes, and tools.
·        Handle bar bag – 19 degree down sleeping bag, sleep pad, bivvy sack, and pillow.

The Ride
Temperature ranging from a minimum temperature of 17 to a high temperature of 29.

Day 1
Ride went as planned the tail crosswind was cold on my right side but a nice push on my fully loaded Salsa Cutthroat.  I stopped a couple times to refuel.  Each time I stopped, I was in and out very fast due to the zero degree wind chills.  Once back on the bike I was cold for several minutes but warmed up very quickly.   Total miles 125.6 with 7 hours ride time, average temperature 23 with zero degree wind chill.

Day 2
Day 2 was a day of adaptation.  The forecast had completely changed for the worse.  No sun, the wind was out of the south and several inches of snow had fallen making riding challenging at times.  I had to deal with falling snow which when hits your body you start to chill easily. Ice is dangerous to ride on so my route was adjusted many times to avoid where possible. Slush was freezing my drive train to shifting was not working and any peddle pressure the chain was slipping over my gears.

I limped my way for a couple of hours before hitting a town where I eat and filled my water bottles with hot water to keep my drive train unfrozen. 

As I was limping along, I hear a scream for HELP in the distance.  As I approached, there was a woman that attempted to turn her vehicle around and got her car stuck in the ditch.  She asked if I could help.  All I was thinking was oh boy let the chill begin!  Not safe for me at all.  I sucked it up and saved that random woman in the ditch. Yes, a bikepacker stopped in freezing temperatures and saves a damsel in distress...boom!



Day 2 winter conditions
Total miles 133.3 miles 9:46 hours ride time, average temperature 25 with mid teen wind chills.

Winter is a great time to ride and enjoy the outdoors.  You just need to adaptable and figure out what works for you to stay warm while controlling your body moisture.  Looking forward to seeing your wintery posts on social media!  #noindoortrainers #winterdoesntsuck #bikepackerforever

 ~Greg

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

THEN AND NOW



With only 220 days until I depart on another grand adventure across the continental divide it is always fun to reflect on past successes and challenges as you plan for the next year.

Stop doubting yourself, work hard, and make it happen!...

If you are curious to know more about my journey check out these links:

http://salsacycles.com/culture/course_adjustments_greg_gleason_and_the_tour_divide_part_one

http://salsacycles.com/culture/course_adjustments_greg_gleason_and_the_tour_divide_part_two

http://salsacycles.com/culture/course_adjustments_greg_gleason_and_the_tour_divide_part_three

http://salsacycles.com/culture/practice_greg_gleasons_first_run_at_the_tour_divide_race

http://www.gleaso.com/2017/06/tour-divide-aftermath.html

So very appreciative of all the amazing people I have met along the way! Looking forward to 2018 and all the adventures to come! 

With gratitude, your friend, Greg

Friday, October 13, 2017

Discovering the Heck of the North

Discovering Heck of the North | Salsa Cycles

Surprising things are happening on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The Superior National Forest near Two Harbors, Minn., is well known for its October peak fall foliage, but maybe not as well known for its gravel cycling events. The Heck of the North is a 107-mile gravel cycling classic that brings 250+ adventurous cyclists and the fall colors together.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tour Divide Aftermath

The moment it all ended




2017 Divide Lessons

Conditions

·         Mountain cough developed first day of riding and progressed into full on bronchitis with severe cough.
·         Shermer’s neck developed over first several days into full dropping of neck by day 10.

Shermer’s Neck Notes

·         Shermer’s neck a condition where the muscles of your neck have given out and you cannot hold your head up any longer.
·         Shermer’s Neck does not affect tourers and pro cyclist who spend all day in the saddle and get adequate rest each day.  It only strikes a small percentage of the maniacs who ride without stopping.
·         Strengthening neck inconclusive evidence it will actually help prevent in future

Mountain Cough (High Altitude Cough) Notes

·         Altitude cough may be due to bronchoconstriction (the narrowing of the airways that commonly occurs in asthma) or infection.
·         Cough could be caused by breathing cold dry air on the mountains.

Shermer’s Neck theories

·         Aggressive bike setup – rigid
·         Not enough rest – 32 hours straight was a mistake
·         Mountain cough strained neck
·         No stretching during night riding
·         Jarring effects of whoopty woo trail sections
·         Riding aero to much

2018 Divide Adjustments

Bike

·         Add light weight front suspension that I’m able to lock-out
·         Setup bike with a less aggressive position by adding more height to stem and aero bar setup
·         Change gearing by adding more gearing

Gear

·         Ripped rain pants will need a new pair
·         Ripped vapor socks will need to fix or replace
·         Look for items to cut to lighten load

Self

·         Visit with doctor on ways to prevent mountain cough
·         Rehab/Strengthen neck muscles
·         Sleep management - sleep more during race
·         Stretch head more especially during night riding


http://salsacycles.com/culture/practice_greg_gleasons_first_run_at_the_tour_divide_race


Practice - Greg Gleason's First Run at the Tour Divide Race | Salsa Cycles

Greg Gleason's 2017 Tour Divide didn't necessarily end the way he wanted it to. Racers have over 2,745 miles to experience challenges they could never have planned for, and in Greg's case, it took 1,250.




Friday, June 9, 2017

Course Adjustments Greg Gleason and the tour Divide part three

Course Adjustments: Greg Gleason and the Tour Divide - Part Three | Salsa Cycles

With June 9th looming just around the corner, all of Gleason's training will soon be thoroughly tested. Aspects of the TDR just can't be replicated though. Will what he's been imagining, and talking and reading about match up with reality once he starts turning pedals?




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Course Adjustments Greg Gleason and the tour Divide part two

Course Adjustments: Greg Gleason and the Tour Divide - Part Two | Salsa Cycles

Click here to read Part One... Part Two With the rediscovery of his mountain bike, and "The Thing" to help him meet his fitness goals, Greg Gleason began his training for 2006's Chequamegon 40 in May of that year.




Monday, June 5, 2017

Course Adjustments Greg Gleason and the tour Divide part one

Course Adjustments: Greg Gleason and the Tour Divide - Part One | Salsa Cycles

Salsa sponsored rider Greg Gleason just turned 50, and as a birthday present to himself, he's embarking on 2017's Tour Divide Race. But his route to the start line of this monumental endeavor has had a few turns along the way.




Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trans South Dakota Individual Time Trial (ITT)

If you're looking for a challenge this summer please checkout this route.  If you want me to record your results please signup and we will follow your DOT during this adventure. 

Hit the link: Trans South Dakota ITT

Good Luck!
~Greg

Monday, January 16, 2017