Saturday, 4 February 2012

Siberian Black Ice Race - Lake Baikal Preparations

I can't actually believe that something I've been thinking about for the last year has finally become reality. Last week I sent in my entry fee for the Siberian Black Ice Race and I now have a confirmed place!

7 weeks to go and training is well underway. I'm running and cycling for about 3hrs a day and yesterday I collected the Qoroz Titanium bike which I shall use to get me across the lake as fast as possible.

It's a 600km race across a frozen lake in - 40 degrees. We've got 18 days to complete it but I'm hoping for between 7-10 days. The more I find out about the conditions, the more accurately I can set a target!

I went on a 30km road ride today to work the ice studs properly into the tyres and luckily enough the roads were icy and the snow began to fall so it was good training conditions also. I was happy with my clothing, footwear and gloves (having said that is was only -2 degrees!)

I've been spending hours a day on the internet researching kit and clothing and how I'm going to get it all to fit on the bike, is anyones guess! At the moment there are 3 options, panniers, towing a pulk or loading up the handlebars and using a large seat bag. There seems to be pros and cons with everything so I guess I just need to get testing.

Next big challenge is working out whether I can actually ride on ice at all and hence I'm trying to organise with Cardiff Ice Rink to let me come and cycle round in circles until it begins to feel natural!

Working out what boots to wear is becoming problematic as I've been recommended to get minus 100 degree boots because with cycling your feet are still and hence freeze very easily. Problem with this is that a boot with these properties weights a ton and is bulky so doesn't make for easy cycling.

I've been fortunate enough to be introduced to some very knowledgeable people so my note book is filling up nicely with lots of good tips that I would never have thought of!