Cold, Wild Ride: Racing Alaska's Iditasport 100K @BicyclingMag
Photograph By Carl Battreall
BY THE TIME I think to eat the PB&J sandwiches stuffed in my sports bra, the windchill has turned them into rocks. At this point, I am pushing my bike across an ice-locked lake. Sporadic markers that read "Iditasport" tell me I'm on the trail, yet I can barely make them out because my eyelashes keep sticking together. A vision flashes in my mind, of a woman I'd heard about whose eyeballs had frozen during a race in Alaska. They'd apparently swelled to the size of prunes, causing her temporary blindness.
Because her race had been 350 miles while mine is just 100 kilometers, I feel like a baby even thinking things could get that dire. Then again, I've already broken a chain, lost my way, and run out of water. My fingers are waxy, even in puffy handlebar mitts; my toes wooden in their insulated, lug-soled boots. Even my protective layer of beer fat feels as cold and clammy as... fat.
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