Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

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Ian
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Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:33 pm

Finally wrapped some words around my completion of the Rovaniemi 300. I figured the words were better coming before the video, as they tell the most complete story.

The video will be along later this week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy :-bd

https://wildcat.cc/blogs/news/rovaniemi-300
Last edited by Ian on Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dave Barter
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:49 pm

Excellent blog Ian and we'll done!
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up

Post by mje25 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:14 am

Enjoyed that Ian and well done on such a strong ride.

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macinblack
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up

Post by macinblack » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:22 am

Wow, tough stuff.
Quite the achievement!

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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up

Post by whitestone » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:34 pm

Nice one Ian. Temperature rise problems sounded similar to last year, -25C to -5C on the Friday before the race. Frustrating when you head to the Arctic to get "Scottish" conditions.

As I commented on the thread about the race the initial section up to CP3 looked very fast going, I think you were similar pace to the lead group in last year's 150 race (not Tor-espen Jolma, he was way in front), 18kmh on Sinettajaavi would suggest that. Last year 8kmh would have been fast.

I know what you mean about stopping in the hut at Kuusilampi, there's a bit of a time warp there :lol:
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up

Post by sean_iow » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:51 pm

I enjoyed reading that. It sounded like really really hard work in the soft snow! My legs were beginning to ache just reading it. Great result :-bd
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Ian
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:25 pm

Thanks chaps :smile:

And here's the video: https://wildcat.cc/blogs/news/rovaniemi-300-film

I made it just long enough for a cup of tea & a biscuit :wink:

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Dave Barter
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Dave Barter » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:46 pm

Great video and editing Ian. Did a fantastic job of convincing me never to do this. Looked far too hard and thrutchy.
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:56 pm

Did a fantastic job of convincing me never to do this.
Thought the very same Dave. I don't enjoy the snow at the best of times, so seeing this really is the final nail. :wink:
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by sean_iow » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:03 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:56 pm
Thought the very same Dave. I don't enjoy the snow at the best of times, so seeing this really is the final nail. :wink:
Did the mug dangler in the first 20 seconds put you off?

Having seen the video I'm more interested in it, but that's easy to say from a warm office, it did look hard work.
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:14 pm

Did the mug dangler in the first 20 seconds put you off?
I was hoping Ian was carrying a rubber dog turd :wink:

No, he didn't put me off. The lack of green puts me off as does the monotonous landscape (you probably have to be there) and obviously the cold too. I suppose the fact I don't really like fat bikes doesn't help either :wink:
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by whitestone » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:32 pm

:-bd

Up to about five minutes I recognised quite a few of those sections despite "the lack of green and the monotonous landscape" :wink:

Actually, mug dangling makes sense as there are big cauldrons of water at the checkpoints on the 150 race route so if you want to fill a bottle, etc. it's just a case of unclipping your mug ... They do have jugs for that purpose but if someone else is using it then being able to be independent helps.

Hard work? Yep. It's a bit like trying to ride with one or both of your brakes dragging. Given there's a 42hr time limit for the first 150 if you were doing that race by itself then for the next 150 you're allowed another 78hrs, so that's 2kmh! Interesting your comments Ian about not being able to see the riding surface under the snow, it's a bit like powder skiing at times, you just have to trust that there aren't any hidden holes or edges. Takes a lot of concentration which also tires you.
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by 99percentchimp » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:52 pm

Enjoyed the blog and the film Ian... well done on the finish/placing in those conditions and thanks for sharing :-bd
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by htrider » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:49 pm

:-bd :-bd
Looks like the going was easier than 2019 until about K100, then it all went downhill.....
1 psi and bud and lou will get you through a lot but its utterly knackering so fair play for bashing through that lot.

The landscape may look dull on the film but when you are in the middle of it, its uniqueness is captivating. I guess I like snow so much, I'm happy just being in such conditions, no matter how hard.

ITI next??

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Ian
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:00 am

ITI next? Don't know. Maybe, but not immediately.

You're right, Bob, about the level of concentration required. I'd forgotten that detail for the purposes of the write up, but when you said it, it came back to me. After my spill over the bars (in the video), it's implied by my "no margin for error" comment, and reference to the crux. There was a whole section into and out of Kuusilampi that was so draining mentally.

Interestingly, I trained on Bud / Lou in Scotland, but swapped to Dillinger 5's for the race. Rene was on Bud / Lou, and seemed to have more joy with traction than I did. He had more experience than I, certainly, and higher fitness, but it was frustrating to see where he had ridden, but I couldn't.

Up to CP5/6 (half way on the 150), the riding was amazing. Whether you like fat bikes or not, and despite the lack of green, it was an amazing enviroment to ride through with the bike in its element. Perhaps that didn't come through in the film or the blog, as it became a distance memory as the difficulties mounted.

After the briefing on Friday, I was very nervous about the whole thing (chimp influence), particularly with the prospect of having to deal with long sections that couldn't be ridden. I managed to shelve all that at the back of brain and concentrate on what I imagined would be the best bits. When the pushing eventually came, I just dealt with it when I had to. If you're out of the race environment, I can appreciate how unappealing the race would be to some. If you commit to doing it, and pull it off, it's a great feeling.

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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:33 am

Whether you like fat bikes or not, and despite the lack of green, it was an amazing enviroment to ride through with the bike in its element. Perhaps that didn't come through in the film or the blog, as it became a distance memory as the difficulties mounted.
On the contrary, I think you've done a sterling job Ian but I think the appeal is probably more about the experience and less about the scenery - the scenery simply being part of the greater experience. As I said, you most likely have to be there or already really enjoy snow :wink:
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by 99percentchimp » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:15 am

Ian wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:00 am
t"he riding was amazing. Whether you like fat bikes or not, and despite the lack of green, it was an amazing enviroment to ride through with the bike in its element. Perhaps that didn't come through in the film or the blog, as it became a distance memory as the difficulties mounted."
"If you commit to doing it, and pull it off, it's a great feeling."
I get that from the film and makes me want to try to get fit enough for a 150 attempt at least..... the 300 may be a step too far for my knackered body...
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by whitestone » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:20 am

There's a phrase about the ITI that goes something like: "Can you put up with doing what you are doing now for the next 24 or 48hrs?" So if you are pushing then you might be pushing for that length of time :shock: In fact looking at this year's race I think there's been a big dump of snow and it's really slow going, most "riders" are sub 1mph! There's the usual long thread on the MTBR fat bike forum following things.

Ian, one point I picked up on in your blog post was about sore shoulders and back from the pushing. Have you considered steering dampers? Mike Curiac posted a series of posts on MTBR about using them in the really deep snow he experiences in Colorado, I then started this thread there - https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/steer ... 98947.html which resulted in Mike doing this blog post https://lacemine29.blogspot.com/2020/02/damp.html to pull things together. Mike by his own admission can be a bit OCD and he does come across at times as very opinionated but he definitely has "been there, done that". The Hopey looks very expensive and means you'd struggle to use a top tube bag but the Cane Creek Viscoset might be worth a try if they do one that fits your headset.

Going way off-topic and feeding my OCD :lol:
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by faustus » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:11 pm

Great to read the blog, the race sounds very tough indeed! I've done a very little bit of XC skiing a bit further north of Rovaniemi, and it was brilliant being in that landscape. I can definitely see the appeal of doing some fat-bikepacking in that region as i'd love to explore it in the winter. Having spent some time in Finland, I enjoy the seeming monotony of the landscape, but it's not for everyone. Going from wood fire and sauna cabin to cabin would suit me! :-bd

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Ian
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:15 pm

Thanks for linking that article, Bob.
This...
What this means is that even when you manage to float atop it, your tires can't really get good traction because the snow isn't sticking to itself. There's nothing for the tires to hook into, because the snow just moves out of the way. Think critically about this for a moment and you'll understand that it's difficult to control the direction of the bike precisely, because the front tyre is what does that, and the front tyre can't hook up very well with the trail surface
...describes the conditions I encountered quite well.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that my tyres were nowhere near soft enough for the section of the course before the river.
Steering dampers look worth investigating, if I find myself tackling a few other Scottish winter biking projects next winter.

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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by redefined_cycles » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:28 pm

but it was frustrating to see where he had ridden, but I couldn't.
Ian... Now you know how most of us felt (on the HAB section of BB200/300) when we saw your fat tyre tracks where we were walking. Felt like a privelege getting overtaken by your good self though 10 or 20 minutes earlier . After seeing your tracks I did attempt with my semi fats a few times but quickly gave up. There were some small (satisfying) sections where even you couldn't get any grip so made us/you feel more/less human :-bd

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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by redefined_cycles » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:29 pm

Ian wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:15 pm
Thanks for linking that article, Bob.
This...
What this means is that even when you manage to float atop it, your tires can't really get good traction because the snow isn't sticking to itself. There's nothing for the tires to hook into, because the snow just moves out of the way. Think critically about this for a moment and you'll understand that it's difficult to control the direction of the bike precisely, because the front tyre is what does that, and the front tyre can't hook up very well with the trail surface
...describes the conditions I encountered quite well.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that my tyres were nowhere near soft enough for the section of the course before the river.
Steering dampers look worth investigating, if I find myself tackling a few other Scottish winter biking projects next winter.
(Anyone)whats steering dampers and the ITI... sorry

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Ian
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:55 pm

Steering dampers - check out hopey.org

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Ian
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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by Ian » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:12 pm

Now you know how most of us felt (on the HAB section of BB200/300) when we saw your fat tyre tracks where we were walking.
And you’d think I’d have been the fastest on that section, but that accolade goes to Sam Walsh. So it wasn’t entirely about tyres :wink:

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Re: Rovaniemi 300 Write Up & Video

Post by K1100T » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:14 pm

redefined_cycles wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:29 pm
(Anyone)whats steering dampers and the ITI... sorry
Safety to Nome - Official Trailer will give you the idea, as will reading this article: When The Trail Goes Cold.

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