Last weekend I traveled to Marquette, Michigan to compete in the Noquemanon World Snow Bike Championships. The snow bike race was held the day after the Noquemanon 50k ski race. With skiers on the trails on Saturday, I had no chance to preview the course with my Salsa Mukluk. Despite this being the inaugural year for the World Snow Bike Championships at the Noquemanon, there was strong competition in the womens’ field. I knew that it would be a tough race!
At the start I lined up in the front row to try and avoid the inevitable traffic jam going into the woods. Before I knew it we were off! Within the first half mile I quickly realized that I had my work cut out for me. The first 5-6 miles of trail were not groomed which meant a lot of running and a few crashes in deep snow. Everyone was in the same boat though and I focused on keeping a fast spin and remaining upright!
I have to admit that I started to panic when I looked down at my Garmin and realized that it took me over 50 minutes to complete the first 5 miles! It suddenly occurred to me that I might be racing all day. However we soon hit groomed trail and it was smooth pedaling from that point on. There were a lot of spectators cheering us on throughout the second half of the course, and hearing them shout that I was the first female just made me go faster. Even though I was maxed out I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the trail system was. I felt like I was racing through a winter wonderland!
For the last couple of miles we were on the same course as The Ore to Shore Epic, a mountain bike race I’ve competed in many times. Like Ore to Shore the final stretch to the Superior Dome seemed to last forever. When I finally crossed the line I was happy to hear the announcer call out that I was overall female winner!