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100 miles at 10,000 feet high – what a journey!

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“Everywhere there is an adventure athlete waiting to challenge the elements and push their body and their equipment to the extreme”.

Olympic mountain bike champion Bart Brentjens  stated after this years Leadville 100 mountain bike race, “This is the hardest one-day race that I have ever ridden in my whole career.”

At  6:30 am August  13th 2011, 1900 people crowded the main street of Leadville, Colorado, which at 3,100 metres is the highest incorporated city in North America, for the infamous Leadville 100 race. This race has pushed Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong to the limit and led ordinary people into realms of physical discovery they had never dreamed of, this is truly one epic bike race.

Two of the biggest factors for finishing this race is 1st, your fitness level, and 2nd your equipment and nutrition. I can’t thank Icebreaker enough. With a time of 11 hours and 4 min, I sat in the Icebreaker bib shorts for a very long time! The temperature ranged from 1 degree celsius to 30 degree celsius in that time and without proper shorts it can be a very unpleasent experience and really get in the way of your mental focus.

The Icebreaker bib shorts kept me warm when they needed to, and they breathed for me when I was at the 80 km mark at 3780 metres high with the sun pouring down on me as I climbed a mountain. I won’t ride without them.

- Blake Wood, Icebreaker Ambassador

A unique race in a unique environment

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Icebreaker was very proud to co-sponsor Ö TILL Ö in Sweden a week or so ago, on 5 September 2011. It’s a great fit as this event is really something different…

Teams of two race together from island to island (Ö TILL Ö). The teams swim between the 19 islands and run on them. The total distance is 64 kilometres of which 10 km are swimming and 54 km are running.

The running sections are beautiful. At times they go though the wood without a trail but most of the time the course is on trail or gravelled roads. The swim sections are between 100 and 1600 metres long.

To manage to finish the course from dawn to dusk demands that the competitors are fit and that they have practiced a good technique to be quick in and out of the water as there are as many as 38 in and outs.

59 of the 96 teams that started finished the course within the time limits.

“Huge respect to all racers from near and far to venture into our waters and for the mega effort you all put into the day. It is inspiring to see how much you want to finish. We have three new winners in all categories and we would particularly like to congratulate Björn & Antti – Team Ekonomianalys – for setting a new course record in such tough conditions. I hope somebody bet on them on Betsafe as those bets payed 8 times the money ☺

We are also so pleased that more and more women are entering ÖTILLÖ and finishing ÖTILLÖ, often in better shape than their male partners in the mixed category.

One thing is clear ÖTILLÖ is not multisport and it is not triathlon, it is simply ÖTILLÖ.”

Check out ÖTILLÖ TV for coverage.

Icebreaker merino performs!

When I heard I had won a merino cycling top from the Travelling Two website I was pretty excited.  I have been a big fan of merino for the last few years, but tended to stick to thermals for skiing and using it in sports where I wouldn’t get too sweaty, so I was intrigued to see what a cycling top would be like.  The parcel soon arrived and inside was an Icebreaker SS Halo Jersey.  On first impressions the fabric seemed quite thick (200 weight) so I thought it would be good for winter riding – I was living in the Austrian Alps at that point.  But then I wimped out of doing much <0 deg.C riding so the testing never quite got going…

Since mid May 2011 I have been doing a bike tour around the western part of the USA; going from desert and temperatures above 30 deg. C in southern Utah, to mountain passes over 3,700m and with snow banks 5m high in Colorado.  The merino cycling top has performed brilliantly in all places – it does what Icebreaker says it will: it keeps me cool in the heat and warm in the cold.  I have two short sleeve riding tops with me on this tour and I reckon I wear the merino top five days a week.  Normally I try and rinse it out at the end of the day, but I have gone five days without it seeing a drop of clean water and it hardly smelt.

I am really pleased with this top and I think having this one, in combination with a lighter weight (and quicker drying) top, is perfect for me.  If I was doing a trip with just one cycling top this Icebreaker SS Halo top would be the one for me.

- Helena, Icebreaker Fan