What a perfect day to watch the start of a world class dog sled race right in our own town. The race being the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Blue skies, 5 F degrees, and a slight wind. A great day to run the dogs. The Beargrease is the premiere sled dog race in the lower 48. It's an Iditarod qualifier and attracts mushers from around the U.S. and Canada. I spotted teams from as far away as New Hampshire. The Arrowhead region of Minnesota has a large population of breeders and mushers. The start is at a school about 5 miles east of downtown Duluth. In the above picture the start line was down this hill past the helicopter and in the stadium behind the small building. That's Lake Superior in the background. The race goes up the North Shore to near the Canadian border and back. Nearly 370 miles. Before the start the we strolled amongst the trucks where handlers were getting the teams of dogs ready to run. Above is a team on it's way out onto the course. This is actually Superior Street. One of the few main east-west routes through town. It is closed and piled with snow to allow the race to exit town.
After we left the Beargrease I stopped at my LBS. Denis had a Pinarello Prince nearly built up and a cheaper version next to it. Many people describe these bikes as "sexy". I must have very different tastes. I find them quite ugly. I don't care for the oversized and over the top tubing and the flashy graphics and paint. Oh, and don't knock it over. One fall, I hear, and it's time to replace it. I thought my custom Ellis fit in nicely. : ) For what I paid for the Ellis, I could have purchased the cheaper of the two Pinarellos.
Denis installed my Phil Wood bottom bracket for me today. If you enlarge the picture above you can see it. He also had my new wheelset built up and ready for me. Phil Hubs is a dream come true. I've always wanted some Phil hubs. Once I put tires, casette, and skewers on(skewers aren't included with Phil hubs), this wheelset will have cost me as much as my Long Haul Trucker cost.
The front hub.
Denis talked me into these Mavic rims. Mavic wasn't even on my list when I was considering rims. Denis talked me into these. I really like them. I also wanted silver rims. This model had only black in 32 hole. I think I'll like the black just as well. This bike is going to have so many shiny parts, I don't think I'll miss having silver rims. And this is where the wheels and frame will sit until I save up enough money to finish the build. Hopefully by April or May. That's my messy shop area in the basement. I can't wait to ride this bike.