2015 Arrowhead 135 Stories

The Arrowhead 135 is a human powered ultra-endurance marathon that takes place every year during the coldest part of Winter.  Participants have 60 hours to complete the 135 mile trek from International Falls to Fortune Bay Casino in Tower on the Arrowhead State Trail.  Racers are required to stop at three checkpoints that are spaced about 35 miles apart, where race officials can pull a racer due to frostbite or other medical concerns. Participants must run, ski or bike the distance with their sub-zero survival gear,  no outside help except from other racers or race officials and they must follow a strict set of race rules out on the course.

This year's race was much warmer than sub-zero temperatures of previous years.  This had to be a welcome change to AH135 race veterans.  77 cyclists completed the race under the 60 hour cut-off and the top four riders crossed the finish line within seconds of each other in a sprint to the end.  I have compiled all of the stories, photos, video and news articles of  racers who chose bike propulsion pertaining to this year's epic race.  For full race results, click here.

Map of Arrowhead 135 course

Race Participants:  Bike Propulsion

Jordan Wakeley-1st
Jordan Wakeley - 2015 Arrowhead Ultra Winner - Bikepackers Magazine
Grayling cyclist wins 135-mile race in Minnesota - Crawford County Avalanche
Rookie claims Arrowhead 135 bike title by a second - Duluth News Tribune

Charly Tri-6th
Arrowhead 135 recap (and 2 others), 2015 - Jo Mama VS. The World
Arrowhead part 2. - Jo Mama VS. The World

Nick Armano-8th
Twenty2 Bully shows up for Arrowhead 135 - Twenty2 Cycles Blog

Mark Scotch-15th 
Arrowhead 135, 2015 - motoscotch
Joe Stiller-20th
Northern Currents: Ultra-Marathon Ministry - Northern Currents on Psalm FM

Christopher Tassava-26th
Arrowheadcase - Blowing & Drifting
Would you ride a bike for 15+ hours? - Minnesota Public Radio
Northfield bikers compete at Arrowhead 135 - Northfield News

David Gray-29th
2015 Arrowhead 135 - Surly Blog

Jerry Bilek-36th
Northfield bikers compete at Arrowhead 135 - Northfield News

Back of the Pack Racing (James Barnhouse, Steve McGuire, Judd Rohwer, Tedd Rohwer, David Sears)-40th, 45th, 60th (tie), 70th

Marc Brown-43rd
Fat Biking The Arrowhead 135 - Great Lakes Fatbikes
Jeff Eckert-43rd
Fat Biking The Arrowhead 135 - Great Lakes Fatbikes

Adam Harju-52nd
Cook County cyclists complete Arrowhead 135 ultra-marathon - WTIP North Shore Community Radio

John Twiest-52nd
Cook County cyclists complete Arrowhead 135 ultra-marathon - WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Jason Husveth-74th
May Township resident completes Arrowhead ultra, again - Country Messenger

2015 Arrowhead 135 Press

Temperatures, finishers up for 2015 Arrowhead 135 - International Falls Journal

Northfield bikers compete at Arrowhead 135 - Northfield News

2015 Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon with 80+ already finished - International Falls Journal 

Grayling cyclist wins 135-mile race in Minnesota - Crawford County Avalanche

Rookie claims Arrowhead 135 bike title by a second - Duluth News Tribune

124 finish Arrowhead 135 - International Falls Journal

Cold and exhausted: Race tests area residence endurance - SunThisweek

Mild, snowy conditions aid racers in Arrowhead 135 - Timberjay

Cook County cyclists complete Arrowhead 135 ultra-marathon - WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Would you ride a bike for 15+ hours? - Minnesota Public Radio

After day of racing across Minnesota wilderness, Arrowhead 135 title decided by one second - Duluth News Tribune


Arrowhead 135 Facebook page
AH135 Finish line 2015
Mobile Uploads
AH135 Finishers 2015
Photos of Arrowhead 135

C5 Adventure Photography - Chris Gibbs on Facebook
Timeline Photos

International Falls Journal Image Gallery
Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon - Jan. 26, 2015

Dan Luebke on Facebook 
(must be logged into Facebook to view)
Arrowhead Ultra 2015

Scott Mark on Facebook
(must be logged into Facebook to view)
2015 Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon


Arrowhead 135 2015 finish

Arrowhead 135 v2015


Postcard Registration for Almanzo Races Still Open

Almanzo lives!  Yes, you will be able to race any of the three courses (Almanzo 100, Royal 162 and Alexander) at this year's Almanzo.  Founder and race organizer Chris Skogen has handed over the reigns to the Spring Valley Tourism Committee and he will finally get a chance to ride Almanzo for the first time.

A lot of you may think that registration is now closed because during the history of the Almanzo races Chris had postcard registration run from January 1st through the 31st.  "We are still accepting postcards and will do so through April, although the “official end of registration” is January 31st. We are looking forward to continuing Chris’s vision of free bicycle racing on gravel roads!"  Kathryn Simpson, Spring Valley Tourism Chair recently told me. 

The 2015 Almanzo 100 and Royal 162 will be held on Saturday, May 16th.  The Royal 162 will start at 7:00 am and the Almanzo 100 at 9:00 am.  For those doing the Alexander, start will be at the Spring Valley Community Center on Friday, May 15th at 5:00 am.  All three races will start and finish in downtown Spring Valley.

Send in your postcards to get on the roster and have your finish times recorded.  Mail them to:

201 S. Broadway
Spring Valley, Mn 55975
Include your name, Race Declaration
and Contact Information

Image Credit: Spring Valley Tourism

For updates, visit the Spring Valley Tourism Facebook page and the Almanzo/Wilderfest Facebook Event page.  For questions about the Almanzo races, direct them to svalmanzo@gmail.com.


Riot GRRRaveL Retuns For Second Year

Riot GRRRaveL is back for its second year with 30 and 50 mile route options.  This is a free race/ride designed to introduce women and teens to riding gravel.  Last year's debut brought out 82 riders on a sunny Saturday afternoon in June.

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Riot GRRRaveL organizer Ellie Skelton tells how this event came to be.  "The idea for the Riotgrrravel ride came from attending several biking events where the field was predominantly male. After riding the Filthy 50 in 2013, I started thinking of ways to get women to try riding on gravel. The first Riotgrrravel was 30 miles because I wanted to make a low barrier to entry for women who may have heard about longer gravel races but were intimidated by the long distances. Having two teenage daughters, I wanted to expose them to gravel racing as well. That's really the goal: get more women & teens excited about gravel racing."

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Riot GRRRaveL 2015 will take place on Saturday, June 20th rain or shine just south of Hastings and will add a new longer course option of 50 miles.  "We wanted something close to the Twin Cities.  This year we will be doing two courses- a 30 and a 50 mile loop.  The 50 will start at 8:30 and the 30 at 9am.  We definitely want to develop a scenic route with a good climb or two--but not as intense as some of the climbs on the Almanzo 100 course.  The ride will be unsupported with the same, "you are responsible for you," philosophy that other free gravel races have."

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Is this a ride or is it a race?  The answer is both.  "We are open to however someone wants to ride this!  Riotgrravel will showcase the speed of  some of the area's amazing female gravel racers and offer an opportunity for new racers to experience an entry ride at their own pace."

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart
Registration is now open for Riot GRRRaveL 2015 and only takes a minute to sign up online.  It is capped at 200 riders and should fill up quickly, so make sure you register early.  Ellie would love to hear why you are riding Riot GRRRaveL in 2015, just visit the Riot GRRRaveL Facebook page and tell your story and post up your pictures from last year's race.

For rider racaps and more from last year's race, visit the Riotgrrravel 2014 post on Grease Rag, Ride and Wrench.  Kate Lockhart got a lot of great photos too and they can be seen on her Flickr album.

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Penn Cycle & Fitness will be sponsoring this year's race and providing pre-race mechanical support.  If you or your company would like to sponsor or volunteer for Riot GRRRaveL 2015 please send a message to Ellie on the Riot GRRRaveL Facebook page.  Riot GRRRaveL is also on Instagram.


45NRTH Launces Groomed Singletrack Website

45NRTH has launched a project that will help us all find groomed winter trails to ride fatbikes in our area.  The website is called Groomed Singletrack.  While the site is new, there is already a good listing of groomed singletrack trail information and I expect this to grow to include even more listings.

The Ride page of the website is designed to help find groomed singletrack near you by browsing the map or entering a Zip Code.  Search results can be narrowed or expanded to include a radius of 25, 100, 250, 500 or 1000 miles.  

Map Results

Below the map results is a list of those groomed singletrack trails with Location, Difficulty, Overall Mileage, Usage and website link if available.  Some information is missing but I expect this to change as the site is updated.  If you know of a trail that is not on the map you can email 45NRTH with the details so they can add it.

List Results

The Experience page provides information on fatbike rides and races broken down be region (Central, East and West) with links to more information on these events.

Image Credit: 45NRTH

Image Credit: 45NRTH
45NRTH has also implemented the hashtag #ridegroomed for discussion and to view or upload your own groomed trail fatbike ride photos to social media.   They are also coming out with Ride Groomed hats and t-shirts that will be available at local dealers in February and "proceeds go towards helping build more winter trails across the country".
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