Monthly Archives: November 2013

Black Friday

Bike trax on beach 915am

Yesterdays Holiday went well. Family over. Bike ride in morn. 6 of us left the store at 9am for a beach ride. I had planned on using the Trucker but someone showed up with a Moonlander so I took the Farley.  I owned a Moonlander and forgot how big those 5 in tires on 100 mil rims were. Made my 3.8’s on 47 mil look like a road bike. 20 miles of beach, road, woods. Good way to start the Holiday.

Turkey Day morn.

Got home in time to watch the Packers pretty much end their season so now I can move on in that respect. No more football to watch means more ride time. I did get in a little R and R as I turned off the game to watch a little Napoleon Dynamite. A ritual every other month or so I do.


Today is Black Friday. The store will be a bit busier than usual but not like the department stores. They have built this black Friday thing up themselves so they can deal with it. I never understood why. You have a month to sell stuff yet you mark it down to sell it on one day. Most likely running out of some product and causing added expense to restock. I guess it works for them. I do have a sale, but you don’t need to get here at 3am to take part of it.

I hear story’s in my family of people getting to bed at 6am this morn from shopping all nite. Weird.

I think people now do that cuz its more of a “happening” than anything else. Like a concert or a circus. Or a festival of some sort. Anyway, its just weird.

I’m in the store all day till 7pm, I have accounting stuff to do in between selling stuff. And I know of one guy who is stopping in to buy a Trek 7.5 Speed Concept Project One. (You know who you are). So it should be a good day.

Tomorrow will be the breakfast ride in the morn. Historically, the Saturdays of any Holiday week has the ride pretty well attended. People back in town. It looks like the temps are on the rise so a beach ride might not work (at least for a guy my size).

But whatever. It’s always a good ride. Have a good weekend.


Scored a Double

Heres a first. Thats the US Roger Blough on the right and the Canadian Atlantic Huron on the left.  One heading down to Gary, IN. The other up to Lake Superior. 20131127_094342My first double pic.

Yesterday I made the decision to stay open an hour longer during the week. And to once again open Sundays. Just up to Christmas. Thats only four Sundays. I can handle that myself. I think. I know that it sure could not hurt to be open more, but I do have my sanity to think about. But the Holiday season is very important to a bike store. Can make or break a winter(if there’s no snow).

Then there’s the fatbikes. To date I have none on the floor. Im getting two around the second week of December (Trek) and they are both sold. Even the bike Im riding right now is sold when Im done with it.

I might just get a Pugsley in here to at least have one on hand. And maybe a 9zero7 frame. I have a build kit here waiting to go. Availability is still crappy in the Fatbike front. Tires, wheels and stuff hard to get. Im going to spend some time calling around to build up the fatbike presence here.

I am, of course closed tomorrow and am planning a ride from the store. Maybe Friday too. And of course Saturday. And Sunday also at least in my mind… oh wait. Im working Sunday…..

Have a great Holiday.


Surly Disc Trucker

Current winter mode.

I’ll talk a little about my Surly Disc Trucker. The bike I am currently riding and pictured in yesterdays post.

Its all about the touring, which I did sadly none of this past summer. In summer of 2012 I rode up to Eagle River, WI in blinding heat and also did a quickie up to Door County,WI. Each ride was 4 days. I love touring. I love touring by myself. Self supported.

Anyway, thats why I got the Trucker. My first tour was in 2008 and I was riding my then cross bike Pinky.

2008 on Pinkie

Here I am in 2008 heading north with no agenda. I had a buddy ride me the first 15 miles or so out of town.

The Burley trailer, rack and rear bags and a wheel was borrowed. Along with my tent and mattress. I owned the sleeping bag.

I was gone 18 days and put on about 1000 miles during the ride. I was hooked.

2012 on Trucker

Here is 2012 and Im on my way to Eagle River, a town I also hit back in 2008. Gone is the trailer, replaced with panniers. When I travel by bike I carry almost 60 pounds in the bags. Thats everything. Tools, clothes camp gear and food, etc..

Here I still borrow a tent, but everything else is mine. Let me tell you, low weight camping stuff is expensive. This was a bit of a rough ride as temps soared to 105 degrees.

Here is a post during that  ride.

So that brings me to my thoughts today. The bike. I spec’d it with 26in wheels. Just much more durable. I did not notice any added resistance due to the smaller wheel. In sure there is some, I just don’t notice it. The tires are Kenda Qwest 100 (air) pound tires. 1.5 inch wide and they work well. The disc brake is much needed as the Trucker I had before that was rim. Heading down the big hills in Door County was a crap shoot weather I was going to stop when I needed. Besides the cargo Im all of 250 pounds. Quite the task to stop. BB7’s have no problem.

But now, in winter they get ditched for 2.0 MTB tires. All the racking comes off. I take off the Brooks saddle too. Its not the seat you want riding thru the woods trying to keep up to the MTB’s. Plopping your ass on it during a tour its the best. For our Saturday ride this is about as good as it gets. You still have the tires to ride the woods and beach but still can get in the drops on the road.

So even tho the bike sat in a corner of the store, fully bagged and ready to go, it now gets the call and comes off the bench and will be the bike of choice pretty much all winter. Taking over the spot currently held by Treks Crockett. (BTW, that bike is for sale…)

So even tho I now get to ride that bike I am eager to wait for the day that I put the racks and bags back on, change out the rubber and head north again.

Most likely all by myself.


First Group Beach Ride!

WORS Comp rider to my right, multiple Ironman finisher to my left.

Had a great weekend of riding. The anticipated cold temps hit and at ride time on Saturday it was about 16 degrees. Mixed with a little moisture and the beach was froze solid. Our first beach ride (as a group) was on!

As the pic proves, you could not slap the smile off my face. Not very many riders had experienced the feeling of pelotoning down the beach with 15 riders at 20mph. Just a few feet from the water. Its a blast. But then again, not a lot of group rides like this one goes year round. Same day, same time. Just different bikes. Saturday was the first ride on my Disc Trucker all year. And thats just not right but I will re-attach all the racks and bags again this spring in hopes of a tour in the summer of 14′. But for now its the best winter bike. 26 by 2in tires for the beach.

Fotos by John H.

The beach can be a fickle thing. Could be 20 degrees and not froze or could be 30 something and hard. A lot of things need to happen before its ride quality froze. Perfect blend of wind direction, temp and moisture in the sand. Sometimes the “sweet spot” is only a foot wide with wet sand on the water side and dry sand on the other.

In the last few years people have just wondered why not the fatbike then. Then no worries on where on the beach you ride. For the most part that is true. A fat tire would have a ton more float here. But the ride consists of some woods, beach if its rideable and then road. While the fatbike would excel on the sand especially so if its a bit soft, you would get you ass handed to you once we hit the road. Even the woods.

This ride has many facets to it. And its still very much a group ride once we hit the pavement. On a Fat tire no way could I stay attached to the group. They would be waiting for me more than they already do.  My effort levels are still very high(I am the slowest guy out there tho) and Im pretty tired when done. And thats a good thing.

Even flatting could not take the edge off the ride. Heading off the beach on to the road my back tire was going away slowly.  I stuffed a CO2 in the tire and made it to the restaurant, where I changed the tube in heated comfort while watching everyone else eat while I worked. Story of my life.

I’ll mention I put another hour and a half on the beach Sunday on the Farley with a couple of guys. While Fatbikes are always way fun it would be just a bit better with snow on the ground. Just a scenario to look forward to.

Bring it on.