Monthly Archives: November 2015

Beach is Back!

Fat bike? We don’t need any Fat bikes. At least not for Saturdays group breakfast ride that was amazing. The beach was rock solid. Look at the bottom pic, Im in green and on a cross bike. 260 pound guy on a 35c tire. Sand is so froze I was not even leaving a print. Pelotoning down the beach at 20 mph. We had 18 bikes.

In the last few years the beach was in rough shape with the rising waters of Lake Michigan. I think all of last year was maybe 3 beach rides all winter, and those were on fatbikes. And we spent a lot of time in the water.  Im not sure if the water level is going down but there is way more exposed beach this winter and that’s a good thing. Im pretty optimistic about the riding there this winter season.

Because he asked for it, Im calling out Craig K for being the first on these rides with a fatbike and not getting dropped. Way to go.

And while you look at the pics and think this would be a perfect ride for a fat bike it’s not. There’s plenty of road on this ride too. My best shot is a cross bike. That helps me keep up on the road with all the MTB’s but if the beach is even a hint of getting soft Im screwed. In fact I did get off the beach Saturday a bit before everyone else as the sun was softening it up but I did get in a majority of the beach ride. A short road ride to the restaurant, then it’s all road back to town for most, about 14 miles, with the skinny guys back on the beach. By the time we get done eating the beach is too soft for me to ride. Even on a cold day the sun thaws the sand a little.

So I hope this scenario continues as the cold riding season continues. But we do need it to get colder.

Sunday me and Steve D grabbed the fatbikes for another ride on the same beach. It was 35 degrees and no way could I ride the bike I had yesterday. But then your riding fat the temp is not as much a problem. Slightly soft sand was no issue as we put in another almost two hours leaving me with a bit over four hours for the weekend. I’ll take that.

As we rode we ran into two others on fat bikes. It’s kinda strange that we now bump into people doing what we have been for years. I was also pumped that both the other two we saw had bought their bikes from my store. Its nice to see the bikes used properly. Like any bike, too many of them stay in the garage way too much.

All in all another great weekend on the bike. This week I will build a bike specifically for the Saturday Breakfast ride. It needs to be fast on the road but have better float than a 35c cross tire for the beach. I am compiling the components as we speak. I love a new project. Will keep you informed…


T Day 2015

As expected, Turkey day kinda sucked. First off, we did not do T-day dinner, that’s Saturday so while everyone is thinking about hitting the gym to burn off those pies, I have yet to have mine. We are doing it Saturday cuz so many of our family was working yesterday. What the hell is that? Seems the big retail chains have ruined Thanksgiving. Except REI. Soon the cool thing will be to ditch black Friday and all the cool stores will be doing it. Hope so.

Just think back even 10 years ago. None of this shit was going down. I considered closing the store today but I really have nothing else to do anyway. The weather was crap. Its been raining over 24 hours now.

I did not get a bike ride in on Thanksgiving and that breaks a 10 or so year streak. I had a hour or so window late morning where the rain stopped but just did not feel like taking 45 minutes to dress\undress to get in a hour ride.So I didn’t. What did I do on Thanksgiving? I worked.

Went to the store and did some end of year accounting for a few hours, then home and parked on the couch and did not get up again until the end of the Packer game. Which also sucked. Such is life.

I’ve got a pretty big football family and the years the Packers suck it’s like I get a free pass to go outside on Sundays instead of watching the games. So that is what I’ll do. I like the Packers but I like outside better.

Soon I will get the keys to the State Park and prep the groomer. At least get it ready just in case it does snow. I groomed 3 times last year. I groomed 14 times the year before. That was a good year. The keys I get are for the maintenance shed where the groomer is parked. And a key for the gas tank outside to gas it up. Looking at the 10 day there is no need for it but around this time of year I get things ready. So I will.

Its hard to remember today is Friday and have the group ride in the morning. 30 degree road ride is not the best but it won’t be raining so I’ll take it. Maybe even some sun to go along with that. It will be too warm for a beach ride, at least a good one so I’ll stay on the cross bike on the road. Maybe the woods will dry out for a Sunday stroll on the Farley.

So that’s about it for the Friday report. I had a hard time even finding a pic for today’s post. And I can’t post without a pic so here…


Praying for snow…


Day Before T Day

Had a great nite ride last nite. Maybe 12 bikes or so. Balmy 40 degrees. All the snow is now gone and we are back to fall here. At least for now.  When I look back, Im kinda bummed I sold my 29+ wheelset for the Farley. They still would be awesome to ride today. But then again, the stock carbon 27.5’s are not that bad either. But the 29+ is just cool to ride. I’ll just hope for snow.

Coming at ya…. Ghost bike.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and of course the store is closed. The past few years I have always grabbed my cross bike and took a solo ride on Thanksgiving morning. And that is what Im thinking again for tomorrow if its not raining. Which is most likely will be. The Weather Service shows like a 90% chance all day and into the nite. But if its not I’ll take one of my roaming rides around. Just tool around. Maybe two hours but never really go anywhere. Again, if the rain hold off.

Last year T-day was a fat bike ride. We had quite a bit of snow then before it also all melted.

In 2012 it was 60 degrees. Here’s the T day ride for that year.

Here’s a report from 2013 T day.

Also every year there is a nite ride on Tday that I never could get to as my Fam gets together for dinner and later. But this year we are doing Tday on Saturday so I can make this ride and would for sure, again, if it was not raining. Kinda bummed about that rain stuff.

Today should be a quiet day in the store based on history. Im not planning anything out of the ordinary for Black Friday. I just don’t believe in that crap. I considered closing Friday also but really do not have anything else better to do. I’ll start my Christmas lights and stuff. Maybe another ride in the morning if I get rained out Thursday.

Other than that have a great Holiday and get outside!


Cupla Ships

Prentiss Brown

Along with all the riding this weekend came some ship watching. Sunday while we rode the beach the Prentiss Brown was sailing past. This again a tub boat attached to a barge. A smaller cargo ship to get in smaller ports. When attached to the barge they look like real freighters but really are not. These guys stay closer to the shore year round and I’m pretty sure never head up to Lake Superior.

Then yesterday the James L Oberstar sailed past. This is the ship that started this whole hobby I have. Several years ago I saw this guy so close to shore I could see the water splashing up as it motored past. I was, of course, on a beach ride. I took a pic and put it on Facebook and someone emailed me the website that you can track the boats. And I’ve been tracking them ever since. That’s how I get the pics I do. I know when they are going to be off shore here. That’s the Oberstar on the left and the Brown on the right.

Here’s a couple pics of the Oberstar in winter hibernation in Sturgeon Bay a few years ago. That ship mostly hauls iron ore from the top of Lake Superior down to the car factories in Chicago and Gary IN. Sometime over to Detroit too. In fact that’s what most of these ships do on Lake Michigan\Superior. Almost all iron ore.

So that’s todays lesson in big ships on the lake.

Tonite is the Tuesday nite ride. The store closes at 6 on Tuesdays because it opens at 8am for the fitness studio. One thing the studio has brought is crazy hours. Open early one day a week and close late two other days. It seems every day of the week has different hours and Im not so sure I like that. Once this studio thing settles down into some sort of a pattern I will have one set of hours all week. Will see how that go’s.

As if on cue, with the snow comes people in the door asking about snoshoes and skis. So I guess it’s winter. We got maybe 2in of snow last Saturday and just 100 miles south got 12. Thursday (Thanksgiving) its supposed to be 50 degrees and rain all day. Im glad we did not get all that snow now. With an inch of rain expected along with that melting snow should raise hell with some basements and Im glad its not mine.

Here the snow is mostly gone already.