Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tues Nite Dirt Ride


The Tuesday rides have been going just OK. Maybe 6 to 8 bikes. We travel a bit and the last four rides have been at 4 different trails so thats kinda cool.

Last nite was at the Northern Kettles or Greenbush as we call it. I struggle here more than any other trail system. Very rocky. Even with the plus size tires I have a hard time climbing as you have to weave your way around all the rocks. Almost constantly the entire ride.

Last nite I felt especially challenged. Maybe it was a off nite for me but I could not ride very well. I walked hills I never walked before. I ended cutting the last loop out of my ride. I could not believe how slow I was going. I just can’t do that stuff on a hardtail anymore. Even if its a fat bike hardtail. Im just too old and rickety for that. I ended up with a sore knee and a sore back.  I can’t wait to get my Farely EX. I think Greenbush will be the first trail I hit when I get it. Soften up the fork and rear shock and soften up the tires. Then see how it go’s.

When you ride alone a lot its not until you ride with others that you see your real fitness. I thought I was not that bad. Even thinking about maybe a race to two in July\Aug. Now Im not so sure. I mean, I could for sure finish a race and I know I won’t win or even place but I dont want to get embarrassed. While I never cared much about results I dont think I would have much fun doing so bad its embarrassing. Maybe I should just stick to trail riding.

I am, in fact signed up for the Shuammy 40. At this point that seems in jeopardy.

I always tell myself there is time to bump up the skills and fitness a bit but that usually never happens. I just dont have the time to commit to improvement.

So I’ll just see how it go’s. Whether I race or not is not a big deal to me, as long as I can keep riding Im happy.




Before we get started let’s look at the US American Spirit as it passed Monday morn. It’s one of just a couple of 1000 foot freighters on the lakes. That’s three football fields long plus a bit more. These guys can only go in the biggest ports and are the biggest ships in the Great Lakes.

Here’s its sister ship, the US American Integrity as it was laid up for winter in Milwaukee a few years ago. You can20130217_114900 really get a feel of its size when you’re standing right next to it. That pic above could be a mile out.

Funny things happen to me sometimes. Not haha funny but weird funny.

So the last time I rode the Domane was Saturday morn before work. No big deal.

Sunday morn I pulled it out to show a customer in the store, then two hours later on Sunday I loaded it up on my car to ride from home as soon as it cooled off Sunday after work. That was about 1 o’clock. I grab the bike to ride about four and the rear tire is flat.

What the what? It’s completely flat with no air. Not a slow leak but flat flat. I have not ridden the bike for 30 hours. Its was fine a few hours ago when I put it on the car rack. Cripes.

What the????  Had air when I put it on there.

Thinking back I always wondered what the hell happened when a sales floor bike gets a flat. Just sitting there. A couple years ago my tour bike flatted on its own out on the sales floor. I pumped it up and it held air. And it was not low, it was flat flat to the ground.

I can only assume that someone just randomly let all the air out of that tire? The presta valve was closed just like the one on my Domane was closed Sunday.

So I can only assume gremlins are to blame I have not pulled the tube out of the Domane yet but I will later. First I’ll pump it up and if it holds air I’ll raise my fist and curse at the Gremlins.


I Told You So.

I came upon a old post I did about my first fatbike.

Here it is.

At that time late 2010 I got my first Pugsley. When I wrote that post in 2011 I was the only person I knew with a fat tire bike. All my rides were solo. What a difference 6 years make. I always said to the others that sooner or later you will all have one. And they laughed at me. Now they are riding with me.

I have to chuckle a bit to myself when I saw that I wrote:

“A race, a ride, national fat tire championship?
Even a ski resort offering fat tire rentals.
I can see Rec. areas grooming trails just for fat bikes.”
And thats what caught my eye when I found that post. Because all of those things are here today. Maybe they were around in 2011 but Im old and forgot if they were. But at best Marquette was in its infancy, no where near what they have today, and pretty sure they were the first and only to start machine grooming back then.
Little did I know that in less than 6 years I would not ride alone anymore. Just this morning a saw a guy pulling his kids in a Burley trailer riding a fatbike down the street. I now do not ever ride a MTB in the summer but a 29+ wheelset on my fatbike. The collage of pics above show some of the fat bikes I’ve had but not all.
When I first got the Pug I put it in the window and eventually had to take it out. Remember this was 2010 and nobody had seen anything like this. People would just walk in the store to ask what the hell that was. Which was cool at first but then it took 30% of our time and had a hard time getting work done I had to take it out.
It went something like this…
Ive always enjoyed trying to be on the cutting edge of bike tech and if I see something I like that is new I order it almost immediately.
But I’ve had a few misses too. Not everything I get turns out to be the new next thing. But I’ll keep on the lookout none the less.
I put that first Pug thru hell. Note the big ship foto bomb in this pick. At the time I never noticed it. That shot was not necessary planned. I laid it down to take a pic and when I turned around that happened.
Anyway, that was then, this is now. Miles and miles of groomed winter trails in many parts of the state and country as I predicted 6 years ago (maybe predict is a strong word). Fatbike Birkie is alive and well with over 1000 bikes. Now million dollar carbon fatbikes that weigh less than my MTB used to. The offshoot plus size bikes. Im sure I posted a bunch of times on the rise of the fatbike. And today that phrase sounds a bit silly but it was not that long ago I was alone with one. Its amazing how fast we went from hand building the bikes to now large bike companies have 5 or 6 models.
In two months I take delivery on my first full suspension fatbike with Treks Farley EX. Thats nuts and I can’t wait!
The Future!
Wonder whats up in the next 6 years?



I considered riding home from the store last nite but glad I didnt as it was raining pretty good this morn and that would have been a miserable ride back to work today.

Took my normal ride out to my normal park to sit on my normal bench (if it wasn’t too wet) (it was). So a short walk was in order. Just maybe 20 minutes, took a few pics and back in the car and back to the store. I havent been taking a lot of pictures of late. I dont bring my good camera with me on a bike of course, but I do have a smaller one I could use more.

About yesterday’s post. I sat down with all employees to see when I can take a few days away and I think thats going to work out just fine. As far as Sundays, store will be open but I just need to try and stay away as much as I can. Will see how well I do with that.

This is the time of year I need to start doing longer rides. The typical hour and a half out to the park and back won’t cut it anymore. My body gets so used to that timeframe that when I extend it I feel like crap. Doesn’t need to be intense, just longer and maybe I can start with this Sunday.

Last summer I maybe hit 50 miles twice, maybe three times at the most. Otherwise it was a million rides at exactly one hour and 20 minutes.

Im thinking about what to do with my time off. A tour would be nice. Maybe up to Hayward or Marquette to MTB. Actually, I’ve been thinking about organizing a weekend up north for road riding. I’ve got a few nice loops up in the Eagle River area that I’ve done in the past. 50 and 70 miles. Get a group up there to do one on Saturday and one on Sunday. That would be nice.

Years ago I went up there once a year with my wife’s side of the fam and while they sat around I rode. I called it my secret training camp.

Here’s a post from then.

Another one here.

The riding up there was great, road or woods. I miss it. About 3 years ago we just stopped going. So maybe a nice weekend back up there is in order. I think it would be hard to do in July, but I’ll check it out. At least I have something  to work on.