Monthly Archives: October 2016

Weather Related

The weather here has been very warm. Like Sept warm. Tomorrow for the Tuesday nite ride it could hit 60 degrees. Thats nuts for the first day of Nov.

I had my camera with me this morn as I hung out in the park but when I went and took a pic of the lake my camera rudely told me I had no memory card in it. So I’ll find a foto in the archives for today.

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Beach ride 2006

Here’s a throwback to 2006. Way before fatbikes. We loved our winter beach rides. Looking at the pic what you see there is now all under water as the Lake Michigan water line is way up  Really no beach to ride anymore until it goes back down and that could take years. It’s a real bummer as there rides were amazing. Now gone.

Saturday I did the group ride from the store but had to turn back to open said store. I still got something like 17 miles in before I went to work.

Sunday was a lazy day. One of those lazy days when you get up and then hit the couch. By 11am it appeared I would not be riding a bike that day but a old freind called and asked so we had a slow roll for an hour in the woods. No heart rate but better than nothing. At least I feel mentally better about it.

While Im not thinking about it as much yet I’ll be back in Hayward in two weeks. Bunch of guys coming with for some MTBing before the snow arrives. Im not leaving for 11 days so its still far from my mind. But hopefully the time will go quick. It’s kinda close to a 50\50 chance some snow will be on the ground then. While that would be cool, I can wait a bit longer for that. One more weekend on dirt would be good. Then…. let it snow like crazy.

All the weather forecasting is calling for a “normal” winter which is way better than last year’s bust. I made one trip up to Marquette for snow riding and it was 35 degrees and raining. As for skiing here, we had less than 3 weeks all winter. and even at that it was minimal snow to ski on. I groomed the ski trails three times last year. And almost 15 times the year before…..

With my weight and bad knees Im not even sure how much I can ski anymore. I got out just three very short times last year and remember wearing a knee brace. Maybe 40 minutes a time. I hope to do a little more this winter.

This is on my mind today as a bunch more of ski’s just came in the store. I just hope it snows so people buy them.

DLD

I.F.I.G.

It’s Friday I guess.

I’ve been talking a lot about bikes lately. Which is kinda normal I guess. The weekend is here once again. And it look pretty good. I’ll do the group ride in the morning but need to turn back to open the store. Sunday looks good too and most likely will be MTB. It’s crazy that I look so forward to riding my Farely EX as much as I do.

Definitely warm for this time of year. Im always torn at this point as to weather. I want it to stay warm for the riding but I want it to cool off for the snow sports too. Being a winter guy I cant wait to ski and fatbike on the groomed trails.

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Di2 for half the cost? Im in.

My XT Di2 came a week ago. I now have everything I need to build a bike with it but I have no bike to build. So its going on my EX. Maybe next week. I am not doing the battery in the steer tube thing as I didnt like the stem I need to use so the battery is going old school and in the seatpost.

The NEXT seatpost has no provisions for the battery and I gatta go home made battery mount time. I’ve heard of people using foam and such to hold it in there so i will research that. Initially, I was kinda bummed as the BB cavity is a solid peace of aluminum and it seemed that I could not run a wire up from the downtube into the seat tube but I forgot about the dropper post route (duh). Even tho I did take the dropper post off I did leave the cable inside the frame. So that is the route of the battery wire.

Anyway, thats whats up for me next week.

On a personally note is come (painfully) clear that I need to lose weight soon or suffer long term consequences. My knees are just about both blown up. I got a little heart thing going on too. Nothing serious but one really needs their heart to work ongoing. I wont go into details but its kinda funny that it works well on the top end but its the bottom (resting) end that bothers me.

So I have made the decision to try NutriSystem. Food availability (good food) and prep has always been a issue for me. Portion size too. So all that will be laid out in front of me. I might get a little crabby. Food withdrawal. I dont talk about my weight too much anymore.

So thats about it. A ton of skis\snowshoes\bike stuff just came and its not going to check itself into the store.

Have a good weekend.

DLD

Trek Farley EX 9.8

LONG TERM REVIEW

Whenever I get a new bike, which happenes a lot since I own a bike store, I can’t stop talking about it. That’s because after all these years all the new bikes I still get excited to ride a brand new bike. Whatever it is.

I get these bikes and flaunt them even before riding them. It’s what you do when you sell them. Then, I ride them for awhile had form my real opinion on them.

Enter the 2017 Farely EX 9.8

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So when I heard this was coming out I was pretty pumped. But was not completely sold from the get go.

I was on the fat bike bandwagon early. In 2009 when the only real production bike was the Pugsly. As the bikes evolved so did I. The bigger, fatter Moonlander. The aluminum framed 907 was the next. Then a carbon 907, then a aluminum Trek and ended up with a carbon Trek 9.8 last year.

So think back to the day you saw the first Bluto on a fat bike. A suspension fork? What the hell for? You dont need that cuz the tires are so big. So 6 years ago I was the first in our group to get a fat tire bike. And got somewhat ridiculed. Not ridiculed per say, but was told the bike was kinda stupid. But as I say, we mock what we dont understand.

Fast forward to 2014 and I get my Trek Farley 8 with a Bluto. Once again I was told that the bike was dumb. You dont need a suspension fork. The fork is a fad that will go away. You dont need it. Its a fat bike.

It was at that point I ditched any form of MTB in the summer for the full time of a fatbike. Back then I already was mounting up 29+ for the summer. But sadly the 29+ diameter would not fit in the rear of the Farely (it was only 177 width then) so I was all fat all the time. But after a while I sold the Farley and got a 29+Stashe for the summer (last year). It was a little rough on my back and I wondered if Trek would even come out with a full suspension fat bike. I would wait for it…

I was told by many to not hold my breath. Why would you make a full suspension fatbike? Thats nuts. Let’s fast forward.

Out comes the Farely EX. At the time I was on a super light 9.8 I built from scratch. Super light 45 mil rims. All carbon at about 23 pounds and some change without pedals. I rode that bike all last winter, into the spring and thru this last summer. I sold it when I got the EX in August.

But the EX comes in at 32 pounds? Holy crap that a lot more than my hardtail 9.8. Do I want to haul around all the weight all winter? The last bike I had that heavy was the Moonlander in 2010. I was a little concerned.

Ditched the dropper post and tubes. Throw on a set of 29+ wheels and tires and now Im at 29  pounds and change. Not so bad. Actually pretty good for what it is.

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Here we are in current 29+ configuration. I’ll throw the 80mm Wampa wheels back on when the snow gets here.

So after a bunch of rides is the added weight worth it? Totally.

Up to the time I went all fat all the time I was on full suspension cross country rockets. Top Fuels and Superflys. Then when I ditched racing I just rode fat all summer but of course hardtail. Even full rigid back in the day.  Sure… the tires helped a ton but it just was not the same on my back.

There were local trails I no longer rode with the hardtail fatbikes. Too many rocks and roots. As much as fat bike were fun they limited my summer riding a bit. Just too hard on me. Even with a Bluto on the front the hard tail was beating me up.

The EX ended that. Last Sunday’s ride was the best I’ve had on the bike. Absolutely ripping the downhills with no fear. Since I climb like crap anyway I could care less how fast I get to the top of stuff. This bike is absolutely the best bike for me that I ever had. I can’t say that enough. All the trails that I stayed off with the hard tail Im now getting Strava PR’s on.

The 120mm suspension, the trail geometry, all the carbon, the fat tires. Rip it up 12 months of the year. I should have been on the EX format years ago. I no longer even notice the additional weight. The fun meter is way up there. Maybe pegged. Im not sure what Im going to do with this bike next August when it come time to sell it. What can Trek do to top this? Or anyone for that matter.

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Last nites night ride was well attended and a blast. Pretty much hung on to the group all nite. Again, fun meter was pegged. I will be riding this bike as much as I can. No exceptions.

I cant wait for the snow. Sure, all the suspension travel this bike has will maybe be a little overkill for the groomed snow trails but thats really only 3 months of the year.There are 9 other months to ride in.

One bike to rule them all. It may not be for everybody. But its perfect for me.

DLD

Great Weekend

All and all a very enjoyable weekend. It all got started with the Saturday group ride. This was really the first ride in “winter mode”. A couple of us went last week but this week the group was up to 15 bikes. A mix of cross, gravel, road and MTB’s. Pretty much the biggest group I rode with in all of 2016 so far.

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Stop for Breakfast!

Most of my rides this summer have been solo or with one other. Back in the day I rode in big groups at least twice a week. Ive documented many times, but not of late how I have to use smart tactics to stay in the group of faster riders. I have to pick my wheels to follow wisely. I have to make sure Im not stuck on the inside of a cross wind. I need to make sure I rest up before a hill and just sit in. One mistake and Im way,way off the back.

It was fun to be able to do that again on Saturday. Pushing myself way more than I do riding by myself just to hang on the back. No doubt if I do this more I will get a bit more fitter on the bike. I had a great ride and felt tired but really good after the ride. Let’s do it again next Saturday too!

Sunday I knew others would be riding the local trails but I never like to make plans on Sundays. I get there when I get there. I let Sundays just roll with what happenes.

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I waited a bit for the temps to warm up and I was not disappointed. When I was done riding it was near 70 and I had to stop in the woods to take some base layers off soon after I started. That could have been embarrassing but it went without incident.

With my last MTB ride being the debacle up in Cable I was amazed on how great I felt on the bike. Really good. Add in the beautiful weather and the just past peak trees and it was a ride I will remember for awhile.

I was glad to do it alone so I could take the time to take in the sights. The leaves were on the trail in force and looked like a bad 80’s shag carpet. But the sun and yellow color really brightened up the woods. Just adding to the experience.

And in fact, I was feeling so good I  bested my last Strava PR’s in two spots. One was a segment I showed you last week when I mentioned the new chainring. Just a week later I bested it again.

Here is the data.

Again, not that the numbers are that good. And Im still not that big of a Strava fan but the numbers do not lie. I can see it’s a great tool for training. And I kinda like seeing my efforts sometimes. Its a good feeling knowing things are going in the right direction sometimes. I should wear my HR strap more often. I dont “train” but always know there is room for improvement. And for me its not to win races but more to just be able to hang with others sometimes. Most of the riders I ride with are faster than average.

Next up is the Tuesday nite ride and it looks like rain but I hope it holds off. I need to keep this upward fitness swing going….

DLD