What a awesome weekend. We all lucked out as the weather was amazing all weekend. Highs in the 50’s and sun the entire time.
What a contrast to the same weekend last year. It was a lot colder then. And a little snow.
We stayed at the Lenroot Lodge in Seeley, WI. Right in the middle of all the great trails. I stay here a lot. Pretty much every time I go up there. It’s always booked tight for any event weekend but on off weekends I have no problem getting in. Even tho the days were sunny and warm the nights were frosty as you can see on my car.
First up was a gravel ride on Thursday and I came out with a plethora of information on that style of riding. I posted a little about it already..
I learned I need disc brakes to run gravel roads in the land of elevation change. My Trek Crockett I built for this winter is center pull. That’s just the way it worked out. And I was screaming down some huge hills in panic mode several times. Not only is the bike non disk, its got a carbon wheels, so yeah… not much for stopping power.
And another thing I learned quickly is that the gravel road up there are not all gravel. Sand, dirt, rocks and gravel. Careening 30+ mph down a road with all those riding surfaces was quite a white knuckle eye opening experience.
What did help me was the Clement MSO 40c tire I put on. Anything smaller and I would have been suffering way more. In hindsight, I should have stripped down my touring bike, the Trek 920 pictured here, and brought that with me. The 29 by 2in tires would have been perfect for this type of riding. Next time I will set up the 920 for this.
Anyhoo, the first full on gravel ride experience was a fun day. A learning day. And will be a type of bike riding I will do again for sure.
Now, for the rest of the weekend it was all MTB.
Friday was a little warm up. The rest of the guys got up there later Friday afternoon and we waited for them for a little teaser as what Saturday would be. About a two hour ride in cruise mode. I again took it easy as I knew Saturday was going to be a tough one for me. Up to this point my longest MTB ride was maybe a hour and a half and Saturday we were looking at 4 to 5 hours. Yikes.
There is never a lack of trails to ride up here. CAMBA is about as good as a trail organization gets. All the trails were in great shape and a huge amount of mileage had seen a leaf blower. They never get old.
Saturday had me out about 4 hours and about 20 miles with a little over 2k of elevation. That’s a pretty good (hard) day for a guy like me. In fact my biggest MTB day in 3 years. My Garmin reminded me of that. A couple guys kept going for a full 5 hours of riding. We hit all the main features that make the trails so great. Gravity Cavity and 38 Special are always my favorite. Really, if you told me I could only ride one trail system for the rest of life it would be here hands down.
The MTB trails cross the legendary Birkie ski trail many times. You can get an idea on how wide these trails are. You can land a plane on them. Ten thousand skiers race this every year. Quite a sight to see. And quite a fat bike race too. I’ve done every one of those to date.
Sunday was a quick hour long ride to spin the legs out before the long drive home. It was hard to load up the bikes on Sunday to leave. All in all it was a great weekend with great riding, food and friends. And I gatta say the Trek Farley EX 9.8 with the newly installed Shimano XT Di2 worked perfectly. That bike is the reason I can ride quite a bit longer than the hardtail Farley. I’ll say it a million times its like that bike is made for me and the way I ride. Love it.
Over dinner Saturday nite we were already talking about next year. The talk was to fill the entire Lodge. Either way this is a weekend I hope to continue into the future. Between the ride, the restaurants and the general atmosphere you cannot beat the Hayward\Seeley\Cable area.
I stopped in to visit Gary in the Fat Tire office in Cable but he was off playing hooky in the beautiful weather. Another event that makes this area special. In fact there many of these events up in this neck of the woods. Just another reason I want to retire up here someday. And then, the only thing left to do was take the five and a half hour drive home….
Thus ended the 2016 SBC Ride Camp.