Monthly Archives: January 2017

Game On.


It was a chilly walk on the beach this morn, about 10 degrees. But I sure dont mind the return of winter.

My rides this weekend were nice. As expected I did get out both days. Saturday was to our local city park and that was a disappointment. A bunch of bikes rode the trails way before it froze and now its all ice where they tracked. If they had just waited a day and a half those trails would be in great shape. All the ruts they left in the wet snow are all iced and set in stone. These trails I won’t ride again until it snows more. Luckily, that might be Tuesday.

On Sunday I headed to the State trails called Greenbush. While we only had a couple inches here in town, they got 8 to 10. This happens there every year and some call it a micro climate. For whatever reason, this place get more snow than everywhere else. And when the ski trails here are in good shape you get tons of people from miles around. Bikes now too.

On Sunday I have never seen the parking lot so full. Cars filled up the lots and spilled out onto the road. That’s a first for me. People everywhere. A couple times after a climb I stopped (to let my heart rate go down) and just looked down into the woods and you could see people skiing all over the place. With all the leaves gone you could see at least two ski trails sometimes three from the top of a hill and they were just full of people. Some of the steeper downhills people were kinda “taking turns” going down just in case the one in front of them fell. There were actual skier back ups on the top. Anyway, the most people I ever saw skiing there.


Here they close the trails until its good to go. And they are in much better shape for it. With all the snow the trails were a bit soft on the edges but if you stayed center it was good to go. In time, and by time I mean a few days, these trails will be rippin fast. I plan on spending as much time here as I can. It’s a 30+ minute drive there for me but I’ll get here a few mornings before work.


It snowed like five days ago and my bike has not left the roof of my car except to ride. When its game on I carry it with me 24\7 wherever I go. But today I will bring it in for a once over and cleaning. I most likely will not ride again until Friday. Because…

Wednesday Im headed to Chicago and the CABDA show. This show started pretty small about 5 years ago and has been growing 100% every year since. It’s a great alternative to Interbike. Of course not as big but every year as it grows more and more big players are showing up. Shimano and Sram, Raceface and bikes manufacturers like Giant and BMC are showing. These are the factories showing, not a local dealer. Its to the point now that its worth going to so I am.

Here is some info on the show. Pull down the list of exhibitors and you see what I mean. Like I said, this is such a nice alternative to Interbike. It’s easy to go to at the slowest time of the year and only a bit more than a two hour drive away for me. I look forward to going Wednesday. I do have a few people I would like to talk to about their products. Im going to take a look at BMC bikes. I like the fact that their team is registered in the U.S. So we’ll see what happenes there. Other than that it will be a nice day out of the store. I’ll try to get some distributer to buy me lunch. And dinner.

So my next post will most likely be Tuesday. With info on the show.


We Have Snow!

Hell has froze over. I’ve got about 5 inches at my house, only about 2 inches of snow at the store and the same at the local park I groom for skiing. Anything close to the lake got more rain. But the State trail system we ride and ski on got 8 to 10 inches of wet snow! Just about 15 miles inland.

My house

And I’ve heard reports that the wet snow has packed down like a highway. We are back in business.


So much so that I’ve cancelled my trip to Marquette or Hayward or anywhere I was going to go to.

On the left is a pic from yesterday morn from said trail system. Tons of snow there. My new home for awhile.

As I look at the 10 day from the NWS it looks like this snow will stay put for while. The temps just got under freezing for the first time in 9 days last nite. I heard that nine straight days above freezing is a January record here. Im glad we have that behind us now.

And just like that the skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking is all game on. I even have some rentals going out in the store. Winter has returned.

I wish we had more snow near the big lake but I’ll take what we can get.  Its game on. This season is so short that all other bikes get hung up now and its fat bike all the time. Its go time.

Instead of the group ride tomorrow morn I will be in the woods with the Farely EX. And again on Sunday…. and maybe Monday too…  Tuesday nite ride is back on for sure!

I saw this picture the other day.


I absolutely never use a rear hitch rack in the winter. For this reason. Here’s a short story:

It was the first Fat Bike Birkie. I think it was 2013. Back then they capped the race at 350 bikes. Holy crap! A fat bike race with 350 bikes! Thats nuts! Today its over 1000. Moving on…  I had my first aluminum bike back then. A 907 I build up. Back then you had to build them. Anyhoo… I borrowed a buddy’s Saris Freedom rack and used it to head up to Hayward. The ride up was all fine and dandy but after the race, on the way home it snowed all the way home. When I got home after the five and a half hour drive I totally could not even see my bike on the back of the car. One big snow and salt ball.

Ready to go in 2013.

My chain was rusted beyond repair due to the salt. Headset needed attention among other things. You get the idea.

Today the bikes are on my roof all winter. Up and out of the road crap. People have asked me about this and I tell them my opinion. I should just keep that pic above to show them why. I realize its expensive to have both hitch and roof racking. I guess then you need to try and put the bike inside the car\truck\van in winter. I don’t have that option as my cars are just too small to do without some disassembly.

Anyway. Just say no to hitch racks in the winter.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be outside as much as I can. You should too.


Mid Week Report

I do have another ride to report. Grabbed the 920 and got in another 20 miles yesterday morn. My knees felt a lot better. Not sure if thats the lower mileage or easier effort talking but it was acceptable. It does seem that if I ride more my knees don’t hurt as much.

Its Wednesday and looking at the forecast we will go below freezing tonite and again tomorrow nite and then ongoing. That will be 11 days above freezing. We could be on one of the warmest Januarys on record.

Right now its snow\raining. We were back to complete bare grass. And ponds. A flood warning has been issued here. Crazy.

So its back to winter temps tomorrow but the damage is done. When this happens its very hard to go back to selling winter stuff. People are just fed up with the weather and will just hunker down until spring. I hope not. Winter is short enough to go ignoring it if it comes late. I always said the best skiing sometimes comes in March.

One of my fav pics of Marquette.

So, again, its Wednesday. And I had plans to leave this weekend. Well, I still do kinda. First, it was going to be Marquette. There is a big ski race there this weekend and I always liked going up for that. Then,  the guys up in Hayward had a nice weekend planned for last week, along with the IMBA thing so I ditched Marquette this weekend for Hayward last weekend. So…. with the thaw last weekend I didnt go and then went back to the original thought to go to Marquette this weekend. Then…. they rescheduled the fun activities in Hayward last weekend for this weekend and then Marquette was out for a second time and Hayward back in for this weekend.

Today, as I sit here, I just dont have the cash for 3 days in Hayward so now Im back once again to Marquette this weekend. Just for one nite, being there just Sat\Sun. It’s a shorter drive and since I was going alone all will have someone to ride with if I go up there… so as of Wednesday morn its Marquette. I’ll still need to get a trail report before I go. It is warm up there today but will be well below freezing by the weekend.

I need confirmation on the trails. Last year we went up there and it had snowed every day for a week so the trails sucked. It’s a lot of money and long drive to ride on sucky trails. I can do that here.

I guess I’ll make the final call Friday morn.


Weekend Report

Another weekend in the books.

I did get a ride in on Saturday. It was foggy. It was raining. It was miserable but we had 7 guys show up which I thought was stellar. We have such a great group of guys here.

My 920 was the talk of the group. I’ve got big fenders that the others were very envious of. I was the driest guy in the group. Actually, the bike has been going thru some growing pains.

As you may know, the bike comes with 29er MTB wheels and tires. Its labeled an adventure bike. Over the time I’ve had it I’ve had many types of 700c tires on it. You can put some 700c tires on a 29er wheel but they fit like crap. You need to blow them up to 100+ to seat them. Something you can’t do on the road.

So this week I grabbed the 700c wheels that I got with my Domane last spring, converted the front hub from 12mill to 15mil thru axle and picked up a set of Kenda’s new gravel tire.

This is the wheelset that I will leave on the bike. And the tires that will stay on it till later spring. Once I get settled back into a road bike I will put 32c road tires on and put the bike back into tour configuration. But this will be winter mode till then.

The Kenda’s are listed as a 40c but they are a bit bigger than the 40c Clements I had a while back. Perfect for winter\spring riding. They are also 120tpi and a lot cheaper than the Clements.

As for a road bike, I have to start planning for that right about now. However, things change so fast that new products come out and I need to re group.

Right now Im looking at a Trek Boone cross frame(yup, for a road bike), Sram eTap (prefer hydro brakes but most likely not available) and Zipp 404 wheels. The only thing I could change today is maybe a Project One Domane frame. Also if I insist on hydro it will have to be Shimano. So nothing set in stone. Its early.

Another issue. After the 30 mile ride on Saturday the level that I was sore after was off the charts. Everything hurt. My knees the most. Just killer pain in both. In the past when that happenes I just raise my seat a little. But maybe its too high? My hips are rocking a bit but they feel fine. While my right knee was condemned and labels for a complete replacement in 2012, it seems the left is now following in its footsteps. Not sure what to do.

I have insurance, but pretty crappy insurance. I just can’t afford to replace. When it gets a bit nicer out and my outside riding increases I might go in for some cortisone.

And since we are heading in that direction, I need to mention my weight is higher than its ever been. But that seems to happen every year at this time, but every year it seems to be 5 pounds more than last. Im embarrassed to publish my weight right now but I need to work on this harder. I wish I could be more active but with crappy knees its getting tough to do. Even walking for some time is a issue. I can ride better than I can walk but thats to limited of movement to lose weight.

But I gotta think of something and act on it. As usual during the preliminary stages of this I’m always optimistic. And I dont post much about it so you may not hear much about it in the future….