Monthly Archives: November 2017

Nite Ride

The Tuesday nite ride has been going on here for many years. Way before I started riding in 2001. It’s a tradition here and now with fatbikes it runs longer into the winter. It usually starts right around the time switch to daylight savings and runs until there was too much snow in the woods. Fat bikes now extend the ride into deeper snow. If we had any.

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Now there’s a seasonal light snow in the city park we ride in. A little something more to look at I guess. You can drive your car thru real slow to see all the lights and then donate money and canned goods at the end. When this light thing started there was a little uproar by the cross country skiers as the trail crossed the road of the then closed park. Now its plowed thru the end of December for this and the trails got compromised a lot.

However it’s not been a big deal as we just have not had the snow to make a difference. Last year we got a good snow about the middle of Dec but it all melted a week later. So its not had the impact on our skiing as we all once thought.

In fact last nite is was near 50 degrees at 7pm. Crazy warm. Looking at the 10 day it all above average temps and no snow. All this talk about having a “normal” winter here is starting to wane. I just dont believe it anymore.

In fact I am trying to change the business model of my store to not rely on skis\snowshoes in the winter. It just does not look like we will get the winters needed to sell enough of the stuff to pull a Wisconsin bike store thru winter. More on this later.

The ride was super fun last nite. I ran super low pressure on my rear tire to smooth things out and for the most part that worked but I kept burping the air out cuz the tire was so squishy. Made for a smooth ride but I had to stop and pump it up a bit to finish.

I think you are going to hear me talk a lot about going to a rigid fat bike this winter. You might get a little sick of it. Unless it snows. Then its the best thing since sliced bread. But until I actually get to ride on snow, which was maybe twice last year, I might complain about giving up my full suspension Farley a bit too soon. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.

Anyway, the nite ride was fun last nite.

DLD

Two Eagles\Two Rides

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845am

Saw these guys this morn in the park. I see the eagles pretty much in the same tree around the same time of day. More in the fall\winter. Almost never in the summer. I guess they got better places to be then. Another milestone today as I was the only one in the park. No campers or visitors. That usually does not happen until it gets much colder.

Sunday I saw a window of opportunity and took it. The weather dudes were calling for lows in the mid 20’s so I called out a beach ride. I had low expectations as we tried this a little over a week ago and it was a bust. It had gotten cold but not long enough to freeze the beach. Sunday was different as the beach was adequately froze for us and it was a great ride. First frozen beach ride of the winter is always awesome. We had to start early and glad we did. The beach was thawing right out from under us.

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Sunday morn.

Still getting used to the rigid bike. But beach riding is not a problem at all in that respect. Everything worked well and when the trail is smooth Im enjoying the lighter weight bike. The 4.5in tires are nice too. But I still think I can get away with a 3.8 all day. The weight difference between the two sizes is less than 100 gram per tire so its kinda a no brainer running the larger rubber. My thoughts are that it will help smooth out the ride better than a 3.8. Or in other words I can run the pressure I bit lower before bashing the rim on a rock or something. Anyway, we got our first beach ride in. Looking at the 10 day it looks like warmer than average. In fact it looks like nothing under the freezing mark until the middle of December. That’s going against pretty much what all the predictions said. Everyone including the Weather Service said everything points to a colder and wetter winter than we have seen of late. And then we have this. 40’s and even 50’s into December. Im not very optimistic right now. But I have to keep telling myself its early yet. I will try to be as patient as I can.

Saturdays group ride was a bust for me as I got dropped and could not tag back on. I get very upset with myself when that happenes. Even a bit depressed. The winds were crazy. Like 30= mph gusts with 20+ sustained. I was literally down to 6 mph into the wind. Not a lot of fun when your riding home along after watching the group ride away from you.

But, Im over it. Life goes on. Also Saturday we had out Thanksgiving with the kids and grandkids and way more food than any of us could eat so that was nice.

Thats bout it for the weekend. Next ride will be the Tuesday nite ride. Weather looks nice.

DLD

Post T Day

Not a lot to report on the Turkey day front. Ours is not until tomorrow as some of my family worked on Thanksgiving. So we are having it Saturday, ironically when I have to work. But then again I don’t do any of the cooking so that makes sense.

I had a ride called out for yesterday morning and two others showed up. We rode about two hours in and around town. Then, on Thanksgiving, I went to the store to work a few hours. Paperwork is so much easier when the phone’s not ringing and I can blast my music without consequence. Usually, that day is when I start my year end bookkeeping stuff. And that’s just what I did. Moving on.

This morning was a first for me. On my way to work I seen three big ships at once. All visible to the naked eye.

The most visible ship is the Edwin H Gott.  The upper right is the Burns Harbour. Ive seen that one a few times. Then the last one, which you can only see a smidge of is the Algoma Transport.

All three ships were visible at the same time. Three at a crack almost never happens here. Moving on.

I don’t remember if I mentioned on Wednesdays post that the beach was froze that morning and very rideable and I should have. I was a bit under the weather that morn but could have suffered thru my first frozen beach ride of 2017.

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Here’s the classic frozen beach. You have a strip of very thin ice in the middle. It’s usually pretty rideable cuz you have sand on your tires or sand has blown over it. To the right of that ice\sand is dry sand. Usually not froze as much. To the left is the darker sand thats the sweet spot. Hard as concrete. You dont even leave a tire print. You could ride a road bike on that. The rideable beach area has been very small these days with the high water. But on days of calm surf just enough is there to ride on.

Looking at the 10 day forecast temps are above average. All above freezing. Bummer. All I hear about is below average temps and above average snowfall this winter. But not quite yet I guess. Its early.

Here’s a few pics of the Borealis I build for me. Perfect for those beach rides. This thing is just waiting for the groomed trails.

Eagle 12 speed. I splurged on the XX cassette and chain, but went with GX for shifter and derailer. That just made sense as you don’t save a lot of weight on those pieces but a lot of money. Just spent it where it counts. Bontrager Wampa wheels with Bonty Barbegazi tires. Both 27.5 of course. I used a stock Borealis handlebar cuz they are nice but used a NEXT seat post and Bonty seat I had from the EX I just sold. It’s a great winter bike for sure. Now just wait for the snow.

Having yesterday off of work has really screwed me up and I never know what day it is now. It’s Friday. So I’ll be on the group ride in the morning. I have no plans for Sunday yet but that’s not always a bad thing. I’ll figure something out.

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Have a good weekend, get outside.

DLD

Pre T Day

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Tuesday morn

This is the US ST. Clair. It’s a smaller boat. But these guys are used to get in much smaller ports. It was pretty close to the shore as you can tell by the breakers… There is a ton of ships now hugging my side of the lake.

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Tuesday nite

Last nite was the Tuesday nite ride and we had about 15 bikes show. It was a nice ride. Actually the first on my new winter bike of choice, The Borealis Crestone. I finished it late in the day and pondered whether to ride it but that the hell, its got to get the maiden voyage sometime so I loaded it up and headed to the park.

This bike goes against all I have been saying the last two years. Full rigid. But lighter. I was impressed with the 23 pounds 14 oz weight less pedal. Very respectable considering the wheels and tires are 27.5 by 4.5. This is the biggest tire I have ever run. I sure do hope it snows so I can actually use them. I’ll give you first ride impressions here but will post pics next week.

I was and still am leery about ditching the suspension. I would not have sold my Farely EX under different circumstances. I’ll explain those circumstances later. (It’s a good thing.) So, back to the bike.

The theory is, instead of having a rigid fat bike for winter and a MTB for the summer do two in one. Throw on a set of 29+ wheels and tires and you have an amazing and smooth riding summer bike. Put the 4in tires back on for winter and you have a fatbike. Advantage is that you have one awesome bike to ride 12 months out of the year. The disadvantage is that its heavier than the MTB and the rigid fatbike. But to me, not a big deal. The EX performed perfectly out west a few weeks ago. I could not imagine do that stuff with any other bike. But in the winter months, if you have snow, you are lugging that suspension around without needing it. And that too, I can get past.

Really, how many months do we have with smooth groomed trails in winter. Last year was maybe 3 weeks up north, with near zero here.  So I’m disadvantaged with extra weight for 3 weeks out of the year? I’ll take that hands down.

But riding the new bike last nite I sure did notice the weight which is almost a full 10 pounds lighter. I noticed the climbing was easier. I could flick the bike around easier. So that’s all good. This thing will be a rocket on the groomed trails…

But we don’t get any snow I’m screwed. While I know I can take more air out of the tires the ride was, well, as rough as you would expect on a rigid bike. I missed the suspension less that 10 minutes into the ride. There are some rough, rocky trails I just wont go to now with the rigid bike. I’m way too old for that shit. Or at least my back is.

So why did I do this in the first place? First off I’m now a Borealis dealer and I make it a point to ride what I sell. And I’ve heard a lot or reports that this year will be a normal snow year. Which is much better than last years way below average year.

So I’ll be OK if we get snow to ride on. Between the lighter weight and the bigger tires this bike will be great on the groomed trails that I dream of riding on. But its the here and now that I’ll suffer a smidge before winter gets here. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow I have a nice ride planned at 10am. I’ll use the Crockett for some woods\road. In the past Ive always had a great ride in Tuekey day.   Here’s one from 2012.

Have a great T day!

DLD