Pic on left was this morn. Pic on right was Sunday morn. Same spot. What a difference a day makes.
As winter here is getting slowly dismantled it seems Im going thru some kind of strange phase. The kind that starts with denial and ends with acceptance, with a few others in between.
Im really not sure what I feel today. Im the kind of guy who is affected by the weather a ton. And since we live in a area that has neither winter or summer for at least 5 months out of the year I find myself trying to accept it quicker than I usually do.
Looking at the 10 day, nothing shows except a lot more upper 30’s and even a few 40’s for temps. All of a sudden we go from fatbikes to some form of road\cross bike to ride. Which I do not have as I type. Remember the BMC I built to ride this spring? Yesterday I mentioned it was too small for me. Well, the bike is actually a Med and I thought it was a large. The tag (that I made) even says large. The bike (and the invoice) say Med. Once again I need to pay attention to what Im riding. I guess I just dont want to spend a lot of time on my bikes when I have others to deal with. I need to learn to treat my bikes the same as a customers I guess. Anyway… that bike to small. Back to the drawing board for a bike to ride on pavement. And I’ve decided to build, not pull one off the floor. I hate doing that. Even in January. Im sure I have at least 3\4th of a bike laying around in parts right now. With a move pending, it would not be a bad idea to put all those parts on a frame anyway.
So I will build up the bike I call Pinky. I’ve has that old Trek XO1 frame for over 10 years and its been built up at least 6 different times. Tour bike, single speed winter bike, full on cross bike. Like an old friend. Now that I think about it that will be fun. I’ll start today.
By false I mean shitty. Once again I get somewhat groomable snow and even got in one ski, then 3 days later it rains. And not just rain but pouring. Flooding out streets.
Here is our ski trails this morn. Its nuts. 7 Days ago we got close to 15 inches of snow. I just groomed this Friday morn. You can still see the tracks. Very depressing.
Heading into this winter the weather dudes called for a more “normal” winter than last year. Colder and more precipitation. Once again just 100 miles north its snowing like crazy. It’s like this invisible line just north of us that does not let snow cross it. Same as last year.
Point is, this is the way it’s going to be I guess. A week like this you can’t ski or ride a bike. I guess there is a small chance of a Tuesday nite ride tomorrow. The temp is supposed to drop below freezing tonite after midnite. But not really sure what the woods will look like. Most likely a ice skating rink.
We did get a ride in on Saturday before the rains came. A nice group of 10 or so rode to breakfast. The place we go to has a thing called the blue plate. If you get the blue plate your food is free and after doing this ride for over 10 years it finally happened to me.
I rode my newly updated BMC spring bike and found that its too small for me. One would think I would measure this shit but I dont. So its back to the drawing board for a spring\road\cross bike. And with the winters we now have you need a bike that you can ride on the road. Not that I want to. My activity takes such a dive this time of year. I stress a bit more. I eat more and move less which is a disaster for me.
And February is pretty booked up with moving the store and such. I’ll always find the time to ride I hope. Actually, I should do more than just ride. This is where the skiing always came in. And of course thats non existant.
This is always a issue but always in spring. Not all winter long. Looking at the 10 day… no snow. Maybe a 40 degree day or two. Just not a real winter. I’ll complain about this a lot. It’s just who I am.
Im still trying to get caught up in my life. Between being gone last weekend, then coming home to snow that I have to both groom and shovel, and deal with my “project” that I need to announce soon its been a busy three days. Today I get to breathe a bit.
I got out on the groomer Tuesday morn. With over a foot of snow you would think it would be good to go. But it was not. The snow was so dry and light that it would not stick together. I was driving the snowmobile in a foot of snow but it was riding on the ground. There is just no way you can groom that snow.
I ended up just using the snowmobile to slowly roll the snow and I did manage to get some base. But it was so loose. Like mashed potatoes as they say. Im thinking of giving it another try tomorrow morn. Just to see if the snow set up a bit more. But alas we have Friday and Saturday to enjoy it if it does as its going to rain Sunday and Monday. Hopefully not too much. Time will tell.
Its been too long. I’ve really been working on this since Sept. I’ve been hinting about it here and have told many people already. The project Im working on is Im moving my store to a good sized Mall. That alone is a lot of work. But I’m also adding a coffee shop in the same space. I won’t go into detail just yet and still are working out a lot of details. DISCLAIMER: I have not yet signed the lease. The are working on drafting the final and have not gotten it to me yet but things like cost and such is set in stone. I have been working with a plumber to nail down the cost of the coffee bar of late.
Timeline in my head (which is never right) has me in the space to paint and such Feb 1st. The store moves on Sunday, Feb 18th. Once the bike store is up and running then the coffee shop get set up. The coffee aspect will have its own space. Tables, chairs and maybe a couch. Big screen on the wall. Should be nice. At least it is in my head.
Anyway, that and a ton of other things have been bouncing around in my head and its all just talk until I sign on the dotted line which I thought was this week but looks like the next.
More to come on that.
If I dont groom the park tomorrow morn I will ride my bike. So this is the last post this week. Have a good weekend. Get outside.
Headed out to groom the ski trails this morn and the groomer was not working properly. I did the best I could with what I had but could not finish the trail. Maybe tomorrow. That frees up some time to write about my Marquette weekend before I forget what I did (Im old).
We all knew the chances of a good trail based on snow and temp was a possibility. But nobody was ready to experience the best set up snow trail we have ever rode on. On Saturday we rode the north trails. These are the most used by hikers and snowshoes and historically have been the firmest. Today they do machine groom a lot too.
These trails are for the most part narrower than the south trails that get groomed by a snowmobile. These are either groomed by hand (yes, by hand) or a Rokon two wheel drive utility scooter thingy. The devices they pull are much smaller and can get in tighter in the woods as the pic shows. Its more singletracky on the north trails.
Extremely scenic too. Marquette’s north trails could be my favorite trail of all time anywhere. But it would be hard to decided that.
Back to the snow conditions. These trails last weekend were about the best I can ever remember. I overheard the term “white asphalt” used a lot. Both the north and south trails were so firm you could have ridden a cross bike on them with no problem. I had 12psi in my tires. Thats road pressure. Just amazing.
We rolled into Marquette around noon on Saturday and we were on the north trails by 1pm. We did pretty much an out and back with a pretty good size loop in the middle.
As I mentioned, the scenery on these north trails is amazing. Between that, all the snow and the crazy firm trails it was kinda a system overload for me. When we left home earlier in that day, we had bare ground and I could have cut my grass (if I wanted to). You drive 4 hours, hop on your bike and its all this? I was kinda freaking out. I must have posted 10 pics on Facebook. I just could not believe what I was riding on.
Time after time we would run into others and I think they thought I was nuts being so excited. I had to explain to them I’ve never rode on conditions this good and that we had bare frozen ground at home. I think they may be understood. We finished up our ride on the north end, tomorrow was going to be south end.
One of the reason the trails were in such good shape was the temp. It was below zero Friday nite with ride time temp about 10. Not too bad. Saturday nite it was again below zero and we had planned to ride around 9am on Sunday but it still was below zero so we waiting until 11am. It got up to 3 then. And that was fine to wait, I was not in a hurry to go back home.
The south trails are a bit different from the north. They are wider and faster. Again using snowmobiles with wider equipment. Stuff they built themselves. Custom stuff that works extremely well.
I don’t have a lot of pics on Saturday. It was pretty cold. Too cold to stop a bunch of times. But the trails were once again firm and fast. Quite a bit faster with the wider trail.
12psi didn’t even leave a print. In fact, the tires rumbled as if you were riding down a road. Again… white asphalt.
The south trails have kind of a “bike park” feel to them. Huge downhills with berms and jumps. All groomed up to ride in the winter. Its hard for me to explain how it feels to rip down these trails in the winter. Slamming berms and tabletops (disclaimer: I may or may not have slammed tabletops) as you whip down the hill. I recorded 31 mph on my Garmin at some point. All this on a 3 foot wide highway thru the woods.
This was the best winter riding I have ever done. Anywhere at anytime. And I have been coming up here with fatbikes for 6 years. It was cold but I was not at all. There never is bad weather to ride, just bad clothing. I was very comfortable all weekend.
I was thinking as I rode on Sunday… Ive been on fat bikes a long time, more than most, not as long as some. Its to the point now we ride fatties all year long now. Full suspension fatties all summer. But this riding we did this weekend is what these things were made to do. These trails are why the fat bikes exist. So many fat bikes I sell that never see this kind of thing. And I think that is sad.
And now the question is… can I do this again next month? I sure would like to. Going up Saturday morn and home Sunday nite is not that expensive and if the riding remains like this worth every penny. Ive already punched my ticket to the Fat Bike Birkie in March so another quickie to Marquette would be in order. That would then be two trips to Hayward and two trips to Marquette this winter. Perfect equilibrium.