Monthly Archives: October 2018

Weekend Washout

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The weekend was a washout but I did get in a nice ride Friday morn. Quite a few leaves still around. Soon the woods will be bare and desolate looking. Then it will be the long wait for snow.

On Saturday I didn’t do the group ride as I had help available to switch the store into winter mode so I took it. Today I order skis and snowshoes. Now I have the spaces to put them when they come in. The wax bench is pretty much ready to go too and the rental skis are out. So its just wait for snow.

Sunday was pretty much rain the entire day. I kinda heard about that so I left the MTB in the store and didnt take any bike home with me. It was one of those crappy days where I didn’t do outside a lot and pretty much ate everything I found in the house. I hate those days.20181023_085151

This morning was a beautiful sunny day so I made it a walking day. I seem to get more of a working walking for an hour as opposed to riding for an hour. Cross training I guess. I walk with trekking poles to save my knees but now my back is taking a hit. Getting old aint for sissies. It’s tough. Especially when your too stubborn to slow down. That I am.

Tomorrow morn might be another walking morning and the Tuesday nite ride. The rides have been fun. About 10 bikes the last two weeks. Hope that continues. I think next week is Daylights Savings. Then it will be dark so much earlier but the mornings will be lighter an hour sooner. And have a extra hour to warm up. That helps the mornings rides.

Today my fat bike ships. Like last years its a Borealis Crestone. Very nice bikes. I had planned on a Farely this year but they are so hard to get as usual. I’d rather ride what I can get to sell. I just checked and if I ordered a 9.8 Farley the deliver is out as far as Feb. That’s not saying I could not get one but I  would have to barter with another dealer and if the bike is in high demand good luck. So Borealis it is and thats not a bad thing.

For the first time Im going with HED carbon wheels. I’ve always been a little concerned with the single wall rim being a heavier guy but Im going to give them a try. I’ll always run a pound or two higher pressure to make sure those rims dont hit the ground. That’s a expensive mistake. But what the heck. This bike could be close to 22 pounds. Will see. Of course with the rim concerned I will for sure run a 4.5in tire. Most likely a Bonty as they are a nice all around tire and pretty light. But a Terrene is not out of the question as I am a dealer of those nice tires now. Good stuff.

That’s about it for this Monday. Order some ski’s and wait for the fat bike to get here. That’s pretty much my week but I do have a few bikes to fix. Its keeps me busy.

Talk later.

DLD

PowerflyThoughts

I’ve had the assist bike two months now and I thought its time for some thoughts on the Powerfly. I had other posts with thoughts but now that I’ve had some time on it my opinion is complete.

Here’s the post when I first got it.

Here’s another post on that bike.

Since those posts I’ve had it at out on local trails a bunch of times. Rode it up in Marquette and last week in the Hayward area. But I’ll start from the beginning.

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First ride on Aug 13th. Local Trails

When I got the thing I was not sure of what I was getting into. I am very much aware that these bikes are controversial. Banned here and not allowed there. But I was intrigued with the thought of being able to ride with my friends and not make then have to wait for me. Either just dropped or having to stop and walk a hill. You know the senario.

My first few rides were alone at our local trails. Of course I felt the power of the assist right away but I did not know how that was going to translate to my riding. On those first few rides I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was cleaning hills I had to walk before in the lowest (eco) setting of assist. A lap that I had to get off the bike and walk at least three times I now can ride without stopping. My MTB experience was just a lot more fun. And really, isn’t that the reason we (most of us) do it?

Let’s talk assist levels. I’ve said so many times that I ride in the lowest setting. But there are 3 more. The highest is called Turbo and thats the level I use when Im commuting home on the bike. It pulls you right up to 20mph and abruptly stops there. Several times I rode with the areas fastest guys and gals. I can tell you that even on the highest level of assist I could not keep up. This is not a motorcycle. It will not automatically make you the fastest on the trail. At least not me. But what it does is at least puts you back in the game.

In fact pretty much all the people I ride with are still faster than me if they want to be. I still pretty much head up the local rides with the theory that the slowest guy leads. But now they are much happeir with the pace I can ride. So not only are the rides more fun for me they are also more fun for the people I ride with.

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Top of Marquette Mountain.

I never could have rode up to this point in Marquette before. And if I tried it would ruin me for the rest of the day.

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CAMBA in Hayward\Seeley\Cable.

So now we (I) know that this bike can take me more places and ride comfortably with more people. Let’s talk about something that really bothered me…

Mentally I struggled with the bike. You hear that these bikes are great for the elderly and disabled. There’s no way I put myself in those categories. But  I am almost 60 years old, weight 270 pounds ( and shrinking?) with two bad knees and a crappy hip. I still ride other bikes. In fact as soon as the snow flies I’ll be on my fat bike with no assist. But in the back of my mind my ego took a hit. Its like you are giving up. I can’t ride a regular bike anymore? Fact is I can so why am I on a ebike? Is this what Im reduced to? I struggled with that for a long time and only recently have accepted it. In fact it was after my Marquette trip that I knew this was a good thing. In fact an amazing thing.

Now when Im riding with others I dont even notice the bike anymore. I just ride. It’s not a ebike to me its just my MTB. The only time I do notice is when I’ve cleaned a good sized hill without stopping and puking. Taking that equation out of my MTB rides makes these rides so much more enjoyable. Im on a eMTB for good.

And how many more of me are out there? How many people who are off the trails due to age or loss of fitness or whatever. Getting these people back on the trails is huge. More people on bikes in never a bad thing.

Is this bike for everyone? Absolutely not. If I could accomplish all these feats on a regular bike I would not be on a ebike. But I can’t, so I am. What bothers me a bit is the bike companies and the way they market the bikes. They all show very capable, young and fast riders just ripping it up. Doing the same thing they can do with a regular bike but much faster. This is the scenario that deters the trail systems to say keep out and I dont blame them. But trust me guys, that scenario is far and few between. I think the majority of ebike riders will be guys and gals like me.

Now let’s talk trail systems. I have found this fall that there are systems that say no problem, some that say absolutely not and some that say probably not but kinda look the other way when they see an old fat guy trying to get up a hill. Most systems seem to be the latter. I will say that I’ve rode two days on the NTN trails in Marquette and three days on the CAMBA trails in the Hayward area. Never once did anyone I talked to say anything negative about the bike. Especially since they were passing me. In fact if the bike was mentioned it was all positive.

This is a whole new type of riders to sleep in the local hotels, eat at the local restaurants and donate to the local trail system. Another bike rental option. Its for sure a win\win. But will take time. The trail systems to openly declare open to ebikes will benefit the most.

Im glad I got the ebike, no longer feel weird about it and know of a few others who could benefit from one like I do. More butts on bikes.

DLD

 

Great Northern Weekend

I dont know where to start. It ended up with 4 of us up enjoying the Hayward\Seeley\Cable area. A couple of us got there around noon on Friday, the others not until later in the day. So the first ride was Friday afternoon for us.  Starting from OO we headed out on Makwa. The trails were in good shape. Sometimes the leaves confused us but we pretty much hit almost every corner correctly.

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Friday afternoon The far side was under water.

But when we got to the Makwa bridge\boardwalk and saw some of it under water we decided to flippit and not take the chance of going under water. Just did not feel like ruining the weekend so soon the game. So we turned back and still got in a two hour ride before the others even got there.

This will be the first time up there with the Powerfly and what that bike did for me is a whole nuther’ post. So Fridays ride was great. We got back to our rooms, cleaned up and waited for the others to get here before heading to the Angry Minnow for dinner.

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Saturday by the Gravity Cavity

Saturday was the day I was going to test the Powerfly for real. Planed on 4 hours on the bike. We left the OO trailhead around 1030am after a few hours of snow and was excited to see some stuck on the ground. However, it was extremely hard to see the trail now for sure. Yesterday we just kinda followed the shiny leaves but now those were under snow.

We did the best we could and you still could see a little bit where the trail was. Once we were thru and had tracks down on the way home was no problem. We started on Seeley Pass are rode the trails to almost Ojibwe. I could never even have done that before this bike.

At just a tick over 20 miles this ride was the farthest Ive been on a MTB in well over 7 years. Just a bit over 3 hours moving time and almost 4 hours total in the woods. And felt OK when it was all done. I was a bit sore but in a good way. Even with the assist I pedaled a lot. Again, using the lowest setting of assist was all I needed. I was not the fastest bike in the group. But a pretty epic day in the saddle. I did the Gravity Cavity 5 times total.

The fresh snow just added to the ambiance. I was hoping to get to ride on a little snow and I was rewarded. Strange to do so still in the middle of Oct. Turns out it snowed back at home too. Just a little.

Im always amazed at how many bikes on cars we see in the area but only one or two on the trail. But one has to realize there are 60 miles of the stuff to ride.

 

As we do almost every trip we stay at the Leenroot behind Sawmill. Just two miles from the OO trailhead were we start most of our rides from. Right in the middle of the action.

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Saturday nite we ate at Rivers Eatery in Cable. Then walked over to Tillys Pies. You walk in to these places and you swear Steve Tilford was still alive and hanging out up here. A lot of Steve’s memorabilia in both places.

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I bought a pumpkin pie to go.

Sunday we decided to check out early and head to Minocqua and ride the Bearskin trail. We all brought out grave\cross bikes along and we wanted to ride them at least once but if we did another MTB ride that would have been fine by me. So we were on the road by 930am after breakfast at the Sawmill.

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Good foto from July

All I got is one crappy pic from Sunday so I’ll throw in this file foto of the Bearskin trail when I rode it on July. I used the same bike so its still pretty accurate except there was a lot more leaves on the trail and some snow here and there.

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Crappy foto from Sunday

It’s a 17 miles out and back trail. Pretty flat. We went about 11 miles out and flipped to get back. I was working pretty hard. No e-assist here. But its a great ride on some nice gravel or limestone or whatever it is. Don’t have to worry too much about cars, only when your crossing roads which you do quite a bit. I was pretty much just sucking others wheels. Im glad we got out on these bikes. Very rarely do I ride my gravel bike on gravel. Like never.

Ended up with close to 22 miles in 2 hours. Rode under a Eagle in a tree about 10 feet over our heads. It was a good ending to a great weekend. 3 great ride for me in 3 days. 

Im going to have the ebike version of this post later this week.

DLD

 

Last Day (this week)

Today is my last day of work. I am officially heading up to Hayward\Cable in the morning. I’ll be on the trails tomorrow by 1pm. Pretty excited. With bring both the Powerfly and the Checkpoint. Will have the option of woods or gravel.

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845am

I started the day with a nice walk on the beach. It was under 30 degrees and the colder temps leaves me walking alone. All the fair weather park goers are gone.  But it was not that cold with the sun. I didn’t get in my full 2 miles as I needed to get to the store to make sure things were ready for me to leave for a few days.

Saw this dude pulling a barge. Usually they push them. That must have been a long chain he was using. It was hard to get both on one pic. That barge looks a little big for that tug. He certainly was not breaking any speed records. Barely moving.

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This is how they mostly do it. Caught this guy last week.

I forgot to mention we had a nice Tuesday nite ride. Really the first one with all the rain we had. About 10 bikes. I have a 500 lumen Light & Motion on the bar and a 1000 on the helmet. I had a good time and hope to do a lot more of this.

I leave around 6am tomorrow. I will need to pack all my winter stuff. Friday aft will be about 50 degrees at ride time but after that the temp plummet. Sunday morn’s ride looks to be at about 25 degrees. So I will have to bring enough clothing to cover a wide range of temps. There’s a chance of a little snow Saturday. It would be cool to ride in a little snow. Even a dusting just to cover the ground would be nice. Im looking forward to riding the CAMBA trails again. It’s really been a year since. And thats just too long. Again, I’ll have the Checkpoint along but really its the trails I want to ride. With the Powerfly I’ll be able to ride so much more. I will look for a trail I have not done yet.  As much as I get up to that area there is a lot of trail I have not been on. Will search them out for sure. Sure, I’ll ride the Checkpoint on a little gravel and thats always an option if it rains but if I never get on that bike all weekend that would be fine by me. But options are open.

The store is officially slow enough for me to take off now and will pretty much stay this until Christmas sales or the first snow. So its go time for me. In the back of my mind Im still thinking about out west the first or second week of November. Not sure if I can pull that off but its not completely ditched yet. Just half ditched. Still a chance. 

I would have no problem closing the store for a few days or even Monday thru Friday it get out west.

So thats about it. Gatta get going as Im doing two days of work here today. Next post will come Monday. I’ll have a few pictures to share…. Have a good weekend.

DLD