All posts by DANO

Finally a Post

Did I not post all week? That’s a first. Just busy I guess. I’ve been taking my time getting to work this week. It’s actually been busy and I just need the me time. A few nice visits to my happy place. Saw these guys cleaning themselves.

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815am Wednesday

Then saw this sailing past town, got a few pic.

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But yesterday morn was another ride on the Powerfly. The first with someone way faster than me. Back out to our local State trails that I can now do an entire loop without cutting short or blowing up. So this was the first real test if I could ride with fast people. The first lap (yes, I actually did two) I led. Did the entire lap without stopping. A little over an hour. Then they led the second and turn it up. Again, staying in the lowest setting of assist I had all I had to hang one. Which is the way I want it. No more waiting or stopping. Just riding. And that is worth every penny the bike costs.

But I will say this (again?) Just for giggles I turned the assist to the highest level (Turbo) and attacked a hill. This was the third ride on this bike and the first time I did that. I flew up the hill. The front tire lifted a couple times. I hated it.

At that point it did not feel like a bike. Sure, I pedaled as hard as I could but I went up that hill so fast it just felt wrong. And I can see why some people are hesitate to open up their trails to them. If you want to you can ride this bike abnormally fast on bike trails.

And as I mentioned in the very first post, thats not my bag. Im not saying it would not be fun, Im saying so much assist is just not for me. At the lowest setting its already opening up all the trails back up to me. I can now do them. The speed at which I do them is immaterial.

So the second lap I let them go ahead and I held their wheel. The entire lap. Sure, I had to work at it but again, thats half the reason I ride. Just super fun. Im so excited to take this thing out west next Nov. Ain’t no mountain high enough.

I am planning a weekend up at a trail system up north that I’ve been to before. Looks like the 24th to the 26th. Thats next week! Sadly I will not say where here. I’ve taken some shit from a very select few about the bike being banned here and there. So I just dont want to start an argument like I did on Facebook. I will say again that its been 99% positive.

As you know I was this bikes biggest critic and I took a lot for me to do this. But man, am I glad I did. You only have one shot at life. Just do it. I’ll ride it this weekend for sure. I might even ride it home tonite and back to work tomorrow. But maybe I’ll just on the Checkpoint for any commuting and leave the Powerfly for the woods.

I still can ride a regular bike.

DLD

 

So Many Feels.

I now have two rides in on the Powerfly. I would need at type at least 2000 words to say how I feel. Almost indescribable. I rode trails I have not been able to ride in years. I don’t know where to start. But I’ll try…..

I am absolutely back in love with MTBing. Just to be able to ride all the tough stuff without puking is the best. These are trails that I was not physically able to ride in the last 5 years or so. Last week I took my MTB home after work Saturday and didnt touch it last Sunday. Yesterday I woke up and saw the Powerfly on the back of the car and could not wait to get out the door. It’s been too long since I had that feeling. I mean, I hurried to get dressed. Today Im making plans to hit up as many trails systems as I can this fall (legally, more on that later).

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Let’s talk about the bike itself. Its got 4 levels of assist. One level is called eMTB and it adjust the level of assist based on how hard your pedaling. From what I read, this was the popular level to use. To my surprise I never took the bike off the lowest level of assist, called “economy”. Every hill that I could not climb before I climbed with this bike in the lowest setting. And the best thing about that was I still had to work. Heart rate was up many times. But not to the point I needed to stop. I should have put my HR monitor on and next time I will to see that Im still working hard. I really was and that was one of my concerns. I just did not want to soft pedal around. I can tell you that I worked just as hard on this bike, but instead of getting off and walking the big hills I cleaned them. And could keep going.

Let’s talk about speed. I was also concerned that if I rode hard I would destroy all the KOM’s out there. Not the case. My fastest lap out there ever was one hour nine minutes sometime around 2012. Ironically, I finished up this lap tired and happy at exactly one hour nine minutes.

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So even with the assist Im not the fastest bike out there by a long shot and thats the furthest thing from my mind. Just completing that lap without having to stop is huge for me.

This bike takes away your physically limitation and just puts you on the same play field as most others. If you follow this blog, you know I struggled mentally to do this. For two weeks I lost sleep thinking Im giving up. Today as I type I think how silly that was. But really not. Its like before you can accept help you have to admit you need it. And thats hard to do.

The bike is heavy. Very. But after a bit of time you get used to it. It’s never going to handle like my 25 pound EX but thats OK. It’s got really big brake rotors as expected. Even with the weight it braked just fine.

This is a game changer for me. Like I mentioned, Im already planning some weekends somewhere. I wont say just yet.

Because there still is some talk about these bikes. Banned from this trail or that trail. Some of the talk is legit, some of it is coming from uninformed mouths.

I will say this. I just might turn into the States biggest advocate for these bikes. Like anything new, they are misunderstood. Most of the time (not all of the time) its the local MTB groups and clubs that proclaim these bikes are not welcome. But they dont own the land. It’s really the land owners that have to make the call. You could talk to two different people from the same organization or governing body and get two different answers.

That all Im going to say about that today. It’s a touchy subject for sure. At least today when its all still so new. Remember when fat bikes came out and we all rode the trails in winter and the ski people freaked out? Now they ski\ride side by side. In time this will all work out. Just takes a bit of patience.

Im sure I will have a lot to say about this ongoing. I really can’t say enough about how this bike gave me my MTBing back again. At least the way I remember doing it back in my youth (early 40’s).

DLD

 

Post eBike Post Post

So Im convinced the eMTB is a good thing for me. Every comment I’ve got both private and on social media has been positive. Very positive.

I just typed a 600 word post on how and why I should not do this. Then I deleted it. This decision has consumed me for the last 2 weeks. Its not the bike. The bike is amazing from what Im told. It’s me. Im having a hard time with this personally.

I just typed another 400 words and deleted it again.

Yesterday I pulled the trigger. I ordered the bike and its due early next week. Maybe sooner.

Its been such a mental thing with this. I’ve really struggling with it. These bikes are great for all the obvious reasons. Give someone who once could not now can. But what Im struggling with is me. Maybe Im not quite that bad off? Sure, I struggle at times. But is that all just part of the experience? Just because there are a few hills I can’t climb anymore get a bike that climbs them for me? I dont know. That goes against what I think MTBing is. I read somewhere that these things are good for the elderly or disabled. Is that what I am? I mean, Im old but still can ride a bike better than the average guy.

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If Grammy can do this why do I need a ebike?

The thing is at what point does one pull the plug on trying. Its like retirement. You live your life working a ton, then all of a sudden your standing out in your yard yelling at kids to get off your grass. Im not sure Im not done working yet. Hell, I raced the Fat Bike Birkie last March and beat a bunch of people. Should all those people get a eMTB too?

If you really sit and think about it you could realize Im not over thinking this. It’s a big personal decision. And then decide not to do it. At least not yet.

Then….. I think, dude ( I call myself dude), its still a bike. You still pedal it. You still will get a heart rate going. You will still sweat. It’s not a motorcycle. It a bike. Same or close to same geometry as my EX. Same amount of travel. How much more could I ride? How much longer. A two hour ride up in Hayward was getting near my limit. 3 hour max. Now I can ride all afternoon. Deep down I know this will be a good thing. And I just need to get past all the issues in my head. And besides, I have plans to build a kick ass ( Shimano Di2 again this year) fat bike in two months so Im right back to a normal bike when the snow flies so its not this decision will ban be from a pedal bike the rest of my life. Its crazy how one minute Im excited to get it and the next minute I dont want it.

So I should stop typing shit and just get the bike and ride it. And all my insecurities might just go away. So this is the last post on this. At least the last post pre eMTB. Im sure I will have a lot to say after.

DLD

Post eBike Post

So I did get a lot of conversation I must say. All positive. But Im still on the fence. The bike is queued to ship but I just can’t pull the trigger. I’ve had my finger on the button several times and got cold feet each time.

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Yesterday. Rain over the lake.

┬áSo let’s look at this again. There’s no doubt that I could do more with more people with this bike. Super tough trails will become more accessible to me. And by super tough I dont mean technically. I mean vertically. And I can ride them with others who are much faster than I. So thats a good thing.

Now, let’s look at what percentage of that riding I do. Im going to say those situations will be less than 10% of the way I ride today. Maybe 15%. That’s not to say I would do way more of that riding if I had the chance. There’s no doubt I could lay down a 4 hour ride up in Hayward. I can’t today. I would love to ride Marquettes North trail all the way to Ishpeming or Negaunee. I can’t today. So what’s my problem?

My problem is that when Im NOT riding stuff that I need help with Im stuck with a 50 pound bike. Is that a big deal? I dont know. Can I do Marquette’s Down Dogger or Eh Line with a 50 pound bike and not hit any trees? Maybe, again I dont know.

It’s not that I fly down those anyway. When your a guy my size you tend to keep the wheels touching the ground most of the time.

Am I overthinking this? In about three months I’ll build up my fatbike for the winter and its all back to normal then anyway. So thats only three months away. It’s not like Im ditching non assisted bikes altogether. I rode my Checkpoint 20 miles yesterday. See, now I’ve talked myself into it again. So Im heading over to the Treks dealer site and will hover my finger over the button. And get cold feet again. As Nike said, just do it. Maybe I will.

Another weekend is here and Im alone in the store today and tomorrow. So its a working weekend for me. The next week might be a quick run up to Marquette. Will see.

Looks like a great weekend here in Wisco. Get outside.

DLD