Monday, May 16, 2016

2016.....Like Grandfather like Grandson

Lots of fun this winter, especially spending some of it with Jason.

Fat Cupid....3rd place

Fat Bike Birkie....initially 2nd, but changed to 3rd.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fat Bike Birkie, 2016

The year and season finale.
I had set a goal last year to win my age division of the Fat Bike Birkie 47k race.
Missed my goal by a little, but still made the podium. After the race they had me in 2nd but was knocked down to 3rd later. Stayed on, though!
It was a great finish, spent with great friends along with our wives.

Photo credit, friend and fellow racer, Nick Templeton.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sweaty Yeti 2016

Season winding down with the good times at Levis Mounds. A race, yes, but this event is more about just having a good time.
Ever since the first faty race here a few years ago, myself and many meet up to ride, have a few brews and have a good time.
I brought grandson Jason to this race last year and he came again. We "camped" out in the chalet.
We brought his new fat-bike and he rode it around some, but it's just a tab too large for him and I don't think he feels 100% comfortable with it.
Buddy Russ from Appleton teamed up with me so I could hang-out a little with Jason during the race.
We finished 1st in the Open Team Division. Team name was Russ x 2....in honor of me being twice the age of Russ. It started warm and got warmer. Glad I had studs on again. Russ didn't but he still turned in some really fast laps.
Won some nice beer from Sand Creek Brewing, plus they tossed in a keg for general consumption.

Random shots of the day.

Friend Al.

Bra Man.....Jason was looking at him and was a little confused.

Mass start.


Tippy Viking

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Birkie 2016

XC- Sking buddy Doug picked me up in the AM and we flew up once again to ski the Birkie, my 11th. On the way up we flew close to the land I own on the Jump River, so Doug made a swing so I could take a picture.
From the open field south to the point where the river makes a left turn then north to the road is what we own, around 50 acres. I could see the hunting shack, just off the field to the south/left where that small white/open spot shows, is where it's at.
Doug did a great job of landing the plane at the small private Telemark airstrip, where the race starts, on an ice coated tarmac. After the race we got to fly through a few snow squalls, which were a bit unnerving, but again, Doug did a great job navigating up, over, around and through them.

After the race a friend, Leah Gruhn, a fellow endurance racer from Duluth, MN was at the finish line waiting for her husband to finish. She shared a bit of her celebration elixir with me.....


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fatbike Frozen Forty

Next on the docket was the Fatbike Frozen Forty in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It's one of the older fat bike races with this being it's 5th year. In the past I've headed up to Actif Epica in Canada this weekend or maybe the social race of Book Across the Bay or maybe even escaped to Alaska for the Sustina 100. This year though I committed to the FFF.

It was a bit chilly for the start of the race, around -8 or so, but being on single track and in the woods with the sun coming up and temps forecasted to rise it wasn't much to get too concerned about. Also, being that it was 4 laps/40 miles or so, although plenty of time to frostbite any body part not protected, a lot less time than compared to the Ultra races of Tuscobia and Arrowhead.

The RD had setup a warming tent and with the parking lot close to the start line, keeping warm before the race wasn't an issue so more clothes than necessary worn at the start wasn't a problem.

I did a little pre-ride and was very glad I decided to put on studded tires earlier in the week. We had been getting some thaws now and then lately and with the lack of new snow I felt studs sure wouldn't hurt. Plus, I wanted to try out the Dillinger 5 tires so off with the Ground Controls and on with the studded D5's.
I had bought the D 5's without the factory studs and instead went with Grip Studs, a company in Oregon. These can be inserted and removed plus they are a tougher, tungsten-carbide vs. just carbide and more aggressive than the 45 NRTH factory studs.

Based on the pre-ride, I decided to add some air to the rear.....I opened the valve and then got the floor pump out of the jeep. By the time I started pumping, the rear tire was completely flat....the valve must had been held open by some ice??

At the Start with buddy Mark Seaburg....the Boys in Blue.
Photo Credit Hannah Hoglund Photography.

I'm very glad I had studs on!
The rollout was designed to spread the field out some and it did, but it just seems some people sprint on the road just knowing full well they aren't as fast, comparatively, in the single-track. But, I guess instead of complaining, I should just sprint out as well....but then, I'd be That Guy or Gal, as the case maybe.
Scott Cole and I got behind a string and got further behind when a biker in front of us went off course and we followed, along with a few others, so the few bikes we were able to pass ended up in front of use again. That's what you get for following!!!

Random race photos by Hannah Hoglund.



Each lap was 11 miles plus and it was in really good shape if not icy in a number of areas. Mostly the corners, of course, where all of the snow gets pushed off. Yes, there was some ice at times, ok, quite a bit of times, but hey! it's winter riding.
Scott was in front of me without studs and he was feeling the need to unclip a lot and keep a leg out on many corners while I just pedaled on through. I thought if he had to do that for 40 miles it was going to be a long day for him.
One guy spun out on an uphill and he and his bike got spread across the trail. Scott went around him and I followed, never spinning or sliding a bit.
As we came through the start/finish to head out for the 2nd lap Scott took off. He's a much stronger biker than me!

About half way through the 2nd lap I had passed a couple riders but couldn't pull away from them. It seemed I was slowing down based on the effort. The back tire was starting to drift just a little in the corners as well. I figured it might be low on air so I pulled over to confirm. It was low so I pulled out my pump and started filling it. The 2 riders passed me and I gave the pump another 30-45 seconds and jumped back on.
It felt better and I repassed the 2 riders.
When I got to the start/finish line I rolled over to my jeep and got out the floor pump and gave it a good fill. I also pulled out a Red Bull I had in my frame bag and drank the 1/2 that wasn't frozen, stuffed the can back in the bag and took off.

With the full tire, some Red Bull in and a short rest, I felt good and fast on the trail. The 3rd lap went great but the tire was still losing some air. As I came through the transition area for the 4th lap I asked if there was a floor pump available to avoid going to my jeep and there was. So I filled up some and took off in time to catch a rider that passed me while pumping before we hit the single track.

I maybe lost 5 minutes total airing and maybe some actual race time while pedaling but it's all part of the race.
The issue was that before the race I decided to put in some air and the valve would not seat. Somewhat a rookie mistake....don't mess with things right before the start.
The tire hasn't lost air since it was able to warm up on the ride home and dry out the valve (I travel with the bike inside my jeep.)

Another race with age divisions, so was able to still win the DD (Dinosaur Division) 60 plus category.

Photo credit Hannah Hoglund.




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Iola Snow Bully Race

Got back from Denver the night before the start of the Iola Snow Bully race. This is held at a local xc-ski and snow jumping site, Iola Winter Sports Complex. It's held under the lights on the xc-ski trail and served as a fund raiser for the Organization. They also host a WORS (WI Off Road Series) race once a year as well.
Local Scott Cole (Hostel Shoppe) started this race last season and it's become one of the best venues for fatties around. He's done a great job working with the Club and getting a number of Sponsors on board.

As we all know, there has been a huge jump in Fat Bike activity the past couple of years. Groups are jumping on board to take advantage of the buzz. The Iola Winter Sports Complex has a natural venue with a winter background complete with a lodge to keep everyone warm. Volunteers had soups, hot dogs and brats available.

Back to the race. There had been a dump of snow a few days before and conditions were very soft and it wasn't cold enough to setup the snow.
RD Scott decided to remove a short loop that had the steepest climb and conversely the steepest downhill. A smart move.

I got there a bit early to help setup some and get a pre-ride in. When asked what I thought after the ride, the only word that came to mind was "interesting". Just about anything could happen.

There was some walking the first lap with bikes dodging about everywhere. Luckily I was towards the front and things compressed pretty quickly after the first 100 or so uphill yards to a somewhat ride able groove, at least most of the time.
From there on it was all about tire pressure, single-track skills to stay in the groove, keeping weight back and being smooth while climbing and hanging on swooshing down the backsides.

The second lap was really tore up from all of the walkers.

Photo credit, XTRphoto, Gary Smits.

I'm not sure if anyone got away without some sort of crash. I had a really nice OTB on my 3rd lap.

The rule was that if you crossed the finish line before the 1 or 2 hours times, one had to head back out or get a DNF. I came in at 1:58 for the 2 hr. race, my 3rd lap, and after a 15 second stop decided to head back out.

Glad I did as it was maybe my most enjoyable lap. Less riders walking and the groove was better intact. Loads of fun!

Race report from the 2 hr. winner, Cole House.

A fun time...and.....what, age groups!
I won the DD (Dinosaur Division) 60+.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Newest Grandchild (son) MASON!

Nick and Traci (and Mason) super surprised us and our whole extended family when they drove from Denver to WI and showed up unannounced at our doorstep for our Nikolay Family Christmas in WI.

Lynn with Mason.

Mason with his cousins, Alyssa and Jason.

Right after Arrowhead Lynn and I flew out to Denver to visit son #2 Nick, his wife Traci and their new son, Mason....as in Mason Crosby, Green Bay placekicker.




With Dad.





With 2 brew pubs in walking distance the craft beer was readily available...as was plenty or restaurants. When Chris and Helen stopped in on their drive home from MN to OR, we weren't shy about the food and drink....and my waistline showed it!


Uncle Chris got some Mason time as well.