Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spring, time for the NEW?

Hummm.....found a nice car for my wife, a 2004 TT....I finally replaced my 1977 Lawn Boy. I think maybe I got the short end of the stick.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cuyuna, Crosby, MN

Cuyuna Trails.  One of the latest IMBA efforts. Designated as a Ride Center. Grand Opening is less than 2 weeks away and the official opening was just yesterday. Lucky I had some work to do up in MN and the weather was great, so timing is everything as they say.

This is an area that was a source of iron ore. The trail is on the old tailings dump. The MORC crew came up to help.
 The old pit and the height of the tailings dump.

 Left the trial-head with a guy that got there the same time I did/. Jeff from Minneapolis. Was fun riding with Jeff. He kept an eye out making sure I was coming up behind him.
 Cool groove of birch trees.

 Jeff was the navigator. The trail is a maze of spiral loops heading up and down the tailings.

 Some locals coming down from the view point in an old pickup, or did we step back in time when the ore was still coming out of the ground?
 tick season, still.

 The view point, lake level.
 180 degree view change.

The Circle.

Is life more of a lap race than a point to point? Getting a bike for the Grandson. Starting all over again.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This could BEE fun

Did this 20 some years ago, looking forward to seeing how much honey I end up with.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cheq 100 mtn. bike race. 2011

Cheq 100 mile mtn bike race/ride in the books. Some of the best single-track in WI. CAMBA trails, Cable, WI. Chris and I decided to stop at mile 70 so we could socialize with the guys (code word for beer and BS) and not stay out till dark to finish like last year. The deluge at mile 60 helped in our decision.
Congrats to the all the participants and especially to the finishers.
Bear reserved a huge old lake home, 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms. Porch and all, where Chris and Cooper slept. 17 the first night, 15 the 2nd.

Bikes everywhere!

Mike on the right won last year. Took a wrong turn and also got a little sick this year. His girlfriend, Heidi, finished it out. Great job!
Chris and Ryan at the start. Ryan finished!
Dave Hill pulling firetower hill.

Taking a fuel break, mile 43.
Bag drop, water filling and as much food as ya can stuff down. Mile 55. We headed back out and promptly got drenched and mudded up. I was eating as much sand as food an hour out from this stop and didn't put down enough fuel....slowed us down.
Richard at the finish. Single speed rigid, as tough as you can get.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 He-Man Canoe trip

Tim and Rick on annual He-Man canoe trip. Rick supplied some of the pics in this posting.
Brule, White and New Wood Rivers. First time in 20 years I cut it short. Went home after 2nd day to attend my wife's MBA graduation. A no-brainer.

The flotilla. 15 guys or so this year.
Pat and the "silver cup" made famous by America. Amarillo, if I remember correctly.
River art.
The rookie, Brian....Kelly always brings cigars.
Brian didn't get to smoke all of it. By this time he went swimming once with Nick, and right after this he went again. I was in the canoe with him, but I was able to let him launch without him taking the canoe (and me) with him.
Tom helping Tim out as we head down toward Mays and Lenroot Ledges of the WI Brule.
Tom crossing back to get his canoe.

The Support crew waiting for us to come down....doing what they do best!

Tim coming down.
Adam, well... looks like he's taking a water sample and counting the number of times he dumped so far today.
Tom, no sweat.
Yours truly, cheating river right.
I bypass the carnage.

Vid courtesy of Nick.

Mike a little sideways after releasing his water sample from earlier.

Later that night........
Love a first sight? Blue cue spot in memory of a former canoeist... no he didn't drown, he got married.

Vinod and Tim getting the cook fire ready for shore lunch, the next day on the White.
Mike and Adam found some nice birch bark along the river.

Tick bait?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dry enough for singletrack, Levis Trow Mound

This will be one of my very seldom posts with no pics.

Met son Chris and his dog Cooper at Levis last Friday to get some riding in before the Cheq 100. Levis is an IMBA rated EPIC Trail. It has just about everything. Like the BALLS ride last weekend, this was going to be a test to see how the broken foot bone would hold up, but under different type of riding, While BALLS was an endurance rail to trail ride that didn't require any power peddling, riding Levis was going to test the foot for power stroking.
Low speed powering up hills, high speed tight downhills, trash on the trail eager to get hung up in, stumps and rocks always ready and willing to hook a toe, foot or pedal. Always present is an occasional unintended dismount while clipped in. Nothing like laying flat on your bike with your feet solidly attached to your steed.
Furthermore, beyond all the "normal" shenanigans that can go on out on the trail, if I screwed up and crashed, it could cause enough damage to start the healing process all over again and maybe bring a few more injuries to the party.

By the time we both got there and fot lights working and saddled up it was somewhere close to 10/11PM. Rode one of the steep sidehill trails up to the top of the mound. At one tight spot I stalled out and couldn't get unclipped. I fell to my left up against the wall of the hill. Keen sandals were now in a bind making twisting them even tougher to get unclipped. My left foot felt ok, but this was exactly what I'd been dreading as I figured this would cause the healing bone to break open. It didn't, it held.
At another spot, due to the slow speeds and poor lighting and general over caution due to the dark and shadows, I screwed up and couldn't get unclipped again.
I had forgotten to rub a little chain lube on them, as they were very dry and this was the first time out with the Gary Fisher HiFi this season, so there may be been some corrosion/rust on them. This is a common sign of worn parts as well, so I should replace my clips as I wore the Keens 100% of the time last year.
So, over I go again but this time I went over on the down hill side. I popped out as I tipped and had time to grab a small 6" tree before I rolled down the hill. With the other hand I grabbed the bike to keep it from tumbling down the hill. Again, the foot held up. All this time Chris was ahead of me just hanging out. He may have seen my headlamp doing strange dances in the night but he never said anything and I didn't tell him all of this as he'd have probably yelled at me for being out there and risking more injury. He never reads my blog so I'm safe here, I think!

Rode out to a couple of the view points....different experience in the dark. After turning off our headlamps the lights from the surrounding farms and distant small towns from our elevation was like being in an airplane. The 1/4 moon was shrouded behind some low clouds so although there was some ambient light there was not enough for any distant pictures, beside, no camera was taken. The stars that were out offered a suggestion of no rain during the night.
We wound around the top of the mound some and headed back down with Cooper in the lead, the light on his collar dancing at varying distances as he ran ahead then came back to see that we were still coming and often to either side of us, sometimes bearing down on us or racing away, as the singletrack twisted and turned it's way back to the trial head.

Got back to camp and setup the tent, got a fire going and started putting down a few brews. The plan was to grill some burgers from the same 1/4 of a beef I had brought over to Chris late that afternoon and we had grilled at his house before we left The Cities. We both decided we weren't hungry enough for that. So with some chocolate milk as a recovery drink of sorts, some chips and berries, we sat around the fire catching up on things.
As we crawled into the tent, Chris told me it was 3:45 or some such nonsense, but we both figured his watch was wrong....the next thing I remember after getting inside the sleeping bag is Copper stomping me with is paw, then standing on my with his front feet. I tried to get him to settle down and I could see it was getting light out. This is his way of asking to get outside. I figured he was doing the same to Chris and I rolled over.
I fell back asleep and woke up with the heat of the sun coming through the tent. No Cooper pestering me and then I noticed Chris was not in the tent, either.
Chris and Cooper were up and outside the tent. I found my way out of the bag and the tent only to wonder why I shouldn't go back in and sleep some more. But it was around 8AM....time to get back out on the trail as I had plans to leave for home around noon.
Kinda choked down a banana and forced a banana nut muffin down with some chocolate the way I felt, this was going to be a tough ride, I thought.

After doing a quick romp through the skills park we headed down the trail. It only took a few hard strokes on the pedals to get the blood exploding in my temples, like inmates hammering on steel bars trying to escape a prison, to know how bad the hangover was and would be.

We worked our way out to the furthest trail, Goat Dance, climbed the steepest of the sand hills, walking some of it due to the sheer impossibility of riding them coupled with the couple of wind falls that crossed the trail. This gave me an opportunity to drain most of my water bottle and get some hydration back. We moved what trees we could, but a chainsaw would have to be the best method to remove the obstacles.

As we crossed the apex of the climb and headed back down it was sheer joy remembered why mountain biking is so much fun. The alcohol from the night before had been disposed of somehow by my body and my mind seemed sharp and clear.
We made our way over to a couple of the trails Levis is known for, Sidewinder being one. Wish I would have remembered the camera...coming down Upper Hermosa with the big banked switchbacks would have made a great video due to no summer leaves that would have obstructed the view of Chris making his way down the snake with Coop in the lead.

We made our way back to camp to grill burgers and cook mushrooms and asparagus in tin foil as we enjoyed the morning and time well spent together before Chris returned west and I headed out east.
Right before I left the parking lot friends from Madison with their wives showed up to enjoy the day at Levis as well.
To see pics and videos of past Levis trips, look over to the right for LEVIS and click on the LABEL. They will all load, just scroll down to see them.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Colmlara, IL

Caught a ride on the way home from Cincy in Bloomington, IL. Maybe the only dry trail in the country! Mississippi is expected to be 48 feet over flood stage later this week, the worse since the 1920's.

A good reason to heed signage on the trail...notice the orange ribbon to the right of the feature.
Big Burtha.
These guys have made some great features out here....trail 7 was non-stop log ladders and raised wooden skinnies.