Saturday, March 24, 2012

Miami Beach Bike Paths

Ok, so after my rant of yesterday I have to back-pedal (no bike bun intended). I investigated further the possibilities of riding north from 43rd Street where my motel was, to 163rd, where the bridge to Oleta River State Park is.
After spending a few minutes on Google Maps, I saw there was an entry to the beach surface road in the 53rd block and was able to ride all the way to Bal Harbour Park, 9000 block, where I had to get on the road to cross a bridge, then was able to pop back down into Haulover Park to get almost to 163rd.
A most enjoyable ride.
Got to watch some early morning fishermen on the Pier at Bal Harbor Park.

 Snapped this just before it nailed me...and my iphone and backpack, as I turned.

 Some kind of trash fish.
Crossing the bridge at Bal Harbour Park into Haulover Park.

Taken from the parking lot of the Win-Dixie just before Oleta Park where I picked up my fruit plate breakfast. My bees would enjoy them, I'll bet.

In the Park. It's basically a coral based trail. Lots of loose coral...and many roots.
Brandon at Blue Moon was great....just moved down from Baltimore.

 Some cool features.
Great ride, especially for the location to Miami Beach. At Blue Moon they threw on SPD pedals for me as I had brought my Keen SPD sandals. The bike was in very good condition (although the headset was loose) and that made all the difference. Total confidence in it. Keep plenty of air in the tires (they shove 45 psi into the rentals) lots of roots, have I mentioned that already? It wet, it could be a much tougher ride.
Found myself lost in the moment in the singletrack as one had to pay attention on the black and even the blue trails....then when popping out to see the skyscrapers so close by, one got jolted back to where one was. A great way to clear the mind....while still just minutes away from the craziness of the cars and people just minutes away.

Area 51, Gilligan, Stairway to Heaven, Gates of Delirium, etc.  is a black diamond cluster. Mostly due to some short steep drops, natural and man-made. Not too difficult if you don't use your brakes, keep your weight back and your speed up. A little lift on the bars once in awhile helps.
Map of trails.

View from my motel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Riding Miami Beach

Was riding some singletrack today (one of the features, not me although I did ride it) in north Miami Beach, Oleta Park, then rode the rental bike to my motel, about 6 miles at 4PM...traffic was hectic. A local bus basically cut me off against the curb sliding into his/her stop...I figured I could take a hint so got up on the sidewalk...after 20-30 blocks a cop stopped me and asked me why I was on the sidewalk when bikes aren't allowed on them. Told him a bus almost ran me over. He said he knows the buses are a little aggressive. I told him I'd rather have him bitch at me than become a grease spot. I guess I could have taken a whole lane and risked getting shot by someone, didn't say that to the cop, though.
If there is any place I've ever been, Miami Beach should be car-less. It's a spit of land 13 miles long and about .5 mile wide on average
Buses or trollies going up and down the length would be enough...and even have golf carts available for folks that can't get along very well at stops if they need to go any distance.
1 block off the moving parking lot and the beach was peaceful, the streets could be too, I'd think, not mention how much better all the people might feel, as well.
This would seem better than what I witnessed today, bumper to bumper, aggressive driving, and all the frustration that was out there. Very few bikes and not bike friendly.
But, back to the singletrack. The young man running Blue Moon rental was great and allowed me a 24 hr. over night rental so I could ride in the evening and then again in the AM.

 Part of the way back to my motel ran close to the Atlantic beach.

  Snuck a foreign stranger into my room last night, hope my wife doesn't find out!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Little Wolf River Kayak

Unseasonably warm weather...79 degrees, 40 above our average this time of year. What to do?? Kayak, of course. Rivers running high with the run-off, but not crazy high.
Called Tom and his son Josh to come out and play, Josh could make, Tom had to work. We got on the river at around 6PM, off at 7:30 with not a minute to spare before it got dark.
Should have brought my go-pro camera for some shots on the rapids.
 Ice shelf.

 Josh dressed for air temps, not the water. A huge difference. Got water in the chest from a few rollers, got all whiny about being cold!!!   ;-)

 The last rapids...called The Dells. I wanted to get Josh coming through, but by the time he got back up to his yak after we scouted it, it was too dark.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Growlers Snowbike race....

Russ running me down........ Bear Paw Resort Growlers Snowbike race.

Team Growlers Snowbike Relay Race from RB on Vimeo.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweaty Yeti Snowbike Race

2nd Snowbike Race of the year. The Sweaty Yeti at Levis Mounds, WI. This is great mtn. bike area in the summer and now with Snowbikes, a great place to ride in the winter. xc-skiing of course, as well.
A little over-view from a local newspaper.

With registration we got a T-shirt:


Chris (son) and friends Al and Paul came over. A few other friends had happened to show up and we had a great time.
After the race, we setup Chris' winter tent, with a wood stove inside, and had a nice toasty sleep.Maybe the brews helped...
A fellow rider, who decided to take pictures this day, did a great job and many of the pics I'll post below will be from him.
Ryan Nanney. Check out his work.

The race format was 3 person relay team. Me before the race sporting my wolfman hat and Russ getting a chuckle out of it in the background.

I went first, LeMans start (had to do a little run before we got on the bikes). Never was a runner, still not !
 Al was 2nd after my 15-20 minute lap. Around 2 miles per lap.

 Al and I at the transition.

Al ahead of brother Paul, who was on a different team.

 Chris was our anchor. Fastest guy on our team.

 Paul, Al's brother.

 Sand Creek Brewery gave away a lot of refreshments....everybody seemed to have won something.

Yours truly.....Thanks again to Jen for letting me use her Pugsley for the winter.
Cooper and I heading out for another lap. My last one of 4...Coop's maybe 15th?? He ran all day, with just about everyone. This was the lead out from the transition, probably the fastest part of the course. You can't tell by me, but you can see Cooper is legging it.
 1st lap, ahead of buddy Greg from Madison.

Ryan took great pics...Cooper, who ran with at least everyone for the 3 hour race....he slept well that night.
Cooper following a couple riders.

 Random shots during the race. Gomez getting a hand-up.
 Buddy Greg from Madison.
More dogs. They all got along and never got in the way. Fun time for them, as well.
 Chris and Randy dukeing it out.
 Greg and his tractor....we're in WI, whadya expect?

Randy showing off on his last lap.

After the race and a few beers, it was derby time. Riders ride in a slow tight circle. If your foot touches the ground, you're out. It keeps getting tighter and tighter until only one person is left riding and is the winner. Good bike handling skills are required.
 Fire pit.
 After the race...some goodness from Sand Creek Brewery. Lasted well into the night. Gomez found the best seat in the house.

Winter camping, tent setup.

 Al, Jason (friend if Al and Paul) Paul and Chris.
Chris and I the next morning.
 Getting ready for a morning ride.

The next morning, Chris, Cooper, Al and I took off for ride/run for an hour or so. When we got back, Al left for home and I traded in Jen's bike that I've been borrowing all winter for skis and with Chris and Cooper went out for another 90 minutes or so.
 Chris made the comment as we were standing in softly falling snow that there was no place he could think of he'd rather be....I had to agree.