Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring 2015 (Mud Season)

The shoulder seasons in the upper midwest can be frustrating for many when it comes to biking. Too cold, too wet, too windy, too muddy and the list goes on.....

Now with the option of having a fatty, I see no issues. The 9:zero:7.
Out looking for antler sheds.

The trusty  Salsa "road" bike. (summer pic)

The fatty is great when ice and snow are still on the local Tomorrow River Trail "rails to trail" and local 30 mile city loop Green Circle Trail.
I toss on my  Big Fat Larry tires for maximum flotation and minimal lugs/tread so as to not cut up the soft trail in the spring and fall.
There are always sections of trail that are snow and ice covered due to shade and some that are the opposite, muddy from the melting snow and late frost coming out of the ground. These sections are where the fatty really shines. If there is too much ice or mud, moving off to the shoulder of the trail or even off into the grass that is still short from last falls last trimming the fatty rolls on through.

The Salsa is my, town, rail to trails, back roads, gravel grinder and "road" bike.
As we were going to be spending Easter in Minneapolis I decided to head out a couple days early and ride to The Cities, 250 miles.
Strong head winds (13-20 mph gusts to 30) the first day and quartering winds the second day. (11-15 mph with gusts to 20). I knew it was going to be a ball buster, but that's fine. Along with the softish gravel roads I got in some good training.

The first day the Upper Midwest IMBARegional Director contacted me to discuss some trail funding issues in WI. It worked out to meet 45 miles out from my start. It cost me some time but it was worth it and was glad to have met the new Director.

Photo Credit, Michelle Barker
I got 90 miles or so in the first day and found a nice local motel to spend the night. The Heritage Court Motel in Thorp, WI. Got an early start and went down the road for great breakfast in Stanley, WI at Alberta May's. 
Somewhere along the way the hose from my camelback froze. 30 degree drop in temp from the day before.
Put in another 85 miles or so before my wife caught me on her way to Minneapolis.
Got into some nice hill country the further west I went. Just the start.
Locals were gathering maple sap for syrup and the slower speeds due to the wind gave me plenty of time to scour the ditches for antler sheds, none spotted, though.

The next day I rode 25 miles in Minneapolis on a bike path just to top the weekend off.
Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail.

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