Monday, December 31, 2012

SKIING (GAME ON)

815am
Im a biker first, skier second. A huge amount of our group is the opposite.  With the current snow we lose them till spring. While I like to ski, I would never pass up a perfectly good bike ride to do it. That said...

I have yet to get out on the snow. Not by choice  First off, the store has been rockin' since the snow fell a week ago. Everybody was starved for skiing\snowshoeing and it hit the store like a two ton heavy thing. Thats good for biz.
But work trumps play and have not had the time to get outside and play. That, and when I do ski I just grab a set of rentals from the store and go. However, we have been sold out of rentals almost everyday since it snowed. So I have not had the equipment to do so. Again, not complaining.

But I do love to get outside in the winter. And in the past the low end rental ski is all I used. Until now.
Every year winter I think about getting my own set. But Im just a simple classic guy and have never skate skied, and have no ambition to try, so I just grab a rental set, which is the entry level ski and go.
But today, after getting shut out of skiing the last week, pulled the trigger and ordered my very own set of classic race skis. High end stuff. Boots too. Carbon stuff.
I feel kinds quality about spending all that money on my ski's. I feel its money wasted cuz Im not that good. Makes me kinda understand when someone off the street asks about the cost of my demo bikes and fall over when I tell them. I kinda fell over when I was told what my ski's and boots cost. And that's dealer cost!

Anyway, looking forward to skiing. The local parks are open. The pic above is me grooming my HP Saturday morn. So Long Ride Wednesday might just turn into a fatbike ride, and I'll always jump in the group ride on Saturdays, but now will throw in a ski or two. Maybe one during the week before I open and one on the weekend.

As far as skating, Im sure I would like it. Im sure I could do it. But Im just not that into it. And its really expensive stuff. And really, I enjoy skiing the smaller trail systems, like the one I groom. And most of those do not set skate trail. Just classic.

And that describes me. Just classic.
Have a safe Holiday!

DLD

Friday, December 28, 2012

ITS FRIDAY

Its snowing like crazy! 915am

What snow the lake took away last week is being paid back today.  Huge lake effect snow this morning. All day heading into tonite. Ive seen this type of thing dump 6 more inches in the park than anywhere else so its fingers crossed. I may have to ditch the group ride in the morning for grooming.....

Yesterday me and a buddy heading over to The Northern Kettles trail system we call Greenbush and planned a fatbike ride on the bike trails there. In the winter those trails get snowshoed so we thought we were good to go as the snow looked pretty packed down.
But alas, the snow was way too deep and too soft. We struggled to stay upright. I had the tire pressure down to 8psi and still not enough float. I should have brought the Moonlander.

We did ditch the single track and ran some snowmobile trails and those were a little better but still way too soft. But I think once this snow firms up a bit those trails would be rideable.
So we will just have to wait for the conditions to change for any fatbike sno adventures.

The store has been crazy good. Ski rentals off the hook. Trying to make up for last years shutout. Past 3 years I have rented out twice. I have already rented out twice in the last 4 days. And I added a few sets to the rental fleet to make it 20 this year.
So thats a good thing. Its taking all my time, 10 hours a day in the store for me.

Other than that, Im getting serious again on the Weightwatchers front. Im happy with the Holidays lull in weight loss, I held my own and did not gain. And my activity is way off the last two weeks with the Holidays and being sick earlier.

As far as activity, the deeper snow might just kick us off the beach and such, but now its game on with the skiing. Only problem is, I just grab a rental set when I head out and there has been none for me of late.
So today I pull the trigger and buy my own personal set.
I still do not skateski. Im a classic guy to the end. I just like skiing the smaller trail systems, like my Happy Place. The smaller systems do not groom for skate. And every now and then I blaze my own trail. So as much fun as skating looks, Im getting a premium set of classics's.
I have not skied yet but hope to soon. My ski's wont get here for at least a week.

But when they do come, its game on. As much as I hope to rent out again this weekend, I kinda hope there's maybe one set left for me.....
Have a great weekend. Get outside!

DLD

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

CHRISTMAS DAY RIDE

1015AM

Didn't think I would get the time to post, but as it turns out I have quite some time today. Took that time to pull off a Christmas Day ride for the first time(for me).
The Surly Trucker was the weapon of choice. I was not sure if I was going to road it or woods or beach. So I took the bike that can do it all.
Grabbed my iPod, hit shuffle and off I went. While I still was not sure where the hell I was going I had a pretty good idea. When the beach's are froze and hiway smooth you pretty much have to do it. These conditions can reverse and anytime. So beach it was.

Tail winds had me rolling near 20mph as i headed south. I knew, as Im sure you all do to, that the way back north would not be as fun but I really just did not care. Rolling fast and easy, just a feet from waters edge with iPod blasting Greenday. This was a good ride.

Until a rookie mistake. Rolling up to the first water crossing. Riding 15 miles on the beach has us riding across 4 or so water crossings. Small creeks and such that empty into the lake. Some are always small. Some can get quite large with strong current. Years of beach riding has us pretty much figuring out if one of these is too big. Or not.
So I rolled up to the first, not so big crossing. Looks pretty tame. Maybe 6 inches deep and 5 feet long. We do these with our eyes closed but I guess I was deep in thought or something and made pretty much a rookie move.
Like I said, it was only about 6 inches deep but the water was moving fast. So that means under the water is soft sand. Slower water means the bottom is froze. So, I rolled in way too slow, front tire sunk in sand, still clipped in, came to a complete stop, balanced for a split second, has one of those "oh shit" moments when you know whats going to happen, and over I went into the water with both feet still in the pedals.
I got kinda wet but had a bunch of layers on so thought I was good there. But as I laid in the water I noticed my right shifter was under water. So I knew I had about 30 seconds to find the right gear that I was going to use the rest of the day. At 20 degrees I had no more than that so I centered the chain on the cassette and not a second too soon as the shifter froze.

I felt fine but was about an hour out so I flipped it and rode back basically singled out in the rear. The headwind seemed to hurt a bit more than I thought it would. I still enjoyed the ride home on the beach. I bit colder tho. In fact, just a few miles from the store I was full on cold and I found out why. It was a balmy 22 degrees when I left and now two hours later, is 17 degrees. That was a bit strange.
Every now and then I get a ride in that is unique. Today was one of those ride. My first Christmas day ride and then just being stupid at that water crossing. Just about 2 hours and 24 miles. I remember rides for strange reasons. Some rides I forget about in days. Some, for what ever reason, big or small I remember forever.
I'll remember this one. I think.
Have a awesome Christmas.

DLD

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Fatbike ride

Its Sunday nite and I guess I gatta post when I get the chance.Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and due to my family's work schedule is the day we get together. So no time to post in the morn. Also, on top of that the store is open noon to 3pm. So its a busy day for me. Also going to pass on posting Xmas day too.

Saturday I had a busy day planned at the store and had to be there to open at 10am so I had to cut the group ride short. I did manage about a hour and a half tho. Mostly beach riding. I was riding the 9zero7. I rode that bike both days this weekend.
Both days the beach was a hiway. A little icy on Saturday but come Sunday the ice was gone and the riding was easy.
Sunday was our biweekly fatbike ride.
A very nice ride with good friends. A few new faces. 25 miles of mostly beach with a little woods at the end. Pretty sure fun was had by all.
With all the busy holiday stuff on Monday, leaves me open on Christmas day for a ride. Thats a first for me and right now I am planning a bit of a road ride with the Disc Trucker. It will be a solo ride but thats OK. Its been a long time since I had a 3 hour solo ride. Charged iPod in hand.

So its going to be a bit strange Christmas but enjoyable I believe. Next post should be Wednesday.
Have a great Christmas!

DLD 

Friday, December 21, 2012

BIG LAKE

915am

Quite a day yesterday. Huge rain all day had my sump pump in my basement working overtime to the point of not keeping up. Flooded basement. Not bad but floor was entirely covered. No snow to speak of. Maybe 2 inches at most. Not enough to groom out at the park. The grass is barely covered.

As you can see from the pic, the lake was huge this morn. Almost 8 footers rolling in. Checking in with Ship Locator this morn all ships found a dock last nite and are waiting for the lake to calm down. Still interesting stuff for me.

The area did get big snow, just a few miles inland, away for the lake, over a foot fell. While I complain about the local conditions, just a 20 minute drive and the skiing is going to be good. Will have to try and work in my first ski in two years soon. Heading into the weekend, its going to be busy at the store. I have over 15 Christmas bikes that still need to be picked up. And you know they will all get here at the same time on Saturday.
My ride time this week is zero and thats my fault. Saturday I need to cut the ride short to work, so as far as weight Im not gaining so thats a good thing I guess. If you just don't explode during the Holidays your ahead of the game.

Sunday is our bi-weekly fatbike ride. And the first in snow. Even tho it is only two inches. In time we hope to travel to other locations on this ride.... Should be fun.

Other than that it looks like a good weekend coming up. A four day'er to some. Im open Christmas Eve for a few hours.
Have a great weekend.

DLD

Thursday, December 20, 2012

LOVE\HATE

905am

How can they get this so wrong? Its raining and any snow we had on the ground is gone. 38 degrees right now. Today's pic is from the exact same spot as yesterdays. Check pic below. Snow is now gone. Weather dudes were calling out a epic storm.
Sheboygan closed its schools for this? That's a epic fail.
But this is not the case just 25 miles away. There, up to a foot of snow. We are getting rain due to the east winds off the warm lake. Stupid lake. My relationship with this lake is truly a love\hate.

Most of the time its my friend. I spend my mornings with it. There's not a lot about it I don't know. But there are two times it works against me. Today is one of those times. The lake is warming the air here and turning all the snow to rain. Just 10 miles inland there is 6 inches on the ground. 25 miles away has a foot. We have rain and mud. I'll call this strike one.

Then, in spring, it works in reverse. East winds off the lake cools off the shoreline. Again, just a few miles inland it could be 60 degrees in May, but 45 here. That's why we ride straight west, away from the lake in spring. When we do that we go thru 3 or 4 clothing changes. Its nuts.

So while I could not imagine living anywhere else(for now). I do get a bit irritated when this happens. I guess the silver lining in this is that good skiing will only be a 20 minute drive west. That's always better than nothing.

Like any relationship, I'll get over it and forgive. Just not today. Im too crabby.

DLD

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

IMPENDING

845am

Yesterday we got a covering of snow. The ground is white for the first time. The streets are a bit too icy for LRW today, but hope that I can sneak out around noon for maybe an hour. Better than nothing I guess.
The news is all about the impending storm. Set to hit late today. We are right on the line of rain\snow. If the low pressure movers just 20 miles south we should be good to go. I have stopped at the park this morn(no shit)and have made plans to groom at 8am tomorrow.
Hopefully the snow cover we got yesterday will kick start this next storm.
Im pretty pumped. Did nothing else yesterday but waxed ski's. Rental and a few more.

Now all we can do is wait.
Between Christmas week and the snow its been very busy in the store.
For some reason it feels like the weekend is closer that it really is . Not sure why.
Saturdays group ride will be strange. Larger snow amount might kick us out of the woods. Which is fine by me. The beach will be the only route to head south (besides road) and thats never guaranteed to be froze hard enough to ride. Although the temps look pretty low this weekend and should be no problem.
Sunday will be fatbike ride day.
For me, Christmas day is actually the Eve, and have Christmas day open, hope to get a ride in then also.

Usually I dont post on LRW, but will do so today and most likely skip tomorrow as I should be grooming all morning. While Im kinda bummed to be off the bike all last week, and now into this, Im pretty pumped about the potential to ski this weekend. 
We do lose a good number of riders on the group ride to skiing. At least a forth. Maybe almost half. While I love skiing, riding will trump skiing every time for me. But I try to do both.

I better get to those ski's if I wanna ride in a few hours.

DLD

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

PHENOMENON

Today you cant slap the smile from my face. Snow is coming. For reals. Im tracking the storm that will hit Thursday morning. It looks to be moving in the perfect spot to hit with 6 inches of snow. Im waxing all the rental ski's today.

Look out in the lake. This morning I witnessed a phenomenon that I have only seen twice before. That looks like some kind of big wave coming in. So I waited. And waited. About an hour. Its was not a big wave but a change in wave direction. Thats kinda where its going against the grain. I watched it come in. 
Here it is just 20 feet from the shore. Waves were moving right to left, now left to right. Again, just the second time I witnessed it. And Im here everyday. Cool stuff.

Back to the weather, I have the National Weather Service live on one of my computers all day and things look good. The only variable it the temp. Too warm and its rain. Or really slushy snow. At any rate, Im going to be grooming Friday morn.
I cant wait. Tomorrow, after long ride Wednesday, Im going out to the park to fire up the snowmobile. Im sure the maintenance guys have already did so but just want to double check.

And then its game on. Im scrambling to wax all 20 of the rental ski's.
Along with selling lots of Christmas stuff....
Busy few days... Bring it.

DLD

Monday, December 17, 2012

905am

Its incredible how many people are sick right now. I guess Im a trendsetter. Its been 10 days now and I can still feel it. But I have improved to the point of being able to ride and pretty much rode as much as I could this weekend.
Saturdays group ride was cold and rainy. We started with 7, then 4, then 3 left and then we decided to flippit and head back. I had the Trucker with full fenders and I was just fine. Did manage to get in over a hour in 40 degree rain. Felt good to get back on a bike in over a week.

Sunday was fatbike day and again, we planed on about 5 bikes, but one by one it was whittled down to just 2. Two called in sick and one no show. Another hour and a half there.
Looks like others got to the beach before we did Sunday. Thats a Pugsley. Im pretty good at identifying fatbike tracks. You can still count the fatbikes in the area on two hands so I most likely sold that one.

This week will go by fast. I was debating weather to be open on Christmas Eve and I guess I decided yes. At least a few hours anyway.

With the lack of riding last week one can only imagine a small weight gain. Just a couple pounds. Im kinda bummed but it was expected. This week Im going to try and get in some bike time Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I would like 5 hours between them.

We'll see how that go's.

I am having a blast on my 9zero7. Its fat enough for the beach, and with a couple extra pounds in the tires, is a blast to rip up the trails. Really, its more of a MTB than a fatbike. My Moonlander is a fatbike. Have not decided if Im selling the Moonlander yet. Might keep it in the rental fleet. I guess we'll see how bad I need money in the middle of February.

Saying that reminds me that some snow is in the forecast. I'll believe it when I see it. However I did sell two sets of ski's over the weekend and have to bind and wax them. Maybe that's a good omen. It really does not feel like winter until I start working on ski's.

So, bring that on. Please.

DLD

Friday, December 14, 2012

BIZ AS USUAL

815am
You cant imagine how happy I am to wake up in much better shape. I feel good enough to ride this morn, however I cant cuz I have a meeting with a potential landlord. Bummer.

Tomorrows group ride looks like a potential washout with the weather guys saying rain chance at 100%. Bummer.
The weather patterns seem to be the same as last winter.  It warms up to rain, then cools off until the next rain. That makes for a crappy winter for skiing.  Not a good thing. Another bummer. 

Rest assured I will be getting on a bike the next chance I get. Its been a full week since.
I never realized how much I rode. I guess one would not know how much they ride until they stop. I always think its not enough but I guess its quite a bit. 10 hours a week.


So I had to fill 10 hours this week with stuff. Not a easy thing to do when you think about it. 
Unless you count laying on the couch as a thing. I don't.

So this weekend will be filled with attempts to ride and get my life back to normal after a week in arrears  Also, the store is rocking with the Christmas season full on. The next two weeks make or break the month. Its game on in that respect.

So lets just move on as if last week didn't happen.
Business as usual.
Have a good weekend.

DLD

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A BOAT

815am

Well, you are looking at the Stewart J Cort. Heading for Indiana. As far west as you can get on this lake.  As so continues my new hobby.
Yesterday was a first for me. I went in to the walk in clinic for the first time in my life. I never go to the doctor. The only time I go see a doc is if I need him to not make me dead. Other than that, I deal with it. Yesterday I woke with full intention to hop on a bike and ride it. Short ride, long ride I didn't care. Just wanted to get back on the bike.
I had a hard time getting out of bed, let alone ride. Ive been sick 6 days now and its not getting better, in fact worse. My ears, sinus, throat and lungs are wasted. Fluid buildup everywhere. I was convinced I had Pneumonia. Doc says no. But just in case she sent me off with some minor antibiotics. And wished me luck.

So this morn I sit here, at the store, not feeling any better than I did last Saturday when I had to ditch the group ride. Ive got 48 hours to improve to ride with the group Saturday. That will be 8 days off the bike. That is raising hell with my diet... I mean lifestyle change.

The last week has been hard on me. Working 10 hours a day and nothing else. While this month has spiked in business, in two weeks its pretty well over, and if there no snow to get the skiing going, I'll be going even more nuts over here.
But I am still working on the possible move. I have another meeting on that tomorrow. Im keeping a bit quiet about it. I'll talk about it but not a lot. I'l say its looking good.

So right now I'll still sit down most of the day and hope those pills help me.

DLD

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

904am

I went home from the store last nite pretty pumped cuz I felt much better. I woke up this morn in misery. No voice, ears ringing. Coughing up stuff that I cant believe came from my lungs. Fever. Looks like LRW is in jeopardy.
I guess at minimum maybe a slow fatbike ride to the HP. Something.
This lack of movement is affecting my weight loss program.

The pic is a draw bridge that is about 3 blocks from the store. Ive seen this scenario a million times. All my life. But it still amazes me how such a thing happens.
Its about a 10 min process.
I was late to a meeting at a potential new land lord. Im still looking to move the store.



Today's HP visit was short due to said meeting. Practicly a drive thru. No ships to be seen.
The way I feel, its going to be a long day. Its days like today that one questions owning his own business. I just want to go home.
I will, in 9 hours.....

DLD

Monday, December 10, 2012

DOWN TIME

845am

Your not going to hear me complaining about how crappy I feel today. Or how crappy Ive been feeling since Friday afternoon. Felt my super mega cold coming on right after my ride on Friday and have been down ever since. No riding for me at all this weekend.  Just a lot of couch and bathroom time. Nuff said. Still unable to function properly today.

I did spend a little longer time at the HP. It really was the first time I left the house since Friday. And the sun was out. It was cold but I didn't notice.
Saw these balloons washing ashore. I waited for some time to reach them. I could tell they were attached to something but they would not come any closer. I'll look for them again tomorrow. Doubt if I find them tho....

With all the downtime this weekend I found a new hobby.
A couple posts ago I had a pic of the freighter running close to shore, as they do in winter. One of the first things I do this time of year when I hit the lake in the morn is look for ships. You see them quite a bit. At least I do.
A buddy saw that post and sent me a link to a site that locates all the ships on the Great Lakes. Shows you where they are going, where they have been. Tells you how fast they are moving, etc. Having Garmins on our bikes we all know the wonder of GPS.


Now, when I see a ship I can track it. Or I can look for one coming, then take a ride to find it. The ship in my pic last Thursday was the Oberstar. I tracked it down to Chicago, where it ported, then it ran up into Superior, towards Duluth. 

This just adds to my love of Lake Michigan. If I see a ship, I pull out my phone to ID it. Then when I get back home or the store, look where its going and where its been.
Maybe I seem a bit too pumped about this but it sure arrived in my life at the best time as I was couch ridden since Friday nite.

Anyhoo, Im still unable to ride and hope I get some strength back for LRW. Even if its only a short ride Wednesday.
My plans are to ride everyday, Wednesday thru Sunday to make up.
Hope I recover. Being sick is a bummer.

DLD


Friday, December 7, 2012

File foto
Its Friday. The day I put pen to paper and plan out my riding for the weekend. Things like work and family stuff get taken into consideration. Then, once that's all firm, I start planning when, where and with who and what.

This weekend is a no brainer as its the usual Saturday morning breakfast ride, then Sunday is the bi weekly fatbike ride.

So since I got that established so quickly it was out for a nice spin around my Happy Place. A little woods, a little beach, some road too. Running higher pressure in the fat bike's tires. The beach was half froze anyway so one did not need a lot of float to ride there. 2 hours in the saddle.

There have been reports of some snow possible on Sunday. I'll believe it when I see it.
Not holding my breath.
Neither should you.
Have a good weekend.

DLD

Thursday, December 6, 2012

LONG RIDE WEDNESDAY

Yesterday

Yesterday was a great LRW. Over 2.5 hours in the saddle. Almost all beach. Its a good time of year for riding. You can get in a long ride without setting foot on a street.
During the winter, freighters run closer to shore. You never see them in summer. But on winter rides you see them all the time. This one was scary close to shore. I thought it was running the chance of hitting ground. It is sitting pretty high in the water so I assumed it was empty. If it was loaded, no way could it be there. Just on of the cool things you see on a bike ride. There are many if you look.

One of the many reasons I enjoy a slower ride is that one can stop and look at stuff. That's not happening on a Saturday group ride, summer or winter.
Sometimes I prefer solo for this very reason.
When the group is in the woods, its balls out and you can only state at the ground thats directly in front of you. In zone 4 or 5. I wonder how much stuff we ride past that we just dont see. Don't get me wrong, I like to get my heart rate up too, and the group forces me to do so, so its good for me. But sometimes I just like to chill and take it all in.

Fatbike rides are kinda like that. If something calls for a stop. We stop.  Sure we ramp it up a bit. But we stop and talk more. Its more social. I think the social aspect of Fat Tires makes it more appealing to more riders.

Anyway, if I stopped to take pics of this ship on a Saturday ride I would have been left in the dust. Dropped like a sack of moldy diapers.
Just the other week we rode past a pair of eagles and a couple stopped to take a pic. Dropped also.
But that's OK cuz its that kind of ride. We know this going in. Its still way fun.

So that said, one must know the type of ride he\she is going on. If its a fast group ride, prepare for such. On the other hand, don't try and throw down some pyramid intervals on a slower social ride. But there will always be "that guy" who shows up with a personal agenda much different than the genre of ride. It happens.

So as ,much as I like a good group ride to push me, I do like to take it slow and "meander" around. My favorite rides.
That's Long Ride Wednesday.

DLD

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MAYBE SOMEDAY


Just another day in paradise. Its 50 degrees at 830am, when I took both of these pics with my phone. While I love the weather for riding, and the group rides are huge due to this weather, I need winter to show at some point.
That would be nice.

When the store is empty I sometimes think about stuff. 

Like this warm weather has me thinking how easy it would be for me to move, barring responsibilities like the store.
Being a truck driver by trade I could pretty much get a job anywhere, and maybe that will come into play in the future. I certainly wont let that lapse for that very reason. 

I honestly don't think Im going to be a lustrous bike shop owner forever. At some point I will move on. For me its been about a 10 year swing with stuff, then I start looking elsewhere. 

I have done this three times now. But since Im only 4 years into this store I do have some time left. If, I play by the rules. Which I mostly do not. Ive been thinking about a change of scenery quite a bit of late.

Where would I go? My thoughts are pretty open. Northwestern Wisco seems nice to me. Beautiful summers and great winters (for winter sports).
But then, my thoughts have always pointed to the west. I get that from my father.  As much as I like winter, I could give it up for 100% of summer. Warm temps year round are not bad.
Sure seems I could keep myself busy in a west coast environment.
Riding\racing\hiking\camping\ kayaking\touring\sightseeing\ National Park visiting.
And more.
Alas, dreams are meant to be dreamt. For me to spend time of that caliber would be what we call a "long shot".
I have a business. I have a mortgage. And of course family. 
While I would love to live west, I would also have to budget in many visits back home. 

It was just last January that Yellowstone called and asked me if I wanted to run the bike rentals for the summer. Trust me... I tried and thought of every angle. I lost a lot of sleep on that one. To the point of needing to take "sleeping aids".
This is, for real, one of those deals that you regret to the grave. But my choice really was not a choice at all. It just was not possible. So it was a easy one to make. Moving on.

So while I will continue to pine for the west, I am very happy to live where I do. Next to Lake Michigan, with my morning visits. My easy lifestyle of bike store owner. I will continue to love the summers here and pray for winter to arrive with vengeance. And complain on this blog when it does not.
But when I think about this stuff, it always ends with the same thought.

"Maybe someday"

DLD

Monday, December 3, 2012

ACCEPTABLE WEEKEND

Nice group. Saturday morn.

While my riding every weekend has become a bit predictable, its still good. Group ride Saturday, Fatbike Sunday. Not a bad combo.
Saturdays Breakfast ride was a good one. Too warm for beach but thats OK I guess. I still get to ride my cross bike and beat up a little on the MTB guys (and gals).  You can see three cross bikes in the pic here as others have figured out the advantage of skinny 700c's on this ride. When the beach is not available its still 85% road. A good time had by all.
Rolling over logs. Skillz.
Sunday had me on the maiden voyage with the 9zero7. And as expected, its a big thumbs up. Compared to the Moonlander, this thing is a rocket in the woods.
I ran 20 pounds of air (a lot!) to start. I have a 4 mile road ride to get to the woods and beach and I pretty much held 15+ mph all the way there.
The higher pressure worked well once in the woods too. The 120tpi Knard tires handled things. Very fast. Easy rolling. But then...

We hit the beach and I immediately had to lose some pressure to get some float. While at 15 pounds it works OK (just OK), at 10 in rear and 9 up front I had no problem in the sand. And Im a bigger guy.

But once back in the woods I did notice the lower pressure while railing some corners. The tire did roll from side to side a bit. It felt weird and I didn't like it so I pumped them up back to 20 when we got back to Steve D's truck. Im sure there is a happy medium. I just need to find it. As I mentioned before, while most people are seeing what little air they can ride on, Im going the other way. Most of the guys I ride with are trying to get the "monster truck" roll going and on the sand of the beach it is nice. And Im sure once we start riding in snow (if it ever snows) I too will be working on my float. But for now, I want to ride this thing like any other MTB in the woods. And it does bridge the gap between MTB and Fatbike real well.

The area we ride has some cool stuff in it. Like the log roll in the pic above.  And of course miles of beach. We have a small bi-weekly ride that we don't advertise right now cuz we don't want it to get out of hand. Fat bikes are still fairly new. The places we can ride them is fairly new to bikes. So we just want to take things a bit slow. Don't want to get in any trouble. Stay under the radar for now.

Got a feeling we will be taking a lot of pics at this tree.

The cool Christmas tree will be getting a lot of visits from me. I almost want to add to it. But I wont giving full credit to those who did this.
And my new demo is pretty cool. Stop in and ride it anytime.
Once again, I deem last weekend's riding acceptable.

Not so sure about Monday tho. Warmer temps and huge fog. Just don't remember December like this. My patience for winter is running thin between this and last year.

DLD

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another awesome phone pic. From file.

And here we are with another impending weekend. One I hope is filled with riding. The usual Saturday group ride. And the impending voyage on my demo 9zero7.

Just finished it yesterday. It weights in at just under 29 pounds without peddles. Its going to be way faster than my Moonlander in the woods. We'll see how the float is in the sand. And Im pretty sure Im not going to ride it in the lake.

So my job is to ride this bike this weekend. Its what I get paid to do. And you can stop in to take it for a spin too!
I hope to use this bike as my MTB pretty much into next summer. With these bikes getting lighter, their not just for beach and snow anymore.
The temps are up and the beach is gone for awhile. At least for the MTB's. I think I got to ride the frozen beach 3 times in the last week. Thats a good thing.
The warm temps will stick around a few days. The 30 day does not look good for winter sports. So I guess we just keep on riding (more).
Have a good weekend.
Fatbike maiden voyage report to follow on Monday.

DLD

Thursday, November 29, 2012

LRW-FLAT TIRE

915 Yesterday

Yesterdays edition of Long Ride Wednesday almost did not happen. Or at least cut short.
With the temp hovering around 24 degrees I knew the beach was going to be good. But the sun was out and I knew that was to be short lived so I did not waste any time and was on the road by 830am. I grabbed the Trucker on off I went.
However just a few miles in the front of the bike felt weird and it was not long before I realized I had a tire going down. Thats a bummer. You all know that time frame when you feel something is wrong but you just pretend its not happening. This just cant be happening. Not now. Im only 15 minutes into the ride. Its 24 flippin degrees.
Yes. That just happened.
The tire is just low. I'll keep riding and it will stop leaking. Yeah. And Im going to win the Powerball tonite too.
I pull off the road. I have everything I need. I take off my gloves. Its cold. Its the front so the wheel is off the bike and I have a seat in the ditch to do the job at hand. As I expected, this tire\rim combo is not the best for quick tube changes. If I didn't have a lever, the tire would not have came off. I found the culprit, small strand of metal of something. Thinner than a pin.
With numb fingers it was hard to get it out of the tire, then I struggled getting the tire back on the rim, all this while sitting in a ditch, getting colder by the minute.
I swear and fight the tire back on the rim, not using the tool, cuz I almost always pinch a MTB tube doing that and that would mean a walk back to the store.
Its back on the bike and Im ready to air it up. Its been about 10 minutes now, Im shivering. I look in my bag, one CO2. That just about seals the deal on this ride. Will only fill the tire half way. Will just ride back on a very low tire I guess.
Then, BMatter rolls past just as Im ready to get out of the ditch and mentions I can roll over to his house. The garage door was open and use his floor pump.
The ride is saved. I was less than a mile away. Brian said he was off to do intervals and I noticed he seemed way too happy about that. Pro riders are weird.
Anyhoo, I swung past his place and topped off the tire, then made a bee line to the beach, assuming it was too late and it was not rideable.
I was pleasantly surprised to find it in great riding shape. Still froze solid. Check the pic above. I was barely leaving a print riding my 2.0's

I then proceeded to ride about 20 or so miles along the lake. I say this a lot, but its just a awesome feeling doing this.

And being a big fan of the lake, for me is a bigger treat than most people.
I did always have the fact that I was without spare tube on my mind. A potentially long walk back. But if its to be, no better place than the shores of the lake.
2 hours long is still not a real long ride but I spent way too long on the flat to add any more ride time.
Last nite was a pretty sweet full moon. Check out the pic I took with my phone. If you look close you see a dot just above the moon. That's Jupiter.
I am still amazed on the pics my Galaxy 3 takes......

I was set to ride again this more but called it off as I need to get my 9zero7 fatbike built before the weekend. And Im running out of time.
So its bike build today... ride it tomorrow? I say yes. What say you?

DLD

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

COLD MORNING

845am

Today started out like any other day. Spent time on the beach. Only today it was 16 degrees. But that stuff never slows me down. I took a long look at the pending ski trail in the park. Its staked out and ready to go. Now, all we need is snow.

This time of year I am looking at 30 day forecasts. Everyday. From 4 different sites. And it does not look good. Not good for skiing. Its crazy that only a four hour drive north the conditions are already good enough to lay classic tracks. Another winter like last year and I will have to rethink this whole ski thing. I didn't order one piece of new stock. And I wont until it snows here. I have plenty from last year. But if the skiing sucks, that means the riding is still good to go.

So faster than you can say "spoiled store owner" I change rides. With the colder temps bringing on the beach riding, out goes the shiny new red cross bike, and in comes my Disc Trucker tour bike. Strip off all the racks and bags, throw on a pair of 2.0 tires (its a 26in!) and I now have a pretty cool winter bike. This is the bike I rode up to our cabin this summer. I did take the Brooks saddle off to test ride that new seat. Planet Bike Pro titanium. I truly do ride the stuff I sell. For a $69.00 titanium seat, its a thumbs up. It will go on my impending 9zero7 later this week.
I'll keep the cross bike ready to go for awhile. Unfortunately its going to warm up. And if we are off the beach, its back on the faster bike.
But for today, this week, its the Trucker. Long Ride Wednesday is coming up tomorrow and I cant wait to hit that beach. I'll try to get a earlier start to make sure the beach is still rock hard.
Im sure you will hear all about it later.
Next post is Thursday.

DLD

Monday, November 26, 2012

FIRST BEACH RIDE WEEKEND

Saturday 930am Pic by John H.

As anticipated by the weather forecast, Saturdays group ride was treated to out first frozen beach ride. Temps around 25 at ride time.
While the explosion of the fatbike has people riding the beach more and more, we have been doing it for almost 20 years. With a rock hard beach, one does not need fat tires. Some were on cross bikes.
Yesterday was a good one with us putting well over 20 miles along the shores of Lake Michigan. Riding along at 20mph only 5 feet from the waves. At that time, the sun is coming up over the lake and all you hear is waves crashing.
Its a ride like no other.
Lately we hear of other places where landowners are cracking down on this. While we have had our share of conversations, most beach owners know us and since its been many years almost expect us to ride by. We wave. They wave. All good.

The best beach rides have always been in November\early December. Before ice forms and deeper snow. The last few years its been poor conditions. Either the snow was too deep or like last year, was just too warm all winter. One can never predict how froze the beach will get. Its a mixture of temp\moisture in the sand\wind direction. Its been froze solid at 33 degrees and soft at 28. So when its available we take advantage. This looks like it may be a good winter for beach riding with the water level so low.

Sunday had us on our bi-weekly Sunday  morn Fatbike ride. Once again, we were on the beach and it was a good thing we had big tires cuz it was not froze like the day before. Regardless we rode the very same beach again. And about an hour in the woods too. Here, we were surprised to see a decorated tree in the middle of nowhere. Very cool. This tree is almost a mile from any road and seems to have needed a ladder to do. It made for a awesome ride. Hope this ride continues all winter...

Today, in the store, Im getting a bunch of Fatbike stuff. Tires, wheels and frames.
Let the bike building begin. Its going to be a busy day!

DLD

Friday, November 23, 2012

THANKFUL FOR MEMORY.

yesterday 1015am

I'll have to consider Turkey day a success  I did get out for one bike ride. Two hours mid morning. Sun was out and nearly 60 degrees. As mentioned I rode from home which opened a ton of routes I have not rode in a long time. I ended up never that far from home the entire ride. I explored all the back roads and dead ends I could find.

Some roads I have not been on in years. Some areas I used to play in when I was a kid, but now are full of houses. Fields and woods that I used to ride my dirt bike in when a teenager.
So many memories came flooding back. Several times I had to stop and concentrate on what I was remembering, then a ton more stuff would come to mind.

I'll share one. But first a little background.
My father passed away when I was just 22. But was fighting cancer for 5 years before so he was pretty busy with that. Really did not get to do a lot with him but I do remember this when I was about 12. Around 1972.
Yesterday I spotted where there was a 2 track car path down to the lake from my house. You can barely see it now but I knew it was there so I looked for it.  Now, a road crosses it on the way down to million dollar houses by the lake.
As I rode along I stopped, got off my bike and looked for the old path. And found it. You still can see it but Im sure it has not been used since the 70's. Its a double track that people used to drive down to the shores of the lake.
I remember once when my dad rode bikes with me down this path down to the beach.  Showing me this new way (to me) down to the shores of Lake Michigan. After that day it was almost a everyday bike ride for me down this path. With the latter being on a motorcycle as I got older. Anyway...
Even then (around 1972) houses started to go up and one had just started down by the lake there. I could tell as we got to the shores of the lake, and saw this house, that he was a bit upset. He shared with me that this was the place he came down to the lake to goof off when he was a boy. As he got older its where he and his buds, including my mom, drove their cars down to hang out. And now he was passing it down to me and there's this big'ol house on it. Even as the construction workers were there we walked right past the half done house and on the beach.
It just turned out the owner was there and came down to bitch at us. He approached my dad and they had words. I don't remember what was all said but I do remember my dad saying "just one more time". The dude walked away and we hung out there for a while longer and rode home. Again, I could tell my dad was bummed.
That was the first and last time I visited my dads version of my happy place.

While, in the years following I still goofed off in the area, really close to that spot, but found another way down to the beach. Im pretty sure that was the only time he rode a bike with me. Just two years later I ditched a bike for Yamaha YZ125. I rode that pretty much instead of a bike. What any 14 year old boy would do.

So yesterday I stood on the old path. With a ton of these memories pouring in. The area is so built up now no way could I even get close to the shoreline anymore. I almost rode my bike down the long driveway (where that path once was) and thought about knocking on the door to ask if I can look around. But I didn't.

Its just so weird as I get older how much I am like my dad. With him gone so young in my life I don't have a lot to go on but sometimes I can just tell my actions and thoughts are so much like his. More and more as I get older. At 52 Im already 8 years older than he ever was. And always wondered how he would of been later in life.
Seems I don't have far to look for that.
Crazy but this road is only about two miles from my house. I must have seen it a million times as a kid. Only today does it have a meaning to me. Weird. 

And not too much later saw these guys making a break for it.
This is one of the fields I used to bomb with the dirt bike.
It sure was a strange ride. Almost 20 miles and never more than 5 miles from my house. It was cool to cruise all my old stomping grounds.
While I am thankful for quite a bit, today I have to say I'm thankful for memories.

Hope you had a good day too.

DLD