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.


Thursday, November 29, 2012


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?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012



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.


Monday, November 26, 2012


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!


Friday, November 23, 2012


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.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


845am Foggy morn.

Usually I don't post on long ride Wednesday but I'll make an exception today and just post late. I did get in a shorter, hour and a half ride in this morn.
But man, was it foggy to start.
I still drove out to the park to have my coffee, and thats when I took the pic. The deer were everywhere. During gun hunting season they flock to the park to take refuge. Saw a 10 or 12 pointer. Very big deer.
By 930am I was back to the store, changed and on the bike. Almost all that fog was burned off and the sun is shining. Quite the day outside. Had a great ride and was not concerned with the lack of ride time today. I have a big ride day planned for T-day.

The car is packed and ready for some ride time tomorrow. I plan on a pretty good road ride on the cross bike in the morning. Most likely solo. But I will ride from my house and not the store. Its been a long time since I ride from the house. Maybe do that twice a year. So I'll get to ride north of town instead of south. Change of pace. At least a couple hours. So this week its Long Ride Turkey Day.
Then, if I get half the chance, the guys do a nite ride out in the Northern Kettles at 8pm. Gonna ride the Moonlander.  Ive never had the chance to do this ride, but this year most of our T-day guests are leaving early for the Black Friday thing that starts early. So its not a done deal, but if that happens I might just sneak out too.
That's a lot of riding on a day that I'll be doing a lot of eating.
So its all good then....

Have a good Holiday!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


815am. Tree on left is the eagle tree.

With the warmer weather its been pretty foggy in the morn. Making for a wet ride. Tomorrow for LRW I might wait till near 10am to leave. By then the fog burns down quite a bit.

A gatta say Im so close to ditching Facebook. or just cutting way back. Ive been kinda experimenting with the store page. Actually paying Facebook to "push" a few posts. I dont mind paying for a service like that but if anyone else is thinking about that, let me save you the money. Not worth it.
You have a choice of spending 5 bucks and they will push it to ALL your friends or likes. Not just 10 percent. Or spend 10 bucks and the will push it to all your friends or likes, and all their friends too. So I did that.
My post views went from 118 (says Facebook) to 3894 (says Facebook).
Thing is, over 1000 of those views were in China. You can control that in Facebook ads, but not posts. Sure, I got likes, but no real contact about any potential business. So I wont do that again.
Then, the political crap is never ending. You all know that already.
Then, its stuff like the end of Hostess, which we all had a little fun with.
Now, its boycott Hostess cuz the CEO makes millions. Really?
Boycott Walmart. Cuz Black Friday is bad. And its Walmart's fault?
Hey. Im open Friday. And I have a sale. Boycott me too?
Its funny now with the technology you now get pics of hunters in their stands.
But still.
I like to hear from my friends  I always look for race results. I like to post occasionally. Mostly bike stuff. Never politics. Ever.

But this morning was the last straw. I wake up (like I do every day) and get ready to leave the house. Pour my coffee and look at the ol' android device. Jump on Facebook and the first thing I see is several pics of a guy beating the crap out of a dog. The poster asks me to share so the guy will get caught. Really?
Then, several posts later, Iron Maiden (who's page I liked) shows a pic of several children who were killed in a bomb attack in the Mideast. What the hell.
Im sorry Facebook, this is just getting out of hand and Im changing the way I use you.
I understand bad stuff happens everyday but I don't need to see it all.

I know Ive said this a million times. But today I mean it. Today I saw shit I just did not need to see. And those two posters are now gone. Damn, I like Iron Maiden a lot. But they are unliked. And the dude who posted the dog pics is gone too. I don't even know who he is.
And that's how its going to be starting today. Post that crap and I will take the time to ditch you. In the past I always struggled with deleting people. People I like are very political. But now, its just a process of elimination. One by one. Sure, I'll add new people. But everyone will be playing by the same rules. Lets just leave Facebook for what its for.
A tool for a majority of the world to waste time looking at nothing in particular.
Mostly pics of kittens and food.

I just do not need 600+ friends on Facebook.
Just a few hundred good ones. And you all know who you are.


Monday, November 19, 2012


Im such a creature of habit. I spend a little time in my HP every morn cuz I enjoy it. I drink 16oz of coffee every morn cuz I enjoy it. I write a little in this blog every morn cuz I enjoy it. I like to write. Blogs are for people who like to write but are not that good at it.
And thats me.

This weekend was great for riding. Both days about 2.5 hours per. Both days on the cross bike. Sunday we had talked about fatbikes but with the warmer weather I decided to stay on the road. At the time I think I said in the email that we should take advantage of the warm weather, we have all winter to ride fatbikes. Then I stated who knows how many days like this we have left. Looking forward, quite a few it seems. Temps in the upper 50's, tempting 60 the next few days. Right up to Thanksgiving.
Im always torn this time of year. I love the mild weather for riding and still want the snow for skiing. I want both at the same time. I want a lot of things.

On the store front, the impending Holidays are here. Doing up the floor with lights and stuff. This year Im spending about a grand in paper advertising. I skipped that last year.
Hope it helps.
Another thing thats going is the impending arrival of five 9zero7 fatbikes. All pre sold.

They come frames only and then you order a build in a box kit. Three different levels of stuff. So everything is ordered and its in UPS's hands now. I was thinking I would be on one by next weekend but I forgot about Thanksgiving.
So its all going down next week for sure.
I cant wait!

Also this week I start ski waxing. I always start with the rentals doing maybe 5 a day.
After I do all 20 pair the rust is out of my technique and Im ready to go for the season.

Bring it on.


Friday, November 16, 2012


Another stellar visit to the beach this morn. Again I was the only one around. While on the beach I was just thinking about the Fatbike craze. Its really amazing on how its taken off. This can only be compared to the birth of the MTB back in the early 80's (or sooner).
Its all started with the Surleys Pugsly, which is still most likely the most popular model to date.

Now a ton of custom manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon. And those are some beautiful bikes. But since they are made one by one are just so pricey.

So really it was Surly and Salsa that led the charge with their mass produced (not in USA) frames. Prices were in line. Builds used mid level components. But for a utility bike seems fine. Basic builds. Low cost.

Because really these are a utility bike. Its a bike most don't ride a whole lot. Its usually the second or even third bike in a riders stable. In the past, when you got one of these bikes everybody stares at it. I had my Moonlander in the store's window and took it out cuz it was taking too much time for my employees to answer the same questions over and over about it. Like.."wheres the motor" or "whats that thing for"? And most of the time you rode it alone cuz really, none of your friends had one. And that's changing too.
I owned a Pug. And loved it. We do a lot of beach riding here in the winter and now I did in the summer too. But always alone. I did not ride it a lot. Maybe 3 times a month.
Then I got a Moonlander. If 3.8 tires were fun then 4.8 should be funner?
It was not. And that leads me into the future of fatbikes.
With the Moonlander I think the tire got too fat. Its quite a bit more cumbersome in the woods than the Pug. Sure, you had a bigger footprint than the Pug and the flotation was a little better but not that much better. Just a little.
So.... now the fatbike way of thinking is going backwards. Tires and wheels widths are getting back in line. The 100mm Clown Shoe is out. The 65mm Marge is (back) in. Here's why..

The footprint you lose is minimal, the weight you save is huge. The industry is recognizing that keeping those wheel sizes down, but still be a fatbike will make this format more  use able. When your buddy's call out a MTB ride no one shows up with a fatbike. Soon, that will change. I hear some rims are trimming down to 45mm. Claiming a 3.7 tire is cut to around 3.2. Still a fatbike. Still ridable on the beach. But now you can rip it up a little more.
Right now, those wheels are from custom builders and way pricey. 
So the theory is take the "utility" out of the fatbike but still keep it a fatbike.
The rumor mill has the big three (Trek,Giant and Specialized) coming out with a 3 inch tire bike soon. Again, confirming the theory that a fatbike on a diet will sell.

Now, enter 9zero7. Now the third mass produced fatbike to date. Prices are way less than a custom build bike. But still many color and size options. I just ordered 5 frames for the store and cant wait to build them up. Im using Marge lite rims. Either Nard's or Husker Du's for tires and 9zero7 hubs and as much carbon components as I can (stem, bar and post) and hope to have the bike under 30 pounds. We'll see. 
Marge lites waiting for call to action.
While I love riding the beach a ton, I cant wait to take the bike on some normal MTB trails and treat it just like any other MTB. Take it off some sweet jumps and get like, three feet of air. Because the test of a popular fatbike build is not on fatbike terrain. Its everywhere else.

And everywhere else is where I plan on riding it a lot.
Bring it on.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Today 945am

As expected, my long ride Wednesday had me not posting. It was a good ride 2 and 1\2 hours long. Big winds had me suffering heading south. But was rewarded with the ride back north. To date, it was the longest LRW. Maybe cuz it was not raining or foggy as heck. But I did not feel strong on the bike. I believe my decreased intake of food hurts me on the "power" rides into the wind. But I'll take it as Im losing weight. Im not talking about the weight thing on purpose so I don't jinx it. Its going scary well.
So all in all a good LRW yesterday. Its all about time in the saddle.

This morn I got out again. Its a much shorter ride on Thursday cuz I gatta be at the store by 11 but I'll take 1 1\2 hours anytime  I can get it. Today I just rolled around in the woods I ride in. Usually Im in here at least three times per week. But lately its been only on the Saturday morn group ride and then its wide open, white knuckle. But today, it was slow and easy, with my head on a swivel. The sun came out as if on cue and I spent well over an hour just tooling around.
This property is adjacent to my Happy Place and I roll thru it to get there by bike. One of the main attractions of that park is the sand dunes. Lots and very big.
So this entire area is very sandy. And when its windy tree fall. Big trees.
Both pics today are from trees that fell in the last few years. The sandy soil just gives them less to hold on to. These woods are full of theses downfalls. There everywhere and quite often fall across the trail, either having some good Samaritan come remove it or we just re route around it.
That said, it is private land and the owner who will go unnamed here has decided to make a "camping resort" of sorts here. With hard side permanent tent thingies. If that happens it will be a matter of time before one falls on someones car. Or worse.
And then, at that point we will lose this area. That will be a sad day. But again, it is private land and I guess we can be happy for all the years we had with it. But still sad as it changes my now favorite route (cross bike).

I'll try and get in these woods as much as I can before its gone. A couple weeks ago I saw a Pileated Woodpecker here. Thats only twice now for me.  Rides like today had me looking hard. But nothing. I'll be back Saturday.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012



Todays cold start had me thinking of beach riding.23 degrees this morn. The beach was for sure froze but I had to check it out to see for myself.
Out to the HP. Hit the sand and my thoughts were confirmed.
Rock hard beach. 30 yards wide and fast as a hiway. I hope its this way tomorrow for Long Ride Wednesday as I will for sure put in 15 miles here. What a change from when I was riding the Fatbike in the lake here at nearly 60 degrees.

Even at 830 in the morn someone has already went thru. Using my mad tracking skillz had me thinking it looks like a MTB with a semi slick Michelin. Looks like he\she was thru and back again, riding in both directions already. He\she hit the sand pretty early this morn. Might be me in the morning. Sand was hard enough to ride the thinner tire of the cross bike.
Look how fast and flat. When it get like this we peloton just like we do in summer with the road bikes. 20mph for sure. Its a blast. The scenery cant be beat. Its kinda surreal riding that fast in a group of 25 bikes right along the waters edge for miles.

I cant wait!

Hopefully I can grab me some beach in the morn. I hear a warm up is on the way. That needs to just hold off for 24 hours....


Monday, November 12, 2012


Some weekends just go according to plan. This one did. The visit to my Happy Place this morn was a nice one. It marked the change of seasons of sorts as it was the first time I was there alone. When that happens I just calm down inside. It will be like this mostly till spring. Also, tomorrow I meet with the Rangers to discuss extending the ski trail here. They called me and I was happy they are including me on this.

For the most part I am a planner. On Friday I figure out what I need to do and plan all my things around that. This weekend, things went as planned almost to the minute.

Saturdays breakfast ride was a good one. Since Im on weight watchers I do not stay and eat. There usually is a few riders that head back without eating that have stuff to do.  I do that. Its been some very good attendance with plus 20 every week. We'll see about that when temp is in the teens. But really, a majority of the bikes still attend.

Almost 40 miles and some pretty good intervals. I had my HR  strap along for the ride. Nobody believes the numbers I hit as I climb after them.
185 for a 52 year old fat guy is not bad for top end. Just wish I was there a bit less.

So after the ride I planned on working the store till close (4 on Saturdays) and then spent the rest of the day hanging with the grand kids. A good day and exactly as I thought it would be.

Sunday was the first of what I hope is many Fatbike rides. We are planning these every other Sunday at 10am. So for the first ride we had 4 bikes and that's a good start. It was warm so we spent a majority of the time on the beach. 

About to get very, very wet on Sunday
I was the only guy who went in the lake. I figured it could be the last 55 degree day in a while. In fact I hope so.
Every time I hit the lake I got braver and braver and went a little farther out.

To the point the waves were up to my top tube and picking me up and moving me over a couple feet when they hit. Here's a pic of a pretty good sized wave about to hit me.

And this was not the biggest one I surfed. The others just watched safely from the beach. Letting me have all the fun.

It was a another 2 hour ride putting me at almost 5 hours for the weekend.  Saw another eagle. I was completely soaked and did get a little cold when I rode the 4 miles home on the road. But the wind (which was huge) was behind me as I held 15+mph on the road with the Moonlander.
And then the rest of the day was football (watching the Bears lose is almost as good as watching the Packers win) and hanging out with the grand kids.

This was a weekend I deemed acceptable.


Friday, November 9, 2012


Today was first time I drove to my Happy Place in a long time. The last few days its been by bike and that's just fine.

Today's pic actually has some meaning. That's about as much sun I have seen in over a week. And this weekend does not look good either.
That hits me like a two ton heavy thing (I used that phrase a lot. Can anyone tell me where its from?). I'm sleeping like almost 11 hours a nite. And walking into walls during the day. Hope this changes soon.

Today I was pumped to see a eagle in the park. Ive been watching and documenting them there since 2008. Still to this day I stop and daydream when I see them there. They will never be "just a eagle" to me. Which I have heard people say. They forget how close they came to not being around in the late 70's.
I can remember the first eagle a saw. It was 1986. I was 26 years old. It was on North Twin Lake about an hour drive north of Eagle River, WI. Long time ago. I'm old.

Ironically, the eagle I saw today was in the same tree that I first saw them here in 2008. I took a pic that day and it ran in the local paper. Pretty cool stuff.
Today, there are at least 3 nests within 15 miles of the park. One nest is actually a mile away just on the outskirts of the city. I would never have thought they would nest that close to people, but its less than 100 years from a subdivision. I said this in 2008 but I hope they are here to stay. It seems they are. That's awesome considering they only moved into the area four years ago.

Here's the pic from 2008 that ran in the paper. I was convinced that they were just passing thru. I'm glad they stayed. It just makes my HP all the better. Again, today's bird was in the same tree. I do not think that anybody ( maybe DNR?) really knows how many of these birds are in the area but I think its at least 5 or 6 including several immature birds that I hope were born here.

Saw this guy last year just south of the park. Having a fish for dinner.
What a great way to start the day. The beach, good coffee and watching an eagle hang out where you hang out. I guess we both think the same.

Planning on a wet group ride in the morn. 40 degrees and rain is a bummer.
But its a bummer I will have to deal with.
Have a good weekend.


Thursday, November 8, 2012


945am Yesterday

I most likely will not be posting on Wednesday morns. Long Ride Wednesday will take up that time slot. So yeah.... I rode my bike..

It was pretty cold. But not in temp. Around 40 degrees at ride time. But it was very wet, damp and even a little drizzle. So I for sure under dressed based on air temp. But I did not miss by much as I was cold not not super cold.
But once again it was wet enough to cut the ride down a bit. I always plan on 3 hours but the crappy weather the last two weeks cut it down to two.
But thats better than nothing. A gatta say it was once again a chore to dress and prep. I labored thru it as I always do. And was rewarded with a nice ride of both woods and road. Almost two hours to the minute. Another successful LRW in the books although I hope to break the two hour mark one of these days....

And I gatta report the Weight Watchers online seems to be going well. I find it easy to do since you do not have to prepare anything crazy special. Just eat the best stuff you have right now. I am committed to this deal and always have my netbook with me to report what I eat and research other food options. So..... so far so good.

I did get out again this morn. Im kinda leaving Thursdays Mornings open to kinda add to LRW. This pic was from this morn but not far from yesterdays pic. This trail runs right to the north side of my HP. Im on it a lot.

So another hour and a half in the saddle. Only today I needed to get back to the store by 11 to open. So it was a nice ride out the park and back.
That and a little urban assault to keep things fresh.

So three and a half hours between the two days. I looking forward to when I can do that time on Wednesday only. Soon.

This weekend look to be a bit warmer. Have two rides planned.
Looking forward.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Saturday. 805am. Me up in left in green. Pic ripped off from John H.
This is the ride I talk about. The locals have been doing this one for many years. Way before I started riding about 10 years ago. It runs year round. Every Saturday. It would have to be raining pretty hard to stop it. As far as snow, we pretty much just roll thru it. Many times we rolled past county snowplows clearing the road we just rode on. Its been over 100 degrees in the summer and we rode once at negative 8.
Really, it never stops. In summer mode, its road bikes and about 50 miles. In winter mode its MTB's and about 40 miles. Always stopping for breakfast during the ride. 

Beach miles.
The core of riders stays pretty much the same. With some out of towners and special guests every now and then.
Its a fast ride. These guys and gals are pretty much the fastest riders within a 30 miles radius less one or two. In the summer I have a hard time keeping up. Mostly uphill. When I get dropped I keep on riding hard as I know at some point they will wait. And sometimes when Im in zone 5 chasing it seems like forever, but the do at some point. I am pretty much the slowest rider in the group.

This time of year its in MTB mode and we ride in a completely different direction than in summer, and the hills are minimal so Im in the game way more. Like I mentioned yesterday, I run a cross bike and stay in the game on the road. Right now the ride is about 85% road so that helps. Soon, the beach's of Lake Michigan will freeze over and that will be what we ride on. Sometimes for over 15 miles. At that point, I gatta ditch the skinny tires for fatter ones. Ride a Fat Bike? No way.
Bring a Pug or equivalent to this ride and be prepared to get dropped like a sack of moldy diapers.
Even on the beach we peloton at 20mph. I ran 40c studded tires on a cross bike a few years ago and suffered greatly on the road sections. You really need to keep your bike fast, and rely on your skilz on slippery roads.

2008. Thats me. A bit chilly.

Even when the conditions are not the best I still need to bring my "A" game to keep up.  In the summer I prepare for this ride as I do a race. For real.
While I do complain about the pace at times, I still have to remember the caliber of riders I hang with. Very fast company. As a store owner, I get asked about local rides all the time. I really do not recommend this one to strangers. or, I will throw out a disclaimer right away as too not mislead them. I can pretty much tell who's asking at the time. If you ride and race you will not have a problem. Really, its the extremely casual rider that will suffer. Or not be in the game long enough to suffer. But if your reading this that most likely is not the case. So feel free to join us any day!

So even with the fast pace I do like the ride and have a good time with it. It helps my fitness to get pushed so hard. Especially this time of year. It also helps with my motivation to lose weight when I get my ass handed to me. So all in all its a good thing for me. And now that we are in winter mode is plays a bit more into my strengths.
So you can bet we all know what is the best clothing to wear in the winter. We all wear it.
I've said in the past that I roll out on cold days wearing almost $1000.00 dollars worth of stuff including boots and helmet.
How crazy is that. Crazy but needed.

When the beach is finally froze, I will outfit my tour bike, a Disc Trucker, with 2.0's. Its got 26 in wheels so its perfect for winter. Discs of course. I'll pull all the racks off for the winter riding.
That may not be so far away. Maybe just a few weeks. More on that later.
Bring it on.


Monday, November 5, 2012



Not sure what "mode" this is. My Galaxy 3 has a ton of weird pic modes. Just another Monday in the HP. As I reflect back on the weekend.....

Saturdays Breakfast Group Ride (BGR) went well for me. I felt great on the bike even tho I took a bit of an endo in the woods. Its tough trying to keep up to all the MTB's on a cross bike with almost 90 pounds of air in the rubber. So I do not even try since the woods is such a small part of this ride right now. I cut short and ride slow, looking for all the roots under the leaves. I did not find one and over I went. Pretty slow too. Was one of those funny falls when you balance on the front wheel for like, forever before over you go over.
I provided the entertainment for others. I do that often it seems in one way or another.

But once we hit the road it was all me. I could pull at anytime. In fact, when this happens I should most likely calm down a bit but its seldom I get to run up front that Im not sure how hard to go. I was off the front most of the ride. But always keeping in mind its the bike and not the rider. While I was running the cross bike, most MTB's had 2.0's or bigger on them.
I'll take it when I can. I dont get a lot of chances to hurt the group.
But a nice ride altogether. Almost 40 miles.

Sunday I traded in really skinny tires for really fat ones.
Steve D and I took our fatbikes out to the park where we held our super muddy WORS race to take a couple slow laps to assess the damage. There has been several workdays out there but for the most part the open greenspace was fixed.  We checked out the trails. Pretty bad. Some will have to be abandoned for a while.

This was the my first fat bike ride of the fall\winter. I still say the even bigger tires of the Moonlander is overkill. I have rode this bike maybe 3 times and think I will put it up for sale. Looking to get into a custom Fatbike builder. Actually, looking into 616.

Besides the trail inspection  I did enjoy tooling around on fat tires again. There's quite a few of us in town now so we will try to start a weekly beach ride on the fattys.

All in all a good weekend. As far as the store go's, the ski's are up and I'll spend most of the next few days switching the floor into winter mode.



Friday, November 2, 2012


So this morn I had the first of many meetings to set the lease of the potential new store. I toured the spot twice but today we sat and just talked terms and cost.
Its looking pretty good right now but its still a long way off.
Im trying not to get too pumped too soon but Im sure I will fail at that.

Is in a very high end location but not too far away. Im would still be considered kinda downtown. 

This spot is a step up in almost every facet from where I am now. Parking, location and space. Its got a upstairs that Im thinking would make a great spin studio. And maybe a permanent fit studio too. How cool is that?

Im getting ahead of myself so I will stop here.  I'll include just two pics. Top one is the entrance and the other is the stairway to upstairs. 
Anyway.... if things go my way the lease would be signed in about two weeks with the move in the dead of winter, maybe late January. If you think the interior is good looking, just wait till you see the outside.
Stop me. K. Moving on.

My close companion for awhile.

For the weirdos who read this blog more often, you know Im in a crisis of sorts where I need to lose weight and I have run out of time to do so.
As my Doc has recommended, I have hooked up WeightWatchers Online. I have rigged up my notebook to go directly to the website when fired up and this 10 inch notebook will be with me almost all the time. Once I learn the site inside and out it will tell me when and what to eat. I have signed up for 3 months and have started entering stuff already.
Someday I might get some kind of tablet for this but this will do fine starting.

Good luck to all at Iceman. I should be there.

Tomorrow I plan on the group ride. Its going to be kinda cold at start, maybe in the upper 20's. Thats pretty cold for this time of year. I hope it lasts and winter gets here soon.
I love winter riding. I'll need to inventory my winter clothing and stuff again tonite.

The new cross bike will let me be able to hold my own on the road with the MTB's. Maybe even hurt them a bit??? Not.

Have a good weekend. Get outside.


Thursday, November 1, 2012



For some reason, during the summer, I almost never ride before the store opens. Maybe its cuz I can get out later in the day with hired help here most of the time then. But now they are gone and its just me most of the time. If I want to ride now its gatta be before the store opens. That means I gatta set an alarm to wake if I wanna ride.

Now its been about 30 degrees in the morning at ride time, and that means it will take me at least 30 minutes to dress. Including the time needed to decide how many layers.
Of late I have rode both Wednesday and this morn. Both times I'm extremely unmotivated to go with such long prep time and getting out of bed when I do not have to. But I do.
You know this feeling. Its a feeling but not the feeling Im writing about. That comes later. You feel you just don't want to do this. I could easily just drive over to the park to hang out, coffee in hand. But I roll out of bed when I could stay, and take the time to dress properly. Not listening to myself complain about it.

Because there always is a specific time during the ride, the feeling that your so glad you did. It might be right away, or an hour later or maybe just when you finished. But its always there. And in my subconscious I know that. And that is what makes me roll out of bed when I could stay, and work on my layers of clothing. Almost swearing under my breath as I do. Its kinda weird cuz I don't want to be doing this as Im doing this anyway. My subconscious is way smarter than my conscious.

And later, when that feeling hits you like a two ton heavy thing you wonder what all the fuss was about. And all is right with the world at that particular moment  You get all pumped. This feeling could make you rider harder, faster. Or it could make you slow down, taking it all in. Or for me, both.
Fast or slow, cold or warm, solo or with friends, its this feeling that Im addicted to.
 Its why I ride.
The feeling is triggered by many things. It could come after an incredible interval you just put in. Or meeting up unsuspectingly with some friends also on a ride. Or maybe your iPod's playlist hit just the right songs. Today, it hit me as I stopped to take today's pic by the river. All at once the sun warmed me and I watched a Coopers hawk fly by, hunting. And I decided then to extend my ride as much as time allowed, pulling into the store at 1058. Perfect timing.

And I'll keep riding as long as Im still getting that feeling. I hope its around for a long time.