Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year

I tried to summon the energy for an end of the year re-cap post, but it's raining out and I just don't have it in me. So I give you the "reader's digest" condensed version instead.

I had a good ski season in 2010, but it wasn't super. I did a couple of new to me marathons (Noquemenon and Birkie), and what I learned in those races will hopefully translate to some better results this winter.

My bike season was filled with ups and downs. Getting shut out of the Lumberjack threw a huge wrench into my schedule. Having a 100 mile race on the calendar in mid June forces me to build a really good base in the spring, and the actual race gives me a great boost of fitness that generally lasts me threw the summer. We'll see what happens next year.

Thanks to all the WNRiders for helping me to at least maintain some sort of fitness and structure. Special props to the hearty few that kept her going up to #40. And thanks to Sarah for putting up with me and helping out at all the races.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays



Merry Christmas!!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

WNR XL

A GREAT way to finish the 2010 riding season with our 40th Wednesday Night Ride in the snow! Commemorated appropriately with a 40 of Post Bicycling Refreshment...thanks to Secret Steve. If you've been paying attention, you'll understand the title of this post (if not XL is the roman numeral for 40) and that the moniker doubly symbolizes the essence of the 2010 riding season. As if 40 weeks of riding weren't enough to make the year extra large, the Wednesday night group grew in number of riders and also in it's caliber of participants. Not since the 'old days' with Drew & Sarge have we pushed the group ride envelope in the way that we did this year. More rides, more riders, more trails, more miles, more races & much more fun. From starting the season on St. Patrick's Day to continuing into deer season (riding trails closed to hunters) and beyond, into 4 consecutive Snow rides! Including #40 with the crew pictured below. The quartet consisted of myself, Charlie, S.Steve & Kevin all determined to complete the landmark ride. Thought we might coax a few more out either to try their wheels on the snow or to join us on skis, snowshoes or even by dogsled...no such luck. We met just above the Meadow & rode down Warwick road to the snow-mo-bike trail, only saw one snowmobile on the trail and only passed one truck on the roads to & from so we know there were witnesses besides ourselves...in case you think the photos were staged.

The bar was set awfully high in 2010 (in more ways than one) and not likely to be replicated any time soon, barring a serious climate shift or a group shift to more southern latitudes...not bloody likely. I want to say that it was an absolute joy to ride with each and every one of you this year (even up the cart path) and I look forward to our continued single-track adventures! Merry Bike-mas & Happy New Rides!

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday this year. I'll be skiing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

00100111

How do you make a Bike Stand?
Ride until the snow is deep enough!

In an effort to keep the WNR reports fresh this late in the season, I've decided to see how many different ways I can title the report count. This week is probably the least recognizable as I've gone binary - If you don't like it, don't let a geek write the blog. The 1's & 0's above represent 39 - Yes, we are still riding in the snow and we are one ride away from hitting a very high mark for number of weeks that we have held a weekly ride in one calendar year. Not only are the report titles fresh, WNR #39 headed to a fresh venue in Charlevoix for Snow Ride #3 at Fisherman's Island State Park. If that weren't enough to be excited about, Secret Steve showed up with his new snowmo-bike - a new Pugsley and a new WNRider, Cooper Dendel - eager to show us her riding chops and take on her first WN/Snow Ride.


We landed in CVX at Kevin's suggestion, hoping that we would be able to ride some groomed, if not well packed, trails. We launched from the entrance of the park as that is as far as the road was plowed & Kevin didn't really feel like towing anyone out. There were actually some solid tracks along the access road and the ride started out pretty easy...then we turned off-road onto the hiking/skiing/snowshoeing trail. Thanks to a two-day stiff north wind and the lake effect machine, conditions were not as ideal as when Kevin first scouted the park. There were a few fresh inches of snow along with a mix of hiking & snowshoe tracks. As we've learned riding in the snow this year, it's actually easier breaking trail than following in other's footsteps (I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.) Unfortunately, the trail was fairly narrow and riding on the sides was not an option. This combined with a few downed trees, some narrow, rooty turns and a few mild inclines made for an extremely challenging first couple of miles. Then we turned back out to the access road at the south end of the park which followed the shoreline back to the start. Some sections of the road were blown clear while others were drifted shut and had it not been for an adventurous drift-busting 4-wheel driver, our ride would definitely have been extended.
What the ride lacked in mileage, it made up for in heart-rate...at least the first half of the ride. The grand total was only around 4 1/2 miles, not very impressive by most of our WNRides but we kept the streak going and had a pretty good time to boot. Not to mention adding another name to our roster of die hard riders. Way to go Cooper!

Here's picture proof that we at least dressed up & took the Pugsley out in the snow! Man those are some FAT tires!
You know that we're going for 40! If you want to be a part of the historic ride of 2010, get your bike, cold weather gear, headlight(s) and rear blinker & meet us at the top of Emmet Heights Rd. in Harbor (just above the Meadow) for a ride on the snowmobile trails & two-track to round out our awesome year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Movie Night at the Orpheum Theater


The Orpheum Theater here in Flagstaff was home to the Northern Arizona Premiere of the new mountain bike film "Life Cycles".  Kristina and I made our way down to watch it last night; and, by all means, if it's playing in your neck of the woods, go see it.  It's an excellent film that is sure to inspire and awe.  As I usually feel about movies like this, I was amazed to see riders on that thin line between completely shredding the gnar and being completely out of control...  Although maybe being out of control is the definition of shredding the gnar.  Watch the movie and see if you can figure that one out for yourself.

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surf's Up!

A few of the dudes we know round these parts (particularly Secret Steve and Marcus) have to taken to this whole cold weather surfing thing. I'm told that with the right gear it is not uncomfortably cold, but I'm not sure I believe it. I do like the water, and it does look like fun. Unfortunately, my sporting world is currently filled to capacity between the biking and the skiing. If and when I win the lottery/retire I may give it a try though. Good work WNRiders on keeping the streak alive. I've fully made the transition to skis now, and my first race is a little less than four weeks away. Enjoy the video.

Rochester Surf Sesh Nov. 2010 from jimmy rathbun on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thirty Eight

Refusal to Quit. Unwilling to Yield. Perseverance. Insanity. Many things depend on your point of view. As you may deduce from the photo, we're still riding on Wednesdays (a few of us anyway) and are trying to hit the big 4-0 before 2010 runs out. The quartet at left, Secret Steve, Kevin-Tron, Below-Zero Benson & Action Chuck suited up for WNR #38 & Snow Ride #2. The conditions this time were a bit different than our first snowy foray. For one, the temperature was about half that of the week before...somewhere around 16; snow wasn't pouring from above and the ground underneath had frozen. There were several inches on the ground but it was the consistency of sugar sand, at least where there weren't frozen footprints below. You would have thought that following the footprints would have been easier than blazing fresh tracks but riding on top of them was like riding over chattery frozen hoof prints. Needless to say, these settings made for a much more challenging snow ride. The ground was now frozen solid, which made turning/staying on course and climbing even moderate inclines extremely difficult. At first it just seemed like monotonous work, spinning out, struggling around every corner AND straight line, not to mention that it was COLD! But just like going swimming in Lake Michigan, once you're in, it's not so bad. Once we got off of the semi-beaten paths & started making our own, the ride smoothed out & we started enjoying it again, riding for just over an hour & about 6.5 miles. We're finding that snow riding isn't about the speed & distance because you're working harder throughout the ride but it's that good kind of work. Just take a look at our post-ride smiling faces, they're not just plastered on because we're mugging for the camera, we all had a good time. And that's what it's all about, getting out, riding with your buddies & having fun. We've chosen to ride in some questionable conditions this year and every time it has been worth it...beyond keeping the riding season going. To that end, #39 is scheduled & we're heading to Charlevoix to Fisherman's Island State Park to ride some groomed XC Ski trails. Hey, as long as we're still riding, we might as well check out some fresh trails. If you're interested and want to join in the fun, check out the Team Calendar for directions, details & info. If you're not up for the bike aspect, bring your skis or snowshoes, plus your headlight!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Burn Returns

A Wonderful Day For A Ride!!!
With the unseasonably warm temperatures we've been having lately in Flagstaff, the snow in and around town has pretty much melted off, with the high country and north facing slopes being pretty much the only exceptions.  A temp of around 56 degrees and the sun shining brightly made for a perfect day to get a quick ride in (it also helps that the Arizona Cardinals aren't worth watching anymore), so I loaded up and headed to what was a dry Campbell Mesa.  Although, I wasn't trying to set any land speed records on today's ride (currently held by Canadian cyclist Sam Whittingham at 83mph on a flat surface and unpaced); the burn has returned.  I haven't been riding too much recently (basically not at all) due to buying a house, getting married, remodeling a room into a nursery, work, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses...  To quote what seems like Peter's favorite saying these days, "HTFU, Sarge!!!"  It did feel wonderful to get out and get those legs spinning, though.  I managed, to my surprise, to maintain an 11.0 mph average over the course of 11 miles.  And although it was at Campbell Mesa, not Flagstaff's most technical trail and mostly a flat series of loops, I managed to get that burn going in my legs and also my lungs.  Which really boils down to one conclusion...  "Sarge, you need to ride more!"  Campbell Mesa and the base of Mount Elden may have to do for riding locations, though.  I'm trying to stay close to home these days.  Even with a due date of Dec. 20th, the birth of our first child could happen any day now, so taking the trip down the hill to Sedona to ride will just have to wait until January...  hopefully.

While perusing our pictures on the computer today, I came across the following vids that I haven't seen in quite some time.  Keep in mind, I'm no video guru; they may be a bit shaky with random commentary by myself.  Short as they may be, they brought back some fond memories of riding with Team Terpening.

 Peter at Barlett Wash, Moab, Utah.  I Love The Smile On His Face After A Short "Pump-track Style" Session On The Slick Rock

The View From Along The Porcupine Rim Trail, Moab, Utah.  With Peter, Sarah, and Ginni Biggs.

The Finish To The Vehicles At Campbell Mesa, Flagstaff, AZ.  With Peter and Sarah

***Also, there may be a SargeFest 2011 in the works for sometime in September.  I realize it may be a challenge for some of you to get here, but good times are guaranteed with plenty of great riding, beer, and BBQ over the course of weekend.  Shoot me an email if you have any input regarding dates that may work best.  I'm leaning towards a weekend in late September.***

Thursday, December 09, 2010

More Mike Bodt


Even though our friend hasn't been to visit in a while, we still talk about him a lot!

Here is a recent photo from Travis' apartment in Brooklyn where we had an amazing time with great friends! Come home soon Mike! Love, Sarah

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Video Wednesday

The closest I've ever come to actually skateboarding was a brief stint playing Tony Hawk with Bodt and Sarge about ten years ago, but this is a cool video all the same. Check it out.



Have a good time on the ride tonight if it goes (they're calling for 2 to 5 inches today), I'll continue running until I can ski. Over and out.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

36 and 37

Somebody has been slacking on the Wednesday ride updates...I'll confess, it was me and since our official WNRide season typically ends on the last Wednesday before firearm deer season opens coupled with the arrival of several inches of snow, you might not expect there would to be much to report. However with the phenomenal riding season that we've had, we just had to find a way to extend our streak. With 35 consecutive weeks of riding already in the history books, we were determined to find a way to add a few bonus rides and possibly reach a total of 40 weeks of riding in 2010. There are enough weeks left in the year that we could conceivably reach this lofty (some would say crazy) goal.

WNR #36 - Bonus Ride #1 - November 17
Even though we don't start our night rides until 6:30p, well after hunters should be out of the woods, we've abstained mostly for our own safety as well as out of respect for the hunters...they are armed after all. Still wanting to ride some single track, we chose to ride at Avalanche Park in Boyne City as it is a Preserve/Park mainly within the city limits and off-limits to hunters. The weather was cool, around 38 and had been raining on & off throughout the day lake-effect style giving dry-ish respites when the rain bands shifted. Undaunted, six riders arrived to enjoy the ride including Myself, Action Chuck, Secret Steve, Racin' Rob, Kevin & Joe. With a break in the rain, we suited up & headed out. We only discovered Avalanche Park this year but it has quickly risen to a top ride destination with its tight, twisty, flowy & well managed trails. This would be the first time most of us rode the trail wet. The bottom half of the trail consists of quite a bit of clay, while this is normally nice & grippy, add a little (or a lot) of rain and you get sections something the consistency pudding covered Crisco. Normally a wet trail in the fall isn't too bad, there are plenty of leaves to soak up some of the rain & give you some traction. Unfortunately, some overzealous leaf-blower jockey had cleared the entire loop, making for traction, as Charlie put it, "like a glass doorknob covered in snot." Challenging, to say the least but kept the adrenaline near the red line at the same time the fun-meter was pegged. The steeper hills were mostly unclimbable, the roots course-corrected ever-so-gently and the corners let you drift whether you wanted to or not. All in all an exciting and worthy bonus ride! Plus, with all of the clay caked on our bikes & tires, we got to take a little of the trail home with us.

WNR #37 - Bonus Ride #2 - December 1
We planned ride the 2nd Wednesday of deer season at Boyne Mt. as it is primarily private property. This was the first time we were riding this near Thanksgiving so we opted to move the ride up to Tuesday (mostly to accommodate me as we were hosting the family dinner & I needed to help get the house prepped.) Alas, it wasn't meant to be this night as a snow storm along with some scheduling conflicts aided in the ride's demise. The following Monday, Kevin rallied the troops & we decided to try again and even though deer season would be over, we opted to stick with the previous plan to ride at the Mt. December 1st arrived with a little mixed precipitation in the morning that quickly turned to all snow & by noon there was about an inch+ in and around Harbor though the lake-effect machine had been pumping a bit more to the south. A brief flurry of emails confirmed that we were all still up for the ride, no matter what. With the snow bands clearly targeting Boyne Mt. Charlie & I pulled into the snow covered parking lot to see Kevin, Joe & S.Steve gearing up to round out our first snow ride. By the time we suited up and hit the trail, there was a good 3-4" fresh, white blanket covering the trail and plenty more falling all around. I was glad that Joe/Kevin/Steve were leading the way, breaking trail, let alone finding it. The wet heavy snow, along with the fact that the ground wasn't frozen yet, actually made for decent traction. With the snow falling heavily, it was difficult to see, whether you had glasses or not but our headlights effect was doubled as it reflected off the white trail ahead. It was a beautiful sight with the snow heavy on the thorny canes arching on either side of the trail, no longer reaching in to grab our arms as we passed. A few of the climbs were even less possible and the snow covered roots made for some surprising course corrections but we managed a decent pace and covered about a 7 mile loop in about an hour. the consensus was that this was one of the most fun rides that we've all done and I believe the first "Snow-Ride" undertake by our merry band...certainly not the last!

We thought we had better take a few pictures following the ride to commemorate the event & for some quality blog fodder.

As you can see, the snow was still falling at a good rate as we pulled up to our cars and made for some quick clothing changes before heading to the Red Mesa warming hut.

Not to be outdone, we are continuing toward the goal of 40, so long as the snow isn't too deep. Ride #38 will be at the Meadow, group launch at 6:30. Dress warm, bring your lights & make history with us.

*(Studded tires are optional)

What's this?

On Saturday, Kristina and I made our annual trip out to the Mogollon Rim to cut our Christmas tree.  A wonderful day was spent out in the woods thanks to the NFS and a $15 tree permit.  The sun was out, and it warmed to a balmy 50 degrees.  We found a nice, not-so-treefarm-perfect-but-close white fir tree...  homegrown, hand selected, and cut with my bare hands (well maybe not bare, I did have gloves on).  The route to the designated tree cutting area takes us out of Flagstaff via Lake Mary Road, a popular road biking route.  It was spring the last time I traveled out Lake Mary Road, during a period of road construction to see how full the lakes were.  The City/contractor did a nice job.  Fresh, new pavement and widened with a bike lane on each side of the road.  One thing really caught my eye, though.  A new road sign.  A sign that made my mind wander back to a small incident in town regarding a bus and a bicyclist.  DC and the AZ Daily Sun reported about this incident and even posted the videos from the bus surveillance camera (click on the links).  An incident that pitted a cyclist against, first, a bus driver and, secondly, the City of Flagstaff.  The feud was brought about by a passing bus that appeared, at least to cyclist Randy Mason, too close for comfort...  even illegal.  It brought to my attention a rule of the roads that I had never even heard of before - The Three Foot Law.  Also referred to as Brad Gorman's Law, named after a Tucson cyclist run over from behind, it was passed in 2000 in Arizona and requires motorists to abide by the following:  "When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle."  Aside from the cyclist involved, the law seemed to be a mystery to all involved including the bus driver, responding police officer, and city attorney.  And so, as the law was interpreted and the whole ordeal seemed to fizzle out, it resulted in a ticket for the bus driver and a new awareness to a law that existed, but was never really enforced...  But it was brought to my attention once again as we traveled down Lake Mary Road.  Apparently, Randy got one more thing out of the ordeal, the first one of these I've seen in the state...

Randy's Sign, Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, AZ

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Cry Baby Revisited

The video they filmed at the race this fall is out. Check it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"127 Hours"

It's a snowy day here in the FLG;  23 degrees, 15 mph winds, and snow, snow, and more snow.  Nice to be inside surfing the web for a bit before making an attempt to organize the garage.  I finally did some research this morning that I've been meaning to do since shortly after our wedding reception.  The evening of our party, the Warden and I were engaged in some conversation regarding the movie "127 Hours" that he had recently seen at a limited engagement at a theater in Denver.  I had heard in the past that there was a movie in the works based on this true story, but hadn't heard when it was due for release.  I can recall reading about Aron Ralston's near tragic end in a 2004 "Outside" magazine article and being immediately blown away by the story.  A story that is absolutely outrageous, and asks the question, "In the face of death, what would you be willing to do to save your life?"  In a nutshell the story is as follows:  While solo hiking in southern Utah, Ralston's hand/arm becomes wedged behind a rock in a freak accident.  Unable to release from behind the rock and trapped in a slot canyon, he is left with only two choices, life or death.  In order to choose the life option, he must self-amputate his arm.  Once freed from being trapped, he still must hike several miles to safety.  I recommend visiting the link above to the "Outside" article, an excerpt from Ralston's book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place".  I have yet to read the book; but, after doing my research and rereading some of the article today, I'll be making a trip to the Flagstaff Public Library to check it out on Monday.  Released on a limited basis only, it unfortunately doesn't look like the movie will make a debut here in Flagstaff.  Although it's not available on Netflix yet, I've saved it to my queue; and, based on the Warden's recommendation, you should too.  It came highly recommended by the Warden based on the jaw-dropping story, cinematography, and scenery.  After reading the linked story, please comment below:  "Could you cut off your arm in the face of death?"


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poke town pump track

The only person I know who's ever ridden one of these things is Lianna, and she said it was super fun. Notice how the track is built in such a manner that if you do things correctly you don't need to pedal. Supposedly they are good for xc riders too because they teach you how to conserve your momentum. I want one in my yard, but I'm too lazy/don't know how to build one. Might be a good team project in the spring. Have a happy turkey day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hipster (Anti)Nation 1.0



The Cutter
 
The Madison

As I sat on the davenport tonight relaxing after a long, hard day of work, I reached out and grabbed the nearest periodical for a quick read before dinner.  That reading material just happened to be Kristina's latest issue of Women's Health Magazine.  After flipping through a couple of pages, my fingers stopped on a section entitled "2010 Holiday Hot List - For Sister".  I stopped, not because I needed a gift idea for my sister Anne, but because of one particular "hot" item on the list.  The Schwinn Cutter for $379, described as a "Carbon footprint reducer, muscle toner, and fashion statement all in one".  It sparked my interest, solely because the bicycle just absolutely screamed hipster scene and was being marketed to the masses (did you realize that Walmart now sells a fixie... scary!).  I couldn't believe anyone could actually recommend this bicycle as a gift... for not just a sister, but anyone.  I did some quick interweb research on this ride at schwinnbikes.com.  To my jaw dropping amazement, Schwinn has an entire line of bikes built for the hipster crowd, all part of their "Urban" line of bicycles...  makes me want to puke!!!  I remember the good old days when Schwinn used to make some classy old rides like the Stingray, the Fiesta, and the Collegiate, all available in what I would call "basic colors", not these pu*sy pastels that hipsters prefer.  These "Urban" bikes are just too much.  Although I still enjoy collecting classic Schwinns, they may have just made "the list" because they are aiding in the advancement of skinny jean wearing, walk your bike and try to look cool hipster mofos.  If you ever see me on one of these bikes, do me a favor and kick my ass.  As always, I love bicycles, but these fixie assholes bother me.
  
Don't Be That Guy
(Pic poached from "TheThrill of Riding" blog, but I don't think he'll mind, as long as I'm pickin' on hipsters)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Video Wednesday

I've been running short on blog material lately. Perhaps I will steal a video off the interwebs on Wednesday's and post it here. Stoled this one this morning. Check it out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WNR # 35

Attendance: Pete, Benson, Secret Steve (of recent Iceman fame), Racin' Rob, Kevin, A/C, Joe, and Cheryl.

Weather: Dark, but balmy at right around 50 degrees.

Trail Conditions: Excellent.

Another WNR season in the books with a record breaking 35 in a row. I've been trying to think of just one word to sum it all up, and all I've come up with so far is FAST. Week in and week out I've been amazed at how fast we've all been getting. It seems like every time the pace backs off even a little bit, Racin' Rob or A/C is putting the hammer down and shooting off the front leaving the rest of us with no choice but to reel them back in. These high paced weekly rides appear to be paying dividends come race time as well with some of us putting up fabulous results this season (Secret Steve in particular). So we can all give ourselves a proverbial pat on the back for a job well done this season. It's hard to imagine we'll get any faster next season, but there definitely appears to be a trend in that direction. Thanks to everybody for making the commitment to keep the WNR torch lit; I know there were at least a handful of Wednesday's on which I would not have ridden otherwise. Possible WNR extension next week at Avalanche in Boyne City depending on the weather. Thanks again for a great season everybody. Over and out.

P.S. We closed out the ride on Sarge's Trail in honor of his birthday yesterday.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Number 34

Attendance: Pete, Benson, Racin' Rob, A/C, Sarah, and Cheryl.

Weather: Cold and dark.

Trail Conditions: I raked all the singletrack on my property over the weekend, so that was still in great shape. The rest of the trail was littered with a ton of sticks and leaves. In addition, there were a few downed trees requiring a dismount.

Still, we had a good ride. The cold wasn't nearly as bad as we thought, long sleeves and a vest were more than sufficient. And the rain that had been falling off and on all day stopped for the entire ride (it started up again as soon as we were done). We all enjoyed a great meal prepared by Sarah, and we sat around the table shooting the proverbial sh*t for a good long while afterwards. Fortunately I was still able to rouse myself for a much needed dose of yoga before work this morning. WNR # 35 will be @ Boyne next week. Hope to see you next week.

P.S. Plans are in the works to extend the WNR streak into hunting season weather permitting, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WNR # 33

Attendance: Pete, Benson, Racin' Rob, Kevin, Charlie, Joe, Cheryl, Christian, and Lisa.

Weather: 45 degrees, 50 mph winds, and a steady rain.

Trail Conditions: Due to the wind and rain the trail was very slick in spots, and numerous dismounts were required to climb over downed trees and limbs.

You might think this all sounds like we would have had a horrible ride. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure the rain was a little wet, and yeah it would have been nice to have a few less than the fifty or so dismounts and tree climbing overs. But once you're wet, you're wet. And it's always good practice dismounts and remounts. So we ended up with a little under nine miles of riding and just over a thousand feet of vertical. Actually, it was one of the better rides I've had recently. Judging from all the smiling faces at the conclusion of the ride, I'd say the feeling was universal. Riding in adverse conditions is always a little tougher, but when the ride is done it's just that much more gratifying. HTFU. Next weeks WNR @ HQ. Since it may be the last HQ WNR of the season, I'm going to do something special for dinner. All you have to do is show up and ride. It's been a great season, and I hope we'll keep up the strong finish until the snow flies. Over and out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WNR #32

The 2010 Wednesday Night Ride season is still going strong despite the dwindling temperatures, daylight and trail visibility. The late afternoon weather looked to be cooperating with clear sunny skies though a bit windy. Closer to ride launch, that wind pushed a little lake effect rain over us but quickly cleared before the ride began. The temps were hovering in the low 50's and definitely felt chillier with the wind but that didn't deter us. Even in Pete & Sarah's absence (PG' s parent's anniversary) we had a solid crew of 8 WNRiders geared up for the cool/dark ride up the rooty Kipp NCT: Racin' Rob, Action Chuck, Secret Steve, Bruised Benson, "Where are my keys?" Bobbie, Cheryl, Joe & Lisa.

Rob, Charlie & S.Steve set off on a good pace & quickly dropped the rest of the crew as we started the climb. Joe, Bobbie & I rode in the middle, not too far behind but in no hurry. Joe was even testing a fully ridgid single-speed (due to a mechanical) and was enjoying its efficiency. Cheryl & Lisa were enjoying themselves batting cleanup. The leaves on the trail were plentiful and masked some of the roots below for some fun surprises and the recent rain made the roots a bit slippery especially on the climb. Though the trail was a little hard to see in the remaining daylight, the trough we carved on the way out made for easier visiblity with the lights. It was actually harder to follow the trail in the pines where there weren't any leaves. All in all a great ride, especially for late October.

Not long ago it seemed that there were only a few of us that were diligent (some would say foolhardy) enough to continue riding this late into the season. Just having new riders join the core group has been great but even those new to the group are excited to don not only cold weather gear but headlights too in order to continue our riding season. Plus we have been extremely fortunate to have had a nice mild & dry fall so far. Only a few WNRides left but it looks like there will be plenty of us out there to enjoy them.

One more note, I want to wish Sarge & Kristina Congratulations today on their wedding day! Wish we could all be there!

The Night Before

No bachelor's party...  I'm alright with that.  I suppose I'm past paying for overpriced lap dances.  A few Beaver Street IPA's after cutting out of work early.  Greg stopped by with a sixer of New Belgium Ranger IPA.  Jess dropped off an extra cooler and an air matress for the Warden.  Nothing planned tonight except waiting for the "Big Day" with a few good beers.  Me...  I'm ready for the reception.  A keg of Beaver Street IPA, generously donated by Gary, and a lot of good food prepared by friends and family.  Life is good.  Now, lets drink some beer!!!

I'll be laughing and having a grand ol' time tomorrow.  I've been a bit busy lately.  I'll right more later, until then...  enjoy this video while drinking an IPA in my honor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WNR # 31

WNR # 31 is in the books and I think we are getting close to a new record for most WNR in a season. I think Benson is keeping score and I am sure we will celebrate when we reach that goal.



This weeks ride was at Boyne Mountain. riders attending were myself, Action Chuck, Bruised up Benson, Secret Steve, Chris M. and from Boyne City, Team No Boundaries riders Bob and Ben.



The weather was near perfect for the middle of October with temps around 60 degrees.



Steve and Benson arrived a little early and did a short pre ride to warm up and as they returned I decided to check out trail conditions as well. I pedaled away to the east of the parking lot just out of sight ( 75 to 100 yards) and I heard a loud bang, sounded like someone slamming their trunk or hood really hard. I didn't think to much of it but when I returned to the parking area I see Steve and Benson wrenching on Benson's bike. It seems that Benson decided to practice his wheelie skills and leaned a little to far to the right and could not save it. The noise I heard earlier

was Benson and his Bike hitting the pavement really hard. I keep telling everyone that they are trail bikes not stunt bikes. He landed on his right hip and bruised that pretty good, sprained his right wrist and his face (cheek ) kissed the pavement. Pretty banged up but we were glad he got up and was not seriously hurt. It could have been much worse.



Now for the rest of the ride. Steve started off leading and set a quick pace. The trail was dry and loose with a lot of leaves down so it was a bit sketchy at times....for me anyway. Steve myself and Bob took turns leading the way for the first half of the ride. At about mile 6 or 7 Bruised up Benson's wrist couldn't' take any more punishment and he took a shortcut back to the truck.

He put in a good effort considering the hit he took. Good job CB hope you are feeling better soon.

The rest of us kept going and action chuck got out front for a bit showing off on his 1998 Schwinn S carbon something. He broke his frame on his Cannondale so had to get the Schwinn out of retirement. Charlie said it is a good climbing bike but a little scary at speed. He seemed to do just fine as always. We made our way to the top with lights on as it was dark now. Bob knows his way around these trails so he showed us the quick way down so we could meet back up with Benson at the parking lot. Benson was there waiting for us just resting,licking his wounds and sipping on some medicine in a brown bottle. not a long ride but not bad for a WNR in October. OK I have to say it, IT WAS A WHEELIE GOOD TIME!!!!!

Good luck to everyone racing Saturday, the weather looks good, HAVE FUN!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WNR #30

Yes, it's true, we have reached the 30th ride of 2010 and we're still in early October. This puts us on pace for a total of 35 Wednesday Night Rides for the year! That is, weather permitting and before we have to take a hiatus for firearm deer season. So far the weather for this month has been exceptional and the fall colors are in abundance. The weather for ride #30 was no exception, in the low 60's at the start of the ride on a clear & sunny day.


The group started at The Meadow to ride the trails behind Boyne Highlands. In attendance this week were myself, Racin' Rob, Secret Steve, Action Chuck, Kevin, Joe, Chris M., Cheryl & Lisa? (also from Lat. 45) - Everyone donned their headlights for the latter half of the ride. We opted to ride a traditional loop, starting up the valley to Pete's Knee, then to the Chapel, across to the North Peak. On our way from the N.P. out to the Bridges, we encountered the logging that had been rumored on the 'Blue' trail. It turned out not to be too bad though, only a short section was blocked by downed trees & log piles - from the top of the Loser trail to the top of the short downhill connector. A little 'through the woods' riding & we were back on the trail without issue. We rode out to the Bridges & then started working our way back down and aimed for a nice finish on Sarge's Section, where we had to make use of the headlights. The boys group kept a pretty good pace and made it back to the Meadow in about an hour. Cheryl & Lisa found their own way & got back to the cars about 20 minutes later making full use of their lights. The trails were near perfect, save for a plethora of freshly fallen leaves coating the forest floor occasionally obscuring the trail.


For those that have been taking attendance, I missed my first WNR of the season last week (WNR#29) while Amber & I were in AZ enjoying a little warm spell (104+ a couple of days) - so much for a perfect season...though I'm still waiting to hear if there was a September T2 blog contest winner. Blog official Sarge was curious too!?


Please excuse the late entry, PG is on vacation and I got back from our vacation the night before the ride and have been playing catchup ever since. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of a sizable saguaro outside Greasewood Flat just north of Scottsdale. Next visit I plan on doing some riding...if it's cooler!
WNR #31 is at Boyne Mt. & dinner options in BC. Bring your lights & see you there!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thanks Greg

Stole some good pix of the team at the Cry Baby thanks to Greg H. My big nemesis's older (?) brother.


Big Dave and I before I got dropped for good on the last lap.



Kevin muscling up the beginning of the "cry baby" climb.


Damon heading down a steep little chute about a mile and a half in.



This one I'm not sure how I feel about. Kevin gave it group wide email distribution this morning, but for those not on the list here it is again.


So how was WNR # 30? We're about 5 hours shy of Burlington and holing up for the night in Utica. Utica does not appear to be a very nice city, but we'll make the best of it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lost and Found

Let me know if you've lost something recently, and I'll keep my eyes peeled while I'm out east. I found this on the DC this morning, and I thought it was pretty cool (even if I couldn't understand what they were saying for the most part). I believe they've been doing rides like this over across the pond for a long time as evidenced by some of the old school bikes and clothing. I think they're referred to as Gran Fondo rides? Hugh (our european correspondent) needs to look into this. Check it out below:

L'Eroica report / DAY 3 / The Race from Le Coq Sportif on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

1st Annual Cry Baby Classic

Yesterday afternoon, the forecast for today's Cry Baby Classic was dismal to say the least. Rain and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees sounded miserable. Fortunately, the forecasters got it wrong. It was cold this morning to be sure, 42 degrees or so but the sky was blue and there was no threat of rain. I got kitted up in the car and got out to start my warm-up about 45 minutes before the expert singlespeed 9:30 start. I wore some heavier gloves, a big hooded sweatshirt, and a ski hat for my warm up. This proved to be the perfect choice. It was cold when I coasted downhill, but I didn't overheat when I ramped up my heart rate on the uphills either. I tried to stay moving as long as I could before the start because I knew once I stripped off my warm layers I would get cold in a hurry. I gave my warm clothes and tunes to Sarah and put on my helmet and some lighter gloves about 5 minutes before the start, and then we were off.



The giant dude in front of me (it's not an optical illusion) is none other than Dave Hintz. Here he is leading me into the first lap. While we would trade spots back and forth a couple of times throughout the race, in the end he proved stronger and got me by less than a minute.

Lap 1: The first lap went by without too much incident. The climbs were brutal, but the course was in great shape all in all. This was also my first bike race on home turf. It was a little unnerving at first to have almost every spectator and course marshal calling out my name when I rode by cheering me on, but in the end I think it most definitely helped me out. I came through the start/finish area to more cheering and a slight gap on Big Dave.

Lap 2: About 30 seconds into the second lap, disaster struck. Well maybe disaster is a bit strong of a word, I dropped my chain on a particularly bumpy downhill section of trail. I stopped long enough to get it back on and make sure the chainring hadn't loosened up again. It only took a minute or so, but in that time Big Dave and another singlespeeder flew by me. I had a momentary lapse into the world of frustration and self-pity, and then I told myself to HTFU. I did, and halfway through the lap I caught up to and passed Big Dave again. After another ripping downhill back to the start/finish area I was stilling feeling pretty good.

Lap 3: Big Dave caught up to me about 2 miles into the last lap, and I was content to sit on his wheel and let him pull me around for a while. I tried to make a move past him on the second to last run up, but I started to cramp up just a tad in my quads. I let up on the gas a little, and he was gone. The rest of the lap went fine, and I had a strong finish.

While I didn't do particularly well in the expert singlespeed division (8th out of 10 I believe), I was very happy with my race. The four or five guys above me were less than a minute ahead, and I was also less than a minute back on Secret Steve's wicked fast geared pace. Also, my lap times were all less than a minute apart which means I paced myself well. I think my official time was 1 hour 39 minutes and 50 seconds for 18.64 miles. My average speed was 11.3 mph, and my heart rate averaged 166.





Here we have a shot of myself, Secret Steve, Ulle, and Kevin at the finish. I think my brand new 10th anniversary DC jersey brought me some good juju today. I will wear it again for sure.

So I went home to take a shower, and then I went to work where I type this now between selling people some wine and stuff. Check out all the other numbers and elevation profiles through the link below. Have a good weekend.

Untitled by wpeterg at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Number Twenty Nine

Attendance: Myself, Racin' Rob, Secret Steve, A/C, Kevin, Sarah, and Cheryl.

Weather: Sunny and 60 degrees.

Trail Conditions: Excellent. I spent a little over two hours cleaning up the trail before the ride. The biggest project involved firing up the chainsaw to finally clear out the Bodhisize trail that has been clogged with downed trees most of the summer. It's really nice to be able to get through there without dismounting and climbing over a bunch of crap.

Sarah took Cheryl on some new trails; and since most of my group is racing this weekend, I led out what I was hoping to be a leisurely (as if that's even possible anymore with this crew) ride around Pond Hill Farm. After the ride, we were all treated to another delicious dinner from RaRa. Next weeks WNR is @ Boyne. Bring your lights for sure. RaRa and I are departing for the east coast next Wednesday afternoon, so we'll be out for the next two WNR's. Ride well and keep the rubber side down. Perhaps I'll post up some stuff from the road. Over and out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

28 and Counting

A little late on the draw this week for the blog…I hope I haven’t abused blog etiquette too bad by not posting quite on time.  Kind of a busy week, and hey, I have quite a blog to top from the last one!  Pressure!  Haha!  But, here we are, better late than never!

With 28 Wednesday night rides so far this summer, I, along with everyone, can say what a great one it’s been!  I don’t mean to say it like its past tense, because our rides are still rollin’ along, even into the night hours!  We’ve truly had a great summer of riding though, I don’t think any mountain biker or outdoor enthusiast could argue with that.  A few wet ones here and there, but all in all, a terrific season!

I’d have to say this ride was fairly casual.  Well, casual compared to last Sunday…I’d say most anything is casual compared to 40 miles on knobs.  Me, Rob Horsepower, CB, Action Cheryl, Sarah, Pete, New Chris, and Secret Steve took another tour of the Crybaby.  This run was about the same as our last one with the same view of Rob drifting off into the distance.  Except this time I swear there was a little rooster tail spewing out from behind his tire!  Well, rounding the first corner we could tell the course had been groomed, it looked rather nice.  It had that texture every mountain biker looks for in a turn.  Smooth, but tacky enough to feel the tread squirm just the right amount into the dirt.  The kind that allows your weight to transfer confidently into the bars, lowering your weight just enough so you can squeeze an extra mph or two to sneak ahead of your would be competition.  And the course…if you were wondering…yup, still hurts.  All the way up.  I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to take a swig of water because my lungs will be working overtime!  Not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for three laps….

Our short tour of the course took us into the night.  On our way back the trail was dotted with our lights dancing all over the singletrack.  Thanks again Pete for letting me trade batteries for my little test.  Ah yes, night riding.  That’s a damn good time.  For #28 we didn’t get to dip into the darkness very much, but if our fall stays in line with our summer, we could see quite a bit more of it.  Might actually have us slow it down a bit so we don’t overdrive our lights…there’s only so far you can see careening down a familiar singletrack…the darkness plays tricks on you.  I remember more recently that one well worn trail “seemed” to veer right…well, it didn’t.  My poor knuckles.  (fist bump?)



As the lights feathered out, we gathered for some friendly brewskies and a little armchair racing thinking of how the upcoming race is going to pan out.  Grinding about technique, lane choice, and generally how the event is going to unfold.  Seems like I’ve heard a lot of positives, but we’ll see.  Until then, I’ll be sure to pack my tissues for that hill…  As Pete would say, yes, the race this weekend is going to hurt like a mother fu**er….or should he say more appropriately, HTFU!!!

New U.P./Old U.P.

WNR # 28 came and went. I think A/C said he was going to do the post so all I'll say is the race this weekend is going to hurt like a mother fu**er.

I had a really nice last minute trip to the U.P. over the end of the weekend. Some of it was same old same old, and some of it was brand spanking new to me.

The same old same old: I stayed at the Landmark. It's a really nice (not overly $) hotel in downtown Marquette, and I like it a lot. When I called to check on a room and gave the front desk person my last name, she immediately said "You've stayed with us before if I'm not mistaken Mr. Gurney. Let me pull up your information." Hardly necessary, but nice all the same. While in town I ate breakfast at the Sweetwater and had pizza from Aubrey's, they are both top notch eating establishments. If you ever find yourself in or around Marquette, I highly recommend checking them out.

The new stuff, in order of least exciting to most painful:

I took the Newberry way home. We always go Blamey Park. It's literally six of one, half a dozen.

I finally pulled into the Scenic Turnout just west of Munising. It's pretty, and there's a good view of Grand Island. I stayed about two minutes.

I rode two and a half new loops of the South Marquette trail system over the course of two days. The trails up there are sweet. Part of one of them is a long downhill literally on top of an old concrete pipeline. It's called the pipeline. So the trails are super technical, but almost all rideable even on the singlespeed. I've now ridden all but half of one loop in the system at least once.

I was talking with Kate and Nick before I left work on Saturday afternoon, and I mentioned I was thinking about checking out the Cut River Gorge on the way up. Kate and the fam had been up across the weekend before, and they stopped there on their way home. I had been thinking they had some stairs down to the bottom, and Kate confirmed that they indeed did. My mind was made up. I'd park, change into my running gear, go for a little jog to warm up, and then do a good hard stair workout to break up the drive. There are something like 250 steps, and I ran up them three times. People looked at me like I was insane, and with the way my legs feel today after that workout and a couple of solid rides they may have a point. I took a sauna last night, and that seems to have helped a little. I'm just hoping they start feeling better before the weekend.

P.S. I was thinking of doing a cross race up there on Sunday. I didn't. The blue skies, warmish weather, and the abundance of sweet singletrack trumped riding/running around a park as fast as I could for an hour.

WNR @ HQ tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Couldn't Resist

I see a lot of funny sh*t on the internet. Usually I figure most people see the same stuff, or maybe they wouldn't find it as funny as I did; but with this one I couldn't resist sharing with the class. I found this over on the DC this morning and had a good little chuckle. I just laughed again when I pasted it over.



Anyway, got some good bike work done the other day. I tightened up the tension of my singlespeed chain, so hopefully no mechanicals for Pedro tonight. I also finally got some new tires on/racks off the cyclocross bike just in case I'm so inclined to drive to Marquette for a little pain and suffering on Sunday. Over and out.

p.s. Sarge, check out the hipster/fixie rant over at DC as well. It sounds like you and that dude share a similar outlook on that particular sub-set of cycling.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Forties

Sunday Dirt Services went a tad longer than expected over the weekend. We were shooting for a 2.5-3 hour ride, we ended up with 3 hours and 45 minutes for just about 40 miles. It's the longest ride I've done since Ore to Shore, and it felt really good. Those are the kind of rides I do at least once a week starting in late March/early April up until Memorial Day pretty much. Then sh*t just gets busy, and I simply don't have time for long jaunts in the woods. Plus, if I do a long race in June, July, and, August my body probably wouldn't respond very well to additional four hour rides in the woods. Anyway, doing longs rides like Sunday with a good group makes them even better. Benson, Racin Rob, A/C, Secret Steve, and KnewKhris joined me on the adventure; and while I kept them out on the saddle a little longer than expected, I think everyone enjoyed one of my personal favorite loops.



WNR is moving to the end of Valley Rd. just past Chestnut Valley this week. I know someone told me why, but I can't remember. Benson is supposed to be sending out an amended invite as well. Hope to see you there, it's getting real tight on getting by without a light. Contact myself or Benson and we might be able to hook you up with a loaner.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Feeling Like a Slacker...

I know that it's been quite some time since my last post, but I must say that life has felt a bit overwhelming lately.  And so, I've taken a month off from riding.  Not necessarily by choice.  Nor did I even realize that I was doing it at the time.  Folks, I must say that buying a house, preparing to move, getting married, and having a child were not really meant to happen all at the same time or pushed into the same month.  Welcome to my world.  Although these are all great things leading up to one of life's greatest pleasures, one of life's simple pleasures has been put on the back burner...  riding my bike.  I feel like a slacker.  I feel lazy.  I feel rushed.  I feel like I need clarity.  I feel...  well, like I need to go out and ride my g*d damn bike.  So, this weekend's goal... no, wait...  requirement, besides packing, is to get out and ride, damn it!!!  I'll make a post real soon about how good it feels to get my ass kicked after an extended break.  Until then, check out all the cool bike sh*t that I've come across while cleaning and packing.  Amongst the piles of loose bike parts and dirty rags, I've uncovered some classics...  and a spare bedroom.  It's been a while since I've taken inventory of my bicycle collection.  Lot's of work to be done on these babies, but with a garage and a proper work space at the new place, it's sure to get done...  eventually.
From front to back:
1.  Early 70's Azuki 10-Speed, Blue
2.  Late 60's/Early 70's Sears Roebuk 3-Speed, Black
3.  1965 Schwinn Fiesta, White
4.  1971 Schwinn Collegiate, Green
5.  Mid to Late 70's All-Pro, Beige
1965 Schwinn Fiesta
Anybody remember this old girl?  She's been retired for a few years now.  Brand new front triangle has only had about four rides on it before the SS started dominating the dojo.

WNR #27

Summer is behind us and so are most of our races, the temps are dropping and the daylight is fading earlier each day not to mention that the weather pattern has been decidedly too rainy & October-ish for mid September. This isn’t so much whining as stating the facts of Fall Mountain biking in Michigan. However the transition to this year’s season of riding has been a bit abrupt and we have had to adopt our cool-weather riding gear much sooner than expected. All of this may lead some non/infrequent riders to beg the question: “Are you nuts riding in this weather?” I say NO! We’re just enjoying the variety that fall riding brings. Not to mention that we get to don the headlights and do some night riding to extend the season! (still, maybe a little nuts...)

As for this week’s ride, the majority of the day was bright & sunny, a little cool but a nice fall day…until late afternoon when clouds started rolling in and a sizable green & yellow radar blob was pushing its way over the lake destined to collide with our ride on the Larks Lake NCT trail. Seeing that radar blob and having the opportunity to hit the trail early, I opted to get in a 30-40 minute pre-ride (or ride in the unlikely event that the other riders might bail.) Doing my best to ride between the raindrops, I headed up the trail and near the two-mile-mark I encountered Pete heading south on his ride from home to meet the group. We rode a bit further north & then headed back to see who was going to brave the weather. The rain was coming down a bit steadier but wasn’t too bad under the trees. Upon arrival at the trail head, we were encouraged to find a solid contingent of our fellow riders gearing up to brave the green blob. Kevin & Kerri were just pulling in, Charlie & Cheryl were almost ready to go, Bobbie was putting the finishing touches on locking herself out of her car (solved by a quick phone call to her dad for a spare key delivery) and Sarah was rarin’ to go! OK, we had to convince her to suit up & not sit in the car for an hour, but isn’t that what the rain gear is for?

The trail was in pretty good shape save for some plentiful sticks & downed branches from all of the recent windstorms. A few of the corners started to get a little sketchy with the added rain but all in all still good. Then Pete had a little mechanical with the single speed (yes, another bike issue) that kept ejecting his chain from the front ring. It looked like the chain ring was bent but turned out to be a loose chain ring bolt, easily tightened. Not wanting to chance it, Pete headed back to the car while Action Chuck, Kevin, Bobbi & I pedaled on to Robinson Rd. After a brief rest, we headed back up the climb (surprising Kerri on her way down) & back to the cars. With the clouds & rain, it was getting a little dark so we switched on the lights for added trail clarity…mostly to even out the fact that we couldn’t see through our rain & mud streaked glasses. Generally an uneventful return to the vehicles except that I managed to clear a sizable branch from the trail by picking it up into my pedals/frame/wheel/leg & instantly ground it into innocuous trail chips. Gotta love my steel-framed wood chipper (got lucky!) With everyone safely back and the rain continuing to fall, we made a quick change of clothes & headed north to Moosejaw Junction for some post-ride grub & beverages (minus Kevin & Kerri who were headed in the other direction but plus Racin’ Rob who worked late but joined us for dinner.) A weekend ride is planned for Sunday, starting from Team HQ at Noon:30 with a BYO cookout planned afterward and next week’s WNR will meet at the Pleasantview Township Hall to ride the NCT south with the possibility of some of the Cry-Baby course thrown in for good measure. See you next time!

P.S. I’ve been meaning to throw in a Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival report but haven’t found the time. Here’s a little tidbit of a recently completed trail that wasn’t on the race course but should whet your appetite...if not for my post, then for the sweeeeeeet trails in Copper Harbor!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

WNR # 26 BOYNE HIGHLANDS

My first blog how exciting! This weeks ride at Boyne Highlands was rather cool and cloudy and with recent rain a little....O.K. alot slippery. Time to get out those long sleeve jerseys.
Riders attending this week included myself (Racin Rob), Rock Conquering Chris Benson , Secret Sandbager Steve , Kamikaze Kevin , Action Chuck and sidekick Super Cheryl , Jamin Joe , Pedalin Pedro , Singletrackin Sarah , Newer Chris , and Chain Krushing Kerri. Quite a cast of characters huh. Pedalin pedro got an early start and was already out on the trail and would meet us in the new section between the pines and Stutsmanville rd. Rock Conquering Chris rode with Singletrackin Sarah and Chain Krushing Kerri to introduce them to that same new section.
The rest of us took off up the valley with Secret Sandbagger Steve leading the way. we decided to add a little mileage and ride the bridges section on our way out to the new trail. There were alot of trees and branches down from all of the high winds over the holiday weekend and just as we started into the bridges section there was a good size tree down over the trail. Action Chuck decided to take action and show us a good line to get back on the trail. As he started his descent the slippery hillside and gravity put him head first into that downed tree. he was O.K. but I thought we might have to call in a helicopter to lift him out. There was some talk about mounting a winch to his bike to get him out of these situations. We finally made it to the pines and into the new section and caught up to Benson, Sarah and Kerri. As we got going again Kamikaze Kevin
took a log to the shin and had a nice goose egg. It looked painfull but he powered through. nice job! We kept going and ran into Pete as he was coming back south. He decided to ride back with Benson , Sarah And Kerri. Kerri was breaking in her new Salsa Mamacita 29er and break it in she did. The chain had come off and was pinched, sucked or jamed behind the big chainring and frame. Pete and Benson carefuly got it out with just a few minor scratches on that pretty red frame. A little red finger nail polish should touch it up nicely. The rest of us made it to Stutsmanville rd. and I decided to do a few wheelies on the pavement before we headed back south. With all of the trees down there was a lot of creative an competitive trail cutting (you know who u are) all in good fun. As we headed back to the meadow it was getting dark in the woods so those that had lights lit up the trail. We all made it back safe and enjoyed some beverages , chips and pretzels and made plans for next week. Just a reminder only 350 days untill COPPER HARBOR FAT TIRE FESTIVAL 2011 JUST RIDE AND SMILE

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Preview

So I started work on another new trail yesterday afternoon/evening. It's going to be a continuation of the "other new trail" that debuted during last weeks WNR. When finished, it will be known as the "lower loop". It will be it's own self-contained loop between the house and the road. It will cross the driveway twice, and it will have at least one bridge feature and perhaps a teeter totter. I'm hoping to have it done before we leave for Vermont next month.

Before:


After:


I'm really digging (no pun intended) this trail building gig. It's quite rewarding to see the results from a few hours of manual labor here and there, and it's always fun to ride new trails. Plus I'm getting some good upper body/core workouts to get geared up for ski season. I'm still waiting on a report from the race that Benson and Racin Rob attended in Keewenaw country over the weekend. Over and out.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Old School New School

Old School: We brought Marcus's teeter totter out of retirement last night. We set it up in the driveway and took turns riding it while everyone was getting suited up. I'm not sure if it's still under warranty or not, but we managed to break one of the hinges. Still, fun to ride. We also rode the old logging road down to Lower Shore Drive just like the olden days so we could cruise over to Hugh's trail. The party light stayed on longer than it's been on in a long, long time (remember the WNR's when the party lasted till close to midnight?). We didn't make midnight last night, but we sure made it close to eleven standing around in the shop sipping on beers and talking about bikes.

New School: I recently completed a new short section of trail that debuted last night. The picture below shows the boys just about to shoot back out onto the driveway.



The "Loop" has been going through a bit of a transition this summer. Between the logging off the back end of my property and the utility work down by the creek we've lost a bit of singletrack. So last night we rode what I've been considering "The Loop" this season. SIngletrack behind the house/Up to the 95 acres/Sweet Downhill/Trail across from Sammy's driveway/Down to Lower Shore/Up 119 to Hugh's trail/Back home via Surfwood. It works out to right around 11 miles and takes just under an hour. It's a good loop.

In other New School news, Sarah and Cheryl had our first WNR wild animal encounter. I say "encounter" because we've had lots of "sightings" over the years. Deer, various birds, and even a bobcat have all been spotted while out riding in the woods round these parts. Last night the girls came upon an animal standing in the middle of the trail blocking their way. They couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it looked pretty scary. They grabbed some sticks for protection, and tried scaring the animal off by yelling and causing a ruckus. Nothing worked, it stood it's ground. Sarah and Cheryl were forced to retreat up the trail to Dan and Susan's house. Sarah told Susan sorry for cutting through but they had some "bike mechanicals" and needed a shortcut home. Susan asked if they'd seen Missy out on the trail. So the "wild animal" that scared them off the trail turned out to be a 12 year old, half blind cocker spaniel. Needless to say we all got quite the chuckle out of that.

So I was the only singlespeeder last night, and that kind of sucked on the road sections. My top speed is about 17 mph pedaling like a madman. The geared riders were able to drop me like a bad habit whenever our wheels touched pavement. As I was watching them pull away again on the way home I had a thought though. Actually I probably had lots of thoughts, but one in particular stuck with me. Why don't Benson, Racin Rob, and Charlie have road bikes? I guess I know why Benson doesn't have one but anyway, they clearly enjoy going fast, and I think we would all have a blast ripping up and down 119 in a double pace line all nice and quiet without the hum of knobbie tires. I mentioned this to Rob and Benson later in the evening, and both of them said they'd been thinking about acquiring one before next season. Sweet.

So next weeks WNR is @ Boyne. We might me able to squeak out one or two more weeks without lights, but fall is definitely in the air. And so I leave you with a rather blurry parting shot. Fu**ing iPhone camera. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Well, it's that time.  The time to announce the "big winner" of this month's WNR blog posting.  I must say that I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts throughout the last month. A big thanks goes out to the four contributors:  Benson, Sarah Gurney, Secret Steve, and Action Chuck.  It's been a real pleasure to have several different point of views on the WNR.  I really enjoyed Benson's play by play through a pseudo O2S race, Sarah's shear enjoyment coming through the pages as she pedaled around Avalanche Mtn., Secret Steve's PBR comment (Post Bicycle Refreshments), and Action Chuck's "fist bumpin" on his post.  Thanks to all.  And to the rest of you Wednesday Night Riders, keep 'em coming for next month.  It wasn't an easy decision, in fact I had to go back and reread the four posts and got just as much enjoyment as I did the first time.


And to the August winner...  Four Milwaukee's Best Ice 40's!!!  Perfect for a hot summer day on the porch.













Just kidding...  Actually, Peter has donated a wonderful six-pack of one of my all time favorites, which is hard to come by out here, Bell's Oberon.  As described by the Bell's website:  "An American wheat ale brewed with Saaz hops; spicy and fruity, Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon."

Drum roll please....

This month's winner is Action Chuck!!!  (Insert fist bump)

Congratulations and enjoy!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A New Kind of Pain

So I ran/walked a little over 2.5 miles on the singletrack behind the house yesterday afternoon. Then we walked to Hugh and Denise's and back for dinner. I don't know why exactly I get the urge to take up running from time to time, but I do. This time around I figure there are going to be a couple of hills that won't be rideable on the singlespeed at the race Oct. 2, so I might as well get my run on now so I can run up them then. Also, since I'm going to be bikeless on vacation this fall I figured it'd be nice to be able to go for a run to get some exercise while I'm gone. Finally, from what I understand running is good cross-training to prepare for cross country skiing. My legs are sore today to be sure, but not as bad as I thought they'd be. While I've run sporadically at best in the past, I have a feeling it might finally stick this fall. So if anyone is interested in some trail running to supplement our biking this fall let me know. Have a good rest of the weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

There's No Crying In Mountain Biking!!!

The organizers of the upcoming race might disagree. And after riding just one lap of a course that may become a well known race, three or more laps may leave you doing just that. Crying for mom and reaching for your little wubby to hold back the tears! This is a good course though. It’s local, it’s different, and has a little bit of everything. Singletrack, doubletrack, hills, sand, and more hills. Plus, there is plenty of room to pass or be passed. Which is good. I just hope the grappling hook I’m going to bring will land on the rider in front of me and help drag me up what will be soon famed as “Crybaby Hill”!


For some readers, a short introduction is in order. I’m Charlie, commonly known on the trail as Action Chuck, a nickname that has sort of stuck since the days of the Pier Restaurant. It came from the creation of a humorous comic book series one of my co-workers drew up…ahh the good old days! Anyways, I started riding with Team Terpening late last year, and I am happy to have become part of the group. I used to ride quite a bit in my younger years; I took a rather long break, and in the last 2-3 years I’ve been hitting it more seriously and T2 has helped ramp up the friendly competition to improve myself. Not to mention the advice and encouragement to join a few races…I’m still recovering from my first Ore to Shore!

Back to singletrack, Action Chuck wasn’t the only one tearing up turf on this adventure. Chris, New Chris, Rob, Pete, Bobbie, Joe, and Cheryl rode along. While Cheryl wasn’t joining us for the Crybaby course, she set herself an amazing accomplishment on this very ride. In her first real year of mountain biking, tonight she rolled the odometer over to her first official grand! That’s right; my girl turned her wheels enough to ride 1000 miles so far this season! She would also have you know that she did it all on her Paddle Pedals…if anyone knows how hard it is to climb WITH clips, you’ll know that her miles were well earned! Congrats Cheryl! (fist bump) Or should we say Action Cheryl?

On the other side of the trail, our lap started casual. A short jaunt from the NCT led us to backyard of Nubs and onto the Crybaby course. Chris and Pete were leading the way and leading the charge. Joe, Rob and I were trailing their knobbies. New Chris and Bobbie were right on their tail. Not far from our entry point to the Crybaby, we were rewarded with an awesome downhill singletrack that soon spilled out onto a sandy maintenance road which rolled down the bunny hill and past the lodge. Rolling around the next corner we met our first hill. Rob and Joe took off in a powerful first climb that dropped the rest of us; I tried to hang on, but Action Chuck’s legs had no action on this day.

For the rest of the course I watched their tires roll further away into the distance…but especially so when we encountered Crybaby hill. THIS mini-mountain is surely what the course was named after. I think instead of aid stations here, a couple of Kleenex stations might be more appropriate. Maybe a towrope?! Thank goodness for the granny ring! The remainder of the lap was peppered with hills, fast corners, and enough sand to keep you awake should the oxygen become a little too thin. The Crybaby will tease. You see, as soon as you crest one of the small hills, another hill can be seen in the distance…so mentally, you prepare to climb. However, once you roll over the hump, the hill you thought you’d be climbing veers left or right, and then you get to climb a completely different hill; sometimes harder than the one you were prepared for! After we flattened the hills, a quick jump back to the familiar NCT got us back to where we started. Great job to Rob and Joe, (fist bump) they were tearing up those hills and makin’ it look easy! Despite the screams our legs sounded off, everyone agreed how cool this course actually is.  Pete is enthusiastic about signing up for this one, and my guess is the rest of us will be riding this home course and even a few will be bringing it home!

Upon arriving back, chairs out and clothes changed, we joined for a few post bicycle ride beverages (insert PBR plug here), Rob’s traditional pretzel sticks, and good conversation. It was a beautiful night for a ride, and as the dark surrounded us, Mother Nature felt it necessary to cool us down a little. No wait. Actually, a lot. We’d have done well to build a fire! We were shivering messes out there. But as mountain bikers, it’s all part of the territory. The finishing touch was the setting sun tinting the clouds a beautiful pink color for all of us to enjoy. Good times and happy trails…see ya next week and start thinkin' about bringin' yer lights!