Archive | Mountain Biking

Still No Cure

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Let me start by saying that this is NOT a “race report.” Ever fattening forty-four year old guys who haven’t raced in nearly two years shouldn’t write race reports. However, this is my blog, and pretty much my ride journal, so to an extent it is a race report. Just don’t expect much “racing.”

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to go against the advice of doctors, priests, lawyers, heads of state, relatives, my dog, and public opinion by signing up for my first bike race in over twenty months: The Fat Chance at Crystal Mountain. I thought it made perfect sense to come out of race retirement in the middle of winter and do a fat bike race.

I’ve done a shit ton of XC and endurance mountain bike races, a bunch of gravel races, a few cross races (which I’ve sort of blocked out), and one road race (which, like being touched “down there” by a shirtless ice cream truck man, I pretend never happened). However this would be only my second fat bike race. How bad could it be?

Bad. Not all bad, but at the end it was clear that there is still no cure for stupid.

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The Ones That Got Away

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The weekend ended up being pretty crap for riding; it pissed down a hard rain all day Saturday, and Sunday was sunny, but windier than hell. Wifey got home around 1 PM from Pennsylvania and I had plenty of time to ride, but has absolutely NO desire to ride in the chilly June wind (yes, I said chilly and June in the same sentence, welcome to Michigan).

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A Short Foray Into Fall

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I was able to get out for a short ride in between the rain drops, hail stones and gusting winds on Saturday morning. Ma Nature, was throwing everything she had–short of snow–at Michiganderburgh and I really have no idea how I managed to ride for over an hour without getting soaked or blown across the lake to Wisconsin.

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Catching Up (with opinions)

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The past few days have been filled with three things: beer, football (er, soccer) and dirt. In other words, three things I dig.

I skipped riding on Thursday to drive down to beautiful downtown Alma, Michigan and pay a visit to Terry’s Cycle where I picked up a Trek Farley 8 demo bike. I spent some time getting it dialed and had it out on the trails Friday morning for a lap at MMCC.

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Trek’s Farley 8 is SOOOOOO light compared to my heavy assed Pugs! It really is an awesome bike… sort of.

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That Meadow

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It’s set to piss down rain all day today in Michiganderburgh, so I headed to the basement this morning and dug up a disc of film scans from a 2002 trip to Crested Butte, Colorado. The shot above is another (better) view of the mountain meadow I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I could seriously look through the photos all day. That area–and much of Colorado in general–really is heaven on earth to me. No wonder Wifey and I found our way out there about five summers straight.

Here are a few other photos that I dug:

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Bad Ideas Turned Good

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As I mentioned the other day, my buddy at the shop lent me his Trek Farley* to ride for a few days and see what I thought. I did a lap on singletrack last Saturday and thought it felt a bit harsh compared to my Pugsley and made the pre-mature decision to shelve any ideas of considering one in the future. Then I got to thinking: whether I buy one or not, I think my assessment was a bit rash and not all that fair, given that while I have ridden my Pugsley on singletrack, I have only done so for 10-12 miles at a time to mix things up after I’ve done a “real” lap or two on my Superfly, or when conditions were shit.

I’ve love the Pugs in the snow and on the deep sand ORV trails, so I figured I should give the Farely another go before I return it this week, and ride it on surface that would be more akin to what I would actually use a fat bike on. The trouble is (thank God!), there is no snow on the ground and this week won’t really allow for me to head north to those ORV trails. So I had an idea– I would use the Farley for my dirt road ride today. Afterall, some of those roads are pretty sandy and pretty shit… It was a bad idea; sort of.

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Trying Out New Habits

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Old habits are hard to break; like limiting myself to riding during daytime hours since I left my (cash paying) job in March of 2009. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but it’s funny how true it really is and what other habits–good and bad–have come to replace a post-work ride on a weekday evening.

Let me say, this blog post was NOT supposed to be this long, it was just supposed to be a few photos from last night’s ride, but then I got thinking, wandered more than a bit off track and found myself “on the couch.” The short story is that I had a great ride on Wednesday evening (as illustrated above), the long story below is to be filed under Too Much Information or Never Has So Much Thought Gone Into Deciding To Go For a Fucking Ride. I don’t encourage you to read on, but do so if you wish.

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A Weekend of Dirtz

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My plan for Saturday morning was this: get up, drink 2 to 14 cups of Bust Ass Coffee, eat some sort of lame breakfast, watch football (YES!!!) and then head out to ride some singletrack north of town. All of that was on course to happen until I checked the radar on Weather-dot-look-at-all-these-ads-and lame human interest videos-dot-com and saw that my trails appeared to be getting pissed down on with rain by the uncontrollable, loose bladder of Ma Nature.

Plan B was activated.

Plan B was to grab the El Mariachi and head out for a couple of hours or so of pavement and dirt roads. Obviously not my first choice (made fucking obvious by the fact that it’s Plan B, NOT Plan A. But dirt is dirt, miles are miles, calories burnt are calories burnt and a fat, crap cyclist is a fat, crap cyclist).

Upon fetching the El Mariachi (my current “go-to” gravel road bike that is really just a hardtail mountain bike) from the Not-So-Stankment®, I realized that in a raging fit of laziness [surprised?] I failed to rinse the bike off after Tuesday’s muddy dirt road ride. No big, I sort of like riding around with what amounts to an extra 2 to 5 pounds of dried cement on my frame. What’s a few extra pounds of dried cement on my bike when I’m already sporting at least 15 extra pounds of beer, pizza and general fuck-up-ness around my ever broadening and bouncing midriff??? Nothing!

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What Saturday Is

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Saturday–by the grace of God (as well as Buddha, Allah, WICCA, Lucifer, Jake The Dog, that crazy guy that screams Bible verses at you in the park and everything and anything else that is holy, unholy and plain old strange in this world) is meant for one thing: bike ridin’!! Watching football (proper football), comes in a VERY close second, but thankfully matches happen early enough in the day for we Americans, that once the season gets started (NEXT WEEK!) it shan’t interfere with the divine holy/unholy/strange grace bestowed upon Saturday and the bike riding that is to be done within its hours.

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