With B-Man in Pittsburgh with his Poppy for the week and Wifey in Baltimore on .gov business, I am considering this week a vacation week. There will be many miles ridden and copious amounts of beer drank. There will be drunk Tweeting and Facebooking, strippers and casual sex with throngs of horned up CMU girls aching to get a piece of me. OK, that’s all pretty much a lie. I plan to get some miles in, hit up some new riding areas, drink a few beers and maybe hang out with some friends. The rest is just perverted daydreaming by a 43-year-old man with a wife of seventeen years and a 10-year-old son out-of-town for the week.
Wifey and I got back into Michiganderburgh early Monday afternoon and Wifey promptly turned around and flew out to Baltimore at roughly 4 a.m. this morning for work, so last night was a night of grocery shopping, dinner making, chilling with Wifey (sans B-Man) and some mild prepping for today’s ride.
My plan for today was to take the Pugsley up north of town a bit and hit up some of the uber sandy snowmobile and ORV trails. I have done this before atop the El Mariachi and most often found myself walking long stretches due to the deep sand. Today however was a whole different story, as the big ass tires of the Pugs helped me float over the deep sand like I was da Jesus walking on water, except in this case there was no Messiah and no water, just a fat dude on a fatter bike plowing through shin deep sand like it wasn’t even there. It was pretty awesome and pretty freaking fun.
I wouldn’t say I was flying over the trails and gravel roads that were part of today’s three-hour ride, but I was making better time and having more fun than I’ve had in the past doing similar versions of this ride. I also took the time to ride some ORV trails (quad trails) today and that was super fun. Most of the ORV trails are unrideable to regular mountain bikes due to the ruts and the deep, DEEP sand, BUT the Pugsley is a great equalizer and allowed me to get off the wide snowmobile trails and ride a few miles here and there of the narrow, bermed, nearly singletrack, quad trails.
While the Pugsley is anything but light, it seemed to float its 40 pounds of girth and my 200+ pounds of loser over everything in sight. Deep sand sections that I have walked in the past were plowed through like I was a Russian tank ramming Kursk bound Panzers… it was fuck-that-Panzer’s- shit-up-awesome!
The plan I had was loose at best, basically it was to ride the snow mobile trail out and back, going a bit further than I have in the past and throw in occasional spurs of the ORV trails to make the ride more interesting. All of that worked and I got a crotch hair under three hours of riding in on that heavy, beast of a bike. The best part was– NO BACK PAIN AT ALL!! It was so freaking awesome to just RIDE and not worry about, or deal with the ongoing back pain that I have had the past few months. That alone made today’s ride one of the best I’ve had in 2014 and it was on top of a freaking 40 pound clown bike!! What the hell?? I love that there were “congestion area” signs about (see above photo). I just got back from Pittsburgh, PITTSBURGH has fucking congestion! I wouldn’t call not seeing one other person or vehicle in three hours of riding in the middle of nowhere congestion!!
At one point, the snowmobile trails dumped me out on some gravel roads. I rode them for a few miles before heading back, but I had to laugh at the fact that there are (supposedly) security cameras set up in the middle of Bumfuck, Michiganderburgh. I have my doubts there are ACTUALLY cameras there, but for kicks I took the Little J-Man out from the bibs and shook it about in a gross, semi-provocative manner to see if any alarms went off. None did, however I did feel a little foolish.
Along that same stretch of gravel roads I came across a what, to the best of my knowledge, is a Smooth Green Snake (liochlorophis vernalis). This it my kind of snake! It was only about a thick as my pinky finger and about 12 inches long. I even thought about picking it up, but THANKFULLY decided not to as upon further reading it seems (according to the Michigan DNR) the Smooth Green Snake “will smear a captor’s hand with a musky anal secretion.” Sort of what I do to Wifey when she “handles” me after I’ve had a six pack and three bowls of chili. Ohhhhhhhh!
The ride was fun and I stayed on the trail as best I could, but I have to say there is no place else I really wanted to be. The trails, both snowmobile and ORV, were a blast to ride and I had no want to venture off into the dark, thick Michigan woods for anything.
The sands were deep, at times the mud was thick but it wasn’t anything the Pugsley couldn’t handle.
It seems that I can’t write a post about riding my fat bike without adding the note that I was/am no fat bike zealot. More than anything, I love a race light bike on twisty singletrack. BUT…. I also recognize that I now live in Michigan, where it’s seemingly winter eight months of the year, the ORV and snowmobile trails–when not snow covered– have long stretches of deep, DEEP sand and that makes a fat bike the perfect weapon for exploring new terrains. I would never choose a fat bike as my “everyday bike,” but having one in the arsenal is a huge bonus for a Michiganderburgherite and has me wondering what a “better” fat bike might ride like. Hhmmmm…..