Friday, August 22, 2014

Thick&Wet

What a difference a week makes,, summer weather has returned to the 
Driftless region.
We went from unseasonably cool and dry back to what August should be  in the Wisco disco..
Dew points have been in the 70's and the morning fog has been thick at times.
And I am still protesting the polar vortex that made our heat run longer into the spring than anyone would have wanted,,, so that means that the A/C has not been turned on yet.
I did a Blackbuck commute to work the other morning and spun through the 
thick fog until I crested the top of the quarry hill and popped out into the sun.
With out windshield wipers on my glasses I had to take them off 
which made riding single track a chore,, so the ride turned into more of
a nice soft pedal and while I cleared my mind before a long work day. 


Needless to say this week has not seen a whole lot of miles or hard workouts as 
I start to get ready for the Loppet..  On that note my new King/Velocity wheels 
showed up the other afternoon, capping off yet another asskicker of a 
work day. With wheels in hand a different front axle coming from King HQ I will be
able to pull the wheels off the singlespeed and get them back to the LaMere, and start
prepping for the Stage Race up north.
Seems as the events will start coming hard and fast.. Loppet,, Fat Tire 40,, St. Cloud... Holzinger? and then the final Minnesota race in Red Wing. 

This weekend will be a trip,, going to take the family up north to see some Blue Grass music 
as we continue to celebrate Anna's birthday week,, then off to Green Bay to 
watch the Pip race one more WORS race before the official collegiate racing season starts. 
I am going to bring my bike so I can pre ride with the Ripon team on saturday and sunday..
But what I am really excited about is getting to skate some different skateparks.
The one in Point Looks real real good and Green Bay has one that 
my wheels are itching to get after.. 
Now if I can keep my self off the ground and stop making my old man body hurt all the time.


One last shout out to my 
Lovely Wife.. 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DogTown

Wow last week spun through like a whirlwind,, blowing my mind and leaving me 
scratching my head asking what happened. 
Coming down from the high that was Single Speed USA,, and finishing off
the week with getting the Pip back off to school, I am amazed that I found time to do anything. 
The Blackbuck was one strong constant in my week riding it to and from work,,
getting 30+ miles of pure single track 1x1 love. 
And it was just what I needed to clear the head of all that was going on. 

The day before I left for the UP Pip had called me mid day crying her eyes out 
after she got jumped by a light pole in a local parking lot,, causing some 
big damage to my shiny Rav4.
This caused nothing but issues taking us down to one car and that car was
supposed to leave with the kid to get her back to school. 
Last minute trips to the store to get that one thing that was going to be needed for dorm
life and trying to get the boy back and forth to Karate made for some 
stressful moments.. 
But as always we prevailed and thanks to being able to ride then ride some more I was able to keep my mind clear. 
Friday came and the kid was all loaded up and off she went. 
James was as bummed out as I have ever seen him watching his sister go.
But once the sorrow cleared from his face he realized that life at home with out the Pip would be ok. 

Again I continued to purge the Darkheart with more miles and even loaded up the car on Saturday 
and the boy and I took a skate park tour that ended at a Target store getting him
a new Lego,, When in doubt get the kid a Lego. 
Topper of the weekend was getting to ride the OnebyOne with Josh B,, riding all over the bluffs,
climbing and then climbing some more.. 
Did I mention that me and the new Buck are getting along really really well. 
I am itching to get back out and ride,,, but I am damn tired from all the goings on at work,,
maybe some dinner and I can rally..
Or maybe it is time to just and rip the skateboard some more with the 
boy.
What ever happens it is going to be a blast enjoying the Dog daze of Summer. 
Jay Adams
May the wheels Always Turn..

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pip it to Win It

Lets get this party started..
The Ripon Cycling Red Hawks
get moving today and begin the season.
More Medals More Podiums and More Fun.
Bring it on.
Get some PIP!

Side note,,, I know that I could use an editor,,
but what Fun would that be?
Enjoy the weekend,,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Road Ends at Copper Harbor

Feeling born again after getting the new single speed and having not rode one other than the 
All-City cross machine. 

I got home from racing the Border Cross race and spent the rest of the night in the 
garage getting the bike together. 
Got everything in place and fell a sleep only to dream of single track and the fun that I was going to have. 
I raced out the door Monday morning to try out the new Blackbuck,, and the fit felt good, but was only going to get better once the parts from Thomson showed up and the make over was done.

Flash forward to Thursday morning and Josh was here to get me and head north..
I was armed with a mug loaded with three cups of coffee and was ready for what was to come.
Pulling in to Copper Harbor I was giddy and was not sure if it was because I was going to get to ride a new bike on sick single track,, or if was the coffee or both. 
After getting unloaded Josh and Griffin and I headed out to test the trails,,
I wanted to test the bike and see how it felt..
I felt great,,, acceleration were fast and cornering was rock solid and I was in love..
Only thing that was missing was I did not bleed the rear break before leaving my home and 
at times slowing down and stopping was interesting at best. 
Thursday night ended around the camp fire of the 29sngl* crew laughs and beers and fun was had..
Single track took me back to the cabin and even with all the coffee in my system I slept. 

Friday morning came with a great sunrise and a cup of coffee,, 
I flew out the single track to find the boss and the rest of the THC* crew for some trail seeking 
and tomfoolery.
I probably rode more than I should have but when driving seven hours 
to race a non race to miss out on riding to save legs did not make much scene.
Plus I got to ride with Hwood, The Bavers and Kwood,, and Werts,
My Team Hollywood Cycles Team Kicks Asses..

The Shindiggers closed out the evening Punk Rock music from Flagstaff playing songs from Husker Du and filling my ears full of distortion. 
Saturday was going to be a big day.

I found the boss as we got ready for the big race day event non event..
Jay was all deck out in a tiger striped high-vis yellow team kit..
And the rest of us in the standard THC* kits..
Blood was going to be tasted and pain was going to be felt.. it was go time.

The started on a long road climb where the move was made by 
Jesse and then followed by the Baves..
I latched on to the back of the chase group as we hit Pauls Plunge..
Things were still together as the stairway to heaven wooden
plank climb came in to play.
Things were good until the Downtown trail,,, one that I had not checked out before
race stated..
Here is where the wheels came off the bus as I took a wrong turn and had to back track and 
lost a bunch of places..
I had to regroup and put my head down to get back in to the game. 
Enjoying the ride and feeling the Flow I melted into the to trail and enjoyed the ride.
Came across the Baves as he was suffering from flat tires just before the Red Trail,,
and somehow managed to make it through the decent with out eating shit.
By the time I made it to the Edge I knew the end was near and let it go..

Jesse won the Dude race-non-race and Megan did it for the women..
Twin Six killed it..
I
Rolled in ninth which was not a bad ride only having some 50 miles in on the new bike and a hit and miss rear brake.
As soon as the race was done the real party started with
Derby's and drinking and more Shindiggers.
It was a whirling dervish of a total kick ass time.
More pictures would have been taken if I was not holing onto my handle bars or a beer
the whole weekend.

A lot of thanks go out to the people that got me there... Chris King... Velocity,,, Mark Slate and the Blackbuck... Thomson,, and Look USA..
This was by far the best weekend of the year,, and it is going to be hard to
top,, but plans are in the works for more
Copper Harbor fun..
Party On to all and to all a Good Night..  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Da Harbor v1.0

I don't know where to start,, so the beginning has got to be the best place.
In 2013 the race known as Single Speed USA was held up the road in
Winona Minnesota. I was not going to race it due to the weekend that
it fell on and did not think that I could make it.
I pulled some dandy boy maneuvers and pulled it off,,, had a blast and it had me wanting more. 
This year the Race was going to be held just a few short hours north and the place where the roads end.
tmbimages.com

Again like last year I was not going to go and all changed when Josh Blum said hey
going and do you want to come along?
I was in... next was what bike should I ride?
The Spot was dead and not able to be ridden. I could have put the Soulcraft tensioner on the LaMere but really wanted a steel rig to ride.
Some phone calls and emails had been sent to some of the industry types that I knew that dabbled in steel and 1x1's.
It was not until sitting around a camp fire with some THC* teammates that I was given the 
tip of a lifetime.  Morgan and Matt gave the name of the gentlemen that produced the

Mark has been in the industry for a while and knows a thing or two about bikes and bike parts,,
and was one of the driving forces of the twenty-niner wheel development. 
We shared some emails and a few phone calls and before I knew it I had a shiny new 4130 Steel
Rig sitting in my living room.
I contacted some of my other loyal sponsors to help get the bike put together and before I knew it 
the Copper Harbor weekend was coming together.

The Bike was built up with new and used parts of my old one by.. Chris King sent out some new hubs that were hand delivered to my wheel builders at Velocity up in the Harbor,, so the new wheel were not on the bike for the weekend but my wheels off the LaMere came off and worked spot on.
Thomson sent out some new bars and a stem which allowed me to have the cockpit set up just like the carbon race bike.
Magura Marta Sl's were the stoppers and a fresh set of Look S-Track pedals rounded out the set up.

Testing the bike was going to come down to some last minute shredding. 
Everything was together the bike my bags and tools only thing left was to get there and ride some bikes.
Missing two days of work and a clear weekend's worth of weather I was ready for what ever was going to come my way.
More to come!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BlAcKbUcK

Bob the Builder... He spent years down here in the Driftless building trails and being the voice of the local cycling community.
The work that he put in on the trail system here is top notch and his name
attached to one of the best sections of single track.
When his wife took a new job and they relocated to River Falls,, their was a void that 
was felt, But he found a new nitch as a builder working on the trails in his new home town.
This years race was going to feature a new section that he and a few of the trail gnomes had been working on for a while. 
Originally dubbed the state champ race but as Minnesota went away from USA cycling that title was removed. 
Last year this race was voted the best of the rest and this year was going to not let anyone down.
With a 60+ man field we all lined up pointed down the slight hill waiting for the words go.
Now I had no intention of taking the Hole Shot,, but as we round the field through all the tents and people I found my self up front and heading into the mean jeep road climb.
When we hit the bottom of the climb the Young Ginger Ripper came around an jumped off the front. 
I watched and did not chase waiting for the rest of the group to pull him back... Josh got a great jump and  hit the next section of double track,, 
The Chase was on a I latched on the group that formed.
Lap one is a blur,, we were all out sprinting for the 7 miles of fast flowing singletrack.
Overall for the race my average speed was on the plus side of 14 mph.. We were flying.
All was going well until the last section of the third lap... Bobs new section "Franks And Beans"
TMBimages.com

with the Chase still on and a group behind me I went to make a push over the rocks that were causing a fit at times in the group and got sideways.. I did not go down but slammed the wheel into one of the rocks and punctured..  I pulled off to look at the wheel and had three to four guys pass,, the tire did seal but was pretty soft. With out a c02 in my pocket I put my head down and 
pressed on for lap four,, I was able to keep a good pace but could feel the tire folding over if I leaned into much.
With a strong finish I crossed the line with a bit of air still in the tire..
The Baves went on to get second and put on quite a show.
The rest of the team did well also as the Team Hollywood Cycles continues to 
keep the hammer down. 

Now it is time get all ready for the SSUSA event this weekend.. 
Leaving on Thursday to get some extra riding on the Copper Harbor trail Network..
Going to be a crazy time,, and I am very lucky to not only be going but to also be riding 
this sexy new Bike.. 
  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Currchiandos

One more time,,, the last hurrah,, A curtain call.. 
The last great family outing.
Sophia heads back to school here in two and a half weeks and the summer for all that it is worth has flown by. We have only had one camping trip all the way back in May.
I was able to take an early day at work friday so I could prep food and get the camper ready for what was to be a fun weekend of bikes beer and some camp fire dancing. 

We have found a great spot for camping just outside of Black River Falls, in Hatfield Wisco.
On a lake in the pines and just two miles from the trail head of some of the best single track that Wisconsin has to offer. 
I have a special place in my heart for Levis Mound,, having ridden there the first time some twenty plus years ago. I have watched the trails develop and get better with time. The trails are part of a county system and manicured by a kickass  volunteer staff. 
The trails are almost all single track and cover a wide bit of terrain.
Again I love it there. 
The kid and I had a blast hitting all my favorites and a few of them even twice.
Pip and I may fight like a father and daughter but their are few people that I would 
rather ride Mountain Bikes with than her.

After riding Pip and her brother headed off to a local water park and Anna and I got 
geared up to ride some road style bikes. 
Anna on her Madone and me on my Nature Boy.. She was rocking some 28's and my rig the monster 40's.
Gravel was on the route and it was a route that I only knew from looking at Google Maps.
The ride started out Blissfully a nice flowing road along the Black River,, through some high rent neighborhoods.
Rolling along having fun enjoying some us time,, for we don't ride bike together very often.
We made a turn on to Fisher Road,, and got on to the first section of gravel,,   
This was nothing more than a hard packed dirt road with some rocks scattered about.
Anna has not spent much time on gravel roads and the first stretch was good as we rolled along.
So well that she could even get her phone out to talk to the kids at the water park.
We needed to make a left and ride for about four miles till we hooked up with a major road, and on the map all looked good..
This is when the wheels started to fall of the bus.. 
We rode for a good bit and she had to drop down to hill climbing gears and the road went back and forth between gravel and sand. 
Following the map we came across some ATV's and then the roads got really bad,, like sandy beach bad.... Like can't ride your road bike bad,, Like test your marriage bad. 
After a few testy moments level head prevailed and we  turned back the way we came.
I rode the wingman position making sure that she was in one piece.
Complements withstanding she rode back through some tough roads like a Boss.
The bike fished tailed and bogged down in the sand. 
Once we got back to Fisher Road the mood changed,, and got even better
when I found some cold Cokes and  Beer back at the Camper. 
We had a killer dinner and watch some crazy lightning as 
we shook our tail feathers around the camp fire. 


Pip did not get to join me this morning,,, she had to head home and get cleaned up to go to work at the bike shop.
So I was free to fly and that I did,, the dirt was still tacky and the sand was firm,
the big change was the sun was out and the steam and humidity of the day before was gone. 
It was a great session on the trails today,, listing to the Angry Bees of my rear hub buzz along 
sand stone was turned to dust. 

It was the Last Waltz for the full family and it was good,,
Now it is time to hunker down and get Pip ready for school and the
OS Blackbuck ready for Single Speed USA..
Their is still work to be done but progress is being made. 
More to come on that. 
Now the sunsets on the weekend and people in this house are ready for sleeping. 
PARTY ON!