The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fiddlin" 50

The third week of August was the inaugural  Fiddlin' 50 up in Balkan Township MN in the heart of the iron range. The  Fiddlin' was much like other gravel grinders in the state.....Free, Unsupported, and Scenic. What appealed to me most, was the location, I have not done any riding or back road exploring in the area, so I was excited for this race.  
I camped on the side of the road....A little scary when your by yourself.


Start line.....17 or 18 riders
  I also like doing these kind of races in their first years when it's all fresh and new and the turn out is smaller. The fact that it wasn't a hundred miles was also appealing, 50-60 miles is a good workout that doesn't take all day and leaves a little "in the tank" for when you want to hangout afterwords and not be completely annihilated.
I wanted to punish myself a little by riding the Krampus

Barn ....obviously 

Sand ...perfect for a mid-fat bike. Lucky for me there where quite a few places like this.
  The pot luck at the finish was also a nice touch and a gracious gesture by the race directors/hosts to set everything up at their house.   Thank you Susan and Scott, for sharing the great route that I most likely would never put together or experience on my own......too bad the mud hole road was dry.
Although mostly flat, the route had lots of pretty scenery. 


Welcoming committee about a mile from the finish 
 Big thanks to the volunteers for all the help. It was great meeting some new friendly people, and last, but certainly not least....It was awesome to finally meet you Joboo and your friendly family, hopefully we can get together and do some riding in the near future.      D. Rider..............Out 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Foot in the Grave

Just yesterday I turned the big 4-0. I celebrated it with a long ride on my traditional route from Faribault to Mankato and back, on the Sakatah trail, approx. 90 miles  . Joining me was Best in Schow and The Mayor, others were welcome but I did a poor job of planning this ride and letting others know......sorry.  I would not have minded going alone but it worked out well for the three of us. The ride was just how I wanted it, little wind, lots of sun, not too hot, low humidity, no flats or mechanicals, a lunch stop and no drama. Later that evening I enjoyed a meal of crab legs at home with my family and went to bed tired and content with the day.
about 90 miles of this

Lunch at a mediocre restaurant in Mankato 

yep....more of the same
 Those that did not do the ride on my actual birthday got to do one the weekend before when a large group of us did a mini enduro ride on the local MTB trails leaving from my house. We hit Murphy, Leb and Terrace Oaks and ended up with just under 50 miles and about 3.5 hours. Once back at my house everyone was treated to tacos, the greatest food in the world, made by my loving wife. Lots of other friends and family showed up later in the day for the low key party portion of the day. The best "gift" I received was a surprise visit from my BFF Tom from Salt Lake. He and my wife were in cahoots the whole time, she asking if we had a specific sized bike for someone to borrow numerous times throughout the past week. I also got a call from Tom explaining that he had accidentally replied with  "going" on the facebook invite, he wished me a happy birthday and about a minute later I nearly fell on the floor when I walked out of my bedroom and he was sitting at the dinning room table.  Tom made the first part of the ride at Murphy and was able to stick around until the late afternoon. I would like to thank all those who joined me last Saturday and's great to have all you awesome people in my life. Extra big thanks to Lynn and the boys for all the work getting stuff ready for the day.
LCR ride ?

midway at Leb 

Didn't get many pics at home but here's proof people actually stayed 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Super Fun Weekend

This weekend was action packed and relatively close to home. On Saturday, the boys and I headed down to Jordan for the Scott-Carver Threshers show. Never been to a threshing show ?'s all about old tractors,steam and gas engines and anything related to old farming and it's equipment. I'm not a farmer and can barley keep my small garden alive, but I've been going to these events since I was a kid. I've decided to carry on the tradition with my own kids and get them out to see how things were done in the old days. It can be a lot of fun seeing all of the old equipment still working.
The  "cool factor" was very high as we rolled to the threshing show in the JEEP,  sans roof

blacksmith shop 

School house.....we're out a here

When finished, this will be the largest steam engine in the state 

This steam engine works now and was spinning, I used to think it was big.....looks puny next to the one in the above pic

runs on wood and steam......very impressive and quiet  

another steam engine

this one was running the machine just in front of it with a giant belt about 8 inches wide ...separating wheat 

with all the exposed spinning wheels, belts, chains, and cogs it's no wonder so many people got mangled in them 

The camera was to fast to show the motion ,but the wheels and belts were moving...FAST


Tractor Pull 

These two engines were running at the time, along with many behind them

Just down the road was Minnesota's largest candy store....we had to go 

 On Sunday it would be just G Man and myself for a father/son adventure on the Zumbro River. We kayaked a seven mile section from Zumbro Falls to Hammond. It was great time and very popular especially with the inner tubing, drinking crowd. If you want a better family experience I would recommend doing so when the water is not warm enough for swimming. We had a fantastic time despite all the drunks and used it as a good conversation for not drinking. After our kayak ride and swimming we rode our bikes back to the van and headed home.....tired.      Later DR  

Swimming about 25% of the time

Bluff country

7 miles of gravel back to the van 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Duluth Fat-Bike Tour

This past weekend Vandy and I headed north to Duluth for the second installment of the Duluth Fat-Bike Tour. We were joined by ArcFlash and the three of us started our adventure on Friday night with a camp-out.
View from my tent  Saturday morning........not bad

Time for some eats

Rolling en masse 

some ride the steep stuff......some walk  

  Saturday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast before meeting the COGGS group at Lester Park a little before 9 am. It was good sized group of about 15, lead by master fat bike rider and route visionary, Rudy O'Brien. In charge of following behind and sweeping the route was ultra distance fat-bike extraordinaire, Eric P.
Break #1

Excellent view of D Town

Yours truly......thanks to EP for snapping this 

EP in a really cool section of ?
  I've spent a fair amount of time in Duluth over the years but I was shocked at the amount of wild places the ride showed us. I knew most of the main trails we rode, but the places in between left me clueless as to my whereabouts. It was nice to just follow the person in front of me and see where the route leader would take us. Along the way we did parts of Lester, Hartley, Piedmont, Brewer and Spirit Mtn all linked together with deer trails, roads, power-line easements and an old railroad grade.....this ride had everything !

Rudy said there would be hike-a-bike, there was in fact hike-a-bike

flood damage 

you lookin' at me ? Punk 

No trains here 
  I'm not sure if it was COGGS, Rudy, or others who supplied sandwiches, drinks, cookies, jerky, and candy at three predetermined stops... Thank You.  The ride ended at Mount Du Lac somewhere in the neighborhood of 37-40 miles over an eight hour period. The ride manifest stated it would be around 50, not a single exhausted soul complained about the discrepancy but was grateful  instead.
My favorite........underground 

there will be mud 

Power lines........too exhausted by the time I got done climbing to take any pics that could represent the severity of the steepness........You'll have to trust me , the power-lines were tough

I'm hoping to ride a third chapter of this outing, and would encourage anyone looking for a challenge to attend.     It was nice to meet all of you, thanks for not giving us twin cities guys too much grief, and if I didn't include you in a photo here I'm sorry.   Thanks COGGS .......D Rider out