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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Man Trip 2015

The first full weekend in March typically marks the time for the annual Man Trip on the north shore of Lake Superior. This year we jumped the gun a little and settled for the last couple days of February and into March. Only three of us, Best in Schow, ArcFlash, and myself, would be able to make the trip that has seen as many as seven individuals in previous years.



Duluth skyline

breakwater

Amity Creek.....studded tires a must
 Friday morning the three of us headed north from the twin cities, AF and I in one van and BinS in another. We met at Park Point for the now classic, must do fat-bike ride in Duluth.....ride the beach. It's a fun route, deceivingly long and never the same twice. We spent a good two plus hours, messing around and exploring, including riding out on the lake ice. Riding on the lake didn't last too long, it was a little spooky and was nothing but ice heaves and broken, loose, chunks that made forward motion difficult even with studded Dillingers. After the first ride we headed over to Amity Creek and Lester River for a ride on the river bed. This didn't work out too well....Amity was a bit difficult with overflow varying from open flowing water to solid ice. We turned back at one of the water falls that was a too steep to ride up and would have required a different type of foot wear other than cycling shoes fixed with sheet metal screws.Back near the confluence of the two rivers we rode the lester river MTB trail, instead of the river itself, which was in perfect fat-biking condition.
Cross River

The pool on the left is way over our heads with lots of current...the ledge on the right is the only way around.....pass

Black Canyon from the top

Best part of the day....campfire and lunch

Two rides down we had one more to complete for the day, a group ride that was part of the Duluth fat-bike weekend at 8 pm that night. We had a little time to kill between rides so we checked in to the posh, Motel 6 in Duluth, and grabbed a bite to eat. It was very tough to get motivated to ride again, I was tired, had a little chill going and it was going to be a cold windy night.  It was great meeting up with a bunch of friends from Duluth and the trails were in great shape for riding, unfortunately I forgot the camera and didn't get any pics.
lots of overflow,  not typical on previous rides up this creek 


it's like 80 deg f in here and about 15 outside

Easy Muther Fuking Bake Oven....in action

Dinner provided by ArcFlash
 The next day we headed further north for more riding and to check out a river I have not previously explored. First up was the Cross River, specifically the Black Canyon portion. I wasn't sure what to expect but was hoping for something  similar to the Devil Track River with steep walls and hopefully a rappel. We decided to travel up stream from the lake just in case we got into something we couldn't get out of by going down stream.  The Black Canyon would have been very dangerous if not fatal taken from the top. At the point of narrowing up the canyon is a series of frozen waterfalls and open pools with a lot of flow. There was no way around these open pools and surely would have drown the three of us. We did however get to preview the canyon from the bottom and then the top by climbing out of and around the nasty section. On our way back to the vehicles we stopped for a campfire and lunch. with several hours of daylight left we got the bikes out for a ride up one of my favorite north shore rivers. The recent weather played a big part in the way this ride would shake down. It was very similar to Amity creek done on the previous day and would be less than ideal with all of the overflow and sheer ice. I was a little bummed for Best in Schow's case, since it was his first time on the man trip and I promised him a great ride......it was not all that great.
we need more beauty sleep


more treats from the easy bake

home sweet home

 After the ride we again went north and set up camp at Cascade River State Park from the back of the van. I brought my wall tent and stove which we all fit inside of and spent the evening very warm and dry. The next day we went for the classic ski down the Devil Track River with the Barrier falls rappel. Although I have done this route a bunch of times I never tire of it and the conditions of this trip down were top notch. We all had a great day on the river and enjoyed a bit of a warm up from previous days as well as lots of sun. Once at the exit, Best in Schow bid us farwell and ArcFlash and myself were off to one more adventure of the long weekend.



doesn't get much better than this 

Wanting to tryout ArcFlash's new tent and my new up-sized mini stove, as well as a couple new pulks, we planned a short walk-in over-nighter on the Split Rock River. We arrived at our starting point just before dark and set off up river donning  head lamps. The moon was full or pretty darn close so we were able navigate most of the route au naturale'. It was a good test of new gear...AF's tent went up easy, was roomy, and did it's job well. The new stove worked great in the dropping temps and pulks were a breeze to pull. I have to give a shout out to Grant of Ski Pulk for the awesome poles and harness that worked exceptionally well. I've pulled pulks before with crappy home made pvc and rope systems that totally suck. The Ski Pulk system is by far superior to any of my previous construction attempts and worth every last cent if you want something that works very well.
bombs away


gear explosion

the sky's gone out

sign above AF's head reads...."one person on the bridge at a time"
 The next morning we pretty much just packed up and headed home. It was a good weekend as well as a good work-out with a couple great friends......... Man Trip 2016 will be the first weekend in March, that should give ya'll enough time to get your gear ready and join us.................D Rider....out       PS......it's late....I'll fix this post soon...enjoy the pics...and your day

we were too cold and it was a little late to cook hot dawgs over an open fire....this worked nearly as good 


AF's new tent......built out of sheets 

SHT

Split Rock on the Split Rock River


Farewell...Man Trip 2015
               

Saturday, March 14, 2015

26+


26+.....a new category ?
 This past fall I started to see folks building up Surly 1x1's with double wide rims and the new 26 x 3" Knards. I wasn't long before I began looking for a used frame and fork. I already have a Krampus in the 29+ , so why would I need a 26er with 3" wide tires.....because I want one, and I have a problem with bikes just like any other addict of two wheels.
ready for some heat and filler rod

This is the 3rd one I've done....it works great...let me know if you want me to fix yours too.
  I searched locally for about a month but came up empty handed....so I bought a brand new one. I was super stoked when I finally got my mitts on the Kawasaki green beauty. It's a well known fact that this shade of green is the most excellent color in the universe. I'm not a single-speed fan mostly because I want to go fast when I need to (open roads, flat sections, downhill, etc.) so the first thing I did was to fabricate and weld on a derailer hanger.

Any man worth his salt will have a picture of his bike next to some railroad tracks ...right?
  The bike was then built with a hodge-podge of parts I had lying around or robbed off of other unsuspecting bikes in the basement. Initially I didn't have the proper double wide wheels to make this bike "right" so I used an old set of regular rims. I tried the 3" Knards but it looked like they were going to come off the wheel when aired up so I settled for and old set of 2.5" Continental, Diesel's.
Pure gold after a long winter...this road is gated for the winter and not yet open to cars.

travel at your own risk...preferably 
 This didn't have the effect I was looking for so it sat for the rest of the winter. I wasn't planning for it to take the place of fat-bike anyway so no biggie. About mid February I scored a used set of Alex, double wide rims on some crappy Deore hubs for 50 bucks....I was in business. The bike turned out great and looks pretty bad ass IMO. I just took it out on it's first real maiden voyage now that the weather is getting good and had an excellent day. It's intended purpose/niche?......who gives a fuck......it's Kawasaki green.
     

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shout-Out

Man trip went down a week and a half ago....Lake Superior was awesome
 Hello Folks....sorry for the lack of posts lately. Life has been giving me a pretty good beat-down for the last couple months and I just haven't had the urge to tell stories. Things are looking up and I will will be back to it so ya'll can waste your time looking at stuff while you should be working.  I'd like to give a shout out to all the people that read this blog and keep me inspired to keep writing/posting. Thanks to the people in my life that deal with my crabby ass and continue to hang out with me in spite of it. Big thanks to my wife and kids for being super awesome people. Thank you Fat-Bike.com for linking this blog when i have a fat-bike related story....it makes me feel really good to see my stuff on the weekly dose of fat. Finally ...Big shout out to Craig R ....I'll try to post more and if we ever meet out in the field, maybe I could cook you some ramen noodles or a hot dog on a stick over a fire.  Thanks for check in..........D Rider.....out  

The pics are just  random, cuz seeing is way better than reading.....
Out riding with the boys and their new fat-bikes

I dragged my super fat ass out for some ice racing....it was fun but I could taste blood when I finished 

While being virtually unemployed for a couple months I spent lots of time making shit for myself.....mini wood stoves. Lets go burn some shit

On the cusp of winter.....shenanigans with my boys

Took a trip out to the Wreck for lunch....day ended with a contusion to my knee cap...doesn't hurt anymore but I still have a small dent