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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Twin Cities 100

The Twin Cities 100, now in it's second year just went down the first weekend in September. As the name describes, it's in the Twin Cities (MN) and it's 100 miles....it's also FREE !The well planned route uses primarily the massive bike path system throughout Minneapolis and St Paul, and extends to the west around Lake Minnetonka.
Headquarters...early start at 7:30 am 

headed out down the Greenway 

Into St Paul down Shepard Rd
  The route was also broken up into three sections all stating from, and returning to, the Lake Harriet band shell in the heart of The City of Lakes. At the Start/End point riders had stashes of food, clothing, and gear all attended by a volunteer so it wouldn't "walk-off". Round one was approximately 36 miles and took us into St Paul and back. Round two was just over 40 miles and had us head west and loop around Lake Minnetonka. The final leg was just over 20 miles and had us do a fly by of Minnehaha Falls, up to the Uof M and back to Lake Harriet.
Every leg of the ride  had a hidden medallion marked by orange flags, located at it's furthest point on that particular route. This one happened to be located at the top of Ramsey Hill. Any cyclist in the TC knows this hill and how steep it is....we earned this one  

Sky line 

Crushed limestone ...good  
  It was an absolutely exceptional day for the weather and I would not have chosen to be anywhere else than riding my bike around with other like minded individuals. The promoter has given a verbal of his intent to run the the event again next year with hopes of growing the number of riders in attendance.
Medallion 2 on the shores of Lake Minnetonka 

little break at medallion site....note orange flags marking location of hidden baggie 

On our way to the finish...Warehouse District MPLS 
 The naysayers out there may say they have ridden all this stuff many times and don't see the need for an "Event" but what the promoter seems to be asking is have you done it all at once. I too have ridden nearly every inch of the route broken up into different rides and circuits but it's fun to take the challenge of someone else's idea of a ride, and do it. Inevitably you will also meet new people, many of which turn out to be pretty cool and for the most part friendly.    Although I didn't really get to meet any of you...... Big thanks to the promoter and volunteers, hope next year goes as well as it did in 14'          D Rider ....out
My collection......To me ,this extra, clever,  little detail made this ride that much more fun to be a part of...... Thanks again  
       

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Repeat

Back in late July, G Man and myself did a nice float down the Zumbro River. We had so much fun I wanted the rest of my family to go back. That's precisely what we did a about a week later. Thanks to a big sale at a local sporting goods store my wife and I were able to secure two more kid sized sit-on-top kayaks to add to the one we already had.  
not much for rapids but it got the boys excited

These kayaks aren't much to speak of in terms of performance or quality, but they float, and give the kids their own freedom on the water. Joining us was Pierce, the boys second, third or some variation of a cousin, I'm not sure exactly, but he's a good kid and was a welcome addition to our group.
Lunch spot

This was the maiden voyage for this stainless grill I built over a year ago
 Learning from the last trip we got going much earlier and brought along a grill to make it plush. The trip down was similar to the previous one with lots of swimming and goofing off. Unfortunately the scummy, drunk, shit-bags were out in full force, with blatant displays of littering, vulgar language and innuendo, and general unsavory conduct. After we paddled past the widely dispersed  flotilla of scum, the second half of the day went much better.

swim time 
 We had a good time but I'm not sure if we will return to the section of the river that caters to inner-tubers via shuttle service from Zumbro Falls to Hammond. Be warned if you want a good family paddling experience, this may not be the place for you ! On the other hand the river valley is beautiful, other paddle-able sections are numerous, and nobody goes tubing in the spring or fall when the water gets cold.

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.

Staging

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. 

professional 

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 Wednesday...it'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 ?....it'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

Strange 

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  
Put-in


Swimming about 25% of the time

Bluff country


7 miles of gravel back to the van