Today On A Bike

I forgot how enjoyable a commute could be.  I had a good ride to and from work today.  It was a nice 67º F on the way to work with the sun starting to shine through the trees and buildings.

2015-08-17 06.16.14 2015-08-17 06.21.42 2015-08-17 06.28.35 2015-08-17 06.29.43 2015-08-17 06.35.33My Straggler is doing great.  It rides smooth with a lot of compliance.  It smooths out a lot of the road.2015-08-17 06.32.442015-08-17 06.44.44

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Today On A Bike

Summer days…  Every Tuesday I ride with my team on our leg destroying ride of the week.  This week I took a few pictures after catching my breath at the regroup areas.  Good times :)

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Great Read On The Trek Direct Selling Situation

As usual, Dean’s writing is inspirational and hits the nail on the head.  It hits home on a lot of feelings cyclist I know have towards the great importance of local bike shops and how this affects them.  I don’t want to be in an ecosystem where I don’t have a great relationship with my local shop.  Local bike shops should have the ability to on a level playing field, provide service and help to both new and experienced cyclist.  This interaction is beneficial to the cyclists, shops, and brands as it helps start the relationship on the right track, with a personal touch.

My favorite memories with cycling have little to do with metal, carbon, or rubber, but rather the people that make up bike shops and community.

Well done Dean, Trek not so much.

Riding Against The Grain – No Longer Treking To The Store

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Today On A Bike

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This weekend I joined some friends and club members for a Kettle Moraine mountain bike day trip.  It was a lot of fun with great weather, good friends, and good trails.  The type of summer ride that summers are measured by in terms of riding.

It was also my first ride on my new Ibis HD3.  I was excited to see how it fared against the hype I’ve read for what feels like a year.  Before we set off, we stopped by La Grange General Store, a neat homey place with sandwiches, beer selection to appeal to bikers, and a bike shop.  You should swing by there if you ride Kettle.

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After deciding what groups were going to ride together based on desired distance and effort, I hit start on my Garmin.

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The trails were neat.  I rode the blue loop on fatbikes during winter a while back, but this was my first time on dirt there.  The trails were a largely dirt based single track with rock and sand sprinkled throughout.  There were a handful of fun downs to get a feel for how the Ibis handled some chop.  I’ve never felt plushness and control like how this bike eats up rock gardens and drops.  It track straight as an arrow with the help of the Rock Shox Pike, through axles on both ends, and the 41mm wide Derby rims.  Comfort and precision would be the simple explanation of how I feel about its downhill personality.  The bike also climbs better than my expectations, which were quite high.  The bike pedals unbelievably well.  I was chasing purpose-built cross-country race machines and having no trouble keeping pace.  Wow, no other words.

After we finished the John Muir trails, we rode the connector to the Emma Carlin trail system.  It had more tech, but the trials seemed to not give equal amounts of payback for the climbs.  I enjoyed the John Muir and Connector trails more, but both were good.  We took a break at the turn around point before riding back to the trailhead to end the ride.

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As if the day wasn’t awesome enough, our transportation to and from was a good friends new Sprinter.  Talk about the perfect travel MTB vehicle.

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It was one of those days that makes a summer.  Good times, good people, and smiles.

Ride Data

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2015 Lumberjack 100

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Photo By JH Kunnen Photo

This was it, the big day.  I started training in January on the trainer and rollers, riding my fatbike in snow, and my crossbike in the cold.  The Lumberjack 100 is a 100 mile mountain bike race in Michigan.  It consists of many things but is known for having over 9,000 feet of climbing and being largely single track.

I trained working up to seven hours of pedaling time before the race in hopes that would get me close enough to the finish that I’d be good on race day.  Thankfully it was.  I ended the race tired, but far from drained.  I wouldn’t describe the race as hard.  I’ve had shorter races that were harder, but I would describe it as long.  For me, nine hours is a long time on a bike pedaling.  Lots of time to get into deep into your own head.

I didn’t bring my camera although I meant to take it on the last of the three 33.3 mile laps to take some pictures, I forgot to snag it.  Oh well.  These pictures are from Rob Meendering Photography and JH Kunnen Photo.  Only the first picture is of me, the rest are pictures I found that show the trails I rode.

The course was great, providing flowy single track with good variation.  There was about three or so miles per loop of gravel or dirt double track, but it was largely all single track.  The climbs were spread out, the downs were great treats.  The support tent at the lap’s half-complete point was great.  The crew that I went up to the race with were great.  We had a pit tent filled with people who could make a bike adjustment if needed, fill your water, get you food, or offer words of encouragement.  These folks made the day a lot better.  My wife was a huge help to me in preparation and during the race.

I crossed the finish line at 9 hours 13 minutes.  I’m happy with that.  It felt like an accomplishment.  A check box was checked.  What’s next for me?  Chequamegon 40 is later this year.  I’ll be checking off my top bucket list trail later this year in Moab, Utah.  Smiles ahead.

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Photo By Rob Meendering Photography
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Photo By Rob Meendering Photography
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Photo By Rob Meendering Photography
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Photo By Rob Meendering Photography
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Photo By Rob Meendering Photography

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