Today On A Bike

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I joined some friends for a night ride at Lake Evergreen yesterday. My friend Tom took some great pictures during the ride, thanks! When I saw the one of me by the bridge, I really liked it and asked to share it here. It captures a lot of what night riding on snow during the winter feels like.

The conditions were great despite it being about 15º F. Riding in the wind blocking woods coupled with some good layering made it really enjoyable, besides my out of shape legs being slightly angry with me. The thin layer of snow over hard frozen dirt provided a lot of traction and good times.

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Today On A Bike

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It was so quiet. It was as if I was the only person on the planet. For years I’ve looked out on this lake as I rode single track that winds around it, but today I experienced it completely different, and it was made possible by a silly bicycle.

I’ve ridden countless hours at Comlara mountain bike trails since moving to Bloomington in 2007. It’s been a big part of who I am. The trails have led me down a path where I’ve met amazing people. I’ve had life experiences that I may not have had if these trails didn’t exist ten minutes away from town. I’ve traveled to far away mountain ranges and spent great vacations with amazing people.

For years, I’ve looked out at the lake that lies at the center of the local mountain bike trails. It was something that always looked back but never really inspired anything from me. But today, when I was on a ride I noticed that the lake was frozen pretty solid and some tracks were out on it. Where I’d taken a right hundreds of times I choose to take a left, out onto the ice-covered lake.

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It was a pretty special thing to look in on the single track that’s changed my life in so many ways. I saw views I’ve never seen. It was areas that I know very well, but viewed from a perspective I’ve never had the privilege to see before. I rode around the lake for a little while, enjoying the serenity and looking in at sections of single track that I’ve spent so much time on. It was like looking in on the setting from a period of my life from a foreign perspective.

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Today I was reminded why these silly fat bikes strike a chord with myself. They allow me these experiences that are unique and enjoyable.

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Today On A Bike

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After a long while of rain and warmer temperatures, it was nice to get out on frozen dirt today with a bunch of others. I’ve been riding mainly pathways this winter staying active. I’ve been mentally somewhere between off-season fun first riding and starting to work towards race season.

I signed up for Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival again. It’s been a yearly marker for the end of my race season that I really enjoy both for the race but also the environment and hanging out with good people. If you’re interested, you should check it out. Registration is still open but the available spots will fill up. I plan on racing the Illinois Mountain Bike Series and signing up for as many crits as possible. But for now, it’s just about chasing the person in front of me and smiling, mostly.

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2015 Global Fat Bike Day

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December 5th is a fun little Holliday amongst a group of people who enjoy silly bikes, Global Fat Bike Day. This year, I joined friends and others at the Peoria Illinois participation of the event. We rode waterways and double track. Smiles were had, silly adventures enjoyed. Riding with a large group of fat bikes is the closest thing to being five with your first bicycle I’ve felt. Look at that ledge.

I. Must. Jump. It.

The ride was a lot of fun. We rode the waterways, surrounded by graffiti. Occasional ice and other slick surfaces made the off camber concrete riding surfaces interesting.

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There were lots of tunnels, some very long. Long enough to drown out the sunlight, so we brought lights to navigate to more fun.

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It’s nice that even after five or so years of regularly riding, I still find myself in new situations and experience things like this ride. I’ve ridden a lot of terrain, but never waterways like this before today. Being a cyclist given me a much wider appreciation of experiences. Everything from beautiful mountain vistas mid ride at elevation to freezing temperatures in a giant storm water tunnel, it’s all special with the right group of people enjoying the moment. I’m thankful for these moments.

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2015 NAHBS

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I’ve wanted attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) for a few years now. I’ve eagerly awaited the coverage every spring to see some of the finest craftsmanship in the bicycle industry. With the show taking place in Louisville Kentucky this year, we planned a long weekend to attend.

The experience was pretty neat. There were four rows of booths with eye candy in them. I spoke to some companies in person that I’ve wanted to about future projects and took some pictures. I was a little unsure of what I would be able to capture there. The bikes deserve better photos than what I was able to capture this year. To be honest, all of that falls on me. I didn’t bring any flash gear and I didn’t set up a great location. I also imagine it’s hard for big name brands to let me pull their bike out of their booth for ten minutes to shoot it knowing that my smaller blog’s reach is dwarfed by other sites/ and photographers in attendance. I get it.

For amazing coverage of the show, check out The Radavist. I met John from The Radavist on Saturday for a few moments. He was really nice and friendly. His photography and site are an inspiration.

Black Sheep Fat Bike
MJ5L3021 MJ5L3025 MJ5L3026 MJ5L3027 MJ5L3028 MJ5L3030 MJ5L3035 MJ5L3029 MJ5L3034 MJ5L3037 MJ5L3038 MJ5L3039

Rohloff Hub Internals
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I’ve seen a lot of frame bags, but this stood out.
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KISH Fat Bike
MJ5L3051 MJ5L3056 MJ5L3059 MJ5L3063 MJ5L3058 MJ5L3054 MJ5L3065 MJ5L3061 MJ5L3053

MOOTS Prototype Gravel Bike with unreleased ENVE fork with integrated fender and through axle Chris King R45 Hubs
MJ5L3080 MJ5L3085 MJ5L3083 MJ5L3084 MJ5L3081 MJ5L3082 MJ5L3088

Retrotec Cycles Fat Bike
MJ5L3090

Eriksen Cycles Fat Bike
MJ5L3094

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