Today On A Bike

2015-01-04 09.49.41Today I joined some friends on the Illinois River for some Quad City inspired fat bike stomping. My face still hurts from smiling so much. This is my favorite type of riding in the winter. It was very similar to the riding I’ve fallen in love with in past trips on the Mississippi.

The flood plains along the river banks provide a lot of variety and options for everyone to enjoy. My favorite cycling trips are the ones that offer something for everyone. The mixture of riding over makeshift obstacles and riding the river bank is a blast. A big thanks to the people who organized the ride today. I can’t wait to go back!

2015-01-04 09.37.32 2015-01-04 09.29.34 2015-01-04 09.58.44 2015-01-04 09.40.16

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

First Impressions: 45NRTH Sturmfist 4

MJ5L2704These gloves are amazing… The 45NRTH Sturmfist 4’s are four finger gloves intended for use below 15º F. I have been using my Sturmfist 5’s this winter so far as the temperatures haven’t demanded anything warmer. Tonight I joined some friends for a night ride on my fatbike. I brought the Sturmfist 4’s to try. The temperature was in the upper 20º’s F.

The gloves were great, but they want to be used in colder temps. I removed the included merino wool liner 15 minutes or so into the ride as they were simply too warm. Even without the liners the gloves were shockingly warm, in a good way. I’m happy to report that these gloves are as advertised good for below 15º F.

The gloves are full but never limited dexterity of my braking or shifting. The joined ring and pinky finger were not restricting. The leather on the palms is very nice and provides lots of grip, and toughness. The cuffs are long enough to keep the cold out and short enough to be comfortable. Both the liner material and the primary gloves internal material are soft and warm. The material is kind to the cuticle of fingers, something I appreciate.

MJ5L2710 MJ5L2713I’ll provide more info as I continue to use both the Sturmfist 4’s and Sturmfist 5’s. For now, I’m thrilled with both. They are on par with the 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots that I love, a tall task to accomplish!

Thanks again to Tobie at North Central Cyclerly for getting me these gloves when they were in high demand!

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

Today On A Bike

2014-12-28 13.27.16 2014-12-28 11.49.04 2014-12-28 13.12.47 2014-12-28 13.06.55 2014-12-28 13.31.28It doesn’t look like winter in these without the snow of years past. Today was the third ride this week after taking time off of a bike. I can’t believe how much I’ve lost in terms of fitness. It’s humbling. Lots of work to do…

The 45NRTH Strurmfist 5’s were perfect today in the 30º F temps. I really like them so far.

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

First Impressions: 45NRTH Sturmfist 5

MJ5L2611I’ve been looking for gloves for a while that fit my needs and when 45NRTH announced the Sturmfist 4 and 5 I was intrigued instantly. If the gloves are half as good as the Wolvhammer boots they make, I’ll be happy!

My local bike shop was unable to get a set of gloves for me from the first shipment. An unfortunate situation as I love supporting my local bike shop Bloomington Cycle & Fitness! QBP/ 45NRTH, you make cool stuff, please make more of the cool stuff so it’s easier to get… Still wanting to support local bike shops and not some internet store, I reached out to the great folks at North Central Cyclery and the owner was able to get me a set of 5’s and a set of 4’s should be coming soon also. Big thanks to Tobie from North Central Cyclery!

I’ve not spent enough time riding with these gloves to give a full review yet, but so far I can tell you I like them.
MJ5L2612The pads of the gloves have leather. This with the aerogel should keep the cold from the handlebars separated from your hand. They are 100% Merino wool inside and are soft and smooth. My hands get dry in the winter and I’ve had a lot of gloves that love to snag and rip my cuticles on my fingernails. These don’t seem to do that at all.

The detail and craftsmanship are great!
MJ5L2614I like the cuffs in terms of length and closure.
MJ5L2623 MJ5L2624I’ll post detailed thoughts after more use. I’m looking forward to using them this weekend on the Mississippi river banks with the FORC folks at the 2014 Global Fat Bike Day celebration!

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

Today On A Bike

2014-02-22 14.05.28 2014-02-22 14.27.46I set out on a solo 50 mile ride today in preparation for the Barry-Roubaix. It was a little cold and a little longer than my legs wanted. I wanted to benchmark my fitness, revealing how much work I still have to do to prepare for the 62 mile gravel race. I also wanted to try out some changes I made to the my Crux in preparation for gravel events this spring including Surly Knard 41c 120TPI tires and a Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag. The bike did well today, although the cable disc brakes lack in comparison to the hydraulics that were recalled by Sram. I look forward to getting the redesigned models when Sram releases them, hopefully they will last longer than five months this time…

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

2014 Enchanted Fat Bike Stomp

2014-02-15 10.59.41My wife and I along with some local CORBA folks made the journey to the Quad Cities this weekend for the 2014 Enchanted Fat Bike Stomp. The quad cities host what is possibly one of the most enthusiastic fat bike scenes in the country. When you look around during a ride and see more than fifty fat bikes, you’re in good company, especially when those people are FORC.

Jake Ralfs, the event organizer went above and beyond by grooming the trail by foot with a sled and sand bags! It’s people like him that make great cycling events a reality. I had a great time talking to locals and even meeting a few readers of my blog!

The day started earlier than normally exists for me…
2014-02-15 05.36.47After arriving, we geared up and were off for a day full of smiles and cheap beer. The temperature started at a chilly 7°F and warmed up to the upper teens by the afternoon. The snow-covered banks of the Mississippi river were great terrain to ride!
2014-02-15 09.43.09 2014-02-15 09.58.09 2014-02-15 10.08.59A section that had not be ride-able in past visits made for a make shift half-pipe that provided all sorts of entertainment, be it a successful transition across, or an attempt that resulted in a face full of snow.
2014-02-15 10.25.09There were a few stops for rehydrating, because, hydration is important.
2014-02-15 10.42.42 2014-02-15 10.35.312014-02-15 11.44.47 2014-02-15 11.52.19We made our way across the mighty Mississippi, riding some motorcycle ice tracks along the way.
2014-02-15 11.07.59 2014-02-15 12.02.16We arrived at Dee’s Catfish Cove for food, drinks, and festivities.
2014-02-15 12.26.05When I went inside to grab some lunch, I smiled when I saw the dollar bill a few CORBA members hung last year still there. It’s the little things!
2014-02-15 12.43.08The parking was smile inducing…
2014-02-15 12.37.13I had a blast and can’t wait until the next time I have the opportunity to ride and hang out with the fine folks of FORC!

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!