Monday, June 29, 2009


We spent the last few days at the family cabin. A good time was had. A quick question...What is a fair price for changing derailleur cables on a hybrid? This is a job that I...with my limited mechanical ability...could handle myself, but with circumstances and wanting to give this shop some business, I had them do it. So, on the hybrid, the front and back derailleur cables amounted to 5 feet of housing, fittings and 2 cables...damage---$47.48. What to you think of that price?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I checked out the new mountain bike trails east of Spooner on highway 70. I think they are called the Wildcat trails. Some very good trails being developed there with some rode in nice and others needing MORE get out there. When I got about a mile in, I thought of the camera I left in the truck. I did not go back after it, because the first mile is uphill. I was on a single track when I scared hell out of a black bear and I must admit, it got my attention also. I have not been on the mountain bike much this year, and it tells. The mtb is good judge of fitness, I do believe. Ended up putting in 13.5 miles....great.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cabin Weekend

Janice and I went to the family cabin this fun. We went for a 30 mile road ride Saturday morning on roads like pictured below. We left for the ride at 7am and can honestly say that the traffic was unusually heavy. Most of the roads were low traffic, but some were busier than normal. All in all...another great ride in the books.
This is an ATV trail. These trails cross these roads often.

Violet Birds Foot

Orange Hawkweed...aka king Devil or Devils Paintbrush

When we got back to the cabin, the water was nice. Good for a swim.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pure relaxation

We decided to take a vacation day this week for some relaxation. We ended up going to Lake Gordon to add some picnicing and fishing to go along with the relaxation. We, along with my parents, took our fishing boats. It was a very good time and our ideal use of a vacation day...spending it with family. One of the loons we saw today

We had a picnic on an island. After lunch the girls fished as my father and I sat on the island, leaned up against a tree shooting the shit. Good time.

Some geese that cruised by the island

Mom fishing and keeping attempting to keep the sun off. She may not like that picture, but I think it speaks volumes. Hopefully she will forgive if she doesn't like it.

More Loon

Thursday, June 18, 2009

MS150 Ride summary

Just a little MS150 summary...We drove our camper to Proctor on Friday evening and camped in the RV lot. There is no pre-registration for us so we have to register at the high school Saturday morning before we begin our ride. We got there at 6 AM and waited thru a long line to get that done. It was close to 6:30 when we got on the road. There are several rest stops on the route located 10 to 15 miles apart. Our first rest stop was in Carlton and we made good time to there. We had lost the other team member on the way there, so we waited 25 minutes before we decided to head on out. We run our own pace for most of the first day. We did pick up some riders that latched on throughout the day. For the most part we were running between 17.5 to 20 mph. We did see our other team member a couple times that first day, but he seemed to want to ride alone, so off we went. Just past the second rest area in Mahtowa, we came upon a crash. When I ride events like this, I try to pay attention to who I pace line with. If I do not like how they are riding, I just back off and let them go. I have witnessed a lot of crashes and do care to be part of them. We had our lunch at Willow River. Sub Way sandwiches, cookies, watermelon and chips was on the menu. This is the only Sub Way I eat all year. It wasn't bad. We rolled into the Hinckley finish line at 12:10, took a shower, set out the lawn chairs, snacked and watched the other riders come in. Some were still arriving at 4:30.
The next morning we left Hinckley at 6:30 AM. There were a lot of people out ahead of us, so the for the first leg we did a lot passing. We did hook up with a couple pace lines the second day. If we could find them running around 20mph, it was perfect. On two different occasions, we were in lines I did not feel comfortable in because of what I thought were amateur pace line moves. If we got behind a guy that was adjusting constantly, leaving a gap, then bridging the gap and hitting the brake...we were out of there. There is no risk taking on that tandem. Pizza was for lunch at Forest Lake and I opted out of that one. After lunch it seemed we rode more by ourselves, every now and then picking up a drafter. We ended up crossing the finish line at 11:50. We then cleaned up, had lunch, and watched the other finishers until about 3:30. The last little of the ride was uphill...maybe 1 to 2 miles...and it was a little tough after 70+ miles. We heard some complaining as we were standing around the finish line. I did not understand that. So it's a hill...get over it. All in all, a very good time for a very good cause.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MS150 Recap

We have been busy the last couple of days, so this is a little late, but what the hell. As we said before, we rode the MS150 this last weekend. We wish to thank everyone who supported us financially and with the logistics. The entry fee into the event is $40.00 plus $300.00 in fundraising...each. For some people, that does not sound like a lot of money. For us on the other hand, it is. We are by no means wealthy financially, but are very wealthy in family and friends...and that IS what matters most to us. Charity events of any kind substantiates this belief in family and friends, whether on the giving end or on the receiving end. The local business's and folks listed on the top right hand corner, are who made this charity ride possible. WE, along with the people and families of people with MS...THANK them for their generosity.

I started riding this four years ago because of the people we know...and knew...that have/had MS. A friend of ours passed away recently at 53 from this disease. Although it is a very good cause, I had made my mind up that this was the last year. The fund raising and such just sucks. Then comes the ride. The people suffering with the disease spotted along the route. The families of those suffering doing what ever they can to help end this disease. Cheering you, not for the riding but for the bigger scheme all the people who graciously give up their hard earned cash. Janice and I both rode this year...AND...after witnessing the appreciation and enthusiasm, WILL do it again.

There was reported to be 3300 riders this year. We had three in our little group...the Gitchigumi Gear Mashers. We hope to have many more next year and this is an open invitation to anyone interested in joining our team. Now is the time to make the commitment. As a wise man once said "The first thing you have to do is send in your money. Then you are in." So, you are invited to join the Gitchigumi Gear Mashers for the MS150 June 11 to 13, 2010. The party tents at Hinckley.
Some of the cheering section

Gitchigumi Gear Mashers

Lot of facilities along the route

It took three photos to fit the tents in...We only downloaded one

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Janice and I rode the MS150 this past weekend. Will write more later as it is getting late.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looking forward

Haven't been around the computer much lately, so just catching up on the happin's now. We are looking forward to the weekend. We are doing the MS150 ride from Proctor MN to Nowthen MN on Sat and Sun. It is for a very good cause, in which great strides of progress are being made, is fun too. We will be heading up to Proctor Friday night and parking the camper by the school, then heading out Saturday morning early. Saturday afternoon we will be parked by the midway finish line at the casino. We are driving a black Ford super duty F250 crew cab with a Lance camper...and the cream colored Burley Tosa tandem on the back. If anyone sees us or are in the area, please by all means...Stop and say HI.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Why no Locals?

Just a thought about the bicycling that goes on in the area where we live....Very Little goes on. We put on a lot of miles riding in our immediate area, I can count 3 other cyclist we have encountered this year. Two of them were from the Twin Cities area staying at their cabin and went for a ride on hybrids. The other was just last weekend, and she was up visiting her parents at their cabin. She was riding a road bike. As we exchanged pleasantries such as where we were from and so on, she remarked about what a great place for road riding...and it is. We see many times more riders when we are riding the cabin area and it is good riding there also. We do live in the middle of some of the premier biking. Hayward--Cable area, and Spooner are not far. The Twin Ports are a few miles to the north also. So why don't the locals ride? I know there is a lot of recreating that happens in the area, biking just isn't one. So again we ask...Why don't the locals ride????

Don't count the days, make the days count....
Mohammed Ali

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tough Ride

I took a half vacation day today and rode the local fire roads. I guess they actually call most of them multiple use roads, but old habits are tough to kill off. One of the roads is considered a township road...and it goes through 3 townships. If I said it was a rough ride could be considered an understatement. I rode the fixie on the nearly 40 mile ride and had the 700 x 32 tires pumped to 85PSI. It was a good thing. Some of the bumps I crashed through were bone shattering. The tire pressure may have saved a pinch flat. Some of the roads had logging on and others were freshly graded, while still others had gravel on them that was like riding on marbles. It was very sketchy at times and probably good balance practice...think quickly or crash. I would have done a map my ride, but most of the roads on not on the system.
The Road turns just past this tree, as you can see.
Some of the area I rode today

This is the plant Columbine. Some say it was once considered the national wildflower because its flower resembles the Bald Eagle talons. Lots of them out today.

This a tree that had fallen across the road, but somebody had moved it to the side. There were three others today that were not moved, although they were much smaller.

Healthy crop of ferns this year

Scenic roads but...Rough today

Why not a bicycle on this sign? I think because...Most people in this area think anybody that rides a bicycle on these roads are freaks. There are very few bicyclist in our area...another understatement.

A very old railroad grade