Monday, September 28, 2009

Grand Marais Duathlon

RLOVE2BIKE informed me this past spring about a self-timed duathlon (bike-run-bike) sponsored by Superior North Outdoor Center Bike Shop located in Grand Marais.
Nice shop, nice folks, and a must stop.
If you get close enough to this photo, you can almost smell the World’s Best Donut behind us.

The journey “mini dual-family vacation” up the shore started Friday afternoon with a genuinely good family. I am honored to call them friends. Keven and I got off to somewhat of a late start Saturday morning (11:41:36 to be exact). The next time we do this, it will be much earlier to avoid some traffic and all the smells from the likes of Sven and Ole with their Donut neighbor near the Bluewater. My stomach nearly got the better of me, but the 20 ounces of mostly water won the battle.

The duathlon starts and ends with the dipping of either the front or back tire in the Lake Superior waters at the coast guard ramp.

Me…Here we go!!!
After a wrong turn or two, we were able to set a blistering just under 11mph pace during the first 4 miles: 22 minutes with 1000 feet of climb on the Gunflint Trail.

I was watching the equivalent to about half of my water bottle rolling down my nose and arms in the balmy 63° weather. Note to self: Bring an extra water bottle next time.

We took a left on Devil’s Track Road (paved) and about 6 miles later took a right on Ball Club Road (gravel). Note to self: Know where you go before you go! We should have stayed on Devil’s Track Road and taken a right (gone North) on Bally Creek Road (gravel). We would have avoided about 6 miles of gravel.

6 miles later, we took a left on The Grade (gravel). From here, just 5 short miles later, we made it to the Eagle Mountain parking lot. All gravel roads were a mix of loose gravel and/or washboard. If we were careful, we could find some smooth areas to ride on. My teeth were a chatterin’ a few times. We finished the first leg in 1:25:39. If we would have taken the Devil’s Track Road to Bally Creek Road, our time would have been faster. Another note to self: Know where you go before you go!

Regrettably, due to the time and some toothed and toothless ones (Coincidentally, both of our daughters - Cursta and Kennedy lost the same front tooth within about 10 minutes of each other.) we were unable to perform the run portion of the ride…Next year. Darn, we didn’t get our water bottle. The Kona cross-bike I rode favored the gravel while the Motobecane road bike Keven rode favored the pavement. He trooped it out and rode the gravel without hesitation.

View from the Gunflint on the way back.

We took the same course back and with a stop or two for some pictures, finished in 1:10:31.

All in all, we had a great ride. Thank you Keven and our families for the great ride, valuable lessons, and wonderful vacation. Thank you RLOVE2BIKE for my first ever blog. It is truly an honor.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Looking forward

We may get lucky and have a guest do a post soon. A friend of ours is doing an interesting Duathlon type of thing this weekend. It is a Run///Bike from the lowest elevation in MN to the highest elevation. You start at the Coast Guard station in Grand Marais and ride your bike up to the trail head of Eagle Mountain. From there, you leave the comfy seat of the bicycle and you run to the top of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in MN, and back...then ride back down to Lake Superior. Sounds like fun, Fun and F U N ! ! !

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ride with Company

I went out to get my fix tonight and oooh was it nice. I had rode 11.5 miles into a 15 mile loop when I met a guy riding the other way. I have put a rant on here earlier this year about how very few people ride around here, so when we met I turned around and chased him down. Turns out he was riding almost the same loop I was only the opposite direction. I invited myself and rode with him in the direction he was riding. It was very nice to have company. Then there was an added bonus, as I think we pushed each other...for that I am sure. He was riding a Hybred with gears and fatter tires and I was on the fixed gear with smaller tires, no gears and no coast===good time. It had rained earlier in the day and the puddles were still standing in the shadows. I took this photo when I was riding alone...when we came back by, there was a Porcupine drinking from them. Kind of cool, but I didn't drag the camera out when I was riding with him.
Shouldn't have put this in.
Tonight we saw 1 vehicle in a 20+ mile ride.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Riding Home

I worked a half day Saturday. Janice had things to do in town, so I had her drop me off at work and I rode the bicycle home. Going the back way to avoid the freeway/express way, it was 55 miles. Riding the bicycle home drives home one of the reason's I commute to work. Traffic around home is starting to diminish. Mainly hunters and soon will be leaf peepers. Rest stop
County Road M

Avoided this on the way home

Rode the bridge across to Wisco. It is nice to have this path on the bridge, although it is a little narrow, it is still very nice.

Stopped at Pattison State Park for a break

More County M

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wishing CAD Luck

CAD is one of the people that every once in a while posts up comment. This Saturday, he will be skating the Northshore Inline Marathon in Duluth, MN.
Although he doesn't need any luck from us, as he is easily the best athlete I have known. Hockey, Football, Inline's, Running, Skiing, Bicycling...although no mountain biking?!, Duathlons and anything else he does...he is or will be very good at it. He will finish very near the top...again. He has goaded me along, given me encouragement and also the reason I am doing this blog thing, (he came up with the name and kept after me until I caved). SO, GO GET EM CAD ! ! ! ! !

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I had an appointment at 11:45 today, so I took a half day vacation, did the appointment thing and hauled ass for home. It was onto the bike for an out and back ride on my favorite county highway...and an enjoyable afternoon. Most of the roads I ride are low traffic township roads, but this particular county road gets little traffic also. It was 18 miles into the wind and 18 great wind at your back miles home. The leaves are starting to change

I do not ride this as much as I should.

Township road

This one is undecided.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting Wood

Janice and I both came down with a cold...cough cough and cough. I have been in a firewood frenzie lately. A lot of Oak on our property has taken a big hit with the drought we have been in the last few years. Many have them have passed on to the big forest in the sky. So, I hate to see them go to waste, and I found that when I was cutting firewood the cough was not as bad, and it is a good cutting firewood it has been. I will get some time on the bicycle this week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We combined our annual family and friends Labor Day weekend cookout with a party for my Dad's 80th birthday. We cannot put into words how thankful we are to the people that showed. There were people that drove many many miles. Some gave up their weekend while others part of the weekend to show respect to my Dad. There were about 115 people and TO THEM we give our T H A N K S. The Cooker
Piggy was on the menu

Oh, and more THANKS to the wonderful family and friends that made that day special for my Dad. We will never forget all of you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Addicting Fixie

I got my fix again last night...almost 20 miles with 4 plus of those miles on the dirt. The evening weather , scratch that, the weather lately has been great for riding. Mixing in a little dirt is like Diane Ackerman said::::
"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hammering the Fixie

I hammered out a 15 miler on the fixed gear at little past 7 pm last night. The weather was wind...temp just right...attitude to burn. We have a few trees starting to turn color. I saw 4 cars which matched the 4 whitetail bucks...also several does and fawns along with about 20 turkeys. Great ride.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Golf Night

The last night of Golf league with all you can eat Chicken and Ribs, plus all the fixin's and Strawberry Shortcake for dessert, will do absolutely nothing for bicycle fitness, I bare witness.
A person eating must make crumbs.