Monday, December 24, 2012

Exploring the Woods

It has been Fat-bike fun for me these last couple of weeks.  I had been getting in a lot of saddle time but will be taking time off, so it will be a while before I get back on the bike.  Bummer.  

 The picture above was taken on a day in which I was checking out a noise we had been hearing about a mile south of home.  I knew what the noise was, just didn't know exactly where how much logging. It didn't take them long to clean off pretty good sized chunk of land.  I have heard from a very reliable source that a crew can cut 100 cords a day in some operations.  That would create a pile 4 feet high by 8 feet wide by 400 feet long.

The trails have been good for riding bicycle, not so much for snowmobiles.

 Trail number 41 comes near this cabin.  I found the "No Cell Phones Allowed!" interesting as I wondered how the conversation went to prompt the sign.

 More trail

Another ride brought me to this abandoned gravel pit, which has now become a small lake...aka pothole. I decided to ride the perimeter looking for tracks to see what was around. 

The Otter were out having fun when the ice was a little soft.  They run, slide, run, slide just for fun of it.

I added this picture just because I liked it.

I say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Fat-Bike Fun

 The Fat-bike has been proving fun.  Conditions seem great, although the miles don't add very fast.  About 5.5 hours to go 33 miles through trails and gravel back roads, but they were wondrous miles.  Many pictures with a few words.

 I shared this trail with a Grey Wolf (Timber Wolf). I found what he was after a little further down the trail.  A whitetail deer carcass.

 One of the trails led to this pot hole (little lake not named). I ventured out and rode the perimeter of it.  Surprising it was almost 2 miles around this one.

 A nice stand of pine on the Cheever Road.

 This is one of the local trout streams.

Lunch is cooking on the bank of the stream. 

 Some trails have overhanging branches and trees.  Tends to make it interesting at times.

 Oooops...picture out of order.  Oh well.

 This days lunch varied from the usual peanut butter and honey on wheat.  Wild rice soup here.

 Evidence that some deer did live through the rifle season.

 A few years ago, we had my 21st birthday in the loft of that barn with some jammin tunes and a keg of beer.  The term a few years ago could be open for interpretation    hehehe   

 One of the trails I was on came into a logging job. 

Thought I would try a video today.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

PS...Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Eagle Providing Proof

It was a welcomed change that I was able to get out for a daytime ride today.  I avoid riding during the rifle Whitetail deer hunt and that ended Sunday.  The temperature today was at 15°F with flurries floating down and a moderate wind from the southwest. More about the eagle later on the above picture later.

 We received 5" during Sundays snowstorm, but in what seems a constant,  it has been snowing lightly. 

 The local golf course has been put to sleep for the winter.

 I ride the fixed gear on roads during the winter for the ease of maintenance.  To say the least, even with the studded tires, the roads were sketchy today.  With the small storm and the light snow, many of the roads I rode had the surface covered with packed ruts where traffic had traveled and loose snow where they hadn't. It made for some heart in the throat moments. Because the fixed gear bike provides no way to coast, the combination of road conditions along with some hills added to the thrill.

For a short time today, I had this Eagle use the same road that I was using.  I came upon it and as quickly I as I could readied our cheapo point and shoot I carry.  I was very surprised at how close I got to it.  It would fly three times from one tree to another along the road before we parted company.

 Because we are blessed with many Eagles in our area, this is not the first time I have seen them fly down the road in front of me.  It is however the first time I was able to get the camera out from its hiding spot and get a couple pictures.  

Although the conditions were not the absolute best for cycling, the Eagle proved what a person can see by just getting out and doing something.   I would not have witnessed this from my garage, or the comfort of our home.  Proof positive of (see below) 

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!

PS...Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Global Fat-Bike Day

 OK...You can stop laughing at my kit.  Really though, I am attention whore and don't care what you think of my riding attire.  Today is Global Fat-Bike day.  In honor of that, I made a little ride.  It is still Whitetail Deer hunting season here in Wisconsin, so precautions need to be taken if you are to ride during daylight hours.  I am of the belief a person shouldn't have to worry about being shot, but that isn't the case.  I think you should be able to wear brown clothing and walk anywhere without being in fear.  But there is a saying I have heard numerous times by hunters..."If it's brown, it's down."  IMO, the people that say such things shouldn't be allowed to hunt.  It would be much safer for everyone if we just shot deer.  People get shot every year it seems.    

 Because of hunting season, I rode only the trails on our land.  I felt I still needed to wear orange, because our land borders public hunting area, or there may be trespassers.

 I was able to ride over an hour and get in over 4 miles on our woods trails.  I made these trails for skiing and biking, but do not use them as much as I should.

 I had the tire pressure at 10 pounds today and that worked well.  The bike in general works well.  It seems to accelerate great, pedal bob is minimal, keeps traction well and all around seems to be working nicely.  The brakes seem to make some noise, but I am thinking that has to do with the wet snow.  Time will tell.

 I didn't ride all our trails as it was raining.  The trail that runs below this hill and further out into some swampy area can get a little sloppy.  We had about 10" of snow on Thanksgiving night and another couple after that, but it has settled down to a little of nothing now. The deepest spots were maybe 4 or 5 inches.

I am betting it is a good day for building a snowman, as the snow caked on the bike.  That means it gets to sleep in the basement tonight to get thawed. 

 Happy Fat-Bike Day!!
Lets get outdoors and have some fun!

PS...Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Adventure

 Got out for another day ride before hunting season starts.  The above picture is one of the creeks I had to pass through today.  I didn't use the noggin when I started through it, but it wasn't a matter of if you could ride through or not, it was could you do it with out dipping your feet it.  Ended up just getting the toes a little.

 This one was still shaded and not deep anyhow.

 I was exploring and rode several little paths.  All of the rut paths usually dead end at old logging sites.

Lunch was at the Moose Branch Flowage.  I am sitting on the little dam that creates this flowage.  I have eaten lunch here several times this summer, and today was again one of those days.

The little flowage is starting to freeze for the winter.  Not hard enough to walk on as of yet...I checked.

 This was another trail I rode.  Notice the bark on the little trees on the right side of the picture.  They are called rubs.  Around these parts, it is the male Whitetail deer that make these.  The link provided here explains it well.  It is very interesting.

As the day warmed into the lower 40's, I ended up riding a lot of mud.  I checked the Garmin and one stretch alone was about 7 miles.  It was in about 2 inches of slime.  I almost kissed the mud a few times and my heart rate was near max for most of it.  I tried to ride around as much of it as I could, but there was no avoiding a lot of it.  If I had known it was going to be as bad as it was I could have avoided the road completely, but by the time I discovered what it was like, I was committed.  And I will add, some probably think I should be committed.  But, it is things like this that make an adventure. Something that I will not soon forget, if ever. 

The ride yesterday had me out for 3 hours 51 minutes including lunch.  The bike performed flawlessly.    I didn't see as many people as I expected with it being close to the opener of deer season.  I saw about a half dozen vehicles parked.  I met a forester truck twice...same guy, and he had a smile on his face.  Then I met a logging truck.  And just before I came out of the bush, I met a pickup hauling a camper.  I could see the window rolling down before we met and I knew he wanted to chat. So we chatted.  hehehe

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rolling the Fattie

 Tuesday had me riding the Fatbike.  I rode mostly trails like pictured above.  The temp was at 32°F when I left and read the same when I returned 2.5 hours later.  Any place the sun could get at, the sand was soft.  No access to sun equaled a nice hard surface to ride.  

 It's is not easy to see in the photo, but this was another trail I rode.  Those fat tires roll over and through a lot.  But just as with the mountain bike, it worries me when I hear brush slapping against the derailleur and chain.  Although I do have a spare hanger, I don't care to use it.

 I enjoy riding these trails.  Nobody did I see today.  2 and 1/2 hours of me.  Scary thought, isn't it.  That will change within the next couple of days with the coming of the Whitetail Deer rifle hunt.  Scores of people come to our area to try their luck in tagging a deer.  Most are good.  But as with anything, there are a few bad apples.  It is for this reason any riding I do during the hunt in our area will be done at night.
 I rode by several little potholes today that were covered with ice.

This was the lunch spot today.  Peanut butter and honey on whole wheat.  

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Riding the Night

Monday night had 6 guys riding the Lake Superior beach on fatbikes, but that's too far for me to drive on short notice for a ride, so I was not one of them.  I may join them sometime if it works out.  I did end up going out for an hour ride on my own though.  The temp was a chilly 22°F with the wind howling, pitch black out and the roads mostly covered with a dusting of snow.  Getting out and making that ride, all be it short, was fantastic.  It makes a person feel alive.  It sure beat staying indoors.  I have them to thank for this ride, because I thought they're out riding, I might as well be also.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!  


Friday, November 9, 2012

Riding the 9:ZERO:7

Even though the weather is what they called "blustery," I made it out on an inaugural ride on the new bike in the stable.  Blustery isn't bad.  It was actually nice to be out.  

I rode some rut trails as well as some sand roads.  After I loaded up the pictures, I realized I snapped no pictures of the sand roads.  To me, the sand roads are especially interesting in the morning.  The tracks from the previous night and early morning activity show easily. I am of the opinion that there is a lot more going on than most people realize, and seeing the tracks is only a fraction of it. The trail cams we have out give proof to that. 

The bars on this ride are 750mm wide, wide.  This is also the first time I have used Ergon grips.  This setup feels great.

 More trail. 

 I had decided on the centered 170mm 9:ZERO:7 because I still have another fatbike in the works that will also be centered.  The frame, wheels and some of the other components came from Penn Cycle & Fitness in Blaine, MN.  They were the closest dealer of the 9:ZERO:7 to me, so that is where I went.  I did most of the planning over the phone with Brian.  He was great to deal with and would recommend him to anyone that is interested.  His input was great, he returned my calls promptly and also called with the progress of where parts were in the order process.  This one I built up with a 3 x 10 drive train with 82mm rims.  It still has room and with some minor modifications can also run the really fat 100mm rims. I am no wrench, but Steve at Penn Cycle is, and he too is great to deal with.  I had all the tools with the exception of a fork cutting guide, so I had them cut the fork, install the headset, and build the wheels.  Well, I guess my previous post shows that.  I have a few minor details to work on yet, but I am happy with how it turned out. 

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!

PS...As always, thanks for reading and your comments.  :-) :-)