March 2012 Archives

2012 'Not Snowing Season' Schedule

| No Comments
Another lazy boring summer lined up for this year.


14: Ragnarok 105
21: Ronde Von Skandia (T)
28-29: Yukon J. Malamute Memorial Backpacking Trip 

3-13: One Lap
19: Royal 162
25-27: Ride The Keweenaw

16: Keweenaw Chain Drive (S)
22-24:North Manitou Island Backpacking Trip
29-30: Marquette Bike Jam(F,B)

7: Miner's Revenge (F,B)
18-22: Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium

1-9: Downstate Bike Tour, Home to Ludington and back. (T)
11: Ore To Shore (S? F? B?)
18: Great Deer Chase (S)

2: Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival (F,B)
8: Tour Da Woods (S? F?) 
29: Heck of the North (S)

T: Tentative, S: Single Speed, F: Fat Bike, B:Bikepacking

I took a year or two off from "serious" mountain bike racing once I had met my initial goals of completing them without dying in the process. Now that I've conquered bigger and tougher events, I like going back to them just for the fun and camaraderie. Probably race the fatbike a few times to increase the fun factor and  do a couple self supported bikepacking expeditions to a few races just for the extra challenge. 

Doing a few backpacking trips as well. The Yukon Memorial trip is a short weekend I'd always take my malamute out for as soon as the snow melted enough to do so.  Destination is cool little waterfall down a canyon that has a mine shaft drilled into the side.  After Yukon died, I spread his ashes out there. Now I bring a bottle of "Canadian Hunter" and proceed to get melancholy.  

Unless any of my cohorts come up with a better idea, I'll probably once again do the tour down through Wisconsin to catch the ferry over for my family's annual summer party.  Most likely won't do the full loop again, but just take the ferry both ways.

Also looking forward to getting the kayak out for some crazy trips this summer. Some friends and I have a number of them planned including numerous overnight Keweenaw expeditions and a return to the Huron Islands. 

And for sure, there will be lots of all day mountain bike or gravel road rides thrown in for good measure.

Somwhere in there, I might mow my lawn too.  

So yeah, as a midwest skier- you always hear about "out west". Like it's some magical place where the skiing is always awesome and the microbrews always potent.

"I'm going out west next week!", somebody would say. 

And we'd all nod in solemn agreement as if this lucky individual got himself a free pass to Valhalla minus that pesky funeral pyre rite of passage. 

So of course I had to go too and see this nirvana for myself.  

Now, I could slide real easy into hardcore dirtbag rant about how expensive and commericial and developed everything is out there and how I get three season ski passes here for what 4 days of skiing costs there and how the skiing there is just too easy and totally handed to you on a silver platter.  Man.

But I won't. 

Because I totally drank of the ice cold schooner of PBR at the Alta-Peruvian Bar, partook in the gourmet meals, bought $20 hamburger lunches, drank the finest Utah microbrews, and rested my head on the pillow of my tastefully appointed slope side room.

It truly is a wondrous paradise.  

More pics here.

But alas, there's only so long a diehard midwest skier can stomach the idea of $20 hamburger lunches and $5 beers before he decides he's had enough of that shit and bails.  Also, four days of teleskiing is murder on your quads.  

Don't know if I'll ever make a trip back out there just to ski at a resort again. With all the great skiing I have in the UP- it's a tough sell.  But I'm definitely going back out there for some backcountry. All kinds of sweet lines everywhere you look for as far as the eye can see. For somebody who skis all day just to find a hill with more than 200' of vertical that doesn't need trimming, it very much is the promised land.

The Snowbike World Championships Apologizes....

| No Comments
...for being too hard? 


I shit you not, they actually mailed us all letters explaining how sorry they were for not grooming the course and making us all push our bikes. 



If I wanted to do something easy, I'd stay inside and ride a trainer. Or just watch TV.  

Of course, the problem is- everybody wants to pound this shiny new square peg (fat bikes) into a long standing round hole (UP winters).  We get a lot of snow. No matter how fat your tires, riding a snow bike can suck. Sometimes, maybe, just maybe- skis are a better choice.  

Difficult rides are where the best stories come from. I've had many, many idyllic rides. But I remember the ones that were really hard the most.  And finishing them is something I'm far more proud of than any race result.   Besides, it's not like any of us were staring down frostbite or packs of hungry wolves or anything. We had to walk some.  Deal with it.

Apology accepted, I guess. 

Although if that race was hard enough to justify an apology- I guess my hopes of some epic killer death race up here probably won't pan out.