Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Right Tool for the Job?- 100 Mile Pugsley Tour

After a bowl of venison, tater-tot hotdish and a few shots puffed from Steve's competition air pistol,  a final check of our Pugsleys had us rolling down the trail to the droning music of fat tires.  My 30psi humming with his 20psi.  We left St. Michael, MN and headed south on hwy 19 via Baker Park to the Luce Line Trail west  & to our destination, a  snowmobile shelter somewhere past Winstead.  We weren't sure how far or if it was still there, but we had both used it on tours several years ago.
 Steve on Winstead Lake
 Our bikes were set up differently.  Steve's body position is upright & tight with J-bars while mine is more stretched out and aggressive.  Both felt great, just different.  The only thing that significantly affected ride was the additional 10psi in my tires which made them  roll better.  One of my goals for this trip was to tweak fit and get to know a bike I recently purchased from my brother.  Other than a loose crank-arm that we tightened properly at a Motorcycle shop after a quick trail fix, my bike was perfect.  Steve's did well do.  We stopped once and adjusted his panniers for more heel clearance then just pedaled.

 Wheelie practice for kicks.  Steve's were better than mine, but I had my best ever.  We realized that these weren't our most efficient bikes for this ride.  Tires measured in mm instead of inches would have handled the trails.  Steve has a couple of Rivendells and I have a Long Haul Trucker.  But they wouldn't have been more fun.  

 Feeling our efforts for the day we rolled into our destination for the night about 8:30pm.  At mile marker 40 on the Luce, we set up camp, made a fire, took a few shots at a Surly can with our wrist-rockets.  Dinner included tortillas, wood grilled chicken and beans.  

Rain started just after we went to bed.  My tent stayed dry and I slept well.  Steve's bivy didn't suffer the rain as well, so he took advantage of the shelter for the night.  The rain stopped in the morning and we had a good  ride back despite being tired and lost in Baker Park.  I doubt that I'll fat bike this trip again; 50 miles each way left me spent.  But, it was two good days of riding, a good night of camping and time spent with a great friend.  Pugsleys were the right bike for this trip.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Culling the Herds

Jared's Sette Reken and my Diamondback XR4 became part of the Craigslist food chain this week.  
Pugsley and Moonlander are now in charge.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More on Afton, July 11 -12.

 Here's a picture of my loaded bike.  Seemed like I traveled pretty light, but had all of my regular gear except for stove and bulky clothing.  We left late on Wed. and return early on Thurs.


Started rolling East to the park about 6pm.  Stopped at a butcher shop along the way for some sausage and eggs for breakfast.  My Long Haul Trucker above and my friend John's 1984 Trek 520 below.  Note his cooler and camp chair on the front rack.

 John and I often stand in the alley on warm summer nights and say, "it would be a good night to be camping."  Instead we arrange it so it was a nice night to be camping.  Arrive in camp, pitched tents, went for a swim in the St.Croix River, had ramen and instant mashed potatoes for a late supper followed by a night around the camp fire.  A group of coyotes howling reminded me we were out of the city.

4G coverage and a little phone Netflix in the tent just before bed reminded me of why I like modern things.   Eggs, sausage, granola bars and home roasted Aeropress coffee out of my bowl, forgot my cup, woke us up for our return ride.  I was up before my 5:30am alarm, but we didn't make it out of camp until 7am.
I took the video on the ride to the park.  Lots of corn.  The developed ears with browning tassels helped me appreciate this very quick summer trip.