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.

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