Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Day Ride

Break in 2009 by participating in the growing Decorah Bicyclist tradition of Hauling your Hung Over Self to Bluffton for a Hair of the Dog Treatment from Dr. Randy of Randy's Bluffton Store.

WHAT: New Year's Day Ride
TO: Bluffton
FROM: Decorah
TIME: 10:00 AM
DEPART FROM: Decorah Bicycle Parking Lot

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Insider Training.

Some people prefer to ride inside when there is 15+ inches of snow on the ground. I guess I don't blame them. Decorah Bicycles has some great options for spinning without getting all bundled up. Pictured here is a Specialized on a stationary trainer and a sweat net from CycleOps. Other options include excercise bikes and eliptical trainers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hahahahahahahaha White Out!

This Saturday Shock and I did a little Triple D training with a 15 mile ride. We knew it would be cold and slippery. We didn't know it was going to start snowing sideways in our faces. Out on Pole line to Wagon wheel, then up and over to Happy Hollow. Happy Hollow has been closed since the flood this summer. There was about 18 inches of snow on that road. We tried bombing down, and rode for about 30 feet at a time. There was more walking than riding.
I took Deke's new Karate Monkey out to see if I could break it. It ran great. Shifted smooth, ran quiet, and didn't freeze despite being buried in snow for about 30 minutes. I'm planning on taking it down for the Triple D and really putting it to the test.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Weather outside is Frightful, but Bikes are so Delightful

I like to ride trails. Shockey basically has an affair with the gravel as soon as the ground turns white. Bill just loves sitting on small triangle shaped seats. It's the Thursday night ride and where should we go. Let's do a gravel loop up Quarry Hill, down White Tail Road, back up Clay Hill and around to the top of Van Peenen so we don't actually have to climb any trails. Deal! Getting up into the Prairie was a little tough, but rolling through the pines was an adventure. 3 bikes, 3 sets of tracks, none following the same path. Things always look a little different at night, but there was no way to tell where the trail was supposed to be. We rocked on into Little Big Horn and made it to the Log Ride before we decided it was just too much work. Stopped for a little refreshment and a photo op. The pictures turned out pretty good in Night Vision mode. All of these pictures were taken after 8:00 PM. Then it was back to the Prairie and a pretty intense Bomob down the Rocky road to Death Valley. Someone had trekked up via snow shoe within the last week so we tried to stick to the path. It was still a challenge to hold the bars straight and stay out of the ravine. One more bomb session down the Louge and it was off to T-Bock's for a night cap or seven.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deke's Chum Bucket

I stopped into Oneota River Cycles last night to take a look around and see what Deke's been working on. He's got a few projects in the mix at the moment, and last night I saw his new Surly Karate Monkey done up in "Chum Bucket Red". Surly isn't known for having pretty bike colors, but at least they kept the name ugly. Karate Monkeys are a good solid 29'er that are really hard to beat for the price. This one is a rigid fork with an internal 9 speed hub in the rear wheel. I've been a big fan of single speeds because I tend to break stuff and since I'm no MacGuiver, I did a lot of hike a bike back home when I rode gears. Luckily Decorah seems to be an ideal place for a single speed. Everybody in town can hop on and ride a couple of miles to the trails. Even better, you can ride right out of the trails and it's only a couple of miles to the bar! I usually don't mind spinning as fast as I can in the wide open, but I can't keep it up for very longand you're always at a disadvantage when someone yells "Last one there buys the first round". However, there have been times where I've been in a race and get passed on the wide open prairie sections or log roads, just to hammer up and get stuck behind geared guys in the single track. I ran into that situation on every lap of the 24 hours of 9 mile this year. Internal hubs have been around for a while, but the quality has been questionable and the price was really up there. This new unit is a SRAM i-Motion 9. I got to take it out a little bit last night and it shifted really smooth. It was also really quiet. It felt like a single speed but I could shift down and go as granny as I wanted and shift up and really get moving. Once I shifted it engaged immediately. This baby has yet to hit the trails, but Deke was telling me he's still not 100% sure what he's doing with this bike. It's kind of a work in progress and an experiment machine. There are still a few questions such as, Can it shift under load? How does the oil hold up at 20 below temperatures. Can Trevor Rockwell take this thing on the log ride and fall off in his usual spot and continue to ride?

It is all true.

Very well written my dearest Spinner. The holidays should always be bloody, who will feel my wrath this season? I have a few pictures from Christmas past, present and future.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Santa doesn't exsist...

Do you know the story of what actually happened to old Chris Kringle? He did exist at one time. When Jeff O'Gara was just a wee lad, he wrote a letter to Santa. This was a very special letter, Little Jeffery wrote it very carefully, making absolutely sure every word was spelled correctly, that the handwriting was very clean and in large letters, even the paper was wrinkle free. In true Jeff O'Gara form, he mailed the letter Next Day Air in October just to be sure it got to Santa in Time. Jeff asked for one thing and one thing only, his very first bicycle. Little Jeffery was so excited for his new bike to arrive that he could barely sleep on Christmas Eve. But Jeff was told that Santa only visits good little boys and girls who are sleeping. Jeff was so anxious for his new bike he figured the only way to get to sleep was if he put a sleeper hold on himself. Jeff awoke several hours later, realized it was Christmas Morning and rushed down to the tree, ready to ride! Unfortunately, the only thing Santa had left for Jeff was a couple pair of elastic waistband jeans and a pair of size 2 snow boots.... Maybe it was because Jeff wasn't a good boy that year. Maybe they didn't make bikes that small, maybe old St. Nick thought Jeff needed clothes more than toys. Didn't matter to little Jeffery, no excuses, this was a bad move for the Fat Man in the Red Suit. The following year Jeff wrapped himself in a small box under the tree and ambushed Santa. Hence, he no longer exists.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, the places you'll go

As many of you know, Ward and Jacky Budweg are touring the world on Bicycles. Their documenting here and there on their own blog, Ward and Jacky's Adventures. Ward will occasionally send me a little update, thanking me for the DHPT notes or maybe a picture of a babe in a bikini on some tropical beach. So needless to say, I usually look forward to opening attached pictures in his e-mails. This latest one however, caught me a little off guard. Jacky seems to be having a great time...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chainless Bicycles

If you haven't heard about belt drive bicycles yet, check this article out.

Trek is working on Belt Drive bikes to be released in 2009. One will be a single speed cruiser, the other a 8 speed with an internal shifting hub.

Click here to see the story on CNN .com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Riding

I had the chance to get out a ride a little last week when there was only about 3 inches of snow on the ground. I love riding in the snow, especially when you find a trail with no tracks. It's a pretty cool feeling when you know no-one has been out here since the last snow fall. Sure, the climbs are sketchy and it takes a little more leg power to get around, but it's just a different kind of riding. This pic is on the river trail just at twilight.
I fought my way up through Lower, Middle and Upper Palisades and got a shot of a couple of Stars shining down on our lit up Town.

Get out there and enjoy it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Triple D

54 miles. Dubuque to Dyersville to Durango. In the Snow. Pretty much a PugslyFest from what I've heard. Ben "Shock of a Beeyatch" was the first of only 4 finishers and 50 some entrants last year. He froze off 4 small appendages. One finger, 2 toes, and....

More info at the Triple D blogsite

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burky's 30

A former and maybe it's fair to say "sometimes" Decorah Resident Jeremy Burkhart was recently surprised for this 30th Birthday Party. I wrestled with Burky at Luther and have had a few interesting riding experiences with him.At the first Big Wheeled Ballyhoo, Jeremy took out the Niner guy's personal bike because all there demo bikes were already out on the trails. Jeremy though he'd really try it out and rode it off the highest point of the Log Ride and tacoed the front wheel.
Another time O'Gara, Fuhrmann and I were on our way down to Missouri for a spring break bike trip when we picked up Jeremy at a truck stop about an hour away from his home in Dubuque. His Gary Fisher Rig looked sketchy at best. It had fenders front and back held on with rusty barbed wire.The most memorable ride would be the time I gave him my tube when we were riding in Arkansas in the middle of a National Forest. He got a flat and had forgot to pack an extra tube, so I gave him mine as we were miles from the trail head. Later on we got separated from the rest of the group when I got a flat. I had only brought 1 tube, but I thought we were close to the end of the ride and near the trail head. I told him to go ahead and tell the other guys what happened and that I would just walk my bike along the trail and meet them at the trail head. He took off around 6:00 PM and I started walking. I never did meet up with them, but that is a whole 'nother story.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yeller River Dirt Jam

The First or Second Annual Yeller River Dirt jam was a really wet and sloppy ride. It rained for 3 days leading up to Saturday and the leaves on the ground were as thick as the mud. The temperatures were somewhere in the 20's, maybe 30's, and we ran into more hunters than wildlife. However, spending a bad day with good friends seems to even out. Especially when you throw a few PBR's and a little High Life in the mix. The only regret is forgetting to run the camera when the Fuhrmann broke out the Flame Thrower.