The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

....And Then There Were 5

We stared the enduro ride off with ten riders, approximately six hours, and 67 miles later we were down to five. PD was first to drop with a broken derailer hanger, Chuker was next with a preexisting back problem, Neil simply disappeared down on the river bottoms, and B-Swen and K.A. headed for home after riding Battle Creek.
Seven of us completed Terrace Oaks, Lebanon Hills, A chunk of the river bottoms, Salem Hills, Carver Lake and Battle Creek. After battle Creek we headed to St Paul were I had my van and enclosed trailer staged so we didn't have to ride the 17-18 miles of road back to my house. At least half of the day we experienced pissing rain, not the kind that saturates the ground but keeps you nice and cool. The dampness also aids in keeping a steady supply of loose, sandy soil sticking to the drive-train.
It was a great ride with good company, topped off with cheap hamburgers and hot dogs at my house.

getting ready to go

that's not good, right?

mid-way at Salem Hills

Battle Creek

All Done
Thanks for the ride guys!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Enduro Group Ride

Extra points if you can tell me who is in this picture.
 I'm planning an enduro ride for Saturday August 25, with BBQ at my house to follow. Ride leaves my house at 8:30 am. If you don't know where I live we will meet you at Terrace Oaks MTB trail-head at 8:45. That way if I don't like you, or your a kook that I don't know,your not coming over to hang out afterwards. To be an enduro ride, in my definition, is to ride at least four different trails. I plan to hit at least four of these, Terrace Oaks, Leb, Salem Hills/Harmon Park, Battle Creek, River Bottoms, Murphy, and anything in between. We will be riding to each venue, this is not a vehicle supported ride. Plan for 4-6 hours of ride time, or bring a phone so your mom can pick you up. This is not a fat-bike ride, think 29er.

Just to be clear

What:   Enduro Ride, All day MTB ride....not a race
When and Where;  Saturday August 25   8:30 am  my house or 8:45 am Terrace Oaks
Who:   Any MTB rider capable of moderate paced trail ride, no drop ride... but if your super slow, were dropping you anyway!
Details:  most likely will stop for food and drink at gas station or something fast like chipotle'. I'm not a drinker so BYOB for BBQ, unless you want the stuff I bought for X-mas 3 years ago that is sitting in the closet. I will provide burgers and hot dogs, chips, and soda, if you would like to bring something to share that would be cool. Families welcome after we get back from the ride.

Please leave a comment if you are planning on showing up or shoot an email

Thanks and hope to see you on Saturday   Death Rider

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Miles and miles of day-dreaming bike path
 Faribault-Mankato-Faribault, 90 miles of bike path and five hours of solo riding to let my mind wander. I planned this ride way back in February when I made an early morning dentist appointment for 8am on a Wednesday. Back then, I was anticipating the need for a day off from work to go ride my bike. My route followed the Sakatah Trail from Faribault to Mankato (and back), where it turned into the North River Trail, which I took straight into town. I did this same route several years ago when I called in sick to work. It was my birthday so I figured I deserved it and wanted to celebrate the day with a long ride.
AMP... buy one, get one free at the Hyvee grocery store in Mankato. I drank both of them! 

Mankato, lunch stop and short nap near the Minnesota River
 In keeping with tradition, I rode my single speed road bike. Although it wasn't my birthday until Monday, I figured it was close enough. That would also give me another chance to call in sick on my real birthday and do a different ride. The ride went well, not too hot, light wind and a cool down in the rain to finish the last ten miles. I have another early morning dentist appointment set for mid February in which I've given myself the day off.......... To Ride
For some reason there is bike parking in the middle of nowhere on the trail. There are no bike racks and no reason to park here, as there is nothing to do but look at trees.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Super Dads

Just getting started on the Baptism River, morning 1. They weren't supposed to get wet yet
 A couple weeks ago, while Lady D Rider (wife,mom) was out of town on her annual girls weekend, the boys and I headed north for a little vacation. Joing in the fun was T-Roy and his daughter J-Boo. We both took work off Friday and headed out Thursday night for the north shore of Lake Superior. What ensued in the next three days was one of the best weekend trips I've done in a while.
The first night we stayed near Finland Minnesota at the Eckbeck Natl Forest campground. The forest service campgrounds are nice, but sometimes are just a place to stay. We lucked-out when we scored a sweet site at Temperance River State Park on Friday morning. The lake, and river water, was warm enough that we spent about four hours swimming, cliff jumping, and playing in the waves.
Troy, cliff jumping in Temperance River

Yours truly, jumping in Temperance River
Lake Superior at the mouth of the Temperance River
The gang

J-boo does first cliff jump, ever!

Dinner time

On Saturday morning we headed north to Grand Marais. The Dragon Boat festival was going on, so the town was packed. We hadn't planned for the boat races but we sat and watched one anyway.  Once you've seen one dragon boat race, you've seen them all. The boats are like a really big canoe with a bunch of people paddling to the beat of an onboard drummer. On to better things, we headed a little further north for the real prize of the day. We would navigate up the steam bed and waterfalls of a small creek that becomes somewhat of a slot canyon, one of my favorites of the north shore. The water was flowing a little faster than  when I did a solo trip two years ago, but was manageable with two adults working together to get everyone upstream, unscathed. T-Roy did manage to cut a large gash in his knee while making sure his daughter made it through a slippery section.
T-Roy and J-boo navigating the first waterfall

Big "D"

Team Work

All natural water slide

OOPS! at Sven and Olie's,  Grand Marais,  MN

Front row seat for the waves

One of the treasures we found at Ben Franklin in Grand Marais

Super "Y" trying to catch a mosquito
Sunday, our final day, had us sleeping in from a wild s'more party that went late into the night (8:30 pm). After breakfast we packed up and started heading home, but not before I brought the group to the greatest swimming-hole on earth. I want keep it a secret, so I thought about blind-folding T and J for the van ride, but decided that might look a little suspicious to passing motorists. Instead I had them sign wavers written in blood and authenticated by a pagan ritual. They're never going to tell !
On our way to the best swimin' hole on earth

Heck yeah !

We had a ton of fun swimming,we had just as much fun exploring further upstream. I had only been up this creek one other time on skis and turned back before the really good stuff. I was regretting that decision but was very happy to be experiencing new ground with my boys. Along the way we found several other shallow pools we could swim or relax in, as well as beautiful rock walls covered in green moss, lichens, and ferns. Small waterfalls gave way to boulder strewn water courses that disappeared around the bends only to be repeated at the next turn. This was true beauty!      We played and explored most of the day before we got back to the van and made the rest of the trip home.  Thanks T-Roy and J-Boo for joining the boys and I on one of the funnest trips of the year!
If there was a place to swim, we would find it.

The boys warming up after a long time in the water.

Wait for me.