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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fat-Bike Adventure Ride II, The Recap

I felt a little like Chris Skogen saying words before the big event
 Fat-Bike Adventure Ride II has come and gone. I'm relived and a little sore. Leading up to the ride the weather forecast for Saturday was for showers and thunderstorms. I was horrified, we've been in a drought and had beautiful dry days for the last two months or more. I worked so hard setting up this ride, I didn't want it rained out, even though I had a rain date set for a couple weeks later. The rain looked like it would hold out, so I decided to move forward with the original planned date.
First of many mud holes encountered

 The theme for the ride would prove to be one of water, as much of the challenges for the ride were in creeks, mud holes, and along rivers. We were getting soaked from the ground up, we might as well complete it, with rain soaking us from the head, down. This was an adventure ride after all.
Waiting to enter the first challenge

It's dark in here

Go Toward The Light
 Our first challenge was that of the sandstone culvert, to a ladder out of the pit. This was one of my favorites and took the longest to set up, I think everyone else enjoyed it too. Next was a long section of creek riding. This proved a difficult and/or not appealing to some as we lost our first four riders midway through this section. The rest of us had a great time plowing through the sometimes deep water and slippery stones of the creek bed.
GP climbing out
One of only two guys to carry bike out without assistance

 Just as we lost riders at the end of this section, one more joined in (B-Swen) as we were about to start or attack on another creek and some off camber bluff riding. This entire section was new from last year and took a lot of work to scout and clear-out the eye-pokers, but it was well worth it.
Time to get wet as we enter the creek

riders coming trough the "field of burrs"

 Around 1pm we arrived at our first and only official break spot. I took the liberty of hiding a cooler in the woods the night before, complete with turkey, chicken and roast beef, bread, Little Debbies, and chips, as well as case of Mt Dew, for all my homies to enjoy or their lunch break. This was a nice break but it was now raining and the clouds were obscuring an awesome view point. Most of us that brought rain jackets put them on, we finished lunch and headed out for the second half.

Creek #2 ,lots of pretty leaves were hiding a deep hole. I went in first :) 

Long hike-a-bike up a very steep hill
 After lunch the route gave way to a lot less hike-a-bike and more sustained riding. This included Mississippi River shoreline, and the wide open, brush-less, but stick and log filled river bottoms. We also rode through the famed "Giant Culvert" and past "Lor's Lair".

The "mud run"

 Since we were already soaked, and by this point, have done irreversible damage to our bike's drive trains, bottom brackets, and wheel bearings, I decided to throw in a detour to a muddy, bottomless, creek crossing. I enjoyed it, and judging by the smiles on the faces everyone else I think they enjoyed it too. Most of the group made multiple passes to see if they could make it through on two wheels, no one did, but it was fun.
Lunch time

Creek # 3
 As we made our way to the other side of the river we lost several others from the group. A couple got lost, and two others peeled off and headed back to the vehicles. We only had about an hour left but everyone was starting to languor, including me. I was nearly at "bonk" stage when I threw down a couple large handfuls of Raisinettes and a beef stick.

Achilles heel of Large Marge cut-outs, stick punctures tube for first casualty of the day. 

Bike wash !
 Suddenly rejuvenated by sugar, I was ready for more. The last section was along the slick, rip-rap shoreline of the Missisip', which gave way to firm, smooth sand, and eventually a nice twisty single-track.
the Giant Culvert

The "Gratuitous Mud Hole" we didn't have to go here but it sure was fun 

 The final couple miles were on bike path before heading back up to the Pilot Knob. There were two big climbs that stung a little as we raced up them. Some of the group need to be home, and others, including me, were racing for a seat at Lucky's 13, just blocks from where we started six and a half hours earlier.

 We began with 16 riders (+1 an hour late), and ended up with 8 at the finish. I'm calling it a success, the ride was meant to be a challenge, as well as a showcase for what these bikes are capable of doing with the right rider on the pedals. If you missed it, too bad for you. However, I might be convinced to ride the first half again soon but at a faster pace. I've also had requests to put together something similar in the winter........stay tuned as that is a good possibility. 

"The Goat Path"
 I'd like to thank everyone for coming out and riding on such a gloomy day. I hope everyone had a good time and was thoroughly tired by the end. If you didn't have a good time, give it a few days and then you might appreciate it. If you made it halfway, at least you got a free meal!
Smooth sailin'
Alternate,tough guy route through the water. 

Does this ever end ?

Slimy rip-rap near the end.

2 of 2 flats for the day, not bad

And then there were 8


  1. Looks like it was a blast Josh. Wish I could have made it!

  2. My highlight Fat adventure of the year. Thx SO much for all your effort and showing us your playground! Gregg

  3. Had a great time Josh! Thanks for putting it together and letting me tag along.

    Pete R.

  4. “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” — Alan Sachs

    Thanks full pulling the life out of us. (yes, double entendre)

  5. Josh, good times! So glad I made it. Thanks for being the guide.


  6. Looks fun. Good thing it didn't rain, you might have gotten wet!
    how long did it take to clean you bike after the day?

  7. Ride of the year!


  8. Awesome! Bummed I missed it this year.

  9. Thanks for inviting me man, I had fun for as much as I completed. I was not prepared for what it was. I will be back next year more prepared. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it as well.