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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Duluth Fat-Bike Weekend

I think this is like a Duluth icon or something
 Last weekend I had the pleasure of riding some of Duluth's finest routes with some of Duluth's (and greater Minnesota) finest fat-bikers. Weeks ago, a post on the MORC forum invited any and all fat-bikers to a three day group ride led by Rudy O'Brien. The post contained a detailed itinerary of the proposed routes, including a beach ride, creek ride, and local single track. Before I even ran it by my wife I replied back to the post with an "I'm In".
14 deg F   What else would you rather do a Friday night?

Ride leader, mastermind, and gracious host of D F-B W
The first ride was to be on the beach of Minnesota Point at 8 pm on Friday night, and roll to Park Point at the end of the giant sand bar. Park Point/ Minnesota Point is a long sliver of sand heading south east out of Canal Park. The beach terminates at a small light where the contents of Superior Bay and Allouez Bay empties into Lake Superior, fed by the St Louis and Nemadji Rivers. If it were not for the canal leading out of these two bays one could continue on Wisconsin Point for another three plus miles. 

 The night was cold and windy as thirteen brave souls ventured out onto the beach. The ride out was playful as we rode over the large ice heaves deposited in the sand. It was a bit tricky as the traction and firmness of the surface went from sand paper to glare ice and firm crust to bottomless drifts. When we reached the turn around point some six miles, (give or take) the cold was setting in and well as the thought of hot food and cold drink. On the way back it was every man for himself as we made our way into the chilly headwind towards Grandma's Saloon and Grill.

Yours Truly

The next morning we would be tackling Amity Creek and the Lester River from the bottom and heading upstream. Creeks and rivers are my personal favorite places to ride fat-bikes and these little gems did not disappoint. The crew for the day's ride was slightly larger than the night before. What this translates to is a nicely packed, fast trail when we head back down stream. One of the highlights of the day was riding down a very steep waterfall. Less than half attempted it, I only rode it after I saw a Rudy "Mad Skills" O'Brien pull it off. It looked too steep and the run out too sharp. Rudy made it look easy, so without thinking too long about it , I hopped on my bike and did it.... clean. Several others rolled the big drop with differing results as the rest of us cheered and heckled.   
there's a creek around here somewhere with our names on it

Winter wonderland
 Mid-day we found ourselves at a nice little cafe before starting the second half of the ride at Hartley Park. Lot's of climbing is the first thing that comes to mind when I think back on that ride. The trails were in pretty good condition for the most part and got much better as we neared the main parking lot. It has not snowed much in "The Cities" over the last couple years, so I was rusty trying to keep the bike on the  narrow sweet spot of trail within the deep snow. After the ride I had to get back home and was not able to continue on with the remainder of the festivities that evening and the next full day. I had "adventure" plans with my boys so it was a win win weekend.
too steep to ride up, but perfect for going down

E P 
 Thanks to Rudy for putting together and leading a great weekend. Also thanks for the guest room. Thanks to the Duluth crew for your hospitality, and showing us "oh, your from the cities" a  good time. I know most of the people from around the entire state don't like "our kind" so thanks for not giving us the cold shoulder. :)  It was great riding with some of "the regulars" (you know who you are) and it was good to get to know some new folks and hangout with a real live Arrowhead Ultra racer, ( E.P. I see Man Trip in your future) and the very first champion of that same race.        Hope this happens again next year.... D Rider ..out
Final Thought...... Nice


  1. MNBicycleCommuter clued me into your blog for how cool of a dad you are, reading your posts and seeing he was right! Looking to bring my girls up to have such fun too!

    1. Thanks, Biking Duluth. as I'm sure you know how hard it can be to raise children,what I've found is once you get out of the house and away from all the distractions ( TV, video games, toys ) Its a lot of fun, There are many times I've nearly pulled my hair out trying to get them all moving in the same direction.

  2. Congrats to the fat-bikers and to those who had experienced the three-day group ride led by Rudy O'Brien. Your itinerary was great too.