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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gun Mount

Built this specifically for my 20ga single shot

 I'm not much of a hunter these days. From the age of 13 to about 20 I really enjoyed hunting, and fishing as well as trapping. My interest in being a "sportsman" started to wane when I really dug in deep with  bicycles, and for the most part has been put on the back burner ever since.

carries a 22 bolt action as well...WITHOUT tubular magazine 
  With the advent of the fat-bike and the Cogburn line of hunting and fishing fat bikes, my enthusiasm to get back out there has awakened.  I'm not going whole hog, but if I get out at least once I'll have satisfied my urge. Part of the allure of hunting via fat-bike for me, is simply the notion of carrying a gun on your could it get much better? This allure also brought me to build my own mount for reasons of economy as well as pride.

camo-ed ...and yes it's called the Muther Fuckin Gun Mount
 From the beginning I wanted my gun on the front end, and I wanted it pointing down. I thought about mounting one of those Kolpin gun boots , but they are heavy and expensive enough that I didn't want to buy one for an experiment that may not work. Instead, I fabricated my own design from a piece of aluminum tubing, misc. sheet material, and some pipe insulation....and a hose clamp. Although not field tested,I think it will work pretty well. My single shot 20ga doesn't weigh much more than a bunch of gear typically carried on the handle bars in a sweet roll style bag. As far as it being secure, the gun fits snug in the insulation and is held "in" by a single, padded, nordic ski strap. My only real concern is if the butt of the gun is out far enough that I will not hit it (with my face)when riding aggressively. In a seated position it is not an issue, and may be the preferred riding position. I'm planning some testing in the coming weeks and will update then.
cock the's time for action
-Cyprus Hill-

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Almost three years ago I did an overnight kayak/fat-bike trip with Vandy similar to the one just completed with my middle and youngest sons. My oldest son G Man, was out with an elbow injury and my wife was going to Spirit Mtn for DH MTB riding so it's not like they were excluded.

It's common to have full sized trees in the middle of the river

Someone else camping....old skool style

artifact or trash ? 

Just ahead is Carver Rapids. Doesn't look like much  now, but when the water is down is a continuous chunk of rock stretching all the way across the river
Vandy and I had such a good time kayaking ,camping and riding , I've been thinking about making it happen again ever since. In case you didn't go check out out the link first....Our first trip was on the Minnesota River from Belle Plaine to Chaska, this was a little long for my youngsters so we opted for Jordan to Chaska (19mi vs. 8.5mi).

we've arrived

Standard issue Imperial Venture Corps eating utensils 

We could not have asked for better weather, it was warm and sunny during the day and cool at night...........great for a camp fire and comfortable sleeping. Our camp location will remain a secret here, but is a well worn site that can be easily located if you pay attention. After paddling for approx. 2.5 hours we arrived at our location about an hour before dark, this gave us lots of time to set the tent, find wood and get our cooking underway.
You can bring a lot of stuff when camping out of a sea kayak

dueling spoons 

 Hidden cache of fat-bikes for our return trip   
  As far as peace and quite goes , this  may have been the noisiest place I have ever camped. None of the noise was man made, instead it was the animals. As the day turned to evening the birds seem to turn up the volume just before the lights go out. About the same time the birds quite down the coyotes begin howling, not just the kind you here in the movies but horrible screams and high pitched bellowing. All the while this is going on large fish, presumably carp , are jumping and splashing in the river just below the bank we are camped on. Along with the fish jumping all night are the numerous beavers that are constantly slapping their tails on the water. Getting to sleep that night was a bit difficult as my mind often wanders from what the noises actually are. My kids on the other hand thought it was completely normal and left me to fend for myself while they quickly nodded off.

24inch  Framed, Mini-Sota

 Fortunately, nothing attacked and killed us while we slept, morning came , we ate breakfast and we were off. We had about an hour of paddling before reaching our bikes to complete the loop and get back to our vehicle. I choose to use the fat-bikes because the trail is often sandy and fat-bikes are awesome. Also I paid a shit ton of money for them and I want the bikes to get ridden before they need the next size. The ride was just as good as the kayaking. Sometimes the trail gets very overgrown to the point that it can't be ridden, apparently people are cycling/hiking/horse back ridding  down there enough that the trail was good to go. By the time we got back the boys were tired out and hungry, we loaded gear and bikes, shuttled boats, and then finally topped off the weekend with large meal at a local Mexican restaurant.
Thanks boys, for hanging out with your old man....G Man....I wish you could have made it...Lady DR....I know you had more fun riding your bike down hill, so I'm glad I didn't keep you from that.

D. Rider ......out

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gravel Conspiracy 2015

The Gravel Conspiracy........To me, is...... three days of riding amongst the best terrain in Minnesota with your pals.
Stamper doesn't mess around.... he's got a big box truck and real deal motor coach set up for the race 

A quick stop in Grand Marais for lunch 

Grand Portage...getting ready to roll out

Just over their shoulder's in Canada
  I signed up for this race so long ago I forgot if I even paid for my one way bus ticket to Grand Portage. This was the only race/ride I had on my calendar for the year that was etched in stone, I missed it last year and was pretty bummed and determined not to miss it again.

BOney is pretty much a total bad ass 

1 flat from Chuker for the entire ride 

 The race this year was....Day one, ride from Grand Portage to Grand Marais, just over 50 miles. This part is my favorite, it's very remote, and the trail-like roads are rugged, if you get a chance, check out Rengo and Firebox.
In front of the Gunflint Tavern one 

smooth sailing down the Sawbill Trail 

  Day 2 is just over a hundred miles, goes from Grand Marais to Silver Bay and is a little smoother than day 1. The route is extensive and just plain freakin' awesome. Most of the time I had no idea where I was and I liked it, the hills on the other hand were tough....Bally Creek as well as Honeymoon comes to mind. Although it was a hard ride I was glad to share the gravel and work together with friends. From start to finish I rode with Vandy, Chuck, and Best in Schow, for some of the ride we hung with ONeil, BOney,NowSports Dude, DG and Salsa Pete.
New bridge

Good eats await inside 

One last beaver dam to cross

grocery shopping....Silver Bay 
  While we were out riding, the race director was having a challenge of his own. The rental truck containing everyone's gear was not running properly and was ultimately replaced via a wrecker from the twin cities. The exchange went down in front of my house (my wife, kids and I call it the bug-out) in Silver Bay while a bunch of us grilled and cooked dinner. Nine of us stayed the night there and I may open it up to more next year if I think the plumbing can handle it. The rest of the racers stayed in near-by Beaver bay or the American Inn just down the hill.
The Bug-Out

get this truck outta here 


Oneil.....being Oneil 
  Day three.....Beaver Bay to Duluth..51 miles. Feeling quite sore and tired a 50 mile ride compared to the hundo we had done the day before seemed short. I wasn't that enthusiastic about finishing it up and going home and then to work the next day either. It was such a great weekend of fantastic weather, adventurous gravel routes, and hanging with friends I didn't want it to end so soon.
almost got ran over getting this pic of Chuk

The last check point 
  If you want in,(and you should want in), on this fantastic race/ride next year......pray that Mr Stamper is gracious enough to run it again, and get yourself signed up. You may regret the saddle sores and leg cramping, but you will not regret the incredible experience navigating, under your own power, the back roads of the Superior National Forest.

D Rider....out