Looking like touring practice part II... no Ore to Shore this year

Once again I wanted to hit one of the far-away mountain bike festivals but a random chain of events and financial concerns look to prevent it.  Different reasons than the Chain Drive, but really it's all just money and my aversion to spending it for things that don't seem "worth it" (ie-  it would cost $150-200 more to go race at this point than for either plan outlined below).  Sad that I won't be making the trip (that is unless a few readers want to carpool, get at me...).  However, I'll be taking the opportunity to do something fun.

Looking at routes to tour through the north woods with a stop in Ironwood.  I've never done any multi-day rides on a mountain bike yet and this weekend seems the time to start.

Initial thoughts:  park in Hayward and ride CAMBA to the far end then explore fire roads the rest of the way to Ironwood.  Could make for an absolutely HUGE Friday...  possibly needing 130-140 miles including a lot of singletrack.  Saturday would then be a more relaxed trip up to the Porcupines for the night.

Option B:  don't bite off too much, ride CAMBA then camp in the area, push through to Ironwood the following day.

Concerns:  would this be on my SS caffeine?  That seems the most logical mountain touring bike, but gears sound nice with a couple days worth of crap.  I would likely wind up rocking small panniers and a rear rack which just isn't an option on the Flash.  To set the Flash up would require changing the handlebars out to an aluminum set or no aerobars and definitely no way to bring all the gear I would want...  Not sure the flash is "load rated" for touring regardless, particularly with my relatively heavy kit.  So then, 34x18 and just go for it?

Other concerns:  the timeline might get a bit ridiculous.


  1. No Dairyland Dare for you this year? I'm going to head back to Dodgeville. You passed me on I35 Sunday North of Mason City.

  2. Interesting... I hadn't realized that was this weekend since I'd written off doing it a while back. It is somewhat tempting, looks like I have one more day to sign up, I better carefully check the weather and consider. Damn $110 entry fee.

  3. I rode 34x19 for Cheq 100 and really liked that gear on the singletrack up there. As long as you don't mind spinning on the flatter sections of fireroad, it was pretty nice.

  4. May just cheat and bring two cogs... thinking it would be super nice to have one gear for the singletrack and another for the fireroads. 34x20 and 34x17 seem appropriate for this trip to me. Lightest/easiest way to do that for me is to bring a tomicog and just yank the rear rotor off when I get done with the singletrack.

  5. why not just set up as a dingle (provided you can cover the gear spacing with a single chain length)? Given that you're not necessarily putting in racing efforts, being a small amount off on both chain lines shouldn't be a huge deal.

  6. that could have worked... in the end I went big with the full geared bike. Eyeing the Porcupines.