Packrafting the Zumbro/Hedged Bets Supposedly Cheq 100, Tour of America's Dairyland, RW Memorial MN Mountain Bike Series or none of the above?

Local paved bike-paths today...  you can imagine what the mountain bike trails look like, how often it's rained on the road group rides etc..  This spring is in some ways a 'bust' but I guess if you play your cards right there is always something good in it.  Skip down below for more packrafting stuff from today and to avoid the maze of negativity, confusion and poor performances discussed between here and the next picture.

Hedged bets: blah, blah, blah

I know I don't appreciate a certain level of heat/humidity very well.  This is why I started racing on the road to begin with as it was a hedge against being forced to ride in the woods where it's even hotter.  At least the air flow on the road gave me a fighting chance.  Hedge #1.

I'm not sure what the Chequamegon 100 is about anymore.  There was so much attitude that I didn't understand being thrown around on the facebook feed in the weeks leading up to it.  In short, myself and a couple other people were made to feel like d-bags for asking questions/wanting to know things that pertained to racing this event.  Apparently we are supposed to give up our hard-earned money, a weekend packed with other events etc. and not give a shit about competing and/or getting lost.  I get that they have a lot of people who come to this event just to ride and I appreciate that (hell, see my own event).  I don't get why that means I can't want to use any sort of map I want and more importantly to try my hardest (which I was made to feel was not in the spirit of the event...)  Part of the issue was some major attitude with regards to GPS use, but it was the attitude and not the GPS that really got me down (not that I think navigating or orienteering type stuff has any part in ANY bike race) There are plenty of people signed up who are much faster than I am as well...  were 'they' going to mock them at the finish for trying, or what?  Anyways, it worked and I was planning on eating my $55 entry fee and to go elsewhere.  I can't see signing up next year.

Further, what's up with charging for this event?  I know it's worth the money vs the competing rides, it is an awesome event and far, far superior to something like the Lutsen 99er etc..  This is why I ponied up my money and was planning to go.  That said, I feel like going from free and "in the spirit of other free events", to charging undermines what I think is the most important aspect of those events.  It is doubly bad for an event that is associated with a primary sponsor of many such events to undermine this.  I know the entry fee is a donation.  That doesn't change the principle of things here at all for me.  Many of you who read this will think I am wrong. 

Regardless, it rained a whole bunch up there (and everywhere) and the race/ride/whatever was canceled.  I already had a ride and plans to head over to the Tour of America's Dairyland for a couple of crits anyways due to some of the above.  Hedge #2.

Tour of America's Dairyland's website showed 77 pre-registered riders in the 120 man 2/3 field.  When I got there 2 hours before my race Saturday I was told to sign onto a wait list.  As it turned out the field was full before the day even began.  Literally only 2 riders got in day of (due to no shows).  There were at least 30-40 other riders in the same situation as me.  I emailed the promoter/organizer and got no response yet.  This was shitty.  Mini hedge #2.5...  went for a road ride around Waukesha.  I knew Sunday was "out" too as there was no reason to expect any fewer people to show.

Did some thinking and searching and realized that the Mn mtb series race in Red Wing might be doable...  would require some effort and not enough sleep but it was doable withing the confines of the rest of weekend's schedule.  Hedge #3

See the problem...  We are back to hedge #1.  Out of frustration with all that crap up above I was now headed to a very humid/hot mountain bike race.  My system of hedges was pushed to the back burner in my excitement to race.  I won't even go into any more detail about how that race went other than to say that I really hope to not make that mistake again anytime soon.  I am embarassed.

So, hedge #4.  The best answer when it gets hot...  the packraft.

This was a trip from home to a a secret location not far from where my new house is (btw, I'm moving at the end of next month!) and back.  Here are some pictures, comments...

I've taken a lot of pictures right here, but today would be the first time I did more on the river than just look.  Super excited!

Muddy, muddy high water

Nothing to add to those

There was a lot of this and bigger, had to be active to keep from going into the rocks/trees on bends.  Plenty of excitement, water to the face more than once, raft half full of water kind of stuff.  Also, neat to see all the little streams feeding in.

Out at the bridge.

This was a short section, just about 5 miles.  I can't wait to explore more of the river.

This weekend I'm planning on WORS Eau Claire, but will be watching the weather a bit.  Not showing if it's over 90 temperature or humidity...


  1. Ilove the camba trails and the Cheq100 race but......a mandatory donation is no different than an entry fee. Enough said. Go have fun on a bike.

  2. Was your frustration with the RW race just on how you felt/competed/dealt with the heat (no need to elaborate) or with the race itself.

    If it's anything with how the race was run please don't keep quiet. If we did something that wasn't up to snuff in someone's mind we'd love to hear it (can't guarantee we'll fix it but without feedback there is no hope). Thanks! Isaac (of the Ragnarok and RAMBO crew)

  3. No, the rw race was good! I am just stupid to have raced in those conditions. Should have volunteered if anything, waited for Ragnarok.