Lakeville Milltown Lakeville

I was thinking about waiting for pictures to post a recap, but I don't think I'm going to feature real prominently in any.  I spent most the day following wheels as hidden as I could get.  I know I am weak, but at the same time I'm feeling so much better than just two weeks ago I can hardly believe it.  I've gone on a very strict diet.  Eating primarily of almond snickers (seriously one of the very few snack foods that seem 'safe' for whatever reason), pork, steak, chicken, potatoes and corn meal.  I started it on the 20th and felt so good by the 22nd that I went and raced aggressively on the road in Iowa.

So, I was feeling better for about a week then found myself trying to defend my title from last year...  and riding "as if" and I wasn't dropped at mile 12 (like CIRREM).  Then I wasn't dropped at mile 30.  Then I realized I felt pretty normal.  Then somewhere around mile 50 I started getting real real tired, but I was able to hang in there at the front.  I found myself in a group of 5 and was forced to get out in the wind some, but I didn't blow up.  Then I found myself in a group of 3 and I really was forced to rotate. It hurt, but I knew the other two riders were really strong and I was so happy to be there.  I attacked on the last hill out of fear of anyone else attacking and the legs felt pretty good but it was covered well.  I knew we were going to the finish line together then.  I tried to jump the sprint as I saw an opening and knew I was likely the weakest and it didn't work.

Later we found out that we had short cut the course a bit accidentally.  We had missed an out and back climb!  The riders who rode the whole course were, therefore, the first real finishers.  We had known it was out there and had actually talked about how it must have been missed while riding.  We had though it was about 10 miles from the checkpoint and therefore the entire large lead group had missed it before any splitting? But it turned out we were wrong.  Such is gravel racing.

I was very pleased with how I was able to ride.  I hope that if I stay on this path diet wise that I'll be able to make something of the next couple of months.  It's nice to be a bit "fresher" than normal I suppose.  

I have some suspicions about what the diet issue is yet, but plan to hold the line with the diet for the full 8 weeks regardless.  I do not want to mess up feeling better.

Batman seatpost

This has to be some of dumbest cycling related crap I've read in a while but I bet you can guess what image they used to get people to click on it....  yup, a BATMAN SEATPOST!


my ultimate trek 720 multitrack

I still love this thing!

A lot has changed since I first built this bike and some of those changes have meant that the parts are "trickling down" off of my 'race' bikes are a bit ridiculous.  However, a lot of them are too worn cosmetically to sell for a fair price and others may as well get used rather than just sitting around the garage until they perennially get the nod for the gravel conspiracy.

Anyways, here goes-

1999 58cm trek 720 with a 1" winwood/nashbar carbon disc fork 

dt240/zipp 404 wheelset-  built by a famous wheel builder in CO, possibly finished tour divide multiple times in the early years of the event.  Ridden by me over 5k miles after repairing a spoke that pulled through.  

Shimano 10 speed drivetrain with 105 shifters, ultegra rear derailleur, slx front derailleur, 32/44 sram noir carbon crankset.

Random nice cockpit parts.

Might be the bike I'd keep if I could just have one and I originally purchased it for $30.


"new" drivetrain tech: wide range cassette 1x "XX1 style" vs. electronic

I guess these are the two biggest recent drivetrain innovations.  I have both-  my thoughts...

My wide range cassette bike build is my new fatbike with a shimano 11-36 cassette converted to 11-42 with a WC Giant Cog.  I'm running SRAM X9 type 2 derailleur and X0 grip shift (which I also run with a more traditional double on my 'race' 29er).  The quality of the shifting is great.  It doesn't care if it gets muddy or covered in snow.  The wide range does provide me with enough of a range with a 34t front ring to do most any type of offroad riding.  I am not tempted to convert my 2x10 race bike to the same type of setup, not even in the least.  For mountain bike racing at any level or distance I would prefer a double.  The XX front derailleur on my 29er shifts very well and it is so effective to dump "many" gears with just one shift.  I also do use a wider range than 1x10 or 1x11 currently offers on a fairly consistent basis. The weight savings from the 1x are nice, but not worth what you lose.

My electronic setups are 10 speed shimano ultegra on my road bike and my 'gravel' CX bike.  I don't think I'll ever be able to go fully back to cable actuated shifting.  I want electronic on my mountain bike, my fatbike and my beach cruiser if it had gears.  Riding up to the base of a hill and essentially simultaneously shifting the front down and the rear three to the right without even thinking is basically sublime.

The electronic I'm running is also surprisingly cheap.  I was able to put together add-on kits (using my existing cranksets and brakes) for just about $650 a bike.  

The currently available wide range stuff is incredibly expensive.

As soon as I figure out a reasonably priced way to get long cages on electronic rear derailleurs I will be hacking together a mountain bike kit with custom push button shifters.  I have been dreaming about electronic shifting.


Road riding and ski season: Riley's first time skiing

It finally warmed up enough for babies to ski and for this guy to ride the road bike.  I got in 60 miles Saturday with friends on a nice ride out to Elgin.  Another 55 or 60? Sunday riding back from my Parent's in Red Wing via Lake City.  Sunday was particularly not warm as there was a 10-20 mph headwind the entire way.  Anyways, it was fun.  Electronic shifting is awesome.  Bikes are fun.

Skiing actually really sucked conditions wise, but the bunny hill was great!  Thanks to Pierce Skate and Ski/Bart for getting us the mini equipment!


The Great Pasty Chase

Info here

Three days of adventure out of Wolverine Village.  The best rides of my life have been up here and it is time to share.

The final routes are not now finalized.  Expect to spend Saturday 'out' on our bikes, making our own dinner and sleeping arrangements along the route.  Expect to ride 130-180 miles Saturday and Sunday.  We will return to Wolverine on Sunday evening and go out for dinner in Ironwood.  Monday will be a day for packrafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and exploring.

Overall-  the vibe will be one of hanging out and exploring.  We will pool our resources and skills, dirtbag style.

Here are a few images to get you started on what this will be about.

You can email me if you want or get ahold of me on facebook

For extra credit you might want to look through my old blogs at rideonpurpose.blogspot.com with regards to riding in this area ("gorge", "epic", "wolverine village").