Edmore, land of vastness

Scheduled a visit with Jeff Scofield and Scott Diagle just north of Edmore. (Relatively speaking), it was a great winter day for a ride. Air was crisp, clean and not windy.

Dirt roads were a bit sketchy in a few sections, but nobody fell down all day. Had a good time. It was my longest "real" winter ride ever...37 miles...3 hours worth of riding. I will say, I only got the shivers once and my toes got a little cold for a bit. Aside from that, it was a good time. My legs were feeling the pain at around mile 25 when Jeff kept saying "we're almost back".

When we did (eventually) get back, Nancy had hot venison chili waiting for us along with some fresh salsa and chips. We warmed up with a micro-brew each and watched Family Guy - Star Wars. (super funny stuff)

Will have to travel there again for more riding.

 I didn't expect these many hills near the middle of Michigan.

Average temp of 25. Chilly.

Cool windy road near the Pine River.

Jeff and Scott. This was most of the landscape we saw.

Found this kick ass rock. It must have been 10' across. We wondered what it was for. Answer: to make people stop and ask "what is it for?". It worked.


Muddy Buddies

What a fantastic day Saturday for a ride. Mid 50's in January. Ride on some dirt roads that were thawing out - fresh with mud. I felt great and probably could have ridden another 10 miles. Just one of those days that I felt great. Hope I have more of them.

This is what I found myself doing the night before our ride. Rebuilding (for the second time) my rear brake lever. Again the internals were all blowed out, no rear braking at all. I first replaced the pads figuring that would help, but there was no change. So a few interruptions, swear words, contemplating and rebuilding and 2 hours later I had rear braking again. However, now the pistons were stuck and needed to be lubed. I didn't know how to do that and I had no time. Upon spinning the rear wheel, it would only rotate about half way around. Tons of drag. So I figured Saturday was just going to be a joyous workout. When I got to Marty's he suggested that I just push the pistons in and not use the brake at all. So we cracked at the caliper with some tools and it worked! I bet he wishes he didn't offer that idea so he could have kept up with me at some points. HA!

Marty gettin'er done on the rigid Peace 9'er.

Marty had a nice trial of mud up his pants and back. I was able to defend that same mud by using my (dorky, but effective) rear fender.

Dirty mudder. What fun!

Back at the ranch on my homemade work stand. Time to get clean and relube.

1.5 hours later, badda-bam. Clean as a whistle and ready for snow. Put the studded tires back on and was able to lube up the pistons in the calipers so they work beautifully again. No drag whatsoever.

 Just waiting for snow.


Hair of the Dog, 2013

Hello 2013. Yet again, another great way to begin the year.

Because of the dry and calm weather there was a much larger turn out from last year. Last year there were around 50 or so people, this year, probably closer to 100-150. I wanted to count so I could get an actual number, but we were always so spread out (and some people split off at the first and second bar stops).

There was lots of ice as we tend to ride through alleys and side streets that did not benefit from plowing or salting this past week. There was quite a few people falling down. I had brought my studded tires, but left them in the car wondering if I actually needed them, so I rolled out on standard tires. My choice was okay, a little sketchy at times, but overall just fine.

Spent most of the day with a few fellow Rapid Wheelmen: Susanne, John, Judy and Cal.

The first bar stop like last year was at The Point. They were prepared this year, two people tending bar with another guy in the back. We cleared a keg of Founder's Dirty Bastard in about 10 minutes. We were pleading people to return used pitchers to the front so more beer can be dispensed to the masses.

Again we stopped at the homeless shanty town to drop off canned good donations and such. Like last year I brought hand warmers as my donation - which most of the guys out there seemed to enjoy. All except one rather drunken individual....we'll call him Homeless Man H (as in Hepatitis). (A guy behind me observing the man with a seemingly half-chewed off nose, said "beware of the Hepatitis - hence the homeless man's coined name.)

From there we headed off towards the next bar stop...Quinn & Tites (like last year). However, they were NOT equipped to handle the rush of people. One old guy behind the bar and he was slow. I stood there for what seemed 10 minutes, never moving positions. That's when it was decided we would bail and go somewhere else and forego the balance of the ride.

We ended up at Woods Tavern, 7 of us. I had two delicious Fat Tire beverages, some chili and French Dip sammich.

What a fun day. Good company, great weather, fun ride. Everyone in great spirits.

Happy 2013 everyone!

Great turn out!

First bar stop, The Point. Jammed as usual.

Homeless shanty town boat. Looks drivable to me.

Donations left at one of 4 drop areas.

Ride Reward: Fat Tire brew in special fat tire glass.