Sunday, November 27, 2011
As I've done in years past, I decided to make the trip from STP to Coon Rapids via bicycle. The route up is rather simple- ride Summit Ave to the Mississippi and then follow it to the in-laws place a few suburbs north.
Along the way, I passed by the hospital I had my original pectus surgery done. I stood there for a bit looking at the doors I left from after the procedure. I was being pushed in a wheelchair, and had been through and was heading for a lot of painful days. I remember as I was waiting for our car to pull up to take me home, seeing a cyclist roll past on a Surly on their way to wherever, and I was feeling so far from being able to hop on a bike again. It just plain sucked.
I hadn't really thought of that moment again until passing by the hospital on the way to Thanksgiving dinner, and it really did cause me to feel thankful, as I was now the person passing by on my bike enjoying the ability to ride. The small joys in life matter. Be thankful for the good days.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I’ve been breaking in the Mukluk and enjoying it all. I’m predicting a lot of fun on this bike as the seasons change and we dive into another Northern winter. And even though I’m looking forward to the cold riding, I sure haven’t been minding the extended fall we’ve been having. It’s been a stellar season for riding here in MN, and I’m going to accept is as a pay back for the months of missed riding post doctor stuff. Not bad.
Last weekend I did something I’ve never done on a bike, thanks to the new fat machine- I headed up north of Grand Marais, and covered some Lake Superior beach miles. It’s amazing where the Mukluk can go- I sure couldn’t have comfortably ridden through the loose rocky shoreline on any of my other bikes. My Karate Monkey probably would have made it through, but with way more struggle. Now this doesn’t mean the fat bike is some sort of miracle machine and there was never any hike a bike- it’s still super loose rock, and much of it off camber, but I was riding the majority of the time over rocks, runoff water, driftwood, sand, and even a few bones of expired critters- all the while with a big dumb smile enjoying the new riding capabilities.
I would have had a great time just sitting on this stretch of scenery, so being able to combine it with one of my favorite pastimes was great- I’m glad I bought this bike. I’m going to have to do some research to see if a beach ride overnighter route can be figured out somewhere on Superior.
I also got out on a local Mukluk ride yesterday morning with my friend Nate who was riding a maiden voyage on his newly built up 9er. We headed from our neighborhood in STP down to the Sibley House on the MN River to see if we might meet up with a “river ramble” ride that Gnat from Salsa Cycles was putting on. We just missed them, as they left pretty early in the morning to get some sunrise shots in during the ride. We saw them a couple times but couldn’t manage to connect with them. Our ride was great however. There’s a great amount of river bottom trail to ride, and if you’re sporting big tires, there’s a ton of off trail wandering to do with much wildlife to see. It’s a floodplain, and you can pretty much ride wherever you’d like in it on 4” rubber. The Salsa ride was expecting to do anywhere from 30-50 miles of rambling. Including the pavement part of our 2-man ride, we covered 23 in the small amount of time we had before we had to duck for other commitments. I’m thinking of heading back down there today to explore some more before it gets buried in snow for the winter.
I’m loving the Mukluk so far and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future…