Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mukluk'n Duluth's Beaches...

The day before Halloween I took the Mukluk up to Duluth to get a change of scenery.  I had been in ground school most of the month, and was about to live in a Memphis hotel room for too much of November for work, and I wanted to get some air.  Northern lake air.  
Duluth has a beach front extending from Canal Park that goes on for 6 miles, so it makes for a very nice fat bike out and back.  I've been told it's better to ride when things freeze over, but I enjoyed this day as well despite the sand being in it's loose non-winter state.  
The wind was up pretty big, as you'll see from the waves in the following pictures.  Made things a bit chilly, but that's Duluth and I don't mind a bit.  Fat biking the beach was the warm outdoor option apparently, as people were surfing in dry suits.  Duluth matches the tenacity of other outdoor minded towns in that people don't stay inside for a silly thing like cold.  They ask what fun they can have in it.  Yup.  
I was also trying out a new piece of gear, imagine that.  I love my Revelate Designs frame bag on my Mukluk, and I've recently added a handlebar sling (which I didn't use for this ride), and a Viscacha expandable seat pack (that's the new piece).  I had way more than enough storage for my little day tour, but wanted to try out the gear.  I had with me lots of water, lunch, a stove, coffee press and cup, lights in case I stayed out late, a wind fleece jacket for stationary times, and the normal cycling tools and spare fat tube.  Probably some other bits in there too but I forget.  
The sand went from hard pack to super loose, and the Mukluk floated most of it with ease.  There were a couple sections that no bike would stay up in, but that's what feet are for.  I played more with tire pressure on this ride than I have in most of the first year of owning a fat bike, and found that in the loosest stuff I could ride, 7psi is my winning pressure, or right around where my sidewalls start to lose form with my rider and gear weight.  
I rode the whole beach out and back, with a bit of exploration of some woods near the end.  
I'll be returning in different seasons, particularly winter to ride the dunes in frozen form.   

Mukluk with waves and cold weather surfer in the background (look close)...

Miles and miles of great sand and debris for rolling big tires over...

Winning pressure of the day...

Out near Sky Harbor airport...

If you know Sky Harbor at all, you can barely make out runway 32's approach end...

Duluth is for fat bikers...

The Headless Fat Biker of Lake Superior...Happy Halloween!

I'll be back in the cold...


Doug said...

I biked on the beach a few weeks ago. I've only biked on it in the winter in the past. I couldn't believe how much harder it was to ride. The beach is much easier to ride when frozen. It makes a big difference.

treadnorth said...

Yeah, I can't wait to get the chance to ride it frozen. Sand is fun, but a bit too much work sometimes. I've been loving the Mukluk year round, but like most fatbikers, winter is my favorite...we just had our first big snowfall here in St Paul, and I'm loving it!

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