Monday, March 19, 2012

Closing Out Winter With Some MN Fatbiking...

Errin catches me hopping on the rear wheel of my Mukluk with a spectacular background. Check out the compression I was getting on the rear tire... Rad!!
I had the rare opportunity to travel and ride simply for pleasure with a small group of friends on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. We were fortunate to have not just fantastic snow, but also nearly ideal weather for the trip, which made for boundary expanding fatbiking for several of our crew, myself included.

I rolled into Minneapolis on Saturday night, just in time to meet our fearless leader, Gnat, who was with Joe Meiser and Errin Vasquez at a party at the Angry Catfish bike shop and coffee bar. After realizing that I had met the guys from Angry Catfish at the 2010 Dakota Five-O, we had some great conversation and I enjoyed looking over their amazing custom frame selection, including an exquisite $4100 stainless steel Pegoretti road frameset. It was perhaps one of the most fantastic frames I've seen. The night was capped off by an all-too-brief conversation with Minneapolis icon, Gene "Gene-O" Oberpiller, as I prepared to walk out the door. He's such a cool guy and he's got a lot of love for the Lincoln scene... A first-class dude for sure. As I walked out of Angry Catfish, I couldn't help but feel like that's a shop that has a special clientele, and a special community, supporting it. It has an inspired feel about it... I love it. Coffee and bikes just work together, especially in the rarified air those guys play in.

I wish I'd have gotten more photos, but I was having so much fun, I didn't even pull out my phone to get any shots. Oh well...

The next day we packed up and drove up to Duluth to meet Salsa sponsored rider, Tim Ek and endurance legend, Charlie Farrow on the beach at Lake Superior, on which more than a foot of fresh snow had just fallen. We were literally breaking tracks in this amazing powder and were actually riding it!
MG breaks tracks with Eki in-tow. That's Charlie on the drop bar Pug. Photo:

It wasn't fast, but it absolutely was fun!! Eki, Charlie, Ben and I took turns killing ourselves out front breaking fresh tracks, as it was much easier to be second or third wheel. When we got tired of breaking tracks, we simply turned around and rode back. It was awesome... Here's a video I shot from the ride:

And links to images from photographers on the ride:
 After the rides, we enjoyed lunch at Fitger's with Eki and his super cool wife, Amy (thanks Amy). It was the perfect end to our time in Duluth, as we left spent and with full bellies. After our long lunch, we bid our hosts adieu and loaded up for the three hour tour north to Lutsen, MN, where our accommodations for the next couple of nights would be...

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