Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mukluk Rear Rack Hack

Because the frame on Trish's Mukluk is too small for a frame bag, we were looking for a cheap and easy way to mount a rear rack on the bike. Luckily the solution was hanging in the garage on her old mountain bike in the form of a Topeak Explorer with disc mounts.

By cutting off the disc mounts we were able to gain the clearance needed to get around the 170 mm hubs. It's amazing what a little work with a hack saw and a dremel will do.

The struts only had to be spread a little and it bolted on perfectly.

We had to extend the extenders to make them reach the mounts on the seat stays. Not the prettiest solution, but it works.

Funny, But Functional
Plenty of clearance above the tire......

Topeak Explorer Rack
......and on the sides. I may just have to get one for mine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fat Tire Fun

Yesterday, Trish and I took a trip down to The Angry Catfish in Minneapolis where I became the newest member of the fat tire club.

The latest addition to the family is a size XL Salsa Mukluk 3.

Today seemed like a good day to break it in, so we took the bikes out to a couple of nearby forest roads.

The roads were actually pretty grassy and rutted, but it was nothing the big tires couldn't easily handle.

American Toad
One of the local spectators who was watching us ride.

Fall Colors
A pretty place to take a rest.

North Shore State Trail
We eventually made it to the North Shore State Trail.

His and Hers
We ended our day with nine miles and two very muddy Mukluks. Bring on Winter!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

That's Crazy!

On Sunday morning I set out on a semi-solo bike camping trip. My plan was to ride north towards Hwy 1, find a spot to camp, and then ride the next day to Split Rock Lighthouse state park, where Trish and I would camp together. Her sister, Kim, thought that my riding and camping solo was a crazy idea, and while I don't completely disagree, I think it's good to be a little crazy.

This is the only picture I took on Sunday. It was raining at 10:00 when I left the house and it just never let up. The only times I was willing to stop was when I came across a public building with an awning.
Thanks to a good tailwind, and despite carrying 40 lbs of gear, I was able to make it 85 miles to McDougal Lake campground Southeast of Ely on Hwy 1.
Due to the rain and the fact it was a Sunday night, I got to have an entire loop in the campground to myself. It was very peaceful, and once the rain stopped, it turned out to be a beautiful moonlit night.

I awoke Monday to a bright sunny day. Things were starting to dry (I wish I could say the same about my camera, pardon the blur) and I headed out to meet Trish at Split Rock.
Despite the sunshine, I actually enjoyed the previous day's rainy ride better. Highway 1 is very hilly, or at least it seemed hilly with my tired legs. The entire 47 miles was constantly going up and down. It seemed to take forever to get to the final descent down to Lake Superior.

2011-09-19 at 10-38-06
The highlight of the whole ride was seeing this young wolf standing on the side of the road. I came across a sibling a few minutes earlier, but wasn't quick enough with the camera to get a shot. This time not only did I have time to get my camera out, but he actually stood still about 30 feet from me, giving me time to shoot several pictures.

Day Hill View

Split Rock Lighthouse
I arrived at our campsite with about 4 1/2 hours in the saddle for the day, slightly delirious and a little bit sunburnt. After eating and resting and more eating, we hiked to the top of Day Hill and took in the views. It was a beautiful ending to an overall pleasant and fulfilling trip. Not crazy at all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Smooth The only thing better than a woodsy road is a smooth woodsy road, and the county just finished another one.
This is Emerson Road, which runs for two miles between Howard Gnesen Road (another smooth one) and Rice Lake Road (it will be smooth sometime in October).
Next year Martin Road is scheduled to be repaved, which will give us dozens and dozens of miles of riding with with nary a bump.

Coincidentally, when I stopped to take this picture I had just hit 4,000 miles on my Trucker (give or take a mile). All 4,000 miles have been relatively trouble free. I'm still running on the original Schwalbe Marathon Supremes without a flat, and the only parts I've had to replace were the chain, cassette, and middle chainring. I also replaced the front brakes, but that was just to quiet them down.
Hopefully I didn't jinx myself just now, and the next 4,000 miles will go by just as smoothly.