Important info

Race Day is April 16th, 2011
9 am is the ride start time.

This may be obvious but I need to state the necessary things for riders to have with you on the ride. I won't be checking you over, but if you're missing one of these pieces you may find yourself stranded.

  1. Cycling computer with trip distance functions.
  2. Helmet. Don't be an idiot and show up without a helmet. No one wants to call the cops trying to describe where they are and have a helicopter come to pick you up because you smashed your head wide open.
  3. Handle bar map case. Cyco Active makes a sweet map case that Peak Sports will be stocking.
  4. Cash. I'm pretty sure the Burnt Woods and Summit general store take credit, but cash is universal and a safe bet for a small transaction, plus it comes in handy as a tire boot or home made bandage.


This is in no way a race more of a friendly uncompetitive group ride. It will be officially conducted as a group ride and until further notice will require riders to acquire their own Starker Forest use permit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mac Forest, Soap Creek, and Starker Forest

Today I had the day off, the dog assumed Kristin and I were gone to school and work(no non stop barking due to separation anxiety), and I needed to justify the massive amounts of food to be eaten tomorrow.

This was my ride.
As a native Minnesotan you'd think I have practiced the act of winter MTB rides. You my friend are unfortunately wrong. I've done plenty of road rides and dirt road/crushed gravel rides in winter, but never a mountain bike ride. I had plenty of friends who've done it and have been invited here and there, but I never did it. What a waste of a 5 month long winter.

I loved riding today. Up in the hills, I bet it was in the upper 20's, the snow/ice was so fun to ride on. Similar to loose gravel, but had a much more appealing crunchy noise to it. Not to mention the beauty of a snow covered area. I love how clean snow looks when it first falls. Made me a little home sick.

So today's mission was another one to gauge how difficult this ride should be. 34 miles on the mountain bike with two longer rest stops ended up taking a little over 4 hours. There was one section with an incline that even in the best of hiking boots would be difficult. I had to climb pushing the mountain bike up hill for about 20 minutes, it was more like carrying the bike. Ow! My calves were burning by the end of that one.

So in my mind I think the route will run pretty close to Mary's Peak, then head north, explore some logging roads north of Cardwell Hill, then through the Mac Forest, finally finishing on some flat roads in the valley? hmmm... I'll draw some maps up and see if I can keep it around 70 miles and something like 6000-7000 vertical feet of climbing. I'll also do my best to have at least one decent rest stop. The fast guys should be able to finish this in 5-6 hours. The rest of us can do it in less than 8.

That all being said. I think I'm going to cap the entries as well. Doesn't mean your friend who didn't sign up soon enough can't ride it too, but I'm only going to make as many maps as I can. So for those of you who want to ride this with a map get your postcards ready. In the next couple of weeks I will get you an address to mail the postcard to and will only accept entries after the first of the year. Best postcard will win something, not sure what yet, but rest assured it will be awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

google maps

Don't believe everything google maps says. On today's route, google maps wrote that there was a connectiong road from forest road 3000 to Old Peak road. There was in fact a road, but that road was abandoned oh say 20 years ago so Denny and I hiked a planed out area full of new growth forest for a mile and half until we reached Old Peak road. Very fun regardless. still working on figuring out a route, but I don;t think GPS devices will be needed. I'll have route cards made up.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Yesterday's excursion proved to be a challenging one. I had hopes of climbing Marys Peak and then exploring the dirt roads along the north ridge. Well turns out Denny and I missed a turn and ended up riding a great dirt road that went from 2800ft to about 300 in 20 minutes of wild downhill riding. Needless to say it was fast, but speed was in check due to some massive pot holes. Yesterday's ride consisted of about 48 miles of riding and 4700 of climbing.

Oddly enough I met my limits. Just after descending Marys Peak my legs gave out. I didn't "hit the wall" per say, more like my legs just hurt real bad and did not want to move anymore. That was very odd. Nutrition is key and I'm sure I could have eaten better the day before. Oh well you live and learn.

Next weekend I'm going to explore some roads west of where we ended up and north of Hwy 20. The route I have in mind keeps changing. We'll see what happens.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Can I ask you a question?!?!

Another dirt road ride this past Saturday. Again very painful, but with a few more rides under my belt an imperial century seems do-able. That's not to say it won't be painful and very likely nearing an 8 hour ride, but do-able none the less.

So on Sunday's journey Denny and I rode Cardwell Hill road and then north on Kings Valley and then east on Price creek again. Cardwell Hill was just fine going up. And by fine I mean not a mess of peanut butter, but on the way down it was slow and mushy. The views on Cardwell Hill are fantastic. An old logging road with boarders of new growth forests, Mary's River, cattle grazing land, and vineyards.
Price creek road is a great road. It lines a farm that has fenced areas sized for cattle and yet all you'll find is a acres full of chickens and one single shaggy bull. I'll try to take pictures next ride.

This time was better. I realized I remembered the route pretty well and we were some what prepared for the giant water run off ditches on one of the descents that we nearly launched off last time.

Then we made it to the main road just before we headed into McDonald forest. We came upon an older gentlemen leaf blowing. Leaf blowing a dirt road surrounded by trees. Does that make sense? Back in the old country, Minnesota, we let rain and wind take care of those pesky leaves that made it to the street. Leaves on dirt roads? who cares. Either way this man must have had one mean leaf giving him grief. You know that one leaf that seams like its been super glued to the ground? One of those bastards. Since this guy was frustrated with his leaf job, he stopped us and asked us if he could ask us a question. He then began to make a statement rather than a question. He told us that the road we were riding on was a private one. The only reason bikers were ever on this road is because of some blasted bike race. A bike race held something like 10 years ago. And if we ever hurt ourselves on these roads we are in for some trouble.

What was that suppose to mean? I'm taking it as a weird way of encouragement to continue exploring roads others have been shunned away from.

Come next weekend I'll do a little exploring and then hopefully a little cross racing on Sunday.

Thanks for reading.