A Fat-fun Weekend

What’s fat-fun, you ask? Take any kind of cycling that you normally do and add a fat-bike and perhaps a few cans of cold beer. That’s fat-fun.

On Saturday, I rode from Madison to Stewart Park in Mt. Horeb on the Military Ridge Trail. As it’s been warm here and extremely humid (above 90 percent), the idea was to ride to the park, swim at the beach, drink a couple of beers, and ride back. And that’s what we did, more or less.

All photos in the gallery above are by Nathan Vergin (check out his blog post for more photos from this ride).

Just as we made it to the beach after a brisk ride down the MRT and a stop for beer at Trollway Liquors in Mt. Horeb, the rains that had been threatening all morning made good. Between the humidity and the rain, swimming simply wasn’t necessary. So we waded, stood in the rain, drank beer, and talked all manner of bullshit.

We left just as the rain let up, engaged in a few fat-bike shenanigans (there was only a small amount of blood but lots of mud that needed washing off), and then made our way to the Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb for food and another beer. Just so you know: dirty, wet, and smelly gets you a table in the back corner (since they weren’t seating outside due to the rain). Also, the non-carpeted portions of their floor are like a skating rink when when wearing wet bike shoes. But the food hit the spot and the beer was good.

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Full of burger and sweet potato tots, we rolled toward home. The sun finally came out, and added real blazing heat to the humidity, which in turn called for a stop at the Riley Tap for a cold Spotted Cow in a frosted glass.

Lots of fat-fun, but tiring enough that I fell asleep on the couch after I’d showered and eaten.

On Sunday, we took things a little easier, riding a few laps of the eastside Ride the Drive, stopping each lap to sit under a big shady oak tree on hill facing the lake at Olbrich Park, lazing in the grass, drinking a beer, and taking photos of the riders as they rolled by.

Powderhorn 24

This past weekend, I rode the Powderhorn 24. This is the third time I’ve ridden this “community endurance event” in its four-year run. This year, instead of riding on a four-person relay team, we each decided to ride solo.

The 2014 rider t-shirt.

The 2014 rider t-shirt.

The weekend might be summed up thus: bikes, beer, tacos, humidity. More beers than laps, more laps than tacos, more humidity than anything else.

The decision to ride solo was definitely the right one. It allowed us to ride together, instead of having one person on the course and the other three hanging about in the bike-hobo camp that collects around the start finish–though we did our share of hanging out there too. And, it also allows for the freedom to choose when to ride (often, in 3-5 lap shifts), when to stop for a beer and a taco (even more often), and when to stop at bonus checkpoints (never).

It was so much fun, we’re already scheming for next year. Early preview: fat-bikes, an improved camp setup, and perhaps a couple more solo riders to join us.

The 18th

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. We went for a ramble about town that included brunch and a serious bloody mary, some relaxation by the lake, a fine cup of pour over, and perhaps a little too much sun.

We’d also wanted to fly our kite, but we seemed to have picked the one day in the last several months with no wind. Another time…

 

Testing, Testing…Cambium

Having grown tired of moving the too-small collection of Brooks B17 saddles amongst our too-large fleet of bicycles, I bought a Brooks Cambium (C17) to fill one of the gaps (and yes, there are several…).

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I mounted it on the Devil this weekend past and have been riding it now for a few days. Just initial impressions so far, but here are a couple of things I’ve noticed right off the bat:

  • Unlike the B17, the C17 does not require a seatpost with setback to get it in the right place (though I do have it all the way back on a zero-setback Thomson Elite)
  • The cloth cover is tougher than it appears, and dries very quickly.
  • It’s slightly narrower, slightly longer, and shaped differently than a B17. When mounted so that the bars are basically level with the saddle, my inner thighs will rub on a B17, but not with the C17.
  • The rivets look cool.

That’s about all I can say for now. I’ll write more after a few thousand miles and a couple of bike changes.

Long and Fat

There are some days when there’s nothing but a long ride to set things right. And sometimes, long isn’t enough. For those times, there’s long and fat.

Nate and I left early, both rolling fat, and picked up his friend Kep as we left town for some add-day riding that included sandwiches at Brennan’s in Monroe, horseshit-dodging in Illinois, several cold-water head dousings, cold cans of beer after 85 miles, and a post-ride steak with pitchers of beer at Alchemy.

This also represents the single longest ride I’ve done on the fat-bike (I’d ridden a fat-bike century a while back, but this one was slightly longer). I look forward to doing it again–perhaps going all the way to Freeport, IL next time–but not until it’s a little cooler.

And not until I’ve sorted out why my cranks (Surly Mr. Whirly) keep loosening themselves up.

Stats: 105.7 miles at 14.9 mph average. Seven bottles of water + nuun, two sandwiches, two bags of chips, one Clif bar, and three Miller High Life tallboys.

Not Bad…

Another quiet weekend, with another Sunday ride. Not bad at all.

Stats: 73.8 km at 26.6 km/h with a cafe stop.