Down the BST (by NV)

Beer, Bikes, and Brats

Hot damn…another truly fine summer weekend.

On the 4th, Nate and I rode down the Badger State Trail on our fat-bikes. The July 4 trip on the BST has become something of a tradition for me; this makes four years running. This year was probably the best yet: the weather was perfect, the company genial, the pace casual but deliberate, and the beer cold (note to self: Miller > Budweiser by a long shot). When we arrived back at my place, my wife put cold beers into our hands before we’d made it all the way in the door. After that, eating, drinking, lounging on the deck. Perfect 4th of July.

On the 5th, I fetched the CSA box and we ran about gathering plants and mulch so that K could replant one of the garden beds and augment a couple of the others. I provided transportation, supervision, photo-documentation, and moral support (in the form of cold beer). Oh, and bacon-wrapped brats, potato salad and sauerkraut make a fine breakfast. After the work was done, we spent the rest of the day lounging on the deck with music, snacks, and cold beer. Until dusk, that is, when we got a fire going in the fire pit.

On the 6th, Nate and I went for a 50-mile road ride that took in the Sassy Cow Creamery (which wasn’t open when we arrived) and points east. My legs felt like concrete after the fat-bike ride on the 4th, the humidity was steadily climbing as we rode, and I was surely a little dehydrated from all the beer I’d been drinking over the past couple of days. But, our pace was solid and we made it back without any real trouble–though I did feel a bit trashed for a couple of hours afterward. Nothing a shower beer couldn’t cure though…

Photos marked NV by Nate Vergin.

Over Hill and Dale

As much as I have a perverse soft spot for Rapha’s usual epic nonsense, I think here’s where they’ve finally gotten it right. Yorkshire, pub stops, laughter, chatter in the bunch, and not looking completely destroyed.

In a word, FUN.

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Birthday Week

Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

In the middle of last week, I started another trip around the sun. As in most recent years, I took most (though I often take all) of the week off work. This year, we stayed local and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Birthday week included: homemade pizza and games, a leg-breaker of a solo road ride, dumplings and buns at Umami, several different kinds of really fine beer, all-you-can-eat sushi at Muramoto, birthday drinks with friends at One Barrel followed by tacos at Tex Tubb’s, two day tours with my lovely wife, a fair amount of tinkering in the shop, a Brewer game, fireworks on the lakeshore, and as much deck-life as the mosquitos would allow.

I also had something of an epiphany about certain things, but I’ll leave that for a later post–when my thoughts are more fully formed.

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If there’s one thing that will wear on my patience after a while, it’s humidity. There’s something about being damp that eventually makes me want to crawl into the chest freezer in the basement–or move to the high desert. Maybe it’s all of the body hair (thought my beard seems to like it…go figure).

And we’ve had more than our usual share of the damp stuff lately. With more than twice the usual rainfall for June and a stagnant mass of warm, humid air camped out over the Midwest, there’s nothing right now that’s not a bit damp, if not downright sodden.

With the warmth and the dampth (a new word?), I figured I should get out early if I was going to get out riding at all this weekend. So I took off alone for a road ride (but then most of my rides are road rides, aren’t they?) early on Saturday morning, when it was so foggy that I needed to run my lights just to not get run over on the way out of town. But I do love riding in the fog.

Headed east into the rolling farmland, stopped for coffee, and took a brief pause at my parents’ house on the way back into town.

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Even though my mind still seems stuck in the doldrums, my legs seem fine: 50 miles at 18.1mph on the Soma ES still running 35mm Clement USHs. Not bad at all.

But then I spent nearly all day Sunday just laying around the house (both metaphorically and sometimes literally).

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The Blahs

For some reason, this time of year almost always brings on a case of the cycling blahs. The spring events are over, it’s starting to get hot and buggy, and there’s often not much planned for the middle of the summer. To make matters worse, there were plans for this summer that have since evaporated.

Right now, I’m consoling myself with bikepacking videos.

This first batch comes from Ian Barrington, and just serve to emphasize that I should move to Wales. Or Scotland. Or both.

And then another one from Wales…

And finally, one by a group of Canadians in the American south…

And in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik:



Summer. Bike. Weekend.

This past weekend was near-perfect–the way a summer weekend should be: cold beer, homemade pizza, touring with my wife, hot coffee, more cold beer, a few cocktails, a spirited road ride, a massive plate of nachos, iced coffee, and a good deal of relaxation.