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Showing posts from September, 2011

Big Ride 1 & Big Ride 2

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Road bike or gravel riding?
How about both?
How about two of the best rides I've ever had in less than a week?
Yep. I'll take that. I think I'll call them Big Ride 1 and Big Ride 2.

I'm going to start with Big Ride 2 because I just got back from riding it.

Ever since I started riding gravel (I've probably ridden it only ten times since last fall)  I have wanted to ride what I call "the big hill." Today I set out with a goal of riding 5 miles of gravel and took off and hit just about every gravel road and dirt path near my house. I rode five miles and kept going. At about 7 miles I was ready to head home but the big hill was there. I decided to go for it.

The big hill is actually two big hills - a big one down into a valley then a big one back up the other side. Then of course I have to ride back down and up again to get home. I thought the first "up" was going to be a challenge but I managed it pretty well. Then I turned around to head back home…

Can't Stop Smiling - Riding the Salsa Mukluk

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This morning started in the most fun way possible - After I got the kids on the bus for their second day of school I drove down to Milltown Cycles in Faribault where I met Ben, the shop's owner, for a morning mountain bike ride on a Salsa Mukluk fat bike.

I'm not a mountain biker. I've never ridden trails and, save for riding gravel a dozen times, have only ridden on paved roads and paths. I never thought I could be a mountain biker or ride on anything but roads. But after an hour on the Mukluk I am hooked. Absolutely hooked. And I can't stop smiling.

At first I was smiling just because the Mukluk is such a funny bike - it looks kinda odd with the big tires and the feeling of riding it is so different at first it just made me laugh.

Once we hit the trails and I was faced with all sorts of stuff I've never ridden over before I was smiling because, despite my lack of experience, I was actually riding mountain bike trails with success. I never thought I could ride trai…

30 Days of Biking - Round 4

Well, it's time for the fourth round of 30 Days of Biking and I'm doing it again.

If you don't know what 30 Days of Biking is it's, in short, a challenge to ride your bike every day for 30 days. It was started by two guys from the Twin Cities who challenged their Twitter friends to ride their bikes every day. The challenge went viral and several hundred people from around the world participated in the first 30 Days of Biking.

I was one of them. I rode my bike every day in April 2010.
And, though it sounds over-dramatic to say this, 30 Days of Biking changed my life.
I became a much more active person. I realized I could do things that seemed impossible. I met a bunch of positive, fun people. And I really started "loving the bike," as my friend, Darryl from Loving The Bike likes to say.

Since that first challenge there have been two more and I've done them all. Owen and the kids joined me for Round 2 last September. Owen joined me for Round 3 in April and …