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Posts tagged “surly

End of the dock…

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Ended the week here in Lower/Northern Michigan the best way possible: With a mountain bike ride at the VASA single track, located just outside of Traverse City, Michigan.

The VASA system is a pretty awesome 15 or so mile loop, through the very interesting Michigan landscape. By interesting, I mean very sandy at times, and unfortunately sandy in the various tight and twisty corners. It took a couple times eating sand to adjust my riding style over the entire trail, but by the end I had earned my sand wings. The trail is tight and twisty, with very fast sections where you can crank out the big ring and really get some speed. Not the most technical of trails, but very enjoyable regardless.

This was a great way to end a very amazing week. Lots of time on the quiet Little Traverse Lake either swimming or kayaking, some urban exploration, lots of euchre, and lots and lots of Michigan beer. For some reason unknown to me, Michigan has some great brews going on. Breweries on our agenda were North Peak, Bell’s, Founders, and Arbor Brewing.

What a fantastic week of relaxation, now unfortunately back to the grind of reality.

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Just Riding Along… Urban Exploration, with bikes…

Every family vacation, bikes are brought along for the random chance that we can sneak away for some saddle time. That was the case with today, with the four of us that brought our bikes for the trip.

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The ride started with some road riding, that had us bordering the National Lakeshore. After a few miles along the scenic route, we started to climb to the highest point of the area. Once at the top, we found ourselves at a defunct ski resort, wishing we could find a trail to the top of the former slopes. After checking the surrounding area, and not spotting any “No Trespassing” signs, my brother in law and I with our mountain bikes split from the group to follow a worn double track up the side of the mountain. At the top, we were rewarded with this:

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Surly and Trek taking in the view.

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Former ski resort.

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Overlooking a distant lake.

After spending some time at the top, it was evident that no one cares that people are exploring here, due to the random fire pits, graffiti, and empty PBR cans that littered almost every building. This would explain why there were no “No Trespassing” signs. It seems that the owners of the property just do not care.

Not a bad way to spend a couple hours on vacation, exploring with bikes.

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Landen Deerfield.

Quick ride tonight at Landen Deerfield park. Small trail, but a pretty solid one nonetheless. It is amazing how much trail that was squeezed into one small area, tucked inside a neighborhood. Definitely not a destination trail, but if you are in the area already, it might be worth your time. Only around 3 miles or so total, so it is a good system to roll some laps.

Here is a video of their tiny rock garden, next time I am there I will try to film the upper area of this section, which is a little tricky. The video makes it looks simple. Thanks to Eric for filming this spot!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Day 1 of vacation…

Started off my vacation the only way that I know how, with a nice MTB ride. The plan for the morning was to be up and out before the sun to ride the entire system at Caesar Creek state park. Unfortunately, my alarm did not wake me. That cut out a bit of time from my riding time, so I settled for East Fork once again. Luckily, it is a great system.


Action shot, still trying to figure out my timer.

Great way to start the vacation, more riding to come…

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… East Fork fun.

After work today, I decided that it would be a good time to head back to East Fork SP to ride the Lake Trail again. What a fun trail! I am always amazed at how well East Fork drains after a bit of rain, as it rained this morning, just spotty showers, which finished around 8am. Then, in typical Ohio summer fashion, the heat was cranked to 90 with a huge chunk of humidity. While uncomfortable to work in, it makes for great trail drying weather. Just a few mudholes, nothing major. It is mountain biking.

Stopped at my favorite tree in the whole trail system, this Oak is huge. I can only imagine the stories it could tell…

I am really happy with my tire setup finally. I have settled on running a Maxxis Ardent 2.6″ in the front, and a Maxxis Crossmark 2.1″ in the rear. The Ardent in the front has great traction, especially when cornering, and it’s large size gives me the ability to run a little lower air pressure to give the false feeling of suspension on a rigid frame. As for the Crossmark on the rear, it is a fast tire, but it does have it’s limits. I am feeling it wash out a tiny bit on higher speed corners, but it is nothing unbearable. It is a great combo, and way lighter than running two 2.6″ Ardents. That will be my winter setup however.

Some awesome trail time lately, quite a bit more to come this week, then it is vacation time!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Morning ride.


Dirty lenses ruin photos…

Up and out the door before the sun today to snap a few pictures. Did not realize that my lens was so dirty until I uploaded the photos. My new Osprey pack held my gear snugly on my back, and carried the tri-pod quite well. Granted, the pack is not made for a tri-pod, but it works nonetheless.

Great morning to be out, I need to do this more often…

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Back to trail basics.

Lately, I have called the Troll into tail duty, which has been an absolute blast. This bike rolls so smoothly in the woods that I am having a hard time with the thought of returning it to the road. Anyway, the busy schedules of two people has finally come together, so I can now introduce my friend Eric to the wonderful sport of mountain biking. Good times indeed.


Eric is a shapeshifter…


Nice scenery off of the Lake Trail.

Big thanks to CORA for the new trail addition, which makes a great trail even better. Go ride it!

Just keep spinning…