BMW 1200 GS

BMW 1200 GS
MIKE HALL, Adventure Sports, Travel, Backcountry, Avalanche, Snowmobile, Snowmobiling, Snowboard, Snowboarding, Sledboarding, Mountain Bike, Mountain Biking, Ski Patrol, Motorcycle, Motorcycling, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Jackman, Maine

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival 2016 / Halln' & LAMERE /

Offroad Weapons Ready to Roll!
 The 2016 Chequamegon 2016 edition was a return to the Northern Wisconsin forest. This marks the 31st year of the trek to Hayward for us. My first Chequamegon race was 1985, the 3rd annual Chequamegon Festival. My racing the Chequamegon lasted till 1993, 8 years... The following year 1994 Jeff raced at the World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail, Colorado, placing 18th as a Junior. From then on I assumed the roll of Team Manager/Driver/ Travel Coordinator/Athlete Trainer/Moto Rider. For many years the moto was an important training tool. Jeff and I used Motor-pacing with my moto about once a week, the single best training tool we used over the years.

It was and still is the roll I enjoy. Really a team effort now with Jeff having his Family and working full time. I still do most of the driving and manage the loose ends. It is, each week creating a game plan. Don't stress the minor stuff, we both know how to travel and be ready to rock and roll when the start gun goes off.

Jeff has a top Sponsor with LAMERE Cycles. They provide Jeff with the best bikes and equipment. That has been the piece of our program that we have needed to create one of the most successful mountain bike race teams in the Midwest, both in the winter with the fat tires and in the summer with whatever bike suits Jeff's needs. Jeff is so valuable as a test rider with the huge amount of world class racing that he has done for the past 24 years. LAMERE Cycles is using Jeff's input to create one of the top Mountain Bikes in the world. Just in 2015-2016 Jeff has won races on 5 different models of LAMERE Mountain Bikes. Also several different tire combinations have been used. 

This is it. The moto is gassed up for the trip on the forest roads to stay ahead of the racers and hand up bottles. Every year Gary issues feed passes to any of the top racers support crews.

Jeff heading to the line 12 minutes before the start as I wish him a good race and the police escort lines up for the lead out of Hayward.
Mr. Chequamegon, Gary Crandall...all smiles as the 34th Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 Mile Festival is ready to roll out of Hayward and finish at Telmark. The top riders will average between 19 and 20 mph for the 40 miles of offroad mountain biking.
The 2 Lead ATVs will lead the riders for the entire race. These guys can really rock and roll with the speeds that the lead riders generate. 
The roll-out is about 3 miles of pavement to Rosies Field, then the race is on, all offroad till the finish. The riders are reaching speeds of 35 mph which helps to string out the 2100 riders.The top 10 finishing riders are in the front group as they enter the dirt.

Cory Stelljes, Jeff Hall, Brian Matter, Tristan Schouten, Jesse LaLonde, Samuel Elsen, Michael Olheiser, David Flaten and Mark LaLonde are at the front on the roll-out...they will be the players at the front in a select group of about 16 riders till OO, 16 miles into the race.   
As Jeff Hall pushed the pace and strung out the group down Janet Rd, down a short section of snowmobile trail down Martel's Pothole.
The group was whittled down to about 9 riders by the time the lead group hit Boedecker Rd. Once again with Jeff pushing the pace in the front. Single file and roaring down the forest road!

Meanwhile I'm rocking the backroads myself. Having pre-rode the backroads the day before, I knew what to expect. The race was moving right along, having rode motos at Chequamegon since the year 2001 I know the routine. 

Back to the racers... The pack stayed together through Lake Helane Rd. and it was a sprint to Fire Tower Hill. Cory Stelljes was on a mission this day, he was the first rider over the Fire Tower Climb, just like last year when Jeff was out front up and over the Fire Tower. After that it is an 11 mile sprint to the finish. Jeff was the 2nd rider up and over the Fire Tower after Cory, he was chasing as hard as he could go, pulling the pack which was now down to the select 7 riders. I saw them and Cory only had a 7 second lead about a mile after Fire Tower. When I next see them it is with 6 miles left and Cory had a 30 second lead with Jeff again at the front of the chase group. I want to say that I am saying that Jeff was at the front at these different points in the race. I know a couple other riders did their share of work at the front... just telling it as I saw it the 7 times that I see the riders on the course. When I saw that Cory had gapped the pack I was sure he would not be caught this day with 6 miles left.
A Cliff Bar and a can of Rock Star for me along the course and I'm good ta go. Gotta fuel the Manager, don't ya know... haha! Good times!

They were flying down Camp 38 Rd., hit the short section of Telemark Rd. and Timber Trail. It started to string out a bit and at the finish the top 7 riders were all with-in 1 minute and 3 seconds.

#1 Cory Stelljes / Brian Matter / Michael Olheiser / Samuel Elison / Jesse LaLonde / Tristan Schouten / Jeff Hall / David Flaten / David Lombardo / Mark LaLonde rounded out the top 10.
Jr. gave it all he had... 7th. Fast Men out there today.
Family...They were there for the ride. 

Throw back picture from 2003 with Owen at his first Chequamegon, 1 month old with Weez and Big John looking on. Kinda a family tradition ya might say. 13 years ago.

The Owner...JP LaMere racing his Namesake LAMERE Cycle full suspension 29er. Jeff raced a 29er rigid on this day. I'm running a Yamaha WR450F with a Baja Design street kit, that has plenty of gitty-up and go.

The Kid taking Grandpa's Fat Bike for a ride to wrap up a good day on the trails! Next stop downtown Hayward for much deserved burger and cold beverage!

Ride On!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Broken Face.wmv

Live every day like it is your last day... All good now, this was 7 & 1/2 years ago.

Ride on!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Backcountry Snowboard / Ski Trip to a Cabin in Colorado Mountains with a Stop-off in The Snowy Mountains of Wyoming

First day on the snow in the mountains on our snowboards was up in Wyoming at a resort in the Snowy Mountain Range. Good chance to get acclimated to the altitude and get the snowboard legs going.

 Two good days in Wyoming with a moonlight night to cap it off.

160 Mile Drive to Our Destination in Colorado
 This backcountry trip was human powered with snowshoes and snowboards. It was 3 days at over 11,000 feet in a cabin, carry everything we would need on our back. 

 Back at the cabin after a very good day of slaying the powder on our snowboards and skis.
The view from the deck on the cabin, a few natural avalanches on the mountains. Found powder without getting into the avalanche terrain.

Good day in the mountains!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Montana & Utah Avalanche Fatalities / January 21 & 24, 2016 / Snowmobile / Skier

This is a very good report that helps one understand a bit more of what happens in the moments right after things go terribly wrong. This is a second avalanche and report that happened in Utah. Both valuable sources of info. RIP and condolences to all involved. Be careful out there in the mountains...

Photo from my trip to Colorado this week, the view from our backcountry cabin. Notice the natural slide on the slope. These are east facing slopes which are the wind loaded aspects. Storm a few days ago with big winds loaded the east facing mountain.

This is a link to the Colorado / USA Avalanche site that is also a link on my blog site. Check it out.

I am using this information for myself as a learning tool. We just returned home after a trip into the backcountry mountains of Colorado. We encountered slope situations and I like the fact that we quickly discuss our next move. One can not be correct 100% of the time...but you better be correct in each decision that you are making at that present time so you can come back alive.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ten Below Zero / Winter Fat Tire Biking Around the Campfire / 2 A Day

Pulled off the trail in the dark and Weez noticed the ghost rider right above us.

Riding a new trail system, Elm Creek. Very good trails, we were greeted with the local Coyote howling as we headed into the woods at sundown. Good ride this night on a twisty singletrack adventure. 
 The NightRider bike lights are awesome and brighten the night trails!
 Appropriate beer for the season, Winter is in full swing.

Monday Funday
 Set the alarm for 3:30am, laid there and had to think about this one... Get up, fix a quick breakfast and throw on my cold weather clothing. At the trailhead by 5:30am, the clock in my truck is 45 minutes ahead of time. The temp is correct at -10 degrees. This is exactly what I need to prepare for the conditions of Winter Fat Tire Bike Racing.

I manage Jeff Hall at the races, so to be able to deal with the conditions and function for extended periods of time is important. Sometimes it means up to 7 hours outside for the whole event. We had 2 races, one was -7 at the start and a 40 mile race was below 0 the whole day. Jeff won both of those races along with 4 other victories. I am involved because I love the adventure of extreme sports and winter fat tire biking is my go to winter adventure these days. That being said, in 11 days I am heading to Colorado for a backcountry snowshoe/snowboard trip. 4 days in a remote cabin in the mountains snowboarding...I like a challenge!  
 This is my challenge today, build a fire quickly as if I needed a survival fire. Good practice just in case one would need the heat to survive. One of the handy fire starters I carry in my pack is simply hand sanitizer gel. About a third of a small bottle will usually do the trick. Soon I have a nice warm fire to stand around.   

 Time to kick snow onto the fire and get on with my ride...the River trail is in very good mid-winter condition and the temps are about -10 degrees. The steam is hanging in the air over the open water sections of the river, beautiful morning to be out on the bike. Well worth the effort of getting out of bed early and seeing the sunrise. 

 Pulling off the trail and taking in the moment...

2 A Day Rides Today
 Enjoyed a hearty lunch and dropped one of my fat bikes off at my buddies shop @ Hollywood Cycles for a bit of professional care.

Then met Jeff back at the trailhead and went out for my second ride of the day. The temps had risen up to about 5 degrees, 15 degrees warmer then the morning ride. This was a more spirited ride with Jeff keeping me moving right along.
All in all a very good day on the LAMERE Bikes and about 8 hours out in the weather today, 2 good adventures.

Fat Tire On!!