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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

4.5 Hours of Singletrack Over 2 Days / Singetrack MTB Riding for the Past 30 Years

The view from the saddle, leaf covered singletrack.

I've been riding mountain bikes for 30 years and it just doesn't ever get old. I feel as good on the better than I did back in 1982. Sure there were the years I was racing in the late 80s and 90s and I was faster and more fit, but just riding feels so natural to me now. I learned to ride with very little wasted effort, to flow down the trail. The racing did that, but it was the countless rides I did in the mud and snow and up and down mountain trails that have given me the skills that I use today. I learned more from riding slow tough trails then I did blasting down the trail at warp speed. That's why I say ride slow to go fast.

"BEAR" > 1987-2001
The rest of the MTB story is about my dog named "Bear", half Black Lab half Golden Retriever, 75 pounds of muscle. My dog (god spelled backward), Bear could run 30 miles in a day with me and my bike. Back in the days before riders were afraid of mud, those were my favorite days. After a ride I would hang my bike in the garage and let the mud drip off the bike and I would have to rinse Bear off outside because he would be covered with mud. I taught him to run alongside me and drink my energy drinks as we traveled the trails. Bear would jump up and start whining with excitement as soon as I said " do you want to go for a bike ride".

Winter mountain bike riding was also a thrill as I would ride the frozen snowmobile trails in the dark. Bear loved running in the winter. I remember one night that I left the truck, probably around 1989 or so. It was the dead of winter about 10:30 at night and the temps were about -18 degrees F. It was so cold that I would have to hop off the bike every so often and jog along my bike just to keep my feet warm. I started out with a bandanna over my face to breath warmer air. I had to be careful with Bear also breathing the cold air. It was a great ride and adventure that night, was out about 2.5 hours. I will never forget that ride. Bear had frost all along his back from his breath and I got back to the truck not wanting the night to end. It is like that with many of my a great hockey game where 2 teams are so closely matched and they go into overtime and you don't want it to end, but you know it will be a great effort that will win it. That's how a good ride is, don't want it to end, but when it does it is time...

 I rode through this patch of light in the woods and had to stop and lean the Salsa in the spotlight.
 The Steele Horse...

 Bike light is mounted and ready, still had several miles to travel on the singletrack to get back to the truck.
 Used the flash in the dark at the trail intersection before the final stretch back.
A Labatt Blue was appropriate with the temps in the 30s when I got back to the truck. Changed out of my riding clothes and into a hoody and warm clothes. Topped it off with a sandwich and a cold one...GOOD TIMES!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

MTB in Da Fall Woods

The pictures tell the story.
My trusty 1x9 Salsa Mountain Bike. Rode out of the woods in the dark with a headlamp with the moon rising in the Eastern sky. In the distance I could hear coyotes howling at the moon or a fresh kill. The Fall season is awesome.

 The trusty backpack with all my possibles. Tools, extra clothes for the seasonal weather changes, Cliffbars and a few first-aid items. Gotta be ready for the unexpected...

By wearing a backpack with my activities it carries over to the next season of backcountry snowmobiling and snowboarding. I'm used to the weight and balance of the pack on my back regardless of my activity.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Days in Minnesota

Rode the BMW down to my sons house. Grandkids wanted to check out the view from the saddle.
 Swung into the ski hill where I Ski Patrol to renew my CPR certification later on in the afternoon. With the mild weather it was nice enough to do the CPR course outside.

A good day on the motorcycle riding about 170 miles. Visiting my son in southern Minnesota and attending the CPR it was a full day. The motorcycle is a BMW 1200 GS and it is my favorite motorcycle to ride these days. It is great on the highway and if I chose, it will carry me down the dirt roads. The ergonomics make for comfort in the saddle all day. With the BMW saddle bags it is a pleasure to travel with the things you might need.  

Fall Mountain Biking on the Singletrack Trails
 Picked up the grandkid and enjoyed an afternoon on some good singletrack trails on the mountain bikes. It was on the trail system called Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Park.

 I let Jr. lead most of the time.

A Cliff Bar midway through the the ride kept the energy level high.
What would Fall be without the leaf pile to get into...Tonka Trucks just keep on rolling.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Stretch From Trip to Woodstock Ontario

Returning to the US border at Port Huron, Michigan.

 Sitting in line with the big trucks to cross the border back to USA.
 Crossing the Mackinac Bridge in the middle of the night. Raining and 40 mph winds while crossing the bridge that connects lower Michigan with the upper Michigan. 

Met this guy on the road at St. Ignas, Michigan. He was from Duluth, MN, was traveling south in his restored camper. Got to talking to him and it turns out that he was a sled dog musher for many years and we had some common acquaintances from the past.

The last of the Fall colors along Lake Michigan. As I traveled north along the lake, less and less leaves on the trees.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Road Trip to Canada Via Upper Michigan and over the Mackinac Bridge

Can't miss the jet at the edge on town in Escanaba, Michigan, it is in front of the airport.
 Images from the road around the north shore of Lake Michigan. Drove about 810 miles on Saturday, 620 miles in a good fall rain storm.

 Images through the windshield of the pick-up. The water makes the fall colors and the road look like a watercolor painting.

 The Mackinac Bridge that spans Lake Michigan.
I never get tired of the drive around Lake Michigan.
Runnin' down the road with the hammer the pouring rain.

Started the week with working a first aid station at the Twin City Marathon
 This was the marathon race leader at the 20 mile point.
 This was the group chasing the leader.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Good Day in the Woods on the Mountain Bike

Ride along in the Minnesota woods as the Fall season gets into full swing.
 The more hours spent in the woods on the bike, the better shape I'll be in for the winter season. Snowboarding and backcountry snowmobiling out west in the Rocky Mountains is only 2 months away.

The benefits of singletrack mountain biking is the fitness and the reflexes are both being utilized as I react to the changing surface of the trail. The trail winds through the trees and picking a good line keeps me moving smoothly and as the trail climbs and drops I am constantly shifting and maintaining my pace. I vary my pace so that am riding on reflexes at high speeds. Other times I slow the pace and scan the woods for wildlife and just enjoy being in the woods. It is more of an adventure to me that way.

 It is good to be in the woods during the Fall season with the leaves on the ground and seeing the deer moving. I like the cool evenings as the sun sets earlier each week. October 1st is a good day.

The Salsa at rest along the trail.

 As I was weaving through the woods the deer in the top picture bolted across in front of me. As I watched her I felt like I was being watched, across the trail was the 2nd deer.

Back at the truck after 2.5 hours on the bike...the label says it.
Ride on!!