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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jeff Hall Mountain Bike Racing 2014 / Decorah, Iowa MTB Time Trial

Kicking off the 2014 Mountain Bike Race season. The Decorah, Iowa, "Mountain Bike Time Trial Race".

Jeff Hall and I have traveled to Decorah, Iowa many Aprils' in the past, but it has been about 6 years since we have been there. I have been known to race a few of these time trial mountain bike races in the past. The race has been the kick off to many race seasons. The weather can be a factor, rain or snow while the race is on. The Decorah mountain bike group is an awesome collection of good people. These are some of the best trails that I have ridden. It is not for the faint of heart, steep climbs and fast rocky descents. These are good mountain bike trails!
 This is the start of the Time Trial for Jeff. Ron Moffet is the promoter and bike starter and all around great guy. I have known Ron for over 25 years and he is one of the good guys of mountain biking!
 Jeff Hall is rocking and rolling on his way to a course record and a $500 reward for breaking the 49 minute time. Jeff finished with a 47 minute and 14 second time, almost 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place.

 This was the "crowd" and cheering section in the middle of the woods. Reminded me of the World Cup Race in Offenburg, Germany, except there was about 16,000 fans in Germany. These guys and gals here at Decorah were awesome, they even fed me a brat.  
Me and my Fat tire riding the trails and getting a few pics of the race here in Decorah, Iowa...
Ride On!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weaving Among the Maze of Trees Along the Minnesota River Bottoms

Ideal conditions on the Minnesota River Trail this afternoon. I framed this Canada Goose with a Beaver chewed tree along a backwater pond.

The Pugsley is a blast to weave along the trail with the massive tires that grip the corners and float thru the sand. It doesn't get much better than this on a bike. I swapped my front tire for a 4.8 Surly Bud. I am running a 3.8 Surly Nate on the rear. This set-up will give me more flotation.

 This is the log that is a crossing feature over the creek, with the spring melt it is partially submerged. Today this was the turn-around point, so no need to attempt to cross.

This is a photo showing the size difference between a 4" mountain bike tire and a 5" tire. Both are mounted on Marge Lite, 65mm rims.

Ride On!!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Week in the Life of a Snowboard Patrolin' / Mudder Mountain Biker in the Spring Time

It was about 2 months ago that I was at this sign post. That night it was -7 degrees and over a foot of snow. Now with the Spring thaw in full swing the trail has a bit of different look and feel to it.

On the way out from the trailhead I encountered extreme mud and ice. There were sections that I had to slog through mud and water and push the Pugsley. I still have the studded tires on the bike. There were also sections of ice that were rideable and the studs were required. Once again the ride started out in the late sun of the afternoon and ended with the headlamps and dark ride back to the truck. Good Times!!

 I never get tired of witnessing a sundown in the country.

This is a section of the river valley that I have been riding and exploring for the past 35 years. Back in the late 70's it was on my enduro motorcycles. Then as they closed sections to summer motorized travel, the river valley is still open to snowmobiles in the winter, I began riding mountain bikes. I have been drawn to the banks of the river because of the diversity of the terrain and as the seasons change the challenges of the travel.
 As we pedaled along the river a pair of Bald Eagles flew past us and headed up river. It was then that I noticed the Eagle nest across the river high in a tree. Always something new to observe.
 Yours truly, hammering the Spring mud on the Surly Pugsley with the full pack.
 Navigating a water crossing in the dark under an old railroad bridge, it was a deep one. 2 1/2 - 3 feet deep. The best part of this crossing was that the bottom was solid and I just powered through it. I've seen it deeper here in the past.
 Back at the truck after a very good mountain bike ride. Mud and weeds hangin' from the Pug, it was an adventure. It wasn't easy, that was the good part.

With a Spring ride like this, it had a bit of everything. Mud, ice and water. Each ride along the river provides a challenge depending on the season and the weather conditions. That is what keeps me coming back for over 30 years. One has to at times look around and realize that there are opportunities to have an adventure close to home.
Ride On!!

 Snowboarding Season Continues in Minnesota
 With a 2 day week-end, I have been splitting between mountain biking and snowboarding. With a good old time winter here in Minnesota the snow is still here on the ski resorts hills.

As I was riding the chairlift, I saw what the gold chair was all about. It had the date of the first year for Afton Alps December 1963, 50 years ago...Wow!
 With temps in the 50's the snow was good the carve around in. Many people can't wait for the next season, Spring to happen. I don't wish my life away. It is best to live in the moment and make the most of the weather and conditions that are happening in front of me.

Tomorrow looks like a day on the slopes, snowboarding and enjoying the warm weather on soft Spring snow.
Carve ON!!