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, November 28, 2016
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Favorite place to hang out with our Fat Bikes, you guessed it "The Swamp", Louisville Swamp that is... all the precious maintained trails are off limits now with a bit of moisture in the air.
Hell, ya got to have an adventure and sometimes it means getting off the beaten path. The River Bottoms have been an ever changing system since I have been wandering along the banks of the Minnesota River for the past 43 years. Man what the hell happened, 43 years, still kicking ass and looking for the adventure that the River offers. The nastier the conditions, the more the memories are made. Night rides are the best because the world shrinks to the size of the lights or sometimes in the winter, just the moonlight.
The riding is good, but the 28 years or so that I had a good dog running in front of me was the best way to experience the winding trail along the River. No dog now... Like George Thorogood said..."people are kinda funny", about dogs running with ya when on the trails. Seems that the dogs were eating and scaring all the wildlife, that's what the sign says... HaHa!
Some would think that the weather in the Fall is bleak and drab, not so Pilgrim. Black and white is good. I gain energy from the stark landscape.
Bloodlines Have a Direct Impression on Ones Lifestyle
Flashback to my Great Grandpa who hung around rivers... Here he is pictured back in the 1950s with a big ole Catfish in front of his 1937 Chevy. Great Grandpa Aker on my Mom's side. He lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, worked on the railroad. He was an avid Pheasant hunter and made many fishing trips to Canada.
He was on the job riding the train one night at the ripe old age of 55 and had a heart attack. They put him in a boxcar and transported him back to a town that had a hospital. I visited him several times when my boys were very young, he took pleasure telling me about that night of his heart attack. They told him he had to retire at the age of 55. Well, he continued to hunt and fish for the next 41 years, all the while collecting his Railroad Pension... He told me " ya gotta just keep moving", wise words.
Cheers to all ya Pilgrims out there that are livin' life like every day could be your last day...
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The Revenant | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX / A Good Mountain Bike Ride Along the River / Grizzly Bear Attack in Montana
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After watching "The Revenant" the night before it seemed appropriate to head for the River Bottoms after an early winter storm, a rather small weather event actually. Dropped some rain and snow, much more snow 100 miles to the north, still like to get out and be on the trails with the mountain bikes.
The banks rise sharply over the river in places, I can imagine what it must have been for the explorers 200 years ago when they crest a rise and get a view like this and not knowing what lies across... The river was the highway for early explorers, both for the floating and keeping track of their direction. The challenges were when it came time to cross the river or the backwaters that could be treacherous with bogs and Grizzly Bears roaming the swamps.
No Grizzlies within 700 miles of this adventure... Ha!
Not so with this story from early October... Grizzly Bear attack in Montana check out this link... http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-montana-grizzly-bear-attacks-man-twice-20161004-story.html
From the recent high waters in the river valley there is evidence of the power that the waters have.
Good day on the bikes... Ride On!!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
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Checking out the local singletrack along the Mississippi River. Good backwater from a rainy Fall season and cool to see the St. Paul Fire Department river boat doing some practice hosing.
When in the big city, clean up the country moto and take it uptown on a grocery run...
Good day to head south towards Mantorville on the country roads for a visit to my Sons home. A bit of lunch off the box in a picked cornfield. Flushed up a big ole roster pheasant along the fence row.
Of course fit in an awesome Fall day on the mountain bikes over in Wisconsin.
Always a thrill to cross the Mackinac Bridge... The wind was up and the waves were really rolling. Traveled to Michigan for a 3 day job near Bay City.
Back to Country Roads, Minnesota Style
You guessed it, lunch off the box...Haha! Why not. The neat thing about this week is that the moon is putting on a show in the cool Fall nights. Spent about 2 hours in this area and caught the moon rise in the Eastern sky. Packed up and roared the 60 miles back to St. Paul on a mix of gravel and paved backroads.
This is where I like to see the critters, in the bush, not on the pavement.
Moon rise over the country road in the East as the sun set in the West...
Saturday, November 12, 2016
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A couple years back when we were beginning this Fat Bike experience. Meeting Jeff Hall down by the Minnesota River in 2013 and watching him take his first Fat Bike rides. Fast forward to 2016 and he is the Man to beat anytime he toes the line at a Winter Fat Bike Race. Fastest Fat Tire Man in the Midwest...
Saturday, November 05, 2016
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A last foray into the Northern Minnesota forest on the Yamaha WR450 before we move back to the cities for the winter.
Fall is in full swing on this ride...Speaking of fall...riding the edge of the deep mud hole, I clipped a hidden rock in the brush and got bucked off into the middle of the water. Dang near ended up flopping in, but some fancy footwork kept me upright. All good, ended up with my boots full of swampwater. With temps this day right around 37 degrees it was good not to get any wetter.
This was a good, about 40 mile day on the saddle. Got back to the cabin at sundown dodging the deer along the way.
Also riding the BMW F800 GS a couple times a week. Exploring the country roads outside the metro area. Generally about 140 to 200 miles in a day is a good balance cruising dirt roads and with mix of 2 lane curvy pavement. Topping the ride off rolling back into the city on the freeway with a bit of AC/DC rocking in my earbuds.
Always a treat to pull off a gravel road and have a snack.
Another opportunity that has come along from time to time is to be involved with a photographer that shoots videos and photos for the running events. This involves me to transport a guy shooting video off the back of the BMW. This was the "Twin City Marathon" event.
Meanwhile Back at the Cabin
The last few tasks that needed to be performed were the pulling the boats out of the lake. 3 boats total, The speedboat was out earlier, so it was the sailboat and the pontoon. We handled the sailboat, towing it to a landing and pulling it out with our pickup. With the pontoon, it is a cruise across Whitefish Lake and dropping it at the marina. They pick it out of the water, winterize it and it is stored at their location. This is an annual event where as we load the mountain bikes and transport them over. Then it is an 18 mile bike ride back to the cabin. Good times!
Mountain Biking in October
JP LaMere rolling on his branded mountain bike, LAMERE Cycles owner and also test rider. This day he is racing the Marathon race at the last "Minnesota Mountain Bike Race Series" race. The course is set-up in the "Whitetail Ridge Trail System".
This was the last race of the Minnesota Race Series, The Border Battle. This was a make-up race from the original scheduled race. Nice to be in the River Falls woods during the Fall. Trails were in good condition and a, more open feeling in the deep woods with the foliage dropping it's leaves.
Jeff Hall raced this day, 9 races this summer in the Series. 9 wins, 9-0 for the season. It has been several years since he has done the whole Series. He won the Minnesota Series several times in the early to mid 2000s.
He enjoys being on the bike in the woods on the week-ends as he commutes 5 days a week on his bike. 50 miles a day round trip. That is the riding he does to stay fit and uses the ride to throw in some speed work for certain races.
This summer we traveled to 3 big mountain bike festivals. In Grand Marais, MN "The Lutsen 99er" 99 miles, he finished 2nd. In Marquette, MI "Ore to Shore" 48 miles, 2nd place. In Hayward, WI "Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival" 40 miles, 7th.
A very good Mountain Bike season with a variety of terrain and travel experiences along the way.
The non-racer doing a bit of exploring.
A good day on the bikes along the Minnesota River south of Louisville Swamp. A rainy 47 degree day made for some good adventure. With all the late season rain in Minnesota, the River flooded over it's banks and washed out portions of the trail. This created backwater to flood and dam up the creeks. With a bit of scrambling we were able to cross and made a big loop to return to the car. it was a chance to explore some of the local gravel roads.
October, good month to be out in the woods!