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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kicking the New Year 2017 off on the Fat Bikes / Norpine Fat Bike Classic / Lutsen Minnesota

A January trip up to Cuyuna for some Fat Tire Biking. The map above is just a section of the entire area.

The trails wind around and alongside the old mining lakes in the Crosby, Minnesota area. I have ridden the trails in the Summer and Fall. The Winter is a great time to be in the woods.

Trails were in very good condition with a fresh coating of snow to cover most of the icy surface. The whole state of Minnesota received rain just after Christmas, then a cold snap moved in from the north and froze all the trails with a coating of pure ice. All our fat bikes are outfitted with 45NTH studded tires, even with that setup it was a bit sketchy for a week or so. The snow gave us a good surface this trip, yet One still needed to be alert for the patches of ice.
Good view of one of the mine lakes.
Feeling the trail...
Some sweet switchbacks gave me a good view from above.
Timed it right for several hours of exploring and checking out the different loops on the bikes as the sun set in the west. This was one of the full day adventures that started about 9:00am and arriving home at 11:30pm. We drove 360 miles round trip, rode for 3 hours. Drove further up the icy backroads to a burger joint in Cross Lake. Then to top it off, we made the drive to the family cabin. We hiked around the cabin and checked out the frozen lake. Then drove the 180 miles home.

This turned out to be a full on adventure day.

The map is the Fat Tire Bike race course up at Lutsen, Minnesota.

Riders will be riding 24 miles of cross-country ski trails this day. This was full on winter, fresh groomed snow with overnight temps at -12 degrees racing. It was an early -5 degree, 8:00am start. That meant I set the alarm for 4:00am, got up and let Jeff sleep till 4:30. We were staying in a condo that was a stones throw from Lake Superior... yeah the big Great Lake. Awesome!  
Two of the Midwest Mountain Bike Legends...Geno Oberpriller and Jeff Hall.
I met Geno back in about 1986. Jeff was 10 years old. I was doing the racing back then...
About 4 miles into the race with Jeff riding solid in the 1st chase group. A very loaded field in the front of the race. The trail was in very good condition. It was cold smoke snow this day at -5...
Jeff's son, my Grandson Owen and I chased the racers with the truck as they raced in the woods we were able to intercept them several times.

Owen is on the side of the course to hand up a water bottle. This was as Jeff was heading back to the finish, about 6 miles left. Still riding solid, didn't have the jump in his legs to win this day. Jeff was in 5th at this point and this is how he would finish the race, 5th place.
Owen was there to give his Dad a tap on his head to greet him at the finish. Tough conditions for all the racers with the temps. The good part was a great job of groomed trails.
After race time, the 3 Hall guys scrambling around on the rocks along the shore of Lake Superior. 3 generations of Halls having a good time at Lutsen. I am a lucky Man to have these adventures.
Above, Jeff and yours truly...below Owen and me hanging. Still about -4 degrees.

The image of Owen on the ice rocks along the shore of "Gitche Gumee" is priceless...

Adventure on!

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