imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageClear Water, WI : 10 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections

1. The purpose of the ride was threefold :

Pt. A – Reconnaissance of the first seventy-or-so miles of the complete Wisconsin Attempt. A 400mi, self-supported attempt to cross the state of Wisconsin in 48 hours.

Pt. B – To see a sunrise while pedaling a bicycle.

Pt. C – To see what riding with little rest, during the middle of the night feels like (hint : not the greatest).

2. Birds begin chirping around 4 AM along the Mississippi River Valley.

3. Truth – Alexander

4. Things Google Maps Should Take Into Account :

a – The aerodynamic ramifications of the Swift Industries Ozette Rando Bag

b – The proliferation of the Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll in local gas stations

c – ‘Fun’

d – The aggression of the local bird populace

5. Walking into the Handy Mart in Bay City, WI shortly before the Bay City Church Climb. Upon entering and making my way towards the restroom, three truckers and one woman (who I assume was the waitress) stopped talking and stared as I made my way past. Once in the restroom, I could make out what they said about this ‘intruder’ quite easily. It was entertaining to say the least.

6. The decision to have that ice cream sandwich in Plum City, WI was the right one.

7. If you see a ‘Fresh-Picked Strawberries’ sign and think to yourself that it’d be a good idea to pick up a quart, it’s not.

8. The joy and speed that Big Coulee Rd. brought to the ride was most certainly worth all of the hell that was US Route 10.

9. The Mississippi has it’s own sound. It is deep and goes on the length of the river. It’s reaches across the valley and holds the night in it’s grasp. Although you are on dry land, it is the River that captures your imagination and carries you along. The undulations of the road mimic the current and lead you on through the morning. It comforts and welcomes. I can only imagine how it must have felt to discover this beast in the heart of such a wild land.

10. What sounds like rain but is super gross? Black gnats.

Processed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with e1 presetThe Almanzo 100 : 10 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections

1. There were four (4) great dogs on this year’s jaunt around Spring Vally, MN. They are as follows :

A(1) – The yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula. This dog enjoyed licking legs, head scratches and general crotch sniffing.

B(2) – The black mutt that accompanied the yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula. This dog enjoyed occasionally scolding the yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula for gluttonous crotch sniffing.

C(3) – The dog known as Seamus. This dog is the unofficial official team dog of the best unofficial official team in the business – Team Radish. Seamus enjoys ear scritches and the occasional howl.

D(4) – The black lab hanging out in the middle of a gravel turn off. This dog enjoys sitting in a regal position and judging those who are stupid enough to be trying to ride a bike in this god forsaken land.

2. The worst vanilla malt in my life was had the evening before the 2014 edition of the Almanzo 100.

3. Acts of Kindness (In no particular order) :

A – Megan Barr provided a lovely yellow banana at the start line. I owe her at least five (5) bananas for this most generous act.

B- Michael Mason for providing a draft out of Forestville State Park, some of the best high fives ever and tunes like this one (or this one) blasting out of his back right pocket.

C – Jeffrey Zaayer and the MORBID Meat-Up for one (1) hotdog and one (1) MORBID sticker (to be applied to the top-tube and the top-tube ONLY)

D – David Bucklin for providing a steady wheel and levity to an altogether grave situation.

E – Trevor Murphy for providing a welcome draft and sexy to an altogether grave situation.

F – David Peterson for providing a lift, introducing me to the Wu-Tang Clan and waiting around while my broken ass made it’s way back to the parked car.

4. No bike computer. It was nice this way.

5. Salt-N-Pepa – Push It

6. What does it mean when a professional cyclocross team shows up at a free gravel race in the middle of nowhere?

7. The feeling of both tires losing traction. Repeatedly. And having it all under control. I love you, Panaracer.

8. The feeling of not knowing where everyone fit in the cycling spectrum. Please circle the descriptor below which most accurately describes your reason for attendance -

A – Roadie/Cyclocrossist

B – Enduro/Rad Masochist

C – Alternate Terrain Enthusiast

D – 32c Nihilist

9. Swedish Fish once again played a prominent role in my efforts. Trevor Murphy stated (accurately) that red was the best flavor. Then we mulled over the creation of the others and decided it was madness.

10. The climb out of the creek crossing was magnificent. Having missed this last year, it was a treat for the senses and an experience that will stay with me for a long time. I will return to better my time, as is necessitated by my limited definition of growth, but that moment made the ride alone. A glimpse of another reason to ride my bicycle, perhaps.

But for now, I will still be the guy sprinting for 764th place.

Mr. Skogen, as always, I thank you for a wonderful event.

Viva El Manzo!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageIt’s been awhile, so let’s see if I remember how to do this.

seven cycles : 10 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections

1. There is one ‘Dunkin’ for every ten Bostonians. This is based on intense scientific research(1a) backed up by visual confirmation(1b).

2. The proliferation of affordable and tasty doughnuts seems to have little to no effect on the local riding populous. This is evidenced by velocb’s ability to ride me into the ground. Thankfully, he took pity on my ghostly white frame and flabby legs and allowed me a generous draft for the majority of our tour.

3. There exists not one straight road in all of Massachusetts.

4. For the urban bicyclist – a recalibration of expectations is important. For instance :

a – ‘Safe’ Passing distance is around 1 to 4 inches

b – The car’s horn is not a fancy ornament that is never used (except in grave circumstances), but instead something to be hit constantly and without warning for little or no observable reason

c – Any vehicle that isn’t an actual school bus but has a large sign declaring that it is – indeed – a ‘School Bus’, is to be avoided at all costs

d. It will be ‘hella’ fun

6. Seven Cycles is based in Watertown, MA – just to the North West of Boston proper. It is made up of a large group of cyclists who care about where the Industry is going and work their hardest to not only make an amazing product, but also take care of the people who sell them. Also they have the nicest shop dog ever.

7. The Ride Studio Cafe is based in Lexington, MA. It is a lovely Cafe/Bike Shop that sells some of the best products available to today’s riders. Furthermore – the folks who work there are incredibly friendly and offer up their expertise freely to anyone who walks in. So you know, they have that going for them.

8. Honey Bikes is based in Watertown, MA. The aforementioned velocb takes point for their marketing/relations and does a fine job of it. Their lovely production steel bikes are made by none other than the folks at Seven.

9. John Lewis tried to expand my culinary horizons and almost succeeded. He also wrote this before I got a chance to meet him I thought ‘There’s a dude I’d like to meet’ and what do you know. So anyways, read this – Winter Moths

10. Read this, also.

There is more to say, and it will be said, but for now this will have to do. Thank you to my new friends on the eastern seaboard. You’ve done some amazing things and I’m glad I got to see them first hand.

It’s enough to make a guy want to blog about it.

-

1(a) – No science was harmed in the making of that incredibly inaccurate statement

2 (b) – I tried photographing them all and quit at number sixteen

-

And thanks to Honey for writing up about our little excursion. If you want to see photos of me pretending to be a famous statue, here you go – Minneapolis Musette.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetI’m for having fun at bike races. Taking yourself too seriously, although great for others, tends to ruin it for myself. Fortunately for me – and others like me – there’s cyclocross.

Cyclocross involves three things : Bikes, Fun and Beers. Lucid Racing fulfills these obligations and then some, making a formidable ‘cross force that can only be dealt with by high-fives, hand-ups and heckles. As you can see from the photos above, the ‘Team Photo Shoot’ turned out a bit more fun than other’s I’ve taken part in. Of course, having it done at the Sponsor’s Brewery didn’t hurt.

For the 2013/14 Season we’ll be sponsoring these fine Gentlemen and keeping you up to date on all their shenanigans. We’re proud to say that the livery they sport was designed by us and made right here in MN by another one of our favorites – Podiumwear. In addition, Stellar Bags and Omnium Bike Shop have come forth to make sure these guys get the very best in cycle-sport equipment available.

Be sure to watch for the Orange n’ Blue at this weekend’s ‘cross races and if they’re riding past you, heckle the shit out of em.

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The Stay Classy Classic : 10 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections

1. Four teams of approximately four individuals gathered at the top of Mounds View Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota around the hour of 9 AM. These individuals came by choice, coercion or because there was nothing better to do with their Saturday.

2. Late August in Minnesota. (See : Uffda)

3. The four members of #TeamMusette were as follows :

1(a) : David Peterson

1(b) : David Bucklin

1(c) : Jeff Christenson 

1(d) : Myself

4. There’s just something about a Cue Sheet soaked through that is both terribly disgusting and endearing.

5. To the Wedding Party taking photos in scenic Vermillion Falls Park, we are forever in your debt for the three bottles of Ice Mountain Bottled Water. We also apologize for perhaps ruining a few shots with our sweaty, disgusting, worn-out bodies.

6*. Never pass up a well-placed Public Water Access.

*Bib Shorts can, in a pinch, double as swimming trunks.

7. That time when David Bucklin’s water bottle decided to release itself from its cage and land perfectly on junction of his bottom bracket, seattube and downtube.

8. Summer Home – Typhoon

9. Jeff Christenson’s gift of a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll right around mile 86. On the Pearson’s Quality Confections Website it is described as follows : “In an ever-changing confectionery marketplace, Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll continues to represent the highest standards of quality and excellence.” in addition – “Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll is a good source of protein and carbohydrate energy.”

10. Rolling up to the finish at the Black Dog Cafe with the official time of 08:44:58 and only one other member of #TeamMusette left. This arrival was met with mostly heckles, a lot of sitting down and some well and truly deserved pizza.

Bravo, Spencer Haugh! Bravo, Stay Classy! Till next year, say we, the members of #TeamMusette. Till next year, indeed.

Photo 2013-06-23 08.56.35 PM Photo 2013-06-23 08.56.45 PM

All Photos Courtesy of Thomas Smith

My good bud Greg asked me last year if I’d be willing to help his shop put on an event that had fallen rather unceremoniously in their lap. The Brompton US Championship had lost it’s home and needed a new one – and where better than good old Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Where better, indeed. Last year with a shoestring budget and the smallest of acceptable timeframes, Greg, Martha, Kat, Luke and the whole gang at Calhoun put on an amazing event. This year, with a little bit more notice than the last, they managed to put together an event that was truly spectacular. With participants from around the Country vying for the opportunity to represent the U.S. of A in the Brompton World Championships, the racing was top notch. Think NVGP, but put it in a suit jacket and confine it to a few city blocks.

Well done, Calhoun Cycle.

Well done, Brompton.

Well done, This Guy.

I have a feeling the World Striped Garter Socks might be making their way across the pond sometime this year.

See you next time, Folding Bicycle Racers.

- MM

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