The Really Good, The Really Good, and the Really Really Bad Products…..

I’ve purchased some products in the last year… not very many; but they were needed… some were overdue.

I’ll start with what I think was my best cycling addition in recent memory.

The OutBoundLighting TrailEdition headlight.

This light is HANDS DOWN the most impressive light I’ve ever used…. bar none!! The beam pattern alone is worth the price of admission… with Matt (the owner) providing customer service that simply isn’t seen any more. Nice job Matt, you have a lifetime customer!!

Then it comes to the FatBack RhinoFLT. You’ve already read what I think about this sweet ride; so I’ll just leave another picture.

Now the REALLY REALLY BAD product, I paid a premium price for… even at the 25% discount I received at the AngerCatfish it’s just a horribly overpriced horrible product!!

The 45NRTH Naughtvind pant.

The worst product for winter cycling I’ve ever spent my hard earned dollars on EVER, hands down PERIOD. If I could return this product for a refund…. I would in a heartbeat!! Horribleness x 10!! DO NOT waste your hard earned dollars on this product!!

I’ll be going back to the trusty, completely better made Craft Storm tights!!

45NRTH does a lot of things that are exceptional…. these pants are not one of those things!!

I should’ve listened to you Mr. Doom!!

Anyway, that’s it, for now.

I do have a frame bag currently being made from Cedaero.

I’ve been assured it will be in my hands well before The Le Grand Du Nord which will be my spring beat down this year. I decided to stay in northern eastern Minnesota for this years early season flogging!! 😜🤔

Keep the rubber side down and Pedal On!!

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Why The FatBack Rhino FLT

Because it’s NOT a Salsa, Trek, Specialized or other big brand.

I picked up this sweet rig March 1st, from my LBS…. Bikes On Howard; which has become FatBack Bikes newest dealer!!

I wanted to step into the 21st century of fat-bikes. My Pugsley has treated me well for over 11 years, but it was time.

Nothing wrong with those above, or any brands; although FatBack does fat-bikes, and only fat-bikes…. and they do them extremely well!!

It has a threaded BB, (which all FatBack bikes have, as all bikes should), which has been a deal breaker in a new bike with me for years. If it says PF BB…. I move on.

Symmetrically built wheels with through axles, and tubeless ready were a must.

I got an 18″ aluminum frame, FatBacks GX Eagle build with the carbon fork upgrade. For my riding style and riding area, I don’t feel a full on carbon frame is the wisest choice for me.

I choose the non studded Johnny 5’s, which I studded myself.

The only thing I swapped out, after 100 miles were ridden, was the stock saddle to my comfy WTB Koda saddle.

Also, when the studded Johnny 5’s weren’t really needed anymore, I set up my 45Nrth Vanhelgas tubeless. 1st time I’ve went tubeless in 20 years. This time around it went much smoother than that time 20 years ago!! LOL

I don’t feel I can really compare the ride of this Rhino FLT to the Pugsley. How can one compare the difference between night and day??

The Sram GX Eagle drivetrain is a game changer…. and has performed flawlessly, as I’ve now passed the 200 mile mark.

I’ve got a few races, well for me…. they’ll be called rides, coming up; and this will be the bike I ride. I may even get a set of plus size wheels, and sell my other two bikes…… time will tell. 🤔

I’m also patiently waiting for my new Cedaero frame-bag to arrive. Then things will get real!! 👍🏻👍🏻

I’ve named this new whip; well to be completely honest, Cindi named it; when you see me in person ask me the name she came up with; because I’d rather offend you in person than type the name out!! 🤔😂😂😂😂😂😂😜😜

Until then, keep the rubber side down, and pedal on!!

Pie Burner 2018………

Picture heavy post…. few words.

Northeastern Minnesota Toys For Tots got a nice boost again from this event!!

Final numbers for #toysfortots

37 big hearted #fatbikers raised

$795.00/$300 from #palmerstavern 💕

149 toys/books and stocking stuffers.

Yet another year I’m speechless at these numbers!!

THANKS to ONE and All!!

Here’s to #pieburner2019

Creek crossing” in the 1st 8 miles.

Back to Biking; The 2018 Pie Burner to Be Exact!!

Almost two weeks out!!

The cold has arrived, hopefully it stays!! A light fresh dusting of the white stuff is on the ground…. things should be forming up after the three nights we’ll below freezing forecasted temps.

Look for some route updates….. soon!!

I pick up my trusty Pugsley from Bikes on Howard tomorrow…. then I ride!!

Here’s looking to a very successful 6th year event!!

For those wondering, the shirt design is done, with an online purchase link soon to follow. If you do order and pay; your shirt will be at Palmer’s Tavern on Saturday’s ride morning!!

Here’s the front in all it’s Cardinal Red glory!!

And the back Sponsorship logos of course.

ISD #701…. Name Recognition Voting!!??

Well, I made it through something that’s completely out of my “comfort zone.”

The first school board candidate forum… which was on 10/9.

Did I answer all the questions to the best of my ability?

I’d have to say no, but I feel I didn’t embarrass myself as much as I thought I would, not to bad for my first time in that kind of format.

I also feel my passion for doing what’s right for children/teachers and the district did come through.

Then my scheduled HPAT interview… 10/16…. talk about out of my comfort zone….wow!!

I wasn’t able to say as much as I’d like during my interview. Let me rephrase that….. What I did talk about was important and pertinent to the school board…. thank you Patty Miller.

Although I touched a little on the title of this post…. it was not enough for me.

So here we are!

Back to the candidate forum, and the meat of this post.

One thing that surprised me was the absence of our current school board chair. Something that I’ve since learned he does on a regular basis.

Why on earth is this man still on the school board??

If an elected official deems himself “to good” (because that’s what it looks like), to come before the public (that elects board members), to answer basic questions….. why does he still get elected??

If you were hiring someone for a J.O.B. and they didn’t show up for the interview; would you hire them anyway??

Well, this community has “hired” the current school board chair year after election year…. then we as a community wonder why our school board has been such an underachieving unit for how many years now??? Our school aged children, both HUE and AFSCME unions, the community as a whole should be demanding more!

COMMON SENSE!!

Just because someone’s name is always on the ballot… DOES NOT mean you check the box next to his name!!

NAME RECOGNITION voting for school board members needs to stop!

Longevity does not equal smart decisions that help our communities school age children, teachers and supporting players, and district…. it builds complacency, a preconceived notion of power and or the illusion of “being untouchable,” all while losing touch with what’s important and doing things that only benefit ones self!!

This mans time has come; and as November 6th nears, you the community need to ask yourselves why??

Why is he still representing the community/children/district on the school board?

Why does he not humble himself before the community, and put himself “out there” with the rest of us?

In my opinion this is the MAIN problem with school board leadership…. when the chair has a sense of entitlement; when the chair thinks he is “to good” to answer even one question…. that’s a problem!!

Am I alone is this line of thinking??

It seems to me a little common sense would go a long, long way… in seeking true and needed change at the school board level… saying nothing about other levels above and beyond the school board.

Another issue I wasn’t able to bring up in my Hpat interview…. why isn’t anyone talking about one huge group that keeps getting ignored…. the AFSCME union. They DO NOT have a new contract either.

The AFSCME union are, the custodians, secretaries, paraprofessionals, grounds crew, technology support, LPN’s, plumbers, electricians, etc.

I get the HUE gets most of the headlines, as one would expect….. but the school district can not run without the AFSCME union members. They are the “people behind the scenes.” They are the HUE’s education partners, and the district acts like their voice does not exist.

One group does not work without the other…. AGAIN…..

COMMON SENSE!!

It’s Starting to Become A Reality!!

After many years, countless hour of tireless background work, by a lot of nameless and faceless individuals; purpose built single-track mountain bike trails will be becoming a reality in the Northland!!

There’s already been one community plannings session, with another scheduled for…..

This is a dream come true to many riders in our area and far beyond!!

Iroc-mtb clubs most recent press release….. reads as follows.

Contact: Pete Kero FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

P: 218-969-8745

Email: PKero@barr.com

 

Iron Range Off Road Cyclists Announces Second Planning Session for Redhead Mountain Bike Park and Recreational Area: Ideas finalized for Spring 2019 construction.

Hibbing, MN—With over two dozen people from across the area, Iron Range Off Road Cyclists (IROC) held the first of twocommunity input sessions Thursday night to gather community input on the forthcoming Redhead Mountain Bike Park and recreational area.  

The session, held at the Minnesota Discovery Center (MDC),was the first of a two part series to gather insight fromcommunity members about what they would like to see in the bike park and larger recreation area. 

The second session, to be held Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM at Minnesota Discovery Center, will refine the list of features for inclusion in the park, the larger recreational areasurrounding the park and amenities at MDC.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.  Admission is free.

Participants in Thursday night’s session brainstormed ideas insix key areas: what would you like to see for trails; integration of the park with MDC; community impact; getting kids outdoors; facilitating women, aging, and physically-challenged riders and rides; and other amenities for the larger recreation area.

Ideas ranged from wider trails to allow hand bikes; fun, easier trails for new, young and or aging riders; a large play park at MDC; swimming in Monroe pit; hosting an annual community mountain bike fest; kayaking; and craft beer, good coffee and excellent food at MDC.

Scott Linnenberger, construction manager for the three, iron range, off-road cycling destinations currently under development spoke at the IROC session.  

“The best projects are the done by the community, for the community,” Linnenberger stated. “Everyone can ride (off-road) with the right trails.  We want to know those needs and desires.  If we get a list of 100 ideas, we try to incorporate 99 of them into the system.”

Linnenberger has managed the construction of destination trail systems across the United States.  He is currently overseeing theconstruction of the Giants Ridge lift-served mountain bike system and the Tioga single-track trail system in Cohasset.  He is also leading trail construction at Redhead.

“We have the best builders in the Midwest working on these projects,” said Linnenberger.  “With the amount of funding from the IRRR, the speed of development, and the cooperative agreement to build three parks simultaneously, North American mountain biking has never seen a regional initiative like this.”  

“What we are building here is a huge asset,” said Benji Neff, IROC President.  “We are building community, regional, and national tourism destinations.  With the combined trail systems of Tioga in Cohasset, Legion Hills in Grand Rapids, Maple Hill in Hibbing, Redhead in Chisholm, Lookout Mountain in Virginia, and the gravity trail system at Giants Ridge, we are creating a world-class destination.  And it is already underway.”    

“I have been interviewed by national publications about our project,” said Benji Neff.  “Word is spreading.  We are starting to get calls and texts from folks out of the Twin Cities asking, how can I help?  This is an exciting time.”

Construction on the Redhead Mountain Bike Park is slated to break ground spring 2019.  The park will be located south of MDC along the shores of the beautiful Monroe Pit, visible from HWY 169.  The park will consist of 25 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, which will be open to the public, and access free of charge.  The recreational area surrounding the bike trails, including amenities at the Minnesota Discovery, may include a kinesthetic playground, camping, swimming in the Monroe pit, food and drinks, and entertainment at MDC—as designed by our community.

Mountain bike parks have become a destination for individuals and families as evidenced by the heavy traffic at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Crosby, MN.  Communities with mountain bike parks have seen an increase in customers for food, drink, bike equipment and repair, and lodging.

Redhead will be a park and recreation area designed to attract riders of all ages and abilities and their families.  With a healthy list of ideas generated from the first session, IROC will work with the community on October 24 session to finalize ideas for inclusion in the project.  Women, children and families are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions.

Soon enough….. this picture will be more than just words for people from all over!!

Yes, I’m Running for a Seat on the Hibbing School Districts School Board.

I’ve been noticeably quiet over the last many months, by design….

Why did I decide to throw my hat in the political fray???

To begin, I’m an upset parent who has seen misstep after misstep by the current and former school board members, with no rectifying solution in site!!

The former superintendent allegedly lied and cheated his way to a raise.  This left the ISD#701 teachers union with NO contract in site. HE PROMISED the teachers “their time would come.” Well, he’s now the former superintendent (good thing), and yet the teachers are still WITHOUT A NEW CONTRACT.

When times were tight, the teachers did what any union and their members do…. tighten things up, and wait until things turn around. With limited financial security of the district, the union members lessened their demands.

The union has compromised, but the school board will not. It’s beyond pathetic the school board doesn’t recognize that the last 400 days without a teachers contract, states that The board by no means values the teachers, and students!

Supposedly, the district is NOT in dire financial straits.  In contrast, there is an 8-12 million dollar surplus. If this is the case, then why isn’t YOUR elected board doing more to deliver our valuable teachers a reasonable contract??

I’m not pretending I know what’s what, but for PetesSake…..… Why is OUR school board refusing to negotiate in good faith with OUR valued teachers?

Furthermore, another issue of utmost importance is mental health assistance for students.

MInnesota has the 4TH worst student to counselor ratio in the United States. This is a travesty. Nationally the average is 481 students to 1 counselor, in Mn. It Is 723 students to 1 counselor.

Minnesota HAS THE 4TH WORST STUDENT/COUNSELOR RATIO in the country!! How embarrassing is that??Some Mn. school districts are dealing with 1,035/1!!!??

I’ve since learned ISD#701 has hired one or two more counselors… but I’m getting vague information. Either way the ratio is still NOT what it should be!!

Some more facts (from the article linked above)…. the American School Counselor Association advocates for 250/1. Far removed from the national average.

In 2016 the Minnesota Legislator worked to address the shortfall.  They approved a 12 million dollar grant program for matching funds, this grant lasts 6 years. Was ISD#701 one of 77 Minnesota districts that applied? If not, do they have any intention of applying in the 6 year timeframe?

Kids Mental Health Issues:

1 in 5 have mental health problems.

43% increase in ADHD.

37% increase in teen depression.

100% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old.

With the iPads being such a HUGE part of the learning curriculum of this district, the mental health curriculum also needs to be improved……. If a child is struggling with mental illness, how possibly can an iPad help?????

The district has given children “Pandora’s Box” and just left them alone with it!!

That’s wrong on so many levels!!

The district has no foresight in regards to electronic learning.

Medical studies are already indicating the long term detriment of repetitive electronic exposure.

The board demonstrates little to NO knowledge as to how their decisions are damaging our children.

A few examples…. Billy and Johnny talk amongst themselves about drugs during the school day…. they both can look up whatever they want about said drugs once their at home, or anywhere they can connect to WiFi. The same can be said about Suzy and Sally after talking about sex during the school day with their peers. Am I the only one who sees a problem with the districts refusal of implementing more mental health protocols in the 7th – 9th grades and beyond??

In my job as a school bus driver for district ISD#701 via Shubat Transportation, I am witness to the need for expanded mental health care.

Teachers see it first hand. What is the district doing to help the teachers assist their students in getting the help they need??

In reference to this…. 3/22/17 school board meeting.

The three community members who spoke are 100% correct!! Something needs to be done before it’s too late…….. I believe Mr. Finco needs to DO HIS job for a change.

My intent is to bring to the school board the voice of reason and common sense.

I DO NOT have a personal agenda.

I WILL put ALL youth at the fore front of my actions.

In fact, the actions of the current school board members in NO way shape or form represent the needs of the students or teachers!

I’m a firm believer one CAN NOT move forward  without looking to the mistakes of the past.

The goal of the future school board should be to learn from past mistakes, while improving the outlook for the school district.

OUR COMMUNITY’S CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER!!

Another issue I’d like to see done, is job performance evaluations of all ISD#701 administrators, this evaluation should be done by teachers and other staff, these evaluations must be taken into account for future salary increments and continued employment.

Also, the technology department should be given the same evaluations.

With the increase of students with special needs, the class size must be decreased. It is ridiculous that class sizes are close to 30 with at least 2/3 of these students needing more assistance than one teacher can provide…… And if money is short when it’s time to upgrade iPads NO MONIES shall be taken from any school fund that furthers the arts!!

No band fund, no art fund, no drama fund, no knowledge bowl fund… NOTHING!!

If money is short for new iPad purchasing it comes from sports team budgets PERIOD!!

No more taking money from the arts!!

Continuing….. Girls sports need to have the same gym time as boys sports!! In recent years, girls sports have been second to boys.

Also, older school sports kids will practice at later times, while the younger school children in sports will have early practice times.

This is common sense, yet it doesn’t seem to exist in the current scheduling.

I want to change the current trend of the school board.

Personal agendas and close-minded attitudes need to be a thing of the past. The priority MUST BE THE STUDENTS, THE TEACHERS AND THE DISTRICT.

Please DO NOT vote for me….. if you DO NOT want to hear the truth, have people called out for not doing their jobs to the best of their ability, for the salary they receive; or if straight common sense talk makes you uncomfortable

My goal is to have ISD#701 be the POWERHOUSE OF EDUCATION that it once was!!

This sight has been lost for years with the current school board.

The time has come for needed change, OUR children deserve it!!

Thank You!!

-Joe Sacco