It’s The Bike Stupid!!

It’s The Bike Stupid!!

Saturday I rode the Lutsen99er.

The 69er version for this particular day.

72.43 miles

Almost 4,000′ of climbing, in 8 hours and change.

This post isn’t about my 23 year old riding partner, who kicked ass by the way!! 💪🏻👊🏻

Or the kick ass campsite we had at the Temperance River campground west of Tofte, Mn.

It’s not even about the event itself, which was exceptionally run, with a volunteer group 2nd to none!!

I will say one thing about the riders of this event…. by the amount of race course garbage I personally saw; they are illiterate!! That is all.

What this post will be about, is how I felt during and especially afterwards riding my FatBack Rhino FLT. For up until today is the longest saddle time I’ve had on it since bringing it home back in March of this year.

I knew what to expect, I’ve done long rides on my Pugsley and Krampus respectively.

I was prepared for sore wrists, arms, elbows and shoulders. Along with a sore lower back, and maybe a sleepy left or right foot (depending on the day), for a couple days afterwards.

Hey, that’s the price I’ve been willing to pay in the past… why should it change now?? It was all in the pursuit of my passion that’s called fat/plus biking.

Well, throughout the early part of the ride I felt strong…. legs were fine, I kept a moderate pace. God Damn climbing still kicks my ass; and I’ve made peace with that fact…. so I settle in and turn the pedals until the climbing stops.

Thomas pulled ahead, obviously!! Why would he wait for his slow ass climbing old man?? I wouldn’t if I was him!!

😂😜

The 25 mile aid station came and went… I’m still feeling good; picked up speed and started picking off slower riders. Nothing new there…. it always takes me a bit to get completely warmed up.

From here to the 45 mile aid station i realized I was clipping along, picking off more and faster riders than myself; by bombing through mud holes, bombing down descents with abandon… damn I love the fatbikes big boy tires!!

I also started waiting for it…. the soreness to start creeping in. It usually starts in the wrists and lower back at the same time…. but it didn’t come.

The 45 mile aid station came and went; still no creeping soreness….. and at around mile 52 I caught the young 23 year old!! LOL

The heat was doing a number on him, and he slowed down to compensate. We stopped shortly after reconnecting, and I dumped a good amount of water on his head and down his back….. I saw his demeanor instantly change!! Super I thought… and we moved onto the 2nd to last aid station at the 51 mile mark.

Which just so happened to be two city blocks from our campsite. I mentioned we could go sit in our camp chairs until he was ready to finish. Without missing a beat…. “nope, we’ll stop here for a bit, then move on.”

At the campsite later that evening, he said he was afraid if he sat in his chair he would’t get back up!! LOL smart young man!! 💪🏻👊🏻

So this is where he sat for awhile before we moved on….

By this time I was expecting the soreness to come crashing down on me at any moment. I had even popped a couple ibuprofen after filling Thomas’s water bottles in preparation.

Mile 61 came and went…. nothing.

Mile 62-67 nothing.

Then the single-track…. who puts single-track at the end of a race?? For Christ sake, how am I suppose to enjoy it… being sore and beat down!!??!!

Well, well…. what do you know… I enjoyed the hell out of that end of the race single-track just fine, thank you very much!!

More climbing to the finish… which sucked goat balls… but I did it!! 🥺🙄

After all this, what am I sold on??

My carbon fork in combination with the carbon bars; and running my tires tubeless; and riding a fully rigid bike that was specifically designed with this sort of a shit show of a days worth of riding. I swear to God I would not have felt this good if I rode either of my other two bikes!!

Steel vs aluminum frame? I’m not so sure about that!!

Did I just have an exceptionally good day? Not particularly.

I know I’ve prepared myself similar in years past for an event such as this, so that’s not it.

I’ve thought about this a lot since I laid my head down in my tent that Saturday night.

Carbon fork + carbon bars + tubeless setup + Fatback Bikes Rhino FLT = pain free riding!!

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PEDALING IN HONOR OF PAT AND STEVE

HIBBING — Steve and Pat Gillitzer loved hitting the trails on two wheels.

“Over the last few years, they were among our most active riders,” said cyclist Henry Djerlev. “Pat would ride during the day, but join us on some of the evening rides. And they biked a lot on their own too, traveling to places where they could hit the trails.”

The couple was members of Cycle Mesabi, an active bicycle club that hosts evening rides during the week from Hibbing. The club has been in existence for 29 years now, and they were part of it for a large portion of those years, according to Djerlev.

The Gillitzers and two of their grandsons passed away as a result of injuries from a house fire on Dec. 26 at their home at 212 42nd St. E. in a Hibbing.

“When we got the call, it was a shock,” said Djerlev, who as wintering out of state. “It’s one of those times when you really don’t know what to feel or how to react. They were really nice people, and very active in the community.”

Cycle Mesabi will be holding a Memorial Bike Ride for Steve and Pat this Saturday, June 30.

It will start around 9 a.m. at the pavilion at Bennett Park.

The plan is to ride about 20 miles — 10 out and 10 back — on the Mesabi Trail toward Kelly Lake and then return to Hibbing.

Children and those less inclined can ride in North Hibbing.

The public is invited to participate.

Talk of a memorial ride surfaced while friends and family mourned and began processing what occurred. Plans continued and the date was chosen early on.

“In addition, we’ve also just put out a bench on the bike trail between Hibbing and Kerr Locations,” said Djerlev. “It’s on the Mesabi Trail, about half way over the hill, just as you go down the backside of the trail.”

A plaque made by family with the Gillitzers’ names and a beautiful saying will soon be added to the bench.

The route Saturday will be a similar path the club has taken in the past, noted Djerlev.

“It was one of our annual rides,” he said. “We used to call it the Bear Ride because we’d often see bears on the route.”

He’s talking about pedaling on an old mining byway known as Stevenson Road, which takes travelers to the Mahoning Mine.

Following the ride, participants will gather in Bennett Park for socializing.

“It will be a time for people to support each other,” said Djerlev. “There will be family members there and a lot of people that were in biking clubs that knew Steve and Pat.”

A second bench honoring the couple is to be installed in Bennett Park. Djerlev said the plan is to place it under a large tree between the North Pavillion and Third Avenue East toward Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center.

“This bench will be more accessible to younger kids and adults, to those using park,” he said. “Maybe it will be a place where people can reflect and think about Steve and Pat.”

There are also plans to plant a couple of apples trees near the bench. Both the bench and trees are memorials that are offered by the city through its parks programs, noted Djerlev.

“Steve and Pat had so many friends, and we have no other way or reaching them other than this (ride). We are just one circle of his friends,” he said. “ … I would image we’d do this in the future too, but maybe a bit more casually than this one.”

Hibbing Fire Marshal Bryan Fagerstrom said Thursday that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“The house will be coming down soon,” he added. “We still have a lab examining all the artifacts that were removed during (scene) processing.”

The 2017 Pie Burner Put To Bed….

The Sunday before the ride, trail conditions were perfect!! Come the Friday before the ride it was 44 degrees and raining!!??

Mother threw a monkey wrench at us; but the ride still went off without a hitch. Saturday mornings temperatures were perfect, mid teens…… with only a high of 28ish.

Studded tires were the buzz word of the day; certain sections of the trail were like a skating rink. Multiple riders went down multiple times; with only one having to pull out after 6ish miles. He’s alright, but bruised up good.

56 riders showed up; and the event got some long overdue local love from the Hibbing Daily Tribune, thanks Mr. Tony Potter!!

With this events growth, look for some changes to come for the 2018 version of the Pie Burner. I’m thinking of having two groups of riders leaving at different times, but arriving back at Palmers within an hour of each other. More on that in the coming months.

When we reached the halfway point, half the riders gladly headed back to Palmers Tavern and waiting for the rest of us to finish up the long route. All the long route riders returned between 3:30 – 4:00 pm.

Eating, drinking and ride giveaways were handled in time; and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

A huge shout-out to my family, again!! You guys rock!!

Also a shout-out to the volunteers, without you this ride would not be what it is!!

And to all the sponsors….. I DO NOT have words for how much your generosity helps this event thrive…. THANK YOU!! Especially Surly Bikes!!

And to Sandy and Brooke; and staff at Palmers Tavern your willingness to work with me and go above and beyond is greatly appreciated!!

Then today I was made of aware of a nice “kudos” write up by fellow fatbiker Sheri Schrock of Cohasset, Mn. In the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Sheri was the nice lady who was pedaling the sweet Otso Voytek on ride day.

Sheri on ride day…..

Thank you for the kind words Sheri, and by those words….. we know what we’re doing, is being done the correct way!!

Here’s a few shots (out of a few 1,000 photos) thanks Zack….. of the day

We’ll see you in 2018!!

Our Last Long Ride…..

Before Saturday’s GRE Mesabi Trail Tour ride.

My crew is all set!! Our last long ride is in the books.  

Our turn around spot was “The Stand” in Chisholm, Mn. 11 miles in. The carrot of ice cold frosty mugs of root beer’s, was just what was needed on the hot sticky August 1st pedal!!

The rest of these pictures tell the story better than any word’s can!!

What’s any bike ride worth if there’s not some goofing around time??? 

No Layers!!

First time in 2015 we’ve gone on a ride without layering the clothing.
58° and sunny made for a good day!
Tomorrow is forcasted to be warmer!!!! 60° plus!!!

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We went and checked out the wetness factor of the old Whitney Tailings pond, our normal riding area.  With about 4-5″ of slop, which includes thick red mud and plenty of frozen ground underneath.  We turned around, and pedaled around town a bit.
The way the warmth is coming on, and a couple good rains I figure the red dirt will be ready in 3 weeks, maybe less.

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