Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tis the season, for singletrack cruisin........Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival O8

Hot days cool nights. Dry trails, turning leaves. Long miles and big smiles. Tired legs and Dopplebocks. All things that I hope to find this weekend in the Keweenaw Pennisula. First, it is my b-day (38 years young) and I hope to hack out a 38 mile single track day on the Keweenaw Trails. Second it is the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival of which I hope to ride the course, due to my heart condition I cant race but I can certainly cheer on my fellow Dulutians who will. The race is put on by Keweenaw Adventure Company a fine looking establishment in Copper Harbor, MI. I grabbed the fall photo from thier site and it was taken by Chuck Haney who looks like a sick photographer.
We plan on camping at Mclain State Park for a few days and hanging in Houghton, MI. Riding the Michigan Tech trails, Churning Rapids trails and then hanging at the Keweenaw Brewing Company for after ride recovery beverages. Hopefully we will also hook up with the famed Latvian, Arne from Downwind Sports. From there we will travel north to Copper Harbor and the festival. Should be a ripping weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Destruction of Duluth, MN 2008

As I am now not truly a voting member of the City of Duluth, Mn I can honestly say I am sitting on the sidelines watching the collapse of a once great place. In the past 10 years or so of living in Duluth I have always lamented the fact that Duluth COULD be the best place I have ever lived, but due to old school thinking and short sighted values many of the things Duluth should be valued for, are being torn down, destroyed, paved over or basically neglected. I have always imagined what it would be like to have a person of my generation in charge and what type of change that could bring to a place with so much potential. Well now we know and from where I am standing it is not so good. I do not pretend to understand how the politics of this town works and so I am not totally sure where all the short sightedness is truly coming from. The city council? Don Ness himself? But the truth of the matter is that Duluth is selling its soul, its art, its valued green space to pay off debts that certainly could be covered in other creative ways. It is certainly a cheap fast way to get out of trouble, a way Duluth citizens will never recover from.
Duluth has also created several hundred city job cuts. Not to belittle the fact that several hundred people are now pounding the pavement for work, but we are also losing library branches and park service. Who knows what that could mean to a town that has boasted it is one of the Best Outdoor Town in America. We have seven nordic ski areas in the town proper, will grooming be cut for these parks? Will the parks even be open?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mobbed by the proverbial woodland bandit, Yellowjackets ripped my flesh!!!

I had one of the best rides of the season yesterday. The trails are dry and hard, fast as can be, effortless really. Well with all these great trails and the fall weather starting to make time in the woods so attractive I decided to take a look at some potential new trails. IE Trails of the future so to speak. While on this foray however I managed to ride over an underground nest of Yellowjackets. It was a flurry of painful anarchy. I was being bitten on my neck, ankles, legs and back and chest. Since I was on a prospective trail I could not gain speed to escape so the swarm stayed with me for a long time while I tried beat them off me. I had been bitten and stung about 15 to 20 times and was scared enough to call some buddies to grab me at tne next road I could ride to. I also called a buddy who is a doctor who told me to take 50ml of Benadryl to conteract a possible allergic reaction. Several years ago another friend of mine had a similar experience and went into Anaphylactic Shock and nearly died. So it begs the question, should I be riding with Benadryl in the Camel Back?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ladies of the Lake, a Downwind Sports event

This weekend is the Ladies of the Lake, a Current Designs, Werner Paddle sponsored event (and a whole bunch of other products as well!) This is reported to be the only event in the country dedicated to womens specific sea kayaking.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tall Ships Come to Duluth

Geez you might get the feeling this is a sailing blog after the last several posts. In any case we went out and paddled in with the Tall Ships. Yeah, you can see little old me in the background of the photo with the riggers and also getting blown away by the cannons......there was some epic battling between the stinky boats and the kayakers! Two pictures by Rich Narum one by an unknown Duluth Trib person and another by the famous Clint Austin for the DNT.