Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sale today.

Faribault Mainstreet has organized a downtown wide sale today. We'll be offering 10% off of in stock clothing and accessories. Stop in and see us today, and check out the other deals downtown has to offer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pofahl Fat Bike Redo.

A little over a year ago I had a fat bike built for me.  Mr Pofahl out did himself on this one.  Built around Salsa's Woodchipper handlebars, it's a unique bike built for the way I prefer to ride.  I loved the feel of the bike, particularly for normal mountain bike riding.  Truth be told I rode that bike more than anything else last summer and fall.  It's nimble nature and go anywhere, traction anywhere fat bike tires begged to be ridden fast and hard.  

For winter riding the bike and build had a few drawbacks.  The first was that it's nimble, quick nature handled quicker than I would have liked on snowmobile trails.  It was a joy on tight stuff, but wandered a little in straight line, loose or really soft conditions.  The other flaw was that I could not find a reasonable way to use pogies, (large insulated bar mounted mittens,) on the Salsa Woodchippers.  When the weather turned really cold, not having these proved to be a pain.  To address the issue I raised above, I built of my Mukluk as a dedicated winter bike this year.  Two bikes are always better than one right?

For all of that, the Pofahl really found it's home on dirt.  It railed corners, floated through rock gardens, and saved me from two well deserved, self induced crashes.  I love the position, aesthetic, and feel of this bike.  It's a joy just to ride and look down at, and it performs as good as I could have hoped.  With my winter set up solved, this spring was time to hone the Pofahl for straight up mtb duty. 

The heart of the change can be found here.  45 North Hüsker Dü tires mounted on Surly Marge Lite rims.  These are lighter than the previous Rolling Darryl set up, and Hüskers roll really well.  

The white rim strip pairs really well with the logo on the rim and tire.  It's a nice contrast to the bright green of the frame and blue of the hubs. 

I'm excited to get some miles under the new set up.  An already great bike, this should be even more fun to ride now!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our Chevy's long lost cousin.

On our way back from Fargo last weekend Meg and I stumbled across this well aged beauty. This is a very similar truck to our 1950 Chevy shop truck. The flat bed on this one is certainly period,and may be original equipment. You'll notice the corners of the bed are rounded, not sharp.  Factory flat beds were built at Chevy like this.  It is something similar to what we are going to put on our truck. Ours will likely be a bit longer though.

Seen in Sauk Center, MN.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Go To Fargo Setup

I recently put up a big post on my new Fargo build.  This is how I set the bike up for longer days and commuting.  The aero bars are new to me, and I still haven't quite tweaked the set up just right yet.  I rode this bike set up a bit differently on my Arkansas trip.  The big bag was taken off in favor of a more unobtrusive endurance mtb set up.  The aero bars came off of course, and a pair of Revelate Mtn Feed Bags and a Jerry can went on.  This combination carries an amazing amount of stuff very efficiently in little space.  

This bike is very well mannered off road.  It has a super balanced feel, even through rough sections.  The whole bike is very confidence inspiring, and is quite comfortable.  Steering is quick without being overly so, and cornering and climbing traction are superb.

I have taken my Potts single speed down in years past.  This bike is a little different in set up, gearing of course, and in position.  The Fargo is set up lower and longer, where the Potts is more upright and shorter.  I was able to clear sections I have not ridden in the past on the Fargo, particularly climbs.  It did fall a bit behind the Potts in the truly gnarly rough stuff though.  Overall I wouldn't change much though.  I like this thing even more every time I ride it.

One of the standout components on this bike are the handlebars.  The Cowbell bars are easily the best all around bars I've ever used, period.  They are perfectly at home on road, gravel, and in mtb use.  I have to say that there are things I like better offroad about these than even Salsa's stellar Woodchippers.  I'm actually dreaming of a bar that actually mixes elements of both bars, more on that later.

The Fargo is a wonderful bike.  I've said that before, and it's still true.  The versatility, comfort, and capability it offers in one bike has no real equal.  I've just about got this new bike figured out, and it's just singing to me!  Gotta love that. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Up North, Day One.

About a month ago I went up north.  The plan was to ride with cool people on kick butt trails all around Lake Superior's north shore. Meg and I drove up to Duluth on Saturday night.  She stayed the weekend with her aunt, and I met a few fine gentleman to ride.  We headed down to Park Point Beach in Duluth on Sunday to meet folks.  We arrived early, and took advantage of wonderful weather to take a walk and snap a few pictures.

After a very short while arriving the rest of the crew started arriving.  What started with a large email group turned eventually boiled down to four riders.  This weekend was the brainchild of my good friend Jason.  He brought with him Matt Gersib from Lincoln, NE, and Errin Vasquez from Los Angeles, CA.  I've ridden with Matt before, but I'd never met Errin in real life.  He and I had only chatted online before.  Along with that first, this would be the first time Errin had ever ridden his Mukluk on snow!  For Sunday's ride we were joined by seasoned Duluth fat bike, and every bike veterans Tim Ek and Charlie Farrow.

Park Point looked like this after nearly twenty six inches of fresh snow in less than four days.  The snow on the left is piled small ices chunks nearly eight feet thick.  This slush was just solid enough to walk on/wade through, but would in no way hold a bike.  We tried anyway; I fell a lot.

The ride able sections of the beach looked like this.  For the most part it was completely untracked powder well over a foot deep!  Most of the day was spent riding through this snow paceline style, with riders at the front breaking ground.  The rest of us then tried to ride the "skinny" left behind the leaders.  It was technically and physically demanding.  I'm not ashamed to say we put the strongest of our company up front and let them buck!  We did all take turns breaking trail though, and it was a blast.  I've never ridden through such consistently deep snow before, it was awesome!

Along with riding, making fun, and soaking up sun, this was a day of pictures.  The sun was so bright that it pushed the limits of what I was able to do with the camera I brought.  It was shockingly beautiful though.  Hard going that it was, we all were giddy at how fun the riding conditions were, and how perfect the weather was. 

The whole day was filled with laughing, story telling, and general tom-foolery.  I can't remember what exactly Jason was talking about here, but with the looks on the crowd's faces it was likely a good one!  Sunshine and smiling faces were definitely par for the course.

In addition to full out powder riding, waterside there were all of these unique little mini iceberg things.  Most were around a foot in diameter, and they varied in consistency from dead hard and glass clear, to crunchy and sand filled, to near mush.  With hard, wet, and fast sand in between these they were an alluring play ground to zip around, over, and through.

It was in this area, right at the end of our ride, that I took possibly my favorite two photos of the weekend.  Mr Gersib is a wonderfully skilled technical rider, and these two shots of him just goofing off are just great.  I love the composition, the color, and the overall feel of both of these.  The lines and shadows of this first one I think are highlights.  I love the way Matt's body seems to follow the curve of the tire in this first one.

This one is just plain awesome.  No explanation necessary, it's just good.  I love that rear tire.

Day one of the trip was awesome.  The company was perfect, and the weather and snow were idea.  We packed up from here and went to Fitger's Brewhouse for excellent adult beverages and lunch.  The next two days of riding were to be at points well north of even Duluth.  The weather and terrain made both wildly different from this day.  I'll follow up with posts about those next week.  There's a lot more photos and great stories to tell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fat Tuesday Ride

We had a great time last evening.  Five of us headed out in about forty degree clear weather.  The air was crisp, and the sunset was gorgeous.  After the summer-like weather lately this was a nice little reminder that it is still early April.  It was a great night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Salsa El Mariachi Frames

Remember those awesome Blue El Mariachi frames Salsa came out with for 2012?  They were so popular they sold out their first run in a matter of weeks.  For months now we've been getting calls from people asking about these, only to have to say they were sold out.  That's what we thought anyway!

When we found out today that a very small quantity of frames were available we quickly ordered the lot!

We have two medium's, one large, and one an extra large frame coming in today.  Give us a call if you are looking for one of these, they won't last long.

Arkansas Black and White.

I spent last weekend with good friends riding in Northwest Arkansas.  It's one of my all time favorite places to ride.  This trip was as good as one's prior.  Great friends, amazing trails, and awesome weather made for a wonderful weekend.

Big light and long shadows.

Billy heading through the tunnel at Eureka Springs.  

Nathan cruising above Black Bass Lake.  

Ice cold mountain streams are as close to heaven as it gets on a ninety degree, humid as heck day.  I can't fully describe how good it felt to wallow here for a while.  

I love this shot.

Our crew ranged from just three, to six at one point.  The afforded conversation and camaraderie are highlights of every trip I take down there.   

Ripping along at speed.  The Salsa Cowbell handle bars are way good offroad.  I'll be doing a full comparison between these bars and Woodchippers.  So far though I love beating the piss out of these on hard singletrack.  

Overhung limestone and cedar trees make up a lot of the Ozark landscape.  The trails put you right next to both of these.  They fly past your face at what seems to be only inches away.

On the singletrack above Blowing Springs.  This is a new section of trail opened since I was last down.  It's to die for. 

Big permanent structures dot the trail systems down here.  The time, money, and effort put into these trails has to be seen to believed.  Everything is simply top notch.

I'll have a post later this week with some of the color photos from the trip.  Until then, a huge thanks to Nathan, Tina and Ethan for their generous hospitality, and to Billy, Corey, and Randy for the great ride days.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Shop redo progress update.

Our cornerstone repair to the shop has now been roughed in.  The building used to have old, horribly drafty, and broken windows in the back wall.  Long ago these were boarded up and sealed from the outside.  This contributed greatly to the long, narrow, cave-like feel the shop had for many years.  When our old door was in need of replacement we traded out for a larger glass door.  This let a ton of light in the back, and made a huge visual difference in the space.  Replacing the original window has expanded, and literally opened up a whole new world.

Viewed from inside, the window presents a totally difference scene to the back of the shop.  The dark back corner now seems wide open and bright.  This side of the shop faces dead east.  You'll be able to see the sun rise over the far trees every morning!  I can't wait.

Outside the window drastically changes the whole appearance of the back of the building.  Finish repair work including trim and stucco touch ups have yet to be done.  Even with those things yet to be done, it's a huge change for the better.  As seen here, the window dwarfs the back door for size.  The glass is nearly six times as much square area as the window in the door as well.

So, a big stem among baby steps.  This whole back will really shape up in the next few weeks.  Stop in and check it out for yourself!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Working through Arkansas.

I spent last weekend riding with friends in northwest Arkansas.  The trails down there are the best I've ridden.  They are fast and flowy.  They are rocky and technical.  They are remote and yet accessible.  I love riding there. Paired with great friends and riding partners have made every trip I've taken down there special.  This one was no exception.

After catching up with emails, work orders, renovation projects, and other loose ends I now have time to start working through the trip photos.  Like the one above, there are some really good ones.  More to follow soon!