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Found 91 results

  1. ...an adventure in her neck of the woods!!! I never heard of the "Driftless Area" but it sounds BAD AZZ! --------------------------------------------------- IN SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA – We left the pavement early on the morning of Day 2, crossed the Root River and came face to face with a mile-long climb on a slurry of mud and gravel. It was late May. Our group of five was a few miles south of Houston, Minn., and immersed in the Driftless Area, an ancient landscape of deep coulees and high ridges connected by long, snaking roads. Formed by 500 million years of wind, rain and snow melt, the region would define every aspect of our 230-mile ride from Winona to Lansing, Iowa, across the Mississippi River, and back through Wisconsin. We would feel every foot of elevation gain as we each hauled 30-plus pounds of bikepacking gear from valley floor to ridge top on a mix of gravel and paved roads. And we would experience more than the usual fare of that landscape-defining wind and rain. But our immediate concern was the climb. Before long, all of us, including Tom McDowell, the strongest, and Pablo Armas, the youngest, had dismounted to push our bikes toward the summit. For Nina Clark, who used her 28-mile round-trip commute as the base for her training, it was an opportunity to see more of the wildflowers lining the road. The rest of us raised our heads reluctantly and admitted they were pretty. The summit offered a new challenge: a sudden, driving rain powered by wind gusts reaching 50 miles per hour. Kristen Paulsen, who toured extensively in the Appalachian Mountains with her husband before taking time off to raise a family, felt herself being blown toward the ditch. Tom showed early signs of hypothermia. We needed shelter and found it in a farm’s machine shed. At the far end, a section of sheet metal roofing lifted in the wind, then slammed hard on the rafters in a rhythmic clanging that didn’t stop until the wind died and the rain backed off to a drizzle. We rode on, leaving tire tracks in the gravel driveway to baffle our absent hosts. Day 1 had been so different: Delicious $5 burgers at the Witoka Tavern, a photo shoot with kids at the Houston Nature Center, a private tour of the International Owl Center, and, to the southwest, a night at Outback Ranch, a campground for horse people. We reset on Day 2 in Spring Grove with an extended lunch and a detour to the local car wash where we lined up our rides, plugged in quarters and sprayed grit from five crud-encased bikes. The weather reset as well. By the end of the day, with nearly 40 miles behind us, we were rolling down a shaded gravel road, past a couple of trout fishermen enjoying a beer on the tailgate of their pickup, and into Dorchester, Iowa. Tom secured a campsite across Main Street from Wings Supper Club. --- the rest and photos here.
  2. Razors Edge


    People would pay good money for this at an amusement park:
  3. A "new" steepest hill - and it is in WALES!!!! No more Pittsburgh vs Dunedin. It is all Wales ---------------------------------------------------------- Cyclists hunting for the steepest climb in the world will not need to travel across to New Zealand any more as a small street hidden in North Wales has claimed the title. The town of Harlech has usurped Baldwin Street in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, to take the prize of the world's steepest road. The newly-crowned champion road is Ffordd Pen Llech, a narrow, winding residential street that local residents are claiming holds an average gradient of 37.5%, 1% higher than Baldwin Street, with a knee-crunching 1:3 gradient. Measurements were taken in Wales back in January with the decision made from guidelines that state the record will be based on the maximum gradient of a 10-metre distance and the altitude gained in that span. Local residents in Wales who spoke of Guinness, the body which officiates the records, were specific on its requirements and how there were worried as to whether the 10th metre to be measured would meet requirements. Eventually, it did and Guinness World Records then found Ffordd Pen Llech to be the winner. Despite the road being part and parcel of life in Harlech for many years, local residents only noticed its World Record potential in January with resident Gwyn Headley the first to make the claim. Talking to BBC Radio Wales at the beginning of the year, Headley said, 'I was driving down it in the summer when it struck me how steep it could be.' Headley helped lead Wales to the title and on the announcement of the road's victory told The Guardian: 'I feel utter relief and jubilation. I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders, but steeper is steeper.' vs my pic from NZ:
  4. ...from the recent Mad Bike Skills thread, this just arrive in my inbox:
  5. Yesterday was pretty glorious weather, and I got out for a spin in the late afternoon. Anyway, on the run back home, this small pack of guys caught up to me, and I had a couple miles of fun before they petered out. The guy in the red jersey seemed to be their "motor" (for when I saw them), because when he pulls off, the speed dropped like a rock, and I had to move to the front. They did find a little energy to push just towards their finish, though.
  6. Once again, the weather forecasters got it ALL wrong. I wasted my Saturday thinking thunderstorms were imminent (weather apps showing storms every hour until past sundown), and, while Sat was blistering hot, and it was okay to sit it out, Sunday came with humidity and grey skies, but moderate 80o temps. I bit the bullet, headed out as usual toward the west and less people. This video starts a few miles farther out than the last one, but the same stretch of countryside past Leesburg. Again, this traffic in NoVA is atrocious and it is insane folks even think to ride there. For those who care, I kept my socks on this time
  7. WTF have I missed by not reading it?
  8. ..out in the burbs. My "classic NoVA moment" is at 46:25 when I get passed by an F-150, then an old Civic, and then a Porsche. I love the variety Anyway, yesterday was HOT and HUMID. I tried to get out early, failed, and ended up in the heat of the day. I wisely took it easy, but unwisely failed to have enough water. The lemonade stand I was hoping for at the top of Thomas Mill was also not running. I'm guessing those lazy kids took the holiday off ? I used the free music on the video editing software, so enjoy that cycle of short random tunes.
  9. So, my neighbors moved to CO a while back, but sometimes they screw up and a package is sent to their old address next door. They can reroute it to us to send on to them or they can grab it from us when they are in town, so that works reasonably well. Anyway, it happened on Friday, and I said I would send it via UPS on Saturday. So...I got up Saturday and eventually wandered over to the UPS store. As I was walking from my car to the store, I noticed a cab had just dropped off an older guy with a walker. I passed him, but realized he was headed to the UPS store too, so I stopped and held the door for him. He thanked me, but got in line ahead of me. Anyway, he just had a box to ship, so the UPS person did the usual weigh, measure, ask about speed, song & dance. As the old guy was paying with his CC, he pulls out a folder. In the folder, is where the fun began. Apparently, he had received something from eBay that was shipped UPS and the box was beaten up and parts were missing. He had photos and papers and a whole story. The UPS guy was trying to calmly deal with him and sort out the claims process and how to initiate it, but that wasn't working too well. Me and a nice line were waiting patiently, but it didn't look like this was going to be resolved anytime soon. Luckily, the UPS guy was able to use a different register to ring up my shipment in less than a minute and I was gone. I would NOT be able to deal with the public as a job.
  10. ...and has now steadily dropped down on my "good stores to shop at". My original Target store was pretty solid with a mix of stuff across a useful range of household categories - drug store, kitchen, snacks, pets, clothing, entertainment, outdoor, and fix-it stuff all rolled in one. In the past few years though, they have expanded the heck out of the grocery section (meh) and the "home goods" sort of stuff. So anyway, was in there a couple weeks back to get some eye drops (they had them), and a few last minute things for camping. I figured while I was in there, I would grab a couple quarts of high-mileage motor oil that I had been buying there for YEARS. Guess what?!?!?!? No more motor oil for sale in their now-a-single-half-of-an-aisle auto section. WTF TARGET?!?!?!?! A while back they stopped carrying most jigsaw puzzles. Now this stupidity. I had to roll by AutoZone for oil (and that place is a CLUSTERFUCK of Circuit City proportions), but now I may simply bite the bullet and add getting a few quarts of motor oil to my biannual Walmart trip #ImissKmart
  11. ...but you probably should. Gary Burrell - RIP. The co-founder of Olathe, Kansas GPS giant Garmin has passed away at the age of 81. A release from the company said Gary Burrell, aviation pioneer and co-founder of Garmin Ltd., died on Wednesday. Burrell co-founded Garmin with Dr. Min Kao in 1989, hoping to create projects powered by and using new technology for the time -- the global positioning system, or GPS. The company said Burrell retired in 2002 and continued to serve as Garmin's co-chairman for two years until he was named chairman emeritus. According to the company, of all his accomplishments, Burrell was most proud of the jobs he helped create. "Gary Burrell has been my friend, mentor and partner for more than 30 years," Kao said. "His vision, values, engineering skills and commitment to serving our customers have been the foundation for the growth of our company. It has been both a great privilege and a blessing to have known this amazing man and I know his legacy will live on." Click here for more information on Gary Burrell and his contributions to the fields of navigation and aviation.
  12. ...ice skating is over! Yay! And, the better team won.
  13. ...check out what's in the pipeline! This kid's coming for our SS and Medicare!
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