John and I took a trip to Decorah, IA to meet up with Deke from Oneota River Cycles, LeeAllen, Ron and several other cyclists from Decorah and Rochester, MN to do some bike riding in the hills around Decorah. We both took Smittys. John’s was set up with a 1X 9 drivetrain with a 42-tooth front chainring and a 12-32 rear cassette. My Smitty was set up pretty much like what I’ve been riding around town (coaster brake Shimano Nexus-8) 8) with the exception that I swapped the 2.35 Schwalbe Big Apples for some Kenda 38mm tires.
On Saturday evening we met up with Deke and LeeAllen to run about a 13 mile loop around Decorah on mostly gravel roads. Lest you think Iowa is flat let me tell you that the first hill out of Decorah rises about 350 vertical feet in about a mile and a half. With most of our riding this year in and around relatively flat Milwaukee, this hill taxed us a bit but once on top the road was rolling and a lot of fun. Dropping back into Decorah at the end of the ride was sweet too. John and Deke did one more hill before returning to town while Lee and I headed to T-Bocks for some libation. The Smittys both worked really well!
Check the ride Map here: http://bit.ly/LnkQB
On Sunday we had a larger group including a couple of tandems. in fact, John weaseled himself onto the back of Deke’s tandem. I heard Deke muttering mmmm…fresh meat! Was that an ominous sign? I’m not really sure but I was mostly off the back while the tandems tore it up so I’ll assume John had a good time!
We took gravel to Bluffton, about a 13 mile trip out, and had a few beers with lunch before heading back via a slightly different route. The ride ended up being about 29 miles or so. One of the roads we took was just beautiful. A “B” road, it is a low-maitenance road that is only open in the summer. Nice double track and enough scenery to mask the fact that this was a good climb out of the valley Bluffton is in.
Somehow we ended up at T-Bock’s again. Imaging that! John experienced his first Erma Burger!
After eating we bid farewell to the Decorah folks and drove to Iowa City to be ready to meet Tom Teesdale, our intrepid frame builder, on Monday AM.
Check the Ride Map here: http://bit.ly/17NunL
On Monday we meet with Tom Teesdale who is currently building all our frames both in the Schlick Cycles line and the Teesdale Classic line of bikes. In addition we talked about some new projects with the goal of bringing some great bikes to you! More as we know it.
Smittys return home to the Teesdael shop!