It turned out to be a beautiful day for the 34th running of The Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee bike ride when the forecasted 90+ degree temps never materialized. I think it topped out at about 83 but there was a nice lake breeze for much of the ride and that was fantastic.
This was my ride for the day. It is the first bike frame I had design input on back in about 1991 or 1992 in collaboration with Ralph Henderson and built by Tom Teesdale. Still amazes me how low the front ends were before suspension forks! I think I originally ran a 135mm 0d rise Control Tech stem on this bike with a flat bar at something like 580mm wide. A couple of years after I originally built it up and raced it in the WORS series, I upgraded to a Rockshox Mag 21SL with a whopping 48mm of travel. That changed the handling a little but, for midwest riding, worked pretty well. The drivetrain was, of course, Shimano XT.
In it’s current form it has been reimagined as an Urban Assault ride with a Shimano Nexus 8-speed IGH. In a nod to its original build, I think the only original part, is a set of Avid Tri-Align brakes that I got at Interbike in 1992 or so. Might be that the Control Tech seat binder bolt is original too, but I forget.
Since I had the Ralph ready for the ride, I found some old Ralph gear and outfitted the crew for an homage to Ralph who died in a plane crash a couple of years back. Dave’s one sock was an original from the 90’s as he too was a Ralph frame owner long before Schlick Cycles got its start.
Naturally, we saw several Schlick bikes on the ride. This is Jason’s Trail Genius edition Northpaw that he has been riding for several years. Jason also happens to be the Organizer, alongside wife Amanda, of the Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee (FTTM). That Sony should system he has on the back of the Northpaw is awesome and pairs with speakers on Amanda’s Salsa.
This year’s FTTM has Young Milwaukeestein as its theme. Lots of Dr. Bride and Scientist costumes!
The FTTM now attracts between 400 and 500 riders. Quite a change form the original Pee Oui-led rides of a dozen or so riders!
Tony was rolling FAT on the Riverwest 24 race bike sporting a Green Guru Tubular Insulated Can Sleeve. Keeping 3 cans of beer cold for a ride like this is essential! We’ve got some other Green Guru gear that we are testing and will have a story coming up on fat-bike.com.
Dave was rode his Schlick APe towing the 30-pack on a customized BOB trailer, complete with fatbike tire complete with lever-activated drag brake!
Ken has had this Northpaw for several years and commutes year-round on it along with a select few other bikes.
We are already looking forward to next year’s event. I wonder what the theme will be?
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