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2018 Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee Recap

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.

Continue reading 2018 Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee Recap

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Join The Schlick Team at Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee 2018!

Coming up in 2 weeks, on June 16th, 2018, is the 34th happening of Milwaukee’s longest running cycling event, The Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee. Originally billed as a bike ride through the seedy underbelly of Milwaukee, with stops at dive bars and pubs, the ride has morphed into an event that draws nearly 500 attendees each year with a movie-themed group ride uniting cyclists over a common love of bikes and beer.

Schlick Cycles loose-knit team of owners and riders will be along for the action so be sure to say howdy!

This year’s theme is Young Milwaukeestein, an homage to Young Frankenstein, Obviously!

The ride route varies from year to year but is generally a casually paced ride covering 15-25 miles over a 6-7 hour span.

Learn more and register at

Continue reading Join The Schlick Team at Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee 2018!

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Amazing Healing Power of Beer

We’ve been getting these “Amazing Healing Power of Beer” stickers for years at the Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee from event organizer, Pee Oui Roubaix, or as he’s been know by others, Mr. Phil Van Valkenburg.

The Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee, coming up on its 35th year in 2018, is the oldest continuously running group ride in the greater Milwaukee area and has a long history of underground/pirate DNA. The original rides back in the late ’80’s were most definitely underground with probably a dozen riders lilly-padding

Continue reading Amazing Healing Power of Beer

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Ross Took on the Fat Bike Birkie!


Our pal, Ross Matlock, took on the 47K Fat Bike Birkie last Saturday on one of our APes and had a great result! Facing a field that included a lot of the top fat-bike racers in the US, Ross finished 16th in his age group (Male 18-29) and 103rd overall out of 489 finishers. Congratulations, Ross!



Ross’s APe was set up with 70mm rims, Northpaw 135/170 hubs, 4.0 Husker Dus, a White Brothers/MRP fork and a 3×10 drivetrain.



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2013 Riverwest 24 Team A Champions!


After 24 hours of racing, over 280 miles of riding and 23 Bonus Check Points it all came down to one lap, and we had it! Riding a custom Schlick Cycles fat-bike, Team #1, AKA, Trippin’ the Fatty Boom Bastic, took 1st place in the coveted Team A class of the Riverwest 24. With over 1000 riders and 277 Teams, Team TTFBB also placed 12th overall for a fantastic end to a 24-hour odyssey. We will have more pix soon but, for now, bask in the Champagne-soaked glory that 1st place gets you!

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RW24 Race Bike

This is our race bike for the Riverwest 24. A 24 hour bike race through the streets of the Riverwest neighborhood in Milwaukee. Custom designed for the event it will be ridden by our team of 6 riders in the Team A category (all riders must use the same bike). The bike is a combination of ideas from our Northpaw and Tatanka models.

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Biketobeerfest 2011

Over the October 1st weekend we had a great time at the Bear Paw Resort near Langlade/White Lake, WI for the LAMBA (Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association) fund raiser and general fun biking event.

I arrived Friday and checked in with enough time to settle in a bit before the Friday evening night ride along the Wolf River that set out right from the front door of the pub at Bear Paw. We did an out and back along the trail which meanders along the river and cuts through the area that was ravaged by the F4 tornado that tore through the resort in 2007. The path of destruction was awe inspiring! Chilling out in the almost total darkness at the turnaround spot near rapids on the Wolf was excellent.

Saturday AM I hit Bob and Joni’s Fun Spot just up the road for some breakfast to fuel up for the days ride on the Nicolet Roche trail system. The ride was a poker run with envelopes containing cards at various spots along the trails of the Nicolet Roche trail system. Best of 5. There were 7 total cards available if you rode all the available trails for the day. Our group did a goodly portion of the trails and gathered 6 cards. The trails are very nice. Lots of “features” like car-sized rocks to ride over, berms, jumps, swoopy sections, baby heads and roots. All in all the trails have a super variety and a big shout out to Charlie and the rest of the LAMBA crew for all their work on these trails over the last 7 years!

Saturday evening/night was spent bench racing, eating chow at the Bear Paw, watching MTB movies (including the winning entry on the video on test) and participating in the raffle and door prize fest. There were something like $2000 of prizes including a Shiner Bock bike, a GoPro camera, numerous handlebars, grips and biking apparel. Very nice! Oh, yeah, there was a fire or something too!

Sunday a group of riders did a Boot to Boulder ride that sounded really great but with family obligations at home I had to depart early and missed the ride. Rest assured that we will be back the the Nicolet Roche system! It is only about 2-1/2 to 3 hours from Milwaukee and really is worth the drive!

In the end I’m not sure how much was raised for LAMBA but it was substantial!

Some pix of the weekend:

Greg’s –

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Full Moon Beach Ride – Redux

The first version was a blast! So we will do it again.

Saturday, December 10 · 4:00pm – 10:00pm

December 10th is a pretty cool day for a repeat because the sun sets at 4:17PM while the moon rise begins just a few minutes later at 4:30PM.

My guess this time of the year is that if there is a wind it will be out of the north so heading that way first makes sense.

So, we’ll meet at the Lake Park Parking lot in Port Washington at 4PM for a 4:30PM departure to coincide with the rising of the FULL MOON. We will head north for approximately 8.5 miles to the beach at Harrington Beach State park where we’ll hang out for a bit and make the return trip back to Port.

This is intended to be a FatBike ride but if you have larger MTB tires on your normal rig and run low pressure you could probably do it; Candy did the last one on her SS 29’er and Dave as done past rides on his MTB.

Bring lights. The Moon does provide illumination but, as we experienced on the last trip, there are some areas that a light is helpful.

Oh, don’t worry, we will have other FatBike events before this one!

Of course there HAS to be a Facebook Page for this event so here it is:

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Heading to Chequamegon

Dave, Chad and I are heading to the northern reaches of Wisconsin of the Chequamegon Fat 40 event. We didn’t make it in this year so we will be doing some riding on the local trails, most likely Rock Lake and such. During the event look for us at Rosie’s Field as Dave has the dubious honor of Rosie’s Field DJ again! See ya there!

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Gnome-Fest Ocho

What a whirl weekend! From the registration/pre-event at the Sand Creek Brewing Company to the scraping of the tongue Sunday morning there was non-stop action. In fact, it is hard to remember parts of some of the days but I feel confident in saying that a good time was had by all.

Here is a bit of what I remember:

Setting Up Camp

The first spot I checked out was anchored by a bunch of Gnomies from Iowa City and, with promises of revelry and bawdiness, I staked my claim on a relatively flat chunk of real estate. Owing to the fact that when I did hit the tent I was plum tuckered out, it could have been just about anywhere though. This fact was driven home both nights with several “campers” horizontal by the fire.

A lot more tents showed up in this area! It was cozy.

Sand Creek Brewing Company

Friday’s registration location was at Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls, WI. Being an early registrant, I scooped up on all the good schwag including a Gnome-Fest patch, T-Shirt and stem top-cap! Sportin’ the T-shirt as I write!

The Tap Room was, obviously, the place to be. Not only was it cooler owing to the AC but there were several tasty beverages on tap. I sampled a couple but could not tear myself away from the Badger Porter. Not knowing where or when I’d next eat, a hearty brew like the Porter seemed a good hedge against hunger pangs.

In addition to the great beer on tap, Sand Creek was filling commemorative growlers with your choice of brew for a measly $6! Yes, I brought some home. Well to the shop, actually. Stop by this evening and we’ll do them in! I can almost taste the goodness now.

As I was leaving for the event site a local band was just setting up for some music in front of the brew kettles. Sand Creek has it going on!

 The Ceremonial Tapping of the First Keg

Round about 7PM Gary and crew engaged in the tapping of the first keg, not that there hadn’t already been some imbibing. The excellent English Ale from Sand Creek helped keep the British tradition going for me. I believe the other brew was their excellent IPA. Don’t know, didn’t have it.

In the end I believe that no less than 4 kegs gave up their contents early on but at about 11:30PM or so, when Colin and some of the MKE Crew arrived, more brew from Lakefront Brewery showed up and the consumption continued ’till the wee hours.

The Fire

You’ll see the log pile in some of the pix. Suffice it to say that no log went unburned. I don’t think it was totally out all weekend. That’s 2 large pickup trucks full. I heard the local guy who brought the wood out had some good jokes. Didn’t hear any of them so I can’t pass them on.


Beer drinking, bikes, a fire…that seems to spell DERBY in these parts. They went counter-clockwise, they went clockwise, the ladies did it then it was a free for all. Someone won, I assume.

Some Shoes were burned as well.

Spinner Breaks a Bike

Remember that log pile? It comes into play again here. Note that this was when it still had most of it’s full and impressive 2-pickup-load-size mostly intact.

Apparently, that log pile just couldn’t sit there so several riders sped their mounts at the pile with varying degrees of success from simply stuffing it in the first few feet to Spinner and Jeremy coming pretty close to clearing it. In the end I think most bodies were perhaps bruised but mostly fine while Spinner’s Pug took the brunt of all that is Spinner in a vertical manner and coming out worse for the experience. If you were there and saw the ride you’d wonder how any bike, let alone Spinner his-own-self, could walk/ride away. Spinner did, his bike, alas, did not. Spinner 1, Pug 0.

Dave Arrives

I heard the distinctive exhaust note of an early ’90’s BMW before I saw it and thought, that sounds like Dave’s car. Sure nuff, there it was rolling up the drive with Dave behind the wheel. I guess Saturday AM wasn’t early enough and he made the drive from MKE after deciding that he might as well drink with his biking buddies instead of drinking on the couch and making that 3-hour drive with a hangover.

Odd thing was Dave’s timing was almost perfect. A night ride was queuing up. Well, we delayed a bit, had a beer then went for that night ride. Sand, bridges, Fatbike. Sweet!


I think there was a bit, like 4 hours or so in the gathering light of Saturday, very early AM.

Julio Gets a Bike

Dave, Spinner and I planned a short town trip for some local fare and a Bloody Mary or two to ease in to the day but we had a mission first. Colleen Marencik conspired with Gary and I to surprise Joe with a Schlick Cycles Northpaw Fatbike. The Matte Black beauty was built with an Alfine 11-speed internal hub, Rolling Darryls, Larrys, Avid BB7s and a compliment of Ritchey Pro components. See that look on Joe’s face? He is stunned. Speechless! To be sure, he was effusive with praise and pride later in the day but at the unveiling words could’t describe the feelings. Glad we could be there for you, man!


Bethany Too

But wait, we are not done with the gifting of bikes and the subsequent out flowing of emotions. Gary presented Bethany with a petite 13-inch Salsa Mukluk to make the lake/Raven clan a 2-FAT family. It is obvious Bethany has no problems letting those happy feelings flow!

Ladies Ride

There was a ladies ride. I’m a guy so I didn’t go. Maybe Dave did!

Dirt Cat

Like an alley cat without the alley, the Dirt Cat was a 2-hour trail using fun fest with half a dozen or so checkpoints and shenanigans to boot. Did you say we need another derby? Yes, yes we do. After that it was find your stickers, then find the tasks, do said tasks and get back first. Someone did that. Benji was then next guy, and other followed.

The Fire

Yep, still going!


Doh! Well, if I had any regret the whole weekend it was the timing of a short lie down just after chow time that extended a couple of hours and blasted right through one of the signature events, the Dwarf Cycle races. Bummer, but no matter, the nap just meant I could be awake that much later and, after a trip with Spinner to the Outpost, a local bar of ill repute, we closed the night down as the last two men standing.

Dwarf Cycle Races

I know it happened, I know there was tequila consumed and know how tequila can lead to the lowering of inhibitions. Didn’t witness the spectacle myself but I’m pretty sure you’ll find evidence of the event and, possibly, some winner for those that track that kind of thing.


Yeah, that 3 hours of sleep did me good. Spinner, Dave, why don’t we go find some breakfast. I didn’t think I’d hear that trendy term something and something else infused vodka (perhaps peppers, onions and such?) this weekend but sure enough at the Gas stop/Northwoods eatery there it was for the make your own bloody bar at the bar. Dave had that. I had a Coke or 2. Spinner ate two bites of his breakfast. They had a carry out box fro him though so it was OK.

Aaaand… that about wraps it up. A ride Sunday AM sounded like a good idea but so did getting back to the family and, after striking camp, that’s what I did.

Oh, thanks to all who worked so hard at making Gnome-Fest a must do event, Gary, Joe, Steve, Marty and many others, see y’all next year, FOR SURE!

FYI, I’d planned to go to Interbike this year but with Gnome-Fest and Chequamegon bookending a trip to Vegas I decided to do the local events and put what energy I can muster there so I’ll see y’all on Friday in Cable, WI!

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2011 Riverwest 24

RW24 2011

2011’s Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race was one of a kind. Well, it was actually one of four kinds as this was the 4th year of the happening. I guess you could call it one of a kind though since it was considerably larger than in past years. With a feeling somewhere between a bike race and a block party, the RW24 is truly unique. The original intention, and still one of the guiding principles, is the idea of a bike powered block watch program. Community pride was rampant! As for the riders , there were some serious teams and solo riders racing while many others were just out for a good time and a day of riding through the excellent Riverwest neighborhood.

It’s hard for me to write up a event/race report for the Riverwest24 from a team perspective because so much happens over the 24-hour event that I can’t possibly remember most of it but I can say this, if you get the chance to ride the RW24, DO IT! The things you do remember will be more than enough to keep you going until it is time to do it all over again.

Here is how our Team B #2 team fared:

  • 17th Overall out of 237 Teams
  • 16th out 0f 103 B Teams (B was our division that was comprised of up to 6 riders on a team using whatever bike they chose to use.)

Unbelievably, I took very few pictures. The day was just so full of activity that I basically forgot. Kinda like getting married I guess, the day just flies by and you wonder what just happened but you feel very happy and fulfilled.

Schlicks ridden:

  • Tony’s Smitty
  • Greg’s SuperFast
  • Tony’s Northpaw

For full race results check out:


David H –
my few –

Lots more on Flickr if you search RW24 or Riverwest24.

News Stories:

JSOnline –

Heros in the Night –

Geez, I almost forgot, Dave, Mike and I did manage to make it over to the Tour de Fat for an hour or so. Mostly laughed at people riding the Ridiculo Bikes and some of the Carnys. I sure hope they don’t run a conflict with the RW24 next year!

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By the light of the (Full) Moon Ride

We’ll meet at the North Beach Parking lot in Port Washington at 7PM for a 7:38PM departure to coincide with the rising of the FULL MOON. We will head north for approximately 8.5 miles to the beach at Harrington Beach State park where we’ll hang out for a bit and make the return trip back to Port.

This is intended to be a FatBike ride but if you have larger MTB tires on your normal rig and run low pressure you could probably do it; Dave did the last one.

Bring lights but I expect that the trip can be made by the light of the moon which will be over the lake the whole trip!

Keep up with the event on Facebook:

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FatBike Beach Ride

Tony and Ivan talk Northpaws

About 20 FatBike riders, including 3 on Schlick Northpaws, met at Terry Andre State Park on the shore of Lake Michigan for some beach riding goodness.

Starting at the beach parking lot at Terry Andre State Park, we headed south along the shore near the waterline. A light Southeast wind brought us a cooling breeze that was welcome on a day when temperatures were in the high 80’s. The group rolled out easily and rode 4-5 abreast engaging in conversations and general playful tomfoolery. The group dynamics of a beach ride is one of my favorite aspects of riding a FatBike. In fact, I’ve dubbed FatBikes “The Social Bike” in part for this reason. Because of the width of the beach riders can ride together like almost nowhere else.

The sand was fairly firm and the fat tires were rolling well. One of the fun aspects of beach riding is searching for that perfect combo of sand/water that offers the least rolling resistance. It is not always right at the water’s edge where you’d expect and can vary significantly just a few feet either side of where you are riding. I don’t know if there are as many types of sand as there of snow, another surface where FatBikes excel by the way, but you will find quite a variety.

Tony at one of the many stream crossings.

We continued south covering about 12 miles to Harrington Beach State Park where we enjoyed an adult beverage or two and the cooling waters of Lake Michigan before the turnaround and the return trip.

Now heading north, the headwind became a tailwind and average speeds picked up a bit. The feeling on the beach whipping by at close to 20 miles an hour was great but short lived as the heat and lack of headwind made it WARM! Ratcheting the speed back down to a comfortable pace we used a couple of brief stops to enjoy the breeze and play around with tire pressure. Because of the volume of air in those huge 4.0-26″ tires a few pounds of pressure change can make a real difference in the way the bike works on soft surfaces. Tony and I ended up using about 8PSI in the front and 9PSI in the rear that offered a lot of flotation and felt almost like floating above the sand.

We plan to do another beach ride in August and will announce it on Facebook as well as the website. Come join us!

Some Pix:

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Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee 2011 Recap

FTTM XXVII went off on Saturday, June 18th with great weather, about 400 cyclists, several stops, music, barrel bashing, wheelies, wrestling and some quantity of beer consumed. Already can’t wait ’till next year.

Probably best to just look at the pictures!

Greg’s Flickr Set –

If you’ve got a photoset, shoot me a URL and I’ll post it.

Here is the route I rode –

BTW, don’t forget about the Steel is Real ride in September. More info coming on that one.

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Dirt Burger

Back from Dirt Burger in Decorah. A memorable weekend to be sure but I don’t remember all of it. I do remember the part where I gave the left ankle a twist while playing Disc Golf with Gunner at Luther. I remember the band and rain the night before. Both were fine by me. Pretty sure there was Bocce Ball playing at some point. Ward won a frame. I didn’t see the teeter-totters burning in the fire pit but I know when it happened by the hooting’ and a hollering’  There is video somewhere. Seems O’Gara’s team are the Intergalactic Bucketball Champs. Oh, yeah and rode the bikes some. More later as it comes back to me. Don’t miss the next one if you know what’s good for you.

Some pix here.

Surly Trailer video here.

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FTTM XXVII – Route Info

From the eventmaster himself com these updates on the rout and the day’s festivities:

People ask if they need a fat tire bike for FTTM.  Lots of people do the ride on skinny-tire bikes. The real off-road riding is on optional route loops. The main route is on streets or bike trails. You do have to be careful with skinny tires though because of pavement cracks, potholes and cobblestones, like just after the start at Best Place on Juneau (those cobble layers need a lesson). Don’t just follow someone on a fat-tire bike because they just roll over them. Keep a look out for yourself.

The on-road route will be 20 miles total and we’ll stop at Sobelman’s (2 miles, Pee Wee Tequila Dance Contest), Benno’s (7 1/2 miles, Beer Barrel Bump), Leff’s Lucky Town (11 miles, special ladies showing of giant urinal), Valley Inn (14 miles, gateway to Art Trail), Lakefront Brewery (18 miles, beer barrels flow at 2:30), and Wolski’s Tavern (19 miles).

Off-road options include following the Hank Aaron Trail west of 76th Street where after 94th it is just the old RR grade with the ties taken up (except the last couple hundred yards), down onto the Oak Leaf Trail and into Tosa. This adds six miles to the distance. The Hart Park Metro Mountain Bike trails are fun single-track. The Art Trail is awesome and real close to the Valley Inn. You’ll need someone to show you how to find it. It adds another mile to the ride.

Plenty of food options!

Your lunch options include Sobelman’s (Milwaukee’s best burgers), Benno’s (fun menu + there’s a Mexican place I can’t remember the name of real close), Leff’s Lucky Town (great sandwich menu and Hartfest with food vendors is across the street) and Valley Inn (great pizza). And of course there’s the grilling that will be happening at the finish at Best Place.


The Squeezettes and the Beanstalks will be musicing up the various joints along the way and I assume Eric will have the rolling radio station on the ride so bring your ancient FM radio to tune in.

Plus, Gambrinus, the King of Beer, has returned to the garden of the old Pabst Brewery, now Best Place, where we will start & finish this year’s FTTM. Have you picture taken with him!

Will there be bike bowling?

Will “Spokesmodel” Dave lap up beer like a dog?

Find out on Saturday, June 18th 2011 beginning at Best Place. Day-of registration begins at 8:30AM and Roll out is at 10AM. Plan on being out ALL DAY you pansies!

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Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee XXVII

fat tire tour of milwaukeeOne of the Schlick Cycles crew’s favorite social cycling events is coming up on Saturday, June 18, the Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee! This is the 27th edition and just keeps getting better!

The original crawl through Milwaukee’s underbelly celebrates its 27th year with a ride on the Hank Aaron State Trail, starting from Best Place, the old Pabst Brewery hospitality room. Costumes are encouraged. For details, contact Phil Van Valkenberg at It’s a benefit for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

This year’s theme is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or, if you prefer, Pee Oui’s Misadventure!

This year FTTM will start and finish at:
Best Place At The Historic Pabst Brewery
901 W Juneau
Milwaukee, WI

Download the FTTM XXVII Entry Form (PDF)

If you are a Facebooky type, check this out:

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Pugsley World Championships 2011

The weather for the 1st Pugsley World Championships, held in Decorah, IA, February 26th, 2011, couldn’t have been more appropriate. Race-time temps were about 15-degrees and there was a nice, steady snowfall of big, light flakes to add character.

Even though he wasn’t feeling 100-percent, Schlick Cycles team rider Chad Wilson rode a Schlick Northpaw to a ninth place finish over the 26.4 mile course from Cresco, IA to Decorah, IA on Beeler trails, the Prairie Farmer trail, Decorah city trails and snow/ice covered gravel roads.

In addition to our Schlick Northpaw fatbike there were several Pugsleys, it was, after all the Pugsley World Championships, a couple of 9:Zero:7s and probably the coolest bike at the event, a FatBikeisized Surly Big Dummy.

In the end Trevor Rockwell won the winner take all $500 prize. Nice day’s work!

After the race we met up at The Oaks restaurant and bar for more FatBike shenanigans including a teeter-totter push, King of the Hill event won by our own Spokes Model Dave Lunz, and an impromptu derby late in the evening.

All in all the event was a lot of fun!

Race Photos from the Pugsley World Championships.