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Tatanka Takes Air at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park

rafal-rays-6

Our pro-shooter friend, Rafal from Seville Media, and I met up with local dirt jump wunderkind, Aristotle Peters, for a fat-bike photo shoot at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park recently. (If you are a fat-bike.com reader you may have noticed this story over there!) Anyway, Aris had been wondering how a fat-bike would fare at the park so we hooked him up with a Schlick Tatanka to test. He noted that the only other time he’d ridden a fat-bike was a brief test to see how they wheelie out in front of a local pub so this was an all new experience. I think from the shots you can see that he got comfortable with flying a fat-bike pretty quickly! (Yeah, I shot a few of the pix as well!)

After the session Aris was so excited about the potential for a purpose-built fat-bike for Ray’s, dirt jumping and other aggressive riding that he and I started talking about the APe, our new fat-bike developed specifically for this type of rising. With larger diameter and increased wall thickness the main triangle is built to withstand repeated flight, the super short 16.9″ chain stays are beefed up while a slightly slacker head tube angle than the Tatanka lend stability while landing but still allow the APe to carve the berms like it is on rails. look for more on the APe very soon as we work to update our website!

Aris is an avid biker and just about any excuse to ride will get him going! He not only works at Ray’s part time but also works at the Milwaukee Dreambikes store and attends the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

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Northpaw Components 47mm 29-Plus Rims Coming in 30 Days!

29 plus bicycle rim

29 plus bicycle rim

We will have the 47mm 29-Plus sized version of the Popular Northpaw-S rim available in about 30 days! Available in Black, Gunmetal, Silver at $149. Custom powder coating is available for an additional cost.

While the development of the Northpaw-29+ was spurred by the inevitable availability of a 29×3.0 tire, this rim also works great with wider 29’er tires that are already available. We’ve tested Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, Schwalbe Hans Dampfs and Weirwolves in sizes 2.35 and up with great results and are looking forward to more tires choices and sizes!

Mounted Tire Widths:

  • Surly Knard 29 x 3.0 – 74mm at the Carcass, 76mm outer knobs.
  • Mountain King 2.4 – 58mm at the Carcass, 61mm outer knobs.
  • Hans Dampf 2.35 – 63mm at the Carcass, 60mm outer knobs.
  • Racing Ralph 2.35 – 63mm at the Carcass, 58mm outer knobs.
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It’s Twins for Trail Genius!

trail-genius-1709sm

We  just delivered a pair of identical, custom-painted, IGH, Belt-drive Northpaw goodness to Jason and Chris at Trail Genius. The builds were identical except for the frame size:

  • Schlick Northpaw Frame/Fork with Paragon Sliding Dropouts
  • Alfine 8 IGH
  • Hope FatSno 135mm Front Hub
  • Gates CarbonDrive Belt System
  • Marge Lite Rims
  • Thomson Seatpost, Stem and Seat Collar
  • Avid BB7 Brakes
  • 45NRTH Husker Du Tires
  • Miscellaneous other goodies.

If you are not familiar with Trail Genius, here is a bit about what they do.

Trail Documentation
The Genius Crew shows up onsite and rides the trail system while capturing video and gps data.

Map Creation
Trail Genius creates a custom printable electronic map file with embedded trial profiles, stats, legend, and header with graphics.

Video/GPS Sync & Encoding
Trail Genius does all post processing required for interface integration. This includes: file in/out point cleanup, video encoding, GPS data file formatting, video/GPS synchronizing, and map interface linking.

Interactive Online Map Interface
This is the creation of the interactive map using the actual trails of the system. The trails will become hyperlinks to display stats and other trail information. Clicking a trail will activate the dashboard which plays the trail video, elevation profile, and global location.

Look for the twin Northpaws lurking and working on a trail near you!

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Tatanka Tandem

We built this fatbike tandem frame and fork, based on our Tatanka fatbike with some changes made to accommodate the tandem lifestyle, for our friend Ron in Minnesota and his wife to ride on surfaces as varied as single track and crushed limestone to sand and snow.

The build is pretty straight forward with a 3×9 drivetrain, Kawa Green Rolling Darryls currently shod with Black Floyds, and an assortment of parts Ron had found comfortable on his other tandem, a Comotion Mocha.

The custom paint and pin striping was done by Ron’s son who works on custom Hot Rods.

Ron says “it handles like it is on rails with enormous traction!” We will have more info on the bike as Ron gets more time on it!

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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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Fat-Bike.com Website

fat-bike.com logo

If you’ve followed us on this site for any amount of time, or visit us over on Facebook, you’ll know what big fans of fat-biking we are. Riding fat-bikes is one of our favorite things to do! With that in mind Greg has teamed up with experienced fat-biker, Team Fat-Bike Snow Enduro originator and original Gnomefest mayor, Gomez Lake, to promote the fat-biking lifestyle through a new website dedicated to all things fat-bike. Check it out at fat-bike.com and like fat-bike.com at Facebook! Good wishes, Guys and Feel the Fat!

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Kohler-Andre Harvest Beech Ride

7 fat-bike riders from Wisconsin and Illinois met at Kohler-Andre park a bit south of Sheboygan, WI for the Harvest Beech Ride. A nice mix of fat-bikes were in attendance with 2 Schlick Northpaws, 4 Pugsleys and a Mukluk. Fat-bikes are certainly becoming more popular!

We headed north out of Kohler-Andre State Park to discover how far we could go in that direction knowing we had 22 miles going south if we were feeling spunky. Turns out it is about 3.5 miles to the mouth of Weeden Creek and then the Sheboygan power plan looms up with rip-rap barricading the shoreline so we turned about and headed south past the park for a couple hour ride on a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin. Sweet day of fat-biking!

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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 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/gasmith/sets/72157627680043005/

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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:

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=248813641806641

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Good News for Wisconsin Bikers

Work recently started on the extension of the Hank Aaron Trail that will take it from the current end of the paved section at 94 Place and will connect the Hank Aaron State Trail to Underwood Parkway just south of W. Blue Mound Road.

This will be very cool for East/West commuters as the trail will now provide an off-road commuter route from the western suburbs to downtown Milwaukee. Close to 400,000 people live within 15 minutes of the route.

When the extension is finished with crushed gravel, the path will link Lakeshore State Park to the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail, the New Berlin Recreational Trail and the Glacial Drumlin Trail. It will provide a route, largely off-road, from the lakefront to Cottage Grove.

The crushed gravel will be replaced with asphalt following reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange.

http://www.jsonline.mobi/blogs/lifestyle/130650313.html?ua=iphone&dc=smart&c=y

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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.

Derby

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!

Sleep??

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!

Sleep

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.

Sunday

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:

http://www.riverwest24.com/leader-board

Pix:

David H – https://picasaweb.google.com/djhall3/RW242011#
my few – http://www.flickr.com/photos/gasmith/sets/72157627336409676/

Lots more on Flickr if you search RW24 or Riverwest24.

News Stories:

JSOnline – http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/126467658.html

Heros in the Night – http://heroesinthenight.blogspot.com/2011/07/riverwest-24-bonus.html

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:

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223124127732521

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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 schlickcycles.com website. Come join us!

Some Pix:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gasmith/sets/72157627098658095/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/landskywater/sets/72157627100175827/