Monthly Archives: February 2014

Just One Day Off.

Fat Elvis!

Fat Elvis!

Just one day off.  One day.  I was told recently that my birthday is just one day different than Elvis.  Think of that.  One day!  Holy cow, what a brush with greatness.  I feel that there may never be a more poignant Andy Worhall moment for me – ever again.  One day.

How could I change that.  Couldn’t that one day have been found somewhere along the way?  One day.  What can happen in one day?  After all, Scott and I won the Perry Mountain 24hour race in just one day.  I can drive to the location of a GNCC race in the southeast in just one day.  I have done a 24hour mountain bike race, and that only took one day.  Doesn’t seem like much of an effort that could have made up that one day.

For real, Elvis died on the toilet you know.  Does that really seem the action of someone that could have stayed a full day ahead of me for so long?  I mean, I actually can ride a 2 wheeler at a reasonable pace. I am not fast, but reasonable.  I can stay upright more than my brother can, good god, cannot I catch up to a fat guy that died on his toilet?

When you really think about the number of days you are alive, 1 day is a really small percentage.  The SKY cycling team talks in terms of marginal gains, well surely there are some marginal gains that I could find to make up that time.  Oh well, deal with what you can.

The 1st GNCC race for me is just 30 days away.  The first local WIXC race is just 37 days away, but I will not make that one as I will be out of town.  (I do not plan to miss any others though…)  The citizen Flanders race in Belgium is just 37 days away – I will be there for that one.  We are so gloriously close to 2wheel season, I just cannot wait.

Tick tock.

Joe

The glory of Flanders.

The glory of Flanders.

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Under Mountains of Snow!

Snow! What the hell can you do with all this snow? It has just continued to pile up all winter.   Here in Wisconsin, we do not have the vertical to do much with gravity and snow combined. If I lived in the mountains, or even in the UP, maybe there would be gravity. But, we have plenty of gravity here just no vertical and it is not doing it. Hmmmm….

Ok, gravity skiing isn’t an option. What about XC skiing you ask? Well, I like it plenty when I am doing it, but somehow it just isn’t lighting a fire for me. I used to spend a lot of time doing it. Driving every weekend to find a good spot, chasing snowfall and looking for grooming etc… But that sport is just more gear and wax technology that baffles, standing around in the cold waiting for the start, trying to find warm clothes after, and you cannot do it most times with your dog. Nah, I’m kinda over it. As I said, I’ll do it but I just cannot get up the ambition to chase it.

I could build a motorbike set up for ice racing, but again some how that has not bitten me either. Tires with big spikey things sticking out, you need fenders with coverage so that you do not shred into your own or someone else leg, wacky methods of trying to keep your hands warm etc… Hmmm again more gear and limited usage.

Ok joe, but you have to do something with all this snow you say. You would be right. Enter, the Farley.

IMG_8255

That’s my Trek Farley. Digging that thing.

I know what you are thinking, “snow bikes are a freak show”. You would be right, btw. But wow, what a fun freak show. I mean they go slow, they bounce way to much, the handling is a bit unpredictable, they are heavy feeling… Yep, all of that. But somehow they transcend that. They end up being really fun. In a goofy back to basics kinda way, they really do deliver. It is winter, and you are riding an Offroad 2wheeler after all. That IS what it is all about after all.

One of the misconceptions people have is that those big fat tires can just ride over anything. They cannot. The snow has to be packed down reasonably firm. If the snow is soft, you just sink in way to much to pedal through it. Snowshoeing a trail down works, but you will need about 6 or so people to pass on snowshoes to make it work. A snowmobile trail is rideable, but not very exciting because they are pretty wide. Additionally, one of the great things about being Offroad on a bicycle is dogs. Dogs and snowmobiles do not really mix well.

Mountain bikes and dogs are always a good combination - even in winter!

Mountain bikes and dogs are always a good combination – even in winter!

But, get yourself to a purpose designed and maintained singletrack for snowbikes and, wow. Fun fun fun. It is still not fast like summer mountain biking, and the handling is quirky, but it is fun for sure. Because you are on a singletrack, it is a reasonable substitute for summer riding.

There are a ton of snow bike trails popping up all over Wisconsin. I have not found a definitive source for them all, but look around on Facebook etc… You will find them.

Time to go ride! Spring will come!

Out

Joe

Welcome to the show!

Welcome back my friends
to the show that never ends
We’re so glad could attend, 
come inside, come inside
There behind a glass 
stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, 
move along, move along

There she is.  The 2014 race season machine!  KTM 250 XCF from Fun Mart.  Fox suspension, Kenda tires,

There she is. The 2014 race season machine! KTM 250 XCF from Fun Mart. Fox suspension, Kenda tires, VC graphix, Full Spectrum battery, Maxima oils, Rekluse equipped 303Offroad machine!

Welcome to the new 303Offroad site.  Here at this site, I will chronicle my adventures on 2 wheels.  They are guaranteed to delight and to entertain.  Hopefully they will not give you indigestion.  If you stick with me though, I will one day reveal the secrets of the universe (the actual secret is not related to the Douglas Adams 42 answer either), and if I cannot figure that out sooner or later, I will just give up the recipe for #Joetmeal.  After all, that is an international phenomenon that was invented right here in Cheese Land.  I know for a fact that people in North Carolina (that is the eastern part of Merica) and in Chatel France and in the UK all eat and cherish #Joetmeal.  See, that makes it an international phenom.

But seriously, I am going to do a lot of talking and it would not be beyond your rights to just ignore me.  I have been known to drone on and on about things that you may not find important at that moment.  (Rest assured you will find my ranting important at some point in your life, even if it is just to drown out the drivel of figure skating that passes as Olympic coverage.)  But, somewhere along the way you might find it entertaining, although my advice is never to admit that in particular to your spouse.  I will be unabashedly talking about my absolute fascination with everything that is 2 wheels.  I will ride a motorcycle, a road bicycle, a mountain bicycle, a city bicycle – hell, I would even ride a BMX bike in a pinch.  Pretty much, if it has 2 wheels I plan to ride it.  I would also say, that there really aren’t many 2 wheelers that I do not own, have owned or intend to own at some point in my life.  You see, it may not have become obvious for you yet, but a 2wheeler has just 2 wheels.  That is exactly 1/2 as many as a car has.  By my math that makes them exactly 19.6 times better than cars.  My very precise math goes like this – multiply the number of wheels a car has by the number of wheels a motorcycle/bicycle has times the difference in the number of wheels add the number of wheels on a BMX bike add the number of wheels on training wheels (but they are small so whack that number in half) add .6 for good measure to break any ties and there you have it.  motorcycles/bicycles are exactly 19.6 times better than cars.

The Trek Farley snow bike getting ready to be shredded.

The Trek Farley snow bike getting ready to be shredded.

I kinda dig things with 2 wheels.  I have raced many a 2wheel thing, but sometimes it does not even take a race.  Just a spirited ride.

A football is not a very good gift by the way.  And thank god it is not raining today.

So, I never really knew where all this was leading when I first started with my 2wheel frenzy.  Sure, I rode a bicycle when I was a kid, didn’t we all?  A bicycle is that thing that gave us all the freedom.  You know, you made a right and a left and another left and all of a sudden you were gone.  Mom could not direct, no one knew where you were…  It was that freedom that hooked me.  I still every time I get on a bicycle or a motorcycle I find that freedom spot.  Maybe I should have called this blogsite the freedom site, but I did not want anyone confusing this with a site dedicated to frites.  (There are those you know, and frites are Belgian which means I could have a significant affaire with them as well – it is Belgium for gods sake.)   But, in the end – is this the end? – it is the 2 wheeler that really turns me on.  Specifically, a 2wheeler offroad is what gets to me.  When the  gun goes off at the start line of a harescrambles race, or I successfully get over a double jump on my mountain bike, or shred a sweet berm turn on my EX trail bike, or I bunny hop over a cyclocross obstacle – those are the things that really get me excited.

Racing the CX bike!  I am not very good at it, but I really like it.

Racing the CX bike! I am not very good at it, but I really like it.

So there you have it.  My new blog site that will attempt to mash together my love for motorcycle racing offroad, for mountain biking for cyclocross is what you have found.  Of course there will be plenty of beer burritos and coffee along the way.  (Don’t even tell me that you do not understand the hierarchy of food types.)

Performing on a stool 
we’ve a sight to make you drool
Seven virgins and a mule, 
keep it cool, keep it cool
We would like it to be known 
the exhibits that were shown
Were exclusively our own, 
all our own, all our own

Come and see the show, 
come and see the show
Come and see the show
See the show

Cheers, Out

Joe

there have been times that I have felt fast on a 2wheeler.  But, they are just occasionally.

There have been times that I have felt fast on a 2wheeler. But, they are just occasionally.

I have gotten to ride some amazing places!

I have been fortunate enough to ride some amazing places!