Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To fat or not to fat

I've been living in a struggle for the last couple months. I borrowed one of these from my LBS this past summer. I had a good time on it. My wife rode it around a little on a trail close to Deerfield and I think she enjoyed it. The Mukluk was ridden on M-hill for a while to test it's abilities and all was well.

Now the problem is that I want to go fat. However, do I need to make this other purchase. Don't get me wrong, a bike purchase is never a bad purchase but I don't get the opportunities to ride my 2 other bikes as much as I'd like. There are dreams of snow biking dancing around in my head... but then again, when do I have time to go snow biking? I don't take the time to go regular biking, touring, mt. biking, etc... Should I wait?


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dakota Five-o by dclements0 at Garmin Connect - Details

The Dakota Five-o was finally a success for me. Although my previous time was below 7 hours, this year's time finally made it below the 6 hour mark. Leading into it I didn't know if I would be able to make it or not. I used some advice I got and just kept moving. I had 2 water bottles and stopped just long enough at each aid station to fill the empty. I don't think I spent longer than a minute at any one stop.

Most of the race I felt really good. My legs felt strong and my lungs felt good too. I can't say I was overly fast but I felt strong enough which made me quite happy since my longest ride this summer to date has been 22 miles on the road.

Next year I'm hoping for under 5 hours. I think that may get into some actual training and more long rides. We'll see. I must admit that it was really nice being done before it got hot.

Dakota Five-o by dclements0 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, August 20, 2012


Centennial Trail between Elk Creek and Alkali
Yesterday I was able to make a small prep run for the Dakotafive-o. I only rode for a couple hours but they were quality. I haven't downloaded the data yet but there was much climbing involved. I started at the Alkali Creek Trailhead and rode up Bulldog and continued on a few miles towards Elk Creek Trailhead on the Centennial Trail.

I've never been past the top of bulldog before and I have to tell you, it's a doozy. Much climbing is involved between that little section. Long downhills make for long uphills. The trail was beautiful though. Not that there were sweeping views but just much green foliage everywhere. There were also a couple of creek crossings which turned out to be dry.

I'm unsure about my readiness for the five-o but I don't have much choice. I have to do it and my goal will remain under 6 hours. If I don't make it, no big deal but it sure would be fun. I put in a lot of time at the beginning of the year which fell off during June and parts of July. Since then I've been riding or commuting a couple times a week. Usually logging close to 50-60 miles per week so I should be ok. We'll see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Commuting and Dakota Five-o

I started my new job a couple weeks ago. So far, I'm absolutely loving it. There is a large variety of work to do and it all revolves around bikes, getting kids to ride bikes, bike events and other things bike related. You could say I like it.

One of the other perks about this place is the bike parking. We have a large warehouse where there are about 20-30 hooks to hang bikes and a shower to wash off the stink. I have been leaving my Santa Cruz here most of the time so I can hop out for a quick lunch ride on M-hills since it's so close. I've also been able to commute by bike a little more since I don't get so many evil looks when I am sweaty or need to bring my bike inside.

I haven't commuted a ton yet but my number is increasing. I'm hoping for at least 3 times per week which I know isn't much, but compared to what I have been doing, it is a vast improvement.

I do need to keep riding to work and getting the lunch rides in to prepare for the Dakota 5-0. It's probably too late to do any serious prep work but doing nothing will not help either. So, my plan of commutes and lunch rides will have to do for now.

Speaking of the Dakota five-o... I know two people who are unable to use their registration. One is for medical reasons, so if you are interested in riding let me know and I'll get you in touch with those folks. We'll have to move pretty fast since the transfer deadline is fast approaching.

Do any of you use Strava? What are your thoughts? I'm not fully convinced yet although I can see the fun in it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camping Weekend

Once again, no reports on rides. We did take our new pop-up camper out to a little lake by Hot Springs. Cold Brook Lake which isn't so much of a lake as it is a big puddle. That's not true, it's a really big puddle. Honestly, it's a lake, yet a small one.

Cold Brook is a very nice lake. It's small and not very crowded which is the part I loved. While all of the other campgrounds get tons of traffic, Cold Brook is off the beaten path and it seems most people don't know about it and if they do, they don't go there.

Since we were in for a short, overnight camping trip I decided to opt out of bringing the bikes. The one thing we do need to do is work on pairing down the amount of stuff we take camping. I think I'm going to start making an inventory of what we take and then what we use. This will help decide what we really need. Honestly, do we need 3 packs of hotdogs for an overnight trip? The case of beer is a necessity but what about the 3 gallons of water... I don't think so.

Friday, July 6, 2012


The wife and I purchased a small pop-up camper for some weekend excursions. Does anyone have any good ideas for mounting a bike rack to the top of the camper? I've seen it done but mainly just with vehicles driving by at 65 miles per hour. I've never seen one up close.

I also haven't had a chance to try out some bikepacking gear. Well, not so much gear but the bike, bags and just other normal stuff I have. My weekends have been so busy that time has been spent elsewhere. I have the Salsa Fargo with some bags. It would be so easy to take a short ride up to Nemo and camp overnight yet I haven't done it yet.

Is anyone watching the tour?

Last weekend we were camping at Stockade Lake by Custer. I brought my Blur and was hoping for a Centennial trail ride. That didn't happen but I was able to ride through the park from our lake to another lake. Bicycle is the ultimate way to travel through the park. It's slow enough where you can really see the sights.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

News from the West side

Well, I have a little news to share. I have a new job that I'll be starting in a few weeks. I'm going from the energy industry to the bicycle industry. I'm going to be working for a little company that makes little bikes for little people. You may have heard of them. Strider Sports.

My excitement is overwhelming at this point. I love the idea of putting more kids on bikes and at a younger age. I completely believe in the brand and the product. Both of my kids have used or are currently riding Striders. The oldest, 4, is now on a peddle bike. He had no issues at all going from the Strider to the peddle bike. No training wheels and he had so much confidence already. My 2 year old rolls around everywhere.

It's always interesting when I'm talking to people and they ask how I get my kids to ride their bikes so much. I ask them how not too. Maybe it's because I love bikes and I try to ride as much as possible or maybe it's just that bikes are so fun it's nearly impossible not to want to ride. Both of the kids wake up in the morning and instantly want to go outside and ride. For some reason, it seems so natural to me.

That's all from me for now. I'll update you on more once I start. Maybe I'll have some ride reports between now and then, who knows.

I'm extremely excited to be starting a different chapter in my life doing something I completely believe in and have so much passion for. Until then... later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finally some updates (ride report)

I finally have some updates. I know I said I was going to post pictures a while ago about what burned on M-hill here in Rapid City. I never made it back up there until today. So, I have some pictures of that...
The short stuff is where it burned
I actually think the fire helped out the vegetation. Even with the lack of rain the grass is so green and pretty. There isn't the brown under brush that's usually there.

Right below the Sun Climb... up and to the West is where the burn happened.
I love having this hill right in the middle of town. It took me 3 minutes to ride my bike from the front door of my office to the base of the hill. I'm so blessed to have something like this in town.

On that note, I was in Nebraska on work last week. At the last minute I threw my bike in as I hoped I would have a little extra time to explore the cities by bike and maybe even find a trail or two. Lucky for me I work with a guy from Omaha who gave me a few tips and locations. 

On Monday evening I was in Lincoln. I was able to ride their version of the rails to trails bike path which had  a few little spider legs branching off into very lush single track. Not hilly but certainly buggy. It was very interesting and different to ride in an environment unlike the Black Hills. Lincoln was very humid and it felt like I was riding in a rain forest. 

This trail was one of the longest, straightest and flattest I have ever been on. It travels from Lincoln to Beatrice on an old railroad bed. Roughly 44 miles long one way.
Then after I rode in Lincoln I got to travel to Omaha. While I was there I was given a few different trails to check out. Sampson was the one that was raved about the most but it was the furthest from my hotel so I opted for Tranquility. It is about 9 miles of varying single track in Tranquility park. The bike club T.H.O.R. does a good job maintaining it and it was a lot of fun. I could tell the trail is used a lot because of the depth of the track. There was a variety of small climbs, little whoops in the advanced section and some tight turns. Nothing crazy and very smooth trail. The one feature that sticks out in my mind the most is how smooth all these trails are. I rode my Fargo which is a rigid 29er. I'm very happy I didn't bring my Blur LT because the 5.5" of travel would have been overkill. 

Tranquility Park overlooking Omaha to the East
All in all this was a very worthwhile trip in the mountain biking world. I am happy I brought my bike along and asked around to get some locations. It was different and exciting to see what else is out there to the East. I'm so used to riding in my location where it's hilly and rough... the change of scenery was just what I needed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

30 Days of Biking

M-hill - Rapid City, SD
Did you sign up for 30 days of biking? It's in April and the event started a couple days ago. I feel a little guilty because I rode on the first (Bulldog) then I didn't ride on the 2nd. I was planning to but got busy with work and activities after and I never had the chance to hop on the bike. I fell asleep and woke up the next morning mad at my missed opportunity. So, what I'm going to do is ride my bike for 30 days starting yesterday... or I'll go for an extra day at the end of April. Something anyway.

Today I brought my bike with me and rode M-hill in the middle of town. There was a rather large fire about a month ago that burned a lot of the grassland on the East side. The sun climb was affected as well as a few others. The fire was almost a blessing though. Green grass is poking through the burnt stuff and it looks fantastic.

My ride was just under an hour and I traveled around 5.5 miles or so. I went up then down, then up then down then up then down... I was trying to do as much climbing as I could. I can tell I'm getting stronger. The saying is true, it doesn't get easier, you just get faster.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Victoria Lake

I managed to cut away from work for a while to do a nice little 11 mile loop at Victoria Lake. It was pretty hard. Lots and lots of climbing.

There is a new loop that was added in November 2011 I haven't ridden. We found it and it is very new but quite fun. Gradual switchback climbs and a few short descents. All fun

Around the 8 mile mark the trail opens up to this little pasture. There are some nice views and a tough climb ahead.

Rapid City is just over that way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

My wife and I have our anniversary every year on St. Patrick's Day. The only reason why we chose that date is that it worked with our schedule. I suppose it could be partially that I'm 1/986th Irish.

We had the best anniversary ever. Our decision was to be active and do something we've both been wanting to do for years. Angie has however I haven't. What that is... hike Harney Peak.

We hiked it, the whole thing, all the way up and back down. It took us just over 3 hours and there was quite a bit of snow left on the hill. It was a fantastic hike with beautiful scenery.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Storm Mountain

On Thursday I rode the storm mountain trail by Rockerville, SD with a buddy of mine. We had the opportunity to leave work a tad early. We rode the entire trail and rode on the gravel to by-pass the coon hollow section. It's usually pretty damp this time of year.

The dude I rode with is considerably faster than I am so I had to work to keep up. I did really well until we got around to the expert section of the trail at about 7-8 miles in. Here is where I started to lose my legs.

On a different note, I am putting myself on a weight loss plan. I weighed myself Friday and it displayed 203. Usually our scale registers about 5 lbs light so if I go by that it means I'm at 208 which is not acceptable. The plan is to ride in Fruita, CO in about a month and i would really like to drop 10 lbs by then. We're leaving April 19th after work so that's exactly 4 weeks away. If I can drop 2 lbs a week I should hit somewhere between 195-200... Then if I can keep on track I should hit 185-190 by mid-May.

It's on like donkey kong... Here is a disclaimer. If I happen to hit 195 and am completely ripped I will probably not lose much more weight. I'm pretty sure I have more to lose than that though.

I eat relatively well with the occasional beverage here and there. My activity remains fairly consistent with crossfitting 2-3 times a week and a couple bike rides. Most of that will stay the same with the exception of upping the biking.

I'm going to put a weight column over on the right.

Friday, March 16 - 208# (evening weigh-in)

Monday, March 5, 2012


The weather definitely took a trip into the 60s today. I rode the Fargo and left at a decent time yet still ended up to work 20 minutes late. Apparently it's mostly uphill going to work. My choice attire was a little off wearing a base layer, light fleece and then a wind shell. I was sweating far too early. I made it to work in just about 40 minutes for almost 9 miles.

Lunch time had me jump back on the Fargo for a couple block ride to CrossFit. I was a little worried after the workout that my ride home was going to be very difficult. It wasn't.

Coming home I decided to jump up on the gravel road that trails along the South side of M-hill to get some gravel time in. It's only about a half to 3/4 miles in length but a fun little section to get off the bike path. Once that was complete I took to the bike path as far as I could go. When highway 44 was reached I decided to take a different route home with what used to be a road. There was a problem that I thought might be there when that road no longer exists. Instead there is a large ravine I had to figure out how to cross. Since I had a Fargo with the tagline "Adventure By Bike" I decided I should blaze a path. I hoisted the bike upon my shoulder and hiked a couple hundred feet, put the bike down and continued on my way.  It was not real adventurous but it was different than my normal commute.

Next time who knows where the path will lead.

Friday, March 2, 2012


There is a slim chance I'll be headed to Fruita, CO in a couple months. April actually. We're planning on going right before their fat tire festival.

Does anyone have any tips on places to camp, rides, etc? I've browsed the web to get it's recommendations but if anyone has any personal epxperience I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Happy Friday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fargo on skinny trails

The bike in front is a new Salsa Spearfish, my Fargo is in
the back. 
I rode the Fargo back to work on Friday. Then I was lucky enough to be able to leave work early and get a quick ride in on the Hanson-Larson trails in Rapid City. The Fargo was nimble enough and climbed really well. I'm less than impressed on it's downhilling abilities but it is a rigid frame with drop bars. A lot different from what I'm used to.

The bars were the largest thing I couldn't get used to. I couldn't find a comfortable place to put my hands on downhill sections. I'd have my hands on the hoods and my thumbs would start cramping, I'd put them in the drops and I just didn't feel like I had control and if I just had them on top I didn't have access to the brakes. I also thought the breaks were less than stellar durning those sections.

I did have to keep reminding myself this is not my 5.5" travel blur. It's a completely different bike with different abilities. I wished the breaks worked a little better but I'm sure since they're brand new it'll take a little time for them to get broke in.

It was fun and I'm glad I know I'll be able to ride any single track I want if I'm out for a jaunt.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fargo 3 Ride Report

I wish I had some pictures to share but I don't. I just picked up a Salsa Fargo 3 yesterday size 20". I drove to work today since I was running late but I did have time to throw the bike on so I could ride home and then ride tomorrow.

I must tell you, although it's a considerably different feel than my Blur, it is an extremely fun bike to ride. I start off riding down some singletrack for about a mile that's narrow and downhill until I hit up the bike path. The Fargo handled really well on the singletrack and felt solid. The position of the hands is a little different but I think I could get used to it. The bike is really quick and nimble on the path. The 29" tire size takes a bit to get used to since I've been riding 26" tires for so long. The 29" feels so big.

I'm really excited to try and take the fargo on M-hill tomorrow to see how it does on real trails and spend some quality time on it. I know I'll be adding some frame bags and probably a rack or two so I can carry my gear back and forth to work a little easier. I also will be doing some bikepacking this summer as well. I already have 3 or 4 rides in mind for overnighters.

There might end up being 2 of these bikes in my garage fairly soon. It's the first bike I've ever ridden that I think my wife has to have one. She's a lucky woman :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012


It's getting colder today. It kind of stinks... I was all excited to get a fairly warm ride in this weekend but it looks like if any ride happens it's going to be a cold one.


Monday, February 6, 2012


My Ute sold in 3 days. It sat out in front of a bike shop and sold before I had a chance to change my mind. This last weekend I was really sad it was gone. I will have to get a bike to replace it but probably not of the cargo bike style.

I'm considering a Salsa Fargo. It seems from what I've read and heard that it will be the perfect do-it-all bike. It travels well on highways, gravel roads, single track and anything in-between. Hopefully I can gather enough scratch from the sale of my Ute and from savings to purchase one. I'm missing the ability to carry things and my Blur isn't exactly the ideal commuter bike.

Has anyone had any experience with a Fargo?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sale and Ride

My Ute is for sale. It's a 2009 Kona Ute. Stop in at Acme Bicycles to check it out.

My one and only bicycling goal for this summer is to ride the entire Centennial Trail. Not necessarily all at once just ride the whole thing. I definately want to make a bike camping trip out of it where I would ride from Sherridan Lake to Alkali Creek along the trail or some sort of combination. I think I can get it done fairly easily. Well, that section is difficult but if I give myself all day to ride from Sherridan Lake to Nemo/Dalton Lake where I would have a food/camp drop and then continue the rest of the way the following day.

I wanted to try and do this self supported but my bike, Santa Cruz Blur LT, doesn't exactly have much for racks or even places to attach a rack or frame bag. Anything I plan on taking would have to be carried on my back and I personally think a bivy, food, water and some dry clothes might be a little much on my back for the type of trail it is. I'm sure that could work on the Mickelson but not the Centennial.

I'm not sure of the timing of this ride. I was thinking early April or maybe May but when talking with my guy at Acme he thought it would be a better late summer early fall ride. Maybe I'll do both. It all depends on the rain.

If I don't accomplish that I do want to ride the entire Centennial trail where permitted. If anyone wants to ride with me and complete sections, I'm all for company. Let me know when you'll be here and I'll add it to the calendar.

If you decide not to ride but you have some good pointers for me to make this trek I would be more than happy to buy you a coffee while I pick your brain. Feel free to email me any information also. I'd be more than happy to accept any advice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Goals for 2012

I saw this post over at http://www.semi-rad.com and thought it was interesting. I wonder what his commute is for length.

Every year, my pal Nick and I inevitably have a chat about our goals for the year, at some coffee shop in Denver. In 2009, it was already late February or March by the time it came up in conversation. I probably told Nick about my goals, which usually include sleeping outside at least 30 nights, climbing this route or that peak, learning to lead on ice, eating the Piggy Split at Liks all by myself, and a handful of other things. Nick, always laid-back, said something like,
“I should probably come up with some goals, huh?”

Then we started talking about how much he was on his bicycle — every day for work, everywhere else within 5 miles of his Capitol Hill apartment, rain, snow, hail, 105 degrees, 15 degrees, whatever. A few of us had this kind-of unwritten, unspoken agreement that no weather was too bad to ride. In January, we’d ride in ski goggles, ski helmets and Gore-Tex hiking shoes.

Say 50 weeks of work every year, 5 days of work per week, 250 days on a bike in 2009 was pretty possible for Nick, we said. Maybe 300 was realistic. Huh. Well, Nick said, I’d have to go back and see how many days I’ve ridden so far.
Well, I said, how many days have you not ridden to work this year? None.

Over the next few months, I forgot about it. Near the end of 2009, I got busy planning my big goal for 2010, riding a bike across the country. A lot got pushed to the side as I panicked about new bike parts, which tools to take, if I was in shape for it, was my bike going to make it, all that.

Then a few days before Christmas 2009, Nick and I were sitting at St. Mark’s Coffeehouse in Denver again, and one of us brought it up.

As long as I ride to work the next couple days before my vacation starts, Nick said, I’ll have ridden my bike 325 days this year.

Three hundred and twenty-five days? Get the fuck out of here, I said.

That’s 325 days of picking up his bike by the top tube, carrying it down the stairs of his second-floor apartment, clipping his helmet strap, and riding. Just because he likes to. He doesn’t look out the window to see if it’s raining or snowing, and then decide to leave his bike at home and drive. He looks out the window to see if it’s raining or snowing, so he knows whether to wear a rain jacket and/or pants he’d be comfortable ripping if he hit some ice and fell down. He hadn’t said anything about it. I imagine he probably just had a wall calendar at home, maybe hanging in his kitchen, and he marked off the days he rode maybe while he was cooking dinner at night. At that rate, he might as well have kept track of the days he drank water, or ate breakfast.

If you rode your bike every single day of the year, no days off, no weekend days off, starting January 1 and stopped riding the week of Thanksgiving, you’d have ridden almost exactly 325 days.  And Nick basically shrugged like he had just told me what he ate for lunch that day and you know, what else are we going to talk about, anyway, can you believe this weather? Huh.

“Oh, you know what else?” he said. “I went to get my oil changed in my truck just before we went to Canyonlands for Thanksgiving, and it had been exactly a year since I got it changed in 2008. To the day.”

No shit, I said. How many miles did you drive last year, then?

3,300. Minus our annual trip to Canyonlands, which is about 900 miles round-trip, he had only driven 2,400 miles the entire year. The average American drives 13,500 miles per year.

It was a huge year, 325 days of committing to riding a bicycle, committing to doing something healthy for himself and the planet, minimizing impact, maximizing joy, almost 11 complete months of days of riding, making it part of his routine as much as brushing his teeth. If half of America did half, or one-fourth of what Nick did, just imagine.

Or, like Nick would probably say, it was just a guy riding his bike to work. No big deal. You know, he likes his bicycle, so, whatever.

12 Miler

On Saturday I decided to take a quick ride. I left my house mid-afternoon after putting the boys down for a nap. Everyone in the house was snoozing so it was a perfect opportunity for me to get outside. I rolled down street to a local loop. It's very flat and I relatively easy ride but since this would be the first time I had ridden for more than 3 miles in a while I decided it was perfect. There are a couple hills I could climb if I went a little further... so I went further.

The climbs felt pretty good for being the off-season and this early in the year. There is a lot of work to be done.  I rode a total of 12 miles in a little under an hour on my Blur LT.

Hopefully there will be some time for a few rides this week. I'll remember my camera next time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Jaunt

I took the boys for a quick jaunt on my bike tonight. They rode in the trailer and I tooled around on my Santa Cruz Blur LT. I left at just before 4 p.m. and returned approximately 6 miles and 40 minutes later. We rode around on some different neighborhood roads that I haven't been on before. It was pretty fun seeing something different.

The boys lasted for most of it before finally succumbing to their tired eyes. Both fell asleep and were quite difficult to wake up when we arrived home. I should have taken some pictures of them in the trailer with their bobbing heads but the camera was left at home.

On a different note, I started reading Be Brave, Be Strong from Jill Homer. It is a great read with very vivid descriptions. She has an ability to make the reader feel they are right there with her riding the Divide. The book actually makes me want to ride it. Through all of the pain and suffering there are many parts in the story where Jill has vivid recollections of how beautiful and serene the trip really is.

It's a great read and you should definitely give it a try.