Monthly Archives: December 2011

Adventures riding in the cold northland

New fallen snow at the lodge - sidewalks coveredTwo to one ratioDark!Snow covered ice skating pondThis is the hill warning sign on the opposite side of the valley from the hill sign that I took a picture of yesterdayBoth hills in one view
Lake Namekogan - distances to all the cabins along with the names of people living thereSnowmobile and ATV routes criss-cross all the roads up hereSnowmobile stop sign and curve sign (the backs of them)Lake Namekogan looking east - note the snowmobile tracks coming out from under the bridgeIce fishingSnowmobile tracks disappearing into the water
Great Divide of Northern WisconsinSnowmobile pulling an ice fishing hut

Wisconsin Divide, a set on Flickr.

We had an inch and a half of new snow last night so today’s ride was again on the mountain bike. The snow is perfect depth and texture for good riding as I discovered today since the road to the ski resort was completely covered all the way back out to Co Rd M. In northern Wisconsin, all the county roads get treated with salt and plowed on a regular basis so they remain relatively snow and ice free even with temps in the teens. Today I was riding through puddles and wet roads on Co Rd M and Co Rd D even with the temperature hovering around 20 degF.

The ride highlight for the day was on Co Rd D where I unexpected came across this large sign indicating the Great Divide of Northern Wisconsin. On the other side of the divide, was a long downhill. The internet connection here at the hotel is really spotty so I am waiting to upload the ride to see if it was an actual categorized climb. If you are ever wondering what I think about on long bike rides, I spent about 10 minutes of the climb working out in my head the vertical gain needed over a particular distance for it to count as a Strava Cat 4. I think to hit the 3% threshold, you need 158.4 feet of climbing per mile – I worked this out in my head making for a good distraction as I was trying to push the pace realizing that it was probably going to be pretty dark by the time I made it back to the lodge.

I pushed the pace really hard over the top of the climb and all the way back across Co Rd D to Co Rd M. I hit M just after sunset with about 12 miles left to get back to the lodge. With a cloudy, overcast sky it was already pretty dark. I could see fine even without a light, but I had to rely on my bright green neon vest for visibility. I got passed by about five or six cars on the mostly deserted road, but the last car was a local sheriff who put on his lights and told me to get in the truck that I couldn’t be out without a light. He was very nice and gave me a ride the last 3 miles back to the lodge. I apologized profusely for riding without a light as I had expected to be back well before sunset but had gotten delayed on my ride.

All in all, it was a great ride, and the pics at the top of this post are the ones I took along the way.

Yesterday, I did a shorter ride out/back on Co Rd M and also snapped a few pictures. Here they are on flickr enjoy!

Wind burnIce skating pondMountain bike beforehandRolling hills partial snow/ice coverageRustic roadTalk about multi-use … hiking, biking, ATVing, and snowmobiling
You can find hills anywhere if you look hard enough!Telemark ski resort mountainCold and pretty far north - check out the sunrise/sunset times!Finishing just after sunset 16.6 degF

Co Rd M – Mountain Bike, a set on Flickr.

Kicking off a winter adventure with an epic

I left Birmingham, Alabama yesterday at 6:30AM and a little over 32 hours later we arrived at the Telemark ski resort in Cable, WI. To get here from Alabama involved an epic 123 mile bike ride and over 1000 miles of driving. Kristine started about 6 hours behind me in the car and caught up to me just south of Faulkville, AL north of Cullman. I started out doing a normal climbing route through Rocky Ridge, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, and Birmingham before merging in Gate City with the route that I had tried out last week on my way up to Smoke Rise.

This time I wanted to try out more climbs on the same ridge as Smoke Rise and Skyball so I diverted my route near Kimberly to head up through Trafford towards AL-160 and all the climbs that start on 160 and climb up the ridge. I had intended to do 4 different climbs and 4 different descents off the ridge, but on the way over on ??? rd which turned into ??? rd I was chased by numerous dogs. I decided since I was also running a bit behind to skip one of the climbs and only ended up doing Graves Gap, Co Rd 45, and Skyball.

I’ll let the pictures (and captions) tell the rest of the story. Clicking on a picture will take you to flickr where you can flip through all the pictures.

Abandoned road near Airport HighlandsSunrise over dolly ridgeSteepMountain goatsRed mountain ridge and trussville mountainsHomewood, Red Mountain, and the Vulcan
Samford UniversityDowntown Birmingham, St Vincents Hospital and Sloss FurnaceLooking towards the airport and along the Red Mountain ridgeGate City / East Lake hillSteep narrow road up Gate City hillSouthern museum of flight
Historic blackbird bomberProp plane and torpedoesCrane helicopterAirplane landing at the airportAirport rd, Red MountainIndian Valley Rollers
Large rockMore rollersTrain tracks near TraffordGrafitti on the bridge over the tracksRoad leading to wooden bridgeWooden bridge

Trip to Wisconsin 2012, a set on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=109615