Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
And this just in; O’Gara must have been fed up enough to post something as well, just before me, so read his post just below this when you’re done.
I’ve been busy but I haven’t had much time to ride. And now that there is about 1foot of snow on the trails and I’ve literally rode my gravel bike into the ground, I may not be doing much pedaling any time soon.
So what have I been busy with? First off, Ward and Jackie Budweg were back in the area for a short time.
- One of the 26 rounds of red bull cherry shots
There was a rowdy celebration held in Cresco that included at least 4 bottles of Cherry McGillicudies, several gallons of Red Bull Energy Drink, 7 or 9 cases of beer, Grilled Fish from
- A toast from Freidhof: I think he said something about butter and jelly
It wasn’t the first time I woke up on a wrestling mat, but it was the first time I wondered how I had fallen asleep there.
- Brian Fuhrman: Unofficial Bike Club Light Weight
Then of course there are the new trail signs from
I had to go and make some adjustments to the user group access allowance indicators (horse signs) on some of the signs.
Now I know that trail rights can be a very sensitive topic, but here’s my view. As the Unicorn would say “Well, Ok, Here’s the Deal”
I don’t hate horses. I don’t hate horses riders. Horses have been riding in the Decorah Trail System for years and before Mountain Bikes were even around. I don’t like riding through a huge pile of horse #^&* because it is right in the middle of the trail. I don’t know about other bike tires, but if I am unlucky enough to get the smallest amount of #^&* on mine, they somehow become devastatingly accurate catapults taking aim at my ears, eyes, nose, mouth and water bottle. It is horribly amazing.
The fact is that people have to clean up after their dogs on a city sidewalk or in a home owner’s yard, and the trail user groups should show and receive the same respect. I was impressed last month when installing the sign posts for Backside when a man approached with his dog and stopped to visit and praise our work. He was carrying a walking stick and a shovel. A shovel. A shovel to remove dog #^&* from the trails. As we visited a little more I learned that he was a horse person and not only does he clean up after his dog, but he makes sure to clean up after other people’s horses when he comes across a huge stinking pile of someone else’s mess. I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow and golf clap. Fine job good sir!
Anyways, back to the Horse/No Horse signs. The fact is that the trails in Decorah are carefully built. Sure, it’s a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts walking around the woods with rakes, shovels and sticks on the weekends, but there is a lot of thought that goes into trail building. Since most of our geography includes hillsides we have a lot of “off-camber” trails. This helps with watershed, but some sections must be carefully built in order to sustain rainfall and water run off. And while our “Off-Camber”ocity helps with watershed, it forces us to use a lot of shoring. Depending on the angle, if water can run off it, the ground it self will erode down hill. We control this with shoring, and this isn’t just rocks and sticks laid in a row to guide your path. Many times we have to drive stakes into the ground and find nice long pieces of downed trees to lay into the ground, fill the trail with dirt, smooth it down and pack it, then repeat until the trail becomes ride able or run able. This is a very labor intensive process and we have built some very sustainable trails over the years. Our trails are very sustainable in regards to watershed, freezing, hikers, runners, and bicycles.
- Park Vandalism: A Trail Use sign torn from a tree.
Unfortunately: the majority of trails we are capable of building can not sustain a 1,000 to 2,000 pound animal with feet the size of a soup can. We just don’t have the ability, the time, the equipment, the geographical layout or the resources to build a sustainable trail to handle that kind of load. The Prairie Loop,
So I hope everyone understands that the issue of “Horse” vs. “No Horse” on the trails should not be a disagreement of opinions, but rather physics. And the logos on the signs DO NOT translate into “Screw You, Horses!” It simply means that heavy animal traffic will destroy the trail and make it unsafe and unusable for other user groups.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tis' the season to make our annual homage to the birthplace of our savior, Randy's Bluffton Store. We will be meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday January 1st (further details forthcoming on the departing location)for a casual ride to Bluffton, where we will eat, drink and be merry. The ride home will be even more casual as reindeer games often ensue. Be prepared to make a whole day of it, the route home can be tricky.
This is the most funnest ride of the year, why not get it over on the first day of the year, so you have nothing left to look forward to for the rest of the year.
Here are a few pics from last year, just in-case you can't remember.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It is time to get the leaves off the trails. Most of the work has been done with only a few sections left to be completed.
They are as follows:
Lower Palisades, Middle Palisades, Upper Palisades, Smebys and The Loophole (Larsons).
Little Big Horn from the top past the log ride (There is a rake by the fire pit that can be used for this section, so you don't have to lug one up on a ride)
If you need to borrow a leaf blower contact, Jeff 380-1495 or Deke at Oneota River Cycles 382-0421.
Pitch in and do your part or Karma will bite you in the ass and make you crash.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Congratulations to former Decorah rider "Flip" - aka Matt Busche
From Tosa to the Tour: Busche joins Armstrong's Team RadioShack
Matthew Busche confirmed Wednesday morning that he has signed on to race the 2010 season with Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack.
The move will take the Wauwatosa cyclist from the local Tour of America’s Dairyland to the top level of international cycling and possibly the Tour de France, in one short year. Busche, 24, will be racing with cycling stars Armstrong, Chris Horner, Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer on the squad formed earlier this year.
Team manager Johan Bruyneel, who guided Armstrong to seven Tour de France victories, contacted Busche after the Wauwatosa West alum raced to a surprising fifth place finish in the U.S. Pro Cycling Championship in August.
“I was definitely not expecting to be receiving a call from RadioShack or have a chance to ride for RadioShack after a half-season of racing pro for Kelly Benefits,” Busche said in a phone interview.
“Lance is obviously an icon in the sport and Levi and Chris Horner have years of experience,” he said. "I’m going to do my best to soak it all in and learn from them and Johan as much as I can.
“There’s probably not a lot of better people out there to learn from tactically and strategically as far as racing sense goes. It’s probably one of the best opportunities a cyclist could have.”
Busche plans to finish up the semester studying physical therapy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, then follow the schedule for his development role on one of the world’s elite cycling teams. Step one will be to sort through the emotional whirl and magnitude of the leap through the cycling ranks.
When he begins training with Armstrong et al, he will be just two years removed from racing for the ISCorp team in the Wisconsin Cycling Association series.
“You only get an opportunity to ride for a team like this once in a lifetime,” he said. “You have to take that leap of faith.”
To see the original story: click here
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I saw this stuff on the internet today - I don't know why I'm throwing it up on here, maybe because I don't have any actual Bike pictures of my own to share. Oh Well, enjoy!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
If you've rode Van Peenen lately, you've noticed that there are some trees down and some changes to the fencing in the top sections. I tried taking a picture of this tree that landed right on top of the little jump in the last 40 yards of Upper Pali, but it was a little dark. The very top part of Smeby's is blocked off due to a new barb wire fence that was recently moved over into the trail. There will be a work day to re-route the trail coming up and clearing out the downed trees.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Steven's Point is about 3 to 3 1/2 hours away from Decorah. Some of the local hooligans and I spend a few hours a week in Travis's shed out at his farm, riding, making stuff, jumping over each other, etc. I assume this proposed new facility won't allow riders to be Drinking beer, but ya know it is in Wisconsin...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
The August Meeting this year consisted of a Pines Time Trials. Doug and Trevor tied, so we had to come up with a tie breaker. So, Chewy loaded up the Xtracycle with a couple pieces of firewood and we sent Doug out through the Pines East. Then Trevor rode the wood hauler. Both lost the load somewhere on the trail, and they tied again. We started to figure out the next round of tie breaker, but we cared more about drinking beer than actually determining the winner.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Start at the Van Peenen Fire Pit and head north on the Prairie Trail.
At the end, and big left turn and into the West Pines.
Through the West pines and right into the East pines for a full loop, dumping you out back at the Fire Pit.
Hard right and over into Little Big Horn. From here it is the normal loop of LBH, Dustbowl, North 40, Gunnar, Julia, and back out on top at the Fire Pit.
That's 1 lap, about 4.5 miles.
The race is 2 or 3 laps. Grill out to follow. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Summer Sizzler –
We got behind the 8 ball on this one. The problem is that even though we have a large number of mtn bike riders in Decorah and a lot of names on the e-mail list, we have few active contributors. The support necessary to promote this event never surfaced. That being said, we decided to have the race anyway but in a much less formal manner than last year.
- Race starts at 12:00 Noon at the Van Peenen Fire Pit
- Registration 11:30 – 12:00 Noon Same Place
- Free Will entry fee
- 2 or 3 Laps
- Cook Out to Follow – Bring Food and Beverages
Bandit Trail work –
There has been some work don to the River Trail, Dust Bowl, and Little Big Horn lately that was not approved by the group. While we appreciate help and need as much as we can get, unapproved trail work is a problem because:
- All of our trails must be approved by Park & Rec. A plan for the existing trail system was presented and approved last year. We are allowed to build trails in some areas and not in others. We need to gain approval for anything additional.
- Since we’ve been granted rights to build trails in the park system, anything that is built or done in the Parks is accredited to us – Good AND BAD.
- Some of these trails take a lot of work to build sustainably. When a person comes and starts moving logs and stick, they could be tearing out shoring and stakes (as was the case with Dirty Harry on Dustbowl). Be sure you’re not doing more damage than good.
- Some things like the log ride were taken down for insurance and accountability reasons and should not be re-built and left up there.
A possible solution is to post a To-Do list online (Blog) so that people who want to help can easily find out what needs to be done.
The maps need to be re-done. The Trail Names are finalized and will be placed on the Kiosks. In Addition to Bike/Hike trails, we are going to show the Horse Trails on the Maps. The reason for this is while the trails are becoming better marked, the Maps will help indicate where the Horses can be and where they cannot be. There is roughly 7 miles of trails in the park system that can physically sustain Horses. We will identify these on the maps in hopes that they will not ride on and damage the nearly 10 miles that cannot physically sustain horse traffic. The Kiosks will also post the Rules, Fines, etc.
O’Gara has secured $2000 for trail marker signs that will be installed throughout the park system. The markers are a high visibility and very durable fiberglass 2-sided post. They will have the trail name and the official Park & Rec logo. The initial estimated cost was around $2300. DHPT may need to find a way to come up with the remaining $300.
I have about 8 T-Shirts left that were ordered and never claimed. I will be dropping them off at Deke’s shop on Friday afternoon to sell – First Come First Serve. If you ordered one and still want it, contact me before then.
Deneb and Sarge have found another grant that we can apply for worth $1000, we’ll be needing someone to write it and a decision on what to do with the money. Ideas are for the mobile tool trail tool trailer, push lawn mowers, event prmotions, and I’m sure there will be more to come.
The City of
Monday, August 3, 2009
- The upcoming Summer Sizzler
- Bandit Trail Work/Vandalism
- Ragbrai 2010 Amongst other things
Bring something to grill or drink.
Hope to see you there.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I got a shot of the big silver bean thing in Millennium park.
I ran into a group ride as I was bar hoping in Downtown Chicago.
I wish I would have thought to bring a bike.
Finally, I was able to get out and do some trail trimming. The River trail gets pretty bad just where it cuts off from the original hiking trail. It was too much for the weed eaters, I'll have to get the DR out there to finish it off.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This Saturday July 18th we will be having a ride/party at the O'Gara Ranch. We will leave for a group ride at 3 p.m from the O'Gara residence, groups will split to allow a good comfortable pace for all. Beers, food, fire and more beers will follow at my place. Everyone is invited, even those creepy out of town folk, as pictured.