Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oh what fun....

9zero7  This is an amazing bike.  No B.S., I love my new bike.  Yes it is light, but it rides extremely nice.

Also, Gamehaven is flipping fun!  We have a loop that includes everything you could want: singletrack, open, bridge (small), fun descents, and lake riding.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

You know you want it.

Did someone say they wanted a stupid light and fast cross bike? 2011 Trek Cronus CX only really ridden in 2012. 54cm. Pretty much all wear parts are new or nearly new. Bone stock with Sram Force, Avid Ultimate brakes, 17 pounds. Only one upgrade to an Apex rear Der to accept big cassettes for gravel riding. $1,750.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Member me?

It has been awhile since you and I have been able to take time out of your work day and waste time on the crap I may write.  It is not that I have layed down and let the world get me, more like I have too busy having fun with the family, Proto, making selfies on facebook, and future plans.

Last things first.  The last several years I have come to realize that my fat bike and winter races garner most of my excitement.  This year I have been all fatbike.    The biggest goal for the coming winter is getting into the ITI, Iditarod Trail Invitational.  

Well, I am in.  That is about the biggest cycling news I got.  This winter I'll be starting an endeavor that hopefully end 350 miles later in the heart of Alaska.  Lots of things to stress about with this race, lots.

I am riding Proto and having fun all the way.  You can go buy Proto's offspring now.  9zero7 with a 190mm rear is hot stuff.  I patiently wait for Proto's replacement as every needs a healthy dose of fiber!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gamehaven Trailwork Friday 6/28 6 pm

After last weeks rain out we will hopefully be back on track and at least slightly dried out for this Friday.   Same deal as the other weeks, we will meet in the cub scout parking lot off of CR 1.  I will have most of the tools with me, but bring a plastic yard rake if you have it, work gloves, and water.  It's also a good idea to have pants, long sleeves, and bug spray as we've found out the last few times.  We will be leaving the parking lot promptly at 6pm so get there a few minutes early.  Similar to last time we will be focusing on building actual trail as opposed to just clearing.  Any questions let me know.  And please pass this note on to anyone interested.  Thanks.
Matt Kurke

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chequamegon 100 cancelled.

From Tim Krueger Race Director:

Lots of questions coming in, there has been over 3 inches of rain in 24 hours, and we have decided to cancel the race. We will still be doing a 50 mile gentleman's ride on the less impacted trails, still finishing with a great party at The Rivers Eatery. The full event will be rescheduled for a time TBD in September. Feel free to still come up and join us! Thanks! Tim, Joe and Ben.


Wife convinced me to hit Buck last night as I was on the fence.  I've won the last 3 fat races there.  Go to bed late, family wakes up really early to thunder.  Good thing I wouldn't be riding my bike for 100 miles tomorrow on Chequamegon's awesome but tough trails as I sleep has already been in short supply this week.  Wait...oh crap.  Maybe I can go to bed really early.

Looks like we may get wet.  Fun times!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heres another chance...

New trails are do not make themselves:

We are planning another trail building session at Gamehaven on Friday at 6pm.  We meet in the boy scout parking lot and then drive to the build site as the lower path there is very flooded.   We had a good turnout last week and managed to rough clear most of the remaining trail.  This week we will focus on actual trail building.  Please bring a flexible yard rake if you have it.  We use those to basically scrape the organic (leaves, plants, sticks, and bark etc)  off of where the trail surface will be.  The reason for this is that as that organic stuff breaks down it can create soft spots in the soil that our tires tear right through.  So the plan will be to have some people raking ahead of others who are building.   Also please bring water, and work gloves.  If you have an axe those can be useful as well.  If you know anyone else that should be on this mailing list please forward this to them and have them get in touch with me as well. Thanks.


Matthew Kurke

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back to work

So yesterday marked my return to the bike shop as the wife was done with school. One goal this year is to ride more to work instead of thinking of bad excuses as to not or just resorting to laziness. Back at Frostbike I won this Timbuk 2 Medio commuting bag. I figured it was over kill. Day 2 back to work and I am stretching the limits with breakfast, lunch, nalgene, gear to teach Spinning in the morning, gear for the Tuesday night mountain bike hot lap, gear for work, u-lock, etc all stuffed neatly inside. Initially I didn't think it would hold much, but the bag kept expanding as I loaded the thing up. There are a ton of well sized and placed pockets all over this thing and the construction is far better than I would have guessed. Much of the bag seems waterproof and the thick shoulder straps almost feel better with all the weight (odd). I always thought these types of bags were hype, but I got to say this one is worth the price of admission from everything I can tell (for you as I got mine free sucker!).

Sunday, June 09, 2013

What's Charly riding?

This, this is what I am riding.  If there is dirt trail, it is with Proto I sail.  Proto is my prototype 186mm rear end frame/fork that has done me so well all winter.  A shout out to 9:ZERO:7 as their framesets and hubs are "da bomb" as the kids say.  You saw my drivetrain set up a few posts down, but that Wolf Tooth chainring still refuses to cause me grief.  For summer I got me some Neon 47mm trials rims to round out the Knard tires (it certainly is noticed and nice).  So far they seem very stiff, built up well, and they "claimed" to be fairly light (I didn't bother weighing them).  I am planning on trying a ghetto tubeless set up, but the lack of bead lock so far has got me doubtful.  I've managed some success so far this year, and I am quite pleased with this set up.

Now, the often asked question is "how much does it weigh?".  Honestly I do not know.  I assume it is under 30 pounds, but I do not know by how much.  Either way, I am fully loving my warm weather riding with proto.

That being said, I have been spending time dreaming of winter adventures....

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sniffle, sniffle. I want more trails to ride in Rochester.

 It is common for those in Rochester to whine about the lack of trails(me included), wishing there was more than Eastwood.  Well, it doesn't happen by magic, but instead by putting boots on the ground.  Here is your opportunity to help.

From Matt Kurke:

I will be coordinating a trailwork session at Gamehaven this Friday evening. I know it’s not the best day for it but it was the only time that worked with my work schedule and didn’t look like rain this week. We will only work for about 2 hours. The work will mostly consist of completely clearing the trail that was rough cut last fall so that the ditch witch can be used in shaping. So we will be pulling out stumps and further clearing overhang and undergrowth. If you have a chain saw and know how to use it please bring it along. Otherwise axe’s and loppers will be the tools to use. I will have some tools with me as well. Meeting in the scout parking lot. Bring gloves and water with as well. Any questions please email me @ If you know anyone interested please pass on this info and have them email me to be added to the contact list. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A jem, flem, and when?

So as you may expect, I am inundated with requests by companies to ride their products or simply mention them in a blog post.  There is no way I can sift through all the offers, so that is why I have an agent.  Well, I have been a fan of the 1x10 gearing for awhile, but I have not been fond of the current crop of chain guide systems designed for XC use.  Then I see news of Wolf Tooth and their drop stop chainrings.  "Perfect" I thought, I should call my agent and work out a big sponsorship deal.  Well, before I could find my phone in the stacks of money from other sponsors, it started thumping my "My Humps" ringtone.  On the other end was my agent with the newest crop of anxious potential sponsors.  Lo and behold, Wolftooth was mentioned. 

I ride, my bike gets dirty.

Well, after the deposit of the usual amount to my Swiss bank account I got my chain ring and proceeded to thrash it as best I could to prove it was worthy of the Charly stamp of awesomeness.  I now have several races, plus hours and hours of bashing  including slamming the thing into downed logs as I got my trusty Proto up and over.  I have this to report...nothing.  With my X9 clutch derailleur I cannot get the chain to move off the chain ring unintentionally.  The product just plain works.  After many frustrating moments with my MRP and other systems, I am super happy that I cannot not only ride with confidence in my drive train, but I can now remodel my guest house with the checks that are now rolling in.  So, if you want a 1x system without shelling out the Sram XX1 costs, I highly recommend taking your business to Wolf Tooth.  Also, I am excited for their future products that are to come out, but we'll have to wait for those....

This last 10 days I have been extruding gallons of glop out of my nose and lungs.  I think I am dealing with allergies, and some days are definitely worse than others.  No matter, my rides have suffered.

Also, is it premature for me to hope that my name will be added to this list?  I mean, can I expect people to already be dropping out so that I am no longer wait listed?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Buck Hill #3

So I had fun this weekend on Proto (my super sweet prototype 9:ZERO:7 186 bike).  Well, like a college frat boy downing beer bongs, I too had a wicked hangover.  Monday and Tuesday I woke up with an incredibly sore and swollen throat.  My body ached, I was exhausted, and had huge nasal pressure.  All thanks to a big hit from my allergies.  Wednesday was a bit better, and with Penn begging for more fat racers in the fat race I thought IF I were to head to Buck I would join the 3 lap fatties, not the 4 lap advanced.  My only disappointment would be knowing I wouldn't get my chance at Larry.  Well, just my luck he brought it to the fat race as well and it was game on. 

I'll tell you, the 20ish person start we had was SOOOOOO much nicer than the huge mess of the advanced start.  I led out and couldn't help but notice the 20 person line waiting to get in the singletrack STANDING at the top of the switchback climb as we hit the bottom.  The line cleared out just in time for us to start the process of picking through the back end of the advanced field that started 2 minutes ahead of us.  Hitting the the singletrack it was me in first, some advanced rider, and then Larry.  Not wanting to take advantage of the rider between us, I didn't try to move up until Larry got right on my wheel, then we started passing riders in the singletrack as they moved over to let us by.  At some point I heard some tangling behind me and realized Larry had some trouble.  Finished out the lap with Larry 10 seconds or so back.  After that it was a quagmire of riders that I would do my best to beat up the climb, coerce to let me by in the singletrack, and sprint by on the hill traverses.  I never saw Larry again, I rolled in for first, collecting beer vouchers in the process.  FYI, my breathing was not perfect, but quite a bit better.

And yes, I did go out for a 4th lap.   I did not race it as I was not racing, but I did keep pace with those around me.  The oddest thing was dabbing slightly in a corner towards the end and having my upper calf completely lock up for 10 seconds.  My calf is in a decent amount of pain still, I limp everywhere I go.  Such an odd thing to happen as I have not cramped since last year, much less in such a short race.

After the finish I think there is a new Tri Family tradition.  I roll through the parking lot cooling down with Abi my 4 year old on her Strider next to me, and me holding Seely in one arm.

Abi crushing it right at the start.  There were maybe 10 kids total, most out of view.

Abi would then go on to DOMINATE her kid's heat once again, finishing with second place out of view.  Brendan was a no show this week.  Probably because we had $5 riding on last weeks kid's race and my daughter whooped on his.  Will he hide from me all year trying to avoid paying me my money???

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 2

Danky dank, explore logging road, rock lake, patsy lake, namekagon, rock lake, pavement back. Almost another 4 hours of Northwoods flow and chunk with just me and Proto.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anti Epic

Hatchery Creek, Makwa, Seely Pass, New "Flow Trail", most of Ojibwe, pavement and dirt road home. Basically the Borah "epic" course plus more singletrack and road, BUT I did not pay $85 for the privilege. Seriously, $85 for a new 35 mile race? 35 miles is now epic? So confused.

Proto and I in a 4+ hour love fest.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Buck Hill #2

So far this year I have had real problems with my asthma twice, both at Buck.  Last week was about the worst I felt in a long, long time.  Our little Tuesday night hot lap had me feeling strong as I put in a time close to what I can do on a regular mountain bike, but with a tired body and fat wheels.  Buck time I got me a solid 90 second warm up.  My start was far from good, but better than last week.  I did almost get taken out by a few riders not accounting for the lead out terrain. By the top of the first switchbacks I was heavily gasping for air as my lungs tightened up and I went backwards.  I roughly maintained that position while gasping the first few laps and wishing in front of the wheels I had to follow in the singletrack.  It wasn't until lap 4 I could breath and off I went.  Last week I lost close to 2 minutes on the last lap as I suffered, this week I put a minute in to the closest rider on the 4th lap.

Gun Show, give me at least 2 laps of proper breathing and you'll see what you saw in the Sandwich

Yes, I used an emoticon.  Yes, Lance says grown men shouldn't use them.  However, I have 2 full sized testicles after years of drug free racing and Lance has one shrunken one.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Size matters?

Mtb, fat, and "holy crap" sized hubs. Building my second set of wheels with 9:zero:7 hubs. Bearing and freehub quality are second to none; highly recommend. Bearings spin for days (much better than the average high end hub) and have held up superbly. Freehub internals are much larger than average plus the pawl's give off that "not gonna bust me" loud clack/clack/clack. Tough, light, smoooooth.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A tale of three races.

My blogging has sucked lately.  OK, maybe it is not a recent thing.  Anyways, I've lined up for three races since you've seen this blog chugging along.

Dickie Scramble
A 120 mile gravel road race, much of it on roads I've been on, some of which I wanted to check out.  It was the first year running, things went well, roads were good (would have been better if not for the forced reroutes).  I ended up pulling out early after having extreme IT band pain up a climb around 50ish miles in.  Up until that the pace was modest and I felt no problems except the tightness in the leg muscles/IT band.  I spent the rest of the night stretching and dealing with the knee pain that comes with the tight IT.

Sandwich 50 ENDURO
Might I say, this is the most premier race that is not broadly covered on or  A 50 mile mountain bike race in my home town on the world famous Eastwood singletrack; also known as the MN endurance state championships.  I am rolling all fatty 9:zero:7 off road this year, and was unsure of the toll my body would take during a long mountain bike race with lots of accelerations and punchy climbs on a fat bike.  My goal was to start steady, and that worked out well as my body did not want to go into 5th gear.  I rode, talked smack, and watched the top 2 disappear into the distance for the first three laps.  After the 3 lap mark it seemed everyone around me slowed down and disappeared.  I was in 3rd place with no one anywhere in front of or behind me.  So, I set the body in "cruise", finishing out the last lap with a mouthful bacon and the burn of a bourbon shot from a mid lap pit stop.  I came away very happy with the fact I didn't even start feeling tired until the end of lap 5 (there were 7), and ended with plenty in the tank.  I am starting to think there is something to this proper sleep thing, as I felt great after a few nights of good sleep leading up to the race.  Also, 3rd on a fat bike in a field that contained roughly 10 Pro/cat 1's is not to shabby.

Thursday Nights at Buck #1
Remember that sleep thing I just mentioned?  My sleep lacked significantly the 3 nights leading up to Buck.  Add in I could tell my allergies were kicking in made me wish I had entered the 3 lap fat race and not the 4 lap advanced.  Well, after a getting bogged down way in the back at the start my chest tightened, mouth dried up no matter what, and I only went backwards.  I tried to rally, but my body only revolted worse.  I pitifully rode the 4th lap as I did not want to dnf, losing several minutes to those around me.  Not sure how I placed, but it was way way back.  This morning I woke as if I got hit by a truck, so either I am sick, or allergies are kicking my butt right now.  It is probably allergies.

Any who, that is that.  I got my hands on a cool new product that I'll mention here soon after getting at least another ride on.

Saturday, May 04, 2013