Last Saturday, I was back home helping my dad get ready for winter. Living in rural northern Wisconsin is not easy, as there is always work to be done. On top of that, dad is getting a new hip put in today (good luck Dad!), so we were busy making sure everything was ready to go.
It was a gorgeous November day, about 52 degrees, sunny, brisk, and windy. I spent a good portion of the day working outside, doing roof repair projects, yard projects, etc. However, in the late afternoon, I just had to sneak away for a ride on what has become my local trail up there - the renowned Rock Lake Trail in the CAMBA system.
When I went over to the trailhead, it was almost empty, except for a truck. As I parked, I saw that the truck had a fresh blue Mukluk against the back, complete with framebag. Someone I know? I stopped, got out my own bike, walked over and said hi. His name was TJ, and I had never met him before. Nice guy. He offered to ride with me on the 11-mile loop.
For probably the last ride of the season on this trail, it was a great day to be out, while cold, the trails were fun, empty and surreal as during this time of year, all the leaves are down and you can see a long way through the forest.
TJ was awesome. He was just having a great time as we ventured out, telling me how much he loved his Mukluk, and how it has become the only bike he rides, casting aside a 29er hardtail. I was really enjoying riding with TJ. He was very positive, and just plain loved to be out on the bike, ripping singletrack. Hoots and hollers, I could tell he was just loving the trail this day.
TJ entering Wall Street...
Chatting as we rode, I found out he was up from Iowa visiting his father, helping with the same thing as me, getting the place ready for winter. Talking some more, we found out that our fathers knew each other, were friends, and only lived about a mile apart (which is close neighbors up here).
As we finished the spectacular ride, we both talked about how we just wanted to keep going, keep riding another loop, but had to get back for the responsibilities of normal life. TJ said he comes up a few times a year, and we agreed that we would have to coordinate, and ride together again whenever we are both in the area.
Thanks for the great ride TJ, and keep up that amazing positive attitude! It made my ride great.