Many of you live in places where you can ride the dirt or pavement in lightly dressed comfort all year long. Your seasons bring mild change but both the trails and roads remain ride-able 365 days a year. Sure you might have to put on another layer, some long sleeves, arm and knee warmers, but that’s the extent of it.
Not here in Minnesota.
Here the Salsa Crew has been eagerly awaiting the end of winter and the real onset of riding season. Now I can hear some of you saying ‘You can ride all year long wherever you are’. And yes, that is true and we do.
Snow packed mountain bike trails are awesome and yes, it is possible to commute all winter long no matter what the temperature and conditions.
But that’s not the whole story. The bottom line is this. We are craving dirt trails and long road rides. No slush. No ice. No snow. Bring on Spring!
So today, on this first official day of Spring, we thought we’d each share a bit of what we’re hoping to do on the bike this coming season. Let us hear what your plans are as well!
Bobby: My Mariachi and I will get a chance to get out to the Fruita Fat Tire Festival again this year in April, which I’m very much looking forward to. Other than that I’ll be doing my regular family ride to the park, etc, and weekend warrior rides on the local trails. I’ve also got a buddy of mine that’s training for a tri and wants me to hit the pavement with him on some of his training rides. As long as he doesn’t wear a singlet, I may oblige.
Sean: My plans this year are to explore all the new singletrack around me. I also really want to work on technical skills, so I plan on getting a jump bike and hopefully hitting the jump park and maybe BMX track with some consistency. I’m looking forward to some great racing here in Minnesota too; on the road and on dirt. I think the terrain will suite me a bit better than my home turf of Tennessee. I would also like to get involved with some of the super long rides the guys do around here of up to 200 miles…sounds epic! Last I hope to head down to Durango, Colorado and hit up the trails around there with a friend that lives there now. I’m sure I’ll be able to convince some of the guys around here to go with me.
Kid: I’m looking forward to doing a bunch of off-road bikepacking. Mostly overnighters here in the metro to fit in with work and family life. The goal is one-a-month all the way through December. I’m also hoping to do a multi-day bikepacking trip up in the Chequamegon area. Traveling ultralight and just enjoying the trails, woods, and lakes up there.
Jason: Kokopelli…I’m taking a little trip to test some equipment and test the motor. It’s my precursor to the last item on my list.
Ma Daah Hey…A little family get away results in a day of riding the Ma Daah Hey. Old west meets big wheels
Uppqua Trail…BIKE Week..also knows as the Test Your Liver Tour. It’s my first time riding dirt in Oregon.
Colorado Trail…My personal challenge of distance, gear, endurance & mental determination. It’s also my birthday present from my wife for me turning 40 later this year.
Joe: Here are my plans, centering primarily around suffering on gravel and in this order.
Ragnarok,100 mile gravel race (1st attempt, training ride for TI)
Trans-Iowa 320 mile gravel race (3rd attempt, 1 finish, 1 failure. Will I finish? Will I have a mechanical? Will I have a physical?)
Almanzo, 100 mile gravel race (2nd attempt, 1 finish)
Great Divide Race, a long, long way (first attempt, once in a lifetime opportunity)
Recovery (I’m guessing I’ll be toast after GDR, but I’ll be craving singletrack)
Day ride to northern Wisconsin (Ryan and I did this for last year?s retreat, I would like to do it again)
Over-nighters (There will be several overnighters on the Fargo leading up to GDR, possibly for Ragnarok and Almanzo)
Dave: One of my goals is to commute 100 days by bike this year, which will be about 3,200 miles worth. Last year I lived further away from work and commuted 78 days and 2,900 miles. I also plan on doing some mountain bike races that I have never done before. I tend to do the same 24 hour and other races every year and I have grown a bit bored with them. It’s time to change things up this year.
E-Fred: This summer is the first one where I’ll get to take my daughter Nora for rides in the Burley trailer. I will also being doing some MTB events on my much anticipated Selma. The bottom line for me is always about just having fun with my riding.
Tim: This year, I have a few plans.
First and foremost, I set a mileage goal for the road this year. I have never done this before, but commuting helps me keep track. 3000 roadie miles for me, and as of today, I am 9% there.
Second, I plan to do more endurance MTB events. Through the past couple of years I found that my body is horrible at 15 mile races and absolutely loves 40+ mile races. So I plan to do a few WEMS races, 24/9 solo, Cheq 40, and possibly some Salsa 2-4, maybe with a duo or team.
Third, I plan to travel and ride to some places I have been meaning to get to. I really love travelling with my mountain bike. On my radar for this year is the Black Hills, I haven’t been there for 5 years. Also Maah Daah Hey, Decorah, Bozeman, Kokopellis, Fruita, Moab and CAMBA are going to be ridden by my Big Mama or El Mariachi this year.
David: I will be doing some local road racing early in the season through July to develop some core fitness for a riding trip to the French Alps before EuroBike. After EuroBike it’s cyclocross season and I’ll be doing about 15 races in Minnesota, Wisconsin and possibly cross nationals in Portland, Oregon. Once my cross racing season is over I’m going to use my frequent flier miles to go to Tabor, Czech Republic in January 2010 to attend the World Cyclocross Championships and visit Prague.
Events and rides I’m definitely doing are:
June 2-5…Self-supported riding/camping trip from Minneapolis to Thunder Bay, Canada
June 20…Horribly Hilly Hundreds 200K, Madison, WI
July…Self-supported trip on full length of Maah Dah Hey trail
August 24-29…Riding trip to the French Alps (Galibier, Alpe D’Huez, Ventoux)
August 30…Gruyere Cycling Tour, Gruyere, Switzerland
Sept 23…Cross Vegas Industry Race, Las Vegas, NV
Race my Kaboing in the Tinton Time Trial…June
Race the Dakota 5-O again…September
Get back out west for some DHing (missed doing a DH trip last summer for the first time in several years.)
Go sub-60 minutes on my commute from Salsa HQ to home via the Pistola. It’s 21.5 miles one way. Best time in 2008 was 64 minutes on a Casseroll.
Thor: Fortunately, this summer I am going to be ‘working’ as much as possible?.riding, talking, and thinking about bikes 24-7. Yes, life is just perfect. I started here about a year ago now and it has been a dream come true.
The majority of my biking plans for the summer revolve around local trail building. Memorial Park down in Redwing, MN has been a great place the past couple of years for my buddies and I to develop a freeride trail system and we have big plans to push that again this year. Last year we made good progress out there and put in an entire new gravity trail on a densely wooded bluff. This year we want to continue the development on that trail and hopefully have our own midwest ‘A-line’ style run to play on by the end of the summer. Not only do I want to build for myself, I am also building to provide a rad place to ride for everyone else. I am a strong believer that trail building is one of the best ways you can promote riding.
In addition to trail work, I am excited to ramp up my bicycle commuting this summer with my purchase of my very first home last fall. The new location has cut my commute in half and will help motivate me to keep my car in the garage. Coincidentally, I am doing some modifications to my La Cruz this afternoon to get it fully dialed in for the new commuting plans.
Lastly, I will hopefully join fellow engineer, Pete Koski, and others on at least one trip out west for biking. There aren?t any solid plans yet, but it sounds like we will head out to the Colorado area to get our mountain riding fix. Plus, the trip will allow us to justify spending all the money on our tank downhill bikes we have in Minnesota for some reason. :)
Overall, I am simply excited for the snow to melt and get back out riding. Just this afternoon a co-worker and I were discussing cutting up carpet and laying it on a local trail to ride in the wet conditions. After being cooped up indoors for the past 5 months, everyone is chomping at the bit to get out on their two-wheeler.
This post filed under topics: Road
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.