For those that don't know, the Maah Daah Hey is a 100+ mile mountain bike trail out in the Badlands area of North Dakota. It is very remote with stunning beauty and big open space. It's a special place to be sure. I love it and if you ever have the chance to go out and ride it, do it. You won't regret it.
My first run at the Maah Daah Hey was back in 2008. I took my orange Dos Niner.
This bike set up proved to be a perfect bike for the Maah Daah Hey. The 29" wheels ate up the country side and the 1" of travel on the Dos made it more comfy on the hoof battered sections of the trail. I had just received the then new XTR group (notice the uncut brake housing). All in all, a perfect bike for the Maah Daah Hey. It was a good trip, but I was in a different place with my fitness and the peak of my weight. I also carried a heavy pack on my back. The trail with its unrelenting short climbs and descents punished me.
Last year, I took a different approach because we were headed to Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. I took my trusty Fargo. I was really just out touring and taking pictures so it worked great. In fact, I loved the frame bag on it for my food and gear. This lightened up my load on my body. The Fargo ate up the terrain pretty easily. However, at times I wished I had a suspension fork on it. That said, I was in much better physical condition on this trip and had a blast.
This time, I think I have the perfect set up. I put a suspension fork and bigger tires on my titanium Bike With No Name that I built for the Dirty Kanza 200. I can't wait to hit the trail with this set up. I think it should be perfect this trip. We'll see. Come back next week to find out.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.