Saturday, December 22, 2007

Brewmaster for a Day

Today I decided to play the part of brewmaster, and make a batch of beer. It's been around 2 years since I last brewed, and homebrew was sounding good to me. So I jotted down the ingredients for an IPA, and yesterday I stopped at a homebrew supply shop in Warren.

First I gathered up some necessary supplies.

I also arranged a few other items that I felt may come in handy.
Equipment was cleaned and sanitized. The sanitizing solution looks eerily similar in color to the beer I'd brew.
I make beer by using malt extracts (the cans and the bag of beige powder in a previous photo). This saves quite a bit of time over brewing all-malt. However, I do use some specialty grains in my brew. This gives beer some of it's flavor.

This particular recipe called for toasted malted barley, and crystal malt. The grains had to be cracked, and put into a cloth "sack" for use in steeping.
The "sack" of crushed grains, ready to go.
I filled the kettle with 6 gallons (5 gallon batch with allowance for some to boil off) of water, and turned on the heat.
The "sack" getting dropped in. This steeps for 15 minutes at 150 degrees F.
The spent "sack".

Bubble bubble toil and trouble...

Add the extract, boil for 50 minutes, adding hops at various points.

A shot of the "brewmaster". It's just about almost noonish... time for another beer!

After the boil, the wort needs to be brought down near room temperature. The faster the better, to avoid haze and lessen the risk of contamination. I use an immersion chiller, essentially 25' of copper tubing coiled up, with cold fresh water flowing through the tube. This will cool the wort in just under a half hour.
Usually I do this outside, but the ho's was froze, so I had to use the basement faucet.

Taking a reading of the initial gravity. This, combined with the final gravity after fermentation, can be used to estimate the alcohol content.

Racking the wort into the carboy for fermentation.
Pitching the yeast.

Airlock in place. The primary fermentation should be started by tomorrow mid morning, and finished in just under a week. Then will come a 1 week long secondary fermentation, then bottling. Stay tuned for progress updates.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Goals for Next Season, and Some Skiing

My goals for next season are as follows:
  1. Set up and follow a structured training plan
  2. Be between 145lbs and 150lbs by the Pontiac Lake TT
  3. Race in, and finish, the Lumberjack (under 10 hours would be nice)
  4. Top 15 in Singlespeed at Iceman (I'd need to finish in ~1:50 to acheive this)
  5. Top 2 in Sport/Beg Singlespeed - USAC XC series
  6. Enter a race in Expert by the end of the season, and finish in the top half
  7. Help TSB win the USAC team award!

To aid in meeting these goals, I have a "Hamster Cage" down in the basement. This consists of a set of rollers, a trainer, a treadmill, and a bench and weights. Of course, when the weather cooperates I'll take my training outside. I'm currently reading "The Mountain Biker's Training Bible", by Joe Friel. After only reading the first 4 chapters thus far, I can already see a number of things I've been doing wrong.


On Sunday, I took advantage of the new snowfall and waxed up the cross country skis. A slow drive later, I found myself at a familiar locale: the West Branch parking lot at Stony Creek. I had never skied Stony before, and was eager to give it a go. Last year, I skied 2 or 3 times on the Polly Ann trail (a rail-trail), and that was the first I had x-c skied since the winter of 1998-99. Because of this, my stride was... shall I say... less than graceful. Fortunately for the most part there were nice tracks cut in from earlier skiers.

I looped around the outer perimeter to start. This was the easier and flatter section of trail; the trails in the middle of the mountain bike/ski area tend to be hillier. This allowed my legs to get used to the motions, and for the body and muscles to warm up. The only real hiccup here was when I got to the golf course. Just past the starter building (which will also serve as the ski hut when the renovations are finished), the trail basically disappeared due to drifting. This forced me to break new trail for a bit over a mile. Not the easiest thing to do.

After finishing the "outer loop", about 6 miles, I found myself back at the parking lot. I ate a Cliff bar, and set out to do a loop of the more advanced and hillier trails in the middle of the ski/bike area. Surprisingly, I was quickly able to "re-learn" the herringbone technique for climbing hills. The downhills that followed added an adrenaline rush also. I finished the "inner loop", and estimate that I had put in roughly 11 miles. Legs were sore, especially my inner and outer thighs, and toes were on the verge of developing blisters. But, I had a great time, enjoyed seeing very familiar trails in a new way, and am now hoping for some good snow throughout the winter.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I'm a Dirty Boy

22 miles of dirt roads in northern Oakland County.

Friday, November 30, 2007

An Iceman Photo

Photo courtesy of Matt Mccluskey.

Monday, November 12, 2007


This past weekend saw me in northern Michigan, for the Iceman Cometh Challenge ( The Iceman is a point-to-point race starting in Kalkaska, and finishing 27.5 miles of fireroads, 2-track, dirt roads, singletrack, sand, and hills later in Traverse City. This would be my first time racing the Iceman, so I kept my goals simple: finish, have fun, and try to finish in less than 2 hours 15 minutes.

We left for Traverse City after work on Friday, and rolled into town about 8:00. I picked up my registration packet, we stopped to pick up a couple beverages, checked into the hotel, and settled in for a quiet evening. Unfortunately our late arrival meant that we missed the team dinner Friday night. I would've liked to go, but unfortunately I had to work.

Saturday morning we woke up and ate the continental breakfast at our hotel. Here we ran into my teammate Todd Shorkey (see link to his blog on the right) and his wife. We chatted for a few and wished each other good luck. I also ran into Steve from the group.

After breakfast, we drove over to Kalkaska, where the start of the race was. As this was my first time doing Iceman, I wanted to get there with plenty of time. We arrived just over an hour before my wave was scheduled to start, leaving me plenty of time to get prepared, do a brief warm-up, use the porta-john, and still have time to get staged fairly close to the front of my wave.

In the starting gate, I was lined up next to Tim from the Cycletherapy team. He is also one of the crew, and I ride with him and Steve on an occasional Thursday night at Pontiac Lake. Tim is fast, and I knew it was going to be tough to keep with him for long. But him and I had similar plans for the race: get a good start, try not to kill ourselves early on, and save something for the hills towards the end.

BANG... not really (no gun)... we were off. Usually I'm a slow starter, preferring to take it easy off the line and settle into a good pace, letting the fast starters come back to me later in the race. This wasn't the case this time. I hit the gas good off the start, and hung with Tim as we worked our way through the pack: passing some, passed by others. The start... I wasn't fully prepared for the hectic nature. 100+ singlespeeds, and a handful of tandems (yes, people ride and race tandem bicycles offroad, and for Iceman they start them along with the singlespeeds) all flying off the line and holding a fast pace. Legs spinning like a mad hamster on crack, we were moving at 18mph+ for the first couple miles (I'm sure the top guys were a good amount in excess of 20mph).

I found my rythym at about 2 miles in, and settled in. About 5 miles or so in, we hit a stretch of singletrack (there is very little singletrack on the Iceman course). Usually singletrack is a blast to ride, and this bit was nice and smooth, just twisty enough to keep it interesting... basically the stuff that invites you to just boogy through it with a grin on your face. Not so at Iceman. Picture a line of bicycles moving oh-too-slowly through a tight spot where passing is all but impossible. And to top it off, at the end there was a short grunt hill, after a 90 degree left turn. The type of hill you need to carry momentum into to make on a singlespeed. I did my best approximation of a cyclocross dismount, run, and mount here, and actually was able to pass a couple riders in this fashion. This was also the first of 2 hills that I did on foot. Just after this point, I realized that a faint buzzing/pinging noise was coming from my bike. I quickly discovered that my bottle cage was coming loose. I pulled out my bottle of HEED (Hammer Nutrition's energy/electrolyte drink), and stuffed it into my jersey pocket. So much for easy access. Luckily my water was in a Camelpack (nice easy access), and there were enough flat open spots so I could safely access my bottle.

A short while later, I lost contact with Tim when we came to a group of slower riders. He got around them easily, while I struggled... then he was gone. I decided to keep riding my pace: hard, but something I was confident in being able to maintain for the duration. I kept passing slower riders, but mainly enjoyed a hard ride through some pretty northern Michigan forests.

Just over halfway in, I came to the Williamsburg road crossing. This was a popular spectating point; people were lined up on both sides, and there was an announcer calling out riders' names and hometowns. The announcer butchered my last name (no suprise). Oh, and by the way, the crossing is at the top of a hill. Just past Williamsburg Road, there was a tight switchback downhill. This was the only point other than the aforementioned climbs where I had to put a foot down. I felt bad for the riders behind me, and thought about the fact that switchback decents are something I really need to work on next year. About this time, the headache kicked in. Actually my head was starting to feel goofy a couple miles prior, but just after Williamsburg Road, it started to get bad. In hindsight I don't think I stayed well enough hydrated from Friday afternoon till the start of the race. I tried my best to ignore this, and just ride my race.

The next bit passed by uneventfully, until about 7 miles from the finish when I saw a Cycletherapy jersey ahead. I had caught up with Tim! We rode together for a while, then we came to a "mother" of a hill. People were two, even three abreast walking up the hill. Tim and I both said something along the lines of "bleep it", dismounted, and started walking. No running at this point in the game, walking was what I could muster.

At the top, I remounted and resumed riding. I also pulled away from Tim, and as it would turn out this was the last time I'd see him during the race. Here, I knew there were only about 3, maybee 4 miles left. Good thing, as a touch of nausia started to set in. In fact, I pretty much spent the remainder of the race trying not to chunk all over my bike. I also caught and passed 2 more riders in my class.

The finish snaked it's way for a mile or so through a campground resort, before we finally crossed a bridge, did a couple right hand turns, and crossed the line. In a moment of stupidity, I took the last turn too hot, and did a "slide into home" move. Nobody close behind me, nobody in front of me, why didn't I just ease up and finish... dumb, dumb, dumb. Gouged my knee up and blew a hole in my tights.

When I crossed the line, I noticed that there was a clock next to the course. A little bit of cyphering had me guessing that my time was just south of 2:05... much better than I thought I'd acheive! I leaned my bike against a tree, and made my way into the refreshment tent, where I ran into my teammate Todd (see link to the blog "Todd" on the right). He had moved up to Expert for this race, and therefore finished before me. I also looked around for Brandy, but didn't see her. In fact I didn't find her for about 20 minutes or so, and she missed seeing me finish the race. She got a little lost finding the place, and neither of us were expecting me to finish as fast as I did.

They posted the results a short while later: my time was 2:02:10, which put me 24th out of 104 riders in Men's Singlespeed!

After getting changed, we found (eventually) the team tent. We hung out, talked about the race, and waited to watch the Pro class to finish (they start significantly after everyone else, mainly for that reason). Lemme tell you, beer hits you hard when you are dehydrated and have little food in your belly! But, the beer was tasty, the company was great, and watching the Pro riders finish was awesome. The winner finished over a half hour faster than I did!.

We went back to the hotel, cleaned up, and headed over to the house that two teammates had rented for the after party. Low key, teammates, spouses, and a couple other friends hanging out. Perfect way to finish off a great weekend of racing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Massive Fallout

This is how I spent my Sunday.

Massive Fallout Group Ride, October 28, 2007

This was a group ride that started as a brainstorm of a couple of guys that I ride with on Wednesday. They initially posted it as an informal gathering, but as interest grew, the ride grew. Word is that over 150 people total showed up for the ride. The route took us through Oakland County from Rochester up to Lake Orion/Lakeville, with options to ride the trails at Bloomer Park, Stony Creek, Bald Mountain, and Addison Oaks.

I met up with my teammates Curt, John, Mike, and Jay at the start point, the Rochester Mills Brewery. We, and a few others including another singlespeeder named Tim, set off at about 9am. As things were still damp from the day before, we elected to skip Bloomer and headed straight to Stony. This made for a nice warmup on the roads, and we hit first singletrack about 3 miles in. Stony was tacky, with some leaf cover. My Q was handling excellently, as I chased Tim through the singletrack.

We regrouped at the end of Stony's fine singletrack, ducked out the fence, and took Sheldon Road to Gunn Road to the Paint Creek Trail. The Paint Creek Trail (a rail-trail) took us towards Lake Orion, where a short singletrack connector took us out to Stony Creek Road. Here Curt and I believe Mike got seperated from the rest of us, and we headed to the main Bald Mountain trailhead at Harmon Road. We rode the entire loop of Bald Mountain North (we would later find out that Curt and Mike rode the "top" half). Bald Mountain was fun, albiet a bit greasy in parts. Just after we crossed over Harmon Road, we came to a bridge, at the bottom of a short downhill. This bridge, and basically all other wood encountered on the ride, was wet from Saturday's rain. It was here where John got a quick "reminder" that wet wood was slippery! I was right behind him, and luckily was able to stop in time to avoid him. He was ok, however he broke a rail on his saddle. He did finish the ride, although it was a bit more painful than he would've liked.

Curt and Mike were waiting at Addison when we rolled in. Regrouped, we headed out for a loop of Addison's singletrack. This trail is fast with a very good flow. Paul the trail coordinator has done an excellent job with this trail: challenging when taken at speed, and with not a lot of gratuitous things to rob you of your speed.

After Addison, discussions occurred, and Mike and Tim left while Curt, John, Jay and I decided to do a "4 Corners" loop. This is a 4 mile loop that takes you up Lake George, west on Drahner Road, south on Barr Road, and east on Indian Lake. Oh, and there is a fair bit of climbing on this section (see the segment from about mile 30 to mile 35 on the below elevation plot).

We finished up the "4 Corners", rode down Lake George, did the segment of Bald Mountain from Lake George to Harmon Road. A few miles of roads took us back to the Paint Creek Trail, which we rode back into Rochester. After 52.79 miles (by my computer), and 4 hours 10 minutes of riding time, we loaded up our bikes, changed clothes, and relaxed at the brewery with some food and a couple pints.

Curt's GPS plot of the route. He lost the data prior to Stony Creek, and took a slightly different route from me by Bald Mountain (near where the blue lines form an "X" at the top, to the right of the cluster of lakes)

Curt's GPS elevation plot.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

50 Miles on the Q

Thursday's ride put me just over 50 miles on the new bike, and I'm loving the handling so far. I still need the proper length stem, and that should put things at perfect.

Wednesday night was the weekly Stony Creek group ride. I did my usual one lap of the singletrack before heading down to meet the group. After my "pre-lap", I rode down to meet the group, where my bike had a few admirers. We did a lap of all the singletrack, all of which had to be completed with lights due to the darkness.

Thursday was the weekly group ride at Pontiac Lake. Due to an off-site meeting ending early, I was actually able to make the 4:30 early lap (main lap is at 6~6:15). For the first lap, I rode with "Duke" and "Abbeytrails" (screen names). We kept to a leisurely pace, stopping fairly often. This didn't stop me from letting 'er rip on a few of the descents. Riding at PLRA reinforced the fact that the headtube angle change was the right thing to do. I was able to take some of the moderate/high speed corners with more confidence than I could with the Rig. Also, although this topic is highly debated, I am now a believer that frame material does make a difference in feeling impacts from the trail. The aluminum frame Rig felt much harsher than the titanium framed Quiring. Don't get me wrong, there is no mistaking the fact you're riding a hardtail, it's more of a dulled "thud" with the Quiring than the sharp "whack" with the Rig.

I rode the 2nd lap with "Gearless" and "Gears What Gears", and the pace quickened up quite a bit (Gearless is quite fast). We also stopped less frequently and for shorter durations. At one of our usual stopping points, the Campground Road crossing about 4 miles in, we bumped into a beginner who had probably one of the best attitudes about riding that I've seen in a while. She was waiting while her husband went to get their truck. It was starting to get dark, they had no lights with them, and the first 4 miles took it's toll on her. Although beaten by the trail this time, she stated that she needed to come back so she could finish it. The 3 of us all felt that this woman would be riding for quite some time to come.

We had to turn our lights on about 2/3 of the way through the trail, and finished by the glow off our helmets and the nearly full moon. My first experience riding PLRA at night.

Two great rides in two days with two great groups, loving the way your new bike handles, life is good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quiring - Built and Ridden

Saturday, my new Quiring got built up into a proper bicycle. A big thanks to the Bicycle and Fitness Barn in Port Huron for work on the build, and my teammate Lee for loaning me the stem (bleeping Bontrager "non-square" stem causing the headset race to not want to sit square).

Yesterday late afternoon I took the Q for her maiden voyage. I went to Stony, since I tend to put in most of my miles there.Overall, I was very impressed with the handling. Steepening up the headtube angle from that of the Rig made a big difference. The Rig wanted to fight me when things got twisty: the Q wants to find the line quickly and hold it. Also during climbing, the Q seemed to track much straighter; the Rig wanted to wander. I didn't see any issues with tracking at higher speeds. A few tweaks still need to be made, mainly fine-tuning of saddle position and a new stem. The borrowed stem is longer (by 20mm) and shallower (by 5deg) than my Bontrager stem. Based on the maiden voyage, I will be going back to my original stem length and angle.

Side view

Profile view

Chris King / Quiring Cycles money shot

Mandatory drivetrain shot. Surly cog to replace cheap Shitmano BMX cog coming soon.

Thomson seatpost porn.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Frame

My new frame arrived yesterday. Just over 7 weeks from deposit to delivery. The workmanship is excellent, and if it rides even half as nice as it looks, I'll be very happy. Scott was great to deal with, promptly returning my calls and answering emails. He is very knowledgeable about bikes, and willing to work with the customer to give them what they want.

So here she is: 3 3/4 lbs of beautifully welded together polished titanium. Singlespeed only, Paragon sliding drops, built around a Rock Shox Reba fork, geometrically similar to my Rig but with the headtube angle steepened by a degree. The build-up will take place over the weekend, and "first dirt" should be seen on Monday.

Photos courtesy of Scott Quiring.

Overall view

Closeup of the downtube logo

Bottom bracket - no creaky eccentric here!

Downtube logo

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stupid Pet Tricks

A couple photos of our "special" cat Onyx, taken a few years ago.
Which half do you want?

I'm thirsty.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Blue Dots - Part 2

Friday night was spent sitting around a fire, enjoying a few tasty beverages, and sharing stories of riding. Stories from High Country Pathway rides past floated around.

Everyone woke up Saturday morning, and got ready for the day's ride. Cars were loaded with food and water, and would be staged at a couple points along the route. Riding attire was donned. Last minute adjustments were made to bikes, which were then loaded into/onto cars, and we caravaned out to Osmun Road.

Jeff making last minute adjustments. Little did he know that he would be finishing the ride short a few gears.

Unloading at Osmun Road.

From Osmun Road, we headed west for a stretch before the trail turned to the south. Things were tight in stretches here, and there was the occasional boardwalk and wet root cluster to keep you thinking (or walking).

A stretch of boardwalk gets ridden.

Leafs over wet roots had us walking this stretch.

We continued along through a flat section for a couple of miles. Things opened up and became more rolling after a while. We had the occasional log down to ride over, some ferny sections, a bit of hardwood, and the occasional missed blue dot (doh!)
Nice stretch of singletrack.

We went down this little hill.

Through a series of rolling hills, we gradually climbed until we came to this overlook. Here was a good spot for everyone to regroup before continuing on.

Tom gives a thumbs-up at the overlook.

From here we rode along a ridge and past the Pine Grove State Forest campground. We eventually came to another overlook, where the group stopped to have a bite to eat.

Emerging from the woods approaching the overlook.

Milling about up top.

Looking out from up top.

Time to change color yet?

After refueling our bodies, we enjoyed a series of fast downhills through a couple fields before heading into the woods again. Once back in the woods, we went through a series of hills. One in particular was of the "you have got to be kidding me" variety.

Rooty, steep, and long meant that we were climbing this one on foot.

The top of that climb brought us to the Shingle Mill Pathway, which we rode for about 6 miles. The Shingle Mill Pathway is actually a series of loops (we rode the western side) that is used as a cross country ski trail in the winter. This meant things were open and fast for 6 miles. This started with a screaming downhill which had us well in excess of 20mph (approaching 30mph at one point). We then rode through some swampy lowland, complete with a long, but thankfully wide boardwalk. We had a couple of short climbs, and ended the Shingle Mill portion at the parking lot near the Pigeon Bridge Campground (regretfully closed this summer due to DNR budget cuts). Here was the spot of the first car, and we took a nice break to eat, stretch, and refill hydration packs.

Boardwalk on the Shingle Mill

Me at Pigeon Bridge. This is where my ride ended during the summer ride (going the other direction).

We left Pigeon Bridge and rode through an open stretch of forest. The trail had a great flow, and some good hills to go down or grunt up. A general uphill trend took us to the location of an old fire tower. The fire tower is gone, but if you search around you will find parts of the old foundation.

At the fire tower site, a good spot to regroup.

From the fire tower, we descended for a bit, climbed a bit, rode a ridge line stretch, and then descended into the swamps again. Here were more boardwalks... a bunch of them. There was one long one which I rode this time. An accomplishment, as I walked the entire couple hundred yards of it in the summer. There was then a few short sections of boardwalk, and a really gnarled section of roots. On one of these boardwalks I went down, HARD. I got some speed, lifted my front wheel to set it on the boardwalk, didn't get my wheel high enough... bike stopped... I didn't! A handlebar/thigh meeting gave me the mother of all charlie horses, and this would twinge when I would pedal (or push my bike). After sitting for a few, I got back on the bike, determined not to let this stop me.

We climbed out of the lowlands, and rode some miles through a stretch of trail that had an excellent flow. This went on for a few miles, until we were spit out onto County Road 622. Here was the second car where we rested, refueled, and prepared for the ride (hike) up Rattlesnake Hill. The climb up Rattlesnake Hill is another of the "you gotta be s^*#ing me" variety. Long, steep at parts, with a loose slope filled with gravel and baby head sized rocks to finish things up. Yep, hike-a-bike fore sure!

Me atop Rattlesnake Hill. You can see for about 20 miles, especially when it's as clear as it was for this ride.

Some of the group on top of Rattlesnake Hill.

We were treated to some fast, and perhaps the hairiest, downhills of the day coming off Rattlesnake Hill. Things became flatter, we had a section through some ferns, another tangle of unrideable boardwalks and roots, some sweet singletrack, before we were ultimately dumped out onto 622 again. Here the crew voted, and we elected to forgo the last couple of miles crossing over M33, instead electing to take the back way into the park. We were getting pretty whupped by this point, and showers, beer, hot food, and stories around the campfire awaited.

Was it a good ride... no, it was a GREAT ride. Was it easy... hell no! Will I be back... hell yeah!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Blue Dots - Part 1

Back in June, I fell in love with a trail. The High Country Pathway to be exact. This trail is located north of Atlanta MI, is 80 miles in length, and has been declared an "Epic Ride" by the International Mountain Bike Association. The trail conquered me after only 28.5 miles in June. I learned a valuable lesson related to growlers of Docs ESB and bottles of Oberon on the eve of a long ride, and vowed to return.


I took a vacation day on Friday, left home before 10am, and had camp set up by 3. Looking for a way to enjoy a couple hours, I loaded up my camelpack, got changed, and set out riding. I chose to ride the section from the campground (Clear Lake State Park) up to Tomahawk Lake, east of M33. A gradual downslope took me out of the park, across M33, and after a left at the fork, I was headed North.

The first section was a series of climbs, perfectly makeable in my 36:20 gearing, that led to a little overlook.

At the top of this little section looking back.

About the post title "The Blue Dots": this trail is blazed by a series of blue dots. No blue dots - you're lost. Note the blue dot above my bike in the proceeding photo.

For the climbing, I was rewarded with a couple of fast decents, followed by a couple little climbs. The trail popped out onto a logging road, which I took to the left for about a hundred yards... no blue dots. Turn around, backtrack, and there less than 20 feet to the right of where I emerged onto the logging road... a blue dot. OK, back on track, and this diversion only cost a couple minutes.

Here, the trail ran through the lowlands, and followed a very old railroad grade. Here was also the first section of boardwalk I'd encounter this weekend.

Reads: "Note the vegitative changes caused by the railroad grade built in 1895.

Boardwalks: I rode this stretch, rode a few others, and walked some.

The trail opened up some after the RR grade, and I passed the location of the logging town of McPhee.
Things stayed open for a while, passing through a stand of jack pine. After this stretch, things got very thick and overgrown for a bit over a mile.

There is a trail here amongst these ferns, trust me.

This led to a clearcut, more trail through a pine stand, and then a slightly rolling section as I approached the Tomahawk Creek Flooding, a very scenic lake.

On the edge of a clearcut. Very rough trail surface through here.

The trail ran along a low ridge on the east side of the flooding. Very nice riding here; smooth, no face-slappers, good flow.

Tomahawk Creek Flooding.

A small but well placed stump played "photographer for this shot of me with the flooding in the background.

After this point, the trail ran through a long clearcut, picked up a dirt/sand road for a quarter mile, and went through a more open stretch of woods. Eventually I came to Tomahawk Lake Road, which I took to M33. M33 brought me south back to camp, through perhaps the worst stretch of the ride: road, southbound, and into a fairly strong south wind.

When I arrived at camp, others had shown up and set up tents. I took a quick shower, and spent the evening hanging out by the fire in preparation for the main ride the next day, the HCP Fall Fun 50.

To Be Continued...

Here is a map of the trail for your reference. Clear Lake State Park is located in the southeast portion, near where the trail crosses M33. Friday's ride took me up to Tomahawk Lake Road, in the northeast portion. The "Fall Fun 50" begins where the trail crosses Osmun Road, in the northeast portion, and we ride counterclockwise back to the campground.