Icy roads? No problem for biking and running

With the reductions in municipal snow removal, the streets have been a bit of an icy mess for a while, but that’s no excuse for not continuing to bike and run.

My winter bike has Nokian Extreme tires with steel carbide studs he got them from a tire services. They’re not needed all winter long, but they work great on icy roads.

And winter biking is often in low-light or darkness, which makes it difficult to see all of the icy spots.  The Nokians add a layer of confidence that if you do hit the ice, you won’t hit the deck.

For running, I’ve added 11 sheet metal screws to the tread of an old pair of Nikes. The screws are short enough to not poke through. So far I haven’t lost a screw but I sure have worn some down.

There still is a little bit of slippage with these shoes when pushing off hard on the ice. I think a few more screws in the lower-forefoot might solve that.

The Race Across the Sky

It’s a little hard to believe how popular the Leadville bike race has become.

I called Cullen Watkins back in 1996 to see if he’d want to do some 100-mile mountain bike race in Colorado. He said, “yeah” so we sent in our entries.

We took the race for granted, just showed up, never bothered to pre-ride any of the course — how hard could it be? — and it kicked our butts. We kept coming back year after year and bringing more Michigan racers into the Leadville family.

And now after a few Leadvilles with top Tour de France pros, including Lance Armstrong, there’s now a movie in the works.

Who’d a thunk?

2008 Leadville Trail 100 bike race photos

The 2008 Leadville Trail 100 race begins as the bikers head towards the mountains

The 2008 Leadville Trail 100 race begins as the bikers head towards the mountains

This is the first year I’ve crewed at the Leadville bike race rather than bike it. Besides getting another perspective on the race, I also got a lot of race photos. Unfortunately I only got two photos of the now infamous David Wiens and Lance Armstrong battle.

Congratulations to all who raced, including Stani Bohac (first timer and finishing well under 9 hours!), Jim Janowicz, Jeff Tenniswood, Doug Cannell, Randy Guymer, Jenn Dice (IMBA), Garth Prosser, and Patrick Olson.

The race photos are on-line at https://allyeargear.com/gallery/2008-leadville100-bike

Lance and Leadville

Lance Armstrong rides past Twin Lakes (mile 60)

Lance Armstrong rides past Twin Lakes (mile 60)

A group of us from Michigan have been racing the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race since 1996.  It’s a tough race to finish but an easy race to become addicted to,  And as my friend Stani noted that everything about this race is epic: the course, the promoters, the volunteers, the altitude, etc.

Normally this race flies under the radar for everyone except the endurance racing junkies  Last year was an exception as Tour de France racer Floyd Landis showed up.  Landis eventually came in second to Leadville-favorite Dave Wiens.

This year Lance Armstrong did the race, putting Leadville in the national news.  And similar to last year, Armstrong came up short, finishing second to Wiens.  As the race announcer said, Armstrong did win his age group.

I only got one lousy photo of the leading duo.  Some of the best coverage is at Super Human Mag and the Denver Post.

The majority of folks I spoke with seemed satisfied with that result.  Wiens is a super nice guy and now a six-time winner at Leadville.  He could have been the seven-time winner, but the race promoters didn’t let him in that first year.  The race was full and they didn’t have any pro slots for late entries.  Wiens said he appreciated not being treated differently than the rest of the racers,

Stay tuned for more Leadville blogging on the Michigan racer results and photos.

Milford Trail Challenge

Alex Dolpp rides on the Milford Trail in Milford, MichiganThis Saturday is the Milford Trail Challenge. It’s a self-supported mountain bike ride where you choose how far you want to ride. It’s only $20 and is a benefit ride for local charities.

And the Village of Milford is simply a great place to start and end your ride. The downtown has its share of coffee shops and pubs. The relatively new Milford Trail is just around the corner. Proud Lake isn’t far either. The epic trails at Highland Rec. are just up the road. And, one can use the paved bike paths to access Hickory Glen and Island Lake (via Kensington.)

If you add it up, Milford is the center of some great mountain biking trails (not to mention hiking, horse, cross-country skiing, and water trails.) The Milford Challenge is a great way to introduce yourself to what’s available and ride with friends.

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