Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fun Promotions Fat Bike Series 3 and 4


Brian Yost and Beard Ice
 A "Two for the Price of One" blog post.  Race number 3 in the Michigan Fat Bike Series was hosted by Addison Oaks.  My kind friends Brian and Laura reside on that side of town and they hosted me for a fun weekend.

The race was a cold deep mess.  10 degrees, deep snow and 2 hours of pedaling, pushing and tipping over.  5th Place.

Race number 4 was the following weekend in Saugatuck.  The temps were warmer, but the snow was deeper.  Fun Promotions did what they could with conditions and created a short L shaped course around the parking lot and up the road.  One short climb and two long straight aways.

Big Wheels rolling early on.
All Photos courtesy of Jade Cycles.  Check out their new Boss Fat Bike

The 45 minute race started fast.  I had something to prove after my poor showing at Addison. I tried to stick with the top 4 guys right away.

Jade/Whisper Sponsored rider making his move

My view for the better half of the race

Two Masters rides made an early move that I could not match, so I tried settling in with Matt Smith, pictured above.  He wasn't very interested in having me along for the ride and he took off shortly there after.

I stayed on the gas and kept him in site all while putting time on the chasing group of four riders.

By the end of the 45 minutes, I was toast, but on the podium for the first time in 2014.

It pays to be tall, almost looks like I am on the tall step.
The final race of the series will be this Sunday at Pando.

As always, a very special thanks for the support from Team Active, and WSI Cycling.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Many years ago, before every bike bit was made of carbon fiber and you only had one choice of wheel size, I walked into a Grand Rapid’s Schwinn shop with big dreams and what I thought to be a shit ton of money.  ($650)  Based on my extensive knowledge from bike magazines, I knew I needed a Rock Shox fork.........and a cool ass bike.  The sales person showed me the Treks and the Schwinns but nothing peaked my interest like the metallic green Gary Fisher.  I did not know much about the brand outside of their artsy catalogs and spokesperson who was claimed to be the father of fat tire pedal power madness.

I took one look at the bike, with its metal frame, Indy XC fork and beige tires and I was hooked.  I counted out my twenties, tens, fives and ones on the counter, and the bike accounted for all of my high school graduation party earnings.  I took the wheels off (my first experience with Quick Release) and stuffed my pride and joy into the back seat of my Chevy Corsica.  I was hitting the dirt that afternoon, and most afternoons for the next 16 years.

That bike was a race weapon, a single speed conversion, a college commuter, a mid-20s bar bike and still is in my basement today.  I pedal it around our unfinished basement while my son rides his tricycle, that I wish was a Gary Fisher.

The Legend

That bike introduced me to the culture of mountain biking and later to the bicycle industry as a career path.  When Fisher introduced the Sugar suspension platform, I was in love.  A few years later he unleashed the 29er hard tail platform and I no longer looked like a giant bear riding a tiny bike in the circus.  All while riding these works of art, I was selling them to customers in various shops hoping they too would join the off road revolution.

On Saturday I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit across from Gary Fisher and share my story.  I told him about being a super-fan of his enduro greats like Cameron Chambers and Nat Ross.  I told him about my Green Metal Machine, and about all the 29er bikes I sold.  He smiled and said thanks, and it made the work worthwhile.  

Big Wheels Churning, courtesy of Steve B.

I also had a chance to race my fat bike in deep snow.  The race was done by recent Hall of Fame inductee Brent Walk, and sponsored by Wheels in Motion.  I had the legs, but the poison powder sucked the life out of my passing opportunities.  I was hanging tough with the lead group for the first 2 laps before making some costly mistakes and finishing 4th.  Next race in the series will be at Addison Oaks on February 8.

Love Dan

Trying for the Hole Shot

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Bike is Fatter than Yours

Michigan has traditions, but none more popular than Beer, Fudge and unique winter recreational activities. Combine all three and you have yourself some quality fun. Michigan’s Fat-Bike fuse was lit while I lived in Arkansas. I followed the spectacle online thinking how silly it was. Heavy bikes, riding in snow, frozen fingers etc. Fast forward two years and I am at the start of Fun Promotion’s first Fat Bike race of the season straddling a 40 pound monster truck mountain bike about to embark on a 2 hour slog through lake effect snow. The Hills were scattered with skiers, snowboarders and XC skiers enjoying Michigan’s traditional winter recreational activities. Everyone one of them gave bewildered sideways glances from their neon colored goggles to my Fat-Tire Brethren. 3,2,1 go and my knobby tires were crunching in unison with 20 other non-traditional winter recreation participants. I wish I could weave a tale of a speedy hole shot followed by heroic suffering. There was no strategic racing maneuvers, perfectly timed attacks or team tactics. It was a bunch of people riding silly bikes in the snow as fast as they could. It snowed. I was cold. I finished 4th. A special thanks to the essential gear that insured my survival: Big Knobby Tires (Team Active) Toasty Winter Cycling Shoes (Team Active) My Beard (A diet rich in bacon and craft beer) Love Dan

Friday, November 08, 2013


That is how long it has been since I have posted. Many things have happened. 1. Sawyer started crawling, then he started walking, then he started talking. Now he runs, yells and asks questions. 2. We moved back to Michigan 3. I started racing bikes again stay tuned for 2013 results, bike upgrades, baby pictures and new links. love dan

Monday, October 01, 2012

Bikes, Babies and Panera

Anyone who lives within 50 miles of Northwest Arkansas knows what the the "Bikes, Blues and BBQ" weekend entails.  All things surly, leather and noisy gather at the edge of the Ozark mountains to embrace their biker culture, ride around without helmets, cause accidents and make all kinds of noise.  (check out the South Park Episode on Harley Riders)

The only place to escape from the "life saving" loud pipes was Panera Bread and Target.  Good thing we love them both.

Some big events coming up for the Traveling Circus

Flying to the great white north this weekend to throw down at Crossfit AZO.  How will I prepare? Constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity.  (Crossfit)

After that I have the Chilli Pepper 10K festival.  How will I prepare? Constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity.  (Crossfit)

After that I am traveling to Arkadelphia for the Degray Lake Xterra.  How will I prepare?  Constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity.  (Crossfit)

I will finish up the season with the Fayetteville half marathon.  How will I prepare?  Wishing and hoping I do not fall apart.

with love

Sawyer turned 5 months today.  He will be mobile soon.

New brakes, fork and saddle.  Thanks Phat Tire Bike Shop.   

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Michigan Brewed

Tunnel Beach in Holland
 Holly and I have bounced around in our 8 year history but the place we have spent the most time is Michigan.  We were excited to go someplace familiar and start the Sawyer Tour of 2012.  He appreciated all the hugs, kisses, cool breeze and sand between his toes.
Holly and I loved catching up with family, friends and Oberon on tap.  
A special thanks to Crossfit AZO (  in Portage MI and Crossfit Flight in Holland ( for welcoming me into their gyms.

It was good to be gone and better to be back. 

He loved the sand, but was not a fan of the cold water.

Flow, Rattle, Push.

Picture any tourist town with ice cream parlors, t-shirt stores and novelty shops.  Take that town and run it up the side of a mountain, add a few hundred leather-clad surly looking motorcycle enthusiasts and you have Eureka Springs Arkansas.
Known for its history, tourism and art culture, Eureka Springs is also home to some sweet-sick mountain bike trails where the Fat Tire Festival was held.  I only made it up for the XC on Sunday and that is where our story begins.
Counting down from 10, 9, does this race really start ON a hill? 8, 7, 18 miles on a rigid single speed? 6, 5, I already have the T-shirt to prove I was here, I do not need to actually ride, 4, 3, this could be fun,  2, this could suck, 1, GO.
The pack of Cat 2 boss hogs and single speed lycra lovers took off like a shot up the hill and I settled down early, way too early, right from the start.  (that was my grand plan, to not blow up in the first 30 minutes and suffer for the last 90 like my last race)

After climbing up and out of town, past the historic Crescent Hotel, (where Holly and I spent a fall weekend last year drinking read wine and chasing ghosts,) we hit dirt.
I set my sights on a pack of geared riders with baggy shorts that knew how to crank it.  I made like Froome and let them pull me until the 2 track turned to single and the roots turned to rocks.  Once I was on familiar trail I made my pass to pull back some fruit cakes on one speed bikes that always cost more than those with gears.
The next 2 hours flew by while I was in a state between groovy flow and shake, rattle and roll.  Then I pushed my bike.  Then I found a groove, and then I had to push it some more.  Single speeds on technical steep incline?  That requires pushing, often.
I caught a few riders, then a few more with mechanical issues in my pursuit of points in the AMBCS point series.  I finished off the day ahead of a couple of guys who stuck it out and several others who pulled the plug.  That scored enough points to put me at 6th in the state, with a goal of the top 5 before the season ends.
Slaughter Pen is next on the list and with home court advantage, I hope to make up some points.