It still stings to think about last week's polar vortex. Waking up to -15 degrees day after day and highs below zero is tough any way you look at it. That's why yesterday's high of 20 felt great! We took the break in the weather as a chance to explore the other side of urban cycling that our city has to offer, via fat bike. The city of Milwaukee is dotted with sections of single track, unpaved sidewalk routes--that ride like single track-- and the beaches of Lake Michigan that are sculpted with ice shelves and snow drifts this time of year.
Our ride started out at Bradford beach to play on the snow and ice that built up during the polar vortex. On the surface of the lake, a thin layer of ice had formed and was crashing into the ice shelf making it sound as though the shelf was loosening giving everyone an uneasy feeling.
I had to remind our crew that there was no lifeguard on duty, which was probably not necessary given that we all know lake is down to 38 degrees or so. George from Broken Spoke Bike Studio was the only one that was lucky enough to get any traction on the shelf thanks to his studded 45 North Dillinger tires.
It's hard to imagine that this beach is filled with volleyball nets and sun bathers come Summer given Winter's firm grasp. Although the beach playground was fun, we quickly made our way through the city to hit the trails.
After a short re-group it was down a bluff via a killer set of snow covered steps leading to the rivers edge. The trail was mint, packed down perfectly by hikers and fat bikes; it was fast, had great flow, and at noon on a Tuesday, empty.
Colin-- who was part of the team that rocked last years Riverwest 24 hour alley cat by winning on fat bikes-- didn't hesitate to show us how it's done. Our main goal today started out as a photo shoot for our Mesa MP, Mesa 61 and Gates Slim pedals, but pretty much dissolved into a jam session followed by two dollar tacos at Bell Aire Cantina. Needless to say, we didn't get as much done around the Fyxation office yesterday, but sometimes that's how the workday rolls at a bike company.
by Nick Ginster