Three Speed October Challenge: Week 3 Report.

I’m a bit behind on my postings lately. I finished the challenge 6 days ago. I’ve been trying really hard to take advantage of the Fall weather and Fall colors. I can say I have no regrets this Fall about how much I’ve been able to get outside. I’ve done lots of biking and hiking and even one bike camping trip. That’s my excuse for not keeping up on my blogging.

I was able to complete three rides of at least three miles in three separate weeks meeting the Three Speed October Challenge.  Three of the rides were for errands. Six rides were work commutes. Here is my ride summary for week 3:

Sunday, October 16.


I did a 4.5 mile errand ride to the pharmacy and Co-op.

Tuesday, October 18.


I rode my bike to work and back home, 6.25 miles. This picture was taken underneath the ore docks on my way to work.

Wednesday, October 19.


On this day I commuted to work and back home, 6.25miles. I happened to get the 5:00 a.m. early start that day. My Brompton has a generator hub that powers a bright headlight and the taillight. They work great on a dark morning like this. It turned out to be my most pleasant ride of all the rides during this challenge. The air was cold, but the wind was still. The traffic was light enough I didn’t need to stop at any intersections. I forget how much I enjoy riding in the dark in early mornings or late at night.

That completed the required rides for the challenge.

One thing I have to mention though. This may disqualify me from the challenge. The rules state the following:


  • Is this just limited to three speeds? Well, yeah. A three speed internally geared hub is what should be ridden for this challenge. We’ll also accept four and five speed internally geared hubs, hubs that were available from Sturmey-Archer by the mid-70’s. But no more or less speeds than that! To be clear, it doesn’t have to be a Sturmey-Archer hub, it can also be a Sachs, Sram, Shimano, SunTour, Hercules, or (insert brand here.) But it can only have three, four, or five speeds!
  • Any exceptions? We’ll allow Bromptons that have that infernal Sturmey-Archer with deraileur combo, but that’s it. And you have to promise to not use that derailleur!


My Brompton is one of those 3 x 2  6-speed set-ups. I promised I would only shift with the 3 speed hub. This is easier said then done even though it sounds very straight forward. Here’s why. The 6 speed Brompton uses a 3 speed hub in combination with a 2 speed deraileur. It was one of the hardest bikes I’ve ever ridden to learn how to shift. Maybe the word “hard” isn’t quite right. Let’s just say it took me between 1,200 and 1,400 miles to get to where I could do the shifting without having to think about it. To shift the hub you have to coast. To shift the deraileur you have to pedal. So each shift you make you have to think to yourself do I coast while I shift or pedal while I shift. I finally reached a point where I no longer had to think about it. Now the Three Speed October Challenge comes along and asks me not to shift the deraileur. Something that by now has become ingrained in me. I found it just as hard not to shift the deraileur as it was to learn how to shift it in the first place. And that took me a minimum of 1,200 miles of riding before it became natural.

In order to use only three of the six gears I have two choices. I can use gears 1, 3, and 5. Or I can use gears 2, 4, and 6. When using all six gears I’ve learned I use gears 1 and 4  90% of the time. I almost never use gears 2 and 6. And I only occasionally use gears 3 and 5. As you can see the 1, 3, 5, and 2, 4, and 6 scenarios wouldn’t work very well for based on the gears I use most. I live in a hilly city.

What I am trying to say is I slipped a bit on my promise. Mostly in the morning. I’m not a morning person, I’m always leaving the house at the last minute, just barely getting to work on time. In my morning rush my brain goes into automatic mode. On more than one occasion I may have caught myself shifting into a gear I promised I wouldn’t use. So there it is. Disqualify me if you need to.

Three Speed October Challenge: Week 2 Report

Ride one, Monday, October 10, 2016

A round trip commute to work, 6.25 miles. 

Ride 2, Wednesday, October 12, 2016. 

Round trip commute to work, 6.25 miles. 

Ride 3, Thursday, October 13, 2016. 

Round trip ride to work, 6.25 miles. 

As you can see I took part in the Three Speed October Challenge. This was Week two forme. I managed to get in three commutes by three Speed bike this week. As of this writing I already have my first ride of Week three done. Only two rides to go to complete the challenge. 

Three Speed October Challenge, Week One Report

I’m taking part in The Three Speed October Challenge. This challenge is the brainstorm of Portland, Oregon’s very own Shawn Granton of Urban Adventure League and Society of Three Speeds. You can go to his site to get all the information. To summarize I need to ride my three speed (The rules begrudgingly allow for a 6-speed Brompton like mine because it does use a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed internally geared hub) at least three times a week for three weeks for at least three miles. Hey, I just now caught on to the “three” theme.  At least one ride needs to be for utility, errands or commuting. There are more details to the rules, but that’s it in a nutshell….or maybe a 3-speed hub shell. Wink, wink.

Week One:

Turns out all three rides (plus a bonus fourth ride) were all errand or commuting rides. All rides had a purpose of using the bike for transportation.

Sunday, October 2nd:


I was packing for an overnight bike camping trip. I needed a few food items I was out of for the trip. I rode 0.8 miles to the local food co-op. I realized when I went to check out I had forgotten my wallet. I rode the 0.8 back home and returned to the co-op a second time. Paid for my items and returned home. I took a slightly longer way home for a total of 3.6 miles.

Tuesday, October 4th:

A stop at the bank.

I was off work this day and needed to run a few errands. It’s rare for me to go to my bank these days, but I did have a check I needed to deposit. A quick stop at the bank and then I made another stop at the local co-op. Total distance was 3.4 miles.

Wednesday, October 5th:

Taking the side streets.

Ride number three was a commute. It’s three miles to my place of work. Six miles for the day. I ended up riding a fourth day and it was also a ride to work:

Riding some alleyways after work.


Both days I rode to the Co-op I shared the bike rack with another 3-speed. And since then it’s been there every time I’ve stopped. It must be an employee bike.

I almost never see three-speeds in Duluth. I found it ironic that I spotted one while I was participating in the three-speed challenge. This brand is a brand I’ve never heard of, Nirve, Wilshire. It did have nice steel lugged construction. The racing wheel on the front and racing saddle was a bit out of place. Other than that it looked like a nice low cost three-speed.

Fall Bike Camping pictures.


I found out on Friday I wasn’t needed at work on Monday. Looking at the weather forecast and the DNR Fall peak color watch (which was at 50-75% for our area), I decided it was prime time for a Fall bike camping trip. Some might call it a S24O, but I don’t think mine version is a pure S24O since I’m doing it on my days off. I ended up with perfect conditions and some great pockets of intense color. Both days started out foggy and cleared to a vibrant blue sky. Temperatures were 60F-65F (16C-18C) and the low was around 45F (7C). Virtually no wind on the first day and light winds off Lake Superior the second day. Since I don’t care for hot weather, this weather was about as perfect as it gets for me.


New asphalt on the Munger Trail for a short section. I got a late start in the day. Check in time at the state park I had reservations for wasn’t until 4:00. I didn’t leave my house until 4:30.My destination was Jay Cooke State Park. Nineteen miles away the way I took. Sixteen miles of the 19 was on recreational trails.



First open view of the St Louis River as I approached the Park Office.

Tip: Bungee cords come in handy if you’re thinking of hauling firewood.

I arrived at the Park Office at 5:45. They close at 6. Not a big deal since I already had a reservation. But you can’t purchase a bundle of firewood outside of office hours. I almost never have a fire when camping solo. With no wind and cold temps, it was an ideal evening for a fire. I didn’t decide until I was in the office, but I did bring bungee cords to haul the wood just in case. I’m glad I did. What I didn’t bring was any type of fire starter. I improvised with one paper towel I had, twigs from around campsite, and handfuls of pine needles from the huge pine tree in the middle of the campsite. It worked.


Obligatory campfire shot.

When I camp here I like to arrive early enough to get in a walk down by the river before dinner and before dark. With sunset at 6:45 there was no time this trip. I set up camp, fixed dinner and had the fire. It was quite nice. The temp had fallen to 46F degrees by 10:00. I never got chilled with the fire going. It was a moonless night. It was pitch black away from the fire.


In the morning I woke to fog and my food bag still hanging in the tree where I had left it.


By the time I got the food bag down, started heating water for coffee and took the tent down the fog was lifting.


By the time I was done with my muffins and coffee, the fog was gone.


After breakfast I spent a few hours walking around the park and the St Louis River. The sun was so bright it made it hard to take pictures that weren’t overexposed.Here’s some of the better ones from my walk and ride home.

Here’s a link to the route I took home. It’s the same route I took to the park the day before.

Ely’s Peak in Duluth as seen from the Munger Trail.

I never thought I’d say this…..

……my next bike could very well be a squishy mountain bike. As the local mountain bike club continues to add mile after mile of more trails to the local trail system, I can’t stop thinking about the possibility of owning a trail specific mountain bike. I’ve attempted to ride the trails on my 10 year old Pugsley. However, between my lack of single track riding skills and the rocky, root filled terrain, I’ve learned the Pugsley is not the best tool for the job.

Fat tire on one billion year old rock.

The local mountain bike trail club, COGGS, has an ambitious plan in place to build over 100 miles of trail within the city limits of Duluth. It is utilizing the open space on the hills above Duluth and parks to create this vision. The Duluth Traverse Trail will connect all the mountain bike areas and run the entire 26 mile length of the city. An entire network of trails with access for every Duluthian within a mile or two of where they live. It has already received an IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognition. One of only five Gold Medal Ride Centers in the world.

Thursday evening, a father and son ride some of the trail below Enger Park. This section was built in 2015.

I’ve been amazed at the rate of trail building taking place. All summer long I would frequently encounter new sections of trail as I was riding around. This summer there has been an expansion of the system in my neighborhood. Seeing the trail being built so close to my house this summer has me thinking I need to take advantage of the trails. I’m increasingly looking for ways to avoid being on the roadways for some of my leisure riding. I see people everyday driving with their heads looking down. Riding some world class trails several days a week is now an option.

I discovered this section of trail yesterday. It must have been built in the last two weeks. It is only 0.8 mile from my front door.
The local club has raised enough cash to pay for professional trail builders to spend all summer building trail.

On my Thursday evening ride I came across new trail being built next to Keene Creek along Skyline Parkway. When this section is done I believe there will be continuous trail from Keene Creek, by my house, to the east side of Enger Park and Twin Ponds area. That’s 5 miles by road, maybe 7 – 10 miles by trail (??). It also passes through both the Piedmont and Brewers Park loops and trail systems. Here’s pictures of the newly constructed, and not yet finished trail along Keene Creek:

Here the trail is being cut into the side of the ravine.
New this week.
Only days old.
Not sure when they built this section. It can’t be more then two weeks old.

I never took up an interest in summer off-road mountain biking ( Winter, yes.) for many reasons. And I’ve never been a person to drive my bike somewhere to ride it. But now that the trails are coming to me, I can’t help but to take an interest in riding these trails. So maybe I’ll have a mountain bike by this time next year and be writing posts on trail riding. Who knows?

And…one more photo added to this post after the initial publishing. This is more new trail going west from Highland Street as seen from the Highland Street bridge over Keene Creek:

It appears there is a bridge that still needs to be built over a side stream where the trail enters the trees.


Photos from the week.

It’s been an unusual September when it comes to the weather. I generally look forward to September because the weather can be some of the best of the year. Dry, cool, windless days with brilliant blue skies. This year we’ve seen little of that. It’s been cloudy with chances of rain more days than not, and windy. I’ve been less motivated to get out. Sunday, after being inside all day I forced myself out the door for a bike ride around 4:30. That’s late in the day even for me to get going. It was well worth it. I did some exploring of the old industrial river front. It’s mostly abandoned, polluted super-fund sites nowadays. Duluth was established as a town to support the mining and logging industries. These and other heavy industries spent the next hundred years using the harbor and polluting it. It is slowly being cleaned up and areas, like Canal Park, are now tourist attractions. Here’s pictures I took during this ride:

A picture of a bridge from a bridge.
The Arthur M. Anderson off-loading a load of what I think is limestone.
Another shot of the Arthur M. Anderson. This is about as far up the river these large freighters travel. It’s almost 5 miles up river.
It’s a half mile to the river down this stripped piece of industrial land between two boat slips.
This is on the corner where the boat slip meets the main shipping channel of the St. Louis River. Minnesota is on the right, Wisconsin on the left.



The half mile long slip for a very large boat or two.
An old mail car. I’m guessing one of the two historic railroads in town has plans to restore it.
Signs that Fall is fast approaching.

Thursday I was motivated to get out for a late evening ride. After a week of clouds and rain it managed to clear off about 5 in the afternoon. Seeing that crisp blue sky is all I needed to get me outside. It’s also the night Susan is gone to St Paul for a night class. I was free to stay out as long as I wanted.  Here’s a few pictures from that ride:

It’s almost too bright to photograph.


A father and son using the mountain bike trails. Trails with a view. This section of trail was built in the summer of 2015.
Glorious late in the day sunshine.
Last light of the day looking south over the Keene Creek ravine towards the St Louis River and Wisconsin.

Today, Friday, I was off from work. It was another cloudy, windy day. No rain though. It took me all day to get myself outside. When I finally went I decided to walk some of the trails near my house including some of the Superior Hiking Trail. According to today’s DNR report our Fall colors should be in the 50-75% range.


Some places it appeared this was accurate, other places it didn’t.

Keene Creek
Keene Creek

As always, once I get myself out the door I rarely regret it. This is a lesson I learn again and again and again.

I was told today I’m not needed at work on Monday. My current job is a part-time position. I work when they need me. With the day off I made some camping reservations for Sunday night. I’ll be doing an overnight bike camping trip. Really looking forward to it. It’s will be only my second bike camping trip of the 2016.




Weekend report: Backpacking and bagging Minnesota’s highest peak.

Warning, no bike content whatsoever.

Boundary Waters entry point, Eagle Mountain Trail.

My friend Jeff had contacted me a few weeks ago. He needed to get out on a overnight adventure. I seem to be the one he calls for bike and backpacking get-aways. This time he wanted to backpack. Plenty of backpacking opportunities in the region. For shorter overnights I tend to head up the north shore of Lake Superior and do a section of the Superior Hiking Trail. Jeff asked if I’d ever gone to, or knew anything about Eagle Mountain. Yes and yes. Eagle Mountain is Minnesota’s highest peak. At 2,301 feet above sea level it’s nothing to brag about. But, it can only be reached on foot. It’s located in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Me at the Boundary of the Boundary Waters.

The BWCAW is a designated Wilderness and lies within the Superior National Forest. It is one of the most remote areas in the lower 48 states but is one of the most visited National Wilderness areas.  The attraction of the area is the hundreds of lakes contained inside this area that is on the border with Canada. The Wilderness itself is over one million acres in size. It can be navigated only by canoe through a system of portages that connect the lakes. A few hiking trails also give access. As a designated wilderness, no motors of any type are allowed into the wilderness.

The hike to the top of Eagle mountain is about 3.5 miles in length. The first three miles is mostly flat. The climb up Eagle mountain is not very steep and only gains about 500 ft. The most difficult part is the footing. The National Forest Service ranks this trail as “Difficult” due to the rough trail. Rocks and tree roots fill the trail the entire way. So a 3.5 mile hike with a 500 foot elevation gain sounds easy. It’s not easy, but very do-able for any one with some basic fitness.

There are two designated campsites by Whale Lake at the base of the climb. An overnight permit from the National Forest Service is required to stay there. We stopped at the Tofte Ranger Station for our permit. One was available. From there it’s about a 20 mile drive into the the Superior National Forest via gravel forest service roads to the Eagle Mountain entry point. Despite the hike to the campsite being only 3 miles, by the time you make the drive and walk in you are nearly 25 miles from the nearest main road and any services. It feels very remote. The Forest Service warns any rescue from this area is very difficult.

We navigated the rocks and roots and arrived at Whale Lake around 2 pm. Both sites were taken. That probably meant one group was camping without the proper permit. We didn’t try to “police” the situation ourselves. We were able to share the best campsite of the two with a father and his three sons (who had a permit). They were gracious enough to let us encroach on their weekend in the woods. After we set-up camp we decided it would be a good time to make the climb up to the peak of Eagle Mountain.


The hike up was not steep, but very rugged with lots of rocks and a stream running down the trail most of the way. The area had received 2 inches of rain the previous night.

The mountain is mostly tree covered with a few openings in the trees near the top. The actual peak is hard to find if you haven’t read about it or heard about it from someone else. The trail that runs the last 100 yards or so to the peak is not marked (signage is kept to the absolute minimum in Wilderness areas) and is not obvious if you’re not looking for it. Here’s some of the views from the overlooks. All of these views are looking Southeast or East. Trees and lakes as far as you can see:

After marveling at the view we found our way to the summit. A geological marker and plague mark the spot.

It says the rock composing the mountain is over a billion years old.
Me on the summit.

I have to say how nice the weather and conditions were for this trip. Daytime in the high 60’s/low 70’s. Night time temps in the upper 50’s. It can get below freezing this time of year. And it probably did a few days before our trip because there was not a single mosquito around. Minnesota north woods with warm weather and no bugs is like heaven. And very rare. We did have a few clouds spitting rain at us during our dinner. But it was a minor inconvenience. It mostly cleared off by sunset. Sunset on Whale Lake was very nice. After dinner we assisted our campsite mates with their attempt to start a fire. Like I said earlier, 2 inches of rain the night before. It left everything extremely damp. We almost had a fire going twice, but eventually failed.  The family retired to their massive 6 or 8 person tent they had brought with them while Jeff and I sat at the edge of the lake until well after the sun was down. I snapped quite a few shots of the lake as the sun slowly fell below the tree line.

After sunset we sat at the edge of the lake in near darkness for a while until the moon came up. It’s hard to describe, but we sat and listened to the sound of silence. The Boundary Waters is known as one of the quietest places in the lower 48 states. Quiet being defined as the lack of human made sounds, like car traffic for example. There are very few places left where you can experience this. Even here our silence was broken a couple of times by far off planes. It can almost be disorienting to try and hear something when there are no sounds. It was a still night with few animal sounds, so there wasn’t even the sound of the wind in the trees. There are three places I have personally experienced this kind of silence. Here in the Boundary Waters, on a backpacking trip down in the Grand Canyon, and on a backpacking trip in to the desert and Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas.

As always, I slept great in my tent. I tend to sleep better in a tent in the woods then I do in my own bed at home. I was anticipating the lack of bugs, or at least hoping there wouldn’t be many. I had heard a freeze had happened in this part of the state. In order to pack a little lighter I left the body of my tent at home. I only use tents for rain and bugs. If there’s no rain or no bugs I prefer to sleep under the stars, even in winter. But since we had a slight chance of rain I brought my ground sheet, tent poles, and rain fly. Without the tent body it’s more like a tarp tent then a tent. No bug netting.

My tent off in the woods about 20 yards from the others.
Morning at the campsite on Whale Lake. The family tent on the left, Jeff’s tent on the right down by the water.
Morning light on Whale Lake.
Good Morning Whale Lake.

I think I slept about 10 hours. Something I can never seem to do at home. We took our time with breakfast and packing up. Sometime around mid-morning we headed out for the rugged three miles back to the car. Our route took us about half way around the lake.


The view from across the lake looking back towards the campsite we stayed at.
Jeff up ahead navigating through the rocks.
Beaver dam and pond.

It was a great overnight backpack trip. We drove a longer way out of the National Forest then the way we came. But basically it’s drive south till you hit Lake Superior, turn right and drive about 90 miles of scenic highway along Lake Superior to Duluth.

A hint of Fall color in Superior National Forest.
Sawbill Trail. This road goes thirty miles deep into the National Forest. It used to be all gravel. This summer they paved over nearly 10 miles of it. Nice road, but I miss the gravel.

Near Finland, Minnesota along the North Shore we stopped to check out the views from Palisade Head. Palisade Head is a 1.1 billion year old lava flow. It has some dramatic cliffs along Lake Superior. It was a perfect day to be up there. Quite a few rock climbers thought so too.

Spot the rock climber! He’s wearing a yellow top and black pants. And he appeared to be climbing alone. No one at the top or bottom.

What a great trip.



Weekend report: Biking, hiking…..and canning.


I’ll count my Friday evening post-dinner, pre-sunset ride as part of the weekend. It was another one of those beautiful late summer evenings. We were sitting on our porch when I got the itch to go ride about 30 minutes before sun down. I grabbed the Brompton and went. It’s really become such a great bike for this kind of last minute grab-and-go kind of rides. This time I was on a bit of a mission to turn down any alley or neighborhood street I’d never been on. Above is the alley behind the local snowmobile/atv/motorcycle/small farm implement store.  You can see the squiggly route I took here.


Saturday was 100% about getting our “canning share” of tomatoes processed. Along with our weekly summer share of veggies from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, we order up a bulk share of tomatoes for canning. We’ve done this for 4 or 5 years now. That’s about how long Susan has been learning to can. And now I’m learning as well. I spent nearly 7 hours standing in one spot skinning, de-seeding and chopping tomatoes. While I did that Susan used the tomatoes I had finished to make salsa and pasta sauce and then canned those. It’s only one day a year we have to work on tomatoes like this, yet we reap the benefits of that labor all winter long. It is some good stuff. In paste years we received more tomatoes. So we’d make tomato-basil jam and can some plain tomatoes for making soups and stews.

No bike rides or hikes on Saturday.


When we bought our house in West Duluth in 2003 there were no official recreational trails anywhere nearby. Since then the Superior Hiking Trail has been extended across the ridge above our house. It is now, as of this summer, a 300 mile trail that runs from the Wisconsin border with Minnesota all the way up to Canada. It follows the ridge of Lake Superior. It is a premiere long distance hiking trail modeled after the Appalachian Trail. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, there is also miles and miles of mountain bike trails being built all over the hills above my house.

Last month a new section of hiking trail was opened on the ridge above us. This section created a loop trail when combined with the Superior Hiking Trail. It is now known as the Brewer Park Loop. I had planned to take a fairly long bike ride Sunday to take advantage of what could be the last shorts and t-shirt weather rides of the season. Turns out it also makes for great hiking weather. I asked Susan if she’d like to check out the new loop trail. Well, I didn’t need to twist her arm. The official trail is 3.4 miles in length when hiking it from a local parking lot/trail head. We chose to walk from our house and enter the loop from another direction. Thusly adding a few miles. Our hike ended up being 6 miles in length. The first and last mile were road walks. Here’s some pictures from this hike that lays completely in our neighborhood. Or at least above our neighborhood. The ridge line is too rocky and rugged to build on. It is mostly wooded open space:

Keene Creek as it cascades towards the St. Louis River and eventually into Lake Superior.

It was a spectacular hike. It’s hard to believe this is a urban hike we can hike anytime right from our front door.

Blue Truck/Xtracycle at work.

Today was farm share pick-up day. Lots of fresh goodies from the Food Farm. As always it’s the Blue Truck/Xtracycle that gets the call to carry the farm share home. This picture was taken behind our local coffee shop, Beaner’s Central. They allow the Food Farm to use some inside space for the share pick-up by farm members. This is an alley side seating area the coffee shop built. I like the bicycle wheels incorporated into the overall design.

That’s it for now. Keep riding.

Late weekend report: A hike and bike weekend

Bringing the Pugsley along to do a hike.

It was a three day

Tower Overlook with a view of Lake Superior in the distance. On a really clear day you can see the Apostle Islands and the Bayfield Peninsula of Wisconsin across the lake.

holiday weekend here in the states. We spent Saturday volunteering on the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s our 15th season as Trail Section volunteers. As a Trail Section volunteer we are asked to walk our section of trail once in the Spring and once in the Fall. We then fill out a report for the Maintenance Supervisor and do any trail work we feel comfortable doing.

Cramer Road (Cook County Road 1) near Schroeder, Minnesota. It’s hard to see in this picture but Lake Superior is in the distance down at the bottom of this ridge.

After more then 30 times walking our section we have the routine down. I drop Susan and our gear off at the starting trail head. I drive to the trail head we will finish our hike at, take the bike and ride back to where I left Susan. I lock the bike in the woods and pick it up later after the hike. An added plus is a nice, mostly gravel, and mostly downhill bike ride.

We carry saws, lopers and an axe. We clear the trail best we can. We leave the really huge trees that have fallen on the trail for the chainsaw crew. Above is a before and after shot of a couple small birches we cleared.

The Falls Campsite. Break spot number 1.

When we arrived at this campsite there was a young couple on a three day backpack trip. They were drinking wine out of stainless steel packable wine glasses. Turns out he had just proposed to her at the waterfall right below the campsite and they were celebrating. She said yes.

It was great to be out in the woods hiking together. We have not done enough hiking this summer. Our section of trail, much like the rest of the trail, is very scenic. It follows the Cross River as it cascades down the ridge towards Lake Superior. There is only one place on this section that has a view of Lake Superior. It’s one of the pictures above and is called Tower Overlook.

On Monday, the Labor Day Holiday, I went for a 20 mile ride to the west of my house. One of my regular routes that I like to ride when I don’t want to be around cars or too many people. It is mostly gravel and rail trail with maybe 1/3 low traffic roads. If you’ve read my blogs in the past you’ll recognize some of the shots. I was feeling quite sad after the news of Danny Chew being paralyzed in a bicycle crash. I stopped for a long while and sat on the wall at Bardons Peak to think. Riding my bike helped. Here’s some of the pictures:


Danny Chew, the best cyclist you’ve never heard of, needs our help.

Danny Chew

When I decided to write this post I didn’t know how to describe Danny Chew. The title fits. Danny is one of the best at what he does, ride a bicycle, and is an inspiration to many. Including me.

Danny was involved in a crash on his bicycle yesterday, Sunday, September 4, 2016. He was doing what he always did, another 100 mile bike ride. He became dizzy while riding, veered off into a ditch, and sustained a spinal injury. It has rendered him paralyzed from the waist down. Here’s one of the articles describing what happened and what we know up until now.

Danny has a personal website dedicated to his life’s goal of riding one million miles. Danny has spent his entire life working towards this goal. He is around 800,000 miles right now.

Danny is a two-time winner of RAAM (Race Across America) and an 8 time finisher. His best time clocked in under 9 days.

Danny is the Director and one of the creators of Pittsburgh’s Dirty Dozen Race. A race up 13 of Pittsburgh’s toughest climbs including Canton Street with a grade of 37%.

I had the pleasure of racing with Danny and doing some group training rides with him when I lived in Pittsburgh way back in 1977 and 1978. When my family  moved away from Pittsburgh in 1978 I was 15 and Danny was 16. My older brother knew Danny much better than I did and rode many miles with Danny. When I recently re-connected with Danny on-line he asked me if I was Pete’s little brother. Even back then Danny was a unique individual with his own ideas. He rode huge miles even back then. I learned a lot watching and racing with Danny and his older brother Tom Chew. Back before anyone knew who Davis Phinney was, he was 19 years old, penniless and sleeping on the Chew’s couch and racing those Thursday night races with us. Those were the days.

There is a website set-up by Danny’s nephew for donations to help cover medical costs for anything his insurance doesn’t cover.

Help send positive healing vibes to Danny. I definitely am.