Feb 3, 2011

Breaking the Silence

I hear a lot of riders in the Midwest lament over an 8 month riding season and I was one of them, until now. Ice riding has got to be the most fun I've had since yesterday, the first real snow day I remember since the 8th grade. This blog is dedicated to everyone who hasn't moved to California.

Lake Okauchee, Wisconsin
This course was a loose interpretation of the Barber course in Alabama

I'm a calculated risk taker. 9 inches thick seemed....romantic. But in most cases with your riding pals, it goes something like this: You go, we go.

Big Bob's van needed a teensy push. If you know Big Bob, you'll take any chance you get to return a kindness from the long list of ways he's made your life more fun. 

 Kristen (right) and Dan (left), at base camp.

You gotta be careful with gear in your paws on this type a terrain. As Kristen would say, "It's slicker than cum on a gold tooth out here."

The first thing I was told was to trust my tires. Riding on ice feels like riding over a Chicago bridge constantly. But, you have more traction out here than you do on slab, and there's no oncoming traffic.

Joe, our gracious host and expert course plower, peels protective rubber bands
from this rider's studded tires.

I had heard of Paul, knew of his work and always wanted to meet him. He taught me how to pan, track and release for this type of shot on the fly and I almost got it. "Just like shooting skeet," he said. He also gave me an impassioned recommendation to stop looking at the back of my camera
and remember how to trust myself and shoot in my mind's eye. That meant a lot to me. I also appreciated the slap on the arm when he caught me doing it after he told me not to. Hard headed. Thanks Paul.

 There is no sign on my camera that says: The object in your viewfinder is a foot from your skull. But... I was working on that minds eye thing.

That's me having the time of my life. I bought this rocket-suit for four dollars at the Village Thrift last spring. The label on the inside reads: "Chiller Killer -- It's Springtime on the inside." I can't think of a better name for any piece of clothing and I couldn't think of a better use for it. I wasn't cold and I wasn't hot... AND I was wearing Packers colors in Wisconsin. Accidentally in style -- always preferable in the book of cool.

These dirt riders were just sick. They got ridiculously low and had amazing control.
They also had no problem passing you on the inside, a real test of my ability to keep my head in the game, which I appreciate.

 Big beard, Big van, Smart mouth, Big Bob.

 View from the bar on the bay; Aliota's Hideaway.

Hideaway regulars watch riders from the bay window.



  1. You have a natural and amazing talent! Awesome!

  2. Holy Molely!!!!
    You done me proud, Doan. Just lovely and well worth the wait.
    How you can capture both wonderland, and reality will always be a mystery to me. You hold both the yin, and the yang.
    Now off to dreamland where I can ride with you, and feel the spirits of the ice. yessss

  3. Nicely said Jenny.
    I feel like Im here with you, watching the riders and feeding off the energy of movement. The setting couldnt be more stunning and ordinary, my favorite kind of beauty. I like how the portrait of Julie reminded me of someone I dont know, and your storytelling skills are honing in on the sweet marrow of the feeling, rather than just the facts. Cheers my friend, and thank you for taking me with you on this trip.

  4. live to ride, ride to live.

  5. Thanks for stickin' with me.

  6. It was 70 degrees outside today in NorCal. I went on a hike in shorts and tee-shirt. Came home from grocery shopping to read your blog. I love your delight in people, place, and "passing on the inside." You make missing home a lot more fun than usual :) I love you, your mind's eye, and your hard head.