Monday, November 28, 2011


Last year when I did the EFTA  "Turkey Burner" ride few folks showed up.  It was cold and drizzling.   I brought the beastly 30lbs mail order SS ride and had a ball until my body started shutting down.  

This year conditions couldn't have been nicer.  The main lot facing the water was full - and the lot on the other side of the road nearly filled.  For kicks I figured I'd ride the Mukluk.  It is the go-to bike this time of year.  Why?  - Cause this time of year I'm riding purely for fun.  The beater SS bike and the Mukluk have a higher fun quotient than any of the other bikes.

Within about 5 minutes of showing up Marty Allen swung by.  I connected with  Marty for the first time early this year at the Glocester Grind then at the Weeping Willow where he bested my time by 10 seconds.  Effectively - Marty be fast.  Marty be riding fast bike today.  He also be wearing fast clothes and sunglasses.  On this day, I be languid.  I be riding a slow bike.  I also be wearing slow clothes and safety glasses.   This'll be fun!  Rrroight..

Also along for ride NEMBA lads Shawn, Kevin & Carl -  a bunch of guys I've never met before, then Andy Gould (Mr annoyingly compatible) &  Nathaniel Williams (remembered him but not his name from the Pinnacle this year)  - couple more damn fast bastards.

We headed out of the lot guided (sort of) by Andy.  Quickly the hierarchy had formed:  Really fricken fast, fast enough to cause distress, fast enough to keep up and thankfully some more mellow guys.

I hung towards the front of the procession.  Nearby riders commented on the drone and visual impact of 4" wide tires.  Snowbikes do have a cartoonish thing going on - that's part of the appeal.  Another part of the appeal is the ability to bumble through rocky terrain.  They may not have the reflexes to whip through the twisty's quickly - but if you go off course ya just hang on while flattening nature's lesser obstacles. I could hear Shawn cracking up behind as I'd inadvertently create new lines. Whoops.

We even slowed down  to do some nature - the water was nearly perfectly still.

Carl gets a slice.  Small wonder seeing how his off road tires have turned into slicks.

We continued on in all different directions.  There was no real plan - more like Andy would have a thought - then we'd figure out how to execute it.  At one point we headed back towards the main lot area and trucked around where a CX race took place.   There were barriers set up.   Of course I tackled em' with the snowbike.  "WHATCHU MEAN MY TIRES ARE TOO BIG??!!"

As we kept riding - riders started dropping out.  As the riders kept dropping out  the remaining riders went faster.  Um... This is starting to hurt.  We headed over towards Fireline, a trail I remembered from last year.  It's fairly long for the area and packs a mid weight technical , but repetitive punch.  Hoo-boy..  This heavy bike business is kinda losing it's charm.  I had to relent mid-way and let Shawn go by.   It got harder and harder to be plucky man.  Finally, we got to the end of that trail.  At that point Shawn, Andy and others headed their own ways - "then there were three".  

 The three: Marty, Nathaniel and I.  Marty suggested we do a little more riding at an easy pace "maybe" (with a gleam in eyes just visible behind the fast sunglasses).  At first we rode easy down the carriage roads, then he and Nathaniel took the hell off (coincidentally this happened right after we passed a particularly well crafted gal).  Holy shit this was hard.  Marty and Nathaniel kept burning rocket fuel here and there  - I just kept dieseling. 

Starting from the area where the Big Ring Rumpus takes place all the way back towards the lot at Massabesic - Marty and Nathaniel pegged it even harder swapping pulls.   Through the tunnel under the road:  17.8 mph (WTF!!) - further on 19.6.. (??!!)  Continuing on...  22 point freaking 7.  ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING??!!  You can barely hit 25 down steep hills on these things!

I couldn't take it anymore and popped off the back just before a road crossing.  Even then I was pushing 18.  Anyone who rides a snowbike knows 15 feels ballistic.  Let alone 22 point freaking seven. 

Marty and Nathaniel eased up  momentarily and I got back into the drafty zone.  Only so we could crank things up just a leetle more before getting back to the lot.

Between Marty and the Mukluk, that was pretty much the hardest I have ever, ever gone. 

Good times.


  1. I've taken my mukluk on group rides before and had a blast but it was never with anyone trying to rip my legs off. hats off to you for toughing it out.

  2. Good read, thanks Alby. Riding for fun, eh? :-)

    I noticed you're in Chepachet, did you happen to know Brian Lemme?

    -Brett (TVR)

  3. Thanks Brett it was still fun-ish. Don't know Mr. Lemme - but now having Googled im' I don't know that I'm hardcore enough.

    PS - never did finish my TVR report (one of my favorites due to the techy terrain) bad blogger!

  4. Don't be fooled by Alby and his snowbike. He is FAST and does things with the mukluk i've never seen before. Keep in mind it weights 30+ pounds and we were riding 22 pound carbon hardtail "RACE Bikes". Highlights of the ride were Alby bush-wacking through the forest, Alby climbing steep cliff like features, Alby in a tuck doing over 20mph pushing out mad watts.
    Alby, it was good to see you there kicking ass having a good time and sticking it out with Nate and I....ALWAYS WITH A SMILE!!! We had a good laugh about it on the way home, although I don't we'll think laughing come race season.