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A 15-Day Whirlwind Tour of Bucket List Trails in Colorado – Jeff Frane

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A 15-Day Whirlwind Tour of Bucket List Trails in Colorado – Jeff Frane

A 15-Day Whirlwind Tour of Bucket List Trails in Colorado (and one in Utah!)
Photos and words by Jeff Frane

Greetings party people,

It’s me, Jeffrey G. Frane and I’d like to share some stories and photos from a recent 15-day whirlwind tour of bucket list trails in the Colorado mountains. (and one in Utah!) For two weeks we moved non-stop taking in 3,300 miles of van life, the finest rest stops and porta-johns the West has to offer, mountain peaks, mechanical mishaps, world-class campsites, bug bites, crashes, new friends, and countless ribbons of singletrack. The itinerary was exhausting and ridiculous, but as traveling always tends to be, it was also the best.

It all started last Spring (2016) when my partner Chelsea won the fatbike category at the Lutsen 99’er deep in the Northwoods and North Shore of Minnesota, which qualified her for the famed Leadville 100 Trail Race. For those uninitiated, the Leadville 100 is an absolutely ludicrous endeavor that’s been going on since 1983 and takes in 12,000 feet of climbing in 100 miles at elevations between 10,000 and 12,000 feet. Owing to the seriousness and financial cost of the undertaking, she decided to take a full year to prepare her body and mind.

For those of us from the low-lands just sleeping is challenging at that altitude, nevermind throwing down what would be a monster day on a bicycle at any elevation. To add to the challenge, she had never before been to the high mountains or spent any time at elevation, and thus had no idea how her body would react. Because of the race altitude, we wanted to spend as much time in the mountains as possible prior to the event, and since she had never been to Colorado before, we agreed that rather than choosing one destination, we’d simply do everything!

On a Sunday we loaded up the van, left our home in Minneapolis and cannonballed toward the Front Range, spending a night in Denver before hitting up the legendary Monarch Crest in Salida, 401 Trail in Crested Butte, the race in Leadville, 18 Road and Horsethief in Fruita, and finally the whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah. This was our first extended road trip as a couple and after a hard Summer of being separated, traveling for work and bike racing, it was very special to reconnect and share her first time in the mountains.

Here’s to the great tradition of Summer Road trips!

____

Follow Jeff on Instagram.

Bike Jerks: Holy Mountain Work Apron

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Bike Jerks: Holy Mountain Work Apron

Tired of getting your favorite t-shirts covered in grease? Bike Jerks has something for you!

“Made in the USA of heavy duty canvas and industrial thread, built to last a lifetime. Putting to use our years of experience working in bike shops and doing greasy jobs, we’ve designed the apron of our dreams.

It’s got three main waist pockets, an upper pocket for small parts and tools with a pen slot, and durable webbing shoulder and waist straps. Available in the most practical color of all for an apron – black. Handmade in Baltimore USA”

Swoop up at Bike Jerks!

Bike Jerks: Baphomet Shirt

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Bike Jerks: Baphomet Shirt

The Baphomet is a symbol, first drawn by Eliphas Levi, that represents balance in the universe. Over the years, it’s been heavily circulated throughout the “metal world,” from bands to bicycles. Bike Jerks plays homage to this century-old illustration with their Baphomet shirt. In stock now at Bike Jerks!

Bike Jerks: Superfriends Kit

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Bike Jerks: Superfriends Kit

We’re stoked to be a part of this project!

“We are beyond stoked to bring you the next big thing in stretchy riding ensembles: The Bike Jerks Superfriends Team Kit. We’ve teamed up with The Radavist, Team Dream Team, Trackosaurus Rex, The Athletic, Golden Saddle Cyclery and Endo Customs to bring you this instant classic.

Bucking current trends in kit design, the goal was to create something that would be unique and yet instantly familiar. Calling together our favorite people and brands across the industry, we drew inspiration from early 90’s mountain bike designs to create the dream piece you see before you.

We couldn’t be happier with the results, and hope that you’ll be moved to fly the colors.
Kits will only be available through the Bike Jerks prebook which ends on June 10th. You can expect delivery Mid-July.”

Colorado Road Trippin’ – Jeff Frane

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Colorado Road Trippin’ – Jeff Frane

Colorado Road Trippin’
Words and photos by Jeff Frane

Hello, it’s me Jeffrey Gene Frane of Bike Jerks and All-City. This is the first time John’s let me infiltrate the Radavist with my ramblings and photos, although he insisted that I let him edit the photos, something about dropping out the cyan or some such. It stung at first, but I can see how my iPhoto skillz may not be up to par for such a fine site as this…

The Minneapolis River Bottoms on Fatbikes

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The Minneapolis River Bottoms on Fatbikes

Warning: this post contains the bane of everyone’s existence this winter – snow. I apologize and promise to bring warm vibes from here on out. Seriously.

I absolutely love riding my Pugsley around Austin. Both on and off-road, it’s been a blast and the number one question I get is: “what’s that bike for?”. My answer “snow”… This causes a look of puzzlement on their faces. There’s no snow in Texas! Naturally, but it’s still fun to motor around town and hit some trails.

Riding a fatbike in the snow is something I’ve yet to do, so when Jeff told me to stay a few days longer after Frostbike, I brought my Pugs and threw on some platform pedals. Our first stop (and as it turns out, only stop) was the River Bottoms. Kyle and I had been there before with Jeff, in the summer months and I was eager to see how much it had changed after the all snow and freezing temps.

We kitted up in waterproof fabrics and wool, set our PSI to around 8 and 10, brought some snacks and of course, Baroo, Jeff’s Basenji / Red Heeler mix trail dog… What happened next was a mix of riding and an “Adventure by Hike”.

Minneapolis River Bottom Riding on the Surly Krampus

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Minneapolis River Bottom Riding on the Surly Krampus

Look, I love the ‘wood and I love dirt. I’d rather spend six hours in the woods than three on sealed road. Why? It’s more fun. Especially when you find yourself on a 29+ MTB like a Surly Krampus (don’t worry, there’s a review coming). On one of my last days in Minneapolis, Jeff, Kyle and I rode the “River Bottoms” with Baroo, Jeff’s dog.

We took it at a chill pace, messed around on obstacles and stopped for the photo opps… Then, Kyle sprained his ankle and Baroo got overheated (90 degrees in Minneapolis is HOT).

I have to admit, in the 25 miles we rode, I had so much fun riding in the ‘wood with my mates. See for yourself in the narrated Gallery!

The 2013 All City Championship Track Crit

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The 2013 All City Championship Track Crit

Track bike crits have become all the rage at local city events. These high-speed, high-tension races are enjoyed by all and offer up a taste of what it’s like to not only race in a road criterium, but also track racing. For the 2013 All City Championship, Jeff put on a track crit, to replace his normal match sprints. 50 or so racers entered, over a hundred were there to spectate and it was a great time. I haven’t had that much fun at a bike event in a while!

Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!

The All-City Championship Alleycat is Tonight!

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The All-City Championship Alleycat is Tonight!

I’ve been having a blast here in Minneapolis so far. Bandit cross ruled, last night’s track bike criterium was fast and fun but tonight’s main event is going to be even better.

Here’s the scoop from Bike Jerks: Meet at One on One at 4pm, Rollout to Undisclosed Starting Location at 4:45, Shortly after 5pm Race Start

Turn in your Manifest by 9pm or be DQ’d

Checkpoints:
Gear Junkie Office
2836 Lyndale Greenway Level
Grumpy’s NE
Pat’s Tap
Sample Room
Indeed Brewing
Minnehaha Rail Station
Witch’s Hat Tower
Fulton Brewery
Spring St. Tavern
White Sands Beach
E 27th st / West River Parkway
Cedar Inn
Grumpy’s Downtown
Don’t be a clown, bring your helmet

Minneapolis Randomness 01

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Minneapolis Randomness 01

Yesterday was the first full day in Minneapolis. I’m here for the All-City Championships, along with Kyle from Tracko. We’re both crashing at Jeff from All-City’s house and that means we fall into his routine. His food, his rides, his spots and of course, his house. When you’re staying with someone like Jeff, expect a good time. Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!