With the temps hitting 60 on the 6th day of March, there is nothing to do but ride, ride, ride the fixies. The inaugural SLICK 50, held last year, is simply the first long ride of the year for most of us, and because of the constant thaw/freeze/repeat cycle we've been having, destined to be a gooey mess.
This year's ride was hastily planned on Saturday afternoon to take place on Sunday, and even with the short notice, we had 8 riders show up for the 2pm roll call at CRC HQ. 7 fixies, and 1 cross bike. By the time everyone's bike was safely tuned, it was 2:30. We rolled out of the alley behind Stalag 17, up Penn Ave, to the Cedar Lake Bike Highway and headed west. There were plenty of other riders, joggers, and walkers out enjoying the solar power, and the trail was a sloppy mix of water, runoff dirt, and icy chunks. Zito took the gold star for first rider to go dowwwn, when he tried to navigate an off camber slope of ice in the shadows. I had a front row seat as his rear wheel slid out. No blood was shed, and we resumed the ride, out past Highway 100, on through Hopkins to the LRT trail. The loose, crushed gravel trail had the consistency of peanut butter; this is why we call it the SLICK 50, friends. Bailey, of course, concerned that his Salsa cross bike would get dirty was soon AWOL, not to be seen or heard from for the rest of the day. After roughly a 1/4 mile of the soupy sales, we decided to hit the pave, and rode west out Minnetonka Boulevard. Mac and Tatara had a time constraint and turned back at the 20 mile point, which whittled us down to 5: Zito, Brauer Power, B-Rad, The Wrexican, and myself. A short run down Rolling Acres Road to Highway 5 had us in Victoria at Floyd's Bar & Grill. The Front Porch Swingin' Liqour Pigs were tearing through a hot set. We ordered Budweiser, Coke, and sloppy joes, then took our seats at a picnic table on the outdoor patio. The sloppy joes were inhaled, the locals grilled us with questions and quizzical looks, and Rusty and the boys just kept on a pickin' and a grinnin' as the sunlight was dwindling. Out came the layers and vapor barriers, and we pointed back to the city, arriving just after sundown into the clutches of Minneapolis, another SLICK 50 (a.k.a. "Victoria's Secret") in the books. Thanks to all who attended.
Mac-Surly Steamroller 42 x 17
Tatara-Maserati 42 x 17
B-Rad-Bianchi 50 x 18
Zito-Bianchi Pista 48 x 17
Wrexican-Surly Karate Monkey 44 x 16
Hurl-Surly Fixed Check 41 x 17
Brauer-Surly Steamroller 50 x 20
Bailey- Salsa Cross 1 x 9 (gears)