Bike Life Adventures: The Great Plan

Hi friends!

It's been a while since I've written any sort of post with my own words, and that's #bikeshoplife is going full force, slowing down, but at the same time, it's still as busy as ever. This is good yet also stressful. Seriously, the one thing that is making me feel just a tiny bit sane is...


Yes, the bike shop will be closed from October 4th-October 13th. Travis and I, well, perhaps more myself...(JK! Both of us. Seriously...) need some time off away from the shop. 

Not that we do not appreciate our wonderful customers, but it's been a long and stressful season. We actually pushed back our vacation a whole extra week because of the calls we received for bike rental at the end of September. You read that right. Pushed back. Truth be told it would be wonderful to spend some time with my husband outside of the shop. Home life is: Come home, eat supper, watch an episode or two of some show during supper, and go to bed. Obviously there is basically no quality time. For us, COVID actually made our lives busier than ever/less time together outside of work...and for those who do not work with their spouse/significant time together is absolutely NOT the same as actual non-work time together. (At least for us.)

So, consider it a mutual celebration of my 36th birthday and our 3 year anniversary, because our trip (mind you a very socially distanced trip), will be right after my birthday and right before our anniversary. Cripes. Come to think of it, since Travis and I got married, our years have been riddled with chaotic adulting (on my end...) We didn't use the traditional vows of "For better/For Worse"...but dingdang. There has been a lot of "For Worse." 

I went whole hog into planning mode after I got an "okay" for making an adventure (with a stop before and after) to Copper Harbor, MI. Thanks to my friend, Libby, for her suggestion! It was a bucket list destination that I put on the back burner. Now it's on the big burner up front, ha! Originally it was going to be just a socially distanced trip to Hayward, WI. Now it's a trip to visit the WinMan trail system, Copper Harbor, and ends in Hayward, WI (and then, of course, come home.)

I can't tell you how stoked I am. Even if, worst-case scenario (we don't get to mountain bike) happens, I will simply appreciate seeing the areas we are visiting, maybe hike some, and make our #tourdepizza happen. Yup. We plan to eat a lot of pizza...and my goal is to eat some fresh doughnuts. 

I am ready to bike.
I'm ready to progress.
Like ride some stuff that makes my butt pucker. 
Jump some stuff (but not anything that is truly outside of my skill set as I'm technically an infant when it comes to drops/jumps.)

The bike that I'll be riding the entire time is my custom built, S-Works Stumpjumper aka Frankie G. The Glitter Queen. Ideally, I'd love to ride Dirty Gertie, but I can't take an e-bike everywhere (yet?) so going full squish and sparkle power is what I'll be doing. I'm super confident on my Stumpjumper when riding somewhere new, so having the extra beef will certainly be helpful to me in some situations. I was halfway tempted to take Shreddy Ruger, my custom built S-Works Epic Evo, but decided the beefier tires and cushier suspension would be better suited for my style. (Which is a cautious with dramatic dreams of shred.) I know it's a "big bike" to ride in other areas (aka Hayward/Cable, etc.) but the nice thing is that elevation in those areas is less than Decorah, so I'll be fine. Here's hoping my knee will be, too.

I had a knee treatment that has kept me away from mountain biking for a while (which sucks, but the hope is that it will help me from developing water knee on the trip.) Not counting that, we just had a slew of rainy days in Decorah, so that's a great reason for staying off the bike? At least I'll have (hopefully) an epic mtb/pizza filled vacation before getting another treatment. 

Look for future reviews on some Mons Royale items I purchased. I haven't been able to test out everything, but so far I've been extremely impressed and have found that I love wool and/or wool blends very much. Seriously, I have been super happy to add some color back into my wardrobe that I really love, plus have some stuff that keeps me super comfortable in cooler weather. One item is a black jersey, and I wore it 3 rides in a row, two of which were very hot/humid. Absolutely NO ARMPIT STANK! (insert heart eye emoji here.) I figured for the trip it would be nice to possibly have some items that really wouldn't need to be washed ASAP. I do plan to pack prepaired for some chamois washing, but if I don't have to worry about jerseys on top of that...awesome!

Also, I'll be trying out some products from 43 CBD Solutions! Even tho I take anti-anxiety medication, I do like to use CBD products for my annoying aches/pains. Also, they are USDA Certified organic and Orangutan safe (no palm oil.) 

I've really been enjoying the whole planning process of this socially distanced vacation. It's given me something to focus on besides work. Let me say that I do not take traveling lightly and the objective is to be as safe as possible. It's been a weird year, and I feel like I can say with full truth that I've felt awkard most of the year (until we implemented a mask policy at the shop.) Since that policy came in place, I have felt less worried (to an extent.) Knowing we are going to areas with mask mandates/policies in place makes me feel a lot more comfortable. We'll be in our room as much as possible excluding actual biking/rock hunting/hiking/etc. Also, hand sanitizer, alcohol spray, and Lysol spray will be packed. #allthethings

I've been waiting for the moment we could escape and go somewhere with very little cell reception, a lot of trees, lakes, and mountain bike trails. Have no fear, we'll come back to Decorah! I also know that I'll have a huge case of FOMO and I will miss out on some stuff. In reality, until we know exactly what the weather does, who knows what we will or will not be doing. It might be hiking instead of biking for all I know. I'm totally open to whatever this adventure brings, but truth be told, I am asking my dad to bring fair weather for the trip because I really, really, really want to ride the Danimal trail in Copper Harbor. Also, the Point Trail. Really...I want to get in as much riding as possible. My soul needs it.

It's funny, because as September dwindles, my heart gets all fluttery because October is one of my favorite months. I've always loved my birthday month...and knowing that we'll be doing something I absolutely love (be immersed in nature, ride bikes/hike, rock hunt, eat yummy food, sleep in(?), and not be sucked into my phone every 5 seconds like I am here.) I love trees. I love water. I love rocks. I'm flippn' stoked. No matter what happens, I know I'll make the best of it...and Travis already knows that we'll go back at some point. Heh, heh, heh!