Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Team SnowBike Enduro

Plans for the Team SnowBike Enduro are moving along. Looks like the LakeGeneva Canopy Tours will be the location and the date is January 14th.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

gravel ~ metal


Looking back to special times at GF-Ocho, Sunday morning rides at GF are always such a mellow good time.

We'll be doing some serious looking back for GF-9  - Gnome-Fest-Nueve'-Retro

Farmboy @ GF-Uno

Back for Next Year
 - Gnome Bike Enduro - Stage Race - Parade
 - Home Brew Contest
 - Saturday Night Pot-Luck
 - ? any other suggestions?

New for GF-9
 - Mayor(s) of Family Gnome Camp - Lisa & Martini?
 - Kids Bike Activities
 - Women's Mountain Bike &Tea Society Ride/Clinic with Jaquie Phelan
 - Classic Mountain Bike (Klunker) Sunday Morning Ride
 - Adam Blake  stepping into a Mayor's role next year!
 - ? - Anything Else?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beach Date

An early autumn bluster was cooking for Sunday's Beach ride. After an early trail advocacy breakfast in Milwaukee we headed up to Port and during the car trip, we got sprinkled upon from a bruised sky. The radar looked like we would have a two hour window, so we put on rain gear and hit the beach. Just Bethany and I on a little beach date. Bethany's first fat-bike ride all on sandy beach. The wind was to our back and the rain stopped almost as soon as we got started. Dicey weather is the best time to go beach riding. All of the usual suspects are inside and the light and color are usually pretty spectacular. makes pretty pictures.

The color on this shot reminds me of the super saturation that you get with slide film. We had fun and that was the goal.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fat Tire Memorial Tour all up in da' LG

"Those are some FAT tires"

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gravel is my middle name...

Gomez GianFranco Gravelero Guisepe Lago del Raven - My schwinn continental loved some Indana gravel in the 70's.

My cross check loves everything and everybody with gravel in their blood.
...and bleed I did. Gravel over concrete = spillage in the village.

Gravel is in my blood - gravel is in my bones - gravel surrounds my heart - gravel is where I'm home.

OCHO - a gnomese word for lunacy-fringe

Spinner & Puck

Every once in a while, all of the planets align, and crazy good times flow like the Niagara.  Gnome-Fest Ocho was one of those times. Perfect weather...generous sponsors...and incredible guests all came together to create a gnome-city festival  that will certainly become legend ...past - present  or future.

Steve & Carl Trailbuilding on Corkscrew

Cale and I headed up to Levis together and found a few folks had already started to build gnome-city. We camped behind the city hall -chalet and cracked open some coldies with Carl. The day was beautifully warm and sunny. A few folks from Madison came and started a suburb of Gnome City right out of the box. The only real thing on my agenda was at 4:00 pm to help do a little trail work on the last bit of Corkscrew, so I stayed hydrated and hung out. Steve Meurette, Carl, his swissy Fezzek and I headed out with tools and found just a few spots about midway down that needed some finish work. We worked for maybe an hour and as we hiked the length of the trail back towards Steve's truck, we commented on how the trail was primed for a fat-bike steam-rolling parade from gnomefezzetrs!

Blatz & Julio

Thursday night, things got a little blurry, so I'll skip forward to Friday. Amigos started to roll in and build their gnomesteads from the great lupine field out to the raw pine frontier....Gnome City [GC] was steadily getting and erection. Julio, Blatz and I got out on the bikes. Another perfectly warm sunny day up on the front mound was just what we needed. ~The calm before the storm~

Levis Gold

Julio and I headed out to Sand Creek Brewing to get set up for our first off-site registration event and pick up 2 half barrels to bring back to GC. By the time we left... the tap-room was full of amigos getting their fest started with a pint and a growler to go. We jetted back to GC, while the Ladies (Bethany, Sandy & Amy) stayed at the brewery to get peeps registered. I hear that the brewery was a rock'n party. Back at GC we turned the dial to ELEVEN and didn't look back. We tapped the kegs and derby'd around the blazing firepit. Multiple rounds ensued, with good music thumping away and Spinner taking multiple diggers riding the gnomungus pile of firewood. He put a nice crack in his frame in a spectacular endo that would have killed most earthlings....but this is Spinner, we're talking about.

Will ~ Derby

Iowa City ~ in the gnome'n house!  Adam and Aaron, accompanied by a band of crazies lit the fuse of a party that just raged! Words can't describe the chaotic just had to be there. Double A led a night ride out to Goat Dance and back down the Hermosa's while GC rocked. More pilgrims rolled into town and staked their claim to some real estate. Just when we thought we'd run out of beer, Collin from Lake Front Brewing showed up and quenched our rather large thirst....I crawled into our trailer around 2:40 am.....but the party went on....the NWA at 3:00 am was not appreciated universally by the good citizens of GC. (I told you to pack earplugs). It was a RAGE'r!

Saturday morning we surprised Julio and Bethany with new FatBikes from their spousal units. Julio received a Schlick Cycles Northpaw, all murder'd out - blackity blackness - a fat sexy ride....just how Julio likes it!

...and Bethany received a tiny hot salsa....I love to make my honey smile! This all happened as the traditional Saturday Morning Ladies ride assembled in front of City Hall. This will be the GF known for how the ladies just stole the show.....all Girl Power! and.....(wait 4 it) ..............Wild Cougar Formation [WCF]!!!

the Ladies

After lunch Mayor Martini assembled everyone to get set for the start of the Dirt Cat. This year, I didn't get assigned to a check-point, so I headed out with a group of our closest GF couisins to check out some of Levis Trow's sweetest trail. We ran into Keiker and the Q7 pair of Aces and made a party of it. I got to put a few miles in on Julios new Schlick and man that bike is F'ing sweet! The group tried to ditch me, but I found them swilling beers (up top) at the entrance to SideWinder and after a beer (for courage) we rode SideWinder and then the Hermosa's and ended up at the Talent Show checkpoint, where there was no shortage of liquor. Whirlwind forward through dinner to the awards!

Lisa on Sidewinder

At the awards people won stuff....and we raffled off some great prizes from Surly. Matt from the Twin Cities won the Pugsly frame and Fork. I can't wait to see how he builds it up! The baby pools were full of beer and the needle was still pegged. Stand by for the best Dwarfcycle Figure Eight Death Race since Cone-Man!

Photo by Lyle

Mayor Julio was up to bat and with the assistance of Cale they set the brackets for the infamous GF DeathRace! We started with ten soft dodgeballs on the course.....that was a mistake! People were just crazy aggro with their balls.  We eventually collected them all and the racing got better...and better.....till the streaking started and plenty of Girl on Girl Wrestling and skip streaking .......and starting line tequilla.....the debauchery was as thick and sweet as gnome jelly! We crowned champions and corinated a new queen of all gnomlandia - Her Royale Majesty Gabi the First with a shower of tequilla and much revelry from the bawdy citizens of Gnome City. Cale won the whole gnome enchilada and took home the rainbow underpants for his trophey case back in California. I don't really gnow how late the party went, because I couldn't quite gather my faculties to locate my phone, so I just retired with  looney thoughts racing through my head.

Sunday Services

Sunday morning our little tribe whipped up a pot-luck breakfast that was just what we needed to soak up some booze and get us ready for a little mellow farewell ride. As these things usually go, we got to wait and chat as folks found their bikes and put on their sunday best. By the luck of the gnome, just as we were ready to begin, Steve Muerette rode up and guided us on a delightful tour de points. The perfect cap to a glorious weekend of FUNonBIKES!

A huge thanks go out to all of our guests...our generous sponsors....all of the good folks that build trail at Levis Co-Mayors (Bethany ~ Julio~ Martini) and of course - Gnomes everywhere!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Gnomanifesto - or everything you gneed to gnow about the ocho, but were afraid to ask

Sooze - ConeMan - Landon

Three people that I would have never met, if it weren't for gnome-fest. Three people that still enrich my life - all in different ways. People are always asking me "what's up with gnome-fest?". It's not an easy question to answer. There is a pretty good set of answers here in posts 8&9 from a couple of GF veterans that also became dear friends because of the gnomes. Gnome-Fest is more than a mountain bike festival. It's a family reunion of's a judgement free zone, where you can revert back to the kid that used to just go out and jump on the bike to go out to play. Those of you that have been to GF know what I'm talking about.....

So if you're a veteran of gnome-fest, I kindly urge you to walk around gnome-city and introduce any new comers to our eclectic tribal family. Invite people to camp with you. Share some food, beer, and take a ride together! That's what I think makes our festival rock like no other!

The Schedule of Events

Pre-Fest - People are already camped out at the festival grounds. I plan on a thursday arrival. Camping is first come first serve, but we predict a very large crowd this invite newbies and strangers to camp along side of you. You may make a lifelong friend! (I know I have) Please pay the Clark County Posted Fees for camping and trail passes! The County is going to crack down on their fee collection! - Pay the fee amount posted at the self-pay station. we have lower camping rates that apply only for Friday and Saturday - more on that further down the page...

Friday - Let the madness begin!
All Day Long - Guests Start to arrive and erect Gnome City. As in previous years, there will be Family (quieter) camping along the left side of the parking lot. The main festival camping area is in the grass field, to the right side of the parking lot (beyond the row of pines). You will be able to access this area with your vehicle to unload, but then you'll need to move the car back to the gravel lot. The vehicle access to the main camping area is the only gate on the right just before you get to the main lot. Your camping fees will need to be paid when you register for the fest. Even if you have pre-registered you will need to pay Clark County their Fee's for Camping and Trail Passes. We have negotiated special (festival only) camping fees. This was not an easy task considering that the county has the perception that we have a lot of festival participants that have not paid for camping during previous years.

Camping Fees
Family Camping Area - $13 per night - per sleeping unit
General Camping Area - $7 per night - per sleeping unit

Trail Pass Fees - $5 per day

These fees will need to be paid when you register. We will give you a county form/envelope to fill out and you will need to give us the completed form with the specific fee's enclosed. You may want to bring a checkbook to pay these fees. These fees are additional to the festival fees. Keep in mind that all of the festival profits go right back into building and maintaining the trails at Levis. The Camping and Trail Pass fees go to the county that maintain the facilities that we get to use during the fest.


Sand Creek Brewing will host a registration party for us at the brewery located in Black River Falls. Link to Map. They have printed up a whole skid of special edition GF-Ocho growlers that we can purchase filled with their delicious beer for just $6. There'll be live music from six o'clock on. This is the place to get your magic gnome-fest wristband......register and pick up your pre-registration goodies - enter or purchase additional raffle tix to win the pugsley - This is the only place and time you can register on Friday.

7:00 pm - Back at Gnome City we'll tap the first keg and get the party rolling with a big bon-fire, fat-bike derbies and hammershlaggen! Embibe in some tasty beer from both Sand Creek and Lakefront Brewery. We need you to help drain, at least, 4 half barrels! We're going to try to minimize the amount of plastic cups that eventually go to the landfill and embrace a semi-green policy of sustainable drunkenness, so bring a mug, stein, drinking horn, or pint glass to fill and re-fill. You will not need a wristband to participate in the kegger.

9:ish - Professional stunt man and good friend - Adam Blake (who I coincidentally met at GF-Quatro by encouraging him and his amigos to camp behind us) will gather up the (sober) troops for a night tour of the farthest reaches of space....otherwise known as goat dance. A bike ride that you will not soon forget - the moon will be amazing!

Sleep? The party on Friday night goes well into Saturday morning. This where a nice set of ear plugs can be your best friend if you like to get a good nights sleep.

Saturday - Breakfast anyone? (see above)
Saturday morning we encourage everyone to go out and explore. The trails at Levis are outstanding! Go out and play with some of your new friends! Get the lay of the land, because you'll need some of that for the Dirt Cat.

10:00 am - Noon - Registration at the chalet. This is your final opportunity to get the official GF8 wristband - register or pick up your pre-registration goodies - or get into the raffle to win a pugsley. You will also have an opportunity to pay for camping and trail passes as explained above.

Noonish till almost 2:00 - Time to get ready to race/ride/raceplay? Eat some lunch and maybe get into costume for the upcoming Dirt Cat.

1:30 - DIRT CAT - world renowned illusionist and mystic of the Mississippi - Martini is the director du sportif for this event. You will be given a map and a manifest along with some instructions that will provide you with quite the cycling challenge (and more). To participate in the Dirt Cat you will need to have registered. If you don't have a wristband, you cannot race - or win stuff.

Beer Pot-Luck - once you get back from the dirt cat you can start loading up the baby pools with your contribution to the beer pot-luck. We'll get it all swimming in ice and ready for you to drink all night long! (This is a good time to relax for a little bit and grab some food.)

6:ish - Dirt Cat Awards! Schwagfest! PUGSLEY DRAWING!

Drunk O'Clock - The Dwarfcycle - Figure Eight - Death Races - Julio ....along with his faithful sidekick Ernesto invite you to don.... and then (eventually) strip off, the costume of your choice, for the most photographed event in the Gnome World of Sports. Head to head full contact racing for prizes, culminating in the men's champion vs. the women's champion, battling for the intergallactic rainbow underoo championship of the universe! We have prizes for the best costume (M&F) to be awarded by our distinguished panel of judges comprised of all of the previous Mayors of Gnome City in addition to awards for 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the death races. Just like the Dirt have to have a wristband to race.

Sunday - Some pack up and head home right away, but I like to head out to goat dance for one last ride with amigos (both old and new) at a leisurely pace. We ask that you clean up your area and stack your garbage in the designated garbage corral before heading home.

Finally -

I asked some Gnome-Fest Veterans to assemble a list of ten things to remember not to forget, when you're packing up the old family truckster to head up to the big gnome round up at Levis and here is what we've come up with...

Cale - Former Mayor of Gnome City
  1. Booze with caffeine in it, stuff is illegal now so I hope you stocked up.
  2. A fat bike, everyones got one now. if you don't have one buy one (or win one at gnomefest!)
  3. a good costume (or no clothes) for the dwarfcycle death race.
  4. co-ordination for hmmerschlagen
  5. somewhere semi-comfortable to pass out.
  6. things to eat, or edibles as it were.
  7. Kindness, treat your fellow gnome festers well.
  8. stuff to do in the woods at night
  9. 9. a camera to record the parts of the fest that should be recorded
  10. 10. your memory to record the parts that should not be.

Katy - GnomeWorld SuperModel and MORC Den Mother

  1. 1. Headlamp so you don't step on gnomes while you're stumbling back to your tent drunk.
  2. The most obscure microbrew to impress all of your 2-wheel loving friends.
  3. Glowsticks!
  4.  Full body armor for when the bike derby gets dirty.
  5.  Some sort of heavenly goodness to share with your fellow Gnomefesters.
  6.  Girls: a Go Girl or She Wee so we can show the boys we can do it better!
  7.  Any type of "paraphanelia" that you feel is appropriate. If you're not sure, bring it anyway, we'll decide for you.
  8.  Alleve or Advil. Lots of it.
  9.  Your alter ego, so it can stretch its wings a little.
  10.  Your original polaroid of the pyramid at gnomefest V to burn in the bonfire so it is lost for all eternity!

Marty - Current Mayor of Gnome City and Dirt Cat Director du Sportif
  1. extra liver. or three.
  2. an appetite for misery. - he means awesomeness - I think
  3. tubes. For what, that's up to you.
  4. lube. For what, that's up to you.
  5. hangover worthy breakfasts. Think bacon.
  6. ice.
  7. a ride home.
  8. an ability to clean up after yourself. We're not your mom's.
  9. a good attitude.
  10. a bike. preferably a fat one.

Ernesto - mi amigo el primo and one crazy muh-fuggah!
  1. 10 foot long outhouse ladle
  2. Tums
  3. a dog whistle to drive dogs nuts
  4. fibromyalgia medicine
  5. one of those things
  6. beekeeper helmet (for me)
  7. a catapult and sacks of flour for the battle
  8. sediments
  9. gasoline spritzer for the laugh gland
  10. a tuba

Joe - JTM - Julio - Current Mayor of Gnome City+my other best boyfriend
  1. 6 pack of microbrew for the beer pool
  2. Anti itch cream for that mysterious rash that you will undoubtedly develop
  3. Extra underwear
  4. Barbie Dolls (gnomes use them as sex toys)
  5. Lube (both kinds)
  6. Water
  7. spare liver
  8. a boomerang
  9. A mint condition first pressing of William Shatner's The Transformed Man

Sandy - veteran of every ever......and can swear like a sailor ( i happen to like that)
  1. A sense of humor
  2. Love of biking or people who bike
  3. Cold(er) weather gear...gets chilly at night
  4. Baby wipes - there are no showers at GF
  5. Camping gear - tent, kitchen stuff, sleeping bag (really stinks when you forget this), camp chair
  6. Beer - good/interesting stuff for the baby pool
  7. Bug spray
  8. All your bike stuff - bike, shoes, helmet, lights (if you're going to night ride), etc.
  9. Garbage bags - let's keep the campgrounds as clean or cleaner than when we got there
  10. Big smiles and good stories for friends old and new

Bethany - My honey, and like me, sandy and Joe vertan of each and every GF, plus she's and ex Mayor and Current Mayor of Gnome City - Inventor of the Gnome Bucket y mi corazon!

  1. Good Weather Karma
  2. Head protection ( helmet or condoms)
  3. Towel to wipe your wet head
  4. Peace - Love
  5. Extra Batteries
  6. Underwear not required
  7. Bathing suits in case it rains
  8. Hey dogs - don't forget your poop bags
  9. Party favors to share
  10. Heavy duty garbage bags to hide the evidence

Gomez - Some old fat guy

  1. Large Black Heavy Duty Garbage Bags
  2. Ear Plugs
  3. your childhood love for going out to play
  4. camp chair
  5. kindness to strangers
  6. camping gear
  7. drinking vessel - (let's minimize the amount of plastic cups we send to the landfill from the kegger party)
  8. costume
  9. Bike+Helmet+all the assorted gear to ride all day and all night
  10. All your Camping Stuff


Me too!