We love bicycling as a lifestyle, culture, and sport. We love to ride, build, restore, oggle and sometimes race bicycles. We also love to talk on at great length about our ideas, opinions and exploits involving all of the above. Welcome to our BLOG!

Abandon Your Car is not a slogan or ideology so much as a reminder to all of us to get away from our petro-mobiles as often as we possibly can and embark on life as an adventure by bicycle.

We'll keep you current on the important road and trail beta from our home base in Palisade, Colorado and shower you with our .02 cents about the ongoings of bicycle tribes the world over.

Be sure to tune in for Danny, AKA: the Young Apprenctice, providing the ever important perspectives of a college-bound bike geek and all around brainiac in his NORCAL Updates.

We're glad you're here- look around, drop the Bike Master a line and then get out and ride for awhile- you'll be glad you did!

go to our most recent posting here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

the Great Pumpkin has landed: OG orange Schwinn Varisty

just in time for Haloween, here's the latest curation to the South Routt Velosport fleet of vintage Schwinns: a dead original, garage-stored-for-life Schwinn Varsity. totally OG right down to the cables, orange handlebar tape, Schwinn saddle bag and rear carrier. not a speck of rust, just a bit dirty and needs some fresh orange plastic Hunt-Wilde handlebar tape from the great eBay store...

got it from the guy across the alley, he bought it new back in the day from La Habra Schwinn in SoCal. i will get the serial # and post up the build date and more photos in future installments as this exciting new project develops.

the 24" frame is a bit on the tall side for me, probably only an inch of seatpost will be showing when i get the fit all done up... perfect.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fruita: located on the eastern periphery of the great void

there is so much good riding in Fruita... we have barely scratched the surface. Jen and i rode there last wednesday for about 3 hours, almost all of it on singletrack and passed by 4 other people the whole time we were out on the trail. next time we get out that way, i will be sure to get some images of the road riding as it is every bit as good as the off-road stuff.

hard to believe, but true

Mack Ridge is best ridden from west to east. nice singletrack with some challenging technical sections and a couple of short (for me- i'm old) dismounts. the views from the top are well worth the effort expended to climb up there.

this is also an invitation for our friend Dave (or any of our other family/friends for that matter) to come and ride with us. be sure to bring both your road bike and mountain bike.

Friday, September 11, 2009

bike master's most improved rider award - 2009

(drumroll, please...) and the award goes to:

she has never participated in a bike race until this year, but she came out winning right from the start. it could be argued that her new, 650b wheeled Eriksen had a lot to do with her success (it did). but in all honesty, natural talent and determination conspiring with a high strenth-to-weight ratio and some good old-fashioned aggression mixed in as well are what really did it.

truth be told, she'd still be winning races on a wal-mart bike

just a few months ago, this technical section of Mack Ridge would likely have caused a frustrating get-off-and-walk situation followed immediately by a couple of miles worth of bitter complaints about going back to flat pedals.

now she just stays clipped in and punches it.

honorable mention goes to: Danny Rietz, AKA "the young apprentice".
he's going to have to work really hard to steal the title from his aunt, though. hopefully, he rides some this winter before coming back to Colorado for his second year at Bike Master's Death March Training Camp.

mu-huhuhu bwaaa ha ha hahaha ha

Thursday, September 10, 2009

steamboat springs stage race 2009 - ski & bike care criterium

day four and the final event. mostly just a parade lap, as the G.C. battle has been decided. this is the event in which to stay out of trouble but at the same time get some exposure at the front of the race... and one last chance for the riders farther down the heap to reclaim a little bit of dignity.

i was actually feeling pretty good after all of the chasing the day before.
image credit: one fly

the pelican stretches its wings... or someting like that. sm 45's mid race

artsy image in the morning light.

finished 8th today (that's a little bit more like it, eh?) moved up one spot to 19th in final G.C. it was really great to get back in the game again. a lot of fun, just like i remember.

steamboat spring stage race 2009 - moots road race

sunday's road race featured a hilly parcours with 900 meters of climbing over 88 kilometers. pro/1/2's did 112 kilometers with 1100 meters of climbing. most of the rain storms held off while the race was going on, but the wind did not.

the peloton stretches out while descending at about 80 kilometers per hour

senior men 45's approach

there will be discomfort.

riders going solo off the front and solo off the back. it always hurts worse to go off the back.

sometimes a lot worse.
20th today, 20th on G.C.
the upward trajectory suddenly turned down sharply when i missed my start like a cat. 4 rookie and spent the day chasing. at least i caught some guys and didn't finish dead last. talk about embarrassing.
afterwards, i called my old soigneur, Murphy III. sometimes a racer needs a babysitter to make sure that they stay on top of all the little details so the racing can be calm, relaxed and focused. things are sure going to be different next time around.

steamboat springs stage race 2009 - marabou circuit

racing continued saturday at the marabou preserve with a 7-lap, 50.75 kilometer circuit race. the parcours featured two minor climbs with one longer/steeper switchback section totalling 140 meters of elevation gain/loss per lap, followed immediately by a fast, switchback downhill. the remainder was rolling downhill through the finish with a fast, flat section leading back to the climbs.
the numbers don't seem like much for such a short race, but the whole thing was pretty much sorted out today.
like i said before; these almost-old-guys are fast.

i'm doing my best to stay out of the wind and still not get shagged off the back. the three guys at the front looking comfortable while driving the pace are the top three on G.C.

not the place to be: shagged off the back. here i try to imagine myself more powerful than Floyd when he won the epic Tour stage to Morzine in 2006. i forgot the beer-and-shots the night before, so my form was a bit off compared to what his was.
1 hour 35 minutes puts me 15th on the day, 15th overall G.C.
local photographer Tim Murphy has a lot of artsy images of the (mostly pro/1/2 race) posted on his website.

Friday, September 4, 2009

steamboat springs stage race 2009 - marabou TT

one thing that i have known for a long time is that i'm usually not the fastest in the "race of truth". 12:06 for the hilly 6.75 kilometer parcours. got caught at the line by the guy who won- at a minute twenty seven better than me. that time would have placed him 3rd in the pro/1/2's. pretty impressive. the old guys are fast in Colorado.

now i'm sittin pretty in 18th overall, i should be able to improve on that in the next two days.
if not, get the broom wagon.

here's local fast guy Barkley Robinson killin' it in the Pro/1/2's

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

steamboat springs stage race 2009 - video preview

here's a link to the official race website where Corey has posted a video from the S.S. Winter Sports Club circuit race held earlier this year.
the video appears to be from one of the warm-up sessions before the actual racing started, showing riders desending* from near the top of the climb. during this weekend's circuit race on the same parcours, i predict that the faster categories will be winding out at better than 75 kilometers/hour on this same section.
for those of you who haven't seen top level road racing before, this 4-day stage race will present many great opportunities to do so.

the chicane through the gate looks kind of sketchy to me, hopefully the promoters put up a few strategically placed hay bales for safety's sake.

*note to aspiring young or novice riders: observe the rider in the blue kit in front of the camera... not holding a steady line on the wheel of the rider in front of her, is she? several unpredictable, side-to-side movements going on there.

the rider in front of her is ready for Moto GP with his knees hanging out in the wind like that, exaggerating just a little too much for the corners being negotiated and how fast (or slow, rather) they are actually going.

photo of Sete Gibernau from Superbyke Magazine UK

the moral of this story is: either trust the rider in front of you to be solid and predictable (so that you may ride in a similar manner) or be the rider in front.

Monday, August 31, 2009

steamboat springs stage race 2009

here's an exciting event in its's first year, right here in Routt county. four, that's right, four days of ACA sanctioned road racing

please see the official race website for details. be sure to volunteer if possible or just turn out to support your favorite local riders.

steamboat springs town challenge race series finale 2009

here's the race results from mt. werner:


Place Name City Bib No Age Overall Time
1 Dave Fisher 518 46 46:49
2 Danny Armstrong 517 27 47:23
3 Ben Clark 406 50:40
4 Jp Pougiales 218 52:14


Place Name City Bib No Age Overall Time
1 Jennifer Sliney 725 44 28:07
2 Heidi Nunninkoven 315 47 30:14
3 Heather Craigen 313 39 33:17
4 Lane Malone 308 45 36:33

here's how the season overall tallied for the South Routt Velosport racing team:

2009 Men's Singlespeed

Dave Fisher 120
JP Pougailes 92
Jonthan Wheby 56
Ben Clark 49
Dereck Fish 33
Danny Armstrong 17
Clint Ball 15
Kevin Kopischke 11

2009 Novice Women 35+

Jennifer Sliney 117
Heather Craigen 92
Heidi Nunninkoven 92
Lane Malone 78
Kelly Stamp 20
Lisa Owen 20
Julie Hagenbuch 19
Kim Hornsby 15
Karen Goedert 13
kelly McCreary 13
Jenn Warren 11

Thursday, August 20, 2009

race results: wednesday night worlds

this was the second-to-last Steamboat Springs Town Challenge race for 2009. perfect warm and sunny late summer weather for the 17.7 kilometer (11 miles) sprint up an 1100 meter (3600+ feet) climb.
the road above Dry Lake campground was pretty rough, to say the least. there was also a good bit of wind, so there was no new record time for the event this year.

on the way up i was working with Jon Freckleton and Jamie Morgan, riding a good tempo and pulling away form a lot of chasers. Jamie was dropping off the pace right about when Jennifer took this photo (about half way up). both of those guys were on geared bikes, so i struggled to hang on for the flat and downhill sections but still managed to contribute to the pacemaking on the steeper parts.
i finished in 1:09:16, 10th overall, 1st men's singlspeed.

rolling down the hill with a fellow competitor after the race. there's not nearly as many opportunities to take in the view while going the other direction.

turned around to talk to my beautiful soigneur, Jen, for a few moments before continuing the fast descent to the valley floor. nice image, i thought i would put this one up as well.
here's some additional race coverage and photos from the local newspaper.
artsy photos in this post by Jen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

crop report & 95th annual Routt County Fair results 2009

front of the house and some of the garden about 6 weeks ago.

things are really happening in the garden right now, lots of the veggies are reaching full ripeness while a few others need some more time. that isn't such a great thing, given the 52 frost-free growing days per season here in zone 3 are pretty much over for this year.

it's not exactly that Mediterranean climate that i love so much , as one would expect to find in Provence or coastal California.

nonetheless, we have managed to get rid of a big patch of lawn in the front yard and put some food on the table at the same time. at some point along the way, i decided that i was going to enter some of our 100% organic* produce in the 95th annual Routt County Fair, held at the beginning of august of this year.

some might think it would be foolish for a city boy to step up with the old-timers and compete in this seriously hardcore agricultural region... especially in only the 2nd year of the garden project. they would probably be right.

anyway, here's what the judges awarded:

from top left: Jen's single color sweet pea flowers grabbed numerous palmares including 1st Premium (blue), Champion, and last but not least Grand Champion. her 3 color mix took 1st Premium and Champion as well. oregano 1st Premium, opal basil 1st Premium, Thai basil Champion, dried sweet pea entries with their ribbons, yukon gold potatoes 1st premium and Champion, hot Thai peppers 2nd Premium, and last but not least, the garlic. that took 1st Premium, Champion, and Grand Champion which along with the points scored by the peppers, vaulted my entries to Grand Champion of Division C.
(some of the herbs and flowers look a bit tattered because they have been cut for almost a week now. just sayin').

that made me pretty happy, to say the least. it was even better than helping judge the cookie and brownie entries. i had to do a 4 hour ride afterward just to work of all the excess butter-fat calories and big, sufferin' glycemic spike.

read more about that event here, if ya haven't already. (scroll down past all of the cutesy stuff)

*DISCLAIMER: Jen's Grand Champion, prize-winning sweet pea flowers are juiced to the gills. all of the edible stuff is 100% organic goodness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

race results: wednesday night worlds

this report is being posted a bit after the fact; the race actually took place last wednesday. here's a brief summary of results for the South Routt Velosport racing team:

Women’s Novice 35+
1. Jennifer Sliney, 36:01
2. Heidi Nunninkoven, 41:52
3. Lane Malone, 44:08

as you all can see, Jennifer schooled 'em again. here's how things sorted out in the men's singlespeed division:

Men’s Single speed
1. Dave Fisher, 1:03:11
2. Ben Clark, 1:05:34
3. JP Pougiales, 1:06:37

after the race, Fisher was quoted as saying: "i had good sensations in my legs, plenty of souplesse and held off other riders on the downhill to finish high in the overall classification. i didn't puncture this time... that really helped as well"

here's the story as told by the local fishwrapper. be sure to scroll waaaay down past the kids 7 to 12 division or you may just miss the results for the singlespeed categories.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

pro tour stage racing in colorado

after the texan won the Colorado state championship in Snowmass last saturday, he made a peace offering of sorts by meeting with Gov. Bill Ritter. the discussion was focused on the possible revival of a Red Zinger type of stage race right here in the square state. now, how cool would that be?

here's the story from Velonews

Sunday, August 2, 2009

very skinny, indeed

Andy Schleck, that is. that's what Paul Sherwen said about Andy while commentating with Phil Liggett during one of this year's Tour de France stages, that "he might look big in photos or on the television, but i can assure you that he's very skinny, indeed."

definitely one of the best comments from this year's Tour.

during saturday's Classica San Sebastian in Spain, Andy went off the road and crashed- quite a ways down a hillside. now it appears that his participation in the Vuelta a Espana has been ruined. i would be surprised if he is able to race again until the Giro di Lombardia.
crashing sucks. crashing sucks even worse when you get hurt while at the top of the game. at least he's still young and fit and was still able to get back on the bike for a few kilometers before (sensibly) abandoning.
he wasn't the only one to crash out, by the way.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

this one goes to 11

a lot of satisfaction comes from the riding and enjoyment of road bikes, especially those equipped with Campagnolo components. all the better if it's Super Record 11 speed with all of the giblets on a handcrafted Eriksen.
today, OC local guy Allen rode along with the Velosport team for the sunday group ride. he has recently taken delivery of a new Eriksen road bike, resplendent in crabon fibre and it's an 11 speed, too.

Allen savors the pastoral scenery and a happier moment on the ride this morning, northbound on C.R. 27.

just a few miles later, disaster strikes. not many things send a rider home in the broom wagon faster than losing a pulley wheel into the weeds along the roadside. sometimes having a cell phone isn't so bad after all. fortunately, there was no real damage inflicted upon the componentry or frame.

after ditching Allen, i met up with Danny in middle Routt for a roadbike skills camp. all of the usual basics covered- hold your line, steady as she goes, high cadence without bouncing, stay on the wheel in front of you, stay off the brakes, riding on the drops (needs to do that a lot more), riding in the gutter with a crosswind and rain, and, most importantly, stay out of traffic and don't get squished. Danny seems to like the road bike better than the VTT and i can't blame him a bit. this Campagnolo-equipped Orbea rides circles around his 15 kilo VTT tanker. our friend Angelo, north American distributor of Willier bicycles, dug deep into the vault and found an old Briko helmet that he donated to the cause. Danny looks a lot like Cipo back in the day, save that he is resplendent in more casual attire... sneakers, cotton t-shirt and cat. 5 chainring marks.
one thing at a time, though. it's about having fun before getting too serious and all of the suffering really starts in earnest.

some woman was chasing us and taking photos from her car. here, everyone is all smiles with a wicked tailwind blasting us on down the road.

a bit soggy on the run-in to the finish, no harm done.

time to get in the big ring and sit on a wheel. without a doubt, the damp cotton potato sack hampered Danny's top end a bit in the sprint.

the old guy takes it on the line. the kid is still smiling. we don't need no stinkin' mountain bikes.
images by Jen, except for the first two.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

race results: wednesday night world's

South Routt Velosport racing team hauls in the bling at the Sunshine cross country. here's a brief report and photos.

Jen (on right) and a fellow competitor just about to launch.

Jen was able to roll in and win her age group again (2nd overall, womens novice) just as a gigantic UFO landed at the start/finish line.

pro/open men on the line: #16 Essam Welch, #17 Corey Piscopo

this is one of my favorite Town Challenge races; lots of singletrack and straight up and straight down the mountain. 20 kilometers with 1000 meters vertical gain/loss in 1 hour 13. good for top 12-ish overall and 1st place in the singlespeed division.

dropping in through the dust and afternoon light, 200 meters to go.
all images courtesy of Danny Rietz, AKA "the soigneur"

ride report: Kent Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat

at the start with Kent, founder of Moots Cycles, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame resident, proprietor of Eriksen Cycles

he's also pretty darn fit for an older guy who spends all day in the shop building some of the finest bikes anywhere

at the east summit of the passage d'oreilles de lapin (rabbit ears pass for y'all in English). nothing like 1000 meters straight up a 1st category climb right after morning coffee. i was the first chaser of a solo rider at this point.

ditch the warm clothes with the support team (Danny and Jen) and take off in pursuit of the leader.

i rode with my friend Ian Pritchard for the last 90 kilometers, from the top of the Passage de Fuseau (Gore Pass). he's an old bro from back in the more serious racing days and he was a solid top 10 to 20 rider in pretty much all of the races he entered. i was usually a bit further down the pile being as i am sized too small to produce a lot of power in the time trial. we're approaching Toponas (in the distance) on S.H. 134 and about to turn north towards a 25 to 30 kilometer per hour headwind for the last 70 kilometers of the ride. the altitude here is right at about 3000 meters and it's a long, long way to anything that even remotely looks like a tree. Ian was a good person to be riding with at this point.

it feels good to head for the barn after 6 hour ride.

images courtesy of Danny Rietz (with the exception of the image of Ian Pritchard)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the official bouncer of le Tour de France

Bernard Hinault AKA "the Badger", runs a tight show and keeps the podium free of any accumulations of unwanted riff-raff. if ya didn't earn the spot, ya better not step up... suckas.

le Blaireau in action after last year's stage that finished in Nantes (image: Bettiniphoto)

back at it again this year in Besancon (image: cyclingnews.com)

just another reason why i love le Tour.

Friday, July 17, 2009

ride for saturday july18,2009

rolling out early for our local cyclosportif, Ken't Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat (somewhat of a misnomer as most of the parcours passes through south Routt and Grand county). nonetheless, i'm looking forward to doing this ride with a large group of participants, it should be alot of fun. here's the particulars for now, stay tuned for a photo report tomorrow as well as more commentary and prognostications on le Grand Boucle going on over there in France.

Kent Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

introducing the young apprentice

here's some images of Jen's nephew Danny and a few of the activities he has been involved in since he arrived in the OC last wednesday.
the primary reason for importing the young feller all the way from California was, of course, to put him to hard labor of the most menial, mindless sort imaginable- helping with the restoration of a 100 year old building in rural Colorado... the painting in particular.

learning the fine art of stripping old paint from a seasoned veteran.

so, enough of the boring stuff, then...

when the work is done, it's time to ride. here Danny gets neck deep in some overgrown Oak Creek singletrack.

today we uploaded him on the gondola at the Steamboat ski area. the next Town Challenge race is on the mountain and Jen and i wanted to evaluate the parcours prior to race day. we rode up the hill and met Danny at the top of the gondola and then all rode together for a couple of miles on one of the non-technical, non-steep sections of the race course. we split up and i rode the remaining climb and uppermost singletrack section of the pro course by myself and caught up with them as they were about to descend the steepest sections of the trail just below the gondola.
Danny was more than a good sport about the whole thing, being as he hasn't spent a ton of hours riding a mountain bike, much less in an alpine environment.
what i am really trying to say here is that we pretty much tossed him off the deep end and he survived.

dave (in thick Belgian accent): "ride wiss me, lad. vee vill have you climbing zee high mountains in no time..."

taking a break from the action on the way down: Jen reminds Danny to relax once in a while and to take in the view... and that we all have taken our share of scuffers.

judging from the smile on his face (and the fact that he's still on his bike), you couldn't tell that this kid has hit the deck 2 or 3 times already today. my friend Andy Gregg tells me that the Finlanders would say that Danny has sisu

most of all, we were thankful that none of us had to download in this conveyance, and that our day was going a whole lot better than the person's inside.

then we went for some calamari, cheeseburgers and cold, refreshing beverages.