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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

more evidence of highly advanced civilizations

here's a photo i took in Amsterdam a few years ago. this is the bike storage facility (3-story parking garage, more like) right outside the Central Station where the trains take passengers to and from the airport and other destinations all around Europe. they sure make it easy to get around, even for Americans who are unaccustomed to efficient, clean transportation. you can even take your bike with you on the trains.

my other favorite city by the bay is without a doubt San Francisco. here's some music to set the mood, so crank up the volume and rock out like it's 1982 all over again:

say what you want about San Francisco- the weather, the traffic, the tourists, the cost of living there, the food, the bike culture... i love it there anyway.
ah, yes, the San Francisco bike culture; something near and dear to my heart.
as far as living in a big city is concerned, San Francisco would be at the top of my list of favorites. it is unquestionably the epicenter of the fixie movement on the west coast. it would be easier to count the riders who are not riding fixies than to count those who are.

fixies. whatever.

for an urban area it is a cyclist's dream come true, even though there are the usual motor -v- bike conflicts and cyclists (mostly in the downtown financial district) getting squished on a fairly regular basis. the city has committed in a big way by investing in alternative transportation solutions, cycling being one of them.
they have trains out there that go all over the place- and are hauling people instead of cattles or coal. the people can bring their bike onto the trains with them when they commute into the city or out to the 'burbs. imagine that.
or if they want, there is plenty of bike parking and safe storage facilities available at the BART stations.
on top of it all, the city has just approved 34 miles of new bike lanes and 45 of 46 proposed cycling-related capital improvement projects. those bikeys out there in SanFran sure get it all, don't they?
anyway, i commend the people who stuck with it and made it happen and raspberries to the naysayers and the guy who sued to try and stop civilization from moving forward.

here's today's good news story from the San Francisco Chronicle.

pop-culture tribute for friday

having learned yesterday of the passing of two pop-culture icons, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, it gave me pause and an opportunity to reflect back on the good ol' days for a while. a lot of good things came out of the 70's... customized vans, disco music, polyester shirts, cheesy tee vee shows, micro-wave ovens and Jiffy-Pop and feathered hair doos to name a few. my favorite 70's inventions were bmx bikes and the 2nd wave of skateboarding (urethane wheels, quality decks and hardware, skateparks, etc.). while i never much cared for the music of the Jackson 5, or Michael's stuff that he put out when he finally ditched his abusive father/manager and struck out on his own, i will never forget the first time i cast my gaze upon that famous poster of Farrah in the red swimsuit... to a bug-eyed 13 year old she seemed too beautiful to be real. she probably was. i also knew that the only opportunities i would have for gawking at that poster would be over at my friend's house; there was no way in hell that my mom would be letting me have that thing hanging on the wall in my bedroom. anyway, here's the AYC tribute to those two who so profoundly influenced pop-culture and changed the way the rest of the world viewed the U.S., for better or for worse. thanks to both and rest in peace.

i'm not really sure what's going on this image- she doesn't look like she's actually dressed to go out and suffer on a 5 hour training ride. the shoes are ridiculous at best and the bike doesn't seem to be much more than a prop. what exactly is being sold here?

Farrah rockin' some good form on an old school skateboard- looks like a Logan or a Sims with Tracker half-tracks. love those vintage Nikes, too. this image has a lot more credibility than the one above- she actually looks like she might be able to skate better than she bikes. at least she dressed sensibly this time...

Michael's all time best seller album Thriller served notice that things were definitely tilting heavily towards the realm of the bizarre... yo, wassup supa freak?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

race results: wednesday night worlds

sometimes i find it difficult to convey to anyone who has never competed in a cycling event just how brutally hard the sport really is- much less an alpine time trial that goes straight up the mountain. this discipline favors the "true" climbers who often make it seem effortless as tonight's pro/open class winner Barkley Robinson did in some 33 minutes & small change, which puts the guy right up there with some of the best in the world... and a new course record to back it up. the rest of us mortals just suffer, more or less quietly and with varying degrees of dignity.
here's a couple of links for those who care to read further about the technical aspects and science of climbing as it relates to cycling by the infamous Dr. Ferrari. his observations and formulas are legitimate and useful for cyclists looking to better their performance, but his crack about EPO being "no more harmful than orange juice" pretty much relegated him to the doper's dustbin for all eternity.
there is much to be learned, however, about riding clean and of sound training and racing techniques in all of this. stay off the dope, it's not necessary at all.

on cyclingnews

and his own website 53x12

the parcours for tonight's race was 7.6 kilometers (4.75 miles) in length and gained 670 meters (2200 feet) in altitude for those interested in doing their own VAM calculations at home . i don't know what the average gradient is, but it's easy to figure out. base altitude is 2042 meters and the climb tops out at 2712 meters, which makes the air kinda thin, so to speak. i do know that my weight is 64 kilograms and my time was a somewhat less than stellar 43'25" (which was actually good enough for a win in the men's singlespeed division).
as i have mentioned earlier, i will not be starting Le Tour in a couple of week's. maybe there's still time for me to get some of that orange juice, though...


Jen shows good form and a prime demonstration of dignified suffering while rolling across the line. she was on the podium again- 3rd overall in the novice women's division, 2nd in her age group. an outstanding performance from someone who has until this year never done sustained climbs such as this one.

taking in the view of the Yampa Valley on the way down, looking towards south Routt and the Flat Tops Wilderness. the bottom of S.H. 40 going up Rabbit Ears pass is visible, center left.

that 670 meters of vertical suffering is quickly forgotten when blasting down the Huffman's and Valley View singletrack on a Midsummer's evening.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

summer solstice

wishing a festivus solstice to everyone- especially cousin Andrew in the southern hemisphere. hang in there mate; the days are getting longer for you again and it's only two weeks until the Tour de France.

not so friendly Texas

Align Centernot really a surprise at all- Texas Governor Perry vetoes a "safe passing" bill similar to the one recently signed into Colorado law by Governor Ritter. the best part is when Perry attempts to hint that motorists are already burdened with too much responsibility... as well they should be.

this is yet another category where Colorado demonstrates it's obvious superiority over Texas.

in-depth coverage of the story from Cyclingnews.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ride for sunday june 14, 2009

tomorrow looks to be relatively clear weather, at least it should be in the morning for a few hours. then the usual spring showers roll in for the afternoon...

so the ride will attempt our parcours from last week when hail and rain delayed and detoured the ride.

Lynx pass to Gore pass, S.H. 134 to Toponas, S.H. 131 back to OC, hoping for a tailwind.

please consult last week's sunday ride posting for more details and suggestions for this week's ride.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

race results: wednesday night world's

i am pleased to report a very strong season's debut for the South Routt Velosport racing team:

racing for her first time ever (first time ever at a bike race, for that matter) in the women's novice division, Jen weighed in taking gold and the top step of the podium. she dominated the circuit handily, blasting in more than 3 minutes in front of the next rider in a shattered field. she also brought home some plunder from the post-race prize drawing. you go, girl.
i suspect it may have just a little to do with that new, 650b Eriksen she's rolling on now... in addition to a high strength-to-weight ratio combined with a good measure of old fashioned aggression.

: - )

yours truly, racing in the men's singlespeed division also hauled in with the bling, taking a win as well. i didn't win crap in the post-race prize drawing, however.
it feels really good to come out with a win. i can still remember my very first win, back in the day, racing on the bmx bike. this one is nearly as sweet, maybe more so. kind of difficult to remember way back through the ever shifting fog of time, though... heh heh.
if those youngsters want a shot at the title, they're welcome to it. taking it won't come easy for 'em.

i'll post up a link from the local fishwrapper tomorrow, if they do a story on the race.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

season opener

Q: what do Lance Armstrong's Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop and South Routt Velosport have in common?

a) they are both owned by bike racers who wear black socks, whose advancing age and declining speed have collided head-on, but are still hell-bent on making a glorious comeback from a 3 year retirement... no matter how undignified the outcome may actually be.

b) they are both bike shops.

c) they both feature furniture crafted by Andy Gregg of Bikefurniture Design.

d) all of the above

read onward for the answer if you don't already know it.*

that is not to say that i will be having Shepard Fairey do any custom paint jobs on my bike, or that it will have a big, fat "1274" emblazoned on the seat tube. the Velosport team hasn't been invited to do any of the grand tours yet this year, either.
no, it merely means that the South Routt Velosport racing team will be kicking off the season opener at the Wednesday night world championships at Marabou Ranch, up there in Middle Routt.
race time for me is at 6:01 p.m., right behind the Pro/open and expert 19 to 29 categories. i'm going to be in the singlespeed category, (hopefully) chasing down and passing a lot of backmarkers who have started in front of me. it's all good to have rabbits to chase, i just hope that i still remember how to get past 'em on the singletrack.
starting at 6:25 p.m., Jen will be defending the shop's honor by representing in her debut as a bike racer, looking to mercilessly crush many opponents in the women's novice division.
stay tuned for full results, report and photos tomorrow night.

until then, take time to check out the genius of Andy Gregg over to the bike furniture design studios.

i will be posting a lot more about my good pal Andy in the near future, but it is a long story that goes way back to... well, let's just say it goes back a long time and leave it at that for now.

*and the answer to tonight's quiz is: d

road rides: AKA out and about in (south) Routt

it has been brought to my attention that i go on at great length about the fantastic road riding here in (south) Routt county, Colorado, yet for whatever reason, there are no photos actually documenting this activity. some have gone so far as to speculate that i don't actually ride a road bike... i just go on at great length about it. please scroll up to the header and all can plainly see that i do, in fact, ride a road bike. i admit that the image doesn't actually show me riding a road bike, but that is really what is happening, captured live on C.R. 15 during this past Sunday's Velosport ride.

here's a few more images from recent road rides, taken within the past month:

sunday afternoon on C.R. 15. Flat Tops wilderness in the distance.

headed southwest on C.R. 33


Saturday, June 6, 2009

ride for Sunday june 7, 2009

this week we will take on one South Routt County's classic loops- the Lynx pass/Gore pass combo, returning via S.H. 131 through Toponas for a total of 90 km or so with an estimated ride time of approximately 3 hours. ride departs from the Velosport at 10, so coffee up and bring some extra snacks and warm clothes as the weather service is calling for a high of 56.
hopefully the rain will hold off and there will be a tailwind from the south all the way back to OC.

approximately 40 km of gravel roads are featured, and it's 60 km before the peleton rolls into Toponas once we take off, so all participants please prepare adequately.

this week's ride is a bit shorter in duration, as the Velosport team is tapering down a bit on the distance as the season opener is Wednesdau night at Marabou Ranch.
the trails are in pretty good condition with the exception of a rough stretch where the pro-expert-singlespeed bunch peels of for their extra loop.
anyone planning on riding out there is requested (by me) to go ahead and ride the extra bit in an effort to grrom the trail a bit more prior to the race. the cows reall gave it the special treatment over the winter.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Federal Stimulus Funds: bike share program coming to a city near you...

well, at least they may be coming to Boulder... maybe. here's a story from the Thursday edition of the Boulder Daily Camera. in my opinion, this would be a great program and Boulder would be the ideal community (at least as far as Colorado is concerned) in which to make it happen. be sure to check out the comments at the bottom of the article, as the right-wing wet blanket bike-hating naysayers are already chiming in with their .02 cents worth of negativity.
i, for one, am growing so tired of the relentless attacks, directed not only at Obama but now at the cycling community (again) as well. they cast stones in a feeble attempt to kill two birds with a single hurl. criticize and blame and if something doesn't work, well, they told ya so. i'm still waiting for theother side to come up with some legitimate proposals/solutions of their own- but it doesn't seem to be happening. while contemplating the answers to all of this and more, i will leave you, dear readers, with yet one more quandry: what would Jesus ride? (WWJR?)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

grooming the single track in Middle Routt

went for a nice afternoon ride on Emerald Mountain in the fabled Kingdom of Middle Routt today. we got caught out on the trail when the thunderstorms closed in on us. i must admit that the riding was pretty darn good up until that point.

failure to scrub excess velocity often means that one will groom the periphery of the singletrack while cornering...

here Jen does her best to try to look nonchalant about the whole thing while simultaneously knocking the photographer the hell out of her way.

more Fruita goodness

went out to Fruita... again. this time for Memorial Day weekend for a few days of riding before the weather gets too hot. miles and miles of the world's finest singletrack and posting up at our favorite campsite (#49) at the Colorado National Monument. it doesn't get any better than this.

Jen rails the singletrack on Steve's Loop (sequence, 1 of 2)

one of the (somewhat) less exposed sections on Steve's Loop

evening thunderstorms moving in mean it's time to get rolling...

ummmm, hey baby... your pace or mine? :-)

few, if any, dinners have tasted any better...

the sunset view from pretty close to the edge at #49. i don't like getting too much closer, the drop is about 100 meters before the first (and last) thud.

after a long day's ride, it's comforting to know that there is plenty of legroom in the BAP Big House 6. the vestibule stores three bikes, too, with plenty of room for the camp chairs if the weather gets crappy.

desert riding at its best

painful punishment awaits those who fail to negotiate this exposed section. a long trip to the hospital, too.

it never hurts to be piloting a 650b wheeled Eriksen when conquering that sketchy move.

like something out of a Roadrunner & Coyote cartoon...

mmmmmMack Ridge, nice.

looking over the edge from the top of Mack Ridge one can see that there is plenty of singletrack enjoyment to be had below.

desert flowers at the top of the Mack Ridge singletrack, overlooking the mighty Colorado river.

cactus flowers in a brilliant hue of magenta. they were also flowering in shades of red and yellow.

there are plenty of wildflowers that i am unable to identify... one of these days i will get a guidebook of desert plants. until then, their beauty can still be enjoyed nonetheless.

the desert was still blooming, the yucca were going strong.