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.

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.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the 96th Tour de France 2009

what an fantastic, exciting start to this year's Tour. there has been no shortage of great racing and drama. the race is now headed to the Pyrenees and etape 8 will pass directly through an area where i visited a few years ago. there will be some great images posted here from some of the awesome rides i did as well as some from le Tour when it passed by.

stay tuned for more.

etape 8 parcours

etape 8 profil

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

race results: Wednesday night world's (the grovelling slog)

all images in this post are courtesy of Danny Rietz (AKA "the young apprentice")

one cool thing about the local race series is that there is usually a lot of good, competitive bike racing. the other thing is that there is definitely some depth of talent in most all of the categories.
in the big scheme of things the local series doesn't count for much- there are no UCI ProTour points to be had, no national ranking, no hot babes on the podium smooching the winners. there isn't actually a podium, either, for that matter.
it's just a great way to spend a wednesday evening with a lot of people from the local cycling community and an opportunity to make some new friends as well.

this evening's parcours featured a 300 meter flat start followed immediately by a climb up the face of Howelson hill right underneath the ski jumps. then around to the backside of the mountain and a road climb of just over a kilometer to sort things out and finishing it all off with approximately 15 kilometers of awesome singletrack (the image currently being used for the header is of Jennifer pre riding part of the pro/expert race course this past weekend. nice, huh?). the elevation gain is fairly substantial, about 450 meters, and some of it is pretty steep.
the first section is very difficult, as the temptation is there to attempt keeping up with the guys on geared bikes. then you slam into the wall going up the first part of the climb... and explode.
i have been experimenting with a slow(er) rollout as a effort to avoid that problem and it worked pretty darn well tonight. the big guy in the black kit on the 29'er blazed out at a furious pace, following one of the geared rabbits. he managed to put a good gap between himself and the chasers going up the first steep- i thought he was going to ride away from everyone right then. at this point i was in 4th or 5th position and had a good view on what was going down.
on the climb up the road i caught and passed him, as well as the remaining geared riders. then JP came up and passed me and got into the single track first but couldn't hold the pace either and he let me go by. i made it to the top of the climbing with a good gap on the rest of the field and most of the riders in my division were now stuck in traffic as an added bonus.
this is the part of singlespeed racing where motivational fear comes into play- be afraid of someone catching from behind, be afraid of crashing into the ferns if your attention lapses for a moment and be afraid of a mechanical failure or a puncture.

i got the dreaded "snakebite" in a rocky section with about 5km to go. i could feel the tire bottoming out and i knew that i now had to ride really fast for as long as i could before all of the air was gone from the tire. fortunately, it was almost all downhill. a couple of gearheads caught me and then the big guy in black wes on my wheel. there wasn't much for me to do but let him go by and offer a word of encouragement.
he took the win, i limped in on the wilted carcass of a tire. and so it sometimes goes in bike racing.

start of the race; the huge guy in the black golf slacks and kit is Derek. he didn't mention his last name but his girlfriend told us that he just took 4th place at the 24 hours Singlespeed World Championship held recently in B.C. that's me on the other side.

here's what it looked like at the end... and it ain't pretty. i'm just happy that Danny didn't capture one of those special "Kodak moments" showing the grime, spit and filth that was all over my face. this was the first time out of all my starts on this bike that i did not win.

Jennifer looking pensive before the start. she took 1st in her age category, 3rd overall in women's novice. the new helmet probably has a lot to do with her good result, but maybe not so much as sheer determination and aggression combined with a high strength to weight ration.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

the 96th Tour de France 2009

stage two will be one for the sprinters- i predict Thor Hushovd to take the win as well as the maillot vert when the peloton rolls across the line in Brignoles.
in honor of the sprinter's stage, i am posting am image from our garden, which is looking quite nice lately. a sort of jardine vert, if you will, with all of the rain we have been getting here in south Routt so far this spring.
more about the garden in later installments.

for all of the Tour junkies out there who can't get enough from the usual outlets, here's a link to the reference archive of live internet broadcasts in just about any language you want. this is much needed relief from the usual serving of Lance/commercial/Lance/commercial/Lance... etc., etc., etc. that we get here in the U.S. from the only network that will even bother covering a ProTour cycling event, Verses (formerly known as OLN- Only Lance Network).

apparently there are 179 other riders contesting le Tour this year. sometimes it's just kind of hard to tell otherwise.

copious amounts of Tour coverage can be found here

Friday, July 3, 2009

the 96th Tour de France 2009

there is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold Coca-Cola after a long, hard ride in the high mountains on a hot day in France in the middle of July. that much i know to be true.

i predict:
that Fabian Cancellara will win the 1st etape, that a Frenchman will win on Bastille Day after a long solo breakaway, that Contador and Armstrong will be so busy watching each other that Lepheimer will sneak away and win the overall, that the eternal struggle between good and evil has never been portrayed more dramatically than the struggle between the two teamates- one who wears white shoes and white socks and the other who wears black shoes and black socks, that an Italian or Belgian sprinter with lots of hair gel will win at least one flat stage, that Mark Cavendish will say something really stupid at least six or seven times (as will Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond), that the super annoying guy with the big horns and texas flag will be back again this year, that the voice of Phil Liggett will give me goosebumps on the back of my neck when he says "ooooh, they're reeeally sooferin' now, Paul...

stay tuned for more, we still have 23 days to go.