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, December 31, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

Well, AYC patrons, it may not be 2011 in California yet, but it sure as heck is 2011 elsewhere. So, on behalf of the Abandon Your Car crew, I would like to wish all of our readers a safe, healthy, and fun New Year.

Looking back, 2010 was a world of change for me personally. Especially in the realm of cycling and related activities. I went from being an out of shape neophyte to a pretty committed cyclist in the course of only twelve months. To be honest, I really don't ride nearly as much as I'd like to, but when I do, I make the most of every second and make sure that I'm getting what I need.

And that thought, along with a very helpful suggestion from Aunt Jen, made me start thinking of other things that occurred with my cycling career over the course of 2010. My amazing aunt suggested that I compile a list of goals that I had during the year, ones that I accomplished and ones that I didn't. Along with that, I was also urged to start a training journal months ago and I've kept with it in a composition book. So, I wrote down my end-of-the-year lists and also some tips I've picked up along the way. Here's just a bit of what I came up with:

Goals Met:
-Try to ride at least twice a week. School may get in the way, and there may be times where you're hunkered down studying for a week, but don't let the noodle-y legs discourage you. Keep on trying - keep on riding.
-Give it what you've got. On a ride with some highly competitive friends, do your best, do your part and try as hard as you can to stay with it. Even if you start dying and explode out the back, finish the ride and satisfy yourself with the fact you gave it your all.
-Conquer at least a 50mile ride in a reasonable time frame. Although my 50mile sufferfest may have been a mistake, I was still pleased to have gone the distance.
-Never quit. By the time you've crested the first brutal climb or fixed your third flat of the day, know that the ride is still there and you're still breathing. Don't let a ridiculous situation psych you out - finish what you started.
-Do a race knowing you're going to get smacked. Admittedly, my "race" is my race-paced fitness gauge from a few weeks ago, but I started it knowing fully that I wasn't going to win. What I'm saying here is that you should do it for the learning experience and the fun in competition, not purely for winning. Although, as my debate coach so often reminds us, winning is good too.

Goals Not Met:
-Don't end up in the emergency room. Yeah, well... things happen sometimes. Of course you don't want them to happen, and of course it might be your fault (ask me about it), but take care of yourself and move on.
-Ride all out, every day - no mercy. My hat comes off to people that can accomplish this. I may use school as an excuse not to ride as much as I could, but motivation is also a huge factor. It's amazing what riding with a friend can help you accomplish - do it more.
-Keep a clean, orderly work space. Trust me, if you take on any cycling project in a garage you don't technically own, you better have some room and some uncluttered storage. It helps avoid conflict
-Climb Mt. Diablo from both directions (Northgate, Southgate). This was a goal of mine all year and I'm really bummed I haven't climbed the flippin' thing yet. Honestly, it's like the mountain is beckoning me. It'll happen quite soon, I believe.
-As Dave states, don't count your chickens before they cackle. The way I interpret this is to not lose sight of what you're trying for because you think that you've got the situation nailed down. More specifically, don't not ride because you think you're in adequate shape - that fast group ride will tell you otherwise.

Helpful Tips:
-Don't forget the basics. That is - carry your repair kit, do your bike maintenance, make some checklists, etc. Once you start getting really into your training, you may start forgetting things. Don't. Do. That. Nothing's worse than flatting ten miles into some new trail you're exploring only to notice that the ranger station is out of sight and you have no tools.
-Get your butt behind the saddle, don't bomb it if you haven't ridden it before, and heed your partner's warnings. See my goal about the ER. This pretty much applies.
-Never, by any means, attempt to remove a pedal with your knuckles directly in line for a collision with your beautiful 53t Campagnolo chainring.
-Don't let getting dropped traumatize you or make you not want to ride. View it as a learning experience and keep on trucking.
-Look at some maps. Know where you are and what you're about to ride before you plop yourself onto the saddle. This is information you should know in case of an emergency, and also in case of a pop quiz.
-If you didn't catch the memo about that last tip, don't be afraid to ask for directions. Suck up the pride and pull off to that gas station or fellow cyclist and ask where the heck you went wrong. There's no shame in doing this and it's better than getting further up that metaphorical creek.
-No, those wheels won't make you any faster. AKA: it's not about the gear.
-Lastly, have fun. Ride your bike because you want to and because it's awesome. Don't lose sight of the fact that truly, deep down, we're all in this because it's what we enjoy doing and remind yourself of that if need be at times.

So, there you go. There are some of my favorite things from my riding journal this year. I encourage our readers to make their own journals including some goals you accomplished, some you didn't, and some you have for the future. Also, keep a few pages of tips and tricks you pick up along the way and read over them a couple times during the course of a year to remind yourself of some things you may be forgetting.

Happy New Year once again to all of our readers. I'm going to bed and hopefully riding tomorrow if the party-ers are still recovering from tonight and if the weather isn't that bad.

Stay classy, AYC.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

local rider delivers the goods

image: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net

one of our favorite all-around good-guys here in Routt county recently traveled to the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships held this year in Bend, Oregon to do battle with a stacked field of masters in the 40-44 division.
hailing from BikeTown USA and riding for "the big guys", Jon Cariveau brought home the bronze medal after an hour-long grovelling slog in what could only be described as "epic cyclocross conditions" in the best of European traditions.
he also boasted a fine result in the "open" one-lap TT on thursday, rolling in with a highly respectable 17th place- a good indication as to his excellent form and the pain he was about to inflict on (most of) the rest of the masters in their title race. he followed that up on friday with a blazing 4th place in the master's seeding TT as well.

crushing a field of well over 100 riders, he was bested only by Boulder locals Peter Webber and Brandon Dwight of the Boulder Cyclesport team, with Brandon only pipping Jon at the line for the silver.

here's a short vid from cxmagazine.com that gives a darn good indication of the chaos at the start of the master's race. if you weren't at the front with a good holeshot, it is pretty clear that you were going to be "pack filler" within less than a minute... good thing Jon nailed that 4th place in the TT.

having ridden, trained and raced with all 3 of these guys since "way back in the day" i can attest to the fact that these racers truly represent some of the very best that Colorado has to offer in terms of good, clean racing and sportsmanship. and i couldn't be happier for the bunch of 'em (except, of course, if Jon had been on the top step of the podium, that is). but then again, there's always next year.

it's also well worth mentioning here that Jon is not one of those high-salaried rock star professional racer-guys. indeed, he works a solid 40 per week as lead salesperson at the factory and is a full-time parent on top of it all. he still finds time to train and race every week at the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge series, as well as numerous other local and regional road and mountain bike events such as the Steamboat Stage Race.
he and his wife, Sally epitomize the working folks of Routt county that put in their 8 hours per day and then still find the quality time to spend with the kids, giving them a first-hand introduction to the joys (and suffering) of cycling. look for an in-depth report on the Cariveaus and several other local families in a future post.

for now, i would like to extend a personal, heartfelt chapeau to Jon (and Peter and Brandon as well) for a job well done in bringing home the honors to our little corner of Colorado.
i can hardly wait for next year's event... but you probably won't find me out there in the mud and slop at Nationals. i couldn't run fast if the cops were chasing me, much less through the mud and over tall barriers. i'll just leave it to the guys who really live for it and save my legs for the races in the high mountains on the hot days during the month of July. see ya there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NorCal Race Report, December 12, 2010

Well, Sunday was my first ever race-paced road ride. In reality, the ride was done as a base fitness gauge for the upcoming Oakland Composite mountain bike race season with the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League. All of the riders met at the parking lot of the Cull Canyon swim Lagoon, and those who didn't ride to the start went on a nice warm up. I went along just to get a few fast-paced sprints in before the start.

Once everybody got back to the impromptu start line (a telephone pole), Coach Dave Gane -- Cyclocross Masters A, Expert MTB, and Cat 2 Road rider -- gave us the start order and started out to the end of the road. The first of eight riders started at 11:30 with one minute intervals between consecutive starts. I was placed second-to-last and once a parent counted me down from ten, I was off. The race of truth had officially begun.

I started really strong, knowing to go hard on the way out to the end of the road as the way back was optimal for recovery. Within a few minutes, I passed a rider. Then, as I was approaching the next rider, Anthony Fryer passed us both. He'd started last, and I knew it was going to happen, so I was happy with my pace. Essentially, I passed all riders except for two on the way out to the end of the road.

After jamming back down the road to the finish, I saw Anthony and Tim sitting down and accepted my third place finish with huge amounts of pride. This was my first ever race-paced ride, and I'm quite happy with my performance.

Race stats:
-Distance: 12mi, 20k
-Field Size: 8riders
-Place: 3rd
-Time: 0:37:21
-1st Place Time: 0:32:07
-Avg Speed: 19.5mph

And just for yucks, here's a picture of how the SOMA was supposed to look for the race:

(Yes that's tupperware. Yes, that's a DT Swiss sticker.
No, the manhole cover is not riding a TT.)

I had these NOS Specialized Turbos, size 700x18. I got them originally to race on, but completely forgot I even had them. So, since I had no pictures of the actual race, I slapped 'em on there and took a picture. I think she looks classy with skin-wall tires. Black bar tape is on the way because the white is tearing and becoming unwashable.

So, that's that AYC patrons. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fruita, USA Trail report for December 7-8, 2010

That's right folks- DECEMBER 7th and 8th and the riding is mighty in Mucha Fruita!

The singletrack is pristine- frozen up in spots, perfectly tacky and quiet. As Dave pointed out in his last post, the road over the Monument is closed to cars, but open to bicycles until the snow flies. What a bonus for the roadies! Longstory short, we are loving life on 2 wheels in the Grand Valley right now.

Tuesday afternoon at one of my favorite view spots- why I so often peel off Mary's onto Wrangler's. Wouldn't it be awesome if Wrangler's actually went somewhere?

What I love the most about riding the singletrack in late season is the how new it feels. The light is entirely different, the ground feels different, the air feels different. Every trail is new again- as they will be yet again come spring. But, unlike early season when the masses from the mountains migrate west, hopped up on cabin fever, desperate for spring and a chance to bust out their helmet cams, high fives and parking lot beer, late season riders have a quiet exuberance. In late season the trailheads and trails are eerily calm, riders greeting one another with sincere and knowing expressions of joy at getting another day on the bike and at encountering someone else all layered up and nutty enough to get out and do the same.

Get your woolies and shoe covers on and get out there- after all, any day now we could be relegated to rollers in the garage or, worse yet, the gym.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fruita, USA road report for 04 december 2010

 here's an image taken on a ride last february that gives a pretty good indication of what sort of road conditions to expect on Rim Rock Drive in the winter time.

many readers of this blog may already know that the Colorado National Monument will be closing a substantial portion of scenic Rim Rock Drive this winter due to budgetary constraints. that's the bad news.

the good news is that the road will remain open to cyclists for the immediate near future, as indicated by this recent letter from park director Joan Anzelmo:

December 2, 2010

To Grand Valley Cycling Community:
I am writing to personally welcome you to ride the closed section of Rim Rock Drive until we get the next snowfall. Please be aware that there are a few icy sections. Please also be aware that there is no road patrol going on in the closed section for the cost saving reasons you are aware of. Therefore you ride at your own risk. Please ride in daylight hours between 8am – 4pm only. Please be out of the closed section by 4pm and off other sections of Rim Rock Drive before dark.
When the snow comes, the road will be closed to cycling and I will write you again to remind you. Towards the end of the winter season there will be a few weeks where the road remains closed to motorists but will be available to cyclists. I will keep you informed.
For the long distance travelers I cannot change the road status day to day or week to week. Therefore the top portion of Rim Rock Drive remains closed and is signed accordingly. You are welcome to share this information with other cyclists. I am not doing a full public announcement as I don’t want to confuse the community or the long distance travelers.
Thank you.
Joan Anzelmo

so there you have it; get out and enjoy the car-free section while you can (at least on the bikes). then after we get some significant snowfall and the road is full closed, please respect the closure and hike, ski or snowshoe in for a truly exceptional wither time experience of one of our great national treasures.

please exercise caution in the shaded (and possibly icy) areas, we'll see you out on the road!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks and Buying Nothing

We had beautiful cycling weather in the San Francisco Bay Area over Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day.

This is Lake Chabot- Danny's hometurf in the East Bay. He organized our pre-feast no-drop group ride on the bike path along the lake. It is perfectly rolly and densely wooded with Eucalyptus and Oak trees for an almost singletrack feel.

Cousin (and niece) Aine arrived by train from Portland and did not hesitate to get after it. Not a particularly experienced cyclist, she demonstrated exceptional fitness having just come off a State Championship Soccer Tournament.

She also demonstrated that perhaps most important skill- RALLY- as in, borrow a bike that may or may not fit, get your gear on, roll with the mechanicals, sweat, breath hard and go get yourself some free endorphins. Here's hoping we get to see a lot more of Aine on the bike in the coming months and years!

To Celebrate Buy Nothing Day Danny took Dave out on a 3 hour East Bay Mini-epic road ride. They hit Skyline Blvd, Redwood Road, Inner City Oaktown...and NO department stores. A few minor navigational errors aside, what an awesome way to give thanks for the beauty around us and for our tremendous health- Two things you cannot buy at DoorBuster prices.

Strongwork Danny! It is amazing how far you have come in just one year of riding the roadbike.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

buy nothing day- 26 november 2010

(image credit: buynothingday.org)

for some, it's known as "black friday"... the gluttonous orgy of consumerism that often begins at 3 a.m. with a ceremonial trampling of the Walmart customer service representative unlucky enough to be designated as the official door-opener for the melee. for others, it's simply "buy nothing day".

this year, i would urge all to get out enjoy a nice ride on the bike rather than a stressful day driving around to the various shopping malls, etc. the stuff will all be there a day or two later... what's the big rush? and if the stuff isn't there a day or two later, we probably didn't really need it in the first place, did we?

take time on friday not to be thankful for more stuff, but just simply to be more thankful. we'll see you out on the roads and trails... a couple of things that we all can be thankful for!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for 17 november, 2010

Wintery weather is trying to take hold here in the Grand Valley. On Monday the sun shone brightly up on the monument while the valley got wrapped in a snowy fog. Sure was beautiful from up above and the gloom had thankfully moved on by the time I explored the new fossils, purchased my centennial edition calendars and got back down to the valley floor.

We've had excellent trail conditions for the rest of the week - Cool, cool temps and enough moisture to make for lovely, tacky singletrack.

Tuesday was a perfect afternoon for welcoming winter to the river from along Mary's and Steve's. The red rock walls were stunning laced with fresh snow and the trails were SO quiet.

We made first tracks (singletracks, that is) through a few snowy patches on top of the Zion Curtain on Wednesday. The afternoon air was cccccrisp up there and getting back to the trailhead at Rabbit Valley in the dark was down right COLD. Long rides in the late afternoon will have to be sidelined for a few months I'd say.

The second race in the LiveTrainRace Cyclocross series is tomorrow morning- the first race was an absolute blast and there are several more to come! Give these guys a shout for more details and get on out there for some endorphins and yucks (the donut shortcut alone makes it worth the $5 to enter). We will not tolerate any whining about the winter training blues (we, of course, are off to the ever temperate NorCal to give thanks for redwood forest singletrack, family, friends and good food!).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fruita, CO Ride and Trail Report November 14, 2010

Had a spectacular- if not chilly- sunset ride out at the 18Mile (Aka: 18 Road or "North Fruita whatever, whatever" to the BLM) yesterday. The days have been cold and crisp, the crowds are starting to thin and the trails out there are in great shape after having the piss ridden out of them all season. There is some standing water on Prime Cut- ride through it, not around it and no big deal, eh?
It is snowing today (honestly) but tomorrow should be great riding out on the rocks at Kokopelli (aka Loma) and/or the Western Rim. By Wednesday things should set up and it ought to be a perfect day for a late season roll out on the Zion Curtain or, perhaps a road ride across the Monument. Remember, they are going to close the top of the monument this winter (even to bicycles!!)- so get yer ride in now! It should be super sweet to hike, run, snowshoe and XC on the unplowed road up there in a few weeks.

(The links above mostly take you to older posts and photos from this past summer rather than to the same old maps we always link. But you will find those map links in loads of our other posts- promise!)

Photo by Tom Burgher-

I poached this photo because it so beautifully captures the amazing view I had driving back out the washboard to the 18 Road Trailhead to retrieve the Stan's 650B wheel I left in the parking lot last night.

I have often wondered how the hell someone leaves a wheel behind and I can confirm that I still do not know the answer to this one of life's persistent questions. What I do know is that it happened to me and, thankfully, it was still there when I got back and, amazingly, I must have backed over just the edge of the tire such that Stan's was gooched out onto the gravel, but the tire wasn't off the rim and the rim was not bent (at least no more bent than it has been after 2 seasons of getting hammered in the desert)! Hmmm. Hoping to not make that mistake again.

The 30minutes or so of uncertainty regarding the fate of my wheel did serve to ramp up my anxiety and dismay over the recent news that Stan is discontinuing their 650B rim. I have some heavier back up rims waiting to be built up- but who will take up the torch and provide a superlight racing rim for the mighty 650B?! It is such a great wheelsize and I love my bike!

This is my bike the way Kent built it up for the HBBS 2 years ago- I have the Fox RLC on it now because who can afford White Bros? and it ROCKS!. I have just started to envision my future Eriksen 650B hardtail racing machine...but the wheels, who will supply the wheels?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NorCal Ride Report, November 11, 2010

Well, to start off, here's a big thanks to the veterans of this country's military for defending our great nation and, thus, providing an incredibly beautiful and uncluttered day to get an enjoyable ride in.

When I figured out that I had today off, I set off to make plans for a ride. I got together with a friend and composed such a masterpiece of a plan that only an evil genius could come up with -- to ride my bike. So, I put some air in the tires, put some oil on the chain (which, like the rest of this bike, needs a thorough cleaning and service), and set out the door in search of adventure. Well, okay, you got me, I set out in search of Castro Valley. As an alternative to a 3mile, 5-15% gradient climb, I opted to take the more rolling scenic route through Lake Chabot. A wonderful way to warm up and start the day:

I then got to Castro Valley and made a bee line straight for my friend's house. Anthony Fryer is a great guy, an avid bike racer, and an awesome training partner. This kid has a huge amount of talent and it's really cool to see him in his element. Even if his element is 20feet and gaining from my turtle-like position as he sprints off into the distance:


However, Fryer's intense speed and leg-ripping power have their own consequences. On our way out towards the end of Cull Canyon road, he took a few opportunities to sprint over the rollers. Well, apparently the amount of purely intense up-pull that this beast creates while sprinting completely tore the sole of his shoe off, only to be held in place by his cleat bolts:

(...Or it might just be the fact that they're 15 year old shoes)

In an effort to continue our ride and get to the end of the 8mile-long scenic road, the brilliant idea of fixing his shoe was hatched. Well, duh. But, how are we going to affix the sole back onto this stupid shoe? Duct tape. After all, it's like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together. So, after stopping at the first ungated house we came across and asking very politely for some sticky assistance, we were back on the road:


And finally, we reached the end of the road. Well, technically, it still goes for another 2miles, but that section is a private road leading to the very secluded, and oh-so-exclusive nudist club known as Sequoians Inc. Don't actually click that link. You get the point:

The ride back to Fryer's house was quite honestly one of the most awesome 8mile sprint fests ever. Rolling in the big ring with the chain half way down the cassette and sprinting out of the saddle while taking advantage a nice tailwind was definitely a great way to end the day. The spontaneous flat of my front tire while in the Castro Valley Cyclery shop, however, was not. By the way, those guys are awesome and didn't even laugh at my unfortunate event. Check them out sometime and find Anthony taking inventory and wrenching on some bikes.

Until next time, AYC...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for 10 november, 2010

rain with cooler weather has moved into the region, creating somewhat unsettled, fall conditions. daytime temps in the 50's Fahrenheit, real cold at night (if you are camping).
things do look a bit "iffy" for the next couple of days, then a nice stretch of sunny, cool days in the week coming up. see you out on the trails & roads!

as always, keep an eye on the 10 day local forecast


the NOAA "enhanced" radar & satellite beta

trail conditions have been exceptional this autumn, and last week Jen and i checked out a new area to ride and get the local vibe: Palisade, Colorado (15 minutes up valley from our Hometurf in Fruita).

we are not exactly "locals" in Palisade and have hardly ever ridden there before (Jen did race and win at the Palisade Classic last spring), so, we agreed that it would be best to stop in at the friendly LBS in town before we hit the trails... even though i knew where we were going and was pretty darn sure we didn't need a map. but, that's me, and i have sometimes been known to be wrong about these sort of things.
maybe once before.

so we talked to Joel at Rapid Creek Cycles of downtown Palisade and he set us in the right direction. and yes, it was a real good idea that we did- the trails out there are, well, a little out there.

The trail we rode this week was "water rights" to "petroglyph trail" to "palisade rim trail". swing by the shop and get their $1 map of the loop- you will need it. Get some bars and some tubes while you are there too- you may be able to hear and see the I-70 most of the ride- but it will feel a million miles away! Tell 'em their friends from ABANDON YOUR CAR sent you.

 Be ready for some hard climbing and skinny (really), technical singletrack wherever you ride in Palisade (and expect to practice your dismounts and portages...). Awesome.

Here are a few of the fantastic sights to be had:

can you see it?

behind the juniper branches...

they were here in great numbers

watching over the herd

unmolested panels of petroglyphs in a valley surrounded by sandstone cliffs, accessed only via singletrack par excellence.

steep, technical sections abound

so, rest a little bit when you can on the ride in.

crux move contortions on the singletrack will make your headspin thinking of the hearty souls who brought us this amazing trail- be sure to thank the guys at the shop on your way out of town AND to get out and do a few trailwork days this fall in honor of all the great singletrack you've gobbled up this summer!

 a few more nice petroglyphs for the ride home. see ya next time!

nice light and color

bull elk and desert bighorn are clearly evident on this panel.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Q: when is felony hit-and-run only a misdemeanor? A: when a wealthy perp commits the crime in Vail

without a doubt, one of the most disturbing, and indeed digusting, miscarriages of justice in my recent memory is being played out a few short kilometers away in Eagle county, Colorado.
it seems that if you are sufficiently wealthy, you can escape felony hit-and-run charges after leaving a cyclist for dead and driving away from the scene of the accident- simple as that, and Eagle county prosecutor Mark Hulbert will be there to get your back.

this is a brief excerpt from the Vail Daily, which is covering the story:

EAGLE, Colorado — A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, faces two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a July 3 incident when he allegedly hit bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo from behind then sped away, according to court documents.

here is a link to the rest of the article.

and again, i would like to point out that it doesn't matter one bit if the motorist has hit a cyclist, pedestrian, skateboarder, homeless guy or any other person or pet out on the public roadways.
if the motorist leaves the scene, is drunk, drugged, impaired by cell phone usage or texting, or anything else for that matter, they should face the harshest possible penalties for their cowardly actions... no exemptions for wealth, social status, etc. will be considered.

being counted amongst the fabulously wealthy "1/2 of the top 1 percenters" does not buy a get "out of jail free card" from the consequences of committing a crime, no matter how rich and powerful the perpetrator is.

Eagle county D.A. Mark Hurlburt should be dis-barred. his actions are questionable and unethical, to name a few. to this outside observer, the whole thing reeks of a pay-off. i honestly hope that isn't the case, but what is a person to think, given the shennannigans at the D.A.'s office surrounding this case?

( UPDATE sunday p.m.)
it is worth mentioning here that D.A. Mark Hurlburt is the same prosecutor that brought FELONY charges against Wendy Lyall (of Vail, btw) for the infamous "leadville 100 number swap" last year. the case was later plead down to a misdemeanor and Ms. Lyall was subsequently found guilty.
admittedly, i am no attorney. but given these two cases and Mr. Hurlburt's approach from a prosecutorial standpoint demonstrates clearly that the notion of bringing charges that are comensurate with the crime is brutally skewed in Eagle county, Colorado

please take a few moments at this time to sign the petition below. then, forward the petition to as many associates as possible who will also take action.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

call the Eagle county District Attorney's office and let them know how you feel as well: the phone number for the Eagle county D.A. is 970-328-6947. also let them know that your hard-earned dollars will not be spent in Vail or Eagle county as a direct result of how their "justice system" has handled this case.

readers may also send a personal email to Mr. Erzinger, letting him know exactly how they feel about what he did.


readers are also encouraged to contact his employer. Mr. Erzinger's reperhensible conduct on the roads of Colorado is most certainly a direct reflection upon his ethics and morals as a human being and calls into question his reasoning and ability to make sound, rational decisions at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's personal wealth management division, where he is currently employed (and hopefully, not for much longer).

personally, i am hoping that he gets a nice room and an extended stay at the "grey bar hotel" for christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pro Tour racing comes to Colorado

start thanking these two guys, they had a lot to do with making it happen: Lance on the left and our former Governor, Bill Ritter

(photo: Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)

here's the official host cities video blorp:

well, folks... the big announcement was made today and it's official- the Quizno's Pro Challenge will feature a finish AND depart in Steamboat Springs- but hold on for the best part, the pelican will be passing through south Routt on its way there. i have not seen the details for the parcours, especially the finish, as there are many options for exquisite suffering (re: long, steep hills one after another) near the end which could certainly decide the stage, and quite possibly, the overall.

here's some coverage from the local newspaper.

this new Pro Tour event harkens back to the glorious "olden days" of racing in the u.s., when as a young lad, i was fortunate enough to witness these guys racing in the Coors Classic in the mid-1980's. it was unbelievable to me that they could climb so fast and look pretty good while suffering in Colorado's mountains (although Hinault famously complained that racing at such high altitudes was "murderous").
he slugged one of my old training partners while racing the Estes Park criterium because the guy was annoying le Blaireau by constantly attacking. Hinault wanted to just take it easy, do a race leader's parade lap for the crowd, and rest up for the next day's stage. Gary wanted some primes and face time at the front.

it was soon decided that the riders would take it easy, at least for the remainder of that criterium.

(image: cyclingarchive)

over at cyclingnews, their headline states that this race is "not one for the sprinters", which is fantastic, as i have often found myself greatly annoyed by the antics of Mark Cavendish (to say the least).

what do you think, dear readers?

(image: AFP)
if he bothers showing up, hopefully he gets shagged out the back the first time the road tilts upwards. and each thereafter.

i prefer the way things were settled back in the day. Bernard chose a more direct approach to his "diplomacy". Cav puts on a childish performance for the cameras to emphasize his point of contention with his detractors. Bernie could still show him a thing or two about how to deal with some of the complicated issues sometimes encountered at the races.

(image: ritte sport)

in all reality, i just want to see some great Pro Tour racing in Colorado once again- where it rightfully belongs, and after a 20+ year hiatus. i hope that the riders can behave properly, keep the rubber side down, keep their hands on the handlebars during the sprints, and stay well out of trouble when not on their bikes. it's really not all that much to ask, and if they do mind their manners, the racing action will undoubtedly be a knockout.

see you out on the cols next august!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

afternoon ride for 03 november 2010

the Ribbon- Grand Junction, Colorado

note: if you plan on doing this ride, do yourself a big favor and opt for the "extended version" which begins at the main Tabeguache trailhead. don't be afraid of the extra climbing and singletrack. the loop shown on the link above is less than half the total distance of the longer ride, and nearly all of the additional riding is on some really excellent singletrack as an extra incentive.

70 degrees farenheit & not a cloud in the sky in november feels really nice- especially if you are not fortunate enough to live in sunny California or somewhere with one of those "Mediterranean climates" .

this nice Colorado singletrack helps ease our suffering a bit, however.

back scratcher.

sorry about the unederexposure, i just happen to like this particular section of trail.

lots of fast descending on wide open slickock

we stopped long enough to take in some nice views of the valley. note the trail continuing downward, lower right of image.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the non-structured phase

the best and, arguably, most important thing about bikes is that they are fun. indeed, our mission here at ABANDON YOUR CAR is to demonstrate how much fun can reliably and consistently be had when one gets as far away as possible from an enclosed, 4-wheeled vehicle and takes to the streets, roads, and trails on a self-powered conveyance- AKA: bicycle
natually, when i think of fun and bicycles, my mind wanders to France, which represents to me a Nirvana of sorts for cyclists. they seem to really enjoy their cycling a great deal, (in fact, almost to the point of nuttiness) and when i was last there, observed that the motorists were extremely polite and quite happy to share the road with cyclists. at least in the regions that i visited.

at any rate, here is a cool video with some smooth beats to go with it... from France, of course.

Paris à Vélo (Paris Remix)
Uploaded by Noart7. - Watch original web videos.

uh-oh. now what the heck is going on here?

back in the "olden days" of american cycling, we, as cyclists, often seemed to struggle with our ability to blend with the "social fabric" of the time.
here, this wayward hipster has apparently taken a wrong turn on his way to an early "tweed ride" and now finds himself JRA lost at the local swimming hole. fortunately, it appears that an attractive sun bather is able to get past the ridiculous "cyclist out of context" issue and offer some directions to get him on his way.
what i find most troubling about these images, however, is that the bike's manufacturer felt that in order to sell this fine racing bicycle they were not going to show the guy in wooly racing kit ("tight clothes") at the races with a bunch of other sweaty dudes riding around in circles. instead, they put him at the pool in seersucker slacks w/matching colorway shirt, shoes and beltway in the company of an attractive, scantily clad young woman.

obviously, we were still trying to assimilate the two concepts of "fun" and "bicycle" into a unified theme.

i own a red 1973 Schwinn Paramount very similar to the hipster's above. totally beautiful and original vintage bike. but not once has taking that bike for a ride led to a friendly conversation with a member of the opposite sex, so i sort of doubt the veracity of the ad content. of course, never while riding have i found myself lost at the swimming pool, either.

over the years, so much worry about matching colorways and fashionable tweed has turned some of us into fat, bored and complacent vinyl record curators... like our poor friend in the above photo; Jabba the Cat. (image: fixedgeargallery)

i still want to have fun when i ride and not be too serious about being fashion-conscious all the time. i wear a helmet when riding on the road or trail, but seldom do when urban riding, in the best european tradition.
recently, i was reading one of the blogs that used to be in my favorite blogstack and the writer had a 9 or 10 point code of conduct- a couple of which severely scorned "tight clothes" and expensive bikes and was all on about something called "the slow riding movement".
that was just too annoying, pompous, and self-important for me. they got eighty-sixed from the blogstack because i simply can't abide by such intolerant attitudes and also find that, admittedly, and from time to time, i enjoy riding expensive bicycles at high rates of speed while wearing tight clothes and a helmet.

kinda like this guy: Dr. Fred Rompelberg

well, except without the car, that is.
but 268.831 km/hr is still pretty impressive- even if quite possibly it qualifies him as the biggest wheel sucker of all time.

maybe more like this guy: Steve Gaskey.

fun, fast and dangerous. fast as you want to pedal.

i saw this machine at the great annual gathering of the cycling tribes (AKA: Interbike) a few years back and the owner/builder had a video showing how the thing wound up through the gears and when it reached top speed, the rider hit a button and the pneumatic lift dropped the bike onto the pavement... and the subsequent rubber burnin', tire screeching launch. freekin' awesome.

this week coming up i am looking forward to being out of the snow, some great riding in Fruita, and spending a good deal of quality time with my best buddy. that's right, having some fun and being out on the bikes. not worried about heart rate or intervals or tapering or spending enough time at altitude or fashion or anything like that- also known as the "non-structured phase" of the yearly calender.

i hope all of you will indulge yourselves in a bit of the same.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NorCal Life/Bike/Ride Update 10/25/10

Well, hey there AYC patrons! It's been awhile since my last post, and for good reason. The chaos is ramping up here in Cali, and it's definitely been putting a damper on the amount of riding I'd like to be doing. However, you live with what you get, so I've been taking advantage of every opportunity I have. Anyway, despite the distractions and disturbances -- a few include: debate, huge course load, and the freaking weather -- I have been able to get out there some and do what I really enjoy. Also, that weather thing really only applies to getting out for a road ride because I don't like riding with crazy California drivers in the pouring rain.

These are the results of the last ride I embarked upon, last weekend. Two friends and myself got out onto the trails near my house and by the time we were done tending to several technical mishaps (none pertaining to my machine, I'll note), the weather had turned and the temperature had dropped. However, as a group we decided to acknowledge Rule #9 and power through the next 24miles. Some light rain during a mountain bike ride is appreciated around here, as it makes the fire trails hardpacked and especially fast. However, the last 6miles or so were a little less than fun with sheets of rain, but I actually didn't mind that much. Sometimes, such a huge change to the norm is refreshing...

(It was a lot more sludged up before we decided to ride
an extra three miles to my friend's house to warm up
and feast upon the glorious PB&J's awaiting us.)

Plus, with the arrival of Winter I've been able to catch up on some projects, including replacing my trusty Specialized road shoes. They were great while they lasted, but when you can see the toes of your socks staring out from the toebox, it's a good indicator that they need replacing. So, with the help of $15, I was able to pick up some very lightly used Sidi Genius 3's, that despite their age, vent far better than my previous shoes. The real test will come this weekend, when the same two friends and I embark on a 50mile slog into the foothills. They're not in the best shape either, so we've all allotted a longggg time for the ride. Plus, I don't think I've ever ridden more than 35miles in a single ride. Adventure time!

Some of the other things I've been able to catch up on recently are actually pretty important. I've been able to move several sets of tubular rims onto eBay to fund important acquisitions, such as a quality repair stand and a load of tools to complete my shop. Furthermore, more parts for the Mercian have arrived, have been cleaned, and mounted. That's for another day though. Let's see here, what other bike geek projects am I contemplating? Well, a mountain bike build is in the works, and I'm also soon to acquire another frameset which I might make into a beater fixie for school commuting. However, that's dependent on how I can organize the garage and if one of my friends rides to school as well (buddy system).

Other cycling-related projects currently on the table include all of Bishop O'Dowd High School's cycling club needs and requests. I took on the role of being the spokesman of the club, and, thus, have been requesting sponsorships from a very few select companies. So far, we're receiving a tremendous amount of support and we're very lucky to have such awesome manufacturers backing our racing team this year. I'm also working hard on a logo and jersey design to be completed soon. It certainly is turning out to be a huge amount of work, but it's going to pay off in the end.

So, for Monday November 25, 2010, that's all that I can pull out of my overpacked noggin. Some may call it stress, but I call it life. All that matters right now is that this weekend is looking like prime weather for lots of bike riding, and I encourage everyone to get out if they can. Never underestimate the physical and mental benefits of some good ride time!

And with that, I'm off to bed. Oh, sweet, sweet sleep... Keep the rubber side down AYC patrons!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for saturday 23 october, 2010

riding the Great Western Rim on a beautiful autumn day.

looks pretty nice, eh?


hold your line...

long socks and retro-style wool jerseys are the latest hot fashion trend for fall.


J.P. was definitely enjoying his first excursion out onto the Western Rim.
The Eriksen 29er hardtail singlespeed outfitted with 2.35 Kenda monster tires was the perfect rig for today's wet, sandy conditions- just ask him!

heading for home and avoiding the rain

whenever possible, stay to the left