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, September 19, 2010

2010 mountain states cup race #9 Breckenridge Fall Classic

the weekend of september 12-13 saw the conclusion of the 2010 racing season for most competitiors. the Breckenridge Fall Classic has for many years heralded the finale of the Colorado mountian bike racing season (from waaay back in the olden days of the Colorado Offroad Points Series), deciding season's end rankings, boasting rights, and determining which racers will be graduating on to the higher categories- lest they forever be deemed and branded as... "sandbaggers".

representing for the western slope powerhouse of LiveTrainRace.com, Jen is racing her first year as a cat. 2, and already adding to her palmares.
she definitely needs some more racing experience to be able to better conquer the unbridled pre-race "nervous Nellies" a bit, but one thing at a time.

that's why the racers bring their soigneurs along, anyway. or is it the other way round? hmm

some nice single track and fall colors make for a postcard image of the circuit race.
the other sections of trail that were covered deeply in wood chips made for some leg-sapping, power-robbing sufferin'.

the circuit race was held at the traditional venue of the Breckenridge Nordic Center, although the parcours is somewhat different (and i say perhaps not quite as exciting) than the layout of years gone by.

the early-starting categories, such as Jen's cat. 2 women's bunch, certainly felt the pinch of the cold autumn morning- something which has not changed one bit since back in the day.

anyone out there ever race one of Breck's infamous "snow years"?

Jen rails the downhill at warp speed approaching the finish of the cross country.

consistency paid off with a 2nd place finish in women's cat. 2 for the Breckenridge Fall Classic stage race... and a solid 3rd overall for the entire MSC series as an additional bonus.

chapeau, Jen, and to the entire LiveTrainRace.com team as well.

please visit their blog to see more great images and another in-depth race report and season wrap-up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NorCal Update, September 16, 2010

Well, it's been a small while since my last update, and in that time span some great riding has been had by all -- ask BikeMaster with his solid placement in the Steamboat Springs Stage Race!

Alright, the biggest update currently is obviously with the Mercian, which has taken on a less-naked appearance and is now sporting most of a Nuovo Record group from around 1975. In fact, the only piece missing is the rear derailleur, which I have decided to substitute for the more desirable Pat. 81 version (people like these more because of the removeable spring), as this bike is getting only the best.

The rear wheel has not yet been de-laced, but will be in the very near future. The MA40 shown is the 700c version, and, thus, will not be used. I'm still attempting to decide whether I should trade the MA40s for the 27" version, or just use my other high-end vintage wheelset with Super Champion rims laced to Maillard 700 hubs. The stem, bar, RD, and saddle are all in transit, which will leave me to find a seatpost, crankset, and BB.

Moving on from my vintage cycling addiction, we can move on to my modern cycling addiction. The cycling club application has been officially submitted and is awaiting approval. This year, we're also introducing the choice of racing in the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League and once that season ends, the ability to join the local fast-guy adult road racing team. Unfortunately, single speed and single chainring mountain bikes are not allowed in the league, so we've lost a couple of our powerhouses. I've been signed on as a club officer -- more specifically, the head bike mechanic. This year, the club is also receiving support from a local shop, and a new chain lube developer, Chain-L (make sure to check them out at Interbike!). I was also put in charge of jersey design, and will share my artistic skills once we receive all of our logos and the proper pantones for the high school.

Moving on from that, the riding here is awesome aside from some unfortunate flatting lately. The weather is perfect as it's nice and crisp in the morning, and warm, but not overbearingly hot, in the afternoons. My acceptance to the JV Debate Team has taken up my after school activities twice a week, but that still leaves plenty of time to ride.

And, AYC patron, therein lies this week's urge to get out of the house and get on the bike. If I can make the time, so can you, and it's guaranteed that you'll feel great out there on the road or trail. So, until next time, keep riding and keep the rubber side down!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

steamboat springs stage race 2010 - Ski & Bike Care criterium

you know that the promoter is putting on a quality event when it attracts top-tier riders such as Pete Stetina and a few of his Garmin-Transitions team mates. there was at least one representative of the Trek/LiveStrong development team in attendance as well, along with plenty of local Colorado fast guys.

not too bad for only the 2nd year of the event.

and i have to add that this old dog is happy that he decided to "kick back on the porch", so to speak, with the 45 open division instead of racing category for this event. this field was pretty well stacked.

Dirk Friel (on right, Natural Grocers) and local hometown hero Barkley Robinson sporting the Orange Peel colors take to the start of the SM Pro 1-2 division.

Barkley had earlier vowed to lay down some pain during the middle of the race. the many local fans in attendance were eagerly anticipating the action.

Barks holds true to his word and launches a vicious attack. when he went by the start/finish on the first lap of his flyer, the announcer almost missed it because dude was going so damn fast.

his move draws the attention of several strong riders including Brad Winn, Trevor Connor, Dirk Friel and Jake Wells

after several laps, the break has been made and the bunch seems content not to chase too hard. this is the move that is going to decide the race.

the instigator eventually feels the heat of the brutal tempo at the front and is sent back to the pelican by the breakaway group.

chapeau, Barkley. you get the AYC "most combative rider award" for the day.

cagey veteran Dirk Friel (jr) attacks the breakaway group and takes a well deserved solo win.

Monday, September 6, 2010

steamboat springs stage race 2010 - MOOTS road race

the early starters had it good today, as they avoided the weather front and the vicious 50 km/hr head winds that blasted the later starting categories. it was not what i would call a nice, autumn ride- even though the sun was shining brightly

things were going well initially, as i felt good over the first two big climbs and managed fairly well to shelter myself from the wind by staying glued to the wheel of the nearest steady-riding big guy in front of me. (it should be noted here that Jen has observed that at 1.8 meters and 64.5 kilos, i am easily the smallest guy in my bunch. i have not one guilty feeling whatsoever about clinging for dear life to the wheel of a dude who outweighs me by 15 kilos.) there was plenty of nervous jostling as riders fought for position, and once we turned northward and caught the tailwind for the first time, the attacks went thick and fast.
the Mix 1 guys turned the screws at the feedzone and guttered everyone except for about 5 or 6 riders. i managed to hang in until an untimely cramp reduced my pace to a near crawl before i recovered to a reduced level of output.
too little, too late. i rode in with Steve Albe of ColoradoBikeLaw.com and we worked together to minimize our losses for the afternoon. it was a brutally hard race indeed.

13th on G.C. now, and barring unforseen disaster in the criterium, that is where i will likely end up overall. hoping to salvage the race with at least a podium in the crit and some quality time at the front of the bunch... as this is my hometown race after all.

sorry that there are no original AYC images of the road race for this post, as Jen was again way too busy doing a fantastic job as soigneur supporting yours truly.

pro coverage can be found over at Velonews and bikerumor.com

complete daily results and G.C. standings can be found on the official race website

Sunday, September 5, 2010

steamboat springs stage race 2010 - Marabou circuit

the race caravan proceeded to the 1st stage at Marabou ranch and the competitors took to the best macadam of the whole event. climbing 150 meters or so on each hilly, 7 kilometer lap with a super fast, twisty descent thrown in to keep it real.
maybe i should just say real cold. the thermometer hovered right around 2 degrees C even though the sun was shining brightly. warmups were problematic for many of the scrawny climber-types, Jamie Morgan and myself included. here's what it looked like at the start of the 35 open, Jamie is on the left in the Eriksen Jersey:

too cold to crack a smile.

on Jamie's left are local fast guys Ian Pritchard and Jon Cariveau. on the right side of the image are Chief ACA referee Dean Crandall and race organizer (as well as local fast guy when he's not organizing a top-shelf Colorado stage race) Cory Piscopo.

ornithological fact: the Marabou stork is a resident of Africa, and is not to be found at the Marabou ranch (and i am not quite sure how they came up with the name for the ranch, but no matter. it makes for a great venue to hold a race)

image credit as shown

there is a great deal of wildlife to be seen at Marabou. while attempting to "warm up", i observed a flock of Sandhill cranes about to make their south-bound migration. very cool indeed.

image courtesy of http://fatfinch.wordpress.com/

here's the start of the 45 open mutant class. i'm sandwiched between the Mix 1 duo of Pete Ismert and Jimmy Gibson, wearing the LiveTrainRace.com colors. these guys have been at the racing game for as long as i can remember. they are not slow by any standard- now or back in the day. these two cracked the race wide open and left everyone else way, way behind.

later on, i did a bit of "south-bound migration" of my own, slipping to 11th on G.C. and losing a good chunk of time to the hard-guys at the front. ouch.

still freezing and hanging in the pain-cave (for now)

well, tomorrow is another day and another race. i look forward to some action on the open roads as the parcours travels some of my favorite training routes. until then, stay up-to-date with the action in the pro pelican, as some of the more "mainstream" outlets here and abroad have picked up on the feed.

here's the coverage on VeloNews

and also, bikerumour.com (their prologue coverage can be found here)

it's really awesome to see a 2nd year Colorado stage race attracting rock-star talent and media coverage that such a well-run and challenging event deserves.

and a big thanks goes out to my best soigneur of all, Jennifer, without whom i would not be able to focus, prepare and race as well as i have (for quite some time) xo

Friday, September 3, 2010

steamboat springs stage race 2010 - Aspire TT

today i managed to surprise myself- 10th in a time trial. that is a good thing for a 64 kilo non-specialist riding a standard race bike, only conceding 30 seconds on the day.

French royalty crushing the pro women: Jeannie Longo in the house.
she crushed me, too.

the great Jeannie Longo races in the 2010 Steamboat Springs Stage Race
10k TT presented by Aspire Wellness clinic