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, 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.