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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mad Cow Classic Reeder Mesa Roadrace p/b Mesa State cycling team

image credit: livetrainrace.com

What a great day it was - at least from the perspective of one who did not face the brutal climbs, false flats and downhills into a full headwind...(Dave will have his own tales to tell after the dust settles)

Bunches of college kids showed up, got blown away by the agony of a 3 race series and blew us away with the energy and excitement of their youth. The USAC racers came from all over Colorado to get out of the springstorms and get a taste of the wonderful spring riding we love.
It was very inspiring to spend a race weekend busting out with our new local bike community (after leaving so many special friends back in Routt County)- and I found myself not just bowled over by the collective local talent, but by the collective local spirit. (be sure to visit Dave's post from the Hill Climb)

I love this picture of Mike and Kristy Driver at the finish of the race- Mike ("local good guy the Hammer") rode his first road race in ages, completed 50 plus miles in great time and never passed his soigneur without a smile plastered across his face. Kristy rallied to water up all of the LIVETRAINRACE team members, a host of hangers on and, then, made sure neutral water was available to those who failed to plan for the brutal lollipop loops on the Reeder Mesa (hence, the crazy collection of empties she brought to the bottom to reunite with their owners).

When it was all over but the shoutin' (out and back + 4 loops on the mesa for the Pro 1/2s and 3 loops for the 3,4,5, 35+), they waited to cheer the last riders safely off the course. They have some cool pictures of Saturday's hill climb on the LIVETRAINRACE web page and, I'm sure are crazy busy getting ready to launch the inaugural Grand Junction Criterium tomorrow night! Then they head out to Hurricane for the real start of Mike's season in the Cholla Challenge... Oh, and then get back on time to get to work on Monday morning. That's what I'm talking about.

No picture of the real hero of the day, however. This title goes out to the 19year old soon to be Mesa State Freshman who abandoned his race to stay with 2 very injured racers who had separate, nearly simultaneous, cataclysmic clashes with a cattle guard. He had come all the way from Littleton with his parents to visit the campus and ride along his soon to be classmate/teammates in this epic 3 race series. After conquering the hill climb and the crit, then the most brutal climbs of the road course, he saw the men go down in a blur of exploding carbon wheels and frames, got off the bike, called his Mom and made sure no one was left alone on the side of the road to wait for the ambulance. This kid is going to be a brilliant addition to the awesome Grand Valley cycling scene and one day he will understand how much more proud he made his parents this weekend than he ever could by taking the podium. Strong work Kid and we all hope to meet you on the road again!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

NorCal Weekend Ride Report, March 28, 2010

Well, hello once again AYC patrons!

Today was another beautiful in sunny Lake Chabot, and once again, the trails were hopping. Explored the Ten Hills Trail today, which made my total ride length estimated at about 10 miles. Total ride time was an hour and fifty minutes (you have to be precise about these types of things, dontchya know) and it got off to a pretty rocky start. After my first climb (the rutted single track where I crashed and burned last Sunday), I was starting to feel pretty sick, but I kept going and eventually got over it.

I felt like today was going to be the day where I did the entire trail loop, but upon reaching the choice of a bridge leading that way, or to the Ten Hills Trail, I heard someone talking about it being a 5 hour trip. While it probably wouldn't be, I opted to just go for ten hills rather than walking the half mile, 19% gradient monster on the other side of the bridge. It was a good ride, but now it's time for homework. And nobody likes that.

PS: I took a bunch of pictures of the trail with my phone today, but it turns out my school-mandated computer doesn't support BlueTooth. I will leave you with the trail map, so you can look about.

Fruita, usa trail report for March 28, 2010

just two words today, folks:



o.k., that was two words and and an exclaimation. clear blue skies and a predicted hi temp of 55 degreees today- it's not going to get much better than that.

be sure to ride friendly, keep the single track single, and maybe HIKE with the dogs over at the Devils Canyon trails for the next few months, instead of a free-range exercise session on crowded biking trails.

just a suggestion, and thanks in advance.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mad Cow Classic hillclimb p/b Mesa State cycling team

no reason not to palp a fixie in the hillclimb.
Tyler M. bibs up represents for the hipsters here in Fruita, USA. when he's not crushing the vert, Tyler teaches middle school about 30 km from where he lives with his wife (and recent addition to family, Lucille) in Fruita. he usually commutes on the same bike. i'm pretty sure that he was rocking "Tommy" on the mod headphones as part of his warm-up routine.

in Le Tour de France, if a rider is fortunate enough to pass through their home town during one of the stages of the race, the pelican sometimes allows them the honor of riding ahead of the race in order to greet their families and friends who have gathered at the roadside and waited throughout the day for the arrival of their hero.
things being a bit more chill here in Fruita, Tyler didn't have to ride off the front of the bunch in order to get some last minute quality time with his new baby & baby's mama, Bobbie.

some words of encouragement for fellow participants before the race. Netana rides for Mesa State cycling and is one of their top riders.

i raced, too

after his race, this rider claimed to have "good sensations" while climbing. most normal people would call them "hallucinations".

at the start of the race we had Netana's mom, dad, brother & Chechu distributing lights to riders who didn't have their own. they have supported Netana throughout her cycling career, in addition to getting up early on their weekends off work to volunteer at Mesa State cycling team sponsored (in addition to other local) events for many years.
this is a great opportunity to again say thanks to all of the volunteers who made the event happen, as well as the Mesa State cycling team. we'll see you again next year.

Netana's mom collects the lights as tales of the battle were regaled afterwards.

Shad: "dude... you so cut me off on that turn up there..."

Dave: "ummm, uh, well..."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fruita, usa trail & pave report for March 24, 2010

Dave has been blasting up the Monument on his lunch breaks this week to rev up for the Mad Cow Classic this weekend and I have been doing sprint laps on Rustler's, Mary's and Kessels's in the hour between work and dark- yep, it's the season to get out and ride with intent.

Rained hard Monday night and a lot of the day Tuesday. Unfortunate for the eager beavers camped out on the 18, but good for setting up the trails to handle the incoming masses. Apparently the pavement up the west side of the monument has finally been swept improving the roadie experience tremendously.

All-in-all lots of cycling goodness going on in Fruita right now (versus 20 inches of cold, wet sloppiness going on down on the Front Range- sorry guys, we have SO been there).

Went to an early season bike symposium this evening hosted by the LIVETRAINRACE crowd in anticipation of the Wednesday Night Criterium Series starting next week. Heard from Mesa State physiatry guru, Steve Murray, about 'training from the heart' so as not to lose one's love of the ride or burn out before your big event. Heard from Dr Price of Rocky Mountain Orthopedics about the nuts and bolts of getting strong and staying strong (and the dude who ate sticks of butter to win the bike race to the North Pole). Had a demonstration of the Laser guided bike fit system in use at John Weinreth's Bicycle Studio. DT Swiss sent smartypants Paul over to awe us with their new carbon fiber wheel sets (and remind us with a smile that you can shave time with precision training, or with a whole lot of cash). A good scene and a sure sign that Mesa County is all about the bike...(see below)

The riding will be great this weekend- depending on (or in spite of) the weather. Try to catch the Mad Cow Classic TT up the monument Saturday AM - followed by a criterium that evening and a road race sunday. Lend a hand (or send some dollars) to *a local trail building organization* and the Tamarisk Coalition doing Tamarisk removal on Saturday to prepare for the new Fruita Bike Park. Check out the BMX races Friday evening and Sunday.
And, most of all- RIDE FOR THE LIFE OF YOU MAN!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 22, 2010

there have been 2 on the ground reports from the 18 road today, both quite good:

Jen went out after work tonight and rode Prime Cut and Kessel Run. also open and rideable today is Joe's Ridge. conditions are reported to be most excellent.
the camping area is open and the multitudes of pilgrims are arriving daily and posting up.
riding season has arrived.

here's *a local trail building organization* trail boss Kevin giving me an early morning consult on rock placement during the sunday worksession on Moore fun. the objective here is to protect the juniper tree from riders who may be experiencing navigational difficulties on this technical section. to the right of the trail, behind Kevin, and in front of the tree are several naturally positioned (we didn't put 'em there) "dragon's teeth". some additional, careful placement of a few large rocks now allows for an obvious "up and over" line to the left of the tree, thus providing the desired result.
the gradient slopes rather severely down to the right, not entirely obvious in this photo. also notice the sinuous ribbon of freshly-built prime single track meandering in the background. building trails like this one- doing it right, requires a lot of pick-n-shovel work as well as a lot of hand work such as what is being done here.
the trails in Fruita usa are superior to so many other areas because of the hard work of *a local trail building organization* and an army of dedicated volunteers. most of 'em were built just like this one- entirely by hand and not as an afterthought on what used to be a jeep road or motorbike trail. built by bikers for bikers... what could be better?

here's a couple of trail building tree-huggers preservng what's there as best they can while still providing a safe, challenging, legal desert experience of minimal human impact. trail boss Kevin demonstrates how to properly chink the large rocks to ensure secure placement. it's a given that the big, 40-pound huckin' bikes will be raging on this trail. that means all the work done has to be solid enough to withstand the punishment without moving for a lengthy period of geologic time. no wobble when you roll over 'em or put your foot down. this view is looking up the trail, at the same location as the photo above.

nice squeeze-through, eh?

in case you have wondered just how all of the Fruita singletrack came to be, here's the answer. the nameless, faceless, all-volunteer *a local trail building organization* trail crew. remember them when you are enjoying the finest singletrack experience in the world... and more importantly, remember them when you get home and be sure to make a generous, tax deductible donation as soon as possible so that their good deeds may continue for many years to come.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 21, 2010

the riding on Rustler's, Horsethief bench, Steve's and most of Mary's could not be better. well, there is some residual cow shit and divots in a few areas, but aside from these very minor nit-picks, i cannot remember a time when the trails actually looked and rode as nicely as they did today.

Mack Ridge is a no-go due to it's altitude and many north facing aspects. Moore Fun is still an out and back from the east end. this is also a great time to mention the hard work of the local *a local trail building organization* trail crews who threw down a massive re-aligmnent of Moore Fun yesterday and today.
i wasn't chained to the workstand at the shop today, so Jen and i went out to lend a hand. Kevin (trail boss) put me to work on finishing a couple of very technical, big rock moves because of my fastidious attention to detail, obsessive-compulsive tendencies as well as my mad masonry skillz, yo.
both sections turned out solid and rideable, but be forewarned: should there be any downhill side get-offs from these moves, you will most certainly feel the chomp of the "dragon's teeth"

Jen and i turned around at the far western end of Steve's where it meets up with Mary's again. we didn't opt for the return on the frontage road as we were unsure of (and still are) the conditions farther up the wash. besides, we prefer to hog up the singletrack whenever we can, and it's much more enjoyable to get back to the trailhead by that route.
this western area is still showing a lot of saturation and there is still snow in the shaded areas, even at that low elevation. anyone with more beta on the frontage road return is asked to comment here. the mud was impassible with anything less than a full-on monster truck a couple of weeks ago.

speaking of mud, that is the report from the 18 road. there are limited sections (Prime Cut for example) that are rideable, but the report on the ground from ranger Wayne of the local BLM is a big N-O for at least a week to 10 days (i spoke with him on Saturday) of beautiful weather such as what we suffered here today.
please don't think that just because some of Kessel's looks rideable means that the rest of it (or the other trails in that area) is o.k.- there's lots of other stuff opening up all the time, including in the Rabbit Valley area.

and to conclude this evening's report, i would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Vernal Equinox.
you know, when the earth has tilted over and the northern hemisphere is officially halfway back to summertime mode again? i saw one of these green-collared lizards when we were out riding today, and that is most certainly a sign of the Vernal Equnox and the arrival of spring.

this paticular yearly event is not to be confused with the alternative music festival held in the eastern Utah town that bears the same name, just in case ya didn't know that already.

NorCal Ride Report, Sunday March 21

Let me start off by saying that today was a beautiful day for a bike ride, and the amount of cyclists out on the trail reflected that.

For those of you who don't know, I'm Danny -- the young apprentice. I worked for Dave over the summer, and Aunt Jen is well... my aunt.

I live essentially a block away from a gateway into a local hotspot for mountain bike riders called Lake Chabot. It has a half paved and half unpaved trail all around the lake for a total loop of around 12 miles. It's a lot like going around the reservoir near Oak Creek in terms of length.

I started out on my ride around 10:30 after a filling breakfast. It was a bit overcast, but by the time I was over the biggest climb and on the lake trail, it was clear skies. I'm happy to report that throughout the ride, there was no getting off the bike. My ride totaled around 8 miles due to some exploration of the trails branching off of the main walk way, and a mistake on the part of my slacker navigation skills. I ended up riding past a golf course in order to get to a trail that I'd ridden when Jen and Dave were here during Thanksgiving. I made the mistake of second-guessing myself, so I turned around and pedaled a mile back to the main trail, where I then met a fork in the road. I took the "path less traveled" and ended up linking with the downhill of the trail that I'd been looking for. It was a pretty awesome climb at a far more gradual gradient than the trail I'd been searching out, and once at the top, I met up with some other riders going in the same direction. Total ride time: 1.5hours

It was a solid ride, even if the trails were pretty mucky under the tree-cover. On the way back, I took my only fall on a rutted section of single track downhill that I've been riding for awhile. We have trail managers out here too, but apparently not as bright as the *a local trail building organization* crew is. Someone trimmed a branch so it was under leaves, but so that there was still about a foot of it sticking straight up out of the ground. I hit a rut at a good pace, fell over and was essentially impaled. However, it's not that bad and now it's time for some feet up time and a good lunch. I hope today's ride was as good over in Fruita as it was over here. Until next time, keep the rubber side down!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 20,2010

Here we are on the eve on the equinox and I am just back from a quick trip to the promised land (AKA Northern California). Got to relish in some of those magic NorCal coast spring days that make visitors go home, pack it up, move west and endure the fog in hopes that soon they will get to relish another day like this...(exactly what happened to my father on the way to being shipped out to Okinawa and why this paradise will always be my home).

Mom and I hit all the great old haunts including this magical trail she first took me on years ago to show me the secret calla-lily colony she had discovered on one of her solo excursions to the coast.

The cyclistas out there really know how to get after it- and after the last couple months of wet upon wet they were chomping at the bit and tearing it up...Annadel State Park, BoyScout Loops, Mount Tam, Rancho Del Oso, Highway 1 and the zillion awesome sideroads climbing back up to Skyline were all being ridden with a pent up passion. Sweet inspiration.

Immediately upon disembarking Grand Junction International and being assaulted by a barrage of FOX NEWs poison, I got this awesome report from one sweaty, stinky Bike Meister hot off the trail:
Kokopelli stuff was epic this evening. Hot laps to be had on Rustler's with Mary's still an out and back- Add on a Steve's Loop (handcuffs), as well as, a Horsethief and you've got yourself a ride! Inside sources say Rabbit Valley is actually becoming rideable (at least Western Rim Trail). Everyone agrees that 18 Road remains a muddy No-Go (as in, please stay away and you will be glad you did). And- the *a local trail building organization* super studs actually completed the reroute of Moore Fun today and tomorrow will be performing more feats of goodwill on the Kokopelli Trails- we'll be there, will you?!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 17,2010

It was 60+ degrees out today and the sun did not set before 7:30! We are feeling it now.

The Kokopelli stuff is getting more and more rideable. Still some mud out there though - especially up Mack Ridge way. Gaining yardage big time out at the Lunch Loops, but still some serious mud up high. 18 Road is muddy and not worth the drive, trail damage or the bike wash yet. (The cover photo is just to remind us all of glory days past and glory days yet to be out on Zippity).
And- contrary to a recent report on a popular MTBR forum- Rabbit Valley is NOT really rideable and should not be ridden for awhile yet (in my opinion).

Seeing uber mud caked bikes on cars makes me think of all the effort some of us put into leaving a small footprint while others of us just stomp all over the joint...kinda like the feeling I get watching the grocery cart ahead of me piled high with all the plastic bags I haven't used this year...sigh.

Lot's of dry stuff to ride and get the winter cobwebs out and I think the weekend will be a ton of fun for those who are around...and, remember, you too could become a part of the Fruita trail building legend by getting busy with *a local trail building organization* to reroute Moore Fun this Saturday and Sunday!

Ride em if you got em.

Monday, March 15, 2010

the spring classics

racing season is now.

the big guys have been going off for over a month now in the ProTour. the hair gels, the tweets, the silly finish line and podium getures have all begun in earnest. there has been some awesome racing somewhere in the mix as well.

things get rolling a bit later on this side of the pond. here in western Colorado we are still shaking off the effects of a winter of epic proportions. today was the first really nice, sunny day this year that featured what i would call warm temperatures. i'm almost thinking about doing a ride on my singlespeed pretty soon. no big hurry on that one, though.

coming up on the 27th and 28th of March, we have the Mad Cow Classic p/b the Mesa State College cycling team. this two-day, three event series features a brilliant, uphill ITT starting at the west gate of the Colorado National Monument and finishes at the visitor's center about 7 kms distant and 325 meters straight up the road. here's a sampling of the parcours from mapmyride.com- be sure to get a witness on the profile as well.

anyone out there remember Kevin Costner's finest hour when he starred in the all-time classic cycling film American Flyers? better put it on your Netflix queue if ya don't. there are a lot of great views of the Monument in this often overlooked cinematic jewel.

saturday afternoon brings the obligatory office park criterium to appease the non-grimpeurs in the pelican. i suppose i can be put upon to suffer through that for an hour or so.

then on sunday, the weekend is finished off with a fine road race for all categories. more climbing... i like it.
this event reminds me something of the old Criterium International format, which we will also see later this summer here in the U.S. of A at the Dead Dog Classic, held in and near the town of Laramie in the Wyoming Territories.

i would also like once again to remind everyone on the western slope (and elsewhere, for that matter) of the LiveTrainrace.com spring criterium series beginning on wednesday, March 31st and held on the following 5 wednesday evenings in April.

and of course, what would the month of April be without the spring classics. kicking things off we have the 11th edition of the Boulder Roubaix, presented by my homeboys at DBC EVENTS aka/Denver-Boulder couriers. big props to Chris Grealish for hosting this great event (as well as the Boulder spring training crits and a UCI cyclocross event...) again in 2010.
there has also been an additional segment added to the parcours this year, bringing each lap to right around 30 kms. mostly dirt on the new sections, by the way, with a couple of extra sharp rises thrown in for good measure.
Chris doesn't put on races to coddle the whiners and softies, that's for sure.

bonus question for the ancient history buffs:

as a sort of "where's Waldo" kind of fun search, can anyone spot yours truly in the video of the 1999 edition? (hint: Rocky Mounts, and not the one that's almost crashing)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 13,2010

what a day to be out and about on 2 wheels! temps into the mid 50s (it's about fricking time), long periods of blue sky and good breezes to DRY THINGS OUT.

Valuable lessons re-learned today include: a) have a master link in your saddle bag- and a chain tool and b) after you have walked yourself all of the way back to the car, taken the bike in and had it repaired, take it on a real test ride before heading back out to the trail.

Hit Rustler's hard this morning, going for a personal best...dodging leashless dogs and 3 abreast hikers...in other words, just riding along, and yikes- broken chain, bent front derailleur, the whole shebang and only a CO2 cartridge, a benadryl and an inhaler in the saddle bag. Hiked it out, got down to the LBS and was dialed in pronto. But, instead of test riding as suggested by my friendly mechanic, I got caught up oggling the help as they test rode the rigs of other patrons- and ended up riding Rustler's and Mary's with a maladjusted and very spastic front derailleur. Try to listen to your mechanic-

(*deleted image*)

(*deleted image*)

(It's not about the bike...it's all about the kicks when you have reached this level of jack ass)

The initial ascent up Mary's as seen when one is walking back to the Rustler's Trailhead...

Trail ReportSo then...Lot's of bikes out there! Roadie Pelotons headed up the Monument, BMX kids tearing it up at the first races of the season and a very strong showing of MTBRs out at the Kokopelli Trailhead.
Rustler's is gorgeous and needs some good rider grooming to smooth out the bovine post holes.
Mary's is also lovely- still an out and back. (shocked and horrified to witness several riders make a point of riding around the 1 or 2 remaining puddles- but I guess we need to accept Mary's for the jeep road it is and that it will eventually be 40 feet wide).
Horsethief is beautilicious- all the way around.
Saw folks heading up Moore Fun, but I know from experience it is not a good choice right now. (Of course, they may have been doing recon for the reroute during the upcoming *a local trail building organization* trail work days!)
Have it from good sources that the Lunch Loops are looking more rideable than not this weekend and that the stuff on the 18Road is still too muddy (yes, even Kessel's) and it would be good if folks avoided that area for awhile.
Of course, it is meant to storm tonight and tomorrow...so things will change, but we are on a roll and it may be time to take the skis and snowboard out of the thule box.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report March,2010

This was posted on a well known MTN bike forum and ruthlessly poached because I think it lends some credibility to what we've been reporting vis a vis the trail conditions. Certainly things are changing daily...rained like a mo-fo all day yesterday and today it is cold and clear. Who can say what the next couple of days will bring weather wise (ergo trail condition wise).

*******Here are current, March 7th, trail conditions:The trails on Mack Ridge are a mixed bag as of March 7, 2010.

Please Ride :• Mary’s out and back, from the east, to Steve’s Cut-off/Pizza Point.• Wrangler.• Rustler’s Loop. • Horsethief Bench out and back, clockwise, to about midway.• Lion’s, out and back on the single track to the Mack Ridge two-track.

Please do NOT ride :• Moore Fun.• Mack Ridge.• Troy Built.18 Road is snow covered. Tabeguache is snow covered above Lemon Squeezer and mixed, mostly out and back, below.


BLM McInnis Canyons NCA Ranger*************

I can tell you from personal exploration of all the above, this is a pretty darn accurate analysis, except as noted in my post from March 9, 2010, the snow @ the 18 Road is a goner and I have no idea just how one is going to get to Lion's...

I always like to take the source into account when receiving trail, snow, wave reports. Is this the perspective of SkiCorp telling me,"It's a powder day in the 'boat!" (when patrol buddy on the mountain reports the runs are skiing like a coral reef)? Or the aggressive local posting that the break is "pure chop and a waste of time" (when you can clearly see for yourself the sets are gorgeous)? Or the owner of the LBS encouraging one and all to come on out, because the trails are "good to go" (when all the local riders know it is seriously hit or miss)?
Just food for thought.
Soon, very soon, we will all be riding ourselves silly and sharing a beer in the parking lot! See you then!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 9,2010

so the 18 road is more buff than I have ever seen it- (and I do mean the 18 road) the trails are little different story, but soon, very soon they will be ready for our riding pleasure. Got home from work this evening and just about lost my mind thinking of another hour on the rollers, so I took the trusty 650b out to the end of the pavement on the 18 and pedalled as hard as I could to make it to the main parking area and back before dark. The dirt road was wet and tacky- perfect for a little resistance training. A few stretches a little more wet and tacky than I expected, but coming off the inspirational buzz of having just watched the excellent Leadville 100 documentary, "Race Across the Sky," I picked up the cadence, "dug deep" and hammered on. Needless to say, the recent rainstorms have cleared all of the snow I documented in my Sunday, February 28 trail report. BLM signage asks riders to refrain from riding the muddy trails- but I tell you what- this stuff is on the brink of ride ready, the brink I tell you! Will your bike be ready?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

six (plus twenty-six) years in a raincape

given that the weather today disintegrated into total crap, i had resigned myself to yet another session of garage-time on the rollers. that didn't work for me, i nearly slid back into the dark ages of SAD as soon as i went in there, looked at the apparatus and my bike, and thought for two seconds about what i was intending to do.

i turned around and went to the gear locker an pulled out the "severe duty" garments- the waterproof Pearl Izumi Gore-Tex slacks and my ol', trusty raincape and put 'em on over the rest of the monkey-suit.

sometimes the rollers just ain't gonna do it, and i have to be outside no matter what the weather is. and the truth is that it wasn't all that bad. besides, what's going to happen when you have to race in foul conditions if you never train for it?

socks go over the shoes, just like underwear are worn over the pants.

headed out on the fixie for some hard, satisfying efforts. besides, it's a lot easier to wash a fixie than the geared roadbike (which just received a Euro-wash (c), a fresh set of cables, and some nice, new Cinelli cork tape). sometimes it's not so bad to have a small fleet to choose from.

it felt really great to be out there, just like the old days down in Boulder. riding because it's time to ride, not because i managed to wait it out and it's finally 65 and sunny.

i'm not a pro anymore and i don't have time to train like one anymore, either. i have to make the most of what little time i have, though. just like it was back when i was livin' the life.

with all due respect to the master Joe Parkin for making a play on his blog title, it has actually been that many years that i have been riding and training in the foul weather. never made it to Belgium, but i did manage to do at least one race in France during the month of July in all of that time. now i'm motivated to race again this year and have managed to bank some good fitness over the winter.

it smelled all good and fresh and like sage out there today. the cranes and meadowlarks are back and making a lot of noise out in the fields. there's some green stuff starting to sprout, too.
i have a feeling that this is going to be my best year ever... and even though i am old, i'm not too old to back that one up.

here's some motivation and inspiration for all of the fair-weather whiners out there. these two images are from the blog Copenhagen cycle chic where the art of commuting while looking fashionable has been raised to the highest of aesthetics. they aren't at all afraid of a lot of snow or sub-zero temperatures, either. riding on their ancient townie bikes, the women over there seem to be a whole lot tougher than the girly-boys over here who can't ride a bike all winter because the trails have some snow on 'em and think that only wimps in tight clothes ride roadbikes. waaaaaaah waaah wah

and they make it look easy and fun while riding in the snow as well. those Europeans have it all, don't they?

Fruita, usa trail report for March 7,2010

well then...as an update; thought we could bag a few hot laps on Rustler this AM after the warm up yesterday- but just as we rolled into the parking lot so did the squall from out west. it is a very wet, very windy one and is sure to help melt the remaining snow.

unfortunately, the ground is already way, way too wet to absorb it- so mucho mud in the short range trail forecast. grumble...grumble...and onto the rollers for an endorphin fix (even the bikemeister himself is not taking the road bike out in this). check out the NWS radar loop for Western Colorado to see if those wet globs looming to the south and northwest of us will make a direct hit...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fruita, usa trail report for March 6,2010

For this update I have done extensive recon out on the Kokopelli trails and Rabbit Valley. #1Rabbit Valley is under a foot of snow- 'nuf said. #2 the road west from the Kokopelli parking area is essentially impassable by car or bicycle (and, therefore, there is no way back to the main parking lot if one were to actually ride Mary's Loop- it goes without saying that Moore Fun is not happening).

Having said that, I will add that Mary's Loop is so darn close to being ready to ride it isn't funny. And, having said that, I'll let you know that the BLM has placed voluntary trail closure signs urging cyclists to stay off for now.

I have explored the trail to just beyond the hairpin turn by the perennially smelly puddle just past the map kiosk...pretty darn dippin' buff up to there and then the mud patches come fast and furious.

As you see, some have felt compelled to slog on. What part of 'stay off trails with standing water' and 'don't ride it if your tires leave tracks' are we not getting?

Yes, I've been known to duck many a rope in my day to get to a coveted stash the ski patrol thought we oughtta stay outta- but shredding up powder is very different and for now I really urge everyone to respect the BLM request. This is no time get all tea-party, mavericky, down with the governmenty and assert your inner freedom to do just what-the-hell ever you want on our public lands.
I have only praise for the tremendous collaborative effort put forth by the BLM, our local MTB Hall-O-Famers from *a local trail building organization* and other trail advocates to create and PRESERVE our epic trail system. They may remove the sign soon- 3 BLM trucks and a sherrif van loaded with orange vested "community servants" was headed in today as I left...presumably to get down to some hard manual labor. I doubt they got beer at the end like a *a local trail building organization* work day...

Ironically, there is no BLM sign down at Rustler's. Many knobby tire tracks out there- including this one left by Mr or Ms overly enthusiastic rider who lacks a passion for SINGLE track. Honestly, if you are so gung ho to ride when it is cold and damp and then go home and wash your bike, I would expect you would have the deep protective instinct of a true trail rider. If you are the one who left this set of tracks, drop a line and we'll send you your Darwin award (I'm sure you can see where the actual trail is well the left of the cow tracks). On a cheerier note, the trail was mostly beautiful and early springlike- mountain bluebirds, the sound of the Colorado filling up with snow melt, the smell of sage and a bevy of happy hikers making use of their public lands.

Bottom line is this- a very few trails are just becoming rideable and, if you have to go out, use your best stewardship manners. I predict it will be the equinox when we get to really get after it, but late next week we'll probably be able to get a good taste.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2010 north american handbuilt bicycle show- part deux

Kent Eriksen Cycles- best titanium

first of all, i don't know if anyone else has noticed, but that's not Kent. i hope that he didn't get stolen like the ANT guy's bike from the hotel in Richmond. that whole situation snowballed into a near rawkus- complete with spurious tweets about an alleged ad on Craigslist selling a "... clown bike" or something of that nature. just read how bikesnob explains his way out of it before i get myself into even more trouble by starting the next internets rumor from the handbuilt show by blogging that Kent has been nabbed by the body snatchers and is up for sale on eBay right now.

i do know that Kent and his crew do make the finest titanium bikes out there. they put a lot of effort into making the bikes look clean and uncomplicated. there isn't any fancy paint to cover a blemish or hide a mistake. bare metal and welds that aren't filed or sanded at all... yet they are rideable pieces of high-performance art that look beautiful under the closest inspection.

Jen would undoubtedly say the same thing about her Eriksen 650b f/s custom.

i can't wait to finish my singlespeed Eriksen, either. mmmmm mm

here's the copy from the 2010 NAHBS award winners page:

"Kent Eriksen chooses each tube set according to the physique, riding style, and intended use of each customer, and he builds in titanium only. The winning bicycle was chosen as a show model because of its clean, simple, elegant and functional design–which represents Kent Eriksen’s values".

image credit: NAHBS

big congratulations to Kent, Katie, Bo, Chad (Kent's stand in bike model) Chris and Paul over there at Eriksen Cycles on their award. you guys deserve it.

FOLLOW-UP: March 15- here's some good images and press from bikerumour.com