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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunset rides in july...

We got away with a very mild start to the summer- riding when, where and whatever we wanted in our own good time. Then in late July the real heat of the Western Colorado desert put us on alert about where we are really living now. It is unreal how hot it can get out here and how agonizing a ride can become in a hurry.

This was Danny's last week with us- so we did what any good bike geek would- rode at dawn and dusk and holed up out of the sun catching Tour Highlights in between.

This is Danny's last night in Fruita for the 2010 season and we went out to noodle around the 18 Road just like we did the night he arrived. Only this time, we took it a whole lot faster up Prime Cut and then and made our way up to Joe's Ridge for the views and surreal light as the sun sets in the west.

It is super cool to see how differently Danny is attacking the trail- taking on the climbs and negotiating the technical with intent. This evening he cleared moves he would not have even attempted a few weeks before (and one in particular I have yet to attempt...argh!)

All the hardwork and getting comfortable on the bike means getting to share crazy singletrack scenes like this- stuff those who don't get after it will never get to experience.
It was great to have you along for the ride Danny and we have so much more to explore!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ride for saturday 17 july, 2010: Kent Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat

some of the best riding in northwest Colorado will be traversed by several hundred cyclists on saturday when Kent Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat takes to the high mountain roads again as part of a great fundraising event for Sunshine Kids.

the parcours features two substantial climbs: le passage d'oreilles de lapin and le Passage de Fuseau (Rabbit Ears pass and Gore pass)

this event has grown in popularity over the past several years, now to the point where all 3 available ride options are filled to capacity. so, sorry to say that if you have not yet registered already you will have to wait for next year's ride to participate. sign up early to be sure that your spot is reserved for the next time around.

also know as "the Gore gruel" for good reason. this can be a brutal, remote slog in the high mountains when ridden unsupported.

fortunately, refreshments will be served on saturday.

The End of an Adventure...

Well, patrons, my time in the revered Fruita, Colorado is finally up. In fact, I returned home on Friday and have been too busy to compile a post. I'd just like to note, before I continue, the immense amount of generosity by my hosts and family members in Fruita. Aunt Jen and Uncle Dave are truly two amazing people, and I'm incredibly happy that they extended the opportunity for a visit yet again this summer. It's an opportunity and learning experience that I truly appreciate. You guys are awesome, and thanks again for all that you did for me.

Alright, onward with the post. More than anything, this post is just a portfolio of my favorite and most artistic pictures taken over my visit (my photos have nothing on those of Andy Gregg however). Starting with the picture above, taken on a hike over the Colorado National Monument. We actually found a "second" window rock, framed by a window of branches.

This picture and the next one are a bit grainy, as you can probably tell. You have to make some quality compromises in order to take pictures of people rocketing at such high speeds. This is the last of the spring LiveTrainRace criterium series. Dave and two other riders broke off of the bunch (approximately 4 other racers -- it was a small event) half way through the race and silhouetted themselves against the intense clouds that appear over the Fruita area.

Alright, this one is just cool because of the awesome action. "Punch it, jerky." He won, by the way.

An amazing example of natural geometry brought to my attention by the couple in the picture. The river that used to flow so rapidly here (a branch of the Colorado) shaped the rocks, and even the growth of the trees. This picture, and the next few, were all taken on our camping trip in Rabbit Valley.

On the same hike as above, which we embarked upon to view the petroglyphs below, we walked through a variety of terrains -- sand (duh), rocky river bottom, slickrock, more sand, and most notably, seas of ancient bentonite soil. The dirt itself is somewhat alive, and grows into these mounds of the period of hundreds and possibly thousands of years.

This is the first set of petroglyphs that we set out to see on our hike. Although we personally don't know, I assume that the art was made by an Apache, Bannock, or a small tribe of Cheyenne natives, as these are all tribes that lived in the area.

Let us know your interpretation of the art. We had many hypothesis and few conclusions on the meaning of the painting.

Stay tuned for updates about my antics here in California, as well as those coming soon from the Colorado front in the form of the Steamboat Springs Stage Race. Until next time, keep the rubber side down.

Danny packs his bike and heads back to cali...

After a relatively mild start to the summer, the heat has finally caught up to us out here in the desert- and, so, just as the riding climate becomes less than ideal, Danny wraps up another summer visit with us. He has come a long, long way as a cyclist and bicycle mechanic since he first came out to Colorado last summer and has more than earned his bike geek stripes (paying in flesh and blood as well as hours in the saddle).

After an early morning 50K out on the desert grid, the SOMA was ceremoniously disassembled and boxed for shipping- now if we are lucky and the mercury drops a bit this evening he may get the 29'er 1x9 out for a final sunset hotlap on the 18 road singletrack. Crack o dawn tomorrow he is back home to tear up the trails and pave of the Bay Area- and to start planning for next year's adventure!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Steel is Real" July 8, 2010 Update

Alright, folks, this one is a little bit delayed. For those of you following the blog posts in the recent week, you may have seen a video of clip of Dave and I building up my road bike. Truth be told, the bike was completed the same night that the video went up, I've just been too busy riding it to do a final post. With that said, here she is -- The Smoothie:

Schuh-wang! Here's the machine fully built and ready to roll. Soma apparently redesigned their logos and decals for their 2010 line of frames, which is fine by me. Classy, eh? Also, just as a note, we know that the seat is super far forward. I've got some growing to do, still.

The front end sports quite a few notable components including a MOOTS titanium stem, Chris King headset, and Campagnolo Ergopower shifter set.

...And a view of the drivetrain complete with Campagnolo "Racing Triple" front derailleur and crankset, Record rear derailleur, and Continental-clad Mavic SSC Classic Ceramic wheels.

So, there you have it. The bike was taken on its true maiden voyage up to the summit of the Colorado National Monument. It's a smooth ride that is surprisingly stiff when climbing. The Tange Prestige frame is really versatile, and the bike is freaking awesome. That's about it until next time, so stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

evening ride for 06 july, 2010

Danny and i took the roadie bikes out for a late afternoon ride up the Monument to escape the heat and traffic down here on the mud flats. we rolled out piano and i am pleased to report that young Grasshopper is showing evidence of vastly improved form, fitness and confidence to do the long rides in the high mountains on a hot day in July. he pretty much motored up the climb and also did a great job of sticking to the wheel in front of him.

here's what it looks like now. totally pro, huh?

Danny cruising his new Soma down the Monument near the Coke Ovens Overlook. this image brings to mind a certain film starring Kevin Costner (among others) which i often describe as the actor's finest hour. if ya haven't seen it yet, be sure to put it on your Netflix queue- it's not to be missed.

image poached from a Belgian blog

Danny is also showing great aptitude for safe and speedy descending- not unlike the winner of the 1981 version of la Primavera, classics specialist Fons De Wolf.
and it seems a similar need for arm plasters as well. good that we wear helmets for training and racing nowadays.

i know how they feel. it seems like i have hit the deck almost every time i have thrown my leg over a mountain bike this year.

Monday, July 5, 2010

ride for sunday 04 july, 2010

a cool front moved into western Colorado on saturday night, bringing with it some ideal riding conditions for sunday's mini-epic on the Western Rim.
"mini", perhaps, for the more seasoned veteran riders that is, and somewhat more "epic" for the young apprentice as this adventure represented the longest mountain bike ride of his (thus far) relatively brief cycling career.

Jen and Danny are headed westbound and a few kilometers further on, will drop into all of that singletrack/sandstone goodness down below. this here is the wild west at its very best, folks.

trail conditions were relatively good as the motos seemed to have stayed away during the recent rainstorms. let's hope that it is a trend that will continue as such.
trail boss Jen guides the team onto the Western Rim.

"take a kid riding day" on Western Rim. Danny leads out yours truly for some non-structured ride time and slickrock mayhem.

always good to find that shady spot under a giant boulder to take a quick break for some snacks and hydration...

while hanging on the edge of a fairly substantial drop to the valley floor below.

Danny did exteremely well in overcoming his fear and anxiety and conquered some moderately technical moves at the same time (and, most importantly, not losing any more skin or blood). of course, it would probably be preferrable to make a bad move and ride off a cliff rather than getting mowed down from behind by Mr. Trailrager.

here Danny is working on visualizing a good line and controlling his speed and fear before he gets to the obstacles (while being relaxed at the same time). that's really quite a lot to ask from a kid who's still learning... all the while you are buzzing his back tire and yelling at him to pedal faster and mind his form.
okay, okay. maybe it didn't all go quite like that.

apres velo at the campsite.
it seems that the camera always comes out just in time for the silly faces being made while the sugary drinks and salty snacks are being consumed. whatever to that, i say.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wednesday Night Worlds- Steamboat Town Challenge 6/30/2010

We haven't posted anything about the Steamboat Town Challenge this year and we are already into race #3... The Emerald Mountain Slash and Burn.
This was another of Gretchen Sehler's great works of race course magic- taking us on a tour of the snake's nest of singletrack looming in downtown Steamboat Springs. She was denied the chance to showcase the newest trail because it was trashed during the beetle kill mitigation work this winter (some identify this as Quarry Mountain Trail- but we here @ AYC prefer to refer to it as "Steve French's Trail" in honor of the mountain lion who lives up there)- but she rallied and gave us a course with more beautiful, nutty singletrack than you are likely to find on any sanctioned race course anywhere.

nevermind the ill-fitting helmet borrowed in the parking lot, I love this section of trail and I love that Danny grunted all the way up here to get these super sweet pics! You are one rockin soigneur.

(crazy enough most of the trails on Emerald are not publically mapped as the private property owner embraces cyclists, but frowns upon any formal mapping- this course went up next to the ski jumps, along Blackmere onto Larry's, left @ the Triangle then left into Prayer Flag, back to Blackmere, up to Blair Witch, across to 2-way, down to the water trough to MGM to Eye to Eye, across Orton's Meadow to Blackmere and back up to Lupine and then down and around and all about the Bluffs and back to the base...WHEW- that is a lot of single track!)

the man, the myth, the legend, Kent Eriksen comes out of the shop and onto the racecourse- preparing to pilot he and Katie's upcoming tandem attack on Leadville, perhaps? YEEE-HA!

As per usual, all the greats came out and the competition was mighty. There were mechanicals and crashes and stunning upsets. Barkley and Brad both got a run for their money and we saw a new face atop the podium (except there is no podium...) as Peter Kalmes from BAP/Honey Stinger took the gold (except there are no medals).

And when it was all over but the burgers, Kent shows us that he is all about lightwieght and, afterall, who needs a saddle when you have Titanium rails? An inspiration to us all...

Dave had a great night. He is loving riding with the Pro/Open homeboys on his singespeed and bettered his time from last year (be sure to see his post on this race from 2009). It is a little hard for him to accept his ranking when put up against the guys with gears- but we all know he would still be numero uno if he had stayed in singlespeed class and we would have to call him senor sandbagger behind his back.

Dave hammers singlespeed up Larry's with the Pro/Open freight train

I had a good race as well- it was my first Town Challenge since winning my way out of Novice last year. Coming into the evening I was riddled with doubt about riding at altitude after a winter down in Fruita, about riding in a class that puts all women over 30 in one division (I really think one should get some sort of bone for turning 45, but apparently not in the Wednesday Night Worlds...), and about the full-on into the red climbing straight off the line that defines riding in Steamboat.

I got over all that head poison about 20 minutes into it and finished firmly in the middle of the Sport Class pack- and, perhaps, could have finished faster had I not hogged a few moments during the race to bask in the glory of the alpine wildflowers going off, ferns growing shoulder high and Tibetan prayer flags snapping in the Aspens at the edge of prayer flag meadow. And, then, there was that little incident where my front wheel found the grassy edge out on the bluffs and took me and the 650b down like a sledge hammer...OUCH.

The now cock-eyed and ill-fitting helmet along with the swollen dirt caked left side of my body tell the tale of the final 1/2 mile when I decided to put the hammer down and got, well, the smackdown

So, in a few hours we will all turn our attention to the the Tour de France- but here in Fruita a tremendous project is nearing completion and when the prologue waps up, Soigneur Danny will be taking his gorgeous new Soma Smoothie on its maiden voyage- check out the preview below and stay tuned for a build-up post and ride report!