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, December 27, 2011

trail ride for december 25

with temperatures hovering right around freezing and not one cloud in the sky, Jen and i ventured forth to the far west end of the valley for a rare treat of holiday trail riding. here's a few images from the Kokopelli's trail at Rabbit Valley and the Western rim as well.




Jen breaking trail on the way out


winter conditions make for some additional effort on the climbs- but the scenery is well worth the sufferin'.




single track on the Western Rim; the arid conditions of the high desert causes snow to evaporate directly to the atmosphere, rather than melting and forming puddles of standing water on the trail.




the overlook above the Western rim appears much different in the winter as compared to what we usually see in the summer




the rigors of winter training often call for special hot embrocations or sometimes a "little buddy" filled with a cold-resistant beverage for the back pocket of the jersey. happy holidays from ABANDON YOUR CAR 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

winding down 2011

In saying goodbye to the adventures and challenges of 2011 a collection of images from late fall and early winter...



As the weather starts to turn cold and the days grow shorter, every trail rides just a little differently. Bundled up for a dusk assault on the Lunch Loops, Melinda, gets after this nutty mind over matter manuever made all the more of a psych out by the added gear...




Down to Moab to stretch the season- the La Sals are fully plastered, but the desert stays rideable. Dave braces for the sunset temp drop as we ride in the long shadows of the witching hour.








Up to Steamboat before the snow flies for a meeting of minds with the master mind himself, Kent Eriksen. We compiled ideas from 3 already built 650bs- 2 of Katie's hardtail race rigs and my trusty all arounder dually- to design my new hardtail race bike. I see only a fraction of what Kent sees when he is imagining a new bike- but I expect it will be an amazing and beautiful machine. Check back for build up details!!





Even Bok Choy spends more time indoors these days...oooh DT Swiss Stainless steel spokes and red alloy nipples. My road bike is going to be quite the retro hotty.
The wheels are built and Dave gets busy in the shop building up my first ever road bike. 2 new bikes in one year- it is almost too much to fathom!





Well planned, sustainable, appropriate trail building by the BLM and *a local trail building organization* just keeps adding Sa-weeetness to  life as a cycling enthusiast in the Grand Valley.




The Brilliant new Palisade Rim Trail opened up in our backyard just as fall rolled in. The final trail work days were cold and frenzied- all of us hoping to gettur dun in time to be ridden before the mud and snow. And so we did-at least as far as the Petroglyph meadow. This trail is awesome going up and awesome going down- awesome hard...and awesome beautiful.






Dave spent 2 months literally laid out on the couch this year- lost 14 pounds of lean muscle, missed all but his earliest pre-season races, had his back operated on and was still able to get back after it in time to hog it up hardtail singlespeed stylee on our new trail in its inaugural season...what a year it has been! It is good to be healthy.





The extended fall weather allowed some serious progress to be made on the long fantasized Mack Ridge - Troy's connector.



By this time in the season, these guys are well oiled trail engineering, rock moving machine just hoping to get one more day in before the weather changes.
This will not be an easy trail to climb or descend when it is finished- but it is bound to be a 5 star addition to the Loma Loops...the views won't suck either.



I cannot thank the folks who make contributions to sustainable trail building enough- but I sure try to do my part by getting out and swinging the old pick-maddox or pulaski a few times a year, sending my annual check to the rockstars at *a local trail building organization*, paying my taxes without snivelling and spreading the word about trail stewardship.



We are glad to be healthy, surrounded by excellent bike people (and dogs) in such a beautiful corner of the world! Here's to the madcap adventures yet to be had in 2012! We'll see you out there.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

two images for today

seasonal images from recent rides



Palisade single track on a cold afternoon





sandstone formations of Gooseberry Mesa

Saturday, November 26, 2011

gooseberry mesa, utah

 (re-edited)

on the annual pilgrimage out to NorCal for thanksgiving with the family, Jen and i had the opportunity to take in one of the all-time great mountain biking trails... Gooseberry Mesa ; deep inside the land of Zion

here's a few of the better images from the day:




big rocks and lots of slickrock


the air was fresh and full of the scents of juniper, pinon and sage.


rainfall the day before made for some surreal riding conditions. the trail follows the mesa's rim out to the very tip of the eroded sandstone saddle (center of this image)



there are plenty of technical moves and cliff-side exposure opportunities to be had on the South Rim trail and the extension out to the viewpoint.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SSCXWC 2011 - Men's World Champs

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships were held today in my bay's very own Golden Gate Park. From what I could walk, the course looked to be one of the longest and most challenging circuits I've ever seen - but don't worry, that didn't stop the craziness of cyclocross from ensuing.

Took BART and the metro over to GGP with the girly-friend today with the idea of watching both the women's and the men's world championship races. We got there probably 5minutes before the women's race ended. From what I saw, any single one of them could've kicked my arse up and down the park. Julie Krasniak of Team Rapha-Focus took the gold.

Soon, the guys laid down their bikes... The field was probably 50-70 gents and their start incorporated a large run up.

This isn't the head of the group, it's just my favorite picture of the group - panda man had a great race as far as I could tell, completing 4laps.

We found him:

This is a Missing Link cyclocross rider. Unsure of his name, but a few people from Team Oakland race for them. This particular rider came in second place.

The first place rider, who thoroughly destroyed the field, was Chris Jones of Team Rapha-Focus. Didn't get any pictures of the guy for a few reasons. First, he was pretty frickin' fast, and second - the only other time I saw him, I had a cow bell in one hand and his $5 hand up in the other. All I heard as he rode away was "Oooooh! A fiver!"

Good day all in all, even with BART's delays on the way home. Now for some bio homework!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

two images for today

here's a couple from recent rides in western Colorado and eastern Utah. lots of nice autumn weather and low traffic counts make for great riding conditions. we thank you for your support.


autumn vineyards- Palisade, Colorado



Arches National Park- Moab, Utah

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trail and ride report: Moab in November

In M-town for work this week...so, getting after it in the witching hour between the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon.




It has been a year since we last made a trip to Moab and we are uber impressed by all the bicycle specific trail building madness that has been going down just a stone's throw to our west.



Moab's surreal scenery can now be had without tolerating miles of moto groomed widetrack thanks to some serious kickass efforts in trail design and construction. The folks who care about these things clearly saw what was going right in the Fruita and Grand Junction Mountain bike scene and stepped it up.


The result is SWEEEEET new networks of trail that can be accessed from town- that's right folks, Abandon Your Car at the hotel and RIDE out to the Bar M and Klondike Bluffs trail heads



to bask in miles of beautifully laid out, courteously marked and bicycle specific (read non-motorized) singletrack with whoopdies and views that keep you riding long after you should be home.
We were especially enamored of the brand spanking new Deadman's Ridge and Longbranch sections at Bar M and the nutty slickrock endurance fest, EKG to Mega Steps out at Klondike Bluffs.


Y(our) turn Grand Valley! (be sure to see Bikemaster's post from last week for a preview of some of  the goodstuff in store for us)




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

trail work day: Palisade

this saturday the 12th of november will be the last work session for the season on the much-anticipated Petroglyph trail (which will be completed in the spring of 2012).
meet at *the local jackass bikeshop* at 8:00 a.m. for coffee-up, digging and scraping starts at 9. we'll see you there!



do you love riding challenging, cliff-side singletrack like this? it doesn't grow there all on its own. come out and do your part to make it happen.



the trails currently being developed in the Palisade area will be some of the crown jewels of the Grand Valley. their beauty lies not only in the abundance of natural vistas, but in their proximity to town as well- we do not have to drive to access the remote, challenging... and skinny, singletrack.

yes, i know- truly spoiled, indeed.

an evening view of the Little Bookcliffs wild horse range. it is hard to believe that there is an interstate highway between where this image was taken and the mesas in the background.



mark the day on your calendar now: saturday the 12th of november. you want to ride on more trails like this, right? if you show up, i will tell you where they are. promise.




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Ride Report

Against the odds I got out ahead of the first real storm of the season and took in a solo Marys-Lions-Mack Ridge-Marys loop. There were folks out and about to be sure, but nothing like the throngs of desperate mountain folk I encountered out here last weekend. I am glad they came and got their fill of desert singletrack for the season- but not nearly so glad as I am that they are gone. Honestly, these trails just ride better when they are quiet and a little lonely. More importantly, as nice as the trails were today, they need some moisture and a break.





From Lion's, looking over the tiers of single track above the Colorado River at Loma




Every Fall our trails get hammered with bootleg booters, cheater lines and ruts that only time and the forces of frost and water can repair. I am always amazed to see how resilient well constructed and maintained trails can be (only slightly more amazed than I am at how careless and destructive hordes of riders can be when it comes to the very thing they came here for...groan).



Dave and I missed almost all of the summer riding up in Steamboat this year- but we made it up in time to catch the full blown mountain colorfest a couple of weeks ago.








The top of Lupine at the base of mini-moab. The beetle kill logging has allowed the Aspen groves up there to go hog-wild!


I had the excellent opportunity to noodle about on not one, but two of Katie Lindquist's Eriksen 650b hardtail racing steeds- these beauties were built in the shadow of Emerald Mountain and designed to conquer its out-of-the-gate-with-no-mercy climbing that 1000+ feet up yields a brilliant, swoopy, narrow singletrack descent. Not a day has passed that I haven't thought of adding one of these beauties to my lonely quiver... soon, very soon.


Just as the weather on the Grand Mesa was threatening us with the coming of Fall to the Grand Valley, I got Trish and Ed up to conquer the Flowing Park Loop. This sweet lollipop loop to Indian Point saw a lot more use this year and every rider who made the trip earned an atta' boy for helping groom away the bovine groom.


This trail has no climbing and no step offs or step ups- but it does have miles of volcanic washboard to keep you on your toes (and hopefully in your pedals). Thanks to *a local trail building organization*, REI and the Forest Service, this loop will soon have an extra 7+ miles of single track to connect up to the pavement of S.H. 65. Riding on the Mesa just keeps getting better!


Looking out over Indian Point and the Grand Valley to the North and the West

Friday, October 21, 2011

two images for today

both images are from the same ride (on different days) somewhere in western Colorado.



i love the smell of singletrack in the morning.




art

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Eriksen test ride


there is nothing else like riding a fine Eriksen 650b on Emerald Mountain single track on a beautiful autumn afternoon that will put such a smile on a rider's face. 

on a recent trip to Routt county, Jen took the opportunity to demo a couple of 650b Eriksen hardtails- one with 100mm of travel and a 3x10 drivetrain, and one with 120mm of travel and a 2x10 setup.
the Eriksen factory is located in close proximity to the prime single track trails of Emerald Mountain and Katie was super kind and helpful in loaning Jen her personal race machines for the test (as they are both nearly identical in stature, it was relatively easy to fit Jen to Katie's bikes).

long and short of the report is that Jen preferred the setup and position of the 120mm 2x10 bike, even though the buff single track of Emerald wasn't nearly brutal enough to fully activate all of that plush suspension travel. she definitely climbed at a much higher speed than what she usually attains on the same hills while riding her F/S bike and really enjoyed the responsive handling and maneuverability of a full-on XC race machine.

the burning question is: will there be a new 650b in Jen's fleet next spring? if so, the upcoming racing season could prove to be quite interesting. stay tuned.

the trails were in exceptionally good condition, almost forgot to mention.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

butterknife

at Tabeguache AKA: the Lunch Loops. i rode the ol' singlespeed and Jen was on her plush Eriksen f/s. we have had some excellent riding conditions here in western Colorado lately; temperatures have moderated during the day and the nights are pleasantly cool.

here are a few images from the ride:



lots of nice singletrack and sunny western skies to be savoured.



dropping down towards the Gunnison river with the Grand Mesa in the background.


enjoy the descents because there is some climbing to be done at the end of the loop.


still snaking the sweet singletrack with sublety and souplesse on the singlespeed.




we are actually standing on the trail. the sagebrush and native grasses are quite robust in this area, giving the ssensation that we are in the middle of a vast sea of vegetation.




Land of Many Abuses

the big, giant WTF?? award goes out to the hillbilly that trucked this junk miles out to the middle of nowhere to dump it right at the trailhead. probably the same idiot that bitches about getting rid government and paying taxes. chain 'em up together and have 'em pick up trash along the freeway for the next 10 years or so, i say.



here's the Garmin data of the actual loop. this does not include the portion from the trailhead at Tabeguache, so be sure to calculate riding times accordingly: