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.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fruita, usa trail report for January 5, 2011 (and reflections on the year gone by)

Winter is upon us here in Fruita- and, believe me, there is plenty of beautiful riding to be had. This is out on Rustler's where the gentle flow of bikes and peds keep the trail nicely packed (let a little air out of the tires- studs and chains are straight up overkill). It was just starting to get a little mushy today as the temp crept above freezing- before noon is the way to go. The roads are super rideable too, now that last weeks ice has melted. So far, we have been spared the hateful Grand Valley inversion layer that nearly broke us last winter. The gettin is good this week!

Of course, the unpredictability of winter means there will certainly be weeks we spend more time, thinking about riding, than actually riding our bikes. For those who cannot cope with not pedalling for endorphins there are indoor options (Ugh)-

Spin class is NOT riding a bike in my opinion, but it sure makes you think about riding a bike! Getting on the rollers in the garage is ever so slightly less obnoxious, but still not a bike ride by any stretch. And, of course, there is the group indoor trainer series hosted by the folks at LTR Sports which sounds like it may actually be fun (I would go if I had not already been to Pilates and out for a 2 hour hike under bluebird skies today).

Unlike many of the cycling enthusiasts with whom I rub elbows, I rather enjoy this time of year (perhaps because I have been a ski bum far longer than I have been a bicycle bum) and take a lot of pleasure in leaving the bike to the side for a long back country ski or snowshoe trek, a snowy trail run, a skate ski suffer fest or a quiet hike surrounded by snow covered juniper and animal prints crisscrossing among the grasses and sage.

As I hike, ski, run and skate I, of course, find my thoughts drifting to the bike and taking stock of the victories achieved and lost, goals attained and epiphanies realized over the past year. It seems a bit zen to get off the bike in order to best reflect upon it…

2010 was a good year on the bike for me after all was said and done.

I have been writing my lists of achievements, epiphanies, struggles and hopes for the coming year and am finding the exercise really cool. I loved going over Danny's list and will share some of my own over the next couple of months.

A Few random THINGS I FIGURED OUT IN 2010:

By piling on the hours and miles in early spring I was able to make a huge leap in my base fitness(duh) and then prove that reaching this higher base fitness level would allow me to conquer a crap-ton of my technical climbing demons. And, as a result, – my #1 goal in 2011 is to be stronger (as in muscle power) and, thus, better able to pull off the aggressive anaerobic bursts that separate the winners and losers in mountain bike racing. If I had not pushed past my base fitness plateau in 2010 I would not even be able to imagine making this happen in 2011.

Picturing and feeling my weight shifts as if I’m telemarking (that’s skiing, not selling crap over the phone) has me making far faster, tighter turns both climbing and descending. This analogy was hard for me to accept when Dave first pointed it out in the tight, steep, swoopy singletrack on Valley View- but as I pushed harder and harder to keep up with his descent, it came to me. I ski far faster than he does and when I make a hard ass highspeed tele turn, I roll out onto the little toe of the foot inside the turn for all I’m worth – that is the driving motion that allows for a tight edgy turn- (and the knee then goes a bit bowlegged). The other (outside) foot is pushing down and around, preventing the skid out. I’m not talking about the foot forward/ foot backward shuffle we use in the pow, but the driving of the uphill edge we use to rip hardpack. Transferring this concept to the bike has been a major breakthrough for me. I’m just sayin’…if the shoe fits.

Longer x-country courses that go somewhere beautiful and surprising suit me far more than out of the gate full-on sprint up the ski mountain and down the ski mountain courses. I race for the joy in it- I work because I have to. Therefore, any race I enter better leave me smiling for days afterward regardless of how I finish. I loved the races I was able to make in 2010 and I will choose all of my races for 2011 with this in mind- (this includes the races I ride in and the ones I get to play soigneur). Rabbit Valley Rally, Palisade Classic, come on lottery spot in Laramie, and the Breckenridge Fall Classic are the anchors in my race schedule so far.

Enough for now- but be assured there is plenty more where this came from. For now my goal is to get out in the sunshine tomorrow and strive toward a little less spasticity on the skate skis! We are technically still in the unstructured phase, right?


  1. Sounds like you'll be slamming the door, and locking down the lid on the hurt locker this upcoming year. Nice!

  2. yes, it's true. Jen does tele ski way faster than i do. way, way, faster.