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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

race report: Rabbit Valley Rally & the Palisade Classic- 2011

two early season MTB races here in western Colorado (Rabbit Valley Rally and the Palisade Classic) have developed well-earned reputations as being in the style of competitions held way back in the day... long, difficult tests of strength, endurance, and keepin' your shit together maintaining forward momentum and not getting lost/hurt in the wilderness.
Jen has been making some real gains in her cycling ability in the last couple of years, and this season has already been no exception to the progress. the months of training and work in the gym over the winter are starting to pay off with regular (three for three) podium appearances. with two top step podium appearances, that is.

i am really happy to be able to watch the learning curve that Jen is on, to share the excitement, take my turn being the soigneur, mechanic, bike-washer, or whatever it takes to support a winning effort. so, chapeau and some smooches for my champion. and without further adieu...

here's a couple of images from Rabbit Valley. if you are looking for results, you can find them by clicking the link above. first image is courtesy of Kristy Driver/LiveTrainRace.com, and she has additional images on the LTR site as well.

the last climb always hurts, especially into a headwind

Jen stayed well clear of the crashes and crossed the line in front of her competitors.

as the breakthrough winning season continued at the Palisade Classic, Jen recruited some muscle to maintain order during (what could be) the chaos of an all categories mass-start rollout. the joke amongst the racers that have participated in the past is the so-called "neutral start" behind the local, small-town cop car. the guy just pegs the ol' patrol vehicle at about 50k/hr for the first 3k of pavement, right from the line. hoo-kaay.

ask me sometime about the neutral start that they used to have down there in Crested Butte during the original Fat Tire Bike Week... i swear cops just love that stuff. ha.

anyway, the pressure was on because there has been so much rain here lately that it was difficult for the promoters (Rapid Creek Cycles, Palisade) to get all of the parcours marked until two days before the event, Jen was defending her title from last year, and this is now our home race- the start line is a couple of blocks from the crib.

the next three images are courtesy of Kristy Driver/LiveTrainRace.com.

soigneur looking after a well-prepared racer & team

everyone is happy, confident, and chill before the start- let the suffering begin...

the LTR powerhouse gets ready to lead the rollout with Andrey "the Badger" on the right, Andrew Nolan center, and Jen about to move into 3rd spot for the "armchair ride" to the dirt. textbook.

Jen caught this local junior, towed him for the last 2k of pavement and then graciously "gifted" him the finish. kids these days have no respect whatsoever.

be sure to have some fun at the awards ceremony after your next race. Jen basks in some well-deserved recognition after winning the Palisade Classic and a couple of cold beverages.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Palisade bike week: vintage motorcycle show

went downtown on saturday to check out the vintage motorcycle show. i was hoping to see a real nice restored derny with a fat Belgian dude pacing a skinny cyclist... or at least a vintage board track racer on display. but it didn't materialize quite as imagined- although i am fairly certain that i did see some folks from Belgium.

without further adieu, here's the images with a minimum of comments and captions.

the best way to insure civility at any event is to first clear the streets of automotive clutter.

Pre-war beasts representing:

i'm generally not much of a Harley fan, but this two-tone Electra Glide was double-plus ignorant. i'd ditch the wide whiewalls, though.


bikemaster's special award for "deepest purple metallica flake" paintjob

lovin the old-school revival going on here. yeh

a few Yamahas:

Kenny Roberts signature model Yamaha from 1982- sweeeeet

a couple of two- stroke eco-terrorists:

the British invasion...

BSA dirtbike from 1957

beautiful BSA Thunderbolt 650

some Hondas:
super-clean Honda cafe racer style. love the 4-into-1 pipe.

Mod Squad w/saddlebags

Ducati was represented only by these two entries. i would like to see a lot more of 'em next year.

trail report: Palisade area recon

Palisade women's baseball team- 1910

things have settled a bit on the home-front since Jen and i have put down some roots over at the east end of the Grand Valley in a quaint community of 2500 residents, AKA "the 'Sade"

at an elevation of 1441 meters (4728 feet), the 'Sade is nestled at the foot of Colorado's majestic Grand Mesa, which towers above the town to an altitude of 3454 meters (11,333 feet) at the summit of Crater Peak. there are an abundance of BLM and National Forest lands in close proximity, thus making for easy access to fantastic trails and terrain... riding from our front door. the tarmac is equally splendid, with a paved route bisecting the Mesa over its summit and a lot of options for California-style vineyard and orchard routes that feature far less climbing and mileage.
suffice to say, a good number of the rides from the 'Sade do go up rather abruptly.

here's some images* from a couple of recent recon missions that Jen and i took on the Mesa.

*it gives me much pleasure to report that we have recently acquired a new camera to document the adventures. readers will no doubt notice much improved image clarity and quality. thanks for hanging in there with all of the old cell phone images. we do our best to try to keep it fresh.

Jen pushes onwards and upwards as rain threatens.

cool Martian-style rock formations

we heard this plump, free-range Colorado gobbler calling as we rode up Rapid Creek. later that afternoon, he ran like a crazed tifiosi for about 100 meters in front of us as we descended.

looking north, down the Rapid Creek drainage with the Roan Plateau in the far, far distance.

Crater peak on the Grand Mesa tops out at 3454 meters above sea level- that's 11,333 feet.

this area is closed to motos. the local deer and elk herds had done a real top job of postholing the ol' two track.

pretty good size bear track and the 2.35 Schwalbe gives something of a reference- headed up the same trail we were riding. fortunately, a couple of days prior.

that would be the front paw, by the way.

Jen drops down the west flank of the Mesa- the Grand Valley and the 'Sade are at the bottom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 Giro d' Italia

i have to admit that i really love the Giro. the promoters go to such great lengths each year to outdo the previous edition with more climbs that have never been used before; steeper climbs; steep climbs in snow storms; and really, really steep dirt climbs that would be better suited for the VTT's. then they throw in a day on the strade bianche and it rains torrentially for the whole 6-plus hours that it takes the winner to navigate the parcours.
like what happened last year on stage 7 when Cadel finally stomped the stuffing out of everybody on what was probably one of the most brutal days of racing i have seen. here's the first of 5 vid segments. i'm sure that you will figure out how to watch the next 4 if there's still some plasma pumping through your veins.

also look forward to increased and more regular blogularity around here as the season develops. now that all the excitement of the past couple of weeks has subsided a bit, term papers written, got ourselves moved into our new digs over in the 'sade, and the madding, huckin', he-man hordes of the Fruita Fat Sausage Tire Festival have vacated the trails, making it safe for the sisters of singletrack to venture out once again, there might actually be a few minutes to drop a post or two and some worthwhile things to rant about (as well as the usual trail/road/race reports from western Colorado and the southwest).
to wit; we still have a race report form Rabbit Valley to post, heralding Jen's ascent to the top step of the podium. stay tuned for more.

oh, and in case you didn't know already, here's where you can watch all of that fantastic Giro action from the comfort of your armchair:

steephill tv Giro coverage