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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

farm fresh goodness

Jen and i rolled out this morning to see what some of the local Palisade farms were offering at their roadside stands. Jen brought home a Bob-full of #2 organics for the first round of peach cobbler, pop-overs, tarts, ice cream, cereal topping, dried fruit mix, etc. the peaches are perfectly ripe and ready to eat as they are now- these never make it to your local supermarket for that very reason. also a great reason to visit the 'sade during the harvest.

Palisade Cycle Chic

go ahead and LiveWrong, but be sure to eat well.

check out the color on these fine Palisade organics!

jen places the sliced peaches out on screens for drying.

it goes without saying that i was a really big help with the project.

two racks down, a lot more to go...

Jen makes the finest gourmet pesto in the world with her own Palisade homegrown organic basil and purple garlic from the garden in Oak Creek.

if this little peckerhead poultry keeps eating the flowers, we will be dining on some delicious free-range ginger chicken in the not-so-distant future.

Monday, August 29, 2011

about those helmets

lots of folks have been asking about the special "safety headgear" that Jen and i were sporting at the recent U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge. while i generally don't care to divulge my sources for my highly-treasured, hoarded, and curated items, this image was recently posted over at Ride the Machine and a link to the discussion board where it can be found.

here's the link, it makes for some good reading in itself and there are a lot more cool images from the same era.

tell 'em ABANDON YOUR CAR sent you over, and we'll see you all next year when the race returns to Colorado again!

Friday, August 26, 2011

U.S. Pro cycling Challenge stage 4-- Lederhelmets und Lederhosen

it's really cool to go out to California to hang out with Jen's family and see a few stages of the Amgen Tour and all of the big-time Euro Pros that attend... but it's a whole new level of cool when the ProTour riders race on the very same local roads that i have trained on for years.
this part of Colorado is just about as remote as you can get in the lower 48; the probability of a top-level Pro race roaring up S.H. 131 seemed even slimmer than Andy Schleck himself. at least until then Governor Ritter and Big Tex teamed up for a stage race collabo of near-epic proportion.
today the ridiers left Avon and rode past the very spot where Dr. Steven Milo was so wrongfully SUV'ed (Squashed Under Violently) by Mr. Martin Erzinger in his black Mercedes sedan. fortunately, Dr. Milo survived the incident and Erzinger was not out driving on Hwy. 6 or any other roadways in the area, and the pelican passed safely to more cycling-friendly regions of our state.
we were waiting at the top of a 2.5 km climb that crested about 2 km from the intermediate sprint in Oak Creek. here's a few images from our roadside vantage point-and with an apology; we haven't received press credentials from the race organizers yet, so Jen and i won't be doing live feed tweets from the moto and real-time race coverage for the blog... at least until next year.
besides, with all of the anxiety-inducing feed break-up and technical problems (iced wings on the aircraft, etc.). i'm pretty sure that we are seeing more actual racing without all of the commercials than the poor sods trying to watch it on teevee.

here ya go:

a little space-alien wearing a leather derny helmet and vintage Vuarnets suddenly beamed down in the middle of rural South Routt County, Colorado. wait a minute, that's Jen...

these nice folks traveled from the remote locations of South Routt to cheer on the racers. they also had water and snacks for all of the many cyclo-sportifs who were out riding the parcours in front of the racers. and yes, that guy on the left is wearing our local variant of "Lederhosen".

you know things are about to happen when the gendarmes start flying past on their motos.

those are some of the 3800 meter peaks of the Flattops wilderness in the far distance and in front of them a few of the volcanic Puys that are found in this region. that's Rossi's hay meadow over on the right.

BREAKAWAY!!! gotta love those Colombian dudes, they are super aggro.

less than 2 minutes in front of the chase with mostly downhill roads for the next 30 km spell doom for the brave adventurers.

i prefer the "open" racing from the time before the radios; breakaways seemed more likely to succeed and the racing was more animated. i'm oldschool, though.

here comes the peloton, Jen readies herself to do some running.

i'm trying to get a lot of good quality images and lay on some hearty blasts from the horn all at the same time. it's not easy being a cycling super-fan, ya know.

probably the single-most beautiful image of South Routt i have ever taken in my life. this scene represents a dream come true for me. as you can see, Jen is looking pretty happy here as well

these guys were moving very quickly indeed.

arrrg. cut off the lead rider, but i'm going to post it anyway as it shows just how hard these guys were starting to drive the pace.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge stage 3... heavy on the cowbell & horn

just to put it out there right off the bat- Andy Hampsten's Vail pass TT record was set on a parcours that was almost 400 meters longer than what the riders tackled today. take that any way you like, but don't forget for a second that he did it on a steel bike, wearing wool shorts and jersey. well, the bike was steel, at least, and they didn't bother with safety lids back in the day, either.

Jen and i joined the many tens of thousands of the most die-hard cycling fanatics in the u.s. on the slopes of Vail pass today. it was a thourougly enjoyable and unforgettable experience to spend the day out there in the mountains, cheering on many of the top riders in the world, and fully immersing ourselves in a true, european-style grand tour event.
i can't wait for us to be there again next year, and probably taking a few more of the stages at that.. until then, here's some images from about 500 meters down from the finish. enjoy!

proper attiere is de rigeur at any ProTour event. vintage leather derny helmets, Vuarnet sunglasses from France, and wool Campagnolo jerseys. did i ever mention that i don't do monkey suits?


a stout blast from the ol' gas station funnel helps motivate riders who are being overtaken.


Jen goes heavy on the cowbell for the Colombian TT champ.

i am not sure who this fat clown is.

even the Colombian climbers suffered mightily on the Vail TT parcours.

Jens Voight throwing down some wicked (almost) old man power. he is by far my favorite rider in all of the Pro peloton.

Christian VanDeVelde almost toppled the Leipheimer express... almost.

the Dutch national TT champion as a work of art.

i was expecting a lot more out of Robert Gesink here in Colorado. still a couple more chances to shine, though.

Sergio Luis Henao Montoya faded badly today, managing a distant 41st place. i'm still rooting for the Colombians to lay down some attacks.

Tom Danielson, suffering and sick today.

Tejay didn't quite have the "balls" going uphill today and subsequently lost his leader's jersey. don't worry, kid- there's plenty more bike races in your future

right now i am hoping that the rain stops long enough for me to sneak out and do some "artwork" on the road to celebrate tomorrow's stage passing right through Oak Creek on it's way to bikeTown USA. keep the fingers crossed and hope that all of the state troopers have turned in for the night.

heh heh

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

two images for today

my buddy Dice descending westbound from the top of Reeder Mesa during our early morning ride this past sunday.

top Pro Tour riders, experiencing the special "sensations" of sprinting to the finish line at 2900 meters of altitude in Crested Butte are reduced to zig-zagging like paperboys.

image credit: Jonathan Devich/cyclingnews.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the Tour of Colorado 2011 (a.k.a. the U.S. PRO Cycling Challenge)

the pelican will be blasting up this climb on S.H. 131 during stage 5. we'll be a few miles up the road waiting for 'em

finally. after 23 years in the waiting for this to happen again. and sure, we have had a few decent, high quality events in the interim, but this is the real deal with a carp-tonne of talented, top-level riders.
we will be covering the time trial in Vail and the next two stages with exclusive images and commentary. otherwise, there is always the 'shacktracker on the interwebs, or better yet, come on out to Colorado to see the Pros race and do a little bit of roadside camping and Euro-style cyclotouring.

don't forget to close the gates behind you and please, please don't bring the dog to the races!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vuelta a Espana 2011

i'm not sure what happed to the u.s. coverage that was supposedly going to appear on the Verses network- maybe they realized that with the Vuelta and the USPCC (a.k.a. Tour de Colorado) both happening this month, there would not be much time left for the regularly scheduled bull riding and swamp-buggy racing programs.

at any rate, we can still view it... commercial free, at that.here ya go, if you didn't know about it already:

Vuelta a Espana live coverage

i'm cheering for Igor Anton of the Euskatel squad. he has some unfinished business after spectacularly crashing out last year while wearing the leaders jersey (as so often seemed to be the case for the Euskatel, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory- right before the finish line).
their Tour de France this year made up for a lot of lost ground, however.
follow the men in orange with this convenient link, also located in the blogstack favorites sidebar on the right of this page. > >


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Riding in august...ugh

We have had a relatively mild summer out here in the mighty, mighty Grand Valley with copious precipitation...but as we all knew deep down, the stinking hot days of August had to arrive sooner or later.

They are upon us.

There is still plenty of spectacular riding to be done though, just requires a little different approach (and a boatload of water)

Doug and Mel are guided back to the barn in the witching hour by Mount Garfield and Mount Lincoln- it is easy to be talked out of the climb over Horse Mountain (commonly referred to as the "Demoralizer") in the depths of August, and when temps cool we'll add that back onto the Palisade Classic loop.

The next afternoon Trish and I rolled out with long late afternoon shadows to put the LTR Sports Orbea demo 29er through its paces. We played with it on the forest service climbs, the loose rocky descents and the swoopy desert single track out back of Horse Mountain as the heat and light faded for the day- then rolled home along the irrigation canal in the cool, quiet pitch dark of night.
Aaaah, a most excellent adventure indeed.
(Stay tuned to see just what rig Ms Trish chooses to reward herself with when she finishes her Tour de Iraq and reinvents herself as a X-Country hardcore)

Later in the week as late afternoon temps on the Valley floor hovered around 100f, Melinda and I took it up onto the Grand Mesa and into a whole different world-

...temps in the 70s, shoulder high grasses and wildflowers going off nearly camouflaging the singletrack (a bizarre juxtaposition to the wildfire going off all week to the north).

The singletrack of the Flowing Park Loop is deceptive- especially when it is so overgrown. This was my first spin out there and I was super impressed by the challenges presented by the variability of the alpine terrain- a very cool hiatus from the steamy red rocks and ledges of Grand Junction and Fruita- complete with the flickering light of tight aspen groves and the sweet underwheel cush and crunch of evergreen stands.

Bobbing and weaving our way through the lava rock boneyard at "Land's End" we had a surreal view of the smoke plume billowing over Grand Junction- and, yet, could still make out layer after layer of colorado and Utah mountain ranges.
and it's back to the truck just as the light begins to fade beyond Flowing Park Reservoir, the squeeters burst forth for their evening meal and the temps nudge toward sweatshirt...perfecto!
Like I said, lot's to ride in august...

image for today

Dave has finally received clearance from his surgeon to get on the bike! He was told to start with the trainer and so he did (for about a 15 minute warm-up before busting out onto the pave)- trying hard to follow doctor's orders, but one must maintain some sanity. Needless to say- he is back and getting stronger everyday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

image for today

and a shout out ot our friend Andy over at Bike Furniture Design. he recently celebrated a birthday, so it seems like a good time to give some props to this highly-acclaimed artist and photographer. he's a Leo, too.