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, 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.


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


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:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fruita, usa trail and ride report for October 1, 2011

I've said it before- fall is the most magical time to ride the Grand Valley.

Rode alone today out in Rabbit Valley. When we still lived down valley in Fruita this was my go-to "alone" ride. It is easy to make long quiet loops out there that break up the intensity (and monotony) of the rapid fire habitrail loops at Kokopelli, 18Road or Lunch Loops.

The sand was in excellent condition today. How some days it can be so rideable, yet the day before (or after) it can be so miserable remains one of life's persistent mysteries. The efforts of the BLM to limit rogue ATV and less than competent dirt bike traffic on the actual Western Rim seems to be helping rehab the trail and there were fewer new sucker tracks tearing through the crust.

The decision to allow ATVs on all of Trail 2 has had exactly the opposite effect.

I fail to understand how such a decision is reached given the huge miles of ATV wasteland out in Rabbit Valley and the less than 10 miles of single track. In only a few months the super fun super fast single track of upper Trail 2 has been eroded into unsustainable, babyhead littered 2 track mayhem. I can say with certainty it was not decided based on which advocacy groups mobilize volunteers to build, clean and maintain trails. Bummer.

*a local trail building organization* volunteers get down to it alongside the BLM to create great, sustainable singletrack- yep, folks, this is how it happens (not by magic). Whenever I do trailwork I ask the BLM folks if any moto or equestrain advocacy groups bring out volunteers to build trail...they never know what I'm talking about. 'nuf said.

This aside, my ride out Kokopelli Trail to the Western Rim and back up Kokopelli to Trail 2 was blissful and autumnal. After months of being humbled, inspired and challenged riding with the Badass Singletrack and Skinny Tire Sisters-

it was nice to go back to the peaceful solace of riding the desert alone. I see more, tune into my breathing and body more and often find the lessons I've been struggling with on group rides finally come together.

getting after Holy Cross with the sisters- not a ride I ever do alone. captured by Sarah Mah Rarick- founding sister and proprietor of Desert Rat Tours

The flipside of late season solo riding, of course, is pedalling in vain for miles trying to escape a stink that can only be attributed to one's own late season funk. The time for a full overhaul and vinegar bath for all my gear (backpak, helmet liner, insoles and every single chamois and base layer) is NOW if I ever want anyone to ride with me again.