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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 NAHBS award winners announced

officially, of course, via the North American Handmade Bicycle Show website. and our local favorites fared well again, bringing home additional palmares for the sagging trophy shelf at Eriksen Cycles world headquarters. we at ABANDON YOUR CAR would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Kent (and the hardworking crew behind the scenes: Katie, Chris, Chad & Bo) for their fantastic 29'er tandem that took top honors for, you guessed it, Best Tandem.

Kent Eriksen- Eriksen Cycles, best tandem
image: NAHBS

here's all of the show winners for their group photo. check out the guy in the back:

image: NAHBS

he must have been channeling all of that happy Eriksen mojo from one of his fans somewhere way out in the desert of western Colorado:

i can't wait for the trails to dry out a bit so that Jen and i can take that thing for an "inspired" test ride. now that the dust has settled somewhat, maybe Kent and Katie have a little time for a visit out Fruita way for some nice springtime riding... hmmm.

we'll keep you posted.

Wait, What? NorCal February 26, 2011

Yes, you're reading this right. Snow on Redwood Road yesterday morning, one of my favorite local rides:
(Image Credit to Jason Milliron)

While Jason was out there yesterday morning freezing his toes off (I wish I was doing the same), I was at a debate tournament. 2-2. I felt we went 4-0, but returned home with some disappointment. Oh well, better luck next time, eh?

And additionally, the Spring Classics are upon us. Here's a picture from yesterday's Omloop het Nieuwsblad, with Langeveld and Flecha throwing it out on the line. Langeveld won it:
(Image Credit to Flanders Classics. Tune into 7:00 of this video for the last kilometer action.)

And today, the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was won by Chris Sutton of Team Sky:
(Image Credit to CyclingNews)

So, that's that AYC. Have a great week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wishing the Kent Eriksen Cycles team a great showing at the 2011 North American Handbuilt Bike Show (and a little update on conditions in Fruita)

The first 3 riders back to homebase after the 2010 Kent Eriksen Tour de Steamboat- you may recognize these cats as 3 of Routt County's cycling fixures, displaying their Routt County pride

Ian Pritchard- vintage MOOTS, Dave Fisher- South Routt Velosport, Jamie Morgan- Kent Eriksen Cycles

This weekend the 2011 North American Handbuilt Bikeshow takes place in Austin, Texas. Hundreds of beautiful rigs will be on display- and vying for prestigious honors. (you will find links about getting to and from Austin and links about eating and drinking in Austin on the above site- but, strangely, no links about riding in Austin...go figure. they do ride bikes in Austin, don't they?)
We have no doubt that our good friends at Kent Eriksen Cycles will have a brilliant showing. They have brought home top titanium honors the past two years - in 2009 for that jawdropping tandem and last year for an elegant 29'r singlespeed.
Be sure to check in on the cyclingnews and NAHBS sites frequently during the show- the photo galleries are always spectacular. If you are lucky enough to be at the show, be sure to drop by the Eriksen booth and visit awhile. We are certain you will find these folks among the friendliest, funniest and straight up smartest bike geeks you will ever meet.

This is what they really looked like after they rolled in...not such a pretty picture, but nothing a cold can of Coke and a banana can't fix!

*******************TRAIL REPORT********* 21 February, 2011

Me and my beloved Eriksen 650B out at the 18Road this week- the days are beautiful, and the trails are actually on the brink of being rideable thanks to the dry, windy days we've had. Early spring is a tricky time to ride off road- each dry day gets us closer to "good to go", but watch the forecast closely because it only takes about 2 drops of rain to turn things right back into slime this time of year.

We have very reliable sources saying that Lunch Loops are rideable up to about the Lemon Squeezer and "iffy" at best above that. Goes without saying that the dirt jumps are buzzing with activity.

The Eriksen longsleeve jersey has become my go-to early spring layer of choice. I have worn this pup on every ride I've taken since getting it for Christmas. I love the thermal fabric and perfect pockets- but not nearly as much as I love, love, love the imposing Eriksen "Crow-Magpie" graphic. Everyone should have one.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fruita USA road & trail report for february 20, 2011

no doubt that spring fever is in the air, the migratory birds are returning to their desert habitat for the season, and most everyone else is itching real bad to get out on the trails.
Jen has been doing regular recon missions on her MTB out to the 18 road. today's observations are not much different than what she reported in her previous dispatch- still soggy and getting pummeled daily by the free-range bovines that have been set loose upon the prairie. homesteader-guy is also posted up again for another van-camping session.

long -n- short of it is: the trails still need some time to dry out. same story for the Lunch Loops, still too much moisture and snow to get up much past the dirt-jumping area (which IS dry and seeing plenty of early-season action). one could probably get about 1 hour of ride time right now on the limited trails that are dry, and no doubt there are plenty of those willing to venture a trashed bike and a lasting legacy of ruts left behind on all the rest. it's your call, do what is right for you.

the conditions for early-spring road riding are superb, however.

Mike approaches the visitor's center on his skinny-tire VTT training machine. he's taking a serious approach to the upcoming racing season with this dedicated set-up, definitely not doing it the "easy way".

today i rolled out on the LTR sunday training ride with Mike D. and Rich (the only other guys that showed up, btw) for some nice tempo on the "Llama Loops" before turning south and climbing up over the Monument on the return back to LTR world HQ in Grand Junction.
and yes, the Monument is now open again for cycling, from one end to the other. be advised that there are still some frozen sections to be encountered, most of them south of the summit in shaded corners. plenty of gravel in places as well, so please exercise caution while descending.

wind-blown snow makes for some sketchy descending off the backside of Rim Rock Drive

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fruita, usa trail report for February 14, 2011

Quick update on the conditions out at the 18 road...

the road itself is in sweet condition tricking me into believing the trails must be pretty dry. Let's just say I lugged a very heavy rig across the meadow to get out of there.

Another beautiful day today will help the situation, but more precip forecast by the end of the week certainly complicates the picture.

As for the Loma loops...

This is the initial climb up Mary's yesterday. Aargh. The snow is wet, sloppy and slick. The dirt sections of the trail are surprisingly muddy. The snow dump last week has really slowed the drying (and here I was convinced spring had arrived and everyone was out gobbling up tacky singletrack while I was confined to the concrete bunker I call "work").

In the interest of recon, I slogged out to the map kiosk and back, keeping to the slickrock lines as much as possible. It is a good technical challenge requiring lots of focus on body position and bike handling since any last ditch desperation maneuvers in slushy snow covered slickrock are more likely to lay you out than save the day. That aside, I'll be avoiding all these trails for awhile and keep it to base miles on the dirt road and alpine antics with my Valentine up in the high country.

There is really nothing to be gained from trashing the bike and the singletrack (if it is possible to trash anything more than the bovine do). But- to each their own, eh?

Friday, February 11, 2011

two images (and a map) for today

from the ride. didn't see a car the whole time- not one. and that is not a complaint.

sunny, but not warm

 just turn around to see this:

Pinnacle peak, south Routt, Colorado.

which is right about in the middle of this map:

View Larger Map


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

how to avoid cabin fever

winter can be nasty and brutish up here in the mountains of northwest Colorado. seldom is it short.
some days, the snow is piled so high outside the ol' shack that it's impossible to go anywhere until conditions moderate significantly, and the sun finally, and almost magically, appears from behind the clouds.
today wasn't exactly one of those days, high temp was about 10 degrees farenheit and the snow insisted on continuing to precipitate earthward.

no, this isn't actually our cozy cabin in the mountains. it does, however, represent an excellent example of the shacks that Oak Creek coal miners lived in back in the day.

here's some local "mountain men" playing some music and singing about how they assess the current weather conditions outside. enjoy:

this is what it really looked like outside my back door when i was making a decision about what sort of ride i was going to do today:

hmmm... too much shovelling required to make an escape- go to "training plan B" was the only realistic option. hit the rollers.

after it's all over, we pull on the boots, the packs, the lead-filled snowshoes, avalanche probes & shovels, and slog it up over the pass and into town to stock up on plenty of bacon, flour, salt and hardtack before we get slammed by the next big storm coming our way.

ya have to get outside... one way or another. that's how it's done.

south routt trail and road report for february 8, 2011

deep fluff makes for great powder power workouts. the stuff that has fallen since this past saturday is being measured in meters. trails should be opening up sometime in may. a warming trend will clear the roads for riding, but it doesn't look as if it's going to happen anytime soon.

go to "training plan B"...

here's my winter training set-up for all weather and all hours. the snowbank it is leaning against is the actual depth of the snow, accumulated on flat ground thus far this winter. i'm sure there's plenty more to come. *sigh*


sometimes ya just have to ride... no matter what. i think i might have to go down to Fruita for a couple of days worth of relief.

Monday, February 7, 2011

the voice of Le Tour de France

i spotted this exciting blorb over at bikerumour.com a while back and thought it was worth another mention here as it is now well time to be planning out the upcoming season... if one hasn't done so already.

at any rate, it is now official that none other than cycling's finest commentator, Phil Liggett, will be making the call for the "multi-year" HD broadcast of the Amgen Tour of California in May.
and such a beautiful, thoughtful idea to bring another great Gran Fondo event to the U.S. by offering cyclosportifs the opportunity to ride a brutal stage as the pros do in the L'etape du California.
we here in Colorado still have a bit of catching up to do with California (as our local ProTour race does not offer a corresponding Gran Fondo event), but what's new? anyway, we're still in our inaugural year of the race.

that is, without a doubt, some of the best cycling-related news i have heard in quite some time. hopefully, Phil will be on board for the Tour of Colorado Quizno's Pro Challenge  August 22 - 28 as well.

Phil and Dave (sporting a slightly deranged, too-much-bike-schwag-viewing-look) chillaxin' large at the great annual Gathering of the Tribes a couple of years back.

readers can get further infos over at bikerumour by following this link. we'll be out for at least a couple of days worth of roadside picnics when the riders roll on through south Routt this summer.

see you there!

two images for today

i miss my best buddy... a lot

riding some fresh and casual NorCal single track just before thanksgiving with bro Tim and his son, Wyatt. later, we got some sandwich fixins for lunch and then hit the skate shop.

old school image for today

that's me on the right of the gate, #157, about to take the biggest upset of my young career. from left are: JJ Longton, SE Racing, unknown rider, Randy Chamberlain, Dan Rahrer, Willy Marlowe.
probably the first moto at a double-points race at Countryside BMX in Escanaba, Michigan. went on to win the main against the factory guy and the #1 ranked rider. i got a sponsorship right after this. good times.

manual gate, no lights, track owner Ron Sundstrom doing the call. that's how we rolled in 1980, yo.