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!





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Monday, April 25, 2011

Trail Report Fruita USA, April 25, 2011

Quite the wild ride here in Fruita this spring. Maybe April will go out like a lamb- but watch the weather lest you get nailed by a lion.

The week Doug and Dave came out from Cali was perfect (April 18-22) All areas rode brilliantly with coolish days, tacky singletrack and 0 precip.







It is always a ton of fun to show off our amazing collection of trails when the weather cooperates- these guys got after it at Loma, The 18, Rabbit Valley- toppped it off with a tour de lunch loops and left town smiling.




photos courtesy Dave King (we like the arty filter, even if he doesn't)





Then we got clobbered over the weekend with cold, wet and more cold and more wet (and I mean wet). Even the road riding pretty much sucked.
Desperate to get out and turn the legs, I got snowed on up at the 18 the day before yesterday. Frankly I'm a little surprised just how muddy things want to stay.








But- the good news is, the skies have cleared, there is a cool, drying breeze in the air and if folks choose carefully and show a little respect for the trails they ride, it should be a good weekend to ride.

Personally and selfishly I'm looking for a little more moisture and cool temps to help ease the suffering in the sand at the Rabbit Valley Rally!






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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

here's a couple of videos of one of the (arguably) most talented winners of Liege-Bastogne-Liege doing his thing- way before he had a "posse". no matter that his fridge was full of medical products for his sick dog and that he vacillated from the highest step of the podium to the darkest depths of depression and personal tragedy- finally dying alone at age 34 in a hotel room in Senegal... the guy could ride a bike like no other:






and then there was this bit of climbing at the Vuelta in 1999:




the style, power and panache... not to mention the hair gels, Frank Vandenbroucke was one of the greatest winners of L-B-L ever.

have a great ride today, gas it like Frank on those climbs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fruita, usa trail report for April 11, 2010.

It's official- the spring bloom is upon us. For the past week or so we have all been spotting the first red blooms of the paintbrush and today out in Rabbit Valley I got my first real all encompassing whiff of soapwort. These crazy purple guys are going off everywhere out there among the greening grasses and plumping yucca. In a nutshell: The sand in Rabbit Valley was atrocious today and the trails have a lot of rock rubble from moto traffic. Still better than a sharp stick in the eye though. Rode up at the 18 mile after the rain this weekend. The trails are totally rideable, but needing more rider groom to smooth out the bovine groom. Was out at Loma/ Kokopelli yesterday and it is all riding like a highspeed dream- in fact, would be good to slow some of the yee-hays down to keep Rustler's from getting so freaking blown out. Out at the lunch loops (Pet-e-Kes, high noon, Raven's Ridge, Kurt's) for the Single Track Sisters group ride a few days ago- very good stuff, but I have to say I had no idea how darn dippin' crowded the lot has become since the dirt jump track went in!


Watch the weather is the mantra (see the links to the right- these are what we use for the real dope- ie. don't believe any bikeshop hype, look for yourself). The trails are all good to go (except maybe the Edge), but a good squall will put the kabash on things for at least a few hours afterward and the wind has been BRUTAL at times making trail choice important.
After the intense weather and heated competition of Mad Cow weekend, it felt great to get with out in the still quiet of a Monday evening and build some trail.

This is how sustainable singletrack happens people- lot's of hardworking hardcores coming together with a genuine plan to lay in and fine tune our singletrack. Nothing will make you appreciate your local singletrack more than working to preserve it (which is hardwork, by the way). Have you put your time in this season?!
Everytime I come out to a *a local trail building organization* work session I learn something new about the effects of water and rider movement on our trails and how even small, well thought out changes minimize the damage. Derrick and Sarah are putting the finishing touches on one of several brand new water bars on Troy-Built (first layed in 8 years ago and showing its age).
Next time you are out there look for this beautiful rock, so meticulously placed to direct water off the tread and to direct the rider's mind toward the tread and think of the men and women who took the time to save this spectacular trail from the ravages of rain and riders- so that we all may ride it again and again and again.


***We'll be putting in another Monday evening next week (4/18/11). Meet @ 5:30 sharp- Mack exit parking area. Bring Gloves and water- there will undoubtedly be good people to meet and good food to eat!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

race report: 2011 Mad Cow Classic

The 2011 running of the Mad Cow Classic p/b Mesa State College is in the books. It was a wild and woolley weekend of howling wind, freezing temps, sucker patches of blue sky giving way to rain and snow. An absolute classic Colorado spring start to the road racing season! Dave overcame weeks of debilitating back spasm to make his season debut- and after getting his juices flowing by rocking the time trial on his old school set up (TT bars? aero helmets? Disc Wheels? .... just not the retro way), he decided to get down to business, leave the age group posse behind and roll with the CAT 1/2 men. And, so, he spent the rest of the weekend hashing it out with Mike Allen and Paul Friehauf first in the Criterium and then the Reeder Mesa Road Race.
The view from the feedzone- fresh snow pasting the Grand Mesa

All three gentlemen are outstanding riders in every sense- physically powerful, courageous and sportsmanlike. They each endeavor to make all the best strategy decisions and tactical moves and, ultimately, come out at the top of the podium- but regardless of how the palmares shake out, they will shower one another with dignity and respect once the race is run. Pretty cool dynamic to watch.

Dave started the 72 mile mostly uphill road race this morning hoping to protect and support Paul the Free Horse Friehauf in taking his revenge for yesterday's second place finish to Mike Allen in the Criterium. Dave did his best to share with Paul the patience and wisdom of a well seasoned elite rider. Ultimately, Dave could not keep the pace of the the two younger leaders, but after crossing the line Paul rode back to cheer Dave in to a strong finish. Good stuff.

All in all, LiveTrainRace had a great showing this weekend both presenting a tour de force on the race course and in supporting the event. Go Team Go! Dave stoked to get a little podium pay out after a grueling criterium. All in a day's work...
Steve Slaughter, Don K and Ed Chamberlain mack the LTR pride after tearing it up with the Masters 35+ on the Reeder Mesa Road Ride


Kevin (or it could be Conor) Mullervy presents Paul Friehauf with his Men's 1/2 Silver medal and Tim Sewell with his Men's 35+ Bronze . These 2 are off to Silver City to crush 'em at the Gila in a couple of weeks. Allez! Allez! Allez!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

race report: 2011 Cholla Challenge, Hurricane, UT

WooHoo- finally made it out to Hurricane and had a great launch to the 2011 racing season! LTR founders Mike and Kristy Driver have told us repeatedly that the InterMountain Cup is a brilliantly put together race series well worth the drive. The series not only showcases the spectacular trail system and off road cycling culture that has evolved in Utah, but teams earn series points for trail maintenance hours- which we find hugely impressive. I have never been to a race with better course marking (in place well before race morning) and more volunteers fully visible and vocal on the course (except, perhaps, the Steamboat Town Challenge which really is the gold standard). Participation is high in this series, as is the competition- all in the context of a super lowkey, downhome vibe. I'd do them all if I didn't hate to drive so much!

The Cholla Challenge was sponsored by Red Rock Bicycles in St George. The course was a ton of fun for an early season race- no brutal grades, no really sustained climbing, a bit of slick rock here and there, some gravel washes, a few sand traps, plenty of cactus and red rock to please the eye and ease the mind.


The temps were ideal (70s and breezy), given that it was 80 plus during my preride the evening before and immediately after the race the winds picked up to an excoriating 25MPH.


Since I had an unfortunate endo during my preride, I looked and felt a little battered during the line-up. But, just as Mike the Hammer Driver said it would, all the pain ceased about 1 mile into my first lap. I was surprised- as I often am- at how hard the women were pinning the first couple of miles, but I hung with the lead pack until it all blew apart toward the top of the initial climb. Then, as per usual, I lost sight of the leaders ahead of me and the rest of the pack behind me and I fell into my own ride.


I got my second bottle handed up by Kristy as I finished lap one and felt ready to go pick someone off...but, alas, all the pain that had evaporated in the first mile of lap one caught me right between the shoulder blades and lap 2 consisted of a lot more soft pedalling than it should have. I dug deep, rode smart, safe and consistent and actually managed to pick off two of the now defunct lead group- at least one of whom had clearly gotten tangled up in one of the many loose sketchy stretches and crashed (this was not a hard course, but it was not forgiving of lapses in concentration).


I nearly blew up on the crappy climb to the finish line and was spinning the Granny Gear as I passed Kristy again- she gave me the what for I needed to crank it up and turn the pedals for a strong, powerful and dignified finish. Third place- on the podium- for my first race of the year!


Got to cheer Mike on to a great mid pack finish in his second ever Pro Race and headed back to the ranch for a Super 8 poolside recovery picnic. In bed by 8:00, I slept in listening to the wind blow the white plastic pool furniture into the water. Coffee in bed while I scanned the radar loops, stalling until it seemed the moisture bands had moved east toward Colorado.


The wind was still whipping 20-25 icey MPH when I loaded the car and as I pulled into the staging area for my planned recovery ride. Last night's snow clung to the redrock peaks. I pulled on the leg warmers, the long sleeve jersey, the windbreaker and considered bagging it all together in light of the 5 hour drive ahead. But, this I know to be true, it is always better to ride than to not ride even if it is for half an hour. Turns out, my recovery loop on the JEM trail could not have been more perfect - a crushing tail wind for the 7 mile rambling climb, during which I saw not a soul, followed by a 7 mile swoopy, mellow desert descent back to the cliffs along the creek with a crushing headwind to keep me spinning the pedals. It is hard to motivate and leave Fruita to ride - unless, of course, we are headed up to Routt County to ride- but my wheels are turning and we will be hatching a plan to get back down here and get after more of this Utah singletrack goodness be it to race or to just recover...