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.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ending 2012 Thoughts...

Recently, the early sunsets, the mountains of home and lab work, and the hours of work after school have left me with only enough time to think about my cycling in 2012 and the plan for my "future" in the sport.

Because of how early it gets dark here, I've been spending far more time in the gym than on the bike (yeah, except for 1-leg drills on the rollers). The weight room at my high school has become my new "home" of sorts:

The question might be raised, as you read this, of why I'm choosing to put on more mass in the winter months, and the purpose of this post is to answer that question. Over the past month, I've done well over 15 full fits at the shop where I work, and seeing some of the biomechanical discrepancies in these customers made me re-evaluate what it means to be a healthy, performance-oriented cyclist. The fits I performed also made me realize the one true fact about idolizing the upper echelons of professional cyclists - they inspire such a skewed, dysmorphic view of the body, that many athletes actually inhibit themselves in reaching their full potential in the sport. 

I bring this topic up, because all this year I was concerned with putting on the miles necessary to achieve the racer physique and power, yet in all the road races and criteriums I raced this year, I found myself to having a striking lack of power compared to a lot of other cyclists. I evaluated my diet, my fit, and ultimately settled on my strengths - I, like so many other cyclists, had incredibly strong quads and fantastic cardiovascular ability...but, that was pretty much it. I noticed the same kind of pattern with many of the customers I fit over the past month. It was an odd sensation to realize that cyclists can be so easily imbalanced. It's one thing to have strong legs, but another to be a strong, healthy person.

So, after meeting with a nutritionist/physical therapist a couple months back and with the lift-director at my high school soon after that, I derived a lift program for myself that would increase muscle mass and power throughout the body, not simply the front of my legs. That's right - I'm a roadie that's also working the upper body. I've also added daily core work to my schedule, and a weekly plyometrics routine to increase power as well as balance. 

How much pure, awesome muscle mass have I gained in the past two months? No idea, as I no longer weigh myself, but I do notice a difference in my riding (when that actually happens, which is rarely). My upper body is actually not any noticeably bigger than during the summer, but I find myself with more strength and my shoulders even rotated back slightly. In addition, an acquired lateral pelvis tilt that had been bugging my spinal chain has pretty much disappeared, letting me take out some shims under my right cleat, and helping me to re-teach the sides and muscle groups of my lower body to function as individual entities. This, in turn, has helped me activate my hamstrings and glutes a substantial amount, to the point where I notice a distinct difference in relative energy expenditure during long, sustained efforts. 

So, those are my thoughts for ending 2012 and beginning 2013 - become a healthier overall individual and the fitness on the bike will follow in suit, since my goal is to be a balanced individual, not a racer in the Tour de France. 

Happy Holidays, AYC, and whatever your flavor for winter training, good luck and remember to make a goal, but try to have fun with it as well. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Full Ride in a While

And it hurt. My fall base plan has quickly gone from compromised to nonexistent, so now I'm just enjoying the scenery.

Speaking of scenery, Fall is officially upon us. Headed out for a ride after work this magnificent Sunday afternoon and just as quickly as there were warming rays...

...there were miles and miles of cool, crisp California air with only this car in sight. Wish I brought my wind jacket, but warmers did suffice. 

Have a great Fall, SRV frequent-ers, and remember to get out and ride your bike sometime. I think I might start taking my own advice on that one...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I've Never Been So Happy...

...to see a piece of trash on the side of the road.

Yeah, I realize I fudged up getting a picture
of the actual slash. Sue me.
Hopefully your fall base training is a little more productive!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

25 october 1972

forty years ago, the greatest of them all. now and forever more.

above is a short clip from the film "La Course en Tete" by the producer Vincent Malle.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Palisade group ride

ride starts at 10 a.m. sundays, departing from Rapid Creek Cycles in Palisade.

Find more Bike Ride in Palisade, CO

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zesdaagse van Amsterdam

tuck in your maillot- it's that time of year again. bump up the cheesy euro beats, grab a pilsner and some frites...

here's some great footage of last year's derny action:

looks like the old fat guys have it pretty good over there. plenty more vids on the homepage- check it out:

Zesdaagse van Amsterdam

Friday, September 21, 2012

three images for today

sharing some autumnal singletrack splendor with friends on top of Colorado's Grand Mesa... after a weekend of trail building nearby.

smiles for miles

and here's just a few of the unsung heroes who make good trail happen on some of our Public Lands in western Colorado:

do you enjoy riding world-class singletrack on America's Public Lands? did the kids in this image spend more hours building trail this year than you did? if you answered "yes" to either question, perhaps it's time to ask your physician if lifting up off your duff is right for you.

get involved, join the crew in your area, contribute generously to the cause. show the next generation the meaning and joys of stewardship and sustainability by actually participating... by getting out there and doing it.

saved the best for last- passing the Knowledge and Skills along to the next generation:

Dan takes time to explain and demonstrate the finer aspects of sustainable trail building to his daughter.

is he a cool dad, or what? she's super cool, too.

wishing everyone a happy autumnal equinox- and a fond goodbye to summer..

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

hate crime

that's what this is- plain and simple, directed toward cyclists. so happy that i don't live in Boulder county anymore... and some big props go out to Dirk and his training partner for taking the moral high ground and keeping their cool.

i'm going to start carrying a mini-vid mounted on my bike, damn right i am.

UPDATE 20 september: an arrest has been made, slap-on-the-wrist citaton issued by the CSP.


inviting still more of the same tired, patronizing "told ya so's" from the internets trolls (see last line of the DC article):

An unidentified motorist who was traveling County Line Road on Wednesday afternoon said cyclists who ride the county road have "a death wish."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Guess...

...that we here at Abandon Your Car have all been way too busy riding, racing, working, and well - just plain old enjoyin' summer. Thus, the wonderful blog we have curated has fallen to the wayside a bit.

HOWEVER, if you notice the newly-updated cover photo at the top, you'll say, "Oh! That's probably from a race. I bet you they'll do a report on that real soon," and that would be exactly right. I won't give anything away, but I happen to know that the BikeMaster and my Aunt Jen have been up to some race antics of their own these past couple months, and I'm sure they'll be sharing those experiences soon.

In the mean time, I bring you to my neck o' the woods to demonstrate a little of the speed training that I'm doing in preparation for an upcoming road race.

There's a ride here in the Bay Area called the POO - no, not a ride through the local stables, but a practice criterium around a 1.7mile loop at the Port of Oakland. It's not a regulated race by any means...people just show up and as the group gets larger it tends to get faster as well. By the end of the evening, the group is typically averaging ~28mph and when the Cat1 guys are gearing up in the spring, you can expect an average pace of around ~33mph.

Yeah, ridiculous, right? It's ridiculous for sure, but also ridiculously fun. The group dynamic is always a plus, and when we really start going after it, it just makes you realize how slow you ride alone.

My journey back into POO this summer has been rough - this evening marks my third week in a row, and last week was the first week that I was able to sit in an entire lap. Yeah...ridiculous. Tonight was good, though, as I got there early enough to not have to jump in and sat in at speed for a good 5 laps. Then, once I'd done my hour and a half (aka 32miles), I was able to journey back to the car and grab some pictures to give the readers a taste.

Take a gander:

Here they come...

...and there they go. That's a crit, for ya, folks!

I like this last one just because it's all artsy-fartsy, but it is also the coolest thing about the Port - this stretch is the most open part of the course, and the closest to the water. What does that mean, you ask? It means that on this lonely stretch you're battling an intense headwind, but this is what you get to look at while you do it.

Welcome to California. 

Stay tuned to read some reports from those in Colorado, and to hear about my race coming up here in a couple weeks. As always, ride safe and ride hard. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Another One in the Books

11:30am today, June 1, marked the last day of my junior year in high school. With my math final (yes, it took me 1.5hours over the prescribed time "limit") the only test of the day, I was excited to be able to end my year on a positive note.

Well, not really. This year got off to a great start with some fun races - even my failed attempt at cross-country racing - but quickly devolved into an academic and viral slog of epic proportions. Even going into finals week I had a fever.

Oh well, sometimes you just gotta deal and keep on truckin.

The sickness, of course, is not to say that there wasn't some badass riding this school year. Got to watch Stage 3 of the Tour of California right in my own backyard...

Little brother of my friend Anthony, Ian had never ridden steel with Campy before 

We watched the early-stage break go by at the corner of North Livermore and Manning, with an impressive 5minute gap that, obviously, would have no chance of lasting up Mt. Diablo.

(I'm really pretty bad at the whole picture thing, but here they come!) 

And, then, we wandered right on over to the finish in Livermore, where an abundance of Michelob Ultra was to be consumed by the adults, and where two high school students were to receive nasty sunburns holding the spot at the finish barriers! (worth it, in case you were wondering)

I think you can make out the awesome that is known as "Boom Boom" Boonen at the front of the pack 

Add on top of that some of my own race antics...

Wow, look at that kid sitting extremely upright with locked out elbows and not a worry in the world...
Oh wait, this is a criterium? 
And maybe some outstanding academic accomplishment (holy smokes, look at those sideburns!):

Feel free to read about how much of a nerd I am here.

I think you could call it a pretty good school year for me on and off the bike. Hopefully this summer has a lot more "bike" in store for me than "school."

Yeah! Summer rocks!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meet Jen's new ERIKSEN 650B HARDTAIL

My new Eriksen 650B Hardtail is finally built and ready just in time for race season. We had so much unexpected chaos this spring I wondered if all of the parts would ever come together in the same place at the same time- and almost got used to living with a dropdead gorgeous frame, seatpost and fork nested in the viewing room like another piece of fine art bicycle furniture. Pleasing to look at- completely un-rideable.
A week out from the Gunnison Growler (a race about which I am feeling particulary grouchy after going to pre-ride a few weeks ago and finding nothing but 30+ miles of moondust where I had remembered lovely sagebrush singletrack) Dave informed me the Hardtail had built up at under 21 pounds complete with bottle cages - jaw drop- and was ready for its debut.
Just to look at this bike and to touch it the artisan craftsmanship is obvious. To ride it makes it undeniable. This bike is not designed to take the rider out of the equation and does not allow for much laid back cruise time. This is a wake up and ride sort of machine. The real allure of the bike starts in the Eriksen shop in Steamboat where the conversations and laughs and scratching of the head all take place before the gents (and lady) get down to business engineering and welding and finishing the frame and seatpost imbuing it with their mastery and enthusiasm. You feel it when you touch the frame and know it when you ride it. The fork was engineered by some of our finest Grand Valley geeks, then machined and assembled just down the road at MRP/White Brothers. Not everyone loves the LOOP...I do. I love the edgy responsiveness it allows the frame to enjoy. A true XC race machine demanding you to sit up, stand up and ride.

Then there are the wheels- handbuilt here in Palisade by the BikeMaster himself late at night after work. He is a slave to detail demanding the absolute right spoke for the job at hand and choosing each nipple for the perfection of it anodization. Be assured, you cannot buy these bad boys at your online discounter.

Add to all of that some of the latest XTR 2x10 bling, with sculpted shifters and brakes and a little cra-bon for the sake of modernity and, VOILE! you have my new Hardtail Race Rig and latest art acquisition. How cool is that? I can hardly wait to get her dirty and given what I anticipate in Gunnison this weekend- it won't be long!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The TOC Cometh...

Last year we saw a great mix of talent shown in the Tour of California after a delayed start. Lead-out men beating their sprinters to the line (not without the most badass of apre-race trick sessions, mind you), solo victories on Sierra Road, and, of course, Jens Voigt yelling at us in his Germanic accent to get the hell out of the way - didn't we know there was a bike race going on?! OK, so the last one didn't exactly happen, but after a chilling hour on the top of Mt. Hamilton, we did see this famous hard man holding his own at the back of the break.

Then, in Solvang, we saw American time trial legend Dave Zabriskie rewrite the history books of the infamous course with a time of 30minutes and 35seconds, shoving the second place finisher, Levi Leipheimer, some 14seconds behind.

But ultimately, it would come down to the dynamic duo of Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner (with no small assistance from Matthew Busche and Ben King) the next afternoon on Mt. Baldy to seal the race's fate with Horner's overall win.

The course this year is taking an exciting local twist and for the first time, going up Mt. Diablo. While they're not summiting the climb, it is rather cool that after seven years it's finally being incorporated into the route. I just want it to go on record here on the greatness of the interwebz that I will be in school that day, unless of course that I start to feel a cold come on... *cough, cough*

Tune in for the fun starting Sunday via web-streaming or on Versus (NBC Sports) if you're more of a "big screen" person.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome to California...

I interrupt your normal broadcast today to bring you a little taste of just how far Northern California has come in terms of bicycle tolerance:

Now, while this incident may or may not have been intentional, it surely was stupid. Both cyclists in the shoulder, on the right side of the white line, get mowed down by a car that veers out of the lane. There is no right hand turn possible when the car makes contact, and, thus, essentially no reason for that vehicle to be so far out of the lane.

Stuff like this just makes me sick to my stomach - for any locals, this is Highway 13 coming out of Berkeley - a common access point for Tunnel Road and Grizzly Peak...where I happened to be riding just last weekend.

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, stay safe and vigilant, and have a good time.

Update: Justice served - the perp has been arrested and is in custody. "Medaglia was arrested for possession of heroin, felon in possession of ammunition, violation of probation, and felony hit-and-run, according to BPD."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

new roadster in the fleet: Soma Double Cross

based upon a Soma Fabrications Double Cross, i have constructed myself a "poor man's version" of a style of bike oft seen at the Handmade Show. there are plenty of used parts on this machine, as well as some that are NOS. certainly, none of these parts would be of any use a all should they be left sitting on a dusty shelf out in the man-cave.
the versatility of the double Cross platform made it a logical choice; no doubt the roadster will be morphed into a drop-bar, studded tire, winter-duty workhorse as well as a pannier-laden touring cycle.

tasteful execution, classic styling, easy on the eye, and fast as stink

a single X-9 shifter hides behind the NOS Avid brake lever. note also the Campagnolo Nuovo Record "suicide shifter" and cable stop combo on the downtube, Paul's cantilevers with NOS Mafac Racer cable hangers, King headset, and Honjo fenders.

poultry approved drivetrain featuring a minty fresh Campagnolo Super Record crankset and front derailleur, Shimano DX pedals for urban scorching, SRAM rear derailleur, 990 cassette, 971 chain, Interloc 1700 gram wheelset, Continental skins.

gratuitous bling image. 

the timeless beauty of Campagnolo Super Record

already a classic, just in time for spring.

Friday, March 23, 2012

on the workstand today: your Next Wipeout

some concepts don't make the transition from drawing board to consumer products very smoothly. sometimes a word that is cool in one context becomes something completely different in another, perhaps a bit sinister. this bike would be one example:

looks are deceiving from a distance; standard-fare, box store, juvenile bicycle, 20" bmx stylee...


safety first.

Friday, March 9, 2012

old school image for today

yours truly- sport class stallion, suffering up  Humbug Hill in Breckentidge, 1988

this is an image from the Humbug Hill climb stage of the 1988 Breckenridge Fall Classic. the race was for many years the season finale of the legendary Colorado Offroad Points Series (CORPS). the past several years have been hit or miss with the event- sometimes it happens, sometimes not... a sad testament to the decline of XC mountain bike racing as it was once known.
this was my first year of mtb racing waaay back in the day, as the image clearly demonstrates; note the hippie-hair, t-shirt, fabric-covered Giro helmet perched at a jaunty angle, Oakley Frogskins, toe clips (this was well before SPD's made their debut, remember) and a bike well-suited to that era.

those were some good times, yo.

road and trail report for 9th march 2012: PALisade, Grand Junction, Fruita USA

winter is making a hasty exit from the western Colorado/eastern Zion region- the snow left behind by last week's storm has melted away, leaving trails somewhat saturated in areas, but other areas are dry and fluffy  (mostly in "multi-abuse" areas, such as Rabbit Valley).
the temperatures are soaring into the 50's F, and sunny conditions are predicted through the upcoming week.

many roads throughout the region are generally in excellent condition, but be on the watch for patches of sand and gravel that have built up over the past several months, especially at higher elevations.

happy road and trails, we hope to see you out there enjoying one of the world's premier cycling destinations- Colorado's Grand Valley.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Trail Report Fruita, Grand Junction, Palisade 3/5/2012

Thanks to the warm breezes drying things out in the Valley over the past few days, I have achieved the Grand Valley Spring Trifecta- Skate skiing on endless fresh groom Saturday, 50 miles on the road bike Sunday and the Mountain bike on the Western Rim today.

Last time we were out here was Christmas Day...a very different ride indeed. The snow is all but gone out here, the Meadows have started to green up and the ancient redrock seems fresh against the spring sky.

The Castle Valley Sandtraps rode remarkably well today- I give it a 7 out of 10 on the Rabbit Valley Sand Ride-ability Scale. The red dirt on the Kokopelli Trail portions and the Western Rim Proper was pretty stinking chewed up and soft- not exactly your tacky hero dirt. Felt a little like the brakes were rubbing the whole way...I give it a 5 out of 10 on my Western Rim/ Kokopelli Ride-ability Scale.
This particular section of the Western Rim continues to confound me. How wide will this become before the BLM lays out some trail barriers? In Utah they use downed Juniper everywhere to coach the clueless back onto course- A far cry from the less aesthetic, but painfully effective buried tires of old school BMX tracks.
this is the other 1/2 of the same curve- I have come to refer to this bend in the trail as "Too Much Freedom Curve". I mean, seriously, when it comes to single track in the desert, how many choices do riders need or deserve? Western Rim is doomed without some aggressive intervention- and perhaps, a little less freedom. Long story short folks- the trails are drying up nicely after last week's wet snow dump and it is time to RIDE! There are plenty of damp and muddy spots in the north facing and shady areas and any precipitation will make them worse so watch the forecast and, as always, we would really appreciate it if you could bring yourself to ride through the puddles or WALK around them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

all most of the continent's cycling-related bling is on display this weekend at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento this year, and we are much looking forward to reports and images from the fabled event.

on a more personal level, i am looking forward to seeing a certain set of wheels on a completed mountain bike entry from Kish Fabrications. my friend Paul Aieta, head marketing honch over at MRP/White Brothers called upon my wheel building expertise to lace up a pair of Stan's NoTubes Alpines to a set of DT Swiss 180 carbon/ceramic hubs with some DT Revolution spokes and ProLock alloy nips. the 1250 gram pair of wheels is for a friend of Paul's who is buying the new Kish... but not being able to take delivery until after many thousands of bike geeks have fondled the components, clicked the shifters, squoze the brakes, and pinged the tubing half to death and the show has finally ended for another year.

Jen's disembodied hands carefully unwrap her new 650b treasure. this one didn't go to the show (her F/S bike did) and is being built now for the upcoming season.

and last, but most certainly not least- as always, we here at ABANDON YOUR CAR would like to wish much success to our favorite local builder; Kent Eriksen Cycles.

have a great show everyone!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

trail report for 2nd march 2012: PALisade, Grand Junction, Fruita USA

UPDATED friday 1:30 p.m. MST

all this frozen stuff accumulated thursday.

the word is SNOW. lots of wet, soggy, moisture-laden snow.

it will take some time for the local trails to recover from this most recent bout of precipitation. DO NOT be the person who feels compelled to leave a rutted legacy of destruction... and then acts upon it.

the trails WILL NOT BE DRY THIS WEEKEND. trust me on this one. be patient, ride your road bike (a really excellent option). go snowboarding. stay off the trails. we will be posting reports when the time comes to ride the dirt again.

we thank you for your support and cooperation.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. MST: 33.5 degrees, overcast, periods of light snow falling.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moab Training Camp 2012- closing day

Today's ride, exploring Canyonlands National Park and climbing 2800 feet over 25 miles from the turn off HWY 191 marked the official close to Jen and Dave's Moab Training Camp for 2012.

 The National Park "drive through" has never been a satisfying experience for us- the "ride through", however, is becoming a favorite training strategy. Exploring the great paved expanses of the west allows us to create perfectly tailored training rides that satisfy our underlying need to get out in it (the great expanse of the west that is).

These adventures always remind us of how fortunate we are that the thoughtful generations of men and women made up by our parents and grandparents had the community mindset to preserve thousands of acres of magical land for every one of us to find our way into. Had it not happened when it did, it would not have happened at all given our current allure with me, me, me, mine. Had it not happened when it had, these majestic landscapes might still be being grazed into extinction and exploited for the personal gain of profiteers- instead, these lands are ours, all of ours to get out into and find our way.

20 miles into the ride- the bulk of the climbing behind us (all of it into a chilling headwind) Dave takes in the expanse of Redstone formations stretching 31 miles to the La Sals on the horizon. Below us we see Mountain Bike tracks cutting through new snow on the White Rim Trail- we wonder if we know whose tracks they are and try to imagine their offroad adventure.

When Dave posted about my maiden road bike voyage a couple months ago, he said we had never seen any Desert Bighorn in Utah- but today, pedaling into the snapping winds of spring on the high meadows of Canyonlands National Park, we encountered an entire family. 

 This little guy lingered even after Mom, in her radio collar, had shepherded all the other kiddos off into the Juniper scrub.

We rode another 5 or 6 miles into the wind before turning around to start the tailwind fueled rolling descent.

I am not skilled enough to enjoy the landscape during my descents (Dave, on the otherhand, costantly releases the bars to snap photos, adjust his windbreaker, eat a bar all while hurtling down the 2800 feet we have climbed). For me, the 25 miles back to the barn are an exercise in bike handling in the drops (more like mind handling) fighting to relax the neck and maintaining cadence in the rollers.

 A fantastic close to Training Camp 2012...