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.

Monday, January 16, 2012

your attention please

here's a link to a great resource or cycling events- mostly in the Pacific northwest, but also in Colorado, Idaho, etc.

best coverage of Colorado events is to be found at BIKEPAPER.COM

tell 'em ABANDON YOUR CAR sent you over.

happy cycling.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oakland Composite Group Ride - 1/15/12

So, for those of our dedicated readers that don't know, I did a high school mountain bike race last season with a team called Oakland Composite under the Team Oakland halo. It was created several years ago by an O'Dowd student named Ryan Potter and is coached by former California state TT champion, Dave Gane.

Anyway, long story short, the team almost didn't happen this year, but boy am I glad it did. Our riders show an intense amount of promise, and we've all come a long way in the past two months.

So, our ride today was in the confines of an hour, which is usually half the time we ride, but our coach's daughter had a soccer game. To make the most of the time we had, I was told that we'd be upping the pace and challenging people on some gruesome local climbs out in the Redwood area.

I was surprised this weekend with my abilities compared to last weekend. In crits, I feel helpless when it comes to surges and when I try to jump my legs fail. But on the trails today, I was off the front and keeping our pace right around 15mph, even on the climbs. When on the road, I feel sluggish and a wee bit hesitant on descents, but today the conditions were just right at the top of our new favorite climb to let loose on the downhill - a dense fog of mist at the the top created some really tacky trails below, and I felt alive on the bike for the first time in ages.

Within the time constraint of an hour, the new recruit on the team (but no novice by any means) and I had taken our "A" group through our normally-planned 16miles. And we wanted more, but the sky finally opened up a bit here in California and gave us a nice cold rain.

Unfortunately, no pictures from the ride today. But, it felt really good, and the Mexican Coke as a treat at the end wasn't too shabby either.

It also feels nice to be back in the ol' SRV kit. Keepin' it alive on the West Coast, yo!

To anyone that reads this blog and is in the area, all riders are welcome on our group ride. We're trying to spread the word about our team so we can gain more legitimacy in the league. We depart from the Grass Valley/Skyline trailhead at 11am on Sundays. Heavy rain cancels.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

NorCal Early Birds

Well, I'm a bit tired and with the added puzzle that is my homework for the evening, I'll keep this one short.

The NorCal race season started off today with the classic Early Bird training criteriums. I competed in the Cat4 Men and the junior races, and to put it lightly - I wasn't in my best form today.

Started with the 4's earlier in the morning - the official split the field in half and started us on a 1.5minute interval after the first group. The field ended up completing something like 12laps and around the 7th lap a break went off the front, which left me - formerly sitting comfy in about 8th position - suddenly at the front, with gents in front and behind me wanting to chase them down. So, I went, took my pull, helped bridge the gap and then completely gassed. Needless to say, with three to go, I was done for the remainder of the race and watched the finish from the side lines.

An hour later, the junior race rolled around. The only picture my fantastic photographer, my brother Taylor, acquired of the junior race was right after the start - where I was positioned behind the youngins' from the Davis Cycling Club. You can see me on the outside moving up...junior starts are the scariest of them all, and the goal is to get up and out as soon as possible.

With a nice "warm up" (aka the suffer fest) already under my belt, I was able to hold down the junior squad rather well and rolled in after the sprinters for a solid 10th place. Of course, none of it matters because places aren't recorded and they're just training crits, but it was still a fun day.

So, a couple things I learned today:

1. I'm absolutely horrible at coping with surges around corners. Constantly lost position and even exploded in my first race because of this fact. Need to work on some sprint intervals.

2. Little kids don't know how clipless pedals work, so don't line up behind them (really the junior field should be split up because it's just not safe for the little tykes out there with us).

3. Not crashing is really cool.

4. Racing is fun...homework, not so much.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

winding down 2011

In saying goodbye to the adventures and challenges of 2011 a collection of images from late fall and early winter...

As the weather starts to turn cold and the days grow shorter, every trail rides just a little differently. Bundled up for a dusk assault on the Lunch Loops, Melinda, gets after this nutty mind over matter maneuver made all the more of a psych out by the added gear...

Down to Moab to stretch the season- the La Sals are fully plastered, but the desert stays rideable. Dave braces for the sunset temp drop as we ride in the long shadows of the witching hour.

Up to Steamboat before the snow flies for a meeting of minds with the master mind himself, Kent Eriksen. We compiled ideas from 3 already built 650bs- 2 of Katie's hard tail race rigs and my trusty all 'rounder dually- to design my new hard tail race bike. I see only a fraction of what Kent sees when he is imagining a new bike- but I expect it will be an amazing and beautiful machine. Check back for build up details!!

Even Bok Choy spends more time indoors these days...oooh DT Swiss stainless steel spokes and red alloy nipples. My road bike is going to be quite the retro hotty.

The wheels are built and Dave gets busy in the shop building up my first ever road bike. 2 new bikes in one year- it is almost too much to fathom!

Well planned, sustainable, appropriate trail building by the BLM and *a local trail building organization*  just keeps adding Sa-weeetness to  life as a cycling enthusiast in the Grand Valley.

The Brilliant new Palisade Rim Trail opened up in our backyard just as fall rolled in. The final trail work days were cold and frenzied- all of us hoping to gettur dun in time to be ridden before the mud and snow. And so we did-at least as far as the Petroglyph meadow. This trail is awesome going up and awesome going down- awesome hard...and awesome beautiful.

Dave spent 2 months literally laid out on the couch this year- lost 14 pounds of lean muscle, missed all but his earliest pre-season races, had his back operated on and was still able to get back after it in time to hog it up hardtail singlespeed stylee on our new trail  in its inaugural season...what a year it has been! It is good to be healthy.

The extended fall weather allowed some serious progress to be made on the  long fantasized Mack Ridge - Troy's connector.

By this time in the season, these guys are well oiled trail engineering, rock moving machine just hoping to get one more day in before the weather changes.

This will not be an easy trail to climb or descent when it is finished- but it is bound to be a 5 star addition to the Loma Loops...the views won't suck either.

I cannot thank the folks who make contributions to sustainable trail building enough- but I sure try to do my part by getting out and swinging the old pick-maddox or pulaski a few times a year, sending my annual check to the rockstars at *a local trail building organization*, paying my taxes without snivelling and spreading the word about trail stewardship.

  We are glad to be healthy, surrounded by excellent bike people (and dogs) in such a beautiful corner of the world! Here's to the madcap adventures yet to be had in 2012! We'll see you out there.