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.

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...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

moab training camp 2012, part II

folding money should be well concealed when traveling through sketchy areas. better yet, use a greenback to facilitate a speedy repair prior to the morning ride.

also ensure that your team mechanic is well-fed and caffeinated prior to making any special requests for some fresh handlebar tape or a Euro-wash, real quick like.

the long, grueling miles of spring training often induce a trance-like state of auditory and visual hallucination. a rider will imagine things that are not really there... a convenience store oasis in the middle of the desert, a relentless headwind when there is none, a weird face on the road- smiling up at them.

and sometimes, these things are not imagined at all.

Geyser Pass road, part of the La Sal Mountain loop, which will be the parcours for the annual Gran Fondo Moab (may 12th) not much traffic out this way, if ya haven't noticed.

but many kilometers farther on, that whack tar-bunny is right there on the road again. seems like the county road crew has a real artisan on staff.

when in doubt, go higher... and ride like hell away from those tar bunnies.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moab Training Camp 2012- Day I

Summary of Day I of  Jen and Dave's 2012 Training Camp adventure- Outstanding!

We escaped Palisade in the middle of the only great snow storm this winter, headed west as the storm pushed east and arrived in Moab under clearing skies and a sea of stars. A feast of tamales from the Palisade Hospitality Center, a soak in the hot tub in the gardens of StellaRuby and a spectacular night's sleep...dragged out into an epic sleep-in - all part of our plan to allow temps to come up a little before we hit the road. Leisurely brunch of turkey bacon, Dave's hen's eggs, potatoes and Peets coffee...and, finally, off we went...

to put our National Parks Pass to use at Arches National Park. The initial climb up from the visitor's center is all I had ever seen of the park until today. When the climb levels out the views begin- the La Sals showing off their new coat of spring snow in the distance.

Endless crazy rock formations in the park make it easy to forget the discomfort of early season miles and 2500 feet of climbing and turn the pedals in sheer joy- that is the essence of Training Camp Jen and Dave Stylee. If it doesn't make us smile, it is not worth doing.

The Window Arches are the turnaround point for today's ride as the return trip will be into a 'killer headwind'- and the sooner we make it back to the cozy cabana, the sooner we get to roll the townies over to Singha for our favorite Thai Food.
 Tune in tomorrow for Training Camp Day II...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

two images for today

two from the vault of old school- documenting a transformation in progress:

apres VTT: Slickrock, Moab spring 1990

above we find the garden-variety, oldschool, Boulder-living, Moab-invading, beer swizzling, fat-ass hippie type lounging in the Slickrock parking lot after the morning ride. readers will know from clues in the image that this was back when the crust of the Earth was still cooling and the parking lot still to be paved... check out the bike, the socks; you know those colors are the top shizzle all over again.

let us very quickly indeed fast forward a couple of years.

first year Cat. 3, Casper Stage Race 1993

the beer and beer-gut are gone, and i'm moving towards road riding full time, really enjoying racing as a 3 and living the life in Boulder. note the full Campagnolo C Record equipped Landshark with the trademark Slawta paint job. that was one awesome bike and i had discovered that i was able to ride like never before.

the frame is still in my shed long since the life crashed out of it, waiting for another to befall a similar fate. then off  to Andy Gregg at bikefuniture design for an extreme makeover consignment.

you could even have him do one with all of those wrecked treasures still taking up space in the workshop at home. tell him that ABANDON YOUR CAR sent you over, and you will receive valuable premiums from us with every purchase from Andy.

happy road and trails, everyone. keep the rubber side down.

Friday, February 3, 2012

mud season is road bike season

there is no arguing that this blog is well-marbled with images of mountain bikes and cyclists riding them in various locations, conquering heroic, technical moves, and generally having fun. we have also been known to do the occasional trail report from our home base in Palisade (which is a pretty good indicator of conditions in the surrounding area). we help build and maintain sustainable trails in our region, sanctioned by the BLM and constructed by the volunteers of *a local trail building organization*
but there comes a time most every winter (and spring) here in western Colorado that the MTB's are best left hanging in the shed and the soggy, muddy trails be left well alone. riding on snow in sub-freezing or thereabouts temperatures is one thing, but complete Euro-wash and overhaul with every ride is another. let the mud dry out and ride the roadie for a few days.

we finally got Jen's new Soma built up and on the road. here's a few images from the shakedown run- a flat and leisurely 65km recovery ride the day after 4+ hours of tough Moab trails the day before. let's begin with a few from the prep/build up, just because i think they are cool. a feature on the bike and rider impressions will be forthcoming.

all pro builds begin with the specified frame prep using the correct tools. Campagnolo calls for the bottom bracket shell to be reamed. and so it shall be reamed.

facing the bottom bracket shell with the Campagnolo tool.

a bike that will provide many years of reliable service must assembled with the best available components (within all budget requirements, of course,)

these NOS Campagnolo Record hubs have been out of production for 10 years or so. laced up to a set of DT Swiss clinchers- with their Revolution spokes and alloy nipples as well. they roll endlessly and will last forever.

the red sandstone backdrops and low traffic volumes of Potash road make for both an enjoyable and scenic first ride.

several signs along the route called our attention to something called "indian writing". we were looking for some kind of Sanskrit grafitti.

Indiana Jones- pointing in the wrong direction this time.

actually, there are several large panels of excellent quality petroglyphs.

Jen provides scale for the ancient artwork high on the wall above.

ancient artwork along the Colorado River near Moab.

desert bighorn sheep also inhabit this area. we haven't actually seen any in Utah, but we have seen them a few times here in Colorado.

passing by the Jug handle arch on the way back to town. i am very pleased that Jen has a new roadie in her personal fleet- and that we will be cycling in many more cool places together.

have a great weekend everyone.