Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time for studs!

Rode stony yesterday. There is a nice layer of ice under the snow in most places on the trail. I was happy I put the studded tires on the bike. I was also happy I switched the gearing to a 34x20 or I would of been walking up the icy hills instead of riding them. The studded tires always amaze me.
The new little re-routes are nice. I like the first one with the bench cutting, the second one I was more concerned with not crashing than paying attention to what the trail was like.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trail Riding

Got out on the Quiring single speed today at stony creek. This was only my 2nd time riding the bike since I have been so focused on cross and also with all my knee problems I didnt want to push my luck.
The trail was a bit icier than I was expecting today, and with the rain tomorrow studded tires are going to be a must. The single track was in good shape, but there were a lot of sections of the two track that I decided to walk.

The bike rides nice, my legs are sore as I am not used to putting that much force on the pedals. Even with a 34/18 I struggled up some of the hills out there, of course the snow didnt help any. I put a flat bar on the bike also recently and like the feel of that much better. I am planning on riding this bike all winter, but I am thinking I might need a bigger cog.

I am already looking forward to summer.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Golden Cowbell

It all came down to this last race, could I keep my third place and win my first golden cowbell or would Paul S. make up enough ground to take it away from me? Coming into the race he had beat me the last couple of races, and wasnt too far behind in the points. I did two less races though and only your top 6 count.
Going into the race, it was a peak for me after building since Iceman. The previous two races I didnt do as well as I wanted by any means, stony and bloomer neither of them suited my riding stlye apparently. The week leading up to states I had a pretty light training load but my power numbers were higher than I have seen them in the last month if ever. I was trying to do all the right things, the big one was avoiding getting sick, so far so good with that.
The day before the race I decided to get outside for my pre-race workout. I wanted to dial in my clothing and get my lungs used to the cold air. It hurt, but I think it helped some.

Springfield Oaks is typically is one of more challenging courses in the series. I have raced there after a week of rain making the course a swamp, I have raced there in the hot, and now in the freezing cold. Luckily racing in the C race the ground stayed frozen for most of the race, and I was very thankful for having tubular tires. Overall there were only a few areas of the course that were tricky, and on my warm up lap the first time through the tricky off camber section I tried to take the shortest line, that didnt work. It was too slick and tore up already. So I went back and rode it again, going to the bottom of the hill and then up. I figured it may burn a few more matches in the book, but it was better than hitting the dirt. I also knew I had to be near the front off the start once we hit that section. So with a early call up and waiting under the orange crush we were off.

I jumped on Shawns wheel off the start. I knew if I could hang with him I would be in great shape for the whole race. We kind of cooked a couple of the first turns and almost ended up in the tape. I backed off the pace some going through the barn and into the off camber section Shawn crashed right in front of me. He was up quick and where I was I couldnt really get away from him. I felt the heat from behind me though, and knew I had to get on it. Going over the barriers and down the hill onto the pavement I wasnt quite feeling as confident in my bike handling skills for some reason and a couple of guys got around me at some point. I really dont remember when exactly. Seems like the Specialized guy passed me just before the barriers, not sure about Andy. So the rest of the race was spent trying to bridge back up to 3rd place. I did that many times, but was never able to get away. Maybe on the second lap the chasing group of guys behind me got tangled up in a turn, and were never able to get close to me again. The flyover was my down fall on the last lap. I lost time on it and ended up in fourth place. I was hoping to do better, but was happy with results, and my third place in the series was secure.

So looking back at the year. Overall I am quite happy with the results. This season has been my best on the bike, not just cross either. I have never done this good no matter the type of racing. It is a lot more fun racing than just trying to survive until the end. Next year it is the B`s, a year late, but that is ok. I couldnt of done it without my coach Terry.
It has been fun racing and seeing all the new faces in the C race. It is great that the sport is growing, even with the tough economy there have been good sized fields every race.

I have to congratulate my teammate John that moved up to the B`s this year and really killed it. I remember talking him into trying a cross race, and all the near to the bottom finishes in his first year so this was well earned to say the least.

Also I want to thank Robert and Tailwind, for all the great races and another fun season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day

Well not quite Turkey day but a couple of days later. Some of the guys from TSB got together to work off some of the thanksgiving fatness at Addison Oaks. I really love the trails out there, and it seems like every time I go there is a new section. I guess I just dont go there enough. It was fun hanging out with everyone and putting a few laps in. This year it seems we havent really done anything like this so it was cool and hopefully we can do this more often. I think the last group ride I did was back before the PLRA race, so it has been a while.
Thanks Todd for taking the pictures.

After the ride and a few refreshments in the parking lot we headed over to Sagebrush Cantina. John and Drew had the super burrito. Since I dont have a lock on the series standings I decided to go for something a little less super, but just as good.

Next up states!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bloomer CX

I was feeling good going into the race. Maybe I was feeling too good. I didnt have any of my usual pre-race jitters for some reason. This was a big race for me, I was hoping to do quite well even though my training is building towards states like everyone else. I got a good spot on the line but a lousy start. For some reason I couldnt get clipped into the pedals. So I was going backwards more than I was going forward right off the start. I manged get on the wheel of a group of 3 guys and that is where I stayed for the rest of the race. I got stuck behind some lap traffic on the last lap at a few really bad times and I crossed the line in 7th place. Not really what I was expecting, but what can you do.
John did good again in the B race. My family came out to cheer me on also, which was nice. Jason and Lee stopped by an cheered us on so that was cool as well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stony Creek Cross

Stony is one of my favorite places to ride. I usually put in well over 1000 miles riding there each year. But the stony cross race, well that is not always one of my favorites because running on the beach. But this year they switched things up a bit.
I went out for a mtb ride on saturday and figured I would swing by the beach and see if the course was set up at all. It wasnt but Joe & Matt were figuring out how to lay it out. I talked to them for a bit and learned that the course direction was going to be backwards from the last couple of years. I liked the set up this year, the start was a bit hairy, but the beach was much better. Overall I thought it was a hard course. Riding the sand, then running and then back on the bike and riding some more sand was kind of tough, once you got off the beach there was a muddy section and then up the hill or slope I guess. They did a great job twisting the course around and making something out of nothing.

As far the race goes, I was hurting. Not sure if it was left over fatigue from Iceman, or the course, or the combination of all of that and 5 weeks of racing everyweekend, or whatever it has been. I started out on the front row, and right from the start I couldnt hang with the guys that I knew would be at the top after the 30 minutes were up. So I tried to maintain as much as I could over the guys behind me and was almost able to reel in 3rd on the last lap. I was lazy and didnt try hard enough so I finished in fourth place.

Chad and boys made the long drive down to do the SS race. It was cool hanging out with him and John. It has been pretty light this year as far as turn out goes from guys on the team.

This week is Bloomer. IT is hard to believe that there are only two races left.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Global Warming?

62 degrees after I got back to timber ridge on saturday after the Iceman. Lots of people complain, well that is in general, but a lot of people complain about the weather being too warm for the Iceman. But riding in the warm and then hanging out at the campsite all afternoon when it is warm out is much nicer than the cold. I`ll take the snow in the cross races at least they are only a 1/2 hour.
So going into this race I really didnt know what to expect. I have been training a ton, but I have only done one longer ride in the last few months and that was only about 22 miles. Friday a few of us from the team met up at timber ridge and rode out about 5 miles on the trail. My legs were feeling pretty tight but I really didnt get a chance to warm up the legs at all. So I just took it easy and spun the hills and let everyone else ride at their own pace while I rode at my own.
It seemed for the race everything went smooth with all the extra people. I liked the start in downtown Kalkaska it seemed less crowded than starting at the school.
My wave had like 140 riders in it, and really was too many. On the trail it was a constant struggle to pass people. I dont know how many times I had to go around people and into the brush on the side of the trail. I am happy I didnt break any spokes or anything. I had a bit of a problem with my hamstring cramping up on one of the last hills, but I rode them all but the very last wood chip hill right after the single track section. I decided I would try to run it because there were quite a few people walking up it and I just opened up a gap on a guy in the single track and thought I could get up it faster that way. I did pass a guy in my age group so that was good. All in all I am happy with my results. 2:18: something or other. My goal was 2:15 so I was pretty close to that.
After the race we had the grill going and some chilli cooking at the TSB campsite. That was a really good way to go. We had a ton of room and a lot of people stopped by which was really cool. That is one of the best things about the Iceman, hanging out with all my friends one last time for the year. People can say what they want about it, but I am looking forward to next years already.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Racing Vets Park

Vets park, to sum it up: pain. Lots of pain. But that is part of the allure of the course and the race. It offers the most climbing it seems of any of the races in the series and a lot technical off camber sections.
Day 1, I got 3rd place. That was my best finish ever in a cross race. I had 4th once at the KTR UCI race a few years back, but that was awarded after the race when they decided to break the catergories up by age group. I had a good start and got myself into a position that I wanted to be in. The leaders rode away on the first lap so I sat in with the second group. The last lap I decided it was time to go so I attacked into the wind. I got around a couple of the guys, then on this off camber down hill the guy in front of me wiped out. Hopefully he is ok, but I didnt see him back on sunday though. That put me in third place and I held it for the rest of the lap.
Day 2, was another 3rd place. I really didnt know what to expect. My legs were sore, but the course seemed easier. I got out for my warm up lap, and felt really tired. I got back to the car and checked my blood sugar, and it was 41! No wonder the course felt so hard. Because of that I didnt get much of a warm up in before the race. At the start of the race I was sitting in second for about 1/2 the first lap, until we hit the big ride up. Then a 3 or 4 guys went around me and opened up a decent sized gap. I spent the next lap or two working my way back up to 3rd and 4th place. I finally made contact before the big hill and sat on for a bit. Before we hit the big hill I moved into 4th place, and rode there for most of the rest of the lap. We werent really going as fast as I would of liked so I was debating when I should go. On the start of the last lap I decided it was a good time to put in an attack. It worked and I opened up a decent sized gap. I was worried about being able to hold it up the big hill since that is where I got passed on the first lap, but it held all the way to the end.
I guess all the training hours are paying off finally. It felt good to get on the podium after all these years.

It was just myself and John racing both days. John continued on his streak both days with a fifth and a thrid place finish.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Derby City USGP

Pictures are posted on my picasa page. I will add a write up later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Racing Lower Huron

One of my favorite places to race cross is Lower Huron Metro Park. One of these years I am going to ride the paved trail after the race since it is such a pretty park. I think that is one of the reasons that I like this race so much. I still remember my first time racing here. I was driving in and you can see the run up from the road and I thought to myself what am I doing? I have to run up that. Now I look forward to that run up.

I wasnt sure how I would feel coming into this race. I have been putting in a lot of training on my way to my peak for vets park and Iceman. I stopped on the way and picked up Terry R. since he was having some car problems and got to the race plenty early. This was the first race this year that we had frost on the ground. It wasnt bad though, there was no breeze and the sun was coming out.
We line up and I make sure to get the front row this time after what happened at Munson. The whistle blew and I took off and was feeling really good. I put in a good hard effort and was leading down the paved straight. I could hear the guys gaining on me so I shift up to the big ring, and my chain falls off. I tried to back pedal to get it back on, but it was off too far by then. So I am coasting in the middle of the pack while everyone in my group passes me. They must of the started the next age group too soon because those guys were passing me also. I tried to get out the way and took a look behind me and it looked clear, but I guess I cut a guy off I didnt see. Sorry, but I had to get my chain back on, and I wanted to get out of the middle of the pack. I get it back on quick, but everyone in my group was long gone. I spent the rest of the race trying to get around the slower traffic, end up in a sprint at the line. I didnt know if the guy was in my group or not, and I thought I got him, but he beat me for 9th by .003 seconds or something like that. So what did I learn? Start in the big ring, and make sure the bike is working good. In a 30 min. race there isnt time to make it up unless you are a lot faster than everyone else.
John had another good day of racing and looked really strong in the B race. Terry had a flat so it must of been some bad luck riding down there with us.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Saturday Night Lights

Well no lights for me since I did the C race and it wasnt dark by the time we got done, but it did make for a cool race experience. I must say munson is not one of my favorite races and I was kind of on the fence about doing the race. I need the points, but it is just so far away. But I made the trek down there and am really happy I did. The race was a lot of fun, and it just seemed like everyone was really into it. The course was also pretty cool, different than years past, much more compact with a lot of straight aways out in the flats. John and I were the only TSB guys that did the race, and John did really good.

My bloodsugar was all over the map before race, too much good food at the tailgate party I was at earlier in the day was the cause for that, so I didnt know how I was going to feel in the race. Usually when it is high my legs are dead, when it is all over the place I just feel tired. I got there a bit later than I wanted and was trying to squeeze in as much warm up time on the course as I could, but it seemed like people lined up way earlier than usual. So I got over to the start and was the at back, not where you want to be. So the whistle blows and as we get up the hill I got stuck in traffic, and had work my way up and around a bunch of guys. I saw a big pack forming so I worked my way up to them and sat on for a bit. Seems like I went off the front once it spread out some, and I found myself riding with a couple of guys for a few laps. I couldnt shake them and we stayed together pretty much the whole race. On the last lap on the finish stretch I decided it was time to go. I probably should of done it on the second to last lap, but I am still trying to figure out how much I have in the tank in a race. I didnt want to go too soon and blow up, but with all the hours I have been putting in I am in much better shape than a few years ago. So I stayed away and finished about 12 seconds behind 5th. I feel that if I would of got a better start I would of had a top 5 finish. Oh well, it takes a while for the body to come around and it does for the mind also, but every race I am getting my race smarts back. :)

Next up is lower huron, possibly my favorite in the whole series.

Monday, September 28, 2009

GP of Ithaca

First off let me say thanks to JB for putting on another great race. This was my third year doing the race, kind of, stupid knee last year. If you havent done this race you need to do it next year. The course is always challenging with one of more technical routes taking advantage of all the terrain in the park. Luckily the sandpit was off limits this year so that wasnt part of the course. I dont think anyone complained about that. :)
This year TSB was a sponsor of the race. It has been really cool seeing cross grow, but especially on our team over the last few years leading up to us sponsoring such a great event. I am hoping that we can help out again next year.

A few of us made it over on saturday to help set up the course and get a few pointers at the same time. I have never set up a cross course before, and have a new respect for how much work it takes. Setting up the course is just a small part of putting something like this on, I cant imagine how much work Brian & Kristi put into making it all happen over the course of a year.

So after how bad I did at the double cross last weekend I decided that I wasnt quite ready for the B`s just yet so this week I raced the C class. This year I think there were 24 guys lined up at the start which was cool to see the turn out grow over the last few years. I was feeling pretty good, and it seems like my cold is mostly gone now. We rode a few a laps on saturday and I got a good warm up in on the course. My legs were feeling a bit sore, but not bad. So I got to line in the front row, and debated trying to get the prime. I thought better of it, figuring that if I tried I would be cooked on the first lap. So the whistle blows and we are off up the hill. I look around and I am sitting pretty much even with a couple of guys for the lead and the prime. I gave a few more strong cranks, but decided it wasnt worth it and a couple of other guys were already starting to open a bit of a gap. Most of the race was a blur of suffering and pain, but it seemed I was second going into the grass. From there I lost a spot and dropped back to thrid and then fourth. There were a lot of crashes around me but I was able to get around a couple of them, but they never really happened in a spot where I could open up much of a gap. I rode in fourth place most of the race. I could catch the guy in front of me but at times but he able to gap me in certain parts of the course where he was a bit stronger than me, then I would catch him in the areas that I was better. That was pretty much it for the entire race. The last lap a guy got my fourth place and slight bobble cost me the chance to sprint with him to the line.
I am really happy with the results even though I know I could of done better, but that is racing there always places where you could of done better that you think about after the race.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waterford Hills CX

Well a less than spectacular weekend of racing for me. Someone at work had a saying that seems to fit pretty well.

I was so far back I thought I was in first.

How true that was. Hopefully I have better results as the season rolls on.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Watching the news and wondering what is up with people. The lyrics from one of my favorite bands, The Dropkick Murphys come to mind.

"Something's gone wrong with the world today
What's the matter with the human race
Everybody's fighting for more power and money
Braveheart's a racist
The paperboy's a junkie

And what's with the role models for all our boys and girls
Anorexic skinny monsters who seem to rule the world
The ball players you loved as a kid are gone
They've been replaced by steroid fed Neanderthals
(Replaced by Neanderthals)

Shattered, shattered, when people aren't always what they seem"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember it just like yesterday

I still remember exactly what I was doing that sad day. I remember being at work trying to find a radio to figure out what was going on because all the internet sites were overloaded. It was one of those days that you never forget, like when the shuttle exploded.
Please take a moment to pray for all of those who lost loved ones that day. Also, if you happen to see a soldier or a Vet. say thank you for everything they have done to make our country a safer place.
Never forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Being sick sucks. How much snot can there really be in your head? A lot more than you think possible apparently.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stony Creek XC

Well this was my second training race today. Overall I suck, but that is ok. I think my fitness is back to pre-injury levels so at least that is one good thing.
I felt good on the first lap, but the second I could tell something was going on with my blood sugar. I stopped and checked it, and it was 309. When I stopped everyone passed me or left me that I was racing with. I suffered through the rest of the lap which was about 5 minutes slower than my first. The last lap I started to feel better about 1/2 way through it, but by then it was too late.
It was good getting the body back being used to the racing and how much it hurts. I was just happy to be out there, last year at this time I didnt think I would race or even ride my bike again.

Next up the season starts for real at waterford hills!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cross Rumors

Heard some interesting rumors today. Well maybe they arent rumors and are the truth?

The flyover is almost done. It is big, but you got about a 12 foot platform to get on the bike. The steps are big and it is going to hurt. Sounds like it will be at the clinic on the 12th and could make an appearance at springfield oaks, depending on the weather.

(I ripped this off from lil ponies blog)

Vets park is going to have a costume race. Sounds like it will be in addition to the other races, and I have heard that they will be giving away a pretty expensive frame. Not sure the details of how I am going to go about wining it though.

Stay tuned for more info...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cross is in the air

It needs to warm up. This weather reminds me of cross season, and I am itching to get the racing started.

Vets Park

From Vets Park Day 2

From Vets Park Day 2

From Vets Park Day 2

From Vets Park Day 2

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Got the barriers out of the basement and set them up today.

Felt good, really good.

From KTR Day 2

From KTR Day 2

From KTR Day 2

From KTR Day 2

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shots from last season

I am going to post up some of shots from last season to help me from going into withdrawal from no cross racing since December.
From Stony CX 08 A`s & B`s

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stony TT

Yesterday was one of my favorite races of the year the stony TT. This was my first mtb race since Iceman 07. After the year I had last year, I am just happy to get out on my bike. Being able to race is just an added bonus. Last year I had this race marked as my comeback when I was going through PT. Well here it is a year later and I finally got to do it.
Going into the race I didnt really have any goals or big aspiriations. I was hoping to be close to an hour. I really didnt have much to base this on, but it seemed to be a reasonable time. I cooked myself on the grass at the start, and it took me awhile to get back under control. I forgot how much it hurts, and the voice in my head telling me stop that I havent heard in a year was back. But I pushed on and settled into a pace. Nothing to interesting happened in the race, I ride stony so much there were no surprises. The trail was great, other than a bit of mud at the river crossings. I ran those, and was reminded that cross season isnt far away, and my running sucks. I rode across the line in 1:04 something. Last time I did this race was in 07. My time was 58 minutes, but the course was shorter. I am happy with 1:04 for my first race, now I know where I stand and can plan from there. Not sure what my next mtb race will be. Maybe I wont do another this season, hard to say.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seven Months with the Seven

Well I think it has been seven months now since I got the IMX. I figured this would be a good time to write a long term review on the bike.
Here is the build:
Custom Seven IMX
Fox F29 fork
I9 Wheels (Arch rims)
Hope floating rotors 160mm
Salsa skewers
King headset
XTR Cranks
XTR dual control shifters
XTR front/rear der.
XTR pedals
XT calipers
XTR Cables
Ritchey WCS 4 axis stem
FSA K-Force light flat bars
Ergon grips
Kent Erikson Sweet post
Specialized Alias saddle
Kenda Karma 2.1

The ride quality of the bike is really close to a full suspension bike. I have been quite impressed with how comfortable the frame really is. I am not sure if it is the bigger tires, the ride quality of the frame or more than likely the combination of many little things, but it really has a great feel to it. I have been able to push much faster through the turns than I could any of my other bikes. It seems as hard as I push it the bike still has more to offer. The stability of the bike is really good also, I still cant track stand it, but climbing off camber parts of the trail and low speed maneuvering is very balanced. I dont know how to describe the feel of the frame other than suspension like. It is not as jarring as my steel frame 29er, and it feels like it skims over the rough stuff at times.
The I9 wheels are strong, roll fast and are light. I had one spoke come loose so far, but otherwise I have not had to touch them. They arent making as loud of a clicking sound as some of my friends wheels that have them for some reason. Maybe they are all a bit different?
The hope rotors have been a pain. I can not eliminate the rubbing from them. The front I had to take off and put a avid rotor on the bike.
I am really liking the Sweetpost. It looks great on the bike, and I think it contributes to the overall ride quality. I had it slip on me twice after I first put it on. I have tightened it down now and no problems.
The Karmas are really good tires for the trails I ride. They just seem to grip and then grip some more. I am debating trying a SB8/Karma setup, but right now I am happy with the karmas.

I really love the bike. Everytime I look at it I just think to myself, that is such a hot bike! :) I have no regrets, it is better than I could ever of hoped for. I really dont see myself getting another mountain bike for a long time.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Riding SS

Took the new SS out for a spin today at stony. I had a 2 hour ride planned, but I forgot how hard riding the SS is. This was the first ride since before I hurt my leg a year and half ago. After a couple of miles my leg started to hurt like it did before. I decided once I got done with the pines I would try moving the seat and see if it helps, if not I would just ride out and go home and get my other bike. I moved the seat forward probably about 3/4" and no more pain. I bumped into masher mike while I was working on the bike so we headed back into the pines and no pain. Hit the roller coaster next and the leg felt fine, but I also felt like I was going to puke. Like I said it has been a long time since I rode a SS on the trails. So we cut out and I took an easy spin around the lake.
I need to change the tires out the ignitors are just way too slow. On my old surly that was way too small for me I would usually have quite a bit of back pain after a ride. All was good today though. The bike felt good, maybe a little rougher riding than the seven, but it felt good. After I put some more miles in on it I will post up a review.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The complete Q

Got the bike all put together. I havent had a chance to ride it yet, but hopefully today or tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 Tour de Cure

First let me start with saying thanks to everyone that donated this year. Also I want to say thanks my friends Jason & Jackie, Mary, that did the ride and raised a bunch of money. Most importantly my wife she organized the team again this year and raised a good chunk of money herself.
The day started out rushed as these things usually do, but they were late getting it going, which is usually the case with big events like this. It worked out good this year since everyone was running late, except us. ;) This is year is the first year I did the ride, and even got a red rider jersey.
The course left island lake and rode the path over to kennsington. From there we followed the road around the lake and then back out the main entrance and back into island lake on the paved path. It was a little bit over 25 miles which we all finished and everyone had a good time doing the ride, even if some of the hills were walked.
If you havent ever done of these it is a cool atmosphere, and a lot of fun that I suggest doing at least once.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The 29er Project

Well that sucks. You forget how good the hockey is in the playoffs, then when they lose in a game 7, well it sucks. Maybe next year it will be wings and leafs. Oh well. At least I have something new to cheer me up.
I got hooked on the 29er with my seven. Before I got the seven, I started talking to Scott Q to build me up with a 29er SS. I wanted to wait until I had a few rides and like the geometry on the new bike. My surly 1x1 was way too small and after riding a custom bike that fits so well, riding something that wasnt the right size wasnt really an option any more. So here we are today, and I got a big brown box from fedex. Most of the parts are carry over from my 1x1 but I did get a couple of new parts. Hopefully I can get it built up here in the next few days and take it out for a spin.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coming together

Just got a couple of pictures of the new single speed so I figured I would share.

After riding the new 29er I was hooked and sold my Surly frame. I got in touch with Scott Quiring for a replacement based on the Seven`s geometry. This bike is steel with sliding dropouts, and is going to have a pretty cool paint scheme. I am carrying over all my parts from the surly, except for the fork. I am putting on a reba 29er, but also want to run a rigid carbon.

Hopefully it will be done in the next few weeks and I get it built up and out on the trails.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cutting in new trail

MMBA Metro North had a trail day at stony today. Not sure how many people showed up but I would say 15-20. The first project was improve a berm at one of the downhill sections of the second new re-route that was put in over the winter. We also installed a draining pipe under the trail that will hopefully keep it nice and dry. Then we cut in a new section of trail in the re-route, so the re-route has a re-route. But I digress. This little section of trail has some bench cutting and a tough little climb, but we picked up 2 more rock gardens. There is another trail day planned for tomorrow, and the plan is to tackle another new section of trail. This new section is going to be big! We started to rake it in today, but 10 hot-n-ready pizzas were waiting for us, so that was all we did for the day.
I actually went home and got my bike and rode the new section. It is pretty cool, and the berm works really well. Stony is one of those places that gets so much traffic that new section will be packed down and in really good shape in no time at all.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Back from the south

Last week my wife, a couple friends (Jason and Jackie) and myself headed down to the Smoky mountains for a much needed vacation. We stayed the week just outside of Gatlinburg, Tn. This was the first time that I have been there since probably the late 90`s. I was amazed at how much the area has grown, not for the better really either. Do we really need more than 1 wax museum on the same street? How about 2 baskin robbins? Avoiding the town area was one of my main goals for the week.

The park is just beautiful, even with all the dying trees from all the non-native things that are killing them. The first day there we had lunch in town and decided to hit the roaring fork motor loop. It was a 5 mile, one way loop just a couple miles out of town. Wow what a difference you wouldnt even know Gatlinburg was there once you got on the loop. It would be a great ride also, so long as you mind dodging all the parked cars along the road at all the trail heads.
We bumped into this guy on the drive as well.

We went over to the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C. one day as well. The house is like a castle, and the gardens were very impressive. It really is kind of sickening to think that someone can have so much money to spend on a summer home. Their is a bridge in the move last of the mohicans that is located on the property and my wife has always loved that scene in the movie so that was the motivation for seeing the house. I am happy we went, it really was something to see.

Asheville is a really cool city. We stopped in at liberty cycles bike shop. You walk in the and there is a serotta a moots and another serotta all within 20 feet of each other, not to mention the seven`s hanging on the wall and all the rest of the cool bikes.

Ramsay Cascades was the first hike that we did. It said moderate in the guide book. I am not sure who wrote the guide book, but it was anything but moderate. The trail was a 4 mile uphill slog to the waterfall. as you can see from the elevation profile.

It is the tallest falls in the park that you can hike to, and would of been really cool if we were there a couple of weeks later when all the rhododendrons are in the bloom. The trail is lined with them.

On monday night we thought that we were going to be evacuated due to a forest fire about a mile away. We decided to get all the stuff packed up and ready to go just in case we had to leave in a hurry in the middle of the night. We could see a orange glow from our condo, and countless fire trucks went past. But luckily they got it under control, and only about 60 acres burned we heard on the news.

We had planned to ride Tsali, but that didnt work out. We had planned to go on wednesday, but my stupid leg injury was acting up, probably due to all the hiking that we had done. So we figured we would head over first thing friday morning. As we were sitting having breakfast it started to rain, and rain. So we went to ihop instead and had breakfast. It was a let down, but I guess that was only thing didnt work out, so not too bad.