Sunday, November 30, 2008

perfect dirt today at Heil

I was fortunate enough today to get about an hour in at Heil Ranch. There was cold frozen snow in the shaded areas.

and perfectly moist and tacky dirt in the non shaded areas.

I was happy that the dirt gods were smiling today, despite the overcast skies and cold temps. It made the ride entirely worthwhile even if it was short. Quality over quantity, right? I turned around at the silo and boogied back home. I wore one of the biggest Picture Rock smiles I've had yet, too :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Congrats to Sam on his not 1 but 3 State Champ jerseys from the Mountain States Cup. Woohoo, great job, Sam.

Today was Thanksgiving. I was happy that I was able to get out this morning. Even the ride to the trail is good - I was thankful for the connector trail. It was chilly and overcast today so I was hoping to see very few people. It was busy today, though.
This is one of my favorite parts of Picture Rock. The bench cut is artwork. I am thankful for bench cuts.

And there was some relatively elaborate rockwork done. I am thankful for the rocks.

And some smoove, swoopy sections. I am thankful for smoove, swoopy trails.

I rode today. I gave thanks. Thanks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brr, it's actually getting more seasonable

Rockin and I made it out for a post shop closing ride today. Shop close at 3 means that any long ride will be half day/half night. That's ok, just an excuse to use my Niterider lights, which is always good.

It was dry. Really dry. The dirt is really crumbly and following another rider means choking on lots of dust. We went in search of moisture but didn't make it all the way. Not one puddle was to be found, let alone 2. Maybe another ride. Sure was good to be able to still get up into the forest at those elevations in late November. My fingers and toesies were sure chilly when we were done. In fact, my fingers and toes still have the chill in them despite the fact that our ride was done hours ago. It's getting cold, too. We started our ride with waning daylight and 39 degrees. By the time we made it back to the car, temps had fallen to 28. Yeah, good stuff.

Tuesday ride? 6pm at the bike shop. We've got a couple things up our sleeves. Bring enough lights to get you a few hours, this could be a good one. Be ready for some steep steeps and cold temps, too. Maybe they'll serve us turkey at Oskars afterwards. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2009 Rock Shox Reba with Maxle

Just got in our first '09 Rock Shox Reba. This one is the Team Dual Air with Pop Loc and the 20mm thru axle Maxle Lite. I think this should rectify most of the issues with the Reba of old, namely front end stiffness. Internally adjustable travel can be set at either 100mm or 120mm. Can't wait to get out on one to check it out!

Here's a close up of the Maxle light. Good stuff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday Ride Recap

I'm still grinning from tonights Tuesday Night Ride. With the unseasonably super warms temps, we decided to ride high and hope for more warm. We asked. We received. How about nice and comfortable at Peaceful Valley in November? Yep. We hit as much technical singletrack as possible tonight, including Buchannan Pass and Sourdough. Good stuff. There was snow way up on Buchannan Pass, so I think we'll be retiring that one for the year :)

For those that stuck around the Oskar Blues Tuesday night bluegrass jam was off the ho0k, too. That was good pickin!

Monday, November 17, 2008

mother of god I found me a gnarly trail

If you've been following this blog, or if you've ridden with any of the Redstone crew, you'd know that I like difficult trails. I'm not talking about the double black diamond wooden structure "freeride" stuff you find at the resorts, I'm talking about anything you'd normally find in the USFS backcountry. Heck, no problem if you can't ride them - no shame in hiking up or down. Tough trails are generally more fun. I generally don't discriminate against steep trails. Steep trails are fun.
With that knowledge, I went to one of my semi regular riding spots to check out some new riding I've been hearing about. I didn't know what I'd find, but I knew that on the map, those contour lines were pretty darn close to each other on the descent as well as the climb out. To add to that, they were past the "top" and down the other side. It could (and probably would) mean a long hike out with no other bailout options.

Climbing up, I pretty much always stop for this view.

Finally at the top, I see that a trail/road that's been around a while has been recently signed. Good. This would be my way out. I had the feeling that I was descending into a hole and climbing back out.

After some more climbing, I found my turn off. It was marked well. Very well.

The views were amazing from the get go. I lowered my saddle and was off. The pic doesn't do it justice, but it was, in places, frighteningly steep.

With more than a few precipitous sections. Super slack angled dh bikes rejoice.

Other parts of the descent were narrow and fun.

Even found grippy dirt in a couple of spots. Unfortunately, the sweet spots were very shortly lived. Too shortly lived. After the fun and swoop, another churned up super ass steep switchback awaited.

As it turns out, I did have to hike out. Pretty much 95% was a hike. About 900' vertical. Here's a shot looking back at the switchback I just climbed out of. One section was so steep hiking out that I had to use my knee for traction up. sheesh.

I finally made it out and back tot he top just as it was time to click on my light. Whew. I don't think I wanted to go poking around exploration style on a badass hike a bike in the dark.
Night riding is good, isn't it?
Just to give perspective, here's the Google Earth shot of that crazy descent. Did I mention that it was also on the top/side of a cliff. Yep, pretty steep. I ended up walking a whole bunch of it. It was super hard, super steep, and I value my life.

It's the type of trail that I normally would still ride if it was worth getting to the bottom of, but it just wasn't. Get to the bottom turn around and hike 900' back out. No thanks. Now here's the part that really gets me.

The Forest Service gets their panties in a bunch if they find an illegal/social trail, despite how well made the trail is. They could come across a beautifully built chunk of singletrack and immediately want to close it strictly because it wasn't their idea. I understand due process and all and I'm not disagree-ing. There is, however, a reason for that due process. It's so that the public can have input on the trail, hopefully insuring that it will be a well built trail that will see a lot of use. 836 and 837, on the other hand, are completely the opposite. We sat in on several USFS meetings regarding this particular area and we lobbied for the expansion of new and sustainable singletrack. After the public process was done, the USFS agreed to build 1 new trail in an area that didn't make sense. After all of that public process, we get these 2 new trails. A) they weren't on the original agenda (not that big of a deal) and B) they have to be the crappiest built trails I've been on in a long time. How about ripping a moto straight down and back up the fall line? Sure, hyuck, hyuck. I've got a throttle, make that shit steep. See the sign? The one that says if motos can't stay on the trail, it'll get closed? Guess what? It's so steep and piss poorly built, that it's only been around less than a year and it's already starting to get really braided in spots. It's not irresponsible users, it's that no mind was paid when it was laid out. I'll be surprised if it doesn't get closed to motos sooner than later. I'm all about sharing the trails, but we've got to use our brains here. Moto folk, that means you, too. At the very least, when it gets closed to motos, we can show Ed how to reroute the trail to make it sustainable and we can take it over then.

All in all, it wouldn't be a bad DH bike trail, but hiking out with a 29lb bikewas bad enough. I can only imagine how painful hiking out with a 40lb bike would be. I probably won't hit it again. Well, er, not the same direction anyway. I'm a slow learner, and as such, I'll have to ride it backwards to make sure it still sucks. I'm already thinking about that ride. And, no, I won't be featuring this one on a Tuesday nighter.

Tuesday nigher, hey, that's tomorrow! See everyone at 6...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

perimeter report

Man, it's been a while since I've been out in the forest. I think the week of BFR kinda did me in. (2) 7+ hour single rides in one week visiting all of the finest in the forest had me quite sated. Sated enough, in fact, that outside of Tuesday rides, I've been keeping 'er local. Not getting in the car to ride, as it were. Today was different. Out of the shop at 3pm, but not wanting to ride Hall Ranch again and not wanting to deal with crowds on Picture Rock, had me piloting my craft to the outer reaches of the five forty. Today's mission - perimeter patrol of the outer sectors as it might just be the last for the year.

It was good. I saw way more activity than I would've expected for deep forest exploration this time of year. By the way, what's up with all the skidmarks? I thought the backcountry was a place to get away from the Hall Ranch front range antics, no? Keep er under control fellas (and ladies). If you're skidding, you're not in control.
Rant off. At least the sunset was great. The fire in the sky was amazing.
November cloud formations were top notch.

And just like that, pffft! the light was gone. The trail was good. I turned on the light and made my way out alive.

I think I may have rectified my wiring connections issues as well. Anyone up for another round of night riding? Meetup Tues at the shop for Tuesday night ride and Oskar's open bluegrass pic.
Tomorrow is an exploration mission. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The 5 Year Plan

No, I'm not talking about socialism, nor am I talking about a DRI song. I'm talking Boulder County Open Space. Looks like the Capital Improvement Plan is about to go to POSAC (Parks Open Space Advisory Committee). Of particular interest on the Open Space CIP pdf is on the page listing trails and facilities capital improvements from 2009-2014 are items 28 and 29. Item 28 is recreational improvements to Steamboat Mt (contingent on more land acquisition)) and item 29 is the potential route over Dowe Flats that would connect the Town of Lyons to Rabbit Mountain Open Space. Yeehaw! We'll still be waiting forever, but at least these two things have finally made it onto the radar!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Intense Tracer VPs in the house!

I finally got in a large Intense Tracer VP to be my new ride/shop demo bike. I've been waiting for this one for a while. In fact, after being in the bike business for a while, I guess I've become a bit jaded. Well, not really jaded but perhaps a little numb. Thing is, there are a lot of super sweet bikes out there. I just haven't been this excited about a new bike in a loooong time. I've got this set up with a Fox 32 Float 140 RLC in the front and mostly XTR and Thomson bits. Weight as pictured with Intense CC2.25 tires is 28.6.
The craftsmanship is immaculate.

Lots of cool new ideas on this bike, too. Check that the back of the upper linkage has been slotted to make it easier to assemble.

Amazing welding on the head tube. That's one of the many reason I prefer the Intense works/raw finish. There's no way to hide these welds behind paint. Besides, with welds like that, you've got to show off.

New for this year throughout the entire Intense lineup is tapered bearings with grease ports for easy lubing. Say goodbye to frozen up bearings.
Super clean cable routing, too. Nothing shifts better than full housing.
And adjustable rear travel of 5.5" or 6".
Pretty cool bike. I've got about 3 rides on it so far and it has not dissapointed. I'll have more detailed ride impressions and a more thorough review later. Stay tuned!

Tell us you read about it on Redstone Underground and take 15% off a new Intense Tracer VP. If you're not local, call us and we can work out the details.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Comin out of retirement

Alrighty Dave, I'm comin out of retirement and will be riding tomorrow night. Since you said it was my pick, I guess I'll sign my out of shape ass up for Miller Rock starting in Raymond. I figure the last time we rode there at night, I only got a Type II shoulder seperation. I'm confident I can get that up to at least a Type III or IV.

however, I will ride where ever the consensus is.


Monday, November 03, 2008

tuesday ride, 11/4

6pm at the bike shop. How about heading to Jamestown? Bring warm/dry socks :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rocky Mountain Bicycle Show

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to make it out the first ever Rocky Mountain Bicycle Show. The organizers felt strongly enough that since we have so many fine bicycle craftsmen in the region that we should have our own show. I don't disagree. There are quite a few framebuilders in the area - some that have been practicing the art for years and a few that have picked it up recently. I've long been a fan of lugs, steel, and other handbuilt beauties and I wanted to see what our local bicycle artisans were up to. Proceeds from the $5 entry fee went towards the CU Cycling program.

Dean cycles brought out a few beauties. They had a couple of their standard fare ti mountain and road frames, but these two bikes really stood out. A singlespeed crosser, all pimped out with gold
And a very, very nice steel roadie with polished lugs and a chromed rear triangle. Just the way a classic road bike should be - lugged and chrome :)

I liked what Argonaut brought as well. His lugs were probably the nicest polished lugs out there. Good thing because polishing lugs is a $250 upcharge per lug.

Yipsan, a framebuilder that I'd not previously heard of had a few bikes there, too. Yipsan is from just up the road in Ft Collins. Here's a really nice 650b crosser/all arounder.

Civilian Cycles had some niceties as well.

This was probably one of my favorite bikes of the show. Would've been sweeter with disc brakes, though...

Moots brought out their $8000 commuter. Internally geared Rohloff rear hub and a front wheel mounted generator were some highlights from this around towner.

One of my favorite builders at the show turned out to be Victoria Cycles from Salida. There big on 29ers down there - David Hill of Victoria had an interesting take on the 29er mtb.

My daughters thought he had the best headbadge of any exhibitor.

I really liked his lugwork detail.

Absolutely beautiful road bike.

Groundupcycles had a pretty nice 29er. Their frames were a bit on the unrefined side, though.

Another of my favorites - Black Sheep. James really does it up. His bikes have really come a long way in the last few years. How about this monster 36" wheeled bike. I wonder what it wouldn't pedal over. I really like the chainguard, too.

And a really far out racer bike. Sweet!

I've got to say that I was most dissapointed with Tiemeyer Cycles from Estes Park. I have heard a lot of really good things about him and was looking forward to meeting him. Unfortunately, Tiemeyer, a fellow Schwinn employee of old, came across as a washed up, expert on everything, out of shape roadie. He was aloof and acted like he was too cool for school. I asked him how the show was going late on Sat. His response was, "Well, not very good. I haven't gotten anyone to give me their credit card number yet." Hmm, okay. All in all, though, it was a good show. Saw some cool bikes and met some cool folks. The show runs thru 7pm today, Sunday. If you're a real bike fan and you get a chance to get down to the CU campus in Boulder, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Special on a Turner 5 Spot blem

I've got a red medium 5 Spot with a very minor paint chip behind the head tube on top by the top tube. It also has a miniscule ding in one of the forgings. Both issues are strictly cosmetic. Since it's a blem and a closeout, it's yours for $1150 :)