Friday, October 30, 2009

USFS Open House for Motorized Use next Wed

OK, listen up here. The Boulder Ranger District of Roosevelt National Forest is holding a Motor Vehicle Use Management Open House next Wed at the BRD head office on 28th and Yarmouth. The open house will run from 3-7pm.

There will be no decision making or policy deciding at this meeting. What this meeting seeks to achieve and why you should go:

This meeting will be a factual/technical open house featuring the off road opportunities around Jamestown and Left Hand Canyon. They will be presenting a map of all off road/OHV opportunities both legit and social. The open house is strictly for verification purposes only, ie is this road or trail really there? From that point, USFS will use this base map for future management. Bottom line is that we should be in tune with what's going on up there.

I'll keep you posted as I know more. Go to Open House and get a map. We'll go from there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 GT blowouts

We just got an overstock list from GT and thought we'd post a few up here. If anyone is interested, these are 2009 closeouts and turnaround time is about 1 week...

Chucker 1.0 Matte Blk/Matte Gold...$611
Chucker 2.0 Matte Blk/Matte Grn...$525
Chucker 3.0 Matte Blk/Matte Tan ...$435
Force 1.0 S, M, L Matte Black...$2,038
Force 2.0 M, L Gloss Pearl White...$1,563
Force 3.0 XS, S, M, L, XL Jet Silver....$1,090
Force Carbon Expert S, M, L, XL Sil/Carbon...$3,150
Force Carbon Pro M,L Blue/Carbon...$4,450
Marathon Carbon Expert XS, S, M, L, XL Black Red...$2,395
Marathon Carbon Pro S, M, L Black Yellow...$3,215
Marathon Carbon Team S, M, L Team White...$4,490
Marathon Elite S, M, L, XL Pearl Black...$1,450
Marathon Sport XS, S, M, L, XL Matte Silver...$965
Marathon 9r M, L, XL DkBlue...$1,625
Peace 9r S, M, L Matte Green...$550
Peace 9r S, M, L Blue Tri Tone...$550
Peace 9r Multi S, M, L Matte Tan...$650
Peace 9r Multi S, M, L Red/Yel/Grn...$650
Sanction 1.0 M, L Matte Silver...$2,990
Sanction 2.0 S, M, L, XL Matte Purple...$2,000
Zaskar Carbon Expert XS, S, M, L, XL Black Red...$1,875
Zaskar Carbon Pro S, L, XL Black Yellow...$2,620
Zaskar Carbon Team M, L Team White...$4,040
W Zaskar Expert XS, S, M Gloss Black...$1,385
Zaskar Expert XS, S, M, L, XL Gloss White...$1,385

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lion Gulch on a dark snowy night.

We've had a lot of good Tuesday Niters this year and it's sad to see the prime riding season drawing to a close. Clinging to the thought that it's not near over yet, our crew hit South St Vrain last week. We left the shop with no precip, but by the time we were 4 miles out of town, the fog was so thick we had to use the wipers. It was snowing pretty good at SSV. We normally do it as a loop - up the road, S on Sourdough, then down SSV. Anticipating a wet slog on a dirt road and not looking forward to it, we opted to ride South St Vrain as an out and back. Despite the fresh snow and moisture it ended up being a great ride. Great enough that it would be difficult to top...

We made plans that night at Oskar's to hit Lion Gulch the following week. Lion Gulch is tough enough during the day and we had yet to hit it as a night ride. The date was set. Enter yesterday. The forecast called for big, big snow but we held firm on our plans. Estes web cams showed good skies, etc. As the 5:30 meetup time drew near, though, the rain started coming down pretty good. Not ones to back down to a challenge, we gathered the troops for a wet conditions ride.

Fortunately, we got started off on the good foot. Eric, the Lyons brewer at Oskars, dropped off a fresh uncarbed growler of double dry hopped Gordon's.

It was just the ticket.

Since it was raining in Lyons, we decided to keep driving west up 36 until the rain turned to snow. Fortunately, that was just below Lion Gulch. There were a few wet inches at the trailhead already and the wet snow was coming down hard.

It was more rideable than we presumed. At first anyway.

Some of the rocks were not covered in snow and there was good enough traction under the snowpack. The creek crossings were all rideable.

I love night riding in the snow. You don't need as much light power as the snow amplifies the brightness. After the big staircase, it took a lot of pushing to get up towards the meadows area but it was worth it. Snowy bikes are heavy and hard to push up steep fields of snow covered baby heads.

Those of you that have ridden Lion Gulch may understand our apprehension at turning around and going back down. The snow in the gulch was getting to be 6+ inches and you absolutely could not discern the rocks underneath. Turned out to be a good thing I guess. We all dropped our saddles and played pinball on the wet rocks on the way down. There were a few spills but no major carnage. Some of the big rock sections were *almost* doable. Dirtydoug makes the slickness look easy.

I think the drive back down 36 was more sketchy than the ride.

I also think we'll not be riding trails for the near foreseeable future. Hope everyone got their riding fix in!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Transition TR450 downhill bike

Transition just today released pricing and a timeframe on their eagerly anticipated TR450 downhill machine. Preorders are being accepted now for a mid to late December time frame. MSRP on the frame with a Fox RC4 shock is $2399. Colors options are classic white/black as show above,

racing stripe red,

or racing stripe yellow.

Transitions own words on their new TR450 downhiller...

"The TR450 is our dedicated downhill racing machine. Heavily researched and selected with direct input from pro rider Lars Sternberg, this is an aggressive geo built for speed and stability. With a careful ratio between chainstay length and head angle, the frame has a neutral feel in corners with good rider weight balance between the front and rear wheels. The TR450 gets 8.25” of travel from a 9.5” x 3” shock placed low in the front triangle. The linkage was tuned to provide a gradual change from beginning to ending leverage rate. The suspension ramps up very evenly through the travel to give the bike a supple top stroke and good bottom out control without excessive sag or mid stroke wallow. This result is a consistent progressive suspension feel that is predictable and yields a high amount of tunability.

There are large cartridge bearings at all pivot locations, with an absolute monster of a bearing used at the main pivot for durability and frame stiffness. All bearings are pressed directly against post welding machined bearing seats inside the linkages, eliminating misalignment that can occur when bearings placed at outer edges are “pinched” together. The overall suspension design was selected to keep the shock low in the frame, while still protecting the rear shock from tire roost. The pivot points have been laid out to triangulate loads and keep the rear end stiff, which helps keep the bearings turning smoothly, and your wheels tracking straight.

Custom tube shapes were developed and the downtube has a tooled reinforcement rather than a traditional weld on gusset. This thicker section reinforces the underside of the downtube/headtube junction without the stress riser created at the edge of a weld on gusset. The front triangle features double welding, which creates a thick but smooth weld and yeilds a significant increase in strength for high stress areas. The TR450 has a tapered headtube with an integrated Cane Creek size top bearing and standard 1.5” bottom intended to run a zero stack cup. The shape of the headtube better matches the toptube and downtube size and shape, and leaves plenty of clearance for fork crowns. The short headtube length gives riders lots of room for handlebar height adjustment and an aggressive low stance.

Mud shedding was a key concern in the design of the frame. Excessive pockets were avoided and many parts, like the dropouts and rear triangle yokes, are hollowed from the inside and smooth on the outside so mud won’t collect in hard to reach places. The smooth aesthetic carries over into the lines of the frame. When viewed from the side, the linkage stays hidden from view right up to the sag point. This is a clean frame, any way you look at it. In the End, the TR450 was designed to be a bike that could be ridden hard and put away wet while being a dependable top level race bike you can trust race after race."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

beautiful day for a bike ride

Today's ride was fantastic. Conditions were a little greasy here and there going up Antelope but the views were outta sight.

Up top, between the rock garden and Antelope, things were a little too muddy(I walked) but going down the rock garden was fantastic as always. I got a bit sloppy from the standing water but impact on resource was minimal.

A brief spin down the road and I found myself at Heil Ranch. Conditions were stellar. I couldn't believe how velcro like grippy the tacky dirt was on Picture Rock. Mmmm, Picture Rock. Anyone else notice the new mileage markers at Hall and Heil?

I rode up to the quarry and back. Bout time I got to the quarry, the skies had really clouded back over and started dumping snow. Excellent.

View from the pic-a-nic table on the way up

Same view on the way down.

By the return trip, it was really dumping. I was glad to have some waterproof gear on for the return trip.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's new stuff Friday

Got a few new things in today that I'm pretty excited about. First off, we finally got our first assortment of North Face goodies in today. Going relatively conservative, we pulled in a couple of mens and women's winter tops. Mens and womens Velocitee LS 1/4 zip tops make great all arounders or baseylaers and the mens and womens Borealis 1/4 zip fleeces are perfect for a cool day outside or a homey evening chilling out. Come check them out.

Being the map nerd that I am, I was especially stoked when Farid from Singletrack Maps came by later in the day with his brand spankin' new maps of the Colorado Trail/Buffalo Creek/Indian Creek area. It's evident that these babies were put together with lots of love. Pick one up for your next journey SW of Denver.

Intense Tracer VP sale

Special order Intense Tracer VPs on sale with full XT build kit and Fox Talas 150 forks - get yours now for $3975! That includes CRC blue or black chrome colors, too :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

What are you hungry for?

I like Mondays. Get my office work done on time and I can sneak a bike ride in before soccer practice. I had a decent window today so I was able to sneak out of town. Most of my Monday rides lately have been Lyons/no car based, so it felt extra good to get out today.

I love the forest. I keep my eyes peeled for things out of the ordinary. Today, I saw no critters, but I saw a lot of evidence. The cycle of nature.

First thing I noticed was bits of honeycomb all over the ground. Honeycomb's great, yeah, yeah, yeah.

The bees were confused and didn't know what was going on. Fresh claw marks on trees and dug up ground indicates that Mr. Bear was hungry for some honey. Maybe it was Pooh.

Next, I came across this freshly gnawed bone. And I mean gnawed. There was absolutely nothing left. It had to have been picked clean by anything that likes fresh flesh off the bone and finished up by our 6 legged exoskeletal friends. And later on, I found this. Evidence of mountain biker.

Yep, I love the forest. Chock full of good stuff, it is.

Tuesday Ride 10/20

Hopefully the weather will not be too wet :) Bike shop at 5:30. Bring your best lights with full charge. If the weather gods don't frown too much, we'll tackle SSV for one last time this year. We'll come up with a plan B in the meantime otherwise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

bikes update

Originally, the Intense Tracer VP was released with just 4 colors: raw/works, white, red, and stealth black. Intense produced a couple of super sweet limited edition colors for complete bikes -crc blue and black chrome. Due to popular demand, both of those colors are now legit color options!

In Transition news, Bottle Rockets are now 20% off for the holidays. If you're hankering for a burly slopestyle bike, the time is now :)


Saw this on our night ride at Left Hand OHV on Tuesday. I was witness to the carnage 1 week ago Monday. New truck, gotta go off roading, right? The guy swung way wide right to make a tigh left hander and started sliding downhill in the soft sandy soil. Good thing a tree was there to stop him from rolling his rig but now it's stuck real good like? Looks like a job for the BSF recovery team.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tues Nite Ride 530p

Keep your fingers crossed that the sun stays out for a bit. We're going to Left Hand OHV. Expect soft conditions and probably a little mud. I'm not washing my bike yet...

attention Boulder City peeps!

Bike Access to Your Mountain Backdrop
Depends on YOU!

Ever dreamed of riding from your front door instead of driving to a trailhead? The chance for change is now as the city begins the planning process for our Boulder mountain backdrop. Bikes have been banned here for 25 years, so getting reasonable and responsible access to that land for mountain cyclists will not be an easy fight. There is something you can do right now. When you receive your mail ballot, vote for the BMA slate of city council candidates. Do not wait until later - VOTE NOW!!! The mailed ballots are sent out October 13-16. If you voted in the 2008 presidential elections, you'll get a ballot. If you don't get one, call the county at 303-413-7740 and they'll send one out.

This city council will decide if bikes have any rights to the public open space land west of Broadway.

Vote Suzy Ageton, KC Becker, Macon Cowles, George Karakehian, and Barry Siff.

Thought you were done? Nope. We need you to do one more thing. Forward this email to anyone that you know who cares about mountain biking in Boulder. Get your friends to vote too!

The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance endorsed candidates we felt would give mountain bike access a fair shake. Help us help them get elected. VOTE NOW!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Desert Dessert, Day 2

Day 2 in the desert came with little fanfare. Must have been due to my aching body, my aching head, or... Well, I should've taken pics of all the beer cans scattered around the campground but I wasn't moving quickly enough to snap a photo. You get the idea. Bagel egg sammiches, lots of Gatorade and the prospect of a fantastic day of riding got me back around to my normal self soon enough, though. Needless to say, with others suffering from a condition similar to my own, we didn't get started to gung ho. No one felt like packing up the all the gear and getting into the truck, so we opted for another day riding at Rabbit Valley. That's part of the beauty of this area. Not only is the place extremely remote, but there is a ton of riding to be done. Our goal was to cover enough ground on Sunday to have ridden 95% of all of the riding to be done from Rabbit Valley (that we know of). I think we achieved our goal over the course of 2 days.

We rolled out of camp back towards the highway and the start of the Mountain States Cup Fruita time trial race. Like our night ride on Friday, we headed up trail 4. Trail 4 starts out tame enough, but just keeps climbing and climbing relentlessly. It's funny how the desert jacks with your head. The climb was only 400' or so but it felt like forever. Steep stuff those desert climbs.

We were heading to an unnamed bench just east of Wild Horse Mesa overlooking the Ruby Canyon area of the Colorado River. The trail is innocently enough called Rim Trail, #8. You can see the trail from a ways off and see it rising up and down near a pink and orange cliffband. What you can't see, though, is the beach sand. I knew it was there and have ridden the loop enough to know the "correct direction." Correct or not, some parts of it still kinda suck. Other parts are other worldly.

And there are plenty of super fun swoopy sections.

Almost all of the swoopy sections end up with a sandy climb. Almost all of them.
Until you get to this point. Here, the rim trail overlooks Ruby Canyon, which the CO River flows thru. You can see Mee Canyon on the other side. From here until the end of the Rim Trail, it's nothing but non stop technical. Tough rock moves and unending ledges and drops. It's like a little bit of Moab, but it's in Colorado. The dirt is red and the rock moves are tough. I was extra stoked that I cleaned all the drops. Going down of course. I still had to hike up a few big drops, as the trail rolls in and out of little grottos, all technical.

Then, at the end of the Rim Trail, there is, of course, just a little bit more sand. Not much, though.
A brief and surprisingly do-able climb led us off the bench and back into Rabbit Valley proper. We reconnected with our Friday's night ride route that took us down and out on trail #3. It was narrow.
With good views of the desert in all of its barren glory.
Such a fun descent that had a little of everything.
And sadly, back at the campground too soon. We packed up quickly and said another good bye to the desert.
See you next Spring ;)

day one in the desert

We originally had the crew rallied to head out to the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo about 4 hours east into Nebraska but we didn't quite make it. As the date approached, the forecast got worse. We decided to play it by ear. If the forecast was tolerable, we'd head east. If the Ballyhoo forecast was not good, we'd head 4 hours in the other direction, to Fruita and the western Colorado desert. Well, last we checked, the forecast for NE was in the twenties and snow. We made the call to head west. Apparently, it was a good call, as the site for the Ballyhoo got around 12" of snow. Bad weather was also forecast for the homefront so it was a good weekend to get out.

We departed a little behind schedule (because that's how we do it) and after stopping for food and gas in Grand Junction we arrived at our destination a little after 9. Destination - Rabbit Valley. RV is the last exit in Colorado on I70 and home to some of the best backcountry desert riding around. After getting camp all set up, we decided to make it a 3 days of riding short weekend. Night Ride!

Just up for something short, Chad, Doug, and myself rode the time trial loop that is used in the Fruita Mountain States Cup race. Up 4, down 3 and back to camp. It hit the spot perfectly.

Our crew of 8 riders rolled out of camp at 10:15 on Saturday. That's another great thing about Rabbit Valley. Wake up and ride - no need to hop in the car. Excellent. We headed north of I70 to break thru the Zion Curtain and into Utah. Here's looking back at I70 and Rabbit Valley.

With not much time on a dirt road, we found ourselves on some excellent shared use singletrack, very similar to the riding you find at 18 road. Steep ups and even steeper downs.
With a ribbon of long flowy singletrack on the desert floor.
But, alas, we were mountain biking. There was hiking. This is shortly after we found a motorcyclist flipped onto his back and pinned between his moto and a rock. I think he was in a little over his head.
Chad had his first mechanical of the day. One of the impressive things about Man compared to other creatures is our ability to use complex tools.
After riding Zion Curtain, we had the option to bail south on Kokopelli or forge on ahead (on Kokopelli). Ahead meant a stiff climb up to the top of Westwater Mesa but we'd be rewarded with excellent singletrack on the mesa rim. The climb was, indeed, tough.
And the singletrack was excellent. It was getting late in the day at this point. I think we'd been out for about 4 hours. The wind picked up on top of the mesa, but skies were still beautifuly clear blue.
A lunch break was in order. Mmmmm, burrito.
More excellent rocky singletrack.
With some fun chutes, drops, and techy challenges
We dropped off Westwater Mesa finally and headed back to Rabbit Valley on Western Rim. The outer reaches of Western Rim are wide open and desert fast.
The further east you get, the riding becomes slower and more tech, with excellent views.

Western Rim ends at a junction with the Kokopelli Trail. It's steep and sandy and again we were "mountain biking."

Sand and long shadows late in the day. It was getting late. We'd been out for about 6 hours at this point.

Instead of taking the road back, we opted for the always excellent and super fast trail #2. It does have some hiking on it as well. This particular one is super fun as a descent.

Made it back to camp right at the 7 hour mark. Way to go fellas! That was a long tough ride.

Not a bad place to chill out after riding.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

touring and road tripping

Bob and Ilan stopped in on Tuesday. Just a couple guys out on a bike ride. A rather long bike ride, though. They left from New York a bit ago and are on their way to LA. They stopped byt the shop on Tues on their way up to Estes. So far, they'd heard that Trail Ridge Rd was open and were planning on hitting it first thing on Wed. Well, that didn't pan out. Trail Ridge was closed again on Wed. The 2 guys, Bob and Ilan, stopped in on Wed with new plans. Now, south thru New Mexico then on to LA. Good luck fellas!

From the looks of it at the shop here, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is probably going to be closed for the season.

The shop will be closed from 1-6 on Friday and closed on Sunday this weekend. Sorry for the interuption in Service, but we're heading for warmer temps. Original plans were for the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo, but temps in the 20s aren't quite as enticing for bike riding as temps in the 70s... We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday and yes, that includes the Tuesday Night Ride :)