Sunday, March 28, 2010

ingredients for a good ride

steel and lugs - check

wool - check

good place to ride - check

mustache - check

mustache - check

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Moab trip unlike the others

This turned out to be a Moab trip like no other. This time it was my wife that wanted to go. She's not a biker either, so it kinda sounded funny when she pitched it. "Want to go to Moab in late March?" Well, the standing answer to that question is pretty much always yes, so I agreed. Moab 1/2 Marathon. First day of Spring. Sounded great!

After a winter of preparation (for her) and lots of beer drinking (me) we were all set. Perfect timing, too, as strong March snowstorms were supposed to paralyze the Colorado front range right after our departure. We checked out the weather scenarios and decided to leave late on Thursday night. We'd get in super late but would be refreshed to wake up on Moab the next AM to have the entire day. It worked out well. We woke up Friday anxious to see friends from far reaches that were meeting us in Moab. The ladies will run and the boys will ride. That and the fact that we weren't camping were shaping this into a trip that defied previous molds.

Friday came and our buds showed up. We were able to squeeze in a ride late in the day, the last day of winter. Although Moab didn't get the big snow that the Denver area did, it was breezy and chilly, with bouts of snow in the morning. We bundled up and headed out. Not having a lot of daylight left, we opted to head north to the M-O-A-B trails between Arches and Sovereign. I had heard only that they were new and good. OK. Pablo, Matty and I parked and headed off down the dirt road.

We planned to hit Rockin A, Circle O and back on Bar M, missing Killer B. Well, we should've hit Killer B since it has real dirt singletrack. Bar M was tame jeep road. I was pretty unimpressed with the bumpy no flow "slickrock" of O and A.

Oh well, at least it was new to me trail.

Next day/ladies race day/dinosaur bone hunting with the kids day/ and another late day ride, our goal was to hit some Sovereign in the northern reaches. We'd climb up singletrack ala lollipop to a loop on top of a mesa. At least the weather had drastically improved. Long story short, the first bit of singletrack was good

but we missed a turn and ended up doing quite a bit of road riding. It wasn't a total bust, though, as we got to hang out and catch up on times long gone by. Not to mention that Pablo had a broken toe and serious thrashing wasn't doing it any favors.

We rallied and pulled it together, basically doing a humongo loop around the damn mesa we were trying to get on top of. We ended up on the highway a couple miles north of where we were sposed to be. Ever see the quad track next to the fence on the other side of the ditch from the highway? Well, now you know why it exists. After doing a little ditch riding, we were back to an acceptable location where we'd hit some singletrack. Just one more climb to the descent.

And then it was over with too quick. I'll definitely be back for this one, but next time I'll take that left turn at Albuquerque.

After the requisite post race/post ride partying, that "early morning start" on Sunday (our last day to ride) didn't really come too early. The pancakes were good though, and I'm not even a pancake guy. Since Pablo wasn't riding this day, Matty and I sweet talked him into "shuttling" us out of town. Or dropping us off, rather. The game plan was to depart from 191 south of town, Behind the Rocks to Back of the Behind then back into Moab via Pritchet Canyon and Kane Creek Rd.

Yeah buddy. It started out good and just got better. Just me and Matt. Matty and I make a good team and have quite the history of covering serious ground together. I remember the first time we rode together like it was yesterday and it was (damn) close to 17 years ago. Homey Chaybo and I met up with Matt (local fast racer at the time) and he proceded to stomp the crap out of us on 50 miles of dirt roads around Lincoln, NE. Good times, good times. Matt and I still maintain a competitive friendly relationship.

Our dropofff right off the highway 15 miles out of town.

As we started off on the ride, the weather was absolutely beautiful and the dirt was fantastic. Fridays snow squals still held onto a couple of spots tucked into the shadows.

For the first 1/3 or so of the ride, it roughly follows the 24 hour of Moab course which both of us have ridden several times. We detoured a couple of spots to keep it interesting, though. The scenery is otherworldly. From crazy water hewn drainages to humongous hillsides of rock, there was always something cool to look at.

Once we got off of the 24hr route and into foreign terrain, we definitely started to feel "out there." Really out there. We'd seen a couple of 4 wheelers all day, but that was it. Remote. Just what the doctor ordered. Backcountry and no people = a good day.

Then, all the sudden, way the hell out in the middle of nowhere, we ventured onto a couple of features knows as Roller Coaster

and White Knuckle Hill.

White Knuckle Hill is reputed to be one of, if not the most demanding jeep obstacle in the greater Moab area. I'm pretty sure it's rideable, but not by me. The biggest feature is a drop to flat that was about shoulder height on me. The rest of it was pretty cool. They even install bolts for jeeps that go rock climbing, just like people. Just hook your winch up and tractor out of there.Very shortly after White Knuckle Hill, we navigated Back of the Behind to the sand dune roads near Pritchet Arch. Pritchet arch was sweet, by the way. It is a gargantuan arch, one of the biggest I've seen.

I think a few places refer to it as a natural bridge even, instead of an arch. I dunno. I'm no expert but it was cool.

It's also important to note that right as we rolled by the arch, the rock smackings of the day decided that they had taken their toll on my rear der hanger. Luckily, we found a bikestand nearby.

Shade tree, bikestand, soft sand to sit on and it was lunchtime. One stop shop. Once we left lunch, we were officially on the last trail option of the day, Pritchet Canyon Jeep road.

I think we were lucky that sand/dirt conditions were pretty good after recent moisture. Pritchet is a ride that can definitely offer up some beach sand talcum powder if it wants to.

The trail down was a mixture of babyhead river bottom, sand, HUGE rock features and drops, slickrock and stunning views from the bottom of a canyon that gets tighter towards the end.

I was seriously impressed with Pritchet Canyon. To say it was good would be an understatement. Couple of things that make this ride not for everyone, though. A, it's seriously technical. Without skillz, it would be a frustrating walk down a lot of the fun stuff.

B, it wouldn't make a great out and back with all of the ledge scrambling and power killing sand. C, it's a pretty long ride to do as a point to point. Not to mention an excersize in navigation. One missed turn out there could lead to more and you'd be out there all day. Maybe next time, I'll do that and just bring some camping gear. Matty and I busted it out pretty quick with minimal breaks and it still took us just over 3 hours.

The ride back into town on Kane Creek road seemed really long. It was worth the ride, thoug, as we capped 'er off with a stop at Moab's best burgers since the 50's, Milt's. Slider baby, here I come.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

tales from the laundromat

Horse riding pants are even less flattering than bike shorts. blech. I'm going to assume that, since you're doing laundry, all of your normal pants are dirty and that's why you're all equined up.

Closed this Friday

Sorry for the inconvenience. Redstone Cyclery will be closed this Friday, 3/19. The shop will be open normal hours Sat and Sun. thanks!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tuesday ride

Since it's now officially Daylight Savings Time, we'll aim to save as much daylight as possible by starting at 5:30pm at the bike shop. This Tues, we'll be riding local. Pack a light, though, so we can do the tour de LGS too!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Devil's Backbone

Good to go for some fun this morning before the weather rolled in.

Transition TR450

Here's a few pics of Sam's new Transition TR450. When asked about it's ride qualities, the response was unintelligible. Something about butter...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Sitting down with some maps tonight and I think I've the big daddy route all thunk up.  Expect not one, but two grueling hike a bikes and possibly a few more depending on how you're feeling at the time.  All kinds of riding surface from paved hwy to death defying (well, maybe not exactly death defying) singletrack.  Even you regulars will even see some new terrain.  I'm going to have to train for this one.  9 hours?  Too much?  Cause I can dumb it down.  :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


We went nordic style again for our last Tuesday ride of the non DST era. To say it was good would be a major understatement. It was fantastic. The freeze/thaw cycle has started at least a little bit on Buchanan Pass. That translates into harder, faster, and more packed in snow. Again, we made it up to the waterfall, but it was less hiking up and less endo-ing down. Seriously good stuff. Good enough that MT had to leaver her mark on dirtydoug's snow crusted back.

Watch out for that log.

Again, the singlespeed was the weapon of choice. And again, I probably could've handled a cog easier gear, but rigid was definitely the way to go. Stayed clean, too!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Store update

Got a few cool things in the shop recently. Namely, inexpensive cruisers. Got a men's and women's Schwinn singlespeed steel cruisers in for $225. Simple and stylee.

Also, I have a very cool consignment deal here, too. If you've ever wanted to build an Xtracycle, now is the time. I got one in on consignment with the deck and bags for only $275. It's in pretty good shape, too. The deck could be sanded and restained, but that's about it. You'll need a hardware kit and some small parts to hook it up, too. It's only going to be here for a week. If it doesn't sell, it goes back to the orginal owner so hurry up!

Oh, almost forgot. We got in a new super sweet Ritchey WCS flat bar with 10 degree sweep. If you love the sweep of a riser without the height, this is the bar for you. Farid from Singletrack Maps stopped in today, too. He dropped off a couple of maps for us.

Buffalo Creek as well as his brand new Jefferson County map. We're all stocked up on Latitude 40 maps, too.

Spring is coming and new stuff is showing up all the time. Come on by!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Tuesday is on!

(clicky on pic)

This Tuesday will be the last time we meet up at 6pm for a while. Next week, 3/14 is Daylight Savings Time so we'll be starting at 5:30 after that so as to maximize daylight. I know it's a pain for some of you but we'll need to make use of all the daylight we can until the fall :)

Anyways, thinking of either Left Hand or riding some snowpack west of the Peak to Peak again. Thoughts?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hall Ranch Conditions/Trailwork Update

Since I got a bunch of phone calls yesterday about conditions at Hall Ranch, and I no doubt will receive many more today, I thought it best to saddle up and check them out first hand.

Right out of the lower parking lot, the parking lot connector trail was so muddy that I turned around. Went back up the road to the upper parking lot and I ran into the county trail crew (and a jail crew) taking a break. Because it's been so muddy and because so many folks haven't been paying attention to the rules of trail, county trail maintenance has gone to drastic measures.

They are completely reworking the tread of the lower section reroute. They are raking the mud, mixing in crushed rock and tamping it in to create something more akin to roadbed. The photos here show just some of the work they've done this morning. They were waiting on another truck full of rock and they needed to further work it in. I pointed out that the off camber corners with ill placed rock could become even more dangerous with a loose, crushed rock surface. County workers acknowledged the fact, but are counting on the fact that it will pack in and wear in well over time. Their primary concern is to keep the trail sustainable enough for people to stay ON TRAIL. The project supervisor pointed out that they wouldn't be doing any of this if folks would stay away when muddy and/or stay on trail when they encounter mud.

The good news. Word was that past the lower mud quagmire, the rest of the Bitterbrush trail is not too bad and should be good to go for the weekend, pending continued wind and warm temps. If you go - remember to stay on trail and ride thru the mud. thanks!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Going Nordic

This has been kinda stumping me lately. Nordic skiing means XC skiing on snow with poles and skinny skis. Nordic walking is basically walking anywhere anytime with poles. What do you call it if you take your bike out in the snow on Nordic trails? Is it Nordic biking even if we don't use poles? Or is it just mountain biking? Whatever it is, it's damn fun if conditions are good.

Being sick and tired of the lack of riding afforded to us this winter, we decided to go far, far out on a limb. The idea was to head to one of our favorite summer riding spots and keep our fingers crossed that enough traffic had packed the snow to a rideable state either on singletrack or jeep road. Surprisingly enough, and despite conflicting reports on how bad it was going to suck, we had 8 crazy/stoopid/ignorant/optimistic fun seeking mountain bikers show. We loaded up the vehicles and drove west to Peaceful Valley. We knew it was going to be good as soon as we got to Peaceful Valley. We almost got the big ol F250 stuck - "someone get out and help me lock the hubs." heh heh.

Then Chad was one gloveless. Good thing we were able to dig up a spare.

Things were definitely looking to get interesting. We pedaled off onto the first singletrack right before the bridge. Unbelievably, it was fantastic. There had been so much traffic on skis, snowshoes, and hiking boots that it was firm, packed and fast. Smooth, too, as the snow was deep enough to cover up all of the rocks and roots. The tread was 18-24" wide. Once you got outside of that window, the snow was soft and deep.

Thumbs up! We made it to the start of Buchanan Pass and conditions were top notch.
We pressed on and up Buchannan Pass. Not being a snow junkie, it was unlike any other time I'd been up there. It was peaceful, serene, and the trail was completely smooth. I liked. The rigid SS was a great choice for the terrain, but I could've used something easier than the 32x19 I was on. I know, I need to HTFU.

Our watter bottles and bladders froze pretty quickly. It's a good thing a few of us brought extra hydration supplies. It's always good to get a cold hand around a warm Chub.

We made it up to the waterfall. By then, it had gotten to be pretty slow going. The trail was steep enough, the snow was soft enough, and the tread was narrow enough that it was really, really difficult to make ground. Most of us ended up hiking the last part of the way.

After another, erm, snacktime at the waterfall, it was time to head back. We expected it to be difficult but we really had no idea. Most of the way up, even though there was definitely a "tread" we were blazing trail. Blazing back down was a challenge. The packed tread was only 8-10" at this point. Going off tread by even an inch or two meant instant endo. The snow on the side of the trail was deep. Deep as in I stepped in it and went in to my crotch. Lower down and it got better. Faster and a smidge wider.

But that snow can fool you. Still just an inch or two outside of the line and you're going down. It was slick, too. I can't remember how many times I crashed. Silly fun, I tell you.

Without a doubt, the finest section of trail was the connector between Peaceful Valley and Camp Dick. I'll go back again just to hit that!

Great ride last night, guys. This is definitely on our must do again list. Best ride of the year so far.