Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Brush Lake Ride Recap of Sorts...

I've told you all before about the new (couple years old now) trail at Brush Lake and how fun it is to ride.  Lots of options and fun features to fill your afternoon.  Not really a destination ride as is a bit of a drive for the ride, but if you are in the area definitely worth it.  That was then.

This is now.  POP and the BFFS put in a new connector trail that comes in just under a mile.  By my calculations, which I don't claim to be super accurate, that makes almost 13 miles of riding doing all the trails both directions.  And yes, I do recommend riding both directions as these trails lend a very different character depending on your direction of travel.  So why not?

The new trail is not quite buffed out yet.  It's a little rough, but totally rideable and lots of fun.  Lots and lots of big rocks to ride on and over.

Rocks you say?  Yup, those sharp, poky, rough ones that like to eat sidewalls.  Second ride on this tire.  I don't like to give product reviews.  And typically I never put anything on my bike that says "race" on it.  This tire was free, so I thought why not.  Oh well, it led to early beers...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cowboy Trail Ride Report

Breaking in some newly laced hoops.  I was excited to hit up the Cowboy Trail and get some speed.  Nice flowy trail with a little rock, roots and small climbs to keep ya awake.  But not this time.

I've been riding this trail for years and I will say the condition has really been on the decline over the last couple years.  Being it is almost July, this is a low lying trail and typically has gotten a decent amount of use in years past, my thought was it should be good for a ride by now.  Nope.  Lots of mud pits.  A dozen down trees and lots of branches and debris littering the trail just waiting to take out a spoke or derailleur.

Instead of riding to the end and then coming back on one of the many loops, I decided to count my losses and forge the creek back to the road.  I've crossed this creek many times before with my bike.  Take off the shoes, strap them to the pack and host the bike over the shoulder.  It's about 40' of knee to thigh deep water.  Water is cool and feels good when it's hot.  What doesn't feel good is the big slimy, round, river rocks that your feet never seem to stay on top off, but rather slide toe first down in the crevices between to rocks.  This hammering of your toes and unsteady movements makes the crossing feel twice as long.  Thanks to the fisherman who came to help get my bike across before I dunked it.
rare wildlife sighting...see it?

Once on the other side, I put my shoes and socks back on and noticed I peeled back a couple toe nails messing around on those rocks.  Oh well, my feet didn't look that good to begin with.  I rode up to Wylie Knob which was in good shape, but who really cares about riding that trail.

Rode the "secrete" Knobby Trail back down, which was, well in the same condition as the Cowboy Trail.  Next time I will take my saw and collapsible shovel.
my kinda sign

Monday, July 1, 2013

RAAM 2013 Recap

I'm back.

You may not have know I was gone, but I embarked on my second trip with Team Laughing Dog and the Race Across America (RAAM).  I wrench bikes.  So, often I get asked to support various biking events and help riders achieve their goals.  Typically there is beer involved in these negotiations.  And in this case there was a lot.  But there was also friendships involved.  So, you see, it was really impossible for me to say no to going along and helping out the team and their bikes for another year.

This post will serve as my recap.  If you are expecting a lot of details and flowery stories, well you aren't gonna get any.

For those still reading, I had the time of my life...again.  Several factors go into creating this perfect storm for me.  One, it involves bikes.  Two, it involves friends.  Three, it involves volunteering and I love volunteering.  Forth, it involves sleep deprivation which I don't really sleep anyways so shoe in.  Lastly, it involves an adventure which I am always down for.

Here are some pics...

You see there aren't many pics?  That's because there isn't a lot of time to take pics.  This goes for mental snapshots as well.  We finished the race in a little over 7 days.  That's 3,000 miles and 170,000' of climbing mind you.  I could recount the logistics and daily ops, but I don't wanna bore you).  Anyhow repetition, stress, sleep deprivation and the like all contribute to this week as one big block of time.  I liken it to a good night of drinking.  In the morning there are mental highlights and memories. There may be some things you wanna forget and things that kinda bum you out.  But ultimately, in the morning you awake to a feeling of "damn that was a great night" or "man that could have gone better."  For me, RAAM was 2013 was a damn good ride with friends and I'm glad I did it.  I don't really remember much more.

Nonetheless, I'm sure I will drink again...and probably do RAAM again...