Oct 4, 2012

Lifted and twisted.

This past week I was supposed to be in Utah, racing over the weekend in Moab at the Whole Enchilada. Due the wonderful position of being a landlord I had the pleasure of canceling my trip and kissing plane tickets, entries, and dreams goodbye. So I sucked it up and went for the next best thing. New Jersey.

I took a drive north with friend and biking fellow Matt to check out the King of the Mountain Enduro in Vernon, NJ. It was my first time at the Mountain Creek Bike Park where many a good soul has returned from with glowing commentary.

My bike park world is limited since I traditionally have tended to be a 'keep it on the ground' type of rider. Meaning; paying to ride a lift with my bike just seems a little to lofty of an idea. But, if you wrap a two day ticket into a race entry fee then I feel a little more liberal with my time and money.

This was a five stage enduro with three stages in Saturday for amateurs and pros and two stages just for pros on Sunday. I think it's a misnomer to say 'pros' since anyone could race both days, riders just need to consider themselves capable of handling the terrain. There is no governing organization that has determined what a "pro" in Enduro is anyways. So go ahead and define yourself anyway you like.

Matt and I left before light and arrived with a heavy cloak of fog, clouds, mist and drizzle on the mountain. It's definitely fall and the color saturation was strong on the hill. We suited up and said hi to a crowd of racers who's faces are new but becoming more familiar with each event. After years in the xc racing world it's neat to go to a race and realize it's a whole bunch of new people, bikes, styles.... It's also a little daunting since my memory is crap and trying to remember a new crew is intimidating.

Dave, Paul, Jim, Derek, John, John, Chris, Matt. This is not my forte`.

One of the best things about this group is we are all challenging ourselves on the bike in a way that is new to me. Long days in the saddle used to be my obstacle, now it's how am I going to clear a berm-to-hip step-down. I didn't get it yet, but now I know it's another skill to add to my bag one day. This is the world of surfing bikes hard. Finding edges, pressure control, and body positions that add up to a feeling of dominance, a desire to high-five, and a little chest thumping. This is called getting my neanderthal on. It's pretty primal. Kind of like collecting primitive furniture.

So the race was really fun. Legendary bike guru/ trials rider Jeff Lenosky designed the stages and spent a lot of time thinking about them. Enduros are such a new beast that everyone is trying to interpret what they are and it seems that each one that comes around has it's own taste. Even though it's a style that is supposed to cater to a group of riders who have not traditionally had a venue to race at, most people who show have some experience in the xc race world or the lift access world. When you bring the two extremes together there is going to be something about the course that someone isn't comfortable with. Pedaling for the bike parkers and tabletops for the xc guys.

Jul 26, 2012

More ENduro Sponsor love!

Maybe you saw this over at the MBM blog, but I'm reposting it here because I care and I'm busy! Here are three new sponsors that are generously donating to the cause!
They make great products and we should show them we care!

Title Sponsor Dirt Rag!!

Expect some sweet goodies from the East Coast's premier Mountain Bike Magazine!

Local trail lovers, Stan's NoTubes continues to pass the joy with certificates for two sets of Arch EX rims! 

VP is donating some incredible headsets and pedals for all you pump-trackers and flat pedal lovers. 
Maybe something like this?....

Jul 19, 2012

New Things From Good Places

Perusing the web and checking out my sponsor sites I came across a few things I didn't know were hitting the stores. It's always nice to geek-out.

Stan's has some new rims I'd love to throw some rubber on. A little teaser is that I've decided to eat my words and actually race some cross this year. Call it serious if you like, but I have another word for it. I'll tell you all about it later. I digress...
New cross ready rims from Stan's are the Alpha 400's. Beefy and tubeless ready I imagine these are going to start showing up on a few wheels in the fields.

Back to my true cycling love.. The newest Flow EX has a wider inner diameter to really increase that big fat tire's footprint. Traction; Yes!
Old Flow

That difference between 25.5 and 22.6 is enormous! Don't underestimate.

Did you see the newest Santa Cruz release? The Tallboy LTc? 130mm of rear travel, designed for a 140mm front fork?

I got a frame waiting to be built up and it's killing me sitting there! I got the Schoolbus waiting to pick me up!

Jul 12, 2012

Spending time like its water.

Back from British Columbia where I worked the BC Bike Race as the writer. Just before I left I worked on copy for the catalog of a major bicycle manufacturer. Strange to hired to write when I can't even keep up my own blog. But I need to practice, find my voice again.

I did manage to ride my bike 27days out of 30 last month. It was an attempt to prove that I'd just been making excuses for not taking a spin almost every day. In that time, felt a joy coming across many things in the normal world I wouldnt have seen if I didn't take the little trip out.

My neighbor and Cuervo

Those random things were much better than most of the random things I see on facebook. Much better to experience in person than through another person. It's so easy to think that FB is a conduit of information. It's junk. Interesting junk, but really just other people's ephemera. Traditionally that's my favorite, to root through the personal things that others have collected, but on the screen it's just distracting candy. So here are some random distracting things.

Mar 31, 2012

Ride cookies! 

Yes it's a bike I can't ride!

My cheeky sponsor Santa Cruz granted my wish and sent me a bike I can't ride. It must be them just humoring me and my playing with fire. I asked for a Jackal as part of my 2012 sponsorship package. Given that I'm known as an endurance racer 1st and a Super-d/Enduro guy more every day, they must have thought it interesting I'd ask for a bike so far out of my range. A Jackal has three purposes. Jumping pump-tracking and dual slalom racing.

Pump-tracks I got. As a matter of fact the Philly Pumptrack is about ready to be built and I'll be ready for that epic day. We've worked long and hard and the reward is almost here. If you want to learn more about the Philly Pumptrack go here. I figured with my involvement in making that happen I'd represent the bike pretty well.

The other reason I told them I wanted the bike was to race the new dual slalom series at Launch Bike Park this summer. I've never done anything like that in my life. I want nothing more than to survive. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to race for 30 seconds to a minute at a time!

Thanks to Santa Cruz, Industry Nine and Stans NoTubes!

 Be careful, some of these pics are sexy style.

So this is new territory for me and it's exciting. I still have a couple more frames to build up for my more "normal" style of racing. I'll post those soon. 

These are from a couple weeks ago. Plates from a little race we did for Matt Miller's sports science education study. 

This was my number. Oddly appropriate.

Jan 25, 2012

It's my birthday. All I want to do is give a photo or two to my Blog. 

Sep 20, 2011

Raccoonology is:"like"

This is one of my favorite sites. Just beautiful photos.

New Post at Find-The-Best

Just put a new post up at Find the Best. Most of you will live without the info, but it was a little investigation of 2x10 vs 3x9 gear inch comparisons.

Sep 11, 2011

More favorites: Because I like a lot

2011 has been a good year for me and motivation to take photos. I recently lost my little Lika, who served me beautifully for the past three years.