Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One day in Fruita...

If you haven't made it to the BSV Mountain Bike training camps in Fruita, you need to free up your calendar for next year as they are an absolute blast. We had a great group this year, and rode a lot of great trails. Due to time constraints, I only got to ride with the full group one day but it was a day full of smiles.

I captured a bunch of footage from part of one day and pieced it together. I circulated this around the mountain bike group, but thought I'd put it out to the larger group to give those that weren't able to attend a taste of Fruita riding.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sourdough Single Track Bliss

Thursday night was off to a slow start. I knew one person was going to meet me at least so lets do it. Weather was nice, trails were ready, no excuses. Decided to head to Beaver Res road off Peak to peak. The usual pre ride compare your bling. Those 20 inch rims beat everyone out though....
We were off heading West towards Coney Flats TH.

Sun came out for a bit and Geoff, Toby and Kyle do some catching up.

Spillway at Beaver Res was about 9 inches deep crossing it. Plenty of water to go around this year.
We dropped into the Coney TH and Beaver Cutoff trail down to Peaceful Valley. Connected with the Sourdough and headed South towards Brainard. Not to far in the old burn area, there is a nice build up that has been here forever. Its steep on the front side so that is the crux. Geoff going for it.
Kyle letting it go and the bash guard was not such a bad thing here to have!

Some more single track climbing. Trail ranges from rooty, loose rock to smooth pine needled bliss.
Pond up near South end of Wapiti trail junction. Plenty of water here and the frogs were alive. Sun was setting and looked great through my orange lenses. Not as great in the pic.
Yes, I actually was there.

Geoff enjoying the fun trail.

The Saint Vrain River was just gushing.
Anyone want a quick trip down low? We snapped a few pics and then Turned North East on South Saint Vrain Trail.

Kyle riding some the log turn in South Saint Vrain Trail.
Jeff making it happen. That tree had fallen across the switch back so you had to cut it a bit short.

Light was fading fast. Here we are bombing down the lower SSV trail back to beaver Res road. Super fun figure eight we did. Trails were in perfect shape and the we had an awesome cool night to ride in.

Ride specs were 12 miles and 1400 feet of climbing. Till next time!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Easy but useful jersey mod

I'm a big fan of the Voler jerseys the club started using two years ago (thanks again clothing coordinators!). The fit is good, but most importantly for an MTBer, the durability and color fastness is good too, better than previous years. However, one thing has always bugged me and that's the zipper pull. First of all, it's not easy to grab especially with winter gloves on, but most importantly, it rattles annoyingly on the buckle of a pack's sternum strap (only an MTBer would have this complaint, I guess).

So, I thought of the following after seeing how the zipper pulls on my Sierra Designs tent worked. For the record, while I was initially excited that I was the first to think of this, John P. beat me to it. When I told him the idea, he said he'd already done it. So, John gets original credit, I think.

The idea is simple - just cut off the old zipper pull with wire cutters and replace it with a short length of paracord. I used what I had on hand, some white 325 paraline, but black might be better.


In progress:

And finally:

The knot makes it easier to grab with gloves, and no more rattling!  And it's lighter too, that metal zipper pull probably weighed a good 2 grams or so. I probably gain some few hundredths of a second in an hour with this change, perhaps I'll podium in my next race now too. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Snow Biking! Well, that was not my intent Sunday...

An idea was placed in my head. It all started at the Pumphouse Saturday night over some beer (stout was beer of the night) and an long island ice tea. I met Joel and David S up around 8pm there to chat bikes, summer plans, and the usually fish stories. I was bummed for not making the voodoo race and from seeing everyone's comments, I really missed out. (GO PHIL!) Oh well, we at least got down there a month ago and had a great day and nice tour of the race course. I was able to sneak out for a 25 mile bike path ride around Longmont on the 1 by 9 just before the pump house. At the end of the night the topic of riding Sunday came up. David said he would like to do some climbing so that heading up James Canyon to Peak to Peak and looping back to Ward would fill that void and could be done quickly if we parked at Plateau road and 36. Sounded good to me although I mentioned that there could be a bit of snow up there right now!!! We all wanted to go about midday, so discussions would continue then.

I start painting in the morning finishing up our stair well cut in using the 16 foot ladder. Had to get a little creative to reach everything around the stairs, but it all worked out. 10:40am text from David--family day, no riding. Okay...keep painting.

1:00pm: text from Joel--possible bike buyer coming at 2pm, he was out. I finished cleaning up the brushes and started packing--why not do the ride up to Peak to peak anyway? I checked the CDOT Ward web cam for SH72...yep, snow everywhere, but not much on the road. Looked okay to me. Parked at Plateau and started climbing.
Conditions were dry, a few drops of rain here and there but nothing to worry about....yet. I did decide to do this ride on my MTB because of the weather and gravel on the road...little did I know this would be a wonderful survival decision.
Look at that pretty face!

Post office at Jamestown. A few drops still--you can see them on the handle bars. Ate some food here and headed on up the real climb. I did see three road riders coming down the canyon, but that was all from here on out.
Starting to see Snow on the trees. And, I was not exactly keeping great pace. Up till Jamestown I was able to keep the pace around 11.5 more. For those that have done this climb though, you know how steep it is. Now imagine doing it with big knobbies on it only pumped up to 50 psi. Yeah, that is the ticket now!

Switch backs begin--a little few down valley to the East.
Whew! The top of James canyon, at least the pavement top. Overland drive is almost a great sight when you climb up that beast of a hill.

Happy to have made it. Glasses fogged up so I had to abandon them. I only wore light layers for the climb: lightweight long sleeve synthetic shirt, Adidas NFL football beanie (awesome and they keep the sweat out of your eyes---good for nordic too!), OR wind stopper gloves, knee warmers with Voler 2011 BSV bib shorts, Pearl Baggie shorts, and BMA wool tall boy socks. I stayed plenty warm.

I went only another 1/2 mile, almost to the dirt and it started snowing hard. I started to turn around, and then I was like, how about an adventure today? Lets see what happens. I found a nice pine to stop under and layer up.

I changed hats--put on my Adidas wind stopper cap, Montbell rain jacket (for visibility too!), my smart wool calve length ski socks, trash bags on my feet (my neoprene booties were in my office), and the glasses had to go back on from the snow in my eyes! I also pulled off my lightweight syn shirt and replaced that with my Virginia Tech Thermal Jersey from Hincapie--that thing is really warm.
I also put the camera in a small zip lock as you can see here in my hand. The snow built up quickly on the gloves.

Then I paused...the dirt looked really mucky which goes for several miles to the peak to peak highway. No fenders...mmmm. NO booties to keep my feet dry and my Pearl AmFib tights were also at work staying nice and dry/warm! Lets try it for a few hundred feet and see how mucky I get....
Before I knew it I made it peak to peak--it was slimy in places, soupy and wet, but overall I kept the wheel straight and kept most of the much off me. Now the bike on the other hand....
I left this picture this angle as I thought the perspective was cool.

Those feet were a bit wet at this point.

Bike was covered in a nice thin film of dirt, muck, water, and snow.

My faithful blue sky water bottle.

OH, my drive train hates me now! Wonder how long my shifting will last? I had issues with it freezing up on the dirt road--had a single speed for at least two miles and gave every thing a swift kick, and was able to shift again.

Pedaled South towards Ward. First good landmark is the beaver Reservoir road which is also the local Boy scout camp access. South Saint Vrain trail starts here too--plenty of snow still on it!

The next big land mark is Brainard Lake Road--woohoo! Almost to ward. The snow picked up a bit though just before here and it was starting to cover the roads--time to get down quick or its going to be a long night back to the car!

Dirty saddle overlooks the fresh tracks on the peak to peak. Crazy...why yes I am.

I dropped into Ward, very slowly and found another pine tree to layer up again--time for round 2 of the clothes before the big descent. It was dumping now too, which looked daunting. I put on a heavy weight fleece shirt, wind stopper vest, tights--not wind blocking though, a heavy weight fleece balaclava, and my Marmot AT ski gloves--super warm and nice to cold weather! Ahhh, life was good again.

As I changed and ate some more food, my bike started to blend in with the road....okay, need to get moving now! A truck pulled up and the two guys asked if I needed a ride down--I smiled and said, no, I am good, just put on some more clothes and going to be fine. Thanks though...the two guys looked at each other for a few seconds and shook their heads. I wondered if I was thinking clearly at this point? Or, was that just one of those master card priceless moments? ;)

Fresh Tracks on descent from that actually is priceless.
I took it real slow down--until I hit Lick Skillet road and the roads cleared up a bit--just some slush and lot of water. It was COLD and WET. But, the temps warmed up as I descended. Once I got to the Lee Hill Road turn off, I kicked the drive train again (snow build up) and cranked it out to the car. Mainly at that point the pedaling was to warm my feet back up and get the blood flowing. Whew, made it! Bike was filthy but was reliable and faithful as it has been. Rider wanted a hot tub though!
Look at that mug!

Sunday's adventure. 35 miles of goodness over 4 hours. I had almost an hour of stopped time while I played with changing layers/eating/cleaning bike.

3800 feet of climbing...never realized how much more there still is between top of James Canyon and Ward.

Grade percentage for those interested. James Canyon is steep and when dry/clean, a great ride on the cross/road bike. Till the next adventure!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BSV Fruita MTB training camp 2011 Day 3: Tour De Book Cliffs

The sun came up and no one was moving very fast. Rabbit Valley had done a number on all of us. Realized that I need to go to the grocery store for bfast food but had forgotten being so tired last night. Yep, I can see we are not going to ride until at least 10:30am again. The goal today was to hit the book cliffs and ride as a group. Some random guy in a red jersey decided to join us today.

The BSV nation packed up and descended upon the 18 road TH and unloaded 11 bikes/riders for as many loops as the legs can muster, or till the team dinner at Hot Tomato called! Who is the guy in the red jersey?
BSV group heading up Prime Cut trail.
Our goal was Chutes and Ladders. Just above Cindy here you can see the trail climbing up the steep slopes. My legs were tired today and I was curious if I was even going to make 10 feet of that climb.
Top of first climb on Chutes with prime cut just down to the left. BSV folks making their way up. I made the first climb, but burned the entire book of matches, or at least it felt!

Happy riders enjoying the view and the fish stories were already being spewed.
Red jersey guy somehow sneaks in again.
Enjoying more of Chutes as it heads East along the foot hills.
Last shot of Chutes as you open it up. Here its game on and super fun downhill back to the car. Decided to take on Vegetarian trail which reminded me of the road conditions in Fallujah. Bombed to hell. So many cow hoof holes.

Here we are on Frontside trail on our second lap from the parking lot. Came back up Prime Cut to Frontside and then off to Joe's ridge. Trails are steller, as always.
Joel showing how its done with big travel and wide tires.

Joe's Ridge--super fun and one roller coaster of a trail!
Some riders on the ridge

We headed down Joe's and then over to meet Kestle run half way down. That takes you on this 25 foot wide wash that the trail pumps back and forth down all the way to the car.

Climbing back up Prime Cut for yet another lap!

Mystery red jersey rider connecting Frontside to the top of 18road where we get on Joe's. Who is this guy again? How did he get in all the pics? ;)

Group shot at the 18road turn around. Smiles all around.
Joe's Ridge from another view.
Joel grabbed a nice pic here also!

Super fun group today and great hanging with everyone. We hit Joe's Ridge again and this time came back to this spot to get the entire Kestle Run in.
BSV peloton making their way up 18 road to let it all loose on Kestle.

Our little lap session on the Book Cliffs. 18.5 miles and 2000ft of climbing.

Here were the loops--great day with everyone. We all went to the Hot Tomato for a team dinner. Chip and Nancy from the Boulder Bike patrol also joined us for a pizza and beer. Great times all around and lots of stories shared. They do a great job there and I highly recommend stopping in. During high season, its a good wait, but well worth it. I have been eating there since 2004 I think. They are back on the side street to the North across main from OTE bike shop. Plan tomorrow is to hit the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction and see what the weather does. Lots of wind tonight and we had to re stake some tents.