Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who's Got a Knife

Today was to be another big ride with Chewy Aitken, Joe Murray (MTB Hall of Famer), and my crew from the east. We started out from Bike and Bean heading out toward Red Eye and Rabbit Ears, but things were cut short when I required some trailside surgery to remove a massive spine courtesy of a Prickly Pear. A big thanks to Chewy and Tim for a valiant effort, but it wouldnt come out. It still resides a quarter inch+ beneath the skin and plans for some more digging around this evening. Urgent Care will be a last resort.

I got some feeling back in it after a good chunk came out and some aspirin, so we rode Trancept to Highline which was loose in the corners and technical twisting single track along a ridge with some great views of Oak Creek. Pizza and beverages back at the shop finished off a great day. This weekend looks like some more riding with local fast folks and we hook up with Tex tomorrow afternoon for something as well.

The elusive Chewy on the move...



Tim and Chewy digging...



The surgeons at work...



He has had 200 years to work on his moves...



Chillin'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Hangover

Today we headed out with Chewy and Ross Schnell who treated us to a proper tour, showing us some hard to find technical trails with heavy penalties for failure. They showed up early this morning, ealy being 10am and took us out to ride Hangover which is hardly something one would want to ride hungover as it has lots of big exposure, strenuous grunt climbs and steep technical downhill moves. The trail took some creativity to construct such as building a ledge out of fallen trees and filling it with rocks, where there had, just been just a void. Many white knuckle moments where I kept my focus on where I wanted the bike to go rather than looking over the cliff edge.

After finishing with Hangover we headed back up to ride Damifino, Killer Bee, Lavitra, Canser Canyon, and had some lunch up on saddle above the Cow Pies. The wind began to howel as we rounded the corner and got into the steep slick rock traverse. Big moves with eqaully large flow. I didnt get many riding photos as the trail was either too narrow or I was just too caught up in the moment. It was a humbler of a ride where you find limits for both fitness and skill level, with opportunties to step up and progress to another level of riding. Enough with the words, I'm worked so lets get to some photos.

Cow Pies...



Lovin' life...



The Wolf was bored with today's ride...



Our guide Chewy was puttin' the hammer down...



Tim snapped this one of me dropping in on Killer Bee...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Road Trip Pt 4

After an ankle blow out yesterday, I wasnt sure I would be riding today, but after treating it with some sort of ancient Chinese secret and a good morning strech got me good enough for a mellow evening spin after running some errands and bike work. We lined up some rides for later in the week with some fast folks. Tonight is for grillin' and chillin' by the woodstove for the nights are chilly; especially by the river where our cabin sits.

Tunnel vision...




Sue rockin' the Arizona Pinstripe...




The Wolf on the Airport Loop...










Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Road Trip Pt 2

Uh, there is a psychedellic parrot on my shoulder with a hat on. I knew I shouldnt have had that brownie...




Ruby taking a turn at the helm...




Overnighting on our way west...



Craig is livin' the life and showed us the hot camp spot. Check him out at runutsadventures.com...






JV Squad representing...



words later...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Road Trip Part 1

The convoy...



Rollin'...



Random candle burning next to the kerosine pump...









Sue gettin' some...



words to come...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time is winding down and it's only a couple of days before I slide down that dinosaur's back and into the driver's seat shouting "Yabba dabba doo," heading west and south, then west again in search of warmer weather and unfamiliar terrain. It's been a long time coming. I haven't left the region since I moved back from the west coast 3 years ago. I know camping in the desert will be anything other than warm, but it will be somewhere different, and this year I have some fresh camping gear. Bags are packed and have been for a week or so, until I went rummaging through one for yesterday's riding clothes. My new pano camera showed up today, so hopefully I will have some intersting images from that, as well as the other 6 camreas I have onboard, to share when I return.

Tim has been busy modifying the van for the trip...



Dickerson Quarry from Hounddog's video vault...



The Dog, the Crest, and one fine ollie. Not sure who took the foto...

Dawn Patrol

Three fifteen in the AM and I awaken, still fifteen minutes until the alarm would sound. I rolled arouund in bed for several minutes, contemplating bagging the ride, but another look out the window, got my stirring enough to got me to my feet. Twenty minutes or so pass, and I am locked, loaded and on the move, making a quick stop at a nearby seven-eleven for some coffee and a donut. The place lloked like it had been ransacked with no donuts to speak of and at least a dozen coffee urns empty with the counter a mess of emptied creamer and sugar packets.

After eventually finding a pot with enough coffee to fill a cup, I made my way to Patapsco to meet Poz and Andy for a snowy pre-dawn, 2- wheeled session. Andy didnt get the memo that this would be a lights-free event so he reoved his light, just as Poz rolled up. Two inches of dry, fluffy soap flakes covered the ground and made any off-camber hill or rock treaturous. There was no moon to help illuminate the forest which, combined with the powder snow, left us with no depth perception. It had been months since I visited the park so I was at a disadvantage to the others riding by braille. Yes, there were spills and nobody would be clearing Pigs Run on this day. We headed across the swinging bridge to try and ride with the TMI group, but a second look at the time and Poz had to get back. We picked saw some lights coming and ended up ambushing the AFC guys on Ridge. We lost Poz and Andy turned the screws and put the hurt on me going up Vineyard but got a wet foot en route to the college.

Andy and I parted ways as the sun came up and I headed for Fairland to be the spoiler there as well. Freshies in the Pits as well, but that pretty much goes without saying. I have only once laid an eyeball on a track there that didnt belong to one of the crew or a moto. Stoked to see someone had been out there with a chainsaw clearing some of the blowdowns. Probably a moto as there was no need for stellar DH technical skills to get over several. Clocked another hour and three quarters or so there. And all of this before heading into work. Someone is going to be racking out early this eve.

Andy shedding some dead weight...



Now where did that swinging bridge go?



The ambush...



Onward...




Old Faithful...



Single track...



"I'm tired and it's a lot of baloney!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fixed Gear Mountain Cycling

So most of riding buddies have one and it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion to build one of my own. When I saw this POS w/o wheels at the right price, I jumped. It has been sitting for some time, but after last weeks ride up Reddish, I decided it was time to get a wheel together for it. Fixed gear, rigid, death trap w/ front cantis ready to do battle in the snow tomorrow...



Score!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Preparations

I was hoping to get out on the bike this weekend, but opted to do some work on the bike before I travel as well as begin packing. The Van Dessel got the poop washed off from last week as well as new brakes, chain, and rubber front and rear. Thinking about bringing a second bike as well. Perhaps the Pugsley for getting away and doing some desert overnighting. Got my skate gear together in the event we happen upon a pool, pipe, or park. Kinda bummed to not have the new bike in tow, but good things come to those who wait. And yes, the waiting is the hardest part. Parts are still coming in regularly but I am still lacking some key bits such as frame, fork, brakes and cranks. Todd at Black Cat should be crazy busy at the moment preparing for the Handbuilt Show next month in Austin, so maybe come March I will have a nice fillet brazed machine together to abuse in the rocks as the ridges begin to grow in. Along the way out west next week, we plan to do a bit of riding in Ozarks and crash at Andrea's family get-away. That will be a nice way to break up the driving. While we are at it, perhaps we can solve the mystery of the dead fish down there.

The frame should be similar to this unit with a few extras...




Speaking of mysteries, I recently recieved seasons 1 and 2 of the original Scooby Doo. While watching these, I couldnt help but think its no wonder I love to investigate abandoned places. Those cats were always doing a bit of B and E when not hanging around the Malt Shop. I just finished looking up ghost towns out Arizona way. My friend Tony from Sac had one he visited on the regular with friends and as a hobby were doing some restorations to the place. I never did get a chance to visit the place.

This was always my favorite episode...



With this clip come my rant about "coin." What is with the new trend at restaraunts rounding my change to the servers liking. For instance; my last visit to Tryst the check came to $12.36. The server brought back $7. Do they just assume I am not going to notice or mind that $.64? I work for tips so I always tip generously but I dont return to establishments where I have this experience. I have had this happen over a half dozen times in the past year and have not returned to any of the offending establishments. Pehaps someone in the biz will stumble upon this rant and get the message.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Starting Things Off Right

With the close of 2010 also comes the wrap- up of the holidays. I always find this time of year to be stressful and I always look forward to its end. To top it all off, I was sick for the last week of the year and was contemplating spending NYE in bed, but rallied and headed to Harrisonburg to hang out at what is to be my new part- time residence and make hot air ballons which we launched to bring in the New Year. Megan's dog Bonnie ran away at midnight, which happened to be within 15 minutes of her showing up at Megan's house 1 year ago. I was suprised at how relaxed Megan was until I got the scoop. I could understand after chatting how she looked at the situation. Bonnie was feral and just came into her life one day and stuck around for a while, and maybe she just decided to bring happiness into another's life, being as sweet as she was. As luck would have it, Bonnie was found by animal control a couple of days later, and will call Megan's place home once again.







Taking tea on NYE...



January 1 brought mild temps and a trip to Fort Valley, riding up Signal Knob, down Bear Wallow. Collin lost several spokes along the way, but only dabbed 4 times on the climb. If you have ridden that trail up, you know just how technical and chuncky it is. Wouldn't you know, I forgot all 3 cameras. Pizza for dinner and hanging with friends at the Lee street house.

13 empty bowls dropping into one another, The bottom one has the best features. Last I skated here I ended up in cuffs...



I remember skating here over 20 years ago and sessioned it early on a 70 degree New Years day several years back...



Speaking of 20 years ago, here is a video from Hounddog of CCCC and other stuff. Check the roll in on the MTB...



And if skating isnt your thing, here is an old clip of Micro, Lawrence and Samboo dominating at Wakefield...



January 2 was not as warm, but still good enough to show some leg and wear short sleeves. A ride up Reddish, and come down Timber and Wolf was on the bill for the day. We parked at "Deer Carcass" which is named for the remains of animals dumped there by hunters. At least the folks in that area dont put them in plastic bags. In addition to the deer, were 2 bear carcasses and one puppy that had a bullet hole in it. The climb up Reddish started with a game of kick the can, flinging trash out of the gutter with the front wheel in an attempt to hit another rider with it. I felt as though I was cheating as I could coast, so I did a good deal of "sympathy pedalling," until we got to Wolf where I couldnt help myself from dropping a knee and pushing into some of those corners. The new stuff is getting burned in nicely other than a soggy bit that could use some armoring. I bonked pretty hard on Wolf and slummed it on the road ride back to team vehicle.










Here comes trouble...








We ran into some friends on Reddish...



Putting the fixed gear skills to the test...





I am pretty sure everyone got roosted with poop...



for 2011...