Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Man, is it freakin cold as a mo-fo outside or what? I think it read 5 degrees this morning and the coffee I had high hopes of warming me, was itself cold before I could even get a third a cup in-my-belly. It's the kind of cold where nothing melts. There's snow and ice everywhere. It's just damn-bitter cold!
Fortunately for Andre and I, we made it to BURP just in time, before things got bad...and here's Andre coming down one of the rock gardens on the Wagon trail during our adventure.

So that was a fun ride...

Fast forward a few days post BURP and a few hours pre-snow; Cameron, Garet and I headed out from my casa for the farm-trail-delight night ride. We were frozen for only about ten minutes, then warmed up enough to do around 12 miles of single track goodness. Cam and I were riding fixie's and Garet his SS stumpy. The really pimp thing about rides from my house at night and in the freezing cold, is the hot tub post ride...and beers of course.

Now I need to get out and tear it up in the snow, the bitter, bone chilling-teeth-chattering snow.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Satans Energy Drink...

I had the fortunate privilege to tour the Pearl Izumi headquarters in Colorado during my family thanksgiving vacation. My friend Lindsay works-her-magic for 'Pearl' and thought I'd like the place...and I did. Lots of creative minds and goodies to play with...and of course a good sense of humor always makes a company good in my book.
Got a great ride in at Hall Ranch near Lyons. That place is supa-fun if you like to go up multiple rock gardens for what seems like an eternity...and I do, so it was cool.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stress Relief...

Had a fun ride at Shawnee Mission Park with the Braley's. I was able to sandbag them into following me on the 'most difficult' trail, which I knew they could handle. I even lost a bet with Ranski as he proceeded to cruise through the hardest rock obstacle on the Red Spur. Guess that means I'll be drinkin' a fine i.o.u. beverage with him soon, damn...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Swope Park is like Crack...

I can't get enough of Swope. I loose weight and can't sleep. I have to have more and more. I am addicted. Swope is a drug and my dealer's name is Travis.
Travis and I go way High school, Rock Climbing, Trouble and general teenage shenanigans. When I decided to take a little bit of time off from climbing to let some tendon injuries heal, it was Travis who starting pushing the drug of mountain biking on me. He was a wrench at the LBS and becoming quite the rider. I remember riding with him back in the day, say early 90's at Shawnee Mission park when the trails were all fall line death runs. I thought re-kindling our childhood friendship by him re-introducing me to the scene was quite appropriate.
Travis tuned my '92 Stumpjumper and hauled me out to BURP. I had so much fun and was instantly addicted. THIS was the key to passing the time of not climbing and would fill my otherwise boring life here in the flatlands with a local sport. After a week or two, Travis convinced me to convert my ride onto a single speed. I was in love. The simplicity of the ride was priceless. Like my roots of minimalist back country travel and climbing practices, one-gear was perfect for me. I could focus solely on the ride, and not the bike; never dealing with failing shifters, the clank of a floppy chain, or the thoughts of extra gear failing. I was sold.
Travis would continually teach me about how to build and keep my rig dialed. He'd tell me about bike parts and what made one better than the other. He taught me that weight was not important, that it was all about the ride with friends and that what mattered about the bike was that it worked without fail. He has been a true friend and valuable mentor to my mountain biking career, and I have him to thank for everything I know in that regard.
So back to Swope...Travis and I had planned to meet for my first ride in a week or so, as I have been wallowing in the misery of loosing my job, as well as my first ride on the new Gunnar Fixie. I have to say that Swope is not where I would recommend cutting your teeth on a fixed gear, but I felt the need to do the rapid-huevos-growth technique and go for it. Like one of my favorite quotes states ' A life lived in fear is a life half-lived'. This ride was a much needed release of stress and it rejuvenated my soul.
Travis' pal joined the ride as well as my bro Dave. I'll insert my excuse for a slow ride here, I was running a 32/16 gearing, which at 2 to 1 is a real bitch at Swope, to say the least, and I got my a$$ handed to me for sure.
We did a typical lap counter-clockwise and had a great time. Dave's EBB would slip every mile and he'd have to stop, tighten it and re-install his chain. This was good for me because it made me feel faster since he'd end up way behind...but he'd always catch-up. Fast bastard! It was just a good ol' time.
Travis has hands down put in more hours building trail at Swope than anyone else, period. He takes great pride in the trails and can ride them blindfolded, backwards with one hand. He took us all over for a tour of the unfinished Phase 3 trails. Man, The work and quality of the trail is amazing! Scott and Craig were out working, build these incredibly involved crib walls. Just mind-blowing work! I was amazed and very thankful to those guys, spearheading the trail building. THANKS GUYS!!!

So we head back to the cars and in doing so, spun a lap on the phase 1 trail. If you have been to Swope you have probably seen the tree across the ravine that is pictured here. Travis made short work (not once but twice) of this "Highball Skinny" and I was fortunate enough to catch the shot with my phone. Just to clarify the photo, this tree is a good bone-breaking heaght off-the-deck, and Travis is clipped into his pedals and riding a fully rigid fixed gear. All I can say is "what better mentor to have" than my pal, the Trail Asshole!

Thanks Travis for opening my eyes to the would of "Having Fun, Riding Bikes".

Winter is coming...

And that means Fixed gear mayhem. I don't know why I put myself through the pain, but I just can't express how much fun riding a fixie in the leaves and snow can be. It's like four-wheel-drive, really it is. Here is my newly built, parts-bin Gunnar Ruffian (21.8 lbs. of pure monster truck lunacy). I have to say that for those interested, this bike is and or will be for sale over the next few weeks/month. I want to play with her a few rides at least before i have my heart broken, but I need the doh more than I need an extra bike, argh!

So the build is as follows:
  • 19" Gunnar Rufian Steel Frame
  • Pace RC31 Carbon Fork
  • Avid Elixer CR Front Disc Brake
  • Roval Traversse Front wheel
  • Conti Rubber (front)
  • Chris King Headset
  • Thomson X4 Stem
  • Truvativ Team Carbon Riser bar
  • Oury Lock-on Grips
  • Thomson Elite Lay-back post
  • WTB Rocket V Team saddle, Ti
  • Salsa Clamp
  • Race Face Turbine cranks & Bash ring
  • Surly Flip-flop Hub & track Cog
  • SRAM 9-speed chain
  • Crank Bro Pedals

I'd take $1000 for her OBO.

You Never Know...

...what you might see during a grand adventure ride with friends at BURP.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Urban Assault...

Monday night, in the dark and dreary heart of Kansas City, the fab four of ethos racing (Travis, Jesse, Cameron and of course Me) took to the streets for an evening in the concrete jungle. There is so much fun to be had when the trails are wet and all you can do is ride retaining walls, hit drops, and generally be a kid again. Aside from one accident causing bodily harm and a burp-flat, we had a usual. We finished our ride limping home in the rain, I'd say just in the neck-of-time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

SAR Site Shenanigans...

Great shot from back-in-the-day at the SAR site in Yosemite. Some days you had to find something to keep you occupied, you know, when the thousands of granite monoliths surrounding you had gotten old...thanks for sending over the photo Pat!

Hacking good times...

I am still sick. The Swine Flu has gone but a residual sinus infection has left me hacking, coughing and not at 100% for way too long now. I just want to go outside and play, to feel the wind on my face, to be free of this crap-feeling. Thankfully Dr. Andre called with just the right Rx... a ride out at BURP on a more than perfect sunny day.
We arrived at the Sandtrap and as usual geared-up and got our psyche-on for the ride. Mason and Brett, casually late, arrvied and did the same. The four of us headed out on a planned ride as follows; Wagon to Ox Bow to Low line to Little Moab to Mary Truman to Rocky Top to Highline to middle to low to Ox Bow and back to the Sandtrap. We did just as planned and had a great time, a perfect time actually.

Andre Sending one of the many BURP rock gardens

Out on Wagon we encountered some 'newer' technical offshoots that I had net seen before. Maybe I am blind? We knew of the drop referred to as Rob's, and when we arrived we were excited to see another line or two nearby with some sweet drops and rock gardens. Being off the bike for weeks I did not think I would be attempting said features, but i went for it, and sent the line first try. It was a sweet line starting with an up onto a long flat rock that then dropped you to a fin type up-and-over, and continuing along the tops of various other stacked rocks until a second drop was sent. Man, I had a blast and my trusty SS flowed over the terrain like it was nothing. The other fellas tried a few other lines in the same area and had a blast.

Mason attemtping the second of two drops on a 'newer' line, near 'Robs'...

Back up on my soapbox, I finally did the foundation drop. I had always heard horror stories of this drop, which is followed by a few stairs which makes it intimidating, but I went for it and sent, first try without issue. Andre had a good explanation as to my newly found huevos, something to the effect of 'forgetting bad habits', which seemed right on.
Though I was coughing, hacking and riding pretty darn slow, It was SO good to be back in the saddle on a perfect 70 degree, sunny November day.

Mason - 1 flat. Brett - 1 flat. Why do you guys always get flats?

I love to ride bikes, love it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

For Sale...

Selling these for my bros..obviously They're not mine (they have gear thingy's)
2009 Specialized Epic Marathon, Aluminum, Large $2,650

2009 Specialized S-Works Carbon HT, Medium $3,000

Email me if you can't stand being the only guy out there on a huffy.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Bug...

Has had the best of me for a week now.... Don't worry, I'm feeling better and will soon treat your eyes to some glorious spout about riding bikes and how much fun it is...

Friday, October 23, 2009


I have finally purchased what I hope will be an indestructible chain ring made by White Industries. They now are making this beautiful piece of cnc machined-art with the ring and bash-gaurd combined, all milled from one piece of aluminum. The ring itself seems to be a good bit thicker than the ones I've had in the past, and with the bash-gaurd combo, this sucker might actually make it through more than one season of riding. Dead-sexy!

29ers in the World Cup...

Hilarious Video HERE

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Race Accross The Sky...

The 2009 Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race Documentary is TONIGHT! More info and the movie trailer is HERE! Check out the story about my personnal experience racing this event HERE

Xmas List...

Dave sent his to me today...
And Mine will start with this...
To be continued...

Ethos Brotherhood...

Dominating the BLVD Cup...

Travis Cameron

More of Lyle's photos of the event can be found HERE

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunshine Divine...

A-freaking-men! The sun FINALLY came out. The gloomy gray weather has least for now. I made it through the a week of the flu and am now ready to get back in the saddle. Today was the day (Sunday) so I met Travis (a.k.a. the trail a$$hole) at at his trail. The tread was dry, leaf covered and scary-good. The rocks were slicker than a greased-possum, making the techie section a real bear, sending me into the earth more than once. I guess I was not fully recovered from the flu because I could barely ride. I bet ol' Travis waited for me at least six times in as many miles. At one point I just wanted to walk my bike, but I trudged-onward. We checked out some of the new trails being cut in Swope Park after our ride. Man, this area is going to be a destination for sure. The terrain is just too wicked-cool not to attract more than the locals. So here is too the divine sunshine, thank you for showing your face and bringing me out of the gloom...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hump Day Bliss...

Man, the rain was headed to our neck-of-the-woods at a fast pace – according to the radar. Shoffner and I had plans to ride…somewhere, preferably DIRT. I was dying, just waiting for him to get out of class so we could beat the weather and have a good time tearing the sprinkles started coming down. At this point any mere mortal would have put his tail between his legs and called it a night, headed to the local bar and told fishing stories all night long; but not me. Shoffner finally called and was headed to my place for an adventure ride. The rain was not coming down enough to make the ground wet under the canopy of trees in my yard, so we figured the trails would be golden. We were right! We headed out from my place at 7:30 with lights. Down the Lawrence hill and into the Mill Creek trail system just long enough to cross the creek into SMP. Once in the park we hit some good single track and gravel to get us to the mountain bike trails. We blazed the purple loop, the red spur and finally the orange. I’ll say it again; the trails were in perfect shape! YAHOO! We then head out on a mission to continue our dirt single track endeavors and had great success in adding about 6 more miles to our ride. What a freaking awesome time followed by what else but a nice cool beverage. The rain barely hit the area and it was bone dry on the trails as well as the pavement by the time we arrived back at my place around 9:45. I guess you suckas that stayed home because you were scared of melting are wishing you would have sacked-up and made it out for Hump Day. It’s raining today and I have no regrets…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dirty Dancing...

The Swayze Memorial Cross Extravaganza started off with a bang on Wednesday night. A hand full of mental cyclists showed face for what ended up being a grand time in one of midtowns hidden parks. Britton mixed it up for us with a three stage event.
First we all lined up for a time trial. All I am going to say is this; I must have been watching way too much television, because you just can't pull a Tokyo Slide on a Cross Check in grass going ludacris speed and live to tell about it, unless of course you are me, and I did not fair all that well. I don't seem to know how to jump those barrier thingy's either; I manged to knock that puppy right over with my failed bunny-hop attempt. I must have been a hoot to watch! My boy Garet busted out the TT in good form (even though he was totally sober) and went on to finish the overall event tied for a money spot
Second we did a 9ish minute cross race with many trees and steep but short hills. I think Cameron passed me on his fixie like twelve times in 9 least that's how I remember it. The new training plan that Quannum has me on; beers before and during races for a quick pre-hydration and carbo-load, did not treat me well. Maybe it was the Power bar I added to the mix...but I thought that would dial me in...wrong-o, sucka! Oh Well, It was all for fun anyway!
Third we did a similar but longer cross race with an added 40' of sand. The sand was hell on all but Cam, who once again lapped us with his hovercraft riding abilities. He'd float the entire sand pit on his 2.4's as we all ran through like girls.
The whole event for me, was all about having a low-stress good time with no plan of even getting close to a good finish. I have to get the hot-dog cross guys totally psyched-out thinking that I am indeed, a tard.
I'll be there next week with my game face on, ready for action and post-race urban madness!
On a side note I was able to get in a quick ride at SMP with Andre. This was a good thing because I had been home with a sick boy for many days and needed some fresh air before I turned into a fat p.o.s.
Andre and I did a lap plus* and had a good, yet fairly relaxing time on what I'd have to say was the best weather day we've had all year. Perfect day actually. I do have to comment on the trail alteration that we came upon. Someone has dumbed-down the step-up on red by breaking it off. Yes, someone has broken the rock ledge step-up so that every tard on the block can send the obstacle now. Bummer! I thought this was the 'advanced' trail...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Be There...

A New Dawn...

Thursday night the temps were perfecto for a ride at BURP. The Ethos Racing posse gathered for a quick 'before the sun goes down' lap from the Sandtrap. Andre and I arrived early and zoomed a turn on the Wagon Trail. I love that section of trail with it's technical rock features and finally the fast flowing trail back to the bridge.

We then met up with Travis and Jamie, who were pimping the new Ethos Racing kit. Looking good fellas! We headed out Oxbow to the East side, flew through Middle and High Lines and then called it a night as the rain and sun came down. BURP is a great place to get on some dirt with all flavors of difficulty; sweet climbs, large technical rocks, zoomy downhills and fast sections along the river. Just a grand time in the city with the feeling of being lost in a forest. I love Blue River!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

KC Cup Race Photos...

Local Photographer Randy Braley was at the event and has some great photos up for your viewing pleasure HERE.
If you'd like to get prints of any of these photos, contact info is HERE.

Monday, September 21, 2009

KC Cup 2009 - Race Report

Heartland put on another fine festival of events over the weekend at the new Kansas City hot-spot; Swope trails. Saturday things started off with cyclocross. The course was sweet with a mix of dirt single track, some pavement and lots of turns through grassy terrain. I couldn’t tell you how many folks were actually racing but there were just as many kids and wives out watching which was great to see. Chipotle donated 100 burritos for the event, which were sold and profits benefited the local trail building pocket book of the ERTA. The weekend of events was a fundraiser for them so that the 50ish miles of trails that have been planned can become a reality over the next decade. I’m psyched to see this happen!
Out for the race were many locals. A few note worthy mentions are Dave Wilson, Jamie Jeffries and Brian Chasm. These fellas love to have a good time riding bikes! My main man Dave Wilson brought home 3rd in the Single Speeed class, ripping it up 'multi-bike' style on his mountain Bike with skinny tires. Nice riding Dave!
Dave getting ready to dominate...
Brian felxing his single speed muscle power.

Jamie ripping the course.

Sunday was the XC Mountain Bike race. I had long awaited this event! I knew that most of my riding pals would be racing and I was even more psyched that my Wife and Son would be there cheering me on!

I raced the usual Single Speed class. We started off the line 2 minutes behind the Experts. The course started with a series of pavement to dirt single track jaunts, then down a paved road for a ½ mile and finally into the woods on the dusty, technical and rock covered single track. I had a great start considering all the pavement (which can be slow going with only one gear). I was trucking it pretty good and went into the woods in about third position in my class. I was ripping through the trails and feeling great. My knees did not bother me one bit, even after all of the worrying! Knowing that the 8-pins section was coming up, I was able to pass a handful of riders and get in there, without what would be a potential road block. I knew that the 8-pins section was so technical that riders would crash, walk or just go way too slow. I love this section and planned to blaze it on my bike, no walking for me...that would make me feel like a real looser. I made it about ¼ of the way into 8-pins when I lost my chain. I tried to put it back on and keep riding three times. It kept falling back off. I finally realized that I had somehow bent my front chain ring!!! F%&K!!! This is the second chain ring I have taco’d in two weeks! This time it was my White Industries (last time it was a Surly). I laid my bike down and grabbed the nearest rock, then proceeded to beat the ring until it was straight enough to hold the chain and I was back riding. I would guess that 25 riders passed me during that time. Bummer!

I knew there was no hopes for a podium finish now but I was NOT going to get another DNF, so I decided that I would just do as planned and keep riding hard and pick-off as many riders as I could and finish the race. I was feeling solid and riding well when I decided to grab my water bottle for a refresher and it was gone. I guess during my ghetto bike repair I had lost my only water bottle! Bummer again; I was thirsty, but still determined to keep cranking along! Thankfully when I passed My cheering section (Dave, Racer, Timbo, Kelly and Seamus), Kelly had an extra water bottle and she handed it to me and I kept on riding and was so thankful she was able to hook me up! I did at some point along the way find my missing water bottle on the trail, so I grabbed it as I passed and was good to go.

Still feeling solid on my last lap, still passing riders and most of all having a great time, I popped-out onto the final climb to the finish and sprinted to the line. I was feeling great and ready for another lap! I had a great race and if I had not had the mechanical on my first lap, would have made the podium! I don’t care so much about that though, so all was good and off to the ‘free sponsor beer’ cooler I went! I placed 6th and by the looks of the lap times, I was way behind after that first lap but made up a little time on the second! It was great to have Kelly and Seamus there cheering me on and awaiting my finish at the line. It’s cool to be able to hug your kid when you finish a race and feel the love. He was cheering me on the whole time! Thanks Bubs!

My Family at the finsh.
My bros all had great races. Cameron took 2nd to Shad in the Expert race. Garet pulled off a close 3rd and Travis came in not far back in 5th, also in expert. Nice riding fella’s!
Cam enjoying some post race hydration, straight from the case study that beer does rehydrate you better than water!
Cam (2) and Garet (3) on the podium.
Tige (1) and Travis (5) on the podium.
All in all it was a great weekend of racing and a very well put-on event! Special thanks to Heartland, specifically the local boys for all for doing the trail work, making for the best trail in Kansas City hands down . Special Thanks to Travis Stephens for doing most of the man-work building these kick-a$$ trails.

Cowtown Posse in disguise!

Results are HERE

Hope to see you all out at the Swope Trails soon, be it riding OR building! -Burnsey

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Buy My Stuff...

For sale:
s o l d White Brothers Magic 29 Suspension Fork, 100mm of travel. Used for less a month. Sold my 29er, so the fork is now for sale. Excellent condition. Disc Brake only. Like New!The perfect fork for those wanting to go from rigid to suspension, especially good for single speed due to the 'magic valve' technology that keeps the fork from 'bobbing' while climbing. I run the same fork on my 26" bike and it kicks major a$$. Highly recommend this baby for your 29er! Photos upon request...Asking $300
Specialized 'Roval traversee CL 26" wheelset, tubless set-up. Super light. Roll true and no hopes, but do have a few dings in the rims (nothing that inhibits performance). Will accept up to a 9-speed cassette. Asking $275
s o l d Chris King Headset, 1 1/8" black, includes 5mm headset race. One piece is annodized gold, so I guess this is a mis-matched set, but it's what I ran to complement some gold hubs in the past. Excellent condition. Asking $75
s o l d Race Face Turbine Crankset, 5 bolt, 94bcd, silver. Excellent condition. Bought these much wanted cranks for one of my SS builds. You can run these with three rings OR like I would, with one and a bash gaurd. Requires square taper BB. I also have a Race Face bash gaurd and a Surly 32t stainless ring. Asking $75 for the cranks, $100 with ring & gaurd.
Truvative team Carbon Riser Bars, 31.8 clamp. Seen a ton of use, scratched and ugly, but beefy and good to keep you from rattling out your teeth. Asking $40
s o l d Surly Track Cogs (thread on)I have at least two. One is a 19t and the other is an 18t. Asking $15 each
s o l d Thomson X4 Stem, 31.8 clamp, 110 x 12, black. Asking $70
s o l d Crank Brothers Candy C pedals, yellow, well used w/o cleats (new cleats are $20 at your LBS). Asking $25
s o l d Oury Lock On Grips, black w/ silver lock rings, like new (no endcaps). Asking $10
s o l d Oury Grips, standard grey, great condition. Asking $5
No Name Drop Bars, silver. FREE
s o l d WTB Rocket V saddle, silver & Black, cromo rails, like new. Asking $25
Prices are OBO.
Serious inquries only, please. Email me at I might be able to get photos for you, but I'd rather you just come and see the goods. First come first serve. You come to me, I am a busy man. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best of Luck......

Cam has asked his bros to comment on his blog (HERE) if we think he is or is not ‘the man’ that Specialized is looking for to be a part of an interesting sounding gig; the Specialized trail Crew. I thought I’d comment on my blog and try to let Specialized know that indeed, Cam is above and beyond what they are looking for.
I first met Cameron Chambers when he was working at the Trek Bicycle Store here in Kansas City. I have to admit that I have never had any luck getting any good feedback or information form the Trek Store employees in the past. I had all but given up hope on this shop until the day I met Cam. I was inquiring about local trails and some specific information on building up a single speed mountain bike. Cam was the absolute most helpful guy I had ever met. He casually guided me through beta on the local trails and on some good parts and information to get my single speed build off on the right track. He did so in a calm and very uplifting manner, never once acting like he was better than me, never once with any elitist attitude, never once talking my ideas down; purely an individual psyched to be helping out a fellow rider. I was instantly hooked on this ‘kid’, and his kindness and help put a blindfold over my eyes as to the bad experience I had with the shop in the past, and I would come into the shop and visit Cam each week with more questions and stories of epic rides.
I did not learn that Cam had in the past been a National Champion or a sponsored athlete for some time. He never brought it up; I heard it from some locals. He gave no clue as to his history of, how you say… being a bad ass on two wheels. I had to pry this info from him on our first ride together, which was at one of our local hot spots; Landahl. On the drive to Landahl, Cam told me stories of his riding history and I told him stories of my climbing. It was a fun ride and he made me feel like I was one of the team, for sure. He seemd to be in a sense moving towards a more grass roots cycling lifestyle and glad to be a bit out of the spotlight, more down to earth, and able to get back to a more normal life with friends and family.
A fair amount of time has passed since our initial meeting. I no longer see him as the bike shop kid, but as a great guy in general. Cam has moved into different rolls in his career, now working at BikeSource but still being ‘the man’ to talk to at the shop. His calm and cool demeanor and vast experience and knowledge about riding has helped me and at least a handful of our friends become better, faster and more competent riders. Cam can sell a bike, fix a bike, fit you on your bike, lead a group ride, race a bike, build some sick trail and toss back a brew with the best of them. He is also a great writer; his blog is full of colorful and adventurous tales of his riding exploits which always paint a picture in my mind and make me smile. If I had the opportunity to hand pick the crew for Specialized, Cam would be my first choice, and I feel that I speak for a majority of the Kansas City area avid biking crew. Cam IS indeed the man and would be the ultimate advocate for a company like Specialized, period. Who else can tear-it-up on a cyclocross, fixed gear mtn bike, single speed mtn bike, gear mtn bike and road bike and have such a good rap with the community? Specialized, don't let this guy slip from your grasp! Best of luck to you Cameron, you deserve it! See you this weekend at the KC Cup! -Your pal, Burnsey

Monday, September 14, 2009

SMP Weekend (River too)...

Sunday is the KC Cup race at Swope Park. I really want to race in this event as I have been looking forward to a local race since I missed R.I.M., due to being in Leadville. This will be a great time amongst friends and I am psyched to race, ride, hang out and just be in the moment.
The past few days I have been trying to answer the question, "are my knees ready?". I have to say that I have been hiding out under the radar as of late. My knees are not yet fully recovered from the damage I caused due to my desire to keep riding (even when my body says NO). I have taken nearly a month off from any hard rides, albeit I have been riding, but in shorter than normal time frames on less demanding terrain.
I have to admit, after about two hours of riding I am done and I still have not been able to really put the hammer down fully to see what my limits are. Sunday will be a test. I will either be able to mash... or not. Having a second DNF on my record would really suck monkey-balls.
With that all in mind I had two good rides at SMP this weekend. These trails are great becasue I can ride from my house and do a lap and be home in just over an hour. I get plenty of good terrain under my belt without having to suffer and wonder If I am doing more damage to the knees. I plan to get in two more good rides before the race and then just go out and have a grand time.
I did make it out for a few laps at the Lawrence River trails recently with Andre. Had a great time while Kelly and Semus crusied the levee itself, also having a good ol' time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taco'd my...

Chain ring...weird huh? Whats even weirder is that I had a friend do the same thing with a Surly ring, not once but twice in the last month (and I thought he was doing something wrong, sorry Funkmeister). I simply started mega-cranking on flat ground to see what kind of off-the-line go juice my new build had in her, and KAZAAM! The ring just bent all crazy-like. Pulled right through two chain ring bolts and left me sitting with my nutz on the top tube...damn!
Plan B left me riding my SS mtn bike around on the paved and gravel trails of Shawnee Mission Park instead of a glorious initiation ride on the Superman it goes. But none the less, I did have an enjoyable ride, I did poach some dirt and I did manage to go over my handlebars a total of two times, awe yeah, the painfull bliss of riding bikes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Totally Tubular...

I just love this photo of John Harter at his local trail (stolen from the ER forum)...Classy man, classic photo! What the hell is that anyway Harter? You run over a boa constrictor?

Rapture in Misery...

They did it again! The dynamic duo, often referred to as Team Ethos Racing or Travis and Cameron, whooped it up at this years Rapture in Misery race at Crowder State Park August 15th. Racing in the 12 hour duo Travis and Cameron ticked off some fast times all the way through a tough race that ended with your classic Midwestern thunderstorm. Heartland put on a great event (as freakin' usual!!!) and here are the official results. Nice riding fellas.

Cross Dressing...

I have to say it, I am not a roadie, not a guy who indulges in the complexity of gears and I refuse to shave my legs; I am but a man. So, with that in mind I set out to disassemble my Surly Cross Check from a geared cyclocross machine and covert her into a blinglespeed commuter. Amen.
First I removed the damn drop bar p.o.s., I don't know how anyone holds onto those weird shaped things anyway...see ya. Then off with the whole Dura Ace group; front and rear derailleurs, crank set and sti shifters/levers...gone. Finally I removed the little girly fork.
To replace the aforementioned garbage (not really garbage, but I don't need it, you're welcome Jesse), I slapped on a pimp old schooly set of Race Face Turbine cranks with a 34 tooth Surly Ring and yes, a bash guard. For the cockpit I chose a sweet Jones Titanium H-Bar with some classic Real canti-levers and an On One 29er fork. I used a spacer kit and went with a Surly 16t cog on the existing Chris King hub. Kept the trusty Thomson stem and post, Paul canti brakes, Salsa clamp and Chris King headset. Finished her up with a new and flashy Sella San Marco Saddle and new cables & housing - shabam! Ready to rock (& roll)
I'll be using the new and improved Superman Surly as my commuter and general urban assault tank, probably hitting a bit of single track along the way. Ahhh, I feel much better now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You...

A little teaser for those Leadville fans out there...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tour De Shawnee

Sunday was the official Tour De Shawnee, a fun filled family style bike ride in my hood. Kelly, Seamus and I packed up our goods and headed over to the ride start to meet Jeannie, Andre, Erin, Jeff, Jack and Grace. We chose the 11ish mile route, which was great and fairly hill-free. I was pulling Seamus in the Burley trailer and riding my Surly Cross Check while Kelly was on her Surly Instigator. We had a fun ride with friends and proceeded to head over to Andre's casa for a BBQ afterwards. Nothing better than a bike ride followed by a relaxing day in a friends backyard drinking fine malt beverages and eating food fresh off the grill!!
I was told by many folks that Seamus and I are now famous, being seen televised on channel 4 news; me riding with my cow town jersey and pulling him in the trailer during the ride. I'll be signing autographs this weekend in Arkansas, at the one and only Sam's Throne climbing area. Be there or be square!

Andre and Erin enjoying the perfect ride...

On a side note; the weather here in KC has been great! Temps have been in the 60's and 70's, perfect for commuting to work, which I have been trying to do as much as possible - so that I can open a can of whoop-a$$ at the KC Cup race next month at Swope...YAHOO!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still Got Game...

After taking almost a week to recover from my knee injuries, I am back in the saddle!
Sunday I met Cameron, Travis, Jesse, Steve and a few others for a good 2 hour ride at Landahl. The trails were in perfect shape and we had a great ride. I was concerned that my knees would really bother me but I was doing great, feeling great and having a great time. I was even able to clear a few rock obstacles that in the past, had kicked my a$$ time and time again. YAHOO!
Monday I just had to ride again. After a week of wondering if I had totally destroyed my knees and now knowing I was good to go, I headed off to the trails. Weather was perfect, trails were perfect, yes! I pushed shuffle on my ipod and headed out, doing the fastest lap at Shawnee Mission Park I have ever done. It was so fast that I cannot even disclose the information at this time...
I am sooooo glad to be back on the bike, having a fun and fairly pain-free time!
Tomorrow I'll be heading up north for the infamous "Spiderfest" ride at Smithville Lake. I am totally looking forward to seeing all of the crazy folks costumed-up for an evening ride in celebration of those darn web-weaving critters! It will be a blast! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Weight of Lead......

Leadville, Colorado, sits at 10,152’ as the highest city in the country. Though a small community, they can throw a helluva race event!
My trip to the 2009 Leadville 100 mountain bike race started Tuesday night. Timbo and Brooke arrived at my casa at 10 p.m. and we tossed my bike and gear in the Subaru and headed west. After a long night of driving and a brief stop in Denver for breakfast and some last minute shopping at REI, we made the final few hour jaunt to arrive in our destination town of Leadville around the lunch hour. The plan in general was to meet our friends Dave, Eric, Mark and Gerald at Lance’s house for the week. Lance and Michelle had opened up there home to us and were selfless in their host abilities. We’d all be camping in the back yard with views of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert (highest point in Colorado at 14,433), a beautiful place to be. Once we had all arrived we started planning a few pre-rides of the course and general single track rides around town. Michelle would be taking care of our meals for the week while those of us racing were treated like kings.
Day one (Wednesday) we set-up camp and headed out to one of the local single track trails near town. I have no clue of the trails name, but we had a good 1.5-2 hour ride to wake our legs up from the long drive we had just made from KC. The trail was super fun and gave us a small taste of what climbing in the thin air of 10,000 feet plus would feel like. We knew we would be in for a hard race on Saturday, but we were all happy to be there and sure that things would go well for us all.
Day two (Thursday) Lance took us on a tour of the infamous Sugarloaf climb and the Powerline Descent. Lance, Timbo, Dave, Eric and I all made the climb and were feeling like champs. We then did the Powerline descent, which was a rutted nightmare covered in loose gravel and deep ruts that would send you flying at any sign of rider weakness. It was a long and fast descent that we knew would have to also be climbed during the race, a tall order to say the least. This climb/descent would be one of three done during the race, with Sugarloaf being considered the easiest climb and Powerline being the steepest. After our pre-ride we headed back to Lance’s place for a feast and movie night.
Day three (Friday) was our rest day. We lounged around town, did some shopping, drank some good coffee and prepped our bikes and gear for the race. We also met for the medical check-in and pre-race meeting in the a.m. Dinner consisted of a huge feast including but not limited to; Grilled Chicken Breast, Pasta, Salad, Bread, Cookies, Cake and whatever left-overs there were from the previous days. We were all anxious and headed to bed by 9 p.m.
Day four (Race Day). We awoke at 4:30 a.m. to a starless sky and temps in the 30’s. Start time was 6:30 so we all ate a good breakfast, geared-up and headed to the starting line with 1,400ish other riders to begin the long awaited race. 3-2-1 and the shotgun fired. We were off and the road was crowded. One wrong move and there would be a domino effect that could be devastating.
The first few miles of the race were downhill, fast and on the road. Everyone was flying and riding in a huge pack. Scary. Rain had started falling by now and everyone was cold and wet. I would guess the temperature was in the upper 30’s, lower 40’s. I think that the temps and rain really knocked a few riders out of the race. Some did not choose to bring rain gear and others just could not deal with the pain of numb fingers and toes. I felt fortunate to have experienced being 'warm and wet' from climbing and mountaineering and can say that I was actually psyched that the conditions 'sucked'. I typically fair well in this scenario. We finally arrived at the first climb, Mt. Kevin’s. Out of 1,400ish riders, there were only about 50 of us on single speeds. When we hit the Mt. Kevin’s climb, all the geared folk went right into granny. Talk about going from 35 to 4 in a split second, man, this really sucked for the SS guys. A group of three of us lined up and started picking off folks left and right. You can’t climb slow when you have only one gear, you have to stay on top of your gear and crank. If not, you just can’t move and with the granny’s spinning up the steep and long climb, we just had to charge through. It was cool how much support there was amongst the riders. We’d yell “single-speeder on the left” and everyone would move out of the way and cheer us on. This was a really uplifting part of the whole event for me; everyone was cheering for everyone.
After St. Kevins I recall a long downhillish section of gravel roads and maybe even some pavement, leading us to the second climb; Sugarloaf. We had done Sugarlaof earlier in the week so I knew what to expect, however is was made more difficult by the train of riders going up, and the trail being in worse shape than St. Kevins, it was harder to pass, but was a much easier climb.
At the top of Sugarloaf starts the Powerline descent. Powerline is infamous for tossing riders, being steep, fast and scary. We had ridden this section of trail two days earlier so we knew the line and what to expect. With the rain coming down the descent was actually in much better condition than before, allowing me to go for broke, passing a handful of riders as I reached ludacris speed and finally the bottom, where the race course turned into rolling hills and flats to the 40 mile mark at Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes is the second aid station as well as the 4 hour time cut-off. If you were not here at 10:30, you were cut from the race. I was feeling great, riding well and having a good time. I had passed many riders and felt as though I could be riding at a 9 hour pace. To my dismay, I arrived at the checkpoint at 3:45…just 15 minutes before the cut. I then realized that this was going to be a battle of a race to finish and make the next few time-cuts. I also thought of all those riders behind me and hoped they would all make it in time, including Timbo and Jamie, who I had passed and not seen for over an hour.
When I arrived at Twin Lakes it was a spectacular sight. As you ride across the damn, people are lined-up on either side, cheering, clapping, ringing cowbells and giving high-fives. It was an exhilarating feeling. I passed the timing tent and stopped for a brief re-fueling with my pit-crew. Brooke and Eric had things covered. They switched out my bottles, gave me food and sent me on my way just like pros. As I started off once again, Lance Armstrong came through the crowd, on his return trip (that would be my mile 40 to his mile 60). Impressive I thought. I was now on my way up the ten mile climb to 12,400 feet on Columbine. I would soon also see Dave Weins on his return, just minutes behind Lance. The difference between these two men was defining; Lance with a grim dark stare and in contrast, Dave shouting to everyone he passed, “Keep pushing! You’re doing great! Go for it!”
Columbine is the grand master of climbs during the race. The summit is the turn-around point and the 50 mile mark. I was psyched, hydrated, had tons of energy and knew I’d be on top of my game for the 10 mile climb. Just as before, I would find myself climbing faster than the geared bikes. Even though the climbing was different that what I had trained for, I was feeling good. Usually a single speed rider climbs out-of-the-saddle, or standing. With long climbs like these, you have to mix-it-up and sit for a majority of the climbing. Imagine doing one legged squats until failure, then keep going until your legs feel like they might explode, then keep going like your life depends on it. This is how my knees felt as I reached the 46 mile mark. It was a fast onset and total change of events for me at this point. I could no longer push. My knees blew-up. I sat on the side of the trail and massaged them, rested and got back on my bike. I would make it 200 yards only to find myself in so much pain that I could no longer go. I did not expect this to happen, not at all, I thought I could force it and keep going. I told myself to go, that I could do this, that I was better than I think. I did this routine four times. I could feel my joints just shredding and finally had to make the call; game over.
I sat on the side of the trail for maybe an hour, watching and cheering on those still able to ride. Some still making the push up and the leaders going down. I was bummed; the totally heartbroken kind of bummed were you feel like burying your head in the dirt. I looked at the photo of my wife and son that I had taped to my top-tube and apologized to them. I wanted to make them proud. They were the ones making the sacrifice staying home so I could race, and a veil of shame came over me.
I was 4 miles from the summit, 6 miles from the aid station, a broken man. I mounted my faithful steed and made the descent back to Twin Lakes. Any up-hill areas I’d walk, using my bike as a crutch. I rolled into Twin Lakes and got the cheers a finisher would get, undeserved. They did not know I had thrown in the towel. I arrived at my pit and the crew started switching my bottles and offering food. I had to tell them at least 3-4 times “I’m Done” before it finally sank-in. Jamie was there, he had not made the first time-cut. Everyone patted me on the back and tried to make me feel like a winner anyway, just like good friends should.
I stuck around to see Mark and Dave make it through Twin Lakes and continue the race. Timbo had passed me while I was sitting on Columbine and I knew that he’d be back down at some point. Gerald too had passed through and was looking strong. Now all of my energy would go into my friends, hoping they would have what it takes to ride across the red carpet finish.
So that’s’ it in a nut shell, failure. I have not had to look her in the face for some time, but today I was humbled. I was also enlightened with answers to many questions I had prior to the race, and I will, at some point in the future, conquer the Leadville 100.
I’d like to take this time to thank all of my loyal friends and sponsors, who have had my back and supported me this race season. Without you, none of these races would have been possible!
Kelly and Seamus Burns
And to Lance, Michelle and Nina Schamberger – Thanks so much for the ‘home sweet home’ feel you gave us; the stinky group of KC mountain bike freaks.
Photos and official race results to come… Happy Trails!