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...