Monday, October 31, 2011


With Fall comes the cool air and bright colors. I’m reminded of my roots; climbing rocks and living outside, taking it all in. This weekend I took the family down to Arkansas to enjoy a weekend of hiking, rock climbing and camping with some friends. It was nice to take a few days off from riding and enjoy some slow moving fresh air, and to see my boys running around getting dirty.
Five hours in the car is a long time when you have two little dudes always craving attention, but my wife and I managed to make it happen with minimal damage. In true Pirate fashion, the little guys have the road-trip-pee-bottle technique down to a science; no stopping. We brought more than enough gear to make a comfortable campsite with all the luxuries you’d expect with the V-dub so close. Our destination was HCR (Horseshoe Canyon Ranch), a great little Dude Ranch in the heart of the Ozarks that houses some of the best sandstone cragging in the state.
We had some good friends to share our adventure; The Dory clan, The Manimal & Bit and Ranski & son. We’d wake up to the bitter cold mornings, make some coffee and breakfast, then hike up to the crag. The sun felt o-so-good beating down on the orange and gray rock as we climbed from route to route. The little fellas climbed and played in the dirt. Life is good.
Our evenings went fast as the sun dropped beneath the forested landscape around 7:30, and we’d crank out a group dinner then relax around the fire. Smore’s were made over the hot coals, and fishing stories told. We even made a trip over to the Barn where inside you can find an indoor climbing wall, Slackline and Speleobox. The Speleobox was a hit with the kids, but It took me a little bit of time to get past a fear of small, cramped dark places. You see, the S-box is a Cavers delight. A multi-level, crawl-through caving practice; you go in one hole about 18” x 24”, wiggle around in the dark through a maze of drops, squeezes and unrelenting corners until you pop out the other side, some 15 minutes later. Spooky to say the least. HERE is a video of a Speleobox in use in the daylight. True form is to do it in pitch black.
So to keep this short and sweet; we had a great time, climbed some rocks, saw some wildlife, traveled, ate at Andy’s Frozen Custard, Drank Beer, Hiked, camped and had a great time.
Now I’m ready to get back on the bike for some good cold weather, fixed gear mountain bike madness!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Down with OTB...

Last nights P-ride was a good one, a little weird but fun as usual. A good crew showed to ride; Pyro, The Manimal, Coletrain, Cliff, Gabriel, Billy and Farmer. I had a bit of anxiety about the ride happening due to forecasted temps going from 80+ on Monday to near freezing Wednesday night, and a 50% chance for rain. Well the rain came in the a.m. and did not even come close to even knocking the dust of the trail, and the temperature was 54 degrees when we rolled out, nearly perfect for a good ride in the dark. It felt cooler than 54, like 44, but we were all prepared and stayed plenty warm.
Tonight was a special night for Pyro. He was breaking in his new Single Speed. I am overjoyed that he built-up such a sweet ride, and is psyched to escape the distraction of gears (at least for his 'winter training'). Six out of the eight riders tonight were running one gear, a glorious thing indeed. Four of us were still in recovery mode from the BTepic race over the weekend, and were dragging ass but still having fun. Coletrain was being his usual impatient self and seemingly annoyed with my choice of routes, kept saying 'lets go' and 'can we get back on the normal trails'. Well, I like Coletrain and enjoy riding with him, but this is my gig and I was gunning for an adventure. The Manimal was in the same adventure mode and when I said 'Ya wanna try some new rogue/vague/un-rideable shit'?...and he was all in.
We deviated from the home loop to find ourselves lost in the middle of nowhere. I was not lost, but no one else knew were the f&%k we were, and that's just how I like it. Some of the 'trail' we rode was nothing more than a faint line in the tall grass; sometimes not even that, but the kind of trail you just Use The Force to navigate.
Leading the ride, I always try to call out any dangerous obstacles to those behind me. I think I yelled 'log' about 3,879* times last night. I also mentioned as we crested a short but steep climb that there was a double log on the descent that was a sure thing if you were into OTB (Over The Bars). I guess Pyro was game, because he took a good dive, denting his helmet pretty good as his head impacted the earth. This time I did not laugh. I had done the exact same maneuver the day before. OTB at night but no injuries. We continued on our wild path of craziness, moving faster and faster until I too took a good spill. My front end washed-out on me on a left turn. I too went OTB. I remember things going slow-motion. My face impacted the dirt, just past a large rock. My bottom lip felt stretched down under my chin as my lower teeth acted as a bulldozer; scraping the surface and filling my mouth with debris. I thought for sure I was going to be pretty f&%ked up, but after spitting for a few minutes I realized that I'd only scraped up my face and inner lip a bit. Nothing to keep us from continuing our crusade.
We pressed on and eventually, after what a few of the fellas said 'felt like we would never stop climbing', we reached some fast, flowing and familiar single track. At this point Pyro was claiming to be ready for beers, so we headed back to the Pirates Lair 'the shortest route' to toss back a few around the fire. The short route to me always means the shortest way via the best trails. We hit the ridge trail that the Manimal and I like so much and made it to the Lawrence climb minutes later.
The four of us who had raced over the weekend were hurting, or at least I was, and the climb back up to the house seemed oh-so-painful. The hoppy beer that Cliff had brought was a fine treat to finish off a good 18 miles of riding, and the fire was warm and cozy. Pyro yelled from afar that he was leaving, and I thought WTF, he said he wanted to get back and pound beers? Oh well... The married life will get you at times. Understood.
Thanks for coming out to ride fellas. Good times as usual. See you next week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

BT Epic 2011 - Race Report...

I’d heard of the Berryman Trail, the BT Epic race and all of the stories that go along with it. I had been looking forward to a handful of great endurance races this season and after missing out on Burning at the Bluff, I just HAD to try my best to get a spot in the BT Epic. It’s been busy times around my house and getting the kitchen pass was going to be difficult, but somehow, even with a billion hiccups along the way, I was out the door on Friday morning to pick up The Manimal, Justin and Drew to head south for just shy of 60 miles of good riding and (2) nights of sleeping under the stars. The Vdub Express is a killer road-trip machine and we enjoyed a comfortable 4.5 hour drive to Bass River Resort, home for the weekend.
Justin, Drew, Burnsey, The Manimal & Sarah
There was a huge crowd of riders at this event. With some big cash payouts up for grabs, you knew it was going to truly be an epic race. After arriving we established camp, suited-up and headed out for a pre-ride to warm our legs. For some jack-ass reason we followed The Manimal UP the start of the race course; a 3.2 mile uphill gravel slog, then into nice flowing single track. Why we did the initial hill I don’t recall. It really sucked the life out of my legs. I should have planned a better warm-up, but so it goes and we went. We rode a bit, had enough and headed back to camp to eat dinner and chat with our pals as they arrived.
The Kid
The Vdub Express
Seems like all the cool cats were there. We told all kinds of fishing stories to many faces; Shoffy, The Bald Chimp, Pyro, Old Man Winters, Timbo, Sarah, Dr. Dover, Gabriel and many others. Everyone was ready for the race and psyched for the 8:30 start the next morning, even as temps were dropping into the low 30’s.
Mass Start
Morning came and we dawned our tight pants and team colors. The crowd of almost 300 racers lined up and we were off. The fast group broke off the front early and were out of sight in no time. I was mid pack doing my thing, trying not to blow-up and maintaining a steady pace on the long-ass climb. I was feeling pretty good, passing granny-geared folks along the way. When I made it to the single track it was already man-train-city and moving fast wasn’t going to happen until this thing derailed. Feeling slightly bored at the current state of affairs, I made the best of it by log hopping and playing on features as we went along.
Burnsey Rolling...
Checkpoints/aid stations were at the 11, 20 and 40 miles markers (approx.). At 11 miles I went through the aid station w/o stopping. I was still great on water and nutrition so there was no need. The trail from here to the 20 mile mark was totally awesome! Deep bench cut trail on steep hillsides that would weave back into deep drainage's and out again, then onto rolling hills through the changing leave. Pure bliss and fast rolling, awesome. I really enjoyed this section and was moving very well.
Justin, Man Style (one gear)
After the 20 mile checkpoint the trail changed into something like this; long ass climb, descent, long ass climb, descent, repeat. I was getting worked like a minimum wage job. My knees hurt, my legs hurt and if I were riding naked you’d think I had the biggest, most swollen clitoris you’d ever seen. I was starting to fade into the chump-zone, a point at which you are not sure if you should stop and just die in the woods, keep going or what. I‘m a lover of pain and just kept on trucking, though at a slower pace…much slower.
Pete, being Awesome - 3rd Single Speed
Pyro, Probably lost in the woods
At the 30 mile mark I stopped to grab my zip-tie (you needed 4 of these, in different colors to prove you made it to all the checkpoints) and with Luck, Micah was there handing out special brownies. I needed the special fuel and stuffed one giant mass of chocolate goodness down my throat. This was the fuel and mood change that gave me the juice to roll on to the last checkpoint. 
Proof I was there...and that I crash my bike on ocasion
As I looked for Dana to hand off my goods, I was surprised to see my back-up hander-upper being Shoffy. He hooked me up (unfortunately not with beer) and I was off to finish the last 16 miles and get my drink on. Shoffy said this last section was single speed friendly and so I was psyched to check it out. Indeed it was friendly and super nice trail. I enjoyed this last bit before the 6 miles of gravel back to camp, and once on the gravel had a solid pace and enough energy to get me to the finish line without being totally dead. I’m surprised I wasn’t DFL, my legs sure felt like death, knees too. But, it was a good day in the saddle and I did succeed in my usual goal; Finish, not last.
The Bald Chimp - 1st Single Speed
The Manimal - 2nd Single Speed
Post race food was BBQ and Beer, perfect. The KUAT crew (Beau & Luke) provided free beer for the event (thanks!) and most peeps seemed to tie-one-on at race speed. Awards were given, raffle was done and the bonfire started. Those few who could hang did, and Pete Awesome made short work of trying to rehabilitate the tired-ass folks around the fire with his usual antics; this time being a made-on-the-spot-MacGyver-style beer bong. He taunted the crowd and pressured at least a dozen to toss down a cold one. When folks were saying no, Pete would just shoot one himself to keep the games going. A true sport!
Pete Awesome doing his The Kid
To wrap things up- The Bald Chimp, The Manimal and Pete Awesome rolled in at 1-2-3 in the single speed game (the only important field really). Pyro got took a wrong turn with a crew of fast guys only to loose 30 minutes. The Kid was out there riding hard, but we don’t really know what happened in the end, other than he was feeling really good. Timbo and Kevin made it through looking solid. Sarah, Justin and Drew all rolled in before me. In general we had a great time among friends, got in a good and painful ride and walked away with two podiums for Ethos. The Old Man took home the cash. I hope I ride that hard when I grow up. Not too sure who all the other fast fellas were, so check the link to the results if you care (because I don't).
The Bald Chimp Following Protocol  - Post Race Hydration
Next year I will be doing this race again, and you should too. Results were posted fast on-site, trails were marked well and the course was great. Killer good time!

Results are HERE  AND Photos are HERE (Thank You!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Night Ride Highlights...

Seems like just yesterday it was 80 degrees and I was sweating my arse off trying to keep up with farmer on a lap at BuRP. Last night was a far cry from 80, it was in the 30's, and most of the usual Pirate Ride suspects crawled up in their shells. It was only Justin and I who dared take on the extreme temps to get our ride on, and ride we did.
A more casual than usual start sent us off wandering around in the dark for a few hours of adventurous riding. We skipped a fair amount of the real a$$ kicking climbs and baby-head infested trail to enjoy a loop of the best of the best. We stopped many times to retrace our failed steps at an obstacle to try it again, learning how to achieve the highest level of pure awesomeness there is. Like I've mentioned before, the P-ride is full of log hopping. There are so many dang logs that if you can't hop one, you get left in the dust. We made sure to get our skills dialed-in, even trying a few no-goers that were way off the deck and way out of our league.
At one point we stopped at the stone wall ride, and I pressured Justin into trying it one two many times, all with the confidence builder of me spotting him on the sketchy side. I failed in my duties only to seemingly help him eat the pavement hard, and his knee took the brunt of the fall.
Not skipping a beet Justin wanted to just 'ride it off' and so we went on. It was a chilly night, our fingers and toes were starting to feel that sting of winter. We headed home for a beer and some small talk before we called it a night.
With the BTepic just a few days out, I really hope his knee heals quick. I feel really bad about it. Much worse than I felt when we found this new kick-stand for my bike; a partial deer leg; kinned to the hoof and looking gnarly. We had to be kids and mess with it just long enough to get a photo and a good laugh. That is why I enjoy riding bikes...the foolery of it all, and a laugh to remind me that it's all in good fun.

Monday, October 17, 2011

6 Days...

...until the one and only Berryman Epic Mountain Bike Endurance Race. I guess it's never too late to sign-up and start training. I'm looking forward to my last race of the season as I hear the BTepic is a blast, that the after party is killer and the Pirate Booty is never ending. The Manimal will be coming over to do a little pre-race bike prep this week to make sure our SS rigs are dialed-in for 56 miles of single track in Missouri's Ozarks. I'm pretty psyched about this race, make that any long race at a venue I've never been. Fall has come and the leaves are down, the sounds in the woods are crisp as winter approaches. With 6,000+/- feet of elevation gain, this should be a good time. Hope to see you there. I know there will be a massive showing of Green, and am always down for some riding with my pals.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Man Train...

Don't let the title get you too excited (especially you Casey F. Ryback). Rather, imagine my trusty Single Speed with an Adams Trail-a-bike attached behind and then a Burley trailer attached to the back of that. Yep, a three person rig all powered by me, hauling myself and two little pirates on an adventure.
This weekend I took my two boys to the Double Ogg Dare Festival at Shawnee Mission Park to check out the place and support the park and it's endeavours to turn what was once a horse farm into a huge outdoor experience for the local city dwellers. We had a great time peddling up Ogg road, one of the most bad ass climbs in KC, then on to some gravel and grass shredding. The Original Pirate showed up on her trusty Surly Instigator to rally with the family and we chowed on some nice grilled food and beer, went on a hayride tour of the land and listened to some live bluegrass music. Can't say it could have been much better.
But as it goes it did in fact get better as I met Farmer at BuRP for great ride of everything North of Blue & Blue. I had a good time trying to keep a good pace and an even better time watching Farmer crash-his-brains out on the hard technical sections that make BuRP so rad. I guess he did not really crash that hard, just glad it wasn't me.
Two rides in one day plus beer, food, family and friends. I'd say it was one helluva good Saturday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Long, Hard and Wet...

Another P-ride in the books. Man, this day has been freakin' long. I'm so glad to NOT be at work and to finally be minutes from falling asleep in a comfy bed. Had a good turnout tonight of eleven brave souls (The Manimal, Pyro, Coletrain, Cliff, Farmer, Gabriel, Hector, Billy, Taylor, F.M. and a mystery dude). We We lost two riders (by choice) due to multiple flats or low tire issues. My lack of ability to keep track of time is starting to show. The P-ride is supposed to be 1.5-2 hours of fun. Lately we've been out for 2.5 hours on average, and tonight was no different.
We clocked in some 20+ miles of solid trail at a good pace. I thought I was dragging-ass the whole night but Pyro claimed we were rolling pretty good. That's all I needed to hear to feel o.k. with the ride. I had to work late, participate in a happy hour and miss dinner, and barely made it home in time to ride. I was going to sum up the ride for me as a total shit circus, as my pre-ride nutrition consisted of three Porters and a Manhattan (on an empty stomach), but all was good in the end.
Speaking of the end...three lights went dead - we were out riding that long. It started raining cats and dogs the last ten minutes of the ride and we had really got soaked, but all was good and we enjoyed the cool down. Damn, If I was'nt half asleep I'd come up with something better to say than yeehaw and right-on...good times.
The rain did in fact kill our typical campfire routine, but we managed to toss back a few cold ones in the Man Cave and talk some trash. The mile of new single track we rode tonight was great, a welcome addition to any epic ride - and we strive for epic. Thanks to Chipotle for sponsoring the ride with some BYGO cards. Wishing I had tossed back a burrito the size of my face before the ride. No solid food prior to a long, hard and wet ride really make you feel like a turd.
Hope to see you next week...Cheers!

Own a Piece of Pirate History...

Vicious Cycles - Monolith Frame
  • Single Speed with E.B.B.
  • Large Frame (19.5" C/C)
  • Custom Reynolds 853 Steel, super light and compliant
  • Team Paint
  • Sterling Silver Head badge
  • Bottle Opener on Left Chain stay
  • Disc Only
  • 26" wheels, 27.2 post and 1 1/8" steerer required
This was going to be my daily driver until I realized that I bought this beauty a bit too tall for me. Vicious builds custom frames and are totally bad ass. I put maybe 50 miles on this frame. There are a few chips in the paint (that's because I rode it). E.B.B works awesome! Seriously light weight, excellent condition. More info at Vicious Cycles. Retail on this beast is $1,400.00. Also have this on ebay HERE.
Asking $500 $450 OBO
Surly - Karate Monkey 29er Frame & Fork
  • Single Speed with Horizontal Dropouts
  • Chromoly Steel Frame and matching Fork
  • Disc OR Canti/V-Brake ready
  • Large (19 1/2" C/C)
  • Includes Monkey Nuts (so you can run gears)
  • Includes Surly Constrictor Seat post Clamp
  • 27.2 seat post, 1 1/8" steerer required
The Karate Monkey is bad ass. It can be used as a 29er Mtn Bike, a commuter, monster cross, road bike or whatever you dream. A real pleasure to ride. I used it as a commuter for a time and a MTB for a time. See Surly for more info. Also have this on ebay HERE. Great Condition!
Retail is $475.00. Asking $350 $300 OBO

Email me with questions at
I am willing to ship if you cover the cost.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Helmet Testing...

Stole this one from Shoffner...
Holy Crap THIS could happen at SMP.
 I'm serious.
Have you seen the size of the bucks roaming around there?
What if he thinks you're putting the moves on his ladies?
What if you stole his beer?
At any rate, this is some sweet action footage.
Danny Macaskil would have bunny-hopped...

Remember When...

Do you recall your most favorite rides of all time? Maybe it was a race, an Urban Assault Mission, a Sweet Jump as a kid on your BMX or just a Great Time riding with your pals.
I was reminded of one of those times over the weekend. Makes an old fella like me feel good to look back on the best times had, and looking forward to many more. A special shout-out to all my close riding pals, you know who you are because your names are plastered all over this blog. We have hella good times in the saddle!
Think back...What were your favorite rides??

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Project: Kona Unit...

 I got a little antsy-in-my-pantsy's and started to get my newer Kona Unit built-up and ready to roll. I almost succeeded, but lacked enough brake cable housing to get the rear mechanical disc brake connected. That's not all bad, and if you read THIS you know you don't really need a rear brake anyway.
Still anxious to get out on this beast, and not truly knowing what the hell I was going to do with it, I started dabbling into my parts bin to get something going. My initial thoughts were Monster Cross or Commuter. Now that I have this puppy together and have taken her out for a spin, I am thinking I need a second wheel set - I'm rolling with Street Machine/Back-up Single Speed.
Here is the build for those who are into that sort of thing:
  • 2011 Kona Unit, Size Large Single Speed frame w/ Sliding Drops
  • Thomson Elite Layback post, silver
  • Thomson Elite Stem, 110 x 6, Black
  • Chris King Headset, silver
  • White Brothers Rock Solid Carbon 29er Fork
  • WTB Rocket V Team, Ti railed saddle
  • Kona Clamp
  • Yeti Lock-on Grips
  • Real anodized Blue Levers
  • On One Mary Bar (flipped)
  • Race Face Forged Turbine cranks
  • Spot Bash Ring
  • Surly 34t Chainring
  • Surly 16t Cog
  • Sram 8-speed chain
  • Bontrager Race Lite Wheels w/DT Swiss Hubs
  • Schwable Big Apple 29 x  2.35 Slicks
  • Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake(s)
  • Welgo Flats

The ride is fun, feels great on the pavement and I'll be able to haul around the little Pirates on the Trail-a-bike or Burley Trailer with ease. For now I might remove the rear brake and lever. I don't think I need it, especially once I have The Manimal build-up the Phil Wood hub I have to eventually make this into a fixie. I also have thoughts of putting some skinny knobbies on and trying a few CX races. Hmm...choices.

One thing I will add: The Schwable Big Apples are awesome and fun urban tires, however they suck-balls on loose dirt singletrack...just sayin'.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's Gonna Rain...

That's what happens when you get a new bike. Here you see a 2011 version of the same 29er SS I currently ride, the Kona Unit. The geometry on this frame works well for me, I dig it. New drop-outs on this version which I think are an improvement. Of course I had to do custom two-tone paint so I don't look like that one guy with the animal sounding nickname. I'm thinking that this is going to be either my Monster Cross or Urban Machine for the winter. The final decision's going to me made by my box of parts, and what does or does not work. I'm psyched though, to have two of the same geometry frames built up and ready to roll. I'm not so psyched about the rain that always comes after a new bike is purchased, but so it's dusty as Hell out there and we could use it.

Share the Love...

If you love to ride, share it with your friends & family. Take them out riding and let them find out for themselves if they love it too. Here we have evidence of a full Family fr Pirates who enjoyed 10 miles of riding, a pit-stop mid-way for a picnic and some playground time. AWESOME ride and time spent with the family! I wouldn't have it any other way!
This was also the last ride for me on the Karate Monkey. I've got a new steed and will get it built-up over the weekend. See you out there!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fuelish Motivation...

Another P-ride success story! Things started off tonight with a tight knit crew gearing up as usual, and then a few brave souls slipped off into the Backyard Skills Course for some pre-ride entertainment. Sorry I missed out on that, I do love trying to ride some skinnies!
The Manimal, Nick, Speeding Jesus, Cliff, Billy, Farmer and I turned on the lights and headed out on what I am now dubbing 'The Standard P-Loop'. After many weeks of scouting and riding different trails and variations of each, I believe this weeks loop was in fact the best mix of terrain, rests, hills and kick-you-in-the-vag riding for true P-ride bliss.
The agenda; 'Don't loose anyone' and 'Beer Hill Contest'. The Beer Hill contest happens every ride, however this time we had an award for the best effort on all (4) hills. Per the norm, The Manimal showed some pretty fine attempts. I made it up the short and sweet climb at the lolly-pop hill, and the railroad tie crap-hill. Cliff Was railing some solid attempts and styled at least one of the leg-burners. All-in-all the grand prize was awarded to Farmer, for his successful send of three out of the four, and on the fourth he was out of the hard stuff when he dabbed anyway. Congrats to you Farmer. I hope you and (3) of your pals enjoy your meal at Chipotle, who kindly gave us a handful of free burritos to fuel our endeavors.
The ride itself was great. We all kept a pretty solid pace for all 18 miles of trail. I flatted once, The Manimal helped me plug my tire and we were back up and rolling in no time. He at one point had to stop and deal with a chain that kept popping off, but otherwise a fairly mechanical and crash free ride. Let's back up a second and scratch that crash free part. I think Nick crashed his brains out on at least 2-3 of the rocky creek crossings. I missed seeing those, always a bummer to miss such excitement. Then Billy whacked his foot on a sharp rock which made the last 3 miles uncomfortable, but he didn't whine any. I was pretty much waxed and ready for a beer halfway through the ride but we kept pushing a solid pace, stopping at intersections or major turns for a moment to gather our 7 man crew. Good times for sure. I was also trying to get my fixie log hopping technique dialed-in. There are like *402 log's on this loop, and if you can't ride over a log, you are getting left in the dust (and boy was it dusty!). Somehow major log crashes did not come to fruition, though I was having a helluva time being 100% for the night, not really even close.
Post ride Barley Pops and Campfire is the standard, and some leftover marshmallows and gram crackers care of Jesse from last weeks ride made for a chill ending to the evening's festivities. Special thanks to Ranski for showing up to start the fire and drink beer with us, even though he did not ride. Always a pleasure!
See you all next week, if you dare...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Get Your Fix......

Take a minute to visit Fixed Gear Gallery sometime.
Sweet little gem of a site that recently featured my Gunnar Fixie.

Double Up...

For those of you , like The Manimal, who just can't get enough time in the saddle...
Hit-up the Swayze Memorial Cross show-and-go at Roanoke Park, Wednesday's @ 6 in October, FREE. Good times lead by THIS guy. After you've spun your brains out in the grass for an hour, head on over to the kick-you-in-the-balls P-ride which rolls out @ 8:30 in Shawnee. Only then will you become the person you've always wanted to be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stars & Stripes...

Way to go Bro! Cameron and Daniel Killed it and won the duo 24HR USA Cycling National Championships! I can't say enough about Cam and the quality of guy he really is. His time here in KC riding with the posse and sharing his love and enthusiasm for biking really changed our crew and the scene. As one of the original Ethos Posse, we congratulate or bro on kicking a$$ at 24HR Nationals.
 Did we really suspect otherwise...NEVER!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Schooled...

What a whirl wind of a week it's been as far as riding bikes and enjoying perfect weather. First it was 2 hours at the Pirate Ride, then 3 hours at Swope. Tonight, to top it all of was a night ride on the trusty SS with none other than The Manimal and Taylor at BuRP. Nine o'clock and we were off and into the winding treasure known as The Wagon Trail. As we twisted and turned through the sweet and rocky terrain we heard strange noises; maybe a pack of man-eating werewolves. It was an eerie sound, and if any one of us were riding alone, it would have been ride over and pants soiled. Since we were a party of three, we knew we could fend off any mystical creature in our path so we trudged on - through the many technical rock sections that are the gem of the Wagon Trail.
In reality the fun just never ends at BuRP. We hit up all the classic goods; Little Moab, Highline, Rocky Top, Wagon, etc. The rock gardens don't get any better or more challenging than this. The lines are improbable and we tried variations time and time again, only to get an occasional spanking on trail that at one time we could ride with general ease. It had been way too long, distracted with all the hype of new trail at Swope and the blindfold of racing. It was a great thing to get a taste of what we had been missing out on this season, one of our old regular rides. We had a blast. Lets do that again...soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

While You Were Out... CX or watching some overblown sports event cast with people you don't know and never will, I was riding my bike in the woods; soul searching. It was a beautiful day, perfect weather and the great outdoors was calling my name. It seems as of late that I've been doing a lot of group rides and not enough solo rides or just me and a few good pals. I needed some kind of reunion with the why and what for of mountain biking. I found it today at Swope.
I went back to basics: grabbed some water, my rigid fixie and headed out for an adventure. No time clocks, no racing, no one else to lead or follow; nothing but me and my free spirit wondering around on buff singletrack beneath the changing leaves of fall. I discovered a few things on my journey. I love the solitude of riding alone. I love the quiet of a bike stripped of all of the ridiculousness that is technology (which truly takes away more than it gives). I love the fresh air on my face and the copper taste of fear when you have a near miss. I love the journey ,though the end has no face, only a feeling of accomplishment and renewal.
I rode all of Swope, alone. I pushed myself on different terrain. I dreamt of nothing more and wanted nothing more. True bliss. A great ride.
Just when I thought my morning couldn't get any better, my mentor, The Trail Asshole called. I knew it was once again game on for more of Swope, this time with a good friend. I rallied, got my shoes and soaking wet shirt back on and headed out for another good lap. The Trail A-hole and I were ripping Woodchuck run like we owned it, then through 8-pins and on to phase three. I never skipped a beat - even though I pedal striked at least 100* times in the rocky terrain. We kept a good pace though I was tired from my earlier venture. We would stop at giant log crossings and rock gardens to try different ways around, through and over them. We had a helluva grand time pushing each other to be better, laughing along the way.
Missing the CX races means so little when you can have a day full of peace in the saddle like I did today. It makes me want to travel again, like I did in my twenties, for months at a time. Exploring the world and its marvels, ahh what an adventure your life can be if you so choose the path. I'll end this rant with some words from one of my favorite artists of the day, Michael Franti, "No matter how life is today, don't let another moment slip away".