Sunday, December 30, 2012

Skinny Dipping...

My lack of coffee is spilling out in the form of less words and more photos. Thad, Griffin and I spun some laps at Kill Creek over the weekend. It was a cold start but the trails were in great shape; frozen dirt, packed snow and pure fun. We rode the log skinny's on Eddy, failed at a few creek crossings (each of us dipped a foot into the icy death water) and had an overall kick-ass ride. 


Here's a little vid-yo of Captain Cuntwat rolling the fat down Killer Creek.
Not as easy as it appears, yet a bit more cushy than rolling skinny tires no doubt.

video

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

18 degrees...

Sometimes I have to try really hard to get out the door and ride (when conditions are lacking, along with motivation). Tonight was a perfect example as it was a blistery 18 degrees; the sun had set at least three hours earlier. 

Captain Cuntwat has been preaching the fat bike rEvolution ever since the time of baby Jesus and immaculate conception, as fat bikes appear to have the same origin. I've had his SS Pugs in my possession for a few weeks now, I've drank the whiskey and poisoned my veins with the ridicules amount of fun that can be had on these monster-truck like bikes. It's retarded how different and crazy it is to try and push one of these beasts through the woods. It's also the hardest thing I've done since riding fixed gear mountain bikes (which is what The Manimal was riding on tonight's quest for all things frozen dirt). Pushing the humungo tires through snow, sand or even groomed dirt is no task for girly-men. There is a reason my pants have become two sizes two small in the past two weeks (and I'm not taking about the waist my friend). Another new addiction in-the-works.
Last nights P-ride took us to the shores of the Kansas River, where we plowed miles of deep yet frozen sand and snow covered rogue trail. There were many climbs that eluded me; kicked me in the balls. I'm not sure if it was my lack of gorilla-strength or the tire size/singlespeed combo that was just working me over. I seriously felt like, at times, that I was pulling Santas' sleigh, or maybe something like THIS
Riding sand or snow was a dream. The Surly Nate rubber never lost traction and gave me undying confidence cornering in snow at speed or climbing rocky terrain. The grip was incredible

Captain Cuntwats new Mud Flask was a re-hydration miracle - our water bottles had frozen five minutes into our 2 hour ride and the contents of said flask, along with my thermos full of warm decadence were all that kept us rolling.

Riding Fat Bikes is a real treat, an interesting voyage on the bike, an experience well worth tasting. Yes, I'm building one.

Pimps and...

Santa brought me this sweet trail building weapon. Rogue Hoe's are the only way to go when bench-slappin'. Pretty psyched to get the Pirate cXc Winter Night Race Series courses cut-in with this beauty-of-a-beast. They cut through dirt, dead hookers and tree roots like butter. 
Rogue Hoe - The Trailbuilders Girlfriend

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rolling Fatties...

Since Maxithads sex change operation, and during his grueling recovery, I' have the single speed pugs in my possession  I've been interested in fat bikes for some time now and wanted to see for myself what all of the hype is about. Last nights Pirate Ride was cancelled due to incoming thunderstorms which were rumored to turn into snow by morning. Rather than sit on my can wishing for better conditions, I grabbed the SS Pugsley and headed to my local trails.

Upon my arrival at SMP the conditions were perfect. The dirt was super-tack. I was psyched. I unloaded the fat bike and geared up for about a 12 mile excursion into the woods. SMP is known for these annoying baby-head sized rocks that are randomly strewn all  over the trail; often times leaving no true line to ride. The Surly Nate 3.8 rubber absorbed these rocks like rolling over melted butter. Same went for the exposed tree roots which I used as little kickers to bunny-hop this beast along the trail. My first impression thus far; FUN!

The fun ended shortly thereafter when I entered the valleys of RED, where you enjoy a long downhill to which the Pugsley carved like a champ, but then a long-ass climb to get back out (x3). Maxithad earned a little extra respect tonight for his ability to keep up with us while we're on our XC bikes an he on this SS Pugs. I'm surprised he can find pants that fit.

The forecasted rain finally arrived  I was a good 20 minutes from the trail head so I just kept-on keeping-on. Rocks and roots were slicker than snot, but the Pugs, as I quickly learned, can run over bumps and slick rocks/roots easily if you are light on the bike. You get some major float over the bumps, and keeping the ship pointed straight ahead, you just monster truck over everything in sight. I was hitting rocks dead-on that would otherwise make for an over-the-bar peep show.
Overnight the rain turned to sleet and then to snow. This is the first snow we've had here in KC this winter. Damned if I wasn't going to get the Fatty out to test it's capabilities in the fresh powder.

I'm almost always late to work, so I figured I'd just go ride. Every gate at SMP was locked. I had to find another option for an early morning trail ride. There are miles of rogue trail near the lair, so I chose widely something fun and headed that way. It was a short ride, but the 4+ miles I did get-in was brilliant.

Usually, in winter months, I ride a fixed gear mountain bike. A fixie handles well in snow and slick conditions;  you are one with the bike and can feel every slip/control it. My knees were getting worked riding fixed, so this winter I've yet to get rolling in that style. After riding the Pugs, I may be going a totally different route. This fat bike thing is addicting. The giant tires at low pressure hug the trail, grip the snow like nobody's business. Mind-blowing.

Riding a fat bike differs from an XC bike at minimum in how you ride it. It's more like a motorcycle. You pump everything, lean harder into corners/berms, skid the rear tire, jump stuff, ride wheelies - It's a flippin' blast. Riding this bike is more fun than masturbating; almost. I'm sold. Many exciting adventures are in my near future, assuming we survive beyond December 21st

Creeper Stash...

Here's a shout out to Kuat Racks for having a great Creeper Stash Competition a few weeks back. Our man White Mike pulled off the win - by the skin of his pretty-boy teeth. He work his a$$ off and earned every penny of his $600 in pirate booty. 
Last night, to the tune of some oh-so delicious Stone IPA, We pit-crewed the installation of his new hitch and NV rack. We tossed my super-clean ship, the Black Pearl, onto his shiny new rig for a post-build photo. White Mike is super flippin' psyched to be carrying his fancy-pants Ti bikes in style. Now his downtown parking garage is going to be a bit more friendly for quick get-a-ways to the trail. 
Thanks to Kuat for always putting on a good show, giving away goods to the masses and spreading the holiday cheer, be it in the form of booze, giveaways, sponsorships or Facebook Competitions - these guys know how to innovate some sexy goods, ride bikes and just be puggin' cool like Samuel L Jackson, and that's pretty damn cool.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Velcro Tease...


The Dam
G-wiz made the call, tried to rally at least 40 jorks for a pre-work ride, Sunday morning Dirt Church extravaganza at Wyco Lake Trails. I was on the fence, trying to shake the sand out of my vagina and rally. Sunday mornings I can usually count on as ride time, so with much lollygagging and putting-off till the last minute - I arrived at the trail-head late to what G-wiz had described as "Velcro" like conditions. Boy was he full of forty-pounds of shit!
G-wiz and the 'Beauty Mark'...
Mark-e-Mark, G-wiz, Double-D and I head into the woods and out of a thick fog, not the 40 person event as planned. Conditions were truly questionable at best, which had probably kept the other thirty-six invitees in a warm bed with their gay lovers. Maybe it was the 10:30 p.m. invite the night before that was not up to par, who knows...
Double-D getting some A I R...
Temps were just above freezing. Forecast called for a fifty degree day, so we rolled. Instantly we realized that we'd been had by G-wiz's promise of Velcro. Rather, we'd endure two plus hours of slick-a$$ trail. Tires were picking up just enough wet dirt to make the rocks and roots a nightmare of ice proportions. Cornering on wet leaves also gave us a case of the snail-eye. We went as fast as we could sack-up to ride while still keeping the rubber side down - all but Mark-e-Mark when he took a benched-corner too wide and slid off the downhill side. We laughed that one off and kept trucking.
Stoned...
Later, after working the MTB trails like a minimum wage job, we headed over to some optional trail unbeknownst to some, but known to us as some kick-you-in-the-balls hill climbs. Double-D and I were already riding the pain-train and whimpering at the site of yet another source of elevation gain, all summoned by the trail slayer himself, G-wiz a.k.a.Pretty Boy. Yes, I did have to get off my stead and walk one of the hills, just the last fifteen feet; it did take a toll on my ego. From then on, my legs fell off. Double -D was cramping in full PMS style, but since I had already used our only tampon, he toughed it out and kept charging until our ride ended with a last but brutal gravel climb from hell.
My legs still phuggin' hurt. 
Twas a good ride, even the sections of non-trail that sucked. Sometimes a hard ride, you know; the kind that you just keep pushing through even though you're having 'one of those days', is good for the soul. Keeps you honest and lets you know - you've been slackin'.
NOT Velcro...
Another day in Midwest paradise my friends, paradise indeed...

Bad Cop, No Donut...

video
Just another morning playing around on bikes with G-Wiz, Mark-e-Mark and Double-D...
During one attempt at this jump, G-wiz almost became the hood ornament for a patrol car. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Weekend (in photos)...

First Friday
Gravel
Ascend
Santa?
Captain
FU
Drunkards
Dirt
Rogue
FU, Again
Ring of fire
Teepee
Lucky Me
Family

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Ejaculator...

The P-ride crew, for varied lame reasons, all but deserted the ship last night. There would be no P-ride. This was a good thing for me as I wanted to visit a friend I had not seen in months who lives in the Great White North. Being up North would also put me within range of the Humpday Ride at the Smithville Lake trails, which are about as fun to ride as jello wrestling with swimsuit models - or not. Usually the SMV Humpday ride hosts the largest showing at a group trail ride in the metro area. They have a reputation for riding and then drinking beer and socializing around a warm fire. How could this not be what the doctor ordered, seriously?

I rolled way the hell up to BFE to ride with the SMV jorks, a solid hour drive from the lair. It seems the cool weather turned 95% of the locals balls into shriveled prunes, leaving the group ride to only a small crew who wore their big girl pants and were psyched to ride. Dr. Dover, Double D, Richard and I did a hot lap of all the goods. I had not ridden these trails in months, and had forgotten how fast and fun they truly are. Dirt was in primo shape for rolling fast. The crew was moving at a solid pace, taking few if any stops, chatting it up along the way; super-fun guys. 

Since our post ride relaxation around the fire whilst drinking fine malt bevy's was more of an event than the actual riding, I'll move on to the details of said soiree'. We arrived back at the Smokin' Davey Trailhead to find a handful of fellow riders and a warm fire. These Northlanders are just like I remember; super nice and funny with zero attitude. Living out South, I'm surrounded by a bunch of egotistical assholes who can't seem to remember what riding bikes is all about, but would rather talk shit and stay in their little cliques than socialize and just enjoy the awesomeness that is riding dirt with other folks who share the love.

We had a great time telling fishing stories, laughing at others mishaps and using Farmy's magical beer bottle cap ejaculator - a true gem and must have for all that indulge in the finer things in life. There was just a good feeling, a great vibe riding and hanging with this group. They have a good thing going, and I'll be back for more.

Thanks to the crew, for the tour and for allowing me to share the case of beer that fell out of my truck and into your greasy mitts. Until next time, Cheers & Beers!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nutrition...

I'm often asked about what I use for fuel when riding. I'm not the poster boy of nutrition by any means, however, I do have a pretty simple staple of goods that I roll with during long rides and/or endurance races that work great for me, give excellent results and zero stomach /cramp issues. I roll the following spread with 100% confidence every time.
I prefer Hammer products. They're the bomb. My typical mixture is this: (2) scoops Perpetuem, (2) scoops HEED in (1) small bottle. This, along with one tall bottle of straight water, will last me 1 to 2 hours of hard riding/race pace. I supplement these (2) bottle with a flask of Hammer Gel, which I pull off of every 15 minutes or so to keep all systems in check. It's pretty basic, no packaging to litter or hassle with. It works (for me). 

On longer rides (2+ hours) I supplement the above with a Powerbar and sometimes Cliff Shot Blocs to get something of substance in my stomach. It's a good idea to try out your nutrition program on your local trail when riding for fun, and not during a big race when it could be the cause of serious issues if it does not work, or your body is not keen on the fuel. 

I have no ties with Hammer, I just like their goods. They work for me. Maybe my method will work for you too. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hell yeah...

I've got a family, as most of you punks know. We all love to ride bikes and every weekend we do a family ride. We hook-up the Burley, the Trail-a-bike and get some fresh pave' action. We hit a few parks for the kiddos to play like monkeys, have a picnic, and get in some mileage. Rolling these rides, pulling the little people in a caboose behind my plastic race bike is far from optimal. I decided to splurge on a new 'family ride/bar ride/grocery bike'. Here she is in all her glory - a mid '80s Specialized Hardrock. A real mans bike if I've ever seen one. I know you are super jealous, just look at this rare beauty. Life just took a turn for the better. Ready to shred the gnar...
And for those inquiring minds - I'm having a hard time NOT converting this beast into a single speed pave' machine. Thoughts on why I should or should not?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moonblinked...

Hilarious Graffiti atop the Oakridge Paved Loop.
I thought about not riding tonight. It's been cold, I've been bitchy and riding like an ass; why would I want to continue to torture myself with another crappy ride.

Jimbob sent me a message, asked if I wanted to go climbing instead of ride. I really need to do some climbing but my internal schedule just says 'go ride' on Wednesday nights. It's just what I have to do, so I went.

It was the second edition of the weekly Swope Night Rides - I'm two for two. There was a large turn-out of folks ready to get a taste of all that is Swope; the mountain bikers holy grail. Scotter was there, The Manimal on his Fixie, Doc, Maxithad, Winters, Cliff, RonJ, The Trail Hermets and a hand full of others. A good showing of those who indulge in all things dirt.

We randomly rolled-out - scattered like cats in all directions. It was an antisocial night of random cliques rolling through the woods at varied speeds. We stopped a lot to check out the full moon, which glowed so bright that we could have gone sans lights. RonJ flatted - tore a sidewall on the same type tire that I shredded last week. Must be a sign never to roll that rubber again. I crashed more times than Evil Knievel. Stupid crashes where I'd just fall over or try an obstacle too slow and loose my track-stand voodoo only to go OTB into the rock strewn trail. I did clean a few of the good technical spots, failed at others.

A great ride for sure. It brought me out of my bitch-ass slump. I'm ready to get in some mileage, get on with a regular riding schedule, plan some winter races for you jorks and enjoy a cold one around a warm fire. See you again next week...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

F U...

If you're reading this and it offends, it's pointed directly at you.
N.W.A. said it best...


Monday, November 26, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rubber...

Here is a brief and short post on my recent tire scenario. Nothing pisses me off more than dealing with tire issues when you are on a long ride, especially if that means your pals are having to wait for you. I've been running either Specialized tires in the 'Grid" variations OR Maxxis with the 'LUST' sidewall. I thought last week that I should try something lighter to get my rolling weight down a bit. Riding a hard-tail, your rear tire can take a beating - especially on our local trail that is covered in baby-head rock; often sharp and unavoidable. My choice to try the lighter weight sidewall/tire version, in this case the Specialized Fast Track 'Control', was a poor one at best. Specialized does however offer a customer satisfaction guarantee, they stand behind their product and provided a full refund. Since Maxxis is finally shipping a 29er tire with the LUST sidewall, I ended up choosing it for my new rear.
Brand New Specialized Fast Track 2.0 Control - Ride #1 = torn sidewall. I usually run the Grid version of this tire with the beefier sidewall. If you ride rock-strewn trail and have a hard tail bike, I suggest sucking-up the extra weight in exchange for the more bombproof sidewall version (the Grid)
The replacement - Maxxis Crossmark LUST. I ran this tire on my Fixie for two seasons of skidding and rock bashing with zero issues. This is my preferred XC tread pattern and the sidewall can take some major punishment. The only down side is the higher price, but like most things in cycling, you get what you pay for.  
I'm 100% confident in the Maxxis LUST sidewall and know it will perform as desired. I have the same confidence in the 'Grid' version of Specialized tires and would suggest that as a viable option. Everyone has an opinion, this is mine for a fast rolling tire - great for sharp and rock-strewn, hard pack single track while riding a hard-tail XC bike. All the best...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Caress My Stupidity...

The Wednesday Night Ride went down, and so did I. I broke way too many of my own rules and got bitch-slapped across the choppers for it. First thing, I bought some new rubber, not the usual bombproof sidewall version but a step down in weight. How could my pals possibly lead me wrong? I went against my gut instinct and went for it. WRONG PHUKING ANSWER! 

Literally 10 minutes into the ride, the first ride on this new set of tires - I cut a sidewall. There's rule #1 broken: stick with what you know works. I didn't. 

No big deal though, right? I carry everything I need to fix my bike and keep rolling, always. Well, I screwed myself in that department too. I had removed my seat bag containing my spare tube earlier in the day. I'd brought it with me to the trail but left it in my truck. I'm a retard. I had to be saved by a pal, borrow a tube, even a dollar bill to keep the tube from bulging out of the tear. I really ate my own words and felt like a total douchehtard
Later I paid for my mistakes. I crashed so hard that I'm still sore and have multiple contusions and bruises to show for my OTB shit circus. Fortunately only Cliff was anywhere near me when I tumbled at least three rotations down the rock-strewn hill. 

Thank god their was beer and a warm fire post-ride to caress my stupidity.

Thanks to the Trail Hermits for putting on a good show and leading us through the thick of it. No matter how much of a crap ride I had, it was still flippin' fun to be out in the woods, riding in the dark on some sick trail with good friends. Always a good time, no matter how much I'm bitching about it...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Night Train @ Swope...

The Trail Hermits have worked out a deal that will allow a Wednesday Night Group Ride at Swope. This is a great opportunity to park up-top without fear of getting gang-raped or robbed after the street lights come on. Tonight is the first of these group rides, and we're taking the Pirate Crew over to support the cause; maybe just for tonight, maybe a few of these over the winter - only time will tell. 

If you've wanted to ride with the Pirate Crew, The Trail Hermits or just in the dark at Swope and feel all cozy about it, then show up ready to ride at 6:30 sharp. 

More info from the horses mouth;

" Starting the 21st, we will have a weekly night ride @ Swope with the kicker being that we will be able to park up top.
Here's how it's going to work initially:
Gate entrance will open at 6:30 and close at 6:45. If you come after 6:45...tough luck.
You can ride as long as you'd like as long as you want as long as you're done by 8:50 p.m.
The exit gate wil be locked at 9pm. 
We've been able to work out this deal to allow us to do this ride, don't ruin it for everyone else.
If we have problems we will simply no longer do this ride."

We hope to see a good showing tonight, hope to see YOU there having a good time on one of the best trail system in the metro. The Trail Hermits have poured their heart and soul into these trails - Lets show-up, show some support, ride bikes and have a kick-a$$ time. See you tonight!

You can stay updated on the Swope Trails HERE.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bloodletting...

Today The Silent Killer and I headed over to BuRP to ride for a few hours. We'd be meeting Coletrain at the trail-head.  I'm trying to get in more and more quality ride time, and today was the day! BuRP trails would be just what I needed; technical an unyielding singletrack bliss. I was pretty psyched to be getting out with a couple solid riders.
We like to ride year round, and this is the place to do it
When we arrive, Coletrain has a newbie in tow. I have nothing against newbies - we were all there once. The problem I have is with those who bring a newb to ride, and don't claim responsibility for them. This preface sums up my less-than-optimal riding experience for the day. My limited ride time just got phucked...

We roll out to do some adventure riding - to explore a route into the park from Coletrains new house. We had great luck and navigated a spiderweb of trail south to our ultimate location; the Polo Fields.
The Silent Killer riding an old bridge we found deep in the woods
Then we headed over to the Wagon trail - a trail that separates the men from the boys. Newbie was the caboose. [He] was falling way back. Coletrain was nowhere to be seen, way in the front, not a care in the world. 

I waited, and waited, and kept waiting at every turn, technical section and junction for the newb. Not my phuking job. When we'd finally meet-up with the group, Coletrain would once again split like we were racing. I felt bad for his 'friend'. Eventually, said friend is nowhere to be seen behind me, The Silent Killer and Coletrain no where to be seen ahead. WTF?!?!

I wait ten minutes. No one comes rolling in. I ride back, over a mile, to find the newb - hoping he was not hurt or dead. I find him walking his bike due to a blown chain. I fix it for him and send him home.

I head back into the East side trails to actually get some riding in. Finally I get to have some fun. This video clip is the newly refurbished log skinny on HighLine. The incarnation is ten times easier than before. Your mom could ride it...
video

Coletrain, you owe me, big, you phuking a$$hole!

Wild Turkey...

It was a perfect weather day on Saturday, absolutely beautiful out. 
The kind of nice day that would eat at your soul if some time was not spent at dirt church.
Kitchen pass in hand, I headed out for a bit of an exploratory style recon ride.
I found a few miles of new terrain to play on, fast and flowing trail with some honorable climbs tossed-in for good measure.
I saw three giant turkeys, running.
I sometimes find myself deep in the woods, far from any trail, just wondering around - trying to stay on two wheels.
Only the rustling of leaves under a tire can be heard, the occasional crack of a stick, your own heavy breathing.

Eventually I landed on some groomed single track - perfect conditions.
I rode for a few hours, alone, just thinking about the universe.
Maybe I was just thinking about getting home and having a beer.
Yeah, beer.
Nothing like a cold one after a good romp in the woods. 



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Soulshine...

In Memory of a fellow cyclist and friend, whose time on this earth was cut way too short.
News of this has my stomach in knots. A harsh reminder to truly live, every moment, with intention.
Good times had in the saddle, or at the shop with you bro, will not be forgotten.

Freeze Out...

Some of you locals know of a hill called Lawrence. It's a bitch of a climb; long rollers without an end-in-sight, getting steeper as you go. Well, I live on that hill. This means that every Pirate Ride starts with a long descent, and ends with a long ascent. As we get closer to the winter solstice, it gets damn chilly riding down that hill at the beginning of the ride, when you are not even close to being 'warmed up'. Not to mention the blast of cold that you get when you reach it's bottom - the Mill Creek Valley. Flippin' cold. Reminds me of times as a teenager, cruising around in my VW Bus, every window down with temps in the teens: Freeze Out!

I knew tonight's ride was going to be a good one due to the simple fact that I've been off the bike (for way too long) and have been craving some saddle time. I also knew it was going to hurt. We'd ride a ton of rogue trail (which I had scoped-out earlier in the day, knowing it was in speck-TACK-u-lar condition), the beer fridge was full and the post ride fire prepared.

The crew; The Silent Killer, The Manimal, Captain Cuntwat, Cliff and Me. We rolled into the woods moving at a steady pace under a crystal-clear, star-filled sky. We warmed-up quickly as we rode the first four miles/400 feet of elevation gain. It seemed as though we were on a mission to climb every hill, be it short and technical or a long torture fest. If we failed on any section, we'd give it another go, stopping once in a while to watch and heckle each other makes a ride more fun for sure. It's great to ride with friends that are psyched to be out, having a good time and not overly possesed by a training schedule - but rather enjoy being outside, in the dark with the feeling you have somehow escaped the hustle of city life. 

We had a few interesting moments in the woods where we might have been somewhere we shouldn't have been, and had to elude those who might expose our quest for the holy grail ofall things dirt. Times like this keep your heart rate up and your mind alert. We were like ninjas on bikes. We felt like kids again - out after the streetlights were on, getting into harmless mischief, the kind that 'the man' tries to help us protect ourselves from. You know what I mean.

We rode a lot of varied terrain - mostly dirt single-track strewn with rock and tree roots that all too often gave you a chance to go OTB, like it or not. There was a ton of dead-fall on the trail; logs ranging from 6" to 30" in diameter. I enjoy hoping these random logs that come out of nowhere, at speed - a test of reflexes where hesitation would get the best of you.
Toes were getting cold so we opted for an 'as the crow flies' effort back to the lair. We chilled, laughed about our mini epic 16 mile night ride, and enjoyed a few malt beverages around a warm fire. What can I say, riding bikes in the dark = fun. Do it.