Monday, May 28, 2012

Rocky Mountain High...

Just got back in town from a five-day road trip to Colorado. Climbed a ton of rocks, visited good friends and did some riding with the folks from Redstone Cyclery. Full trip report coming very soon, as soon as I sober-up from all the Dales I put in my belly. Until then you can quench your thirst by feasting your squinty eyes on these tasty images...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Swollen Members...

I can't remember the last time it wasn't me who took an earth shattering tumble whilst riding dirt. Last night however, and aside from The Manimal, all those present for the P-Ride ate major shit more times than a starving dog. It was a true show of skill followed nearly every fifteen minutes by a down hill tumble. Good times.
Rewind to the first five minutes of our three hour ride. Handleballs lays down more power than Ice-T, which causes the instantaneous explosion of his front chain ring. Being minutes from the Pirates Lair, we send him off on a wild goose chase to find a replacement. Now we're down to TallBitch, The Manimal, Silent Killer, MaxiThad and me, shredding into the unknown. 
Handleballs Mustache
For the most part this was a chill ride. We made a pretty solid effort to stop and attempt every obstacle in our path, or slightly off our path. Most of said obstacles were steep and rock strewn hills, dead-fall or man-made stone wall rides/skinnies. The highlight being the P-Ride circus flying thru a large high school party at which we displayed our mad skills sending the circle of fire, which caused quite a stir amongst the ladies. I'm certain, had we returned for an encore, that many-a-boobies we'd have seen flashed our way in gratitude for our pure display of awesomeness.
Silent Killer
At some point during the ride we lost TallBitch. After a few minutes of deciding whether or not he might have survived the lollypop death march, a search and rescue operation was formed to recover his body. After a small grid search, his remains were found sans testicles, which had been generously shoved into his abdomen by his top tube. I think his exact words were 'I haven't been racked like that in years', or 'Oh, my balls'. Either way, the look on his face would make you think he'd just seen dead people, or at a minimum tossed his cookies in the woods.
TallBitch's Tokyo Slide Version 1.2
MaxiThads full-on yard sale must have been quite the site. Poor fella had more lumps and bumps than Rodney King. He sounded like the walking wounded for most of the ride; moaning like he too had just received a solid kick to the balls.
MaxiThad 'I Hurt' The Absorbant
I almost forgot to mention that Handleballs was in fact successful at commandeering a new chain ring and getting his bike back in order, and was able to meet us back out on the trail for more pain and suffering; including but not limited to the High School Party fly-by, The Autobahn, The Damn Hill and the Farm Descent.
The Manimal meets The Bunny Hop
The weekly P-Ride is pretty gosh-dang fun. I can't say that we are pushing maximum speed, or on any kind of lame training plan. We just ride bikes. It's a chill time for the most part, we ride dirt and boldly go were no man has gone before. Not to mention the post ride beverages taste oh so good. Hope to see you jerks, and those other jerks next Tuesday night for more of something completely different.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Syllamo's Revenge 2012...

Syllamo's Revenge 2012 race report...yes, it was a hella-fun time!

All things Arkansassy went down without a hitch over the weekend as a handful of jerks from KC headed South to make an attempt at world domination. Flying the green & black was Travis, Jesse, Jamie, Dave, Mia, Jason and The Pirate. Travis drove most of the crew down in the team bus fully loaded with testosterone, bikes and beer. I flew solo with a few stops along the way to visit family and have an unexpected yet pleasant chat with the Searcy County Sheriff. I guess they even have traffic laws in Arkansas, who knew. Fortunately he was in good spirits and did not search my hippie wagon for dead hookers or kilo's, and I was on my way in no time.
The drive was impressively long. What I thought would take minutes took hours. It was 11:30 p.m. when I arrived at camp Timbo, located minutes from the race venue and inches from Syllamore Creek. I had high hopes of powering down a sixer of carbohydrates around the fire with my race-mates, but to my dismay, everyone was snoring the star filled night away, probably dreaming of events to come. Not to be one to ruin my own party, I sat alone, well not alone but with the company of three dumpster-diving raccoons, and swilled toxins that would indeed keep me afloat during the blistering heat that was to come. As my eyelids failed me, I crawled a mere three feet from my thrown into the fetal position atop some ratty Mexican blanket I stole from a donkey-show whore in Juarez back in 1998.
Morning came early, or so it seemed and I was up and poaching coffee from the nearby espresso master FM. I think he called it coffee, but the amount of mud left in the bottom of my mug was tale-tell of the true meaning of a caffeine buzz that would send me up the infamous climb at the start of the race at ludacris man-speed.
The climb is brutal. I don't know the specs but as a guess it's 20 miles long and as steep as Mt Everest; at least that's how it feels when you're running 32x18 on a single speed. Conditions where dry, very dry and the corners loose. I almost prefer the wet conditions of the two previous years, but there is something to say for dry rocks and low creeks.
The man-train entering the singletrack was in fact much less of a train than I suspected, and for the most part I was able to ride around the folks walking the technical spots and make-up some time. After about 15 minutes I settled into a groove with a group of about 9 riders as we pushed and pulled each other through some awesome trail, over obstacles and breathtaking views. 
My nutrition plan is always simple, familiar and dialed. I do one bottle of water, one bottle of HEED/Purpetuem and a flask of Hammer Gel. At aid stations I'd grab a few orange slices, PB&J and fresh bottles. I kept on myself to drink and eat as much as I needed, even when I felt i could do without. I'd hear folks talking of cramps and being tired the entire 50 miles. You have to get your nutrition dialed before a race like this or yes, you will be in the hurt locker, you have to be smart about it.
Another issue I saw over and over was tires. I don't know how many hundreds of times I have to recommend NOT running weight-weenie tires. That crap is for roadies, so is shaving your girly legs. Run some bombproof tires or suffer a DNF and/or a lot of frustration and disappointment. It's not rocket science. I run Specialized Grid tires, tubeless with Stan's Sealant. I've had to install a tube one time in the last three seasons. The proof is there, get smart.
Back to the race. It was a hot day and people were having trouble. I too was having trouble with the heat but kept pushing myself to stay hydrated and did what I needed to do to push through. The aid stations offered a sigh of relief that even massage with happy ending couldn't compete with. Handleballs was our team pit crew and did a fine job loading bottles and giving out Dill Pickle hand-ups. Thanks dude, it was good to get some motivation every 20 miles or so.
The Niner Air 9 Carbon was a sweet ride. She flossed the trail with ease and hopped logs like nobodies business. I ran Ergon GX-1 grips for my third season doing this race and they were great for comfort and changes in hand position. All was dialed and my experience, yet again, was much like Luke when he got the hole shot and blew the Death Star to high-hell.
Per Pirate standards, I was able to 'Finish, not last'. I also beat my personal record by almost ten minutes. Syllamo's Revenge is a good time. If you are interested in Endurance racing, try it out. A good day on the bike is sure to be had, that or you might die in the woods,  just sayin'.. 
A shout out to Travis for getting 2nd overall, The Manimal for 2nd in SS, Jason for 3rd Overall, Peat Awesome for 6th in the 125K, Luke for kicking my ass big time and a big HELL YEAH to Timbo for finishing in style. 

Whats next? How about UFDSSC? That's right, Single Speed Championships. They had me at 'Take a shot shortcut'. That and they have a Fixed gear class. Let the suffering begin!

Results are HERE
Photos are HERE
Check out T.Donn's Race Report HERE

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I wish I could spew of a long ride on new found terrain, urban legends, trespassing and shenanigans; but last nights P-Ride was simply a typical and fairly generic mountain bike trail ride. Things did start off a bit normal, like getting to warm-up on the backyard skills course, soon followed by a grueling test of man-strength as we sprinted up the Ogg Rd. Hill, which would make any mere mortal plead for mercy. Then we cruised about 1/2 mile of clean gravel before spilling into the infamous SMP trail system, where we did something very similar to this 12ish mile out-n-back.
I vaguely recall The Silent Killer taking a detour off the side of the trail and into the dense, tick infested forest - soon to be followed by Handleballs attempt at a new fall-line reroute when fatigue was setting-in a bit too heavy. I was psyched for a hard and fast assault on everything in the multiverse until I had a sudden onset of vagitis, a mere 1 mile into the night. Motorhead was blazing the downhills with cat-like agility and seemingly N.O.S. boost ability on his newer full squishy trail machine. Not that he wasn't blazing fast on that old piece of shit bike he raced all winter.
It was indeed a beautiful night, and my mind was distracted with thoughts of a cozy picnic with the local high school girls XC team instead of riding fast enough to, well, just plain keep up. Looking back, we did pull of probably 15 miles of singletrack, and with the jerks who showed to pull me through it all, the evening turned out to be a good one.
Now for a rest day and then a road trip down South to do some endurance racing. Nothing better than a good excuse to be in the saddle for the better part of a day. May the Chamois Butt'r gods be with me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Less is More...

A quick note...
You can now save yourself nine digits when visiting SSP! From here on out simply type into your browser and poof, you'll be right here, again. 
 This has been a friendly service reminder from SSP headquarters.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Red Dawn...

Flying solo - I've missed you old friend! It feels like eons, maybe a short millennium since I had have the pleasure of no company during a trail ride. The past two days I've been blessed with beyond perfect temperatures, weather and newly opened trail. 
An extension to the Red Trail at Shawnee Mission Park opened Yesterday. This extension has added some fine terrain to the already great trails. Deep bench cuts on steep hillsides through deep valleys with smooth flowing trail and the occasional rock step to keep you on your toes. You feel like you are lost in the middle of the forest, far from the city, carving the earth with wildlife at every turn. I think my tally for the past two rides is 12 deer, 1 opossum, 5 turkey and a few cute ladies in running shorts.
What was SMP missing in the world of dirt until recently? Elevation. There was really no hard climbing or long fast descents. With the newer sections of Red, you get both of these and more. Special Thanks to SMP locals Sean, Pete, Andy, Brian and many more for all of the hard work getting these trails designed and built in record time. If you're a KC local, don't short change yourself! Get out to SMP and ride some dirt!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Like 70's Bush...

As of late, the P-Ride crew has fewer followers than Harold Camping. I’ll blame it on the recent deluge of crap weather so the no-show’s have a better excuse than knitting class or water ballet. But the few, the proud, the dirtbags who did show for an evening of adventure got just that… and a good case of blistering flesh.
The Silent Killer, Handleballs, Maxithad, The Rookie and I all left port and sailed into the mysterious realm of the unknown – at least unknown to some and not very known to others. Our warm-up of asphalt hills left us weakened, but determined to push-on as we toured the realm of The Deep, where Handleballs performed a test of skill and more importantly; brake compliance (as seen in the low quality video below). 
We carried onward, through much tall grass and itch weed, eventually leading us miles later to ditch weed. We took this as a sure sign that we had indeed found what we were looking for; stinky good, dope trail. 
 As our train of fools meandered through the jungle on a maze of ripping fast singletrack laced with dips and climbs and dead whores, we enjoyed views of the muddy river and rednecks doing stunts in a nearby field. Instead of ‘Car Back’, I heard ‘Poison Ivy’ yelled more times than Madonna lost her virginity in 1984. Not only did we get to witness a splendid show of white trash foolery, but once engaged, we were filled with local folklore of abandoned Buses left to rust in the river and police chases through cornfields. I can't forget to mention The Silent Killers attempt at stardom when he used his 29er single speed as a mud-run guinea pig.
 The long haul home on wide singletrack took us up many-a-long climb, and finally back to the Pirates lair where with swollen legs and flesh itching like mad, hops were drank and fishing stories told.  
 The Tuesday night P-Ride is all about adventure and having a good and totally unexpected time in the saddle. For the 472nd* ride in a row, we were NOT able to stick to the planned two-ish-hour time frame, but reeled-in a solid three hours of heavy bushwhacking
Maybe next week we can get some footage of Maxithad blazing sandbars on his Fat Bike, which he's totally been non-stop obsessing over. Until then...It's time to start thinking hard about THIS, a week from Saturday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Dark Wizard...

A little off topic, but Dean Potter is a man who pushes himself in everything he does. A true free spirit and a daily reminder to me to get back to my rock climbing and mountaineering roots. Here is a video of Dean Slacklining across a gorge in China with nothing to catch him should he fail but his deep desire to truly live.

Monday, May 7, 2012

High On Switchgrass...

Kansas Fat Tire Festival - Wilson Lake, KS. May 5-6 2012
(click on images to enlarge)

Cameron Chambers
Garet Steinmetz
Travis Donn
Top Five
Crash Master Flash
Pyro & G-Wiz
Happy Pants
MaxiThads' Secret Hand-up Doping Technique

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Handleball Mustache...

Read below the glorious recap of events that took place during Tuesday nights earth shattering Pirate ride, care of our beloved MaxiThad...

 Power to the Working Peeps:
      As I sat, sitting on my bike seat, I was at one with the universe and at two with my
grossly sandpapered ass cheeks; for after 3 long hours occupying the saddle, I felt like sequestration was just around the next blindcorner.  So yes, the Tuesday Pirate ride, albeit minimally attended, went off with a bang and ended with a blister…or ten.  But this night would, unbeknownst to the 3 participants, go down in history as the ONE, the holy grail, the Rosetta Stone of illicit bike rides –only Keanu Reeves could have been a better guide into the Matrix that was the Kaw River backwoods. The Pirate had a “plan” as usual, but due to the deluge earlier in the day, the course was to entail more than a few miles of asphalt and gravel – and maybe a sand pit or two for flavor and sustenance. Handleballs his bad self was in rare form -or at least had a morphine drip hidden in his pack- and did as many wheelies as are allowed by law on the way north to the island of ‘cotton and baby skunks’ as my son used to call it (also known as the rollerblade meat grinder by my wife). After bush-whacking around the island we headed west along the river and found the largest pile of sand outside of the Sahara; which was in reality a massive dredging operation run by floating, lighted drones that eyed us with suspicion as we pissed in their general direction.
  Back on the pavement we got free tickets to a redneck mudfest in which the sole participant filled his open windows with toxic run-off from the nearby field. We were concerned that we might hear banjo music so we left the show after his first run, his clown horn echoing through the valley behind us.  Lucky for us, Captain Sparrow was able to use his internal GPS – he claimed he had previewed something called Google Earth – to guide us towards K7 hwy and toward the fabled netherworlds.  I still think he was using the stars as his guide like his completely sober Irish kin did as they sailed to the West Indies in 1462.  
 And so over the 7K we went, trusting in our guide to take us to the secret riverboat wrecks along the Kaw that were rumored to still have working brothels and moonshine on tap. The consolation prize was a burned out house filled with shotgun slugs and a faux metal (plastic), sand-filled canteen…. I am still filled with disappointment due to my wallet having $500 in ones just waiting for a g-string.  But, little did we know that the Pirate, now known as Neo, had stumbled on some of the best-hidden, most awesomerist trail to be found along the mighty muddy – and a sandy paradise for my Pugsley, which I probably could have ridden all the way across the river it was so wide and shallow. I’ll be back with the 4 inchers as soon as the moon is full and my sores are healed –that’s what she said.  
  Since I have been threatened with water boarding if I reveal any more details about the location of the aforementioned trail system, I will now attempt to confuse and obfuscate the remainder the details surrounding the denouement of the ride.  In no particular order we: 1. Were charged by a rabid opossum; B. Did a 30 foot mud drop into a zombie shooting range replete with color-coded spray painted targets and a table used for dissecting cousin-brothers; 6. Plowed a field 29er style; F. Followed an ultra-steep, rocky jeep road up to 13,000 feet where we found a quarry frequented by rampant sex cults; 33. Found a meth lab and blew it up with Co2 cartridges; G. Put down all the gold pieces of eight that the Pirate found along the river onto the railroad tracks and watched in glee as it derailed; 47. Climbed until my thumbs resembled swollen, rancid raccoons and my arms were cramped to the point of two by fours.
 But in the end, as we watched Handleballs, the Energizer Bunny of single speed mountain bikers swerving along Shawnee Mission Parkway at 10:30 p.m., a warm fuzzy feeling radiated up from the pavement – which for all practical purposes was probably my burning ass hair; thanks Fizik, light weight really is more important than bleeding pustules.   
 Many thanks to the Pirate and his anger management seminar that is the Tuesday night ride, and to those who had their junk tucked up and were not in attendance I have a few simple words of advice: the upcoming summer night race will blow your mind like RuPaul with a bag of balloons. You have been warned.
War In.