Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Project Mayhem...

I started the MonsterCross build last night, way too late but under a gorgeous full moon. So far the build is coming along nicely: Surly Karate Monkey 29er Frame, Waltworks segmented fork, Thomson post & Stem, On-One Midge Dirt Drops, Bontrager Race Disc wheels, Continental Race King Rubber, Salsa clamp, Surly 16t cog. Adding soon: White Industries ENO cranks, Chris King Headset, Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, Cane Creek levers and Avid BB7 Disc Brakes. 
I went with a Medium frame to get a shorter top tube length to allow the drop bars to fit me better. I've tried to build-up a Karate Monkey as a MonsterCross in the past and failed when the size was too big, even though it was sized correctly for Mountain Bars. The tires will be changed-out per riding style between Mountain, CX and Road. The main usage will be commuting, but a few CX races, Beer runs and singletrack rides will be in the mix. Possibly thinking about fenders for commuting. 
So that's where Project Mayhem is to date. More info on the beast as the build moves forward. I'm pretty psyched on this one. Cheers!


OR maybe this variation. Custom Steel Badger. Sexy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Holy Krampus...

Kauk and MaxiThad have both been on me to look into the new Surly Krampus. I must admit that I'm slightly, make that very interested in this 29+ beast. Since I'm far from being the fastest guy on the block, why not put the fun back in riding? The Krampus, to me, is a big kids BMX (set-up single speed of course). If I could get over the monstrous price/weight, I think the Krampus might be my next bike...but not until after the Monster CX build mentioned in the post below, although the Krampus might be a sweet drop bar machine. Surly, you had me with "shit-eating grin".
Krampus Reviews/Info:

Friday, July 27, 2012


I can't get the whole MonsterCX thing out of my mind. I prefer to ride trail, but when commuting I just cannot get a grasp for the skinny tire thing, that and I need a winter bike. High PSI, rigid death grip feeling and uncomfortableness is far from attractive (skinny tires blow ass). So once again, I am going to sell my 2012 Specialized Tricross Elite Disc and go another, less expensive, more ghetto route to get me to/from work and possibly to race CX a few times over the winter. I'd also like to see some MonsterCX and Fatbike racing this winter, and have a feeling that the folks over at Pirate cXc will make something happen in that department.
I've got two frames at my disposal, two forks and a crud-load of parts to build something up from. Shall I go with the Surly Karate Monkey or the Kona Unit? I'm thinking the Monkey, as it has a shorter top tube which will allow the use of the Midge Dirt Drops to work out better. And for forks, I've got a Waltworks Custom segmented steel and a Niner carbon. Both really nice forks, but I am leaning towards the Niner, hoping for some vibration dampening and something to match my good looks. 
Perusing the interweb, I found a few good looking MonsterCX rigs out there, and one commuter style that cought my eye. The ideas just keep pouring in. This will be yet another fun build...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fatty and Sassy...

I'm not sure where to start on this whole dust issue. It's seriously like riding behind a farm truck on a gravel road out on the trails as of late. We need rain like zombies need brains . With good fortune and a slight bit of luck, we did get some rain last night, much needed and probably not enough to knock down the dust for more than a day or two, but rain none-the-less.
The Silent Killer showed-up last night with a new bike, a Ventana El Comandante SS with the Gates Belt Drive system installed. You break a chain during a race and go for belt drive? Sure, why not. Even though the El Comandante is aluminum, it's still a nice looking bike and I dig the rocker style dropouts.
Maxithad also showed-up with a new bike, or should I say a second Surly Pugsley from his stable: this time of the Single Speed variety in Good Guy White. Not wanting to get dropped in the first five seconds of the ride, he installed a larger White Industries rear cog as I passed around hits of PBR to keep pre-ride dehydration at bay. The Pugs is a sexy beast with it's motorcycle tires, but to get the chain line correct, Surly did some really funky stuff with the fork and chain stays. Really Funky.
Then there was Handleballs; he was still riding his blown-out Rock Shox Reba. That POS looked horrible with oil and crap all over the sanctions and delivering no more than .5" of travel. More of a boat anchor than anything.
Billyvanilly was on his usual dumpster bike, which sports a nice zip-tie tensioned chain tensioner, a lone rear brake and a sticker to which I have no clue of the meaning.
Lastly, I pulled the Niner from the rack only to find not twelve, but three broken spokes on my rear wheel. Phuk! I always preach preparedness and i go and drop the ball like that? Stupid me. So in the heat of the moment I grabbed my wife's Surly Instigator, swapped out the pedals, raised the seat and was ready for business. It felt like a bmx bike which helped me realize just how bad-ass my Niner Air 9 carbon really is, and how lucky I am to own one.
It was buisness time and we rode a fair amount of ripping fast trail, though none other than Billyvanilly and Silent Killer had much in their tank for getting things done in any kind of speedy fashion. 
Riding the usual stuff has been boring the lights out of me, so we mixed it up a bit, rode some stuff backwards, checked out a local arachnoid, took a water break, talked shit and generally had a crash-free experience.
Fast forward after three hours of riding and picture the most delicious watermelon you've ever tasted dripping off Maxithads beard, many cold beers downed and a giant fan cooling our swollen thighs. That was a good night ride.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's that kind of Day...

It's hot as Phuk outside. I think I'll go ride some dirt...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

C4 - Colivita Cross Country Challenge...

The Fast and The Furious
Explosive. That's in fact what the ripping fast, dry and dusty course was all about at the inaugural Colivita Cross Country Challenge a.k.a. C4 as I will refer to it from here on out. Brett Shoffner, also known as Shoffy or the Circus Midget, pooled together a handful of volunteers and his brotherhood of skinny-tire race pals to put on a great show; the only mountain bike XC race to hit the Kansas City Metro Area for 2012. As I am calculating the numbers right now, in my mind, as I ponder the memory of that day, I would say that the masses did indeed have a grand ol' time at this first rate event.
Click to Enlarge ;)
For the Pirate it was a bit of a heartbreak, as the lair is a mere stones throw from the Wyco trails but with kids in-tow, I was unable to race. However, when you can't race you usually can heckle and make a fool of yourself, or at a minimum blast 15 gallons of slightly tainted ice water at the racers as you alienate every passerby simply with your Village People attire, as was the case. Other than almost having to perform extra medical duties to save the life of one Dan Doss during the shutting down of his bronchi, The O'Burns posse was able to relieve at least *118 of those bold enough to race in the deadly-hot condition with a full frontal assault.
Mr. Volker @ The Cooling Station
As far as racing goes, I'll tell ya, the heat was ON like Devil Donkey Kong. Pyro and The Kid were head-to-head the whole race, leaving a dust smokescreen so thick that every nostril had to be excavated post race. Tige Lamb was killing it and almost killing The Kid when an aggressive cornering maneuver was pulled, admittedly a move learned during a past Pirate ride/race. B-Rocket, aside from tossing his cookies on the first lap, reeled in a podium spot even with yours truly missing two of his bottle hand-ups in the pits. Let me remind you that I said " I require a pop-up tent and cold beers" if I am going to crew for the team. Did I get either? NO! So F.U.. Special thanks however to the life saving skills of one Speeding Jesus for quenching my thirst. Speaking of Speeding Jesus; DNF due to a double flat. Bummer! I was secretly happy to have you joining the ranks as 'top of the hill water cooling station manager'. 
Coletrain, Silent Killer and Speeding Jesus
Then walks over Silent Killer, chain in one hand bike in the other. Poor little fella was railing it so hard that his chain exploded, causing his first DNF of the day, followed by non-beer drinking, which was the cause for his second. When it's 140 degrees outside how can you possibly pass on a ice cold beverage. Ludacris.
Rocket Man
Summing up the race is easy. The course, as described by at least one of the fastest dudes this side of the Mississippi, was 'Hard'. The Ethos Posse dominated the podiums in nearly every category. The O'Burns posse dominated the racers with unyielding skill and accuracy of aim. Shoffy and crew (and yes, he had a great crew of volunteers, THANK YOU, as it does not happen w/o you) did a fine job of pulling this race together and had a great showing of over 100 racers.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Next year it will be my turn to dominate, so get in line to take my place in the history of water support, tom-foolery and skin exposure. I know you can do better.

Results are HERE.
Photos are HERE. (Thanks Chris)
You are HERE

Ethos Podiums in each respective category are as follows:

The Kid - 1st Place
Pyro - 1st Place 
Rocket - 2nd Place
Coletrain - 1st Place
Squara - 1st Place
Coe - 2nd Place

Pressure Check
Classic Adam
Shoffy the Race Pimp

Pretty Boy & Rocket

The End...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Wednesday night, you know the gig. Time for a ride into the night, the woods and hopefully a fair bit of the unknown. As misfortune would have it, we the Pirate crew sailed the seas of non-tranquility into the crowded trail system known as SMP on the one night the local mountain bike club was having a gathering. We feared the worst; a man train of newbs clogging every gutter-less line of dirt for miles, spying on our freakish antics and raining on our dust parade. We got lucky and were only interrogated by the likes of two non-local fellows in search of the holy grail of biking - the infinite mystery of Pirate cXc. None budged or let a whisper slide threw his/her teeth, and the secrets of night racing were secured for yet another 100 years. 
Backing up a few hours, I went out for a pre-ride to get my legs warmed up, which was easy to do in 107 degree temps. I thought it wise to head into SMP to say hello to a few at the man-gang gathering by riding into the park via the Ogg Road hill. For those who have yet to ride this beast, it's mere prowess would make Arnold not be back, and on a single speed you are going to get your money's worth and more. After completing my pre-ride lactic acid bath, I headed into the valleys of Red only to find a group of guys on SS's getting ready to depart for some riding. I planned, in my mind a sweet skid as I arrived, but rather grabbed my front brake as I sat on my stem and did a full front wheelie/OTB hump-day show as my introduction. This is THE best way to get noticed by the IN crowd, and so it goes, and we went. We tore through enough trail to keep the heart rate above average and my water bottles empty. After a brief hello and goodbye, it was time to head back to the lair to meet the night ride posse for round two.
Our small crew of gents; MaxiThad, Silent Killer, BillyVanilly and Jack Sparrow headed off in the typical fashion, into the fairy tale hollows of Sherwood Forest. We were all on a similar wavelength as far as pace so we rode into the night without a hitch, at least until the crashes began. First it was Maxicrash with a tumble during an attempt up the maxithad-cutoff, on which he himself fell down-slope to a rocky halt - his ass having flashbacks to last-months attempt as he failed in the exact same spot/same manor. It was like watching  Darwin award reruns. 
Not going into too many additional details, we carried onward, riding much dusty trail. MaxiCrash lived up to his name and had no less than *23 open wounds oozing red goo, which he would often look upon and verbally throw-up about. But we just kept riding, knowing that we needed to get him back to the beer fridge before he passed out from lack of fluids.
Upon arrival at the Pirates Lair we were ambushed by the likes of HandleBalls, sans booze or bike, as he jumped out to scare the crew as we rode by. He was telling tall tales of his recent adventure of cross country bike-packing on the Katy trail, a boring and hideous excuse for a bike ride that turned his knees into swollen cantelopes, which was his excuse for not riding with us tonight yet was hardly an excuse for the lack of beer hand-ups as we killed the Lawrence hill on our final approach.
We were successful in our endeavor of dirt loving good times. There was many a good wreck, or rather we saw MaxiCrash eat dirt more times than Micheal Jackson grabbed his package in 1983. We swilled a few beverages to rehydrate ourselves and talked about fat bikes and folklore. Once again, a good night on the bike - even with one missing spoke...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Six a.m. is a perfect time to ride Swope on a holiday morning. Met up with the Ethos crew and tooled around the trail system, hitting everything at least once before I had to blaze outta there and get back home for the festivities. It was the first Independence Day that I did not get to blow up any fireworks; but rather blew up my iphone as it flew off my bumper going down Blue River Road post ride. This is the third iphone I have destroyed, somewhat comparable to what you're face would look like after a run-in with Chuck Norris. Kill your Television/Kill your iphone.
I sold the VW van and bought a 'family truck'. Now I can just drive on the trail and never have to peddle again...