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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Mountains...

The Mountains are calling to me...always.
One of my all time favorite steeds - The Kona Unit - on one of my favorite trails near Aspen, Colorado.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Black Pearl...

Promoting cycling events and building trail systems can take a toll on a fella, a toll on family time and a toll on ones riding time. I've been at it hard for the last two months doing everything I can to keep people psyched with a new local cycling venue and weekly race events. Today however, I got to ride MY bike...
Fall is here. Swope Trails.
It was still a tight squeeze to get in some time with all of the things I have on my plate, but rallied I did - met The Manimal and The Silent Killer out at Swope for a few laps of what turned out to be perfect trail conditions. I guess they weren't perfect; there were leaf covered turns and a section of new trail so dusty that visibility was down to twenty-feet. But overall, the trail conditions and the trail itself are just plain sick. The lines are well thought out, the bench cut sections on steep, rock-strewn terrain is always a technical fiesta. The flow is the best you'll find. I just love to ride there, it'd been way too long.

My fellow cohorts were pushing the envelope and I did my best to keep up and still enjoy the scenery. I was thinking as I watched The Silent Killers unyielding ability to hang on the wheel in front of him, and how my style varies as I stay back just enough to enjoy the solitude of the woods. Maybe this spacing-off at the scenery is in part what keeps me from the desire to train really hard and become a super bad-ass. I just try to keep it on the fun level. Don't get me wrong; going fast IS fun. I've just been on the other side of the scene for the last 8 weeks and am trying to dog-paddle my way back to the pack. Being outdoors, in the woods....man, just can beat the energy of it all.
Kuat makes a bad ass rack. Get one.
It was a hard ride for me, my legs felt like they were waking up from a long winters hibernation, and I've had a sinus infection for two weeks which pushes the lung comfort level down a notch, but I was psyched to be riding - super psyched. Not only did I have a great time, but I was energized to get back on a bike on a more consistent schedule. A great start was this ride at Swope. Plans for my next ride; Wednesday Night fellas, as the Pirate Rides are officially back on track. You know the drill. See you at 7 p.m. for the usual death march followed by some relaxation around a warm fire.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lights, Action (no camera)...

Wednesday nights are usually reserved for you know what, but this week the choice was made to do some night racing at the Riverfront permaCXcourse
Pirate cXc races are always a blast, and there are usually some kind of shenanigans to partake in. Dirty Crits #4, Series Championships was a little bit on the tame side of norm (for Pirate races anyway); however, it was far from you're ordinary old Cyclocross event, but rather a night race with flavor.
Results in the making...
The Pirate crew had been getting things tuned-up and ready for this event for weeks. We'd been working with Ethos Racing and Shawnee Parks to design and build the areas only year-round, open to the public Cyclocross course. Last nights race was the first big event held on the newest and hopefully 'keeper' loop, consisting of grassy turns, barriers, run-ups in deep sand, heart-stopping descents, sand pits and good times.  Pirate cXc brought a few additions for this one-night-only event, including but not limited to; a Teeter-totter short-cut, Ladder Bridge Short-Cut, Bonus Time for stopping to grab a mystery puzzle piece out of an illuminated jack-o-lantern or shooting down a cup of Goldfish Crackers. It doesn't always pay to be fast, but if you use a solid strategy mixing speed with time bonus' and short-cuts, you might take home the bacon. Most of these options require A+ bike handling skills to get on the podium...and walk away unscathed.
Time Clock and Goldfish Shots
Hords of folks started pulling into the gravel parking area with Cyclocross and Mountain bikes alike, ready to rumble. Racers checked-in, received a sweet 'Dirty Crits' Spoke card, and prepped for racing. There was an 'A' race of about 12 miles and a 'B' race of about 9.5. It was getting cold and pitch-black dark. It's time to race.
The A group takes off from under the Start/Finish banner. Flash gets the hole-shot into the first series of turns when The Manimal breaks tradition and hits the Teeter-totter short-cut, gaining a solid 8-10 seconds on the lead group as everybody let out an audible 'OOOOOOHHHHH!!!'. We knew from the crowd reaction that someone just got schooled. Onto the Second short-cut, the Ladder Bridge and yet again The Manimal conquers and gains another few seconds on the lead group. After this everyone disappeared into the new section of 'wide singletrack' into the woods and on around the South end of the loop.
After a series of steep descents and climb-outs, the leaders were nearing an area were Pirate cXc had set-up a mini table-top jump and a kicker, to which Handleballs serviced Dukes of Hazard style, catching more air than Michael Jordan. Captain Cuntwat also took flight: we never knew those 4.5" tires could even leave the ground.
Beyond the kicker, riders would encounter the off camber sand pit, the Spiral of Doom and then a half mile of grassy turn-n-burn terrain. It was a sight to behold, all of the lights flowing across the fields at night like giant firefly's. Soon the lead group was nearing the finish of lap 1, and the barriers which were dispatched with ease by everyone in varied bunny-hop or running styles. First through the start/finish was T-Donn with a sub-ten-minute lap time.
The next three/four laps were similar, with cheering and heckling coming out of my every breath. There were some solid riders getting on it, rolling fast through the gate with that eye-of-the-tiger look; blazing. 
I think it was the third lap when Farmer and The Manimal, who'd been fighting the entire race for 3rd and 4th position, came upon the barriers like Chuck Norris' fist to an enemy. How they'd been sending this obstacle at top speed blew my mind, and on this lap blew Farmer to pieces. He ate major shit over the second barrier and lay in a crumpled pile on the ground next to his bike; rear wheel detached. I knew he was hurt pretty good when I saw him try to stand-up, only to return to the cold earth for more rest. I thought it was going to be really bad. 
Captain Cuntwat, who DNF'd due to lack of PSI in his fatties, returned to the grandstand and we helped Farmer to his feet, handed him his bike as a crutch and sent him home for some beauty sleep. Hope you're O.K. bro, that was a harsh crash to witness.
Time whizzed by and folks are flying in on their last lap. I did my best to get finish times written down for those who seemed to care; there was a trophy and prizes to be had, and kick-ass ones at that. A few of the ultimate Strava queens poofed from the finish into oblivion, only to have their awards kept by yours truly. Thanks!
Everyone made it into the finish within about 15 minutes of each other. It was getting cold, I was cold, everyone was cold; time for awards!
T-Donn, The Silent Killer and Handleballs - Top Dogs of the night/series
We regrouped in the parking lot. Some poor math was done, times and places calculated with accuracy not to be outdone by a half dozen elementary school kids. Beer was flowing, the stars were out and the top dogs took a little something home; be it a sixer of Guinness, a Taddihogg Cycling Hat, a BikeSource gift card or the coveted Unicorn & Fairy Series Championship Trophy. New friends were made, enemy's too and a grand night of racing was had by all. 
If you missed out, you truly missed out. There might be a next time, but for now... I am going to ride my bike in the woods for a long while. 
Cheers...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tonight...

Night Race.
Be THERE.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Buy me...

SOLD

FOR SALE - BE AWESOME

Surly Karate Monkey 29er Single Speed (it can be set-up w/gears also)




  • Surly Karate Monkey Frame (black, Medium)
  • Waltworks Custom Steel Fork (Black)
  • Chris King Headset (mango)
  • Bontrager Race Lite Wheels (black)
  • NEW Contenental Race King Tires
  • Salsa Skewers (blue)
  • Salsa Seat Clamp (blue)
  • Thomson Post (black)
  • NEW Thomson Stem (black)
  • NEW Specialized Bar 31.8 (black)
  • NEW Avid BB& Disc Brakes, FR5 Levers & Roundagon Rotors
  • Truvative Stylo SS crank w/32t ring and bashring (black)
  • Surly rear cog, your choice on size (16-20t)
  • WTB Silverado Saddle (worn)
  • Oury Grips (black)

$800 OBO
Frame and fork alone new are worth what I'm asking for the complete bike.
First come, first served. 

I accept Paypal or cash and am willing ship (buyer pays shipping).
More photos upon request. Serious inquries only, don't waist my time.
singlespeedpirate@gmail.com

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dirty Night Race...


Click HERE, then go ride your bike in the dark...