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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
the folks hosting sswc this summer are a neat bunch. it might be a long drive to durango co, but if my truck will make it, i'll be there.
happy new year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
working. lots of working. fitting boots. tuning skis.
no time to ski. comforted by the fact that the snow insn't too good right now. warmish days weren't friendly to the snow we had christmas day.... in fact, it's the total opposite. melt freeze cycles turned the 3ft of blower powder we had into a frozen tundra unless the sun hits it juuuusssst right. even then, it's only so so.
so, we rest. recoup. watch some movies. recharge until the next phase of winter blesses us with its next batch.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Snowblowing the driveway took waaayyyyyy longer than anticipated. The berm at the bottom of the driveway was up to my chest with the rest of the driveway so deep it was alllllmost over the bucket on the blower. To add to the fun I decide I would get just a little bit closer to the woodpile while snow blowing the deck munching the corner of the tarps in the process. That's a fun (not) experience I hope to never have again.
Once dug out, Megan and I decided that even though it was 12:30 we'd still try and sneak a quick lap on Jakes or Hidden peak. After an epic drive we arrived at Hidden to see some parking spots plowed out but no existing skin track. Typically I don't mind breaking trail, but since it was approaching 2 bells, we continued a few minutes south to try our luck at Jakes. We arrived to see one car in the parking lot, skin track installed. BINGO! If you drive a white Astro van with a camper conversion.... THANKS HEAPS!! We owe you one.
Nice hike up. Still snowing. Heavy at times. Turns on the way back down were everything you would expect from waist deep, bottomless blower pow. Moments of no sight... no problems. We stayed to the skiers right of the skin track leaving the steeper chutes to the left for another day when we had more than an hour of daylight left and maybe a little more coverage. Gotta stay smart out there. Even though Tommi will find this slightly amusing, things are still a little thin out there for us in Tahoe.
It's days like these that really make me realize just how convenient skiing in the backcountry really is. With over 15" of snow on my deck, driveway, car, and everything else that stands between me and skiing today, there's also that little thing called Christmas. Additionally, getting Megan (my girlfriend) a pass at the resort today would be an exercise in futility as ski areas understandably "tighten their proverbial belt" on cheap tickets during the holiday season. And even if I could get Megan a ticket, we'd need to be at the resort early to ensure some descent skiing as fresh powder disappears faster than a cold 6 pack after an epic ride with your buddies.
Ahh backcountry skiing. Show up early. Show up late. It doesn't matter! I'm going to have AT LEAST one more cup of coffee before snow blowing the driveway. Then I'm diving into that pile of neatly wrapped boxes of who knows what under our tree to see what Santa brought me this year. Then I'm doing some more diving, but this time it's going to be pancakes, an egg and maybe another cup of coffee just for good measure. THEN I'll head out for some turns. Sure we'll see some other tracks, signs that someones been there before us. But who cares! While folks at the resorts are scampering around trying to find a turn or two of untracked powder, we'll be leisurely hiking and skiing our way into contentment by the days end.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: if you're a slacker, backcountry skiing could be for you.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In the mid 90's, Pennsyltuckie received a HUGE dump. I'm talkin' about two feet of cold, beautiful snow. The normal crew (which was anything but normal) all headed out on our cross country skis to a place called Kings Gap. We kicked and glided our way through the park eventually finding ourselves at the top of a descent hill. Not too steep, but definitely to the point of not being able to just straight line it. Some traversed their way down while some tried to make turns. All told, I probably linked three turns in 350ft of vertical, but the seed was planted. I went back the next day with a buddy of mine, Kurt, to give it another go. The results weren't much better, but we knew we were on to something.
Kurt called early the following day and told me about the skis he'd just ordered and urged me to do the same.Within a couple of days, the shop called and I was mounting bindings to a fresh pair of Fischer E99's in my kitchen. Once again, we made plans to head to Kings Gap to give it another go. This time... THIS TIME we made some turns. Don't get me wrong, we did our fair share of crashing, but MAN was it fun!
Word in our group spread like wild fire and before we knew it, there were a good handful of us with skis that would handle anything Kings Gap had to offer. Even the steepest 30 degree pitch was no match for our gear and determination.
Kurt and I had the place dialed and we had a day up there that I'll never forget. There were about 6 of us.... the perfect number for car shuttling. We took turns driving. One guy would give up his run to do the driving while the rest skied. At the end of the day, the place looked like a ski area. Most particularly the area where we shoveled snow onto the road so we wouldn't have to stop part way down the "run".
There would be other storms. Other days on skis that would stand out. But not like that Saturday in January.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Also checking out my new work place ~ Best Fit ski boots. Best Fit is a custom boot shop one the slopes at Sugarbowl. The owners a hoot, passionate about skiing and a damn good bike rider to boot. We should get along juussst fine.
So, I wouldn't say it's "game on" just quite yet, but old man winter has finally arrived in Tahoe. Another significant storm and we'll be pretty much good to go.... and I'm ready.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
...... the snow icon!!!
Now, I'm OK with the fact that I've been refered to as "a biker living in a ski town". I truly love to ski, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm not into "searching out the goods" weeks after that last storm to try and find good snow to ski. I ski enough to know when "it's good" truly means it's good. To some people, "good snow" means that they linked three turns in succession in favorable conditions. What they didn't tell you is that they spent most of the day skiing broken crust, bullet proof snow or otherwise "variable conditions" to find those one or two spots on the hill where the skiing was truly "good". On days like that, you'll find me with a bike in the back of the truck heading down to the foothills where the trails are in perfect condition and the weather usually calls for shorts allowing you to get some sun on something other than just your neck and face.
But, if it's gonna snow....... BRING IT ON!!!! It seems like only yesterday that we were.......
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Spent Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz. Expanded my knowledge of single-track radness in that little part of the world. I was gluttonous both at the dinner table Thanksgiving day as well as the local trail system all week long. So many trails, so little time.
Thursday: Campus trails, Hery Cowell park, more campus trails. Oh sooo good. Thanx for the tour Pete!
Friday: Soquel demonstration forest. Or as the locals say..... Demo.
Sat: Delaveaga Park. Short but sweet. Fazzio (pic above) as tour guide.
Sun: More campus trails.... cause there are sooooooooo many.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Don't like the looks of any of those seats? Why not try a recumbent bike? This design lets you get your whole ass on the seat.... reminiscent of a couch. Plus their soooooo cool. Don't take my word for it, just look at this guy! Seems happy enough.
Still not satisfied? Ok. One more for ya. The Flying Squirrel Bike". I think this could really be the answer. It requires a commitment of some special clothing, necessitates that there be someone available to "rig you up", limits you to road rides and certainly won't climb that well (I actually don't even know if this can climb at all) but it takes all, and I mean ALL of the pressure off your "nether-regions". Isn't that what we were going for in the first place?
So, there you have it. The choice is yours. So many ways to avoid the all too common saddle sores.
Ed Note: The opinions expressed in the above story are soley that of the author and are not to be taken seriously, lightly, mildly or really even taken at all. The author, authors girlfriend, authors dog, authors friends and riding partners hereby exquibe all exquibeable abilities to hereon postedness within thusly.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Rode Pioneer from Conservancy Camp Rd to just shy of Omega Rest stop. Good conditions. The moto trails are just a weekend away from being the fast, tacky, bermed out love that everybody heads down there for. They were a little muddy and soft today. If you moto.... now's your time!!
This site is a good place to look for beta if you're new to riding down there. It'll get you the basics. There's also the Nevada City Ranger Station in Nevada City. Take Hwy 20 to JUST before N.C. and make a right on Hwy 49. The Ranger Station is about a 1/4 mile on your right. Once you get there, grab yourself a copy of the South Yuba Recreation Guide. It's got enough to keep you occupied for plenty of riding when the trails are snowed in around Truckee.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I spent most of my race suffering just inside the top 10. My last four laps were my best and I can only hope the riders I was catching were in my class. If the race were only another hour longer. I'm guessing I ended up 5th or so. The officials were a bit confused by something or other and as of this posting, there are still no results. Hmmmm.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I should've know better. Instead, I left the hose out. The corners of the wood pile uncovered. The shovels in the shed... far away from the front door. The snow blower..... no gas. "They" warned me not to do that, but I did it anyway.
When I shut the lights off Monday night and to get some sleep, it was already snowing. The forecast of 4-6 in town and 10" + up high. "They've" been wrong before and I was hoping "they" would be wrong again. As I awoke Tuesday morning, I realized I owed "them" an apology. "They" had hit it perfectly. Actually, "they" were a little off as the reports came in of 16" of the white stuff up high.
We're in that period of seasons where you either get out the rock skis or load the bikes and head down the hill to quench your thirst for single-tracks. Until "they" say it's gonna snow again, I'll see you on the trails.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
"The crew" (18 of us) heading up the first climb of the day. We spent the entire day riding south on a ridge that eventually took us back to camp.
You just know we stopped here for a break.
Classic east coast fall colors
Riding back to camp (Seneca Rocks) after 7ish hours.
Fire Jenga..... late night
New day. New ridge. Yesterday we were on the far ridge you can see.
Jake, you better ride light.
Riding in deep leaves. Not for the timid. Use "the force"
Tomi. Navigating some of West Va's finest.
One last view before the "oh so sweet" descent to the valley floor.
Stats day one:
- Length: long
- 18 people
- many flats
- many smiles
- Length: longer
- 22 people
- more flats
- more smiles
All pics posted here
Friday, October 10, 2008
Photos by: Oh, there are no photos
Outalw crossers were treated to a brand-spankin' new venue this time around but familiar faces would stand atop the podium.
The womens race would see the ever persistent Cass Perkins (Truckee) throwing down a pace akin to something you would see at the Bonneville Salt Flats on a Sunday afternoon. "I heard the CHP was called because traffic on Highway 80 was getting held up from all the dust that girl's kickin' up" said a spectator lucky enough to witness the event. "Mm hmm" mentioned his wife. 2nd place would be awarded to newcommer Marain from Reno and the "future Mrs Boyle" would take home 3rd.
The mens race would start fast and furious. Gregg Stone and his evil twin, Kenny Burt, would eventually get a small gap on the rest of the field and battle throughout the entire race. Burt, fresh off a 2nd place at Brians Head Super-D, would follow Stones wheel the entire race. It seemed like he was trying a last lap pass on the "freeway section" as he got up really tight to Stones wheel, but the Mighty Mobile rider would prove too strong this day and Burt would settle for another 2nd place. The fight for the final podium spot was a good one between last weeks winner, Monte Boyle, Matt Larsen and newcommer John Hotop. Larsen, staying true to last weeks "heads are gonna roll" comment, put a strong move on the group on the "freeway section" that looked like it was going to work but instead left the Reno rider with flat tire far from the pits. Then there were two. Boyle and Hotop would challenge each other throughout the remaining laps with Boyle getting the advantage with a lap and a half to go.
Monday, October 6, 2008
It's got a nice, standard 5mm seat bolt on one side, with a......
.... what the heck's that janky thang on the other side! A nut? You must be kidding! You can't have a nut on there. Forget that this is a custom bike. Why on earth would you ever want to have to use 2 tools to adjust your saddle height? Don't know??? Me either. Why not just thread the seat clamp?
The parts from left to right are:
- Drill Bit
- Steel Coil (the new thread)
So, drill the seat clamp... thusly.
Tap the part.... as such
A little dab will do ya. Permanent thread locking compound on the threads you just made will ensure that when you loosen the seat clamp bolt only the bolt turns.... not the steel thread repair insert you're about to install.
The insertion tools (#4) really are super-neat-o. They keep the steel repair coil (#3) spaced perfectly for the desired thread pitch.
Acquire a new bolt of the proper length and..... Bang... you done got'cherself some new threads! The end of the bolt is just below flush with the clamp when it's tight... just like it's supposed to be.
(Note: If this is your first time doing this, don't... I repeat... DO NOT try to fix something expensive on your bike first without first testing this in something like..... anything else really. Just not your Thomson stem... or your brake caliper mounting threads in your fork lowers)
This used to be the common fix on Rock Shox Mag 21 lowers. The brake boss bolts would strip allllllll the time on those things. It's a handy trick for expensive tid-bits on your ride. Not only will you be up and running WITHOUT having to buy a new XTR crank arm, it's something that can have you back on the trail in no time.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
John Svahn chased hard and would emerge third when the dust settled. "I would've won if I had a carbon seatpost" stated the Norwegian afterwards. "I've been doing some top secret training targeted to peak just after mid season" he went on to say.
The woman's race would see two new faces in this years series. Cass Perkins appears to be the one to beat as she outpaced Annie for most of the race. It was rumored later in the pits that Annie didn't want the weight of the points lead on her shoulders this early in the series. Is Perkins unbeatable or is Annie a master tactician.... only time will tell.
It's anybodies guess as to what the season will bring. Reno is definitely in it for the fame, glory, money and everything else that comes along with winning the Outlaw series. Truckee is down a man after last years series winner, Andrew Hall, moved back to Australia to start an organic vegemite operation. Some regulars were also missing from the morning race.... scared no doubt.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Formerly called "Glass Mountain" because of the sound the shale covered riding surface used to make under your tires, the new re-route is far less rocky with sooooo many good views of the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe. This new section is, well.... new. This being the case, expect the trail to be a bit soft in sections. Next spring, this section WILL be rad! Radder that it is now.
I tried to ride this section last Thursday after work. I can tell you that it's dark... DARK in the woods @ 7:15! We stayed on bikes until the bitter end. Then we started the walk of shame that I've done far more times than I'll admit to here in this post. Nothing left to do now but yell "HEY BEAR!"
Megan sets her sights on the lake. This is probably a mile from the end of the trail. This is also right about the point where we started pushing our bikes in the dark last week. I like the trail much better in the daytime.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I hate this kind of stuff. Your best defense is to keep as little as possible in your car and keep it as out of sight as possible while you're out and about. Even a pair of shorts laying on the floor in front of the passenger seat is probably enough to entice some low life scum bag to see if your wallet is still in one of the pockets.
Actually, I guess your best defense would be to ride from your house and just leave the car at home.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
If you live in Tahoe, or any other vacation destination, you know the routine. Friends call, ask if you're going to be around, make flight arrangements and before you know it, their in the spare room with luggage strewn about asking you where the best breakfast spot is.
Well, early next month it's our turn! My bea-u-ti-ful girlfriend and I are heading to the Oregon coast. It's our turn to couch surf, sleep until noon, make left turns from the center lane, drive 10mph under the speed limit..... don't honk at me.... I'M A TOURIST DAMMIT!!!!!
Figuring to drive to Bend, do a ride. Then pop over The Sisters the next day to the McKenzie river trail for another sampling of single track. Soak in some hot springs. After that, head further north to Portland for some more couch surfing. Then work our way out to the coast where we'll start to head back south in as lazy of a manner as possible until we run out of time.
So, if you're in Oregon in early October and there's a green Toyota driving way too slow turning right with its left turn signal on.... don't honk. Just remember.... it's our turn!!!!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Tomi. Shake-down ride. Tahoe Donner trails.
We loaded up the mighty truck and headed out.
My dog, Lewis, know this scene all too well.
This race was epic in all aspects. Even the drive to the race venue (French Meadows Reservoir) was nothing to be taken lightly. We took a "short cut" using Yankee Jims road out of Colfax. This road is dirt, rocky and has soooooo many ways to go wrong.
Cows. In the middle of friggin' nowwhere.
Talk about coming out of the woodwork! Burly... keepin' it real.
Tomi McMillar. Early in the day. All smiles.... for now.
Cheryl, womens open race winner, chases early in the race.
Mens open podium.
Womens open podium.