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Looking for a simple brake adjustment.... is that skipping chain driving you crazy.... how about those leaky seals on your suspension fork..... oh you need a wheel built.... the search is over! Mighty Mobile is here to help!

Let 20 years of friendly service help you out of your next bike conundrum. Serving all of Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

Gregg Stone
Mighty Mobile Bicycle Repair

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Many Thanks

As 2010 waits in the wings and 2009 gets ready to "ride some single track into the sunset", I realized that I really need to take a few minutes and give a big ole' THANK YOU to everyone that made Mighty Mobile a success this year.

I know you have choices when it comes to getting your bike fixed in Tahoe and for all of you that picked up the phone and dialed my number for help... I can't thank you enough.

Have a great winter Tahoe! See you in the spring.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Trails update

Riding in and around the greater Nevada City area yesterday (Sunday Dec 20th) proved to work out quit well. It looks like you could ride all the way up to Whitecloud Campground but would probably encounter snow further up the trail.

We did a combo of trails starting from town and riding as high as Conservancy Camp Rd. Trial conditions actually proved to be quit good with no snow and very little mud even on north facing trails... until it starter to rain towards the end of our ride.

I would assume that South Yuba, Round Mountain and Bullards Bar trails are all GTG (Good To Go) if you're looking to fill a void in your riding.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


been dreaming lately. bikes mostly.

in the first one, it starts with me juuuust off the back of the lead group on day three of a multi day stage race. i don't know where we were, but safe to say that i was doing a fair deal of suffering trying to latch back on to the group. my success, or lack thereof, of catching the those guys was cut short by the scraping and whirring of the town of truckee's gigantic snow removal equipment eating away at the shoulder high snow bank that boarders our street in front of the house.

the next night would bring a new adventure. i'm traveling with a small group. ryan, tomi, buck.... all good friends, all good strong riders. we're nearing the end of day one of a two day epic. we ride various narrow footpaths and alley ways as we negotiate our way through a small village where our housing for the night awaits. where are we???... hell if i know, but it's neat. really neat. if i ever find this place... i'm moving! trying to explain this place wouldn't do it any justice. it's one of those "you have to see it" kind of places. we ride single track to within' inches of our accommodations for the night. it's a small bungalow style place surrounded by strategically placed shade trees sitting along a tiny creek that meanders through the town. we're glad to see that the fridge is stocked with some ice cold beers and waste no time celebrating the success of day one. i'm not sure how day two went. this dream ends with bikes and gear strewn about the deck and four dirty riders in lounge chairs with beers in our hands and smiles on our faces. much better than last nights suffer fest.

what's all this mean? got me, but i think that maybe i'll go riding today.

Friday, December 11, 2009


"you can't fail
if you don't try"
squaw valley

Thursday, December 10, 2009

change of seasons

I learned last week that my readership is up to a whopping 7 people (Thanx Jeff!) and figured I'd better post at least little something to keep ya'll amused, entertained or just help to fill your day of surfing the web while at work.

For the latest riding conditions, click here. The last precip we got came in the form of snow and made its presents felt all the way into the depths of Sacramento! One "somewhat reliable source" was reporting 6-8" of the white stuff in Auburn!! Don't kill the messenger, but it just might be time to pack the bikes away..... at least for a little while.

On the flipside, the skiing is ON! Scary coverage, but plenty available to the cautious skier. Seriously, be careful out there boys and girls. I've been out sliding around the past three days and can tell you that if you're one of those "I don't wanna scratch my skis" kind of people, you're a storm or two away from getting after it. On the other hand, if you're not afraid to grab a P-tex candle and do a little base repair (or you work in a ski shop) there are goods to be had. Squaw has a superfragilisticexpialidociously small amount of terrain open for the time being, but with the current weather that's being forecast (snow Thurs night thru Sat) things will be opening up at the speed of an apre' ride 6 pack. Backcountry conditions on Mt Rose were thin, but there are turns to be had as of Wed the 9th. Again, be careful out there. I think most of us encountered at least a couple of rocks each.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I know the skiing die hards will scoff at this post, but the skiing conditions right now are about as much fun as riding a downhill bike on a century ride. People, now's the time when you should be taking advantage of the riding in the foothills with warmer temps and trail conditions that we dream of having all summer long.

For mountain biking, look no further than this website for proper guidance. It will give you plenty of options to keep you busy until the snow gets here for real. I stumbled across this site 9 years ago and it's kept me busy ever since. The Nevada City area is probably my favorite. Ride the Pioneer Trail above Whitecloud campground for the best stuff. Careful with snow levels, it's about 4,500ft on this section of the trail, so you might get skunked. As of this post, things are a go all along the ridge.

Got a hankerin' to get out the road bike? Then you simply must check out the Sacramento bikeway. Don't blow this off as another cluttered bike path full of baby strollers and clueless people in your way. You can actually do a metric century down there with NO CARS for the entire day and I know you think I'm crazy, but people actually DO walk on the left and ride on the right... just like you wish they'd do on the path in Tahoe City. Think of it as single track for your road bike. Try this for maps.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


"I can barely see the road
from the heat commin' off"

David Lee Roth
Van Hallen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

had to happen sometime

All spring I waited. I readied myself for seemingly inevitable. I'd finish up my 12 hour day, let the dust settle and head back out (or more accurately "in") the next day for more of the same.

What I'm talking about here people is the entire month of May that was spent getting the Mighty Mobile van decked out in all of its radness readying it for "battle". The battle of mysterious creaking bikes, building wheels, countless brake bleeds, suspension rebuilds... the list goes on. In the beginning, the van was an empty "blank slate". A blank slate that needed a work bench, shelving, compressor lines routed, a wall of tools..... shit tons of work really. Obviously, with all that needed to happen inside the van, I spent quite a bit of time inside the van. I'm not quite sure of the exact interior height of a 2008 Chevy cargo van, but take it from a short guy... it's less than you need to stand up straight. I'd crawl around inside, carry stuff in, take stuff out, measure, make layout lines.... I'd do this for days on end looking like the Hunchback from Notre Dame . "Surely you stopped to stretch?" you must be asking yourself. Sure. Here and there. But probably not near enough. In the end, the van got done and I got to work in an attempt to pay for some of the many, many, many bills I'd accumulated throughout the project with my back hanging in there the entire time.

Summer came and went so fast it made my head spin. The van worked out well and streamlined the day to day operations here at Mighty Mobile. When you set up and tear down up to 5 times per day stuff's gotta work without a hitch... which it did.

FFWD to last week. I've been riding. Tons! Like almost everyday. Throughout all of Oct and the early part of Nov the phones at Mighty Mobile slowed to a snails pace freeing me up for some time in the woods riding every trail I could as the onset of winter rapidly approached. "Surely you stopped to stretch?" you're still asking yourself. Yea, here and there, but again... probably not enough. My ride of choice these days is a Santa Cruz Blur LT. Riding a bike with endless suspension travel and more gears than you'd possibly need has GOT to be easier on your body. Maybe you don't need to stretch as much riding such a plush rig??? Other than moving the one speed from one area of storage to another, I haven't touched that bike since returning home from a road trip in early Oct. Everything was just "hunkey dorey".....

..... until last Thursday. While moving some stuff around in the storage unit at Mighty Mobile World Headquarters it happened. BAM!! My back finally locked up. Pretty good too. Good enough to force my into an awkward frozen kneeling position. I literally couldn't move! Funny, I wasn't lifting anything heavier than probably 15lbs all day. When things "locked up" I was just reaching for something to my left side that was sitting on a shelf about knee high. Soooooo, I grabbed a pair of ski poles, hobbled into the house and crawled onto the couch where I'd spend the next 6 hours solid before going the bed. The next morning things weren't much different. I'd spend most of the day on the floor where the conditions were nice and flat. To be honest, my entire body was ready for some "down time" and it felt good to be getting some rest. By Sat, everything but the televisions ability to have worthwhile content was showing some signs of improvement so I started working on some range of motion exercises and moving around a bit. It's amazing how quickly things got better. By Sunday evening I felt like I was back to 80% recovered so Monday morning I went back into the storage unit to try and pick up where I'd left off on Thursday.

Life goes on. My back is better. The storage unit is good... or at least good enough. And, I'm back to riding every chance I get.

"Surely you're stretching?" Yea, here and there... but probably not near enough.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My bikes don't hang!!

Fall in Tahoe is probably my most favorite time of the year. You get escape from the heat, the leaves turn all those fancy colors and you can get in and out of Safeway without feeling like you've spent the better part of your day there. Before you know it the clocks change, the temperatures plummet and bikes get left hanging in the garage as ski season rapidly approaches.

Me...my bikes don't hang (and not because I don't have a garage.... or hooks). Especially now! All summer we ride around Tahoe praying for rain. We theorize just how bad ass the trails would be if the skies would open up every once and a while and graced us with some moisture. Well folks.... that time is NOW! Trail conditions have been the best we've seen all season. Trust me, for the past four weeks I've ridden them almost every day! As the phones at Mighty Mobile virtually stop ringing I've been out trying to get my fill of riding in before we get dumped on with snow and the focus turns from suspension settings and chain lube to climbing skins and fast wax.

I don't rush winter. In fact, I usually wish and pray that the temps stay mild leading up to Thanksgiving and we don't get snow until sometime in mid to late December. I know, I know.... somewhere there's someone reading this with a ski magazine laying next to his/her computer and some new skis leaning in the corner and my blog has just gone from five loyal followers to four, but I DON'T CARE! Don't get me wrong, I love to ski. The thought of bouncing down the side of a mountain through deep, silent powder is something I really do love to do.... I just don't need to do it in November.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009


"I've always been crazy
but it's kept me
from going insane."
Waylon Jennings

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tour De Culdesac 09

If you liked the Tahoma Cruiser Rally this past summer, then you'll love the Tour De Culdesac.

Before heading out (way out) for Le' Tour, I stopped by Shawn Os' for a little ride in Reno on the new Halo trail. Some people "bag" on the riding in Reno and it's a shame really. It's unlikely you'll find me riding down there in the heat of summer, but in the fall, winter and spring it gives us Tahoe folks the option for riding some fast, flowing trails just half an hour down the road.

The crew on the new Halo trail.

We arrived to food @ TDC. Wouldn't it be grand if there was a table of food like this after every ride.

Gentlemen.... start your engines! The course is a 60ish second dirt loop complete w/ two slalom sections, tight gravely corners, a jump and a pit stop for an 8oz glass... err... cup of wine. Fastest 6 of the night move to the final. There were some heavy hitters lined up to ride their lap... literally.

The wine stop can make or break you. Try as he might, Mike's loosing some valuable points for spilling his drink.

TDC is no joke!

Aaron. Truckee represent! Bonus points for the speed suit.

I was happier with my second place finish after realizing that the winner received a yellow jersey, an almost new baby and a kiss from two dudes.

Before the tandem event a wedding broke out with a slightly odd (ok, really odd) ceremony performed by a real live indian....almost. You could feel the love in the air. I think these kids will be real happy together.

The ceremony ended as the indian chief broke into dance.....

..... and then received some spankings as it turns out it was his birthday.

Back to racing. 2007 tandem champions Shawn and Tenile show their mad starting skills.

Tenile sets up for the right hander juuuussst a little too early. If my photographer a little more skills, the next shot you would've seen is Tenile getting sucked under the tandem while Shawn continues on to the wine stop. Ruthless. That's what it takes to be a champion people.

If you think these guys are sketchy now....

..... you shudda' seen them after the wine stop.

Aaron and the 2007 yellow jersey holder get their game faces on. With night creeping in, tandem competitors got a bit agro knowing that their chances for taking the victory were getting less and less as visibility was starting to be an issue.

I got paired up with this years solo champion for the tandem race and was really excited about our chances for victory. But, after crashing twice and getting my pant leg stuck in the chain (causing yet another sampling of the course) I knew we were in trouble. I decided that our only chance for victory was with style points. So.....

..... I pointed our ship towards the koi pond and hoped for the best. The tires on the tandem didn't quite have the grip on the slime that coated the bottom of the pond and, as a result, we'd hit the deck once again. After tallying the results, it was Sahwn and Tenile once again taking top honors for the tandem championships. Seems as though the course marshals awarded a bigger time bonus for running over your wife. Just wait till next year.
Video down there.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


....i'm racin'. I know, I know, I've said time and time again that I'm pretty much done with the whole "race thing" but there ARE those "special events" that you just shouldn't miss. This looks like one of those events. Click here for info.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

R - U Ready??

Just scoping my new favorite weather site and see that the remnants of Typhone Melor has Tahoe on it's "places to visit" list for this week. Tue looks like the day to have your favorite movies lined up, get a fire going in the wood stove and settle in for a day of ultra saturation which will surely do some justice to our "haggard" mountain bike trails.

It's also that time of year when I start preaching the merits of a front fender. Introducing.... the SKS Mud Max

Look no further, I've tried them all and this is the one. Straight from Germany weighing in at a scant 90g, this little ditty will minimize the splatter factor of mud, water, cow patties or anything else you may come across on your favorite trails. Installs faster than Matty Larsen can pinch flat in a cross race and will set you back less than a good 6-pack. $10.00. In stock now!!

Friday, October 9, 2009


FINALLY got a chance to get some pictures from SSWC. Most of the pictures are actually from the trip that surrounded SSWC. I really don't have any pics from race day. You can find plenty on line if you're looking for race photos.
Anyhoo, for some random photos from Moab and Durango, click here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


"I spent all my Tour De France
money on faithless women, leather
jackets and ghetto blasters.
The rest I just squandered."
Bob Roll, SSWC09

Monday, October 5, 2009


"the bicycle is a tool
for self understanding
weather through
pain or pleasure"

Sunday, October 4, 2009


You really should have the sound on for this one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SSWC09 pt2

Enchilada Hangover:

Thursday morning. We stopped the RV just shy of town last night as it was late and we were tired. We wake up to the pitter patter of rain drops on the top of the RV which Ryan has now named (and will be referred to as such from here on) "Wendy". We brew some coffee and reflect back on yesterdays ride shaking our heads in disbelief on just how bad ass the ride was and how lucky we were that we waited an extra day to do it. We're movin' slow... real slow.

After some breakfast we head into town to find our "host", Chris, that was letting us park Wendy in his driveway for the week. Chris is super rad. He points out various parts of the house and gives us the "make yourselves at home" stamp of approval. It turns out that Chris was a former soigneur for the Trek VW mountain bike team and as a result we've got some mutual friends. Small world ain't it. As we stand in the driveway, Chris points out some sections of what will be Saturday's course. Armed with just enough local trail knowledge, we gear up and head into town to meet up with Buck (loooonnng time friend and cycling nut job from the motherland of Pennsylvania). It's high noon and we've got two hours before meeting up with a local (Robin) who's going to show us a riding area called "The Test Tracks" just on the outskirts of town. Finding trails in Durango is easy. A bit too easy actually. If you ride for more than a few minutes you'll inevitably come across singletrack. Needless to say, we had no problem finding something to do before our tour guide showed up.

Test Tracks: I read about this area on-line and just as I suspected, it's best to have a good understanding of the trails to get the most "bang for your buck". The map looks like a bowl of spaghetti. Trails that have good flow and feel in one direction just plain ole' suck going the other way. We meet up with Robin at a park in town and head off with a crew of 10 or so. For the next hour and a half we follow that guy like it's our friggin' job. We dart past so many turns and trail options that it makes our heads spin. I don't know how much trail actually exists back there, but it's plenty for today. After our ride yesterday and the planned ride tomorrow (The Colorado Trail from Champion Down) this is exactly what we need. After the ride we strategically moved Wendy a little closer to town and positioned ourselves two blocks from the bike shop/park/start of the race... a move that we'd reap the benefits of for the rest of the week. The rest of the night was spent sampling some fine brews while catching up with old friends and checking out some nice rides at a bike show inside The Irish Embassy Pub.

Friday & the Colorado Trail: If heaven exists, it's an endless ribbon of the Colorado Trail. Of course we were a little spoiled by doing the ride as a shuttle but trust me; the Colorado Trail kicks ass. It's got everything. One moment you're in a high speed warp factor nine type shit piece of trail and then just around the next corner there's a tecky stream crossing with a nice slimy rock garden just to keep you honest. It's got roots, rocks, banked corners, epic scenery... I could go on for days about just how cool this trail is. If you're ever in Durango, DO THIS RIDE! Pay the nice lady with the van to shuttle you to the start. Don't worry, you'll still get to do some climbing. All told, the ride is about 28 miles with 4,000ish ft of elevation loss and about 1,000ft of climbing. Just what you need when there's a race tomorrow and a party tonight.

The Party: It's just after 6:30. There's a couple of hundred people at Buckley Park. Hmmm. Something's happening. Sure enough, it's a group ride to the party. Shit yeah! A mass of riders leaves the park and heads south through town. Bikes take over the street as thunder rumbles overhead. The mass of riders veers right, kinda like those fish you see in the ocean, and heads across the river. Then, left and up a stout hill that leads through the gates of a cemetery. Again... thunder. The hill continues up through fenced in plots and headstones. You can feel the energy and excitement from the group. POW! Lightening... and again... thunder. People are starting to go ape shit at this point. The road we're on ends and funnels into a single track (this seems to happen alot in Durango) as riders wait their turn to funnel onto the trail. After a short but sweet section of trail we arrive at the party. The scene is awesome! There's food, beer, dirt jumps, a stage for bands, freaks, geeks.... the tone is set for a long night. Within an hour, there's well over 500 people at the party. The dirt jump exhibition goes on for hours and culminates in the "World Championship Bunny Hop Competition". Again, more craziness. Then it's time to start the always bizarre selection process to see who will host the SSWC for 2010. This time around it's a singing contest between Italy, New Zealand, Hungary and Canada. The singing (along with online voting) selects the two best singers. It's safe to say that Canada "killed it" with a tune from Prince (kiss). So much so, that Hungary didn't have the balls to show up. New Zealand found themselves on the opposite end of the singing spectrum butchering a tune from Queen. Italy got a great song (Misfits-some kind of hate) and started strong but choked part way through losing themselves in lyrics. In the end, New Zealand and Italy would end up victorious moving themselves to the finals to be held Sat night after the race at The Ska Brewing Co. After a couple more beers and mingling, I get my swerve on and head back towards town to get some sleep for tomorrow..... race day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SSWC09 pt1


What a week. This will probably take a few different posts and days to tell the tale that was SSWC09.

Moab: The first zone

After a looooonnng day of driving an incredibly slow (but oh so functional) RV we arrive at our first destination late Monday night.... Moab. The plan was to ride "the whole enchilada" on Tue and be in Durango Tue evening but the rain that fell through the night carried over into the next morning. The next morning we stare at the cloud covered La Sals from Larrys' kitchen window during breakfast and ponder just how much it could be raining at the top.... which is also the start of the ride. "The Whole Enchilada" starts high in the La Sals above Moab and descends 7,000ft in 28 miles finally ending at the bottom of the Porcupine Rim Trail at the Colorado river. The thought of riding most of the day in the rain and trashing our bikes didn't sound like the best way to start an 8 day road trip so we invented "plan B" and headed north of town for a ride. We spend the next three hours riding over rain packed sand, slick rock and all the other trail conditions that you can only find in Moab. It was the perfect ride to start the trip. Not too hard. Not too easy. No rain.

Wednesday morning greeted us to clear skies and finally let us get a look at the start of the ride high in the hills above town. We quickly learn that the clouds that obscured our view of the La Sals yesterday were doing more than hiding an incredible view... they were also producing some snow!! Larry figures that the snow level is just at or above the highest point of the ride and we gear up for the shuttle that would be picking us up at the house. After an hour of bouncing around in the back of a van, you gear up and climb for another hour on your bike to the top of Burrow Pass. I could write about the next three hours of trial and how you start in the deep pines up really really high and continue through almost every trail condition imaginable as you make your way down towards the Colorado River. Or, you could google "the whole enchilada" and see for yourself as there's plenty of information out there. But nothing... NOTHING will do this trail the justice it deserves without actually riding it. You won't feel your wrists hurt from the countless hours of one technical move after another. Reading about this trail won't make your cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing for hours straight about lines "that just can't be that good" and pictures can't describe how a ride that only climbs 2,000ft can feel like at least three times that. If you like "full size rides" this one should really be on your list. If 28 miles doesn't sound long enough, just do the whole ride from town for a more epic 60ish mile monster that would satisfy all but the most insane ride requirements. (yes nate, even you) Ryan decides after riding "TWE" that he'd really like a rear brake for the rest of his trip so we stop at a shop in town and bleed his brake. We get back to Larry's, eat our body weight in food, load up the RV and push onward towards Durango.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


(16 valve power.... or lack thereof)

Life at Mighty Mobile continues at an alarming pace as the date for sswc09 rapidly approaches. I've got a "laundry list" of details to try and get handled before embarking on my trip to Durango. One of them is to show a little love to Darla (my old pickup). The belts have been squealing since March and the valve cover gasket has long quit its job of containing the oil within the confines of the motor making a mess of all the chrome under the hood. The snow blower got an oil change, new spark plug & some new (ok, almost new) grips which should make it ready for another "tour of duty" this winter. We also got the wood split and now pray that it finishes drying out before too much precip starts to fall.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Artistic Cycling

FU*%^NG unreal. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

feelin' it

focusing on sswc09. not so much on the race itself. more on the entire trip that encompasses the race. this years goal is to keep the fun/ride ratio at an incredibly high rate. sure, riding 5 days in a row before a race isn't the best way to "peak"... but i'm a glutton for single track who's traveling with two other riders who not only share my thoughts on the "more is more" theory but also have the strength in their legs and numbness in their brains to ride single track like it's their friggin' job all----day----long. road trips are too few and far between to "hold back" when there's virgin single tracks to be had. plus, the next time i'll be in Durango, Co is..... well, i really don't know when/if i'll EVER be in Durango again so we'll just have to try and ride everything in one week. oh, and don't forget a stop in Moab as well.

yesterday was another day of epic riding/trip preparation. we definitely put the "all" in all terrain bikes. everything from road to goat paths... we covered it all. i'll save you the boredom of route description and just say that we did a plethora of trails in and around Tahoe Lake. checked out some oldies on the west shore that haven't been ridden in a "coons age" (however long that is). lots of climbing to start things off. some epic ridge riding. then some more epic ridge riding culminating in a descent into blackwood canyon. i actually saw Nate get tired on this ride which i'm sure shows that my fitness level is where it needs to be for a road trip of epic proportions.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

two thumbs up

I laughed. I cried.

thanx Tomi.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, this looks fun

Once again; from our home office in Pennsyltuckie.... thanx Big Air.

clickie on pickie tells story

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

another epic

Ryan Fowler: if you're about to read this, the day sucked. nothing fun at all happened. the ride was so bad i'm thinking of selling all my bikes. you really shouldn't read this. i know you had other obligations and couldn't make the ride. sorry you missed it... but you didn't really miss anything... honest.

Everyone else: read on.

the skinny: rose to marlette. chimney beach dh. hwy28 to spooner summit to kingsbury grade. fox and hound for cheeseburgers. heavenly to armstrong pass to corral trail. misc. roads to meyers.

the stats: 107km/66.48 miles 10,000ish ft of climbing w/ 12,000ish ft of descending.

the good: rain showered/tacky/oh-so-good trail from rose to chimney beach dh. trafficless ride on hwy 28 due to bursted water pipe. cheeseburgers for lunch. epic views at 10,000ft by Freel Peak. 12ish miles of descending from armstrong pass finishing juuuuuuusssst before dark. (no, actually it was dark)

the bad: mike t's broken frame. super slumming climb to armstrong after cheeseburgers. lack of time/energy/motivation to swim in star lake. waayyy too much driving after the ride.

It started like most rides in Tahoe.... an hour late. Nonetheless, the trail was ALL TIME from a nice rain shower the night before. I'm sure Conrad was regretting his choice of rides as we saw him climbing up Rose on his road bike on the wet pave'. At about 6 miles in, we stop to re-group. Sam arrives with news of a broken frame and we backtrack 2 miles to assess the damage.
Yep, that's broken...

.....that side as well. Nice job mate.

We hand the keys off to Mike and he starts the inevitable hike back to the car as we continue on as a group of 6. Our next stop would be flat #1. You don't need mechanicals to qualify the ride as an "epic" but it doesn't hurt. Continue to Tunnel Crk, Marlette Peak and hwy 28 without incident. We were pleased to find that a water pipe break had shut down the road almost the entire way to our next trail head. I had a buddy (Larry the Legend) get hit by a car while riding his road bike on this section of road about 7 years ago. I saw the whole thing go down from about 150 meters back.... and it wasn't pretty. I'm amazed what the human body will endure. Anyhoo... it was comforting to know that we had the road all to ourselves this day and to celebrate I planted my front wheel right between the yellow lines, put things into auto-pilot and stared at Tahoe Lake while climbing towards hwy 50.

Next comes Spooner to Kingsbury. This trail can be a real bastard.... or the best thing ever. The first climb can and will bite you if under prepared. Like a month ago when we did it as an out and back. Nothing like a 6 mile climb with 2,400ft of elevation gain to start things off. No warm up. No gears. No chance. But, today things are good. Today the cards are in my favor. I know how the trail unfolds and choose to start the climb in the back of the pack. At 3/4 of the way to the top I catch Sako and Matty who were dictating the pace. "Nice catch" Matty mumbles as we soldier on. I'm too tired to comment and we leave it at that silent, slummin' pace as we hit the top of what would be the second hardest climb of the day. One by one our group summits the climb and after taking a nice break it's time to descend the 6 miles of epic single track to Kingsbury Grade. The trail points mostly downhill with tecky bits thrown in to keep it interesting. We encounter our second flat and loose another rider from our crew on this section due to time constraint. The single track finally terminates and after a short road ride it's time for re-fuel.

FFWD 45 minutes. The Fox and Hound has treated us well. Five riders sit around a table cluttered with empty plates of food and crinkled napkins. We decide to get back on the bikes before the "food coma" settles in and start the next part of our journey which will find us on the hardest climb of the day. It's 10.5 miles w/ 2,500ft of soft sandy climbing to the base of Freel Peak.... and it's no picnic. Although my saddle usually looks comfortable, my backside feels like I've been sitting on a cheese grater for the past 7 hours. I ride off the deck of the Fox and Hound slow... reeeeaaaal slow. I know that the next 2ish hours will be spent climbing and that the first 15 minutes is the hardest. Get the legs turning. Start that rythmic breathing. Try everything to get comfortable on the saddle (to no avail). Get the mind into the task at hand.

The next hour is hard. It's loose, sandy, rocky... usually everything I look forward to... but not today. Eventually, things mellow out and the trails gives in a bit.

The views from near 10,000ft are incredible.

Nate @ Star Lake. I really don't think this guy EVER gets tired.
Sako with his game face on... or maybe he's farting?
After more time than I care to remember, we reach the base of Freel Peak. You can go up from here, but not us. We're turning right. Right+North= Downhills Car & Beer. The next 12 or so miles is blazing fast. The trail starts straight and scary eventually ducking into deeper woods where the pace slows... but not too much. Then to Corall trail. Can you say burmed turns? I knew you could. Still fast, but not the warp speeds from a few miles back.... and good thing too as it's starting to get dark. This section makes you earn it as you twist and turn down the side of the mountain. There's log rides and a few doubles to keep things interesting along the way. It's amazing how sore body parts seem to disappear and you forget about the past two + hours of climbing after a few miles of killer trail. You hope that the sun takes its time setting and that the trail goes on like this forever but then it happens. First a flicker of light from the back porch of someones house. Then the beam from a cars headlights on the road just up ahead. The trail spills onto the road and it's over. As you spin the last mile or so back to the car, nobodys' talking about "the next epic" but I'll bet everybody's thinking about it. I know I was.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tahoma Cruiser Rally

"You'll know when you're there" Shana tells me on the phone as I'm asking directions while on my way towards Tahoma. As I head out towards the lake with my Dad and Girlfriend, folks are out in their boats, family's are riding in masses down the bike path and there's the seemingly endless string of rafts heading down the Truckee River.... a typical day in Tahoe.

We ride through Tahoma and head for 6th street where I was told the action was. As we round a corner, I see at least 100 people, just as many bikes and lots of kids and dogs just up the street. Yes indeed, we've arrived. As I park my bike, I'm told I'm "on course". A quick survey of the street reveals chalk lines, a few cones and a make-shift ramp set up in front of someones driveway. I'm pointed towards a fully stocked cooler in the garage as crackled voice comes from a bull horn advising to "clear the course people!!" and continues on with the names of the next rider/passenger in the parent/child obstacle course. This 40ish second course starts riders in a driveway, navigates a slalom of cones, goes through a looped driveway, out onto the street, over the jump, through another looped driveway culminating in a sprint to the finish line... all while pulling your (or at least someones) kid in a trailer. Good times! Now, anyone that's been to Tahoe knows that the people that live here are typically athletic, competitive and not afraid to "push it" a little bit. This would be evident in "heat two" as a trailer with not one, but two passengers highsides in the right hand sweeper coming out of the first driveway. Good thing for helmets.
After the obstacle course, the crackled voice from the bull horn instructs people to head down the street a few blocks to the next set of events. Here, there's a kids event navigating some of the street and a dirt course that goes through a set of lawn sprinklers. For the "big kids" there's a circle outlined with chalk where two riders enter simultaneously. There are two rules to this event. You need to stay within the circle and you can't put a foot down. The last rider still on his bike within the circle stays in the circle and the next rider comes out to try and "de-throne" the previous victor. Needless to say, anything goes as riders use everything from grabbing the other rider to aggressive full on ramming speed tactics.
A little later, we move on again. This time to the relay race, slow race (where the author was quite successful) and skidding contest. Again the crackled voice from the bull horn "The band comes on at 6:00 and the DJ at 8:30.... pace yourselves people!!" I think about this as I've already had more than a couple of "cocktails" and choose the cooler that was labeled "for kids" as apposed the the one that said "NOT for kids" by the dispenser button.
This would go on throughout the day and be quite the good time. With the Tour De Fat not coming to Tahoe this year, we definately have some other options... some might say even better. Check out some pics from the days events here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the van.... again

Well, it's back to more fun with van conversions. It starts with an idea. You move some stuff out of the way and begin the process of throwing in some miscellaneous tools, doing some measurements and thinking about how you want/need things to work.
This time she's gettin' a wall with access door between the cargo area and drivers compartment. To start, we'll build a framed wall out of punched angle steel right behind the seats. The wall is similar to something you probably have in your house complete w/ a bottom plate, studs and top plate.... kinda.

Layout marks for anchoring the bottom plate.

My dad takes over in an attempt at, what I started to call, "the bastard screw". No, my dad's not wearing a headband. That's a headlight. You really want to have a headlight when your doing van conversions at night. After anchoring the top and bottom plates we frame in the door and call it quits for the day/night.

The next day, my help heads to the coast as I soldier on. I really believe in positive thinking but as much as I tried, when I opened the doors in the morning the wall didn't automatically build itself overnight. Moving on, it's a new day. I'm well hydrated with coffee, well rested and best of all.... I have daylight!

After getting all the studs in the wall, I built another shelving unit, re-routed the compressor line and anchored an existing set of shelves in place where the compressor previously lived.
I'll give it a "test drive" for a few days before we commit to sheeting the wall with peg board and installing a door. The framework is all bolted together making it easy to tweak things slightly if need be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

good stuff

so, i get an email w/ "bike shop" as the title from my old pal "big air" w/ a link to craigslist.
no wonder my customers think i'm so nice.

funny shit e-rock. mad props.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


When you make plans for a road trip with anyone more than yourself, there's always the question of "who's car will we take?" I'm never afraid to take my truck... although most other people are. When we travel beyond the distance of being able to get a bike out and simply ride back home if there's a breakdown, most of my friends start to question the ability of my 15 year old Nissan with its clapped out, under powered 4 cylinder engine. I've got faith, but as we're crawling up and over Donner Summit in 3rd gear in the truck lane generally being in the way, folks start to question my trucks' ability to handle the task at hand. I'll admit, heading across Hwy 50 through Nevada and Utah as we make our way to Durango Co with literally no towns or services for huge stretches of the trip does make me think a little bit about reaching our destination at least somewhat on time.

Enter the Toyota Warrior. I don't know what year this thing is, but it's ours for the trip out to Durango for Single Speed Worlds in Sept. Although it's probably slower than my truck, it sure will be more comfortable once we arrive at our destination. It's got all the amenities a bike racer needs. A place to sleep, shower, cook food... what else could you ask for! Daron borrowed it for the 4th of July weekend to "feel things out". So far so good. He brought it over so I could check it out and it's rad, really rad. Nice, but not too nice. Just what we need for 10 days of road trppin'. It's a comforting feeling knowing that if we get lost or need guidance, we've got Homer Simpson in his tighty whities on the antenna ready to steer us in the right direction. I can't friggin' wait. See you in Durango.

Monday, June 29, 2009

lost.... again

What is it about me and directions on a ride? It seems like I can get lost pretty much anywhere. Sometimes even the most obvious of turns escapes me, like yesterday at the first Chickadee. The route (if you don't know the area or don't care about the route, skip to the next paragraph to avoid the boredom of description): Sawtooth trails to Shaffer Creek into Northstar to 06rd to Fiberboard to Rim. Rim to Missing link to Western States to bike path to Alpine Meadows rd. Climb Alpine to Snow Crest up and over to Rim Trail into Tahoe City for re-fuel. Fairway Dr to Bunker (this is where it all went wrong) to gas line to Rim Trail (by missing link) back to 06 to Watson Tr, then back to Truckee via Happy Face and various Sawtooth trails. All told the route was supposed to be about 50 miles. Start time: 8:20AM.

So, I get into Tahoe City for the re-supply trying to figure out why I can't catch Conrad and his team-mate. As it would turn out, the reason I wasn't catching them would be that they were behind me. A quick check of time/11:00. Fill two bottles and I'm back on the bike. I remember my phone ringing a few times on the way into TC so I decided to take the next few minutes to check my voicemail while "idling" up the road. Soooo, I guess while on the phone, I unknowingly missed the left onto Bunker Dr. Oh, don't get me wrong, I made a left. I don't know what street it was on, but I went left and started to climb. After a mile or so, I saw some water tanks and realized that I took a wrong turn. The road terminated into a soul robbing dead end so I turned around and went back to a trail I thought might get me back over to Bunker. Hike-a-bike. Damn. I turn around again, backtrack and try yet another trail. After traversing a ridiculously technical trail I come to a fire road.... off course, but not lost. Getting lost and aimlessly riding around trails I'd never been on took its toll. I contemplate the idea of dropping back into Tahoe City to Daron's house to eat all of his food and watch some TV in an attempt to recover. Never the less, I continue. The fireroad climb was in the sun. It's hot. I'm slummin'.... big time. I get back on course, but the damage is done. I'm tired and my legs don't have the "snap" they did before missing the turn. I realize that I've got quite a ways to go to get back to Truckee. My agenda turns from "steady gunnin" to "slow & slummin" as I make my way back towards Truckee. I skipped some of the course and added a trail or two that wasn't on the "agenda" for an epic day of riding.... right from the house. The downhill on B.W. trail sure did get my head into the game of riding again to finish the day off strong.... or at least just above "slummin" pace. All in all, a pretty fun day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Nevada City Classic

The Nevada City Classic happens every fathers day for the past 49 years. Race report here. It's one of the oldest and hardest pro/am cycling events in North America. It's also one of the more epic road rides I'll find myself doing all summer... I think.

The ride starts off early in the morning in Truckee and heads North on hwy 89 into Sierraville. From there it's onto hwy 49 as you pedal up and over Yuba pass topping out at 6,700ft. I'm not sure of the exact stats, but it's safe to say that the road points predominately downhill for the next 15 or so miles as you loose more the 3,000ft of elevation as you head towards Downieville. With the topography of the land and 6 good riding partners, that section goes by really quick. We always stop in Downieville for a bite to eat and give the cigarette smoking downhillers something to gawk at. If they only knew that most of the lycra clad guys their making fun of will probably be yelling "on your left" as they zing by at the race coming up in a few weeks. Fortunately, you get some more gentle descending out of Downieville as you try and digest your brunch. Soak up the benefits of gravity now, because in a few more miles, it's going to be working against you. There are three climbs on hwy 49 between Downieville and Nevada City standing between you and the awaiting BBQ.

Thanx to Lucy and her dad for rounding up the burgers and sausages for the apres' ride. Also thanx to another good riding crew this year. See you in 364 days to do it all over again.

Some pics from the days ride here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More New Stuff

I'm sure some people are getting sick of me talking about the merits of Dumonde Tech chain lube. "Dumonde this", "Dumonde that"... yea, I talk those guys up... and why not. Until I find a better lube, I'll continue to use, recommend and sell the full compliment of lubes these guys have to offer.

Hippies rejoice, I've been "field testing" their new Bio Green plant based lube for the past couple of weeks and must say, I'm more than satisfied. Like all Dumonde Tech lubes, this stuff works best when applied on a clean drivetrain and used sparingly. If your using Dumonde lubes and your chain looks black, greasy, messy or otherwise not clean.... you're using too much!! Save some lube, clean-up time and money and simply use less lube while applying to your chain. Dumonde Tech recommends that you use the chains' sound instead of how it appears as a guide for when to re-apply lube to your chain. Simply put, if your chain doesn't sound dry... it probably isn't. I did a post on how to easily clean your drivetrain a while back and there's a picture in there on how much/little lube I'm shooting for while lubing.

Anyhoo, I've got 2oz bottles of the new Bio Green in stock for $10.00... a full buck under retail. That's like a free doughnut!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Stuff

I finally got Tomi off his bike long enough to cut me/you some chainrings. I use and highly recommend Tomi Cogs Chainrings. Why? To start, you'll not find a more round chainring. Because of Tomi's anal retentiveness, you'll save yourself some time trying to find the "tight spot" while adjusting your chain... something every one speeder battles with. Second: Their strong... strong as steel. Probably because that's what their made of! Type 304 stainless. If a daily trip to WeightWeenies.com is what your intraweb surfing consists of, this might not be the chainring for you. But, if you want a high quality, long lasting chainring for your daily battle with the local single track... look no further. I've got common sizes in stock now. Custom options available. I should probably mention: Tomicog chainrings are one speed/downhill specific which means no shift ramps, pick up pins or beveled teeth to enhance front shiftie type bikes... I've got other stuff for that. $40.00 TomiCogs.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Worlds Most Beautiful Bike Ride

Signed myself up again to do mechanical support for this years Worlds Most Beautiful Bike Ride. You see allot of interesting stuff, meet some interesting people and get to work on your productivity at this event as there's plenty to do. It all adds up for one crazy day.
Doing support for this event goes like this: You get to the rest stop early. Set up. Then you wait. The first few riders come through. They NEVER need their bikes worked on. They are clearly "winning". You wait some more. Riders continue to come trickle through... then come the masses..... all 3,000 of them. It starts with a cut tire, then a shifter cable, a spoke..... the list goes on. In a period of about two hours you work on countless bikes doing repairs as fast as you can. People are waiting. Most are cool. Like a receding high tide or the setting of the sun things slow down. There's no longer a line of riders waiting for this or that. Some stragglers come through. You wonder if they'll make the whole 100 miles. Then it's over. You pack up and go home.
Thanks to the couple from Philadelphia who shared their lunch of pizza and beers towards the end of the day. This couple won't set any speed records on this ride, but I guarantee they had the best attitude and a really good time on this ride..... just the way it should be.

Friday, June 5, 2009

all i gotta say is....

.... it's national doughnut day! better than christmas, my birthday or any other holiday i can think of.

i will be partaking.

see you @ The Treat Box.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

thanx peoples!!!

Many thanx to anyone that voted for my friend Tomi Miller a while back for the chance to win a free trip to the Brek Epic. To re-cap, my long time riding friend of many-a-years ago on the east coast, Tom Miller, won a bloggers grant to enter the Brek Epic f-r-double-ee this year. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Tomi's got a free ticket for all 6 days and 40,000ft of climbing in high altitude at bea-u-ti-ful Breckenridge Colorado. I have no doubt of Tomi's ability to enter this race, finish and probably do pretty good in the grand scheme of things.... even though he's riding it on a fixed gear. Friggin' crazy bastard. Anyhoo, if your into some more bike dorkiness, check out his first two "requirement posts" and contest application (a must read) here.

While I'm throwin' out props, thanks to Monte Boyle at Sinclair Imports for finding me an Ultegra right side shift lever blade even when "the computer says we're out". Maybe those sprints running from his desk out to the warehouse, checking the actual inventory and subsequently running back to his desk/phone is how Monte gets so fast on the cyclocross bike every fall. Thanks man, my customer was back on the road in no time.

Last but not least, thanks to the LADIES!! Yep, all 22 of ya that showed up for the backcountry repair clinic at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City this week. I was overhearing the exchange of phone numbers for rides and sensing good camaraderie throughout the group. A sign of good things to come, I'm sure. Check out the ladies rides as well as all the other events happening in conjunction with Pedal There Thursdays.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Van

Well, it happened. I did my last job in the truck and took a step back to get one last look at the "old girl" before pulling all the tools off the wall. Within' minutes, all the tools were in boxes and I was lying underneath the truck unbolting the bracket that holds the tool board in place. We had a good run ole' girl, but it's time to move on.

Welding inside the van is both scary and exciting. Scary with sparks and smoke but exciting as things progress and ideas come to reality. The bracket that held the tool board in the truck was modified to work in the van. It also got "beefed up" a little bit as the tool board is going to be a bit bigger/heavier. After the welding, it was time to get some sleep as the next two days would be "full on" trying to get things in order so I could actually fix some bikes out of the thing. After a 10 hour day Wednesday and a 15 hour day on Thursday, the van was good enough to work out of. Completely done.... not even close, but workable.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Easy Drivetrain Clean

"What do I need to do to take care of my bike?" is a question I get asked quit a bit. Having a clean and lubed drive train on your bike is important for good shifting, makes for a smooth feeling bike and will extend the service life of your chain, sprockets and chain rings. Cleaning the drive train is pretty easy to do, only takes a few minutes and is oh-so self satisfying when you're all done.

Supplies needed: A wire brush, lube, rags. That's it! As you might guess, I have the afore mentioned supplies all wrapped up in a handy dandy kit for sale for your drive train cleaning pleasure. Email me for details. 2 bottles of lube?? Yep, 2 bottles. The Dumonde Tech (the green stuff) is really, really, really good on chains. The TriFlow (black bottle) is a slightly better penetrating lube for derailleur pivots as well as a kitchen sink full of other uses both on and off the bike. Additionally, TriFlow comes with a handy dandy extension tube that fits into the end of the bottle making the job of getting lube into all those "hard to reach" spots an easy task.

Start by holding the wire brush on the inside of the chain and back pedal that thing until your hearts content. Keep some pressure on the brush/chain as you do this to really get in there and get the crud out. No, the wire brush won't hurt the chain. That chain is one tuff customer... trust me.

Next, move to the outside of the chain. To make this easy, shift the chain onto the big chain ring. Again, back pedal while holding some pressure on the wire brush.

To finish the chain, brush off the side plates. Don't forget the back side!

Next, clean the rear derailleur pulleys with the wire brush. Again, you're back pedaling the bike to do this. Go easy with the pressure of the brush so you don't bind up the drive train which will cause the chain to fall off.

Go back to the chain rings and give em' a scrub. It won't take long to get the grime off the rings.

As you get more comfortable working with the brush, you'll learn little tricks on where to hold the brush and angling the brush to really get into all the nooks and crannies. At some point, you'll have to shift the chain into a different chain ring to allow you to get all three chain rings. (or however many you happen have).

Next, go to the cassette and get to work. If your bike is in a bike stand, pedal forward slowly and move the brush to different areas of the cassette. Be careful not to get your brush/hand/fingers tangle with the spokes of the wheel as it's spinning. If you're working on the bike on the ground and can't pedal forward, patiently use the brush back and forth to clean things up. Again, you'll have to shift the chain a few cogs to clean the entire cassette. At this point, you're done with the wire brush.

Get in your kit and grab a rag. Use the rag like dental floss to get in between the cassette cogs and make em' look new. The first few times you do this, it will feel (and be) a bit cumbersome. In time, you'll be a cog flossing pro and "wowing" you fellow riding partners with how clean you bikes' drive train always seems to be.

Move down to the rear derailleur and clean up the jockey pulleys. Use light pressure with your fingers and back pedal to clean the pulleys.

The rear derailleur has 10... count em'.... 10 pivots on it! Get in there and clean them up as best you can. You won't get them perfect, but that's OK. Just try and get the majority of "gunk" off. While you're at it, clean up the pivots on the front derailleur as well.
Now you're ready to put some lube on there. BUT... before you do, take a minute to visually inspect the chain, chainrings and cassette cogs for anything out of the ordinary like bent teeth or twisted links on your chain. Problems are easier to spot when everything is clean and much nicer to fix as well.

Take the TriFlow and lube all of the pivots on the rear derailleur. You only need a drop or two on each pivot.

Same thing for the front.

Next, take the Dumonde Tech and lube the chain. I like to lube on the inside of the chain because that's where the chain is coming into contact with the chain rings and cassette. Use the lube sparingly. You really only need a little bit on each roller of the chain. How much is a little bit......

..... it's about like this. You're trying to avoid getting lube all over the side plates of the chain. An over lubed chain will just attract dirt and grime making your next clean-up more tedious than it needs to be.

So, at this point, you've got lube on the chain, and all of the derailleur pivots. Slowly shift through all of the gears. This helps to work the lube into the chain and derailleur pivots. The more you do this the better. It's best to let the lubes "marinade" a little while. A few minutes is adequate. To finish, wipe off the excess lube from the chain and derailleur pivots and GO RIDE!!!!

Chain rings before.

Chain rings after.

Jockey pulleys before.

Jockey pulleys after.

Cassette before.

Cassette after.