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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.