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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
(530) 362-0458
fixthebike@gmail.com

Friday, December 31, 2010

hippy hillidaze

Tell ya what, I'm ready for things to settle down a bit. Ever since signing the lease on a new rental house back in Mid Oct, I've been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
First on the list way back when was firewood. After an amazingly long winter last year, we went through wood piles that I forgot we even had. This was kind of OK in the sense that I didn't have to move existing wood from one house to another but the caveat was the amount of wood I felt I needed to cut to keep things toasty inside the house this winter would be rather large. Meh, whadda ya gonna do. I made the best of it "maxing out" my little trucks potential doing loads of lodgepole around here and taking my bike with me down into the foothills for smaller loads of oak.
Next would be the actual act of moving. Man I hate moving. It seems so easy when you look around your house but when you start packing up the last 5 years of your life you realize that your ability to pack things away like a squirrel storing food for the winter kinda turns around to bite you in the arse now that you're responsible for getting all of your junk across town and into a new place. Anyone who visited the Truckee thrift store in early Nov probably scored some pretty neat stuff as many-a-loads were taken there. Then of course there's utility connections, address changes and figuring out just where to put all your junk from the last house.
Not too long after moving, my trucks intermittent inability to start turned into something a little more consistent.... like never wanting to start. After having a look around the engine compartment and cleaning up a few contacts I officially maxed out my electrical troubleshooting capacity and called a professional (or at least a
guy with a test light and ohm meter) to get things sorted out. After getting all "high tech" with test lights and remote starting systems it turned out to be a loose screw on my ignition switch. I guess things loosen up after countless turns of the key to start the truck in its last 16 years. Meh, I can handle that since I put almost exactly NO maintenance into that thing.
Let's see, next would an epic trip back east with Megan (girlfriend) for Thanksgiving where we left for the Reno airport in a blinding snowstorm. After almost turning around (twice) on our way out of Truckee, we amazingly made it to the airport on time. Once back on the east coast I would be rewarded for my efforts with the annual Thanksgiving day ride back in the "motherland" of Pennsylvania. Of course, it rained but we still had 12 people show up for the ride which has probably been going on for 20+ years now. After spending about 5 days back in my hometown we packed up and headed to Baltimore Md for the last two nights and spent a day at the
Baltimore Aquarium. This place is friggin' rad! If you're ever in the area, it's a must see. Watch out for "giant man eating fish" if you go!!

After Thanksgiving, it was back to "normal" life in Truckee. Super busy this time of year. The ski shop I work part time at is in it's busiest time of the season and there's more work there than you can shake a stick at. Add to this the fact that I'm still doing a fair amount of bike work and it leaves little time for skiing although I've still been able to get out a few times.
Getting out of town for Thanksgiving worked out so well that we thought we'd try it again for Christmas and visit Megans folks in Santa Barbara. Super nice. Warm. Green. Took the road bike. Did a "sensible" ride one day and then a stoopid ride the next which found me on a 45 mile loop with almost 5,000ft of climbing. After riding less than twice in the last 8 weeks, I felt a little out
of my element and ate everything I could find in the fridge upon returning back to the house. Ahhh, I can't wait for spring when I can feel like this on a weekly basis.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Whadda Ya Do

With wrenches spinning and freewheels tick tick ticking away I often get asked the question of "so... what do you do in the winter?" as I'm working on someones bike at their house in the middle of a hot summer day. As cool as it would be to simply answer "ski" the reality of the situation here at Might Mobile is that I DO like eating food throughout the winter, ski equipment requires payment with actual US currency and electricity is really something that I've grown accustomed to would like to keep around the house. All of this stuff costs money and although I'm sooooo thankful that I can make it in Tahoe in the summer months via wrenching on bikes, I still need to work throughout the winter.

The past couple of winters, I've been spending my time at the
Start Haus in Truckee. The shop is primarily a race shop, but does dabble in backcountry gear and freeride skis as well. I usually find myself tuning skis and doing some boot fitting.

When tuning skis, I'm usually staring at stickers on various pieces of equipment depicting that even if I read this...

.... and wear these.....

.... I still may find myself like this

Neat huh.

Do I do ANY bike work in the winter? You betcha! If you've got problems, I've got solutions. But, until global warming really takes over and we're riding the Tahoe Rim Trail in January you'll find me at the Start Haus running skis through some sort of machine or trying to contort my hands and wrists while attempting to do a grind within the confines of a ski boot.

Coincidentally, I'd like to give a big ole' shout out and thank you to all my customers that have made Mighty Mobile a success again this past summer! From the guy with the flat tire to the gal that got the suspension rebuild thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Thanks for letting me help you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stuff to do

If you're looking for something to do next Tue night (the 16th) head on over to the 50/50 Brewing Co and check out a movie about the 2010 Great Divide Race.


Ride The Divide Movie Trailer from Ride The Divide on Vimeo.

If a 2,700 mile race with 200,000ft of climbing sounds like a good time then this race is for you! I wouldn't waste too much time looking for my name to be on the start list for 2011. Hundred milers are the limit for me these days.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Simplicity

Was thinking tonight.....
....pedalling along the trails.....
....sometimes you don't need much....

....to have a perfect day.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This and That

You guys still out there? Figured you would'a packed up your stuff and headed somewhere else for some more frequent jibber jabber on the interweb. But, since you decided to stop by, I'll do my best to entertain ya'll for a spell.

Been busy doin' busy type stuff. Although the days of the calender tick away at an astonishingly quick pace, I'm still in denial that winter is bearing down on us and before we know it, the trails will be under knee deep snow. Let's hope my wood pile grows in size quite a bit before that happens.

My desire to ride bikes is at an all time high right now. The recent rains have done the trails in Tahoe justice and the riding is the best it's been all season. Dust? What dust? That stuff's pretty much non-existent which makes riding with friends quite pleasurable... a nice change of pace from brown shins, black boogers and chains that sound like the neighbor kids huffy.
My desire for racing however is still low, very very low. I've shown up to some "outlaw cyclocrosses" in the previous weeks but have taken more of a photographers roll than that of a bike racer.
Some current pics here. While the thought of making other people suffer more than I'm suffering myself still sounds neat... it's just not reality right now for me. There will be plenty of time for that again next summer.

Moving on, I was reminded by my buddy (we'll call him Daryn Kratz to protect his real identity) on a recent ride about the "chemtrail conspiracy". He had me snapping all kinds of photos while on a ride last week....like this one here.

I wasn't going to say anything about this, but since it's another unbelievably believable government oriented affair and I haven't heard much from my buddy Tom in a while, I thought I might post it just to see what happens. What the hell am I talking about? I'll leave that to someone with more insight than I have on the subject in the video below. If you're still reading this, you must have alot of free time on your hands so taking another 11 minutes out of your day (or your bosses) won't kill you.


So, as you can see, I've been quite busy lately. Between my unprofessional photography, avoiding aluminum microdust particulates and working on the woodpile I'm still managing to keep bikes rolling for people in Truckee as well as getting out for some rides my damn self. Hope to see ya'll out on the trails.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yer a weiner

After a successfull campaign of racing the bike in the Navada State Championship series, I drove east a few days ago to Reno (that's in Nevada) to see how the general population would except their new "mountain bike racing king" while doing a little shopping.

Megan (my girlfriend) and I headed east on hwy 80 towards the state line. Upon crossing the California/Nevada state line, I noticed that the sign you see upon entering "the silver state" hadn't been changed. I was expecting something like "Gregg Stone... the fastest mountain biker in the whole state of Nevada welcomes you". But, no dice. When we got to the state line, I noticed the same sign that's been there for years with the "welcome to Nevada" slogan below the wooden cutout of a shadowed cowboy that suggests it'd best be spoken by the likes of
Sam Elliot. No worries. With the economy being what it is, I guess it's probably not on Nevadas "top 10" list of things to do. We didn't drive through the downtown area, but I'm guessing that the "biggest little city in the world" sign probably hadn't been replaced by something more suggestive of my mountain bike racing prowess.

Instead, we drove into the heart of Reno and headed towards where most of the anti WalMart shoppers end up.... Target. Upon entering the store, I looked for "my cart". I was sure that the fastestest mountain biker in all of Nevada would have his own cart. I was kind of hoping for something with lightweight aluminum frame tubing, a basket made of high modules carbon fiber, ceramic bearings in the wheels and adorned with lock-on grips and bottle cages on either side. I didn't look behind the "employees only" door, but an otherwise thorough search of the premises turned up only stock carts with steel frames (non Reynolds), plastic (non carbon) baskets and wheels with anything but high performance bearings in them. Bottle cages.... forget about it. It kinda left me with a feeling like Milton must've had. Nonetheless, I made my rounds through the store, some toothpaste, band aids, misc food storage containers some toilet paper... you know the drill. Upon checking off all the items on my list, we headed towards the checkout counter. The lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted to put the total on my Target charge card. I stated that I had something much better and pulled out my USA Cycling liscense and explained that if she ran my licence number and cross referenced it with the Nevada State Championship website she would see that I was indeed the fastest mountainbiker in the state of Nevada. I was sure that we would receive a hefty discount on our selected merchandise and maybe even get a couple of our items at no charge. After quick examination of my license, I was met with the reality that they probably hadn't yet received word of my triumphant domination of being the fastest mountain biker in all of Nevada. (yes Hodi... even you) I pulled out my other card (something emblazoned w/ the VISA logo) which seemed to have better results with our ability to keep our purchases... that and being allowed to leave the building.

This trend would continue throughout the day as we went on with the rest of our stops. At Trader Joes the denial of any kind of discount, freebie or "atta boy" recognition was quickly shot down. The lady at Whole Foods was somewhat nicer and actually humored me with a closed eye look up at the ceiling as if to search her memory trying to remember if such an in-store promotion actually existed. By the time we got to the gas station my expectations of a discount for being the fastest mountian biker in all of Nevada were low. Nonetheless, I made sure I got in the row of gas pumps closest to the building thinking that since I was driving the title sponsoring van (Mighty Mobile Bike Repair) it may be enough to invoke some sort of "above and beyond" service from the folks at the AM-PM. Still... nothing. Nobody came out to pump our gas, wash the windshield, check the oil... nothing. I paid full retail for my fuel and headed for the highway in a westward direction back towards Truckee.

I had plenty of time to reflect back on my day in Nevada while on highway 80 westbound.... in the construction zone.... traffic totally stopped.... with perishable groceries in the back. Yep.... welcome to Nevada.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Slow Season

With the days of summer ticking away things at Might Mobile are starting to slow down a little bit. This is really no surprise and no big deal. In previous years, I've taken the "slow season" in stride and is usually a time to simply...
RIDE
MY
BIKE.
It's not like I don't have stuff going on, but when the only job on the books is installing a new shifter cable one needs to find a way to occupy his time.

Yesterday morning was chock full; placing orders, driving around doing errands, paying some bills and fixing some shifting issues for my first/only job of the day. I was back at HQ right around lunch time. Now what? I reflected back to a day while skiing with Aaron and he was telling me about replacing the belts on his snowblower. "There's belts in there?" Owning a Honda snowblower, I just figured that as long as I kept gas in the thing, it would probably outlive me by at least 20 years. So, after some lunch I rolled up my sleeves (which was really odd since I was wearing a short sleeved T-shirt) and got to work on doing some snowblower maintenance.

First thing's first: After sitting under a tarp for more than 5 months I turned the key, pushed in the clutch lever and pulled the starter rope... one time. That's all it took to turn over the engine now purring like a kitten in my driveway. I'd say this is amazing, but really it's not. After a minute or so, I shut it off and started draining the oil. While this was going on, I brushed off some spiderwebs and did a visual inspection. "Hmm, it's still red and most of the bolts are still screwed in"... seems good. Now, how about those belts?

In the front of the unit, there's a red plastic cover which I assumed housed the belts. After removing 4 bolts, my assumptions were proved correct and the belts were exposed. WOW! Man I'm glad I had a look in there. They DEFINITELY need replaced.

This is where things got interesting. There are two belts inside. One that makes the thing go back and forth and another that engages the auger. The area where the belts and pulleys live is somewhat confined. There are also miscellaneous springs, belt guards, lever arms and other Honda gadgetry in there all taking up precious space. The confines of this area took me back to a time when my Dad had a 1964 Mini Cooper with a magical way of making it IMPOSSIBLE to retrieve dropped bolts in the engine compartment... but that's another story. The odd thing going on here is that it looked like removing the belts would require the removal of some of the afore mentioned pieces. It started innocently enough. I removed a part here and a part there getting closer, but still not enough to remove the belts. Before I knew it, I had something that looked like this.....
Yea. No shit! As bummed as I was/am about the depths that I'm going through to get the belts swapped out, I'm glad (glad to at least the 5th power!) that I'm not doing this in the middle of a snow storm while missing out on a ski day. I guess it's sort of a blessing. I also found a bearing in there that was sure to fail on me this winter as well that would've caused some other sort of hand freezing, wrench loosing, loud cussing sort of scene in the middle of my driveway one winter day. Good for the blog... bad for neighbor relations.

Sooo, it's off to the snowblower shop... again. Let's see what happens this time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

some dayz...

As much as working on the road in the Mighty Van has it's perks, privlidges and plusses, I do miss the shop environment from time to time. Some dayz, ya just need a laugh.

macanicframa from wolfgang on Vimeo.

Monday, August 30, 2010

sonomas




Ahhh. Lake Sonoma.
My buddy Ryan told me this would be a good one... and the
race at Sonomas delivered. The course kinda reminded me of riding in Auburn and Santa Cruz. A bit more climbing in the beginning, but some fun "roller coaster" style trail in the later stages. I would've liked some more rocks... but then again, I'll probably always say that about a race course.


My strategy of keeping my heart rate below 160 was immediately thrown into a tailspin. I was running closer to 170 just to stay in the main pack going up the start road.... and we were still behind the pace car! Things would get even more desperate once the pace car pulled over and the promoter yelled GO!! I changed my plan of attack to not attack and just try to keep the leaders in sight and stay in the front group being pulled along by some guy named Levi. I could see the first few swithcbacks of singletrack as the course turned right off the pave' and I started counting back to my place in a long line of riders filing into the singletrack.... I was sitting in 23rd. Ideally I would've been up a bit further in the pack, but what's done is done and now it's time to try and settle into a pace that I think I can sustain for the next 3.5hrs.

Over the next hour I'd pass 10 riders putting me in the lucky #13th position. It would take me two more hours to catch the next three riders. Once the course started its way along the south shore of the lake, the longer climbs were over with and all that remained were many, many, many short, steep, punchy climbs. Very east coasty... if you will. I tried to stay in bigger gears and talk my legs into the theory of "the faster you climb this, the sooner you'll be able to take another break" .


In the end, I'd come across the line 10th. Some guy named Levi managed to win the thing giving me a 20 minute beating in the process. Meh. Could've been worse.
I was ridin' good. Couldn't have done much better. I'm probably kinda glad I didn't pre-ride any of the course. I wouldn't have remembered enough to make any sort of discernible difference in the outcome of things. Sure, I got into a few corners a bit too hot, but I'll bet everyone else did as well.




I got to thinking. I was talking to some guy named Levi afterwards and he was saying his bike weighed 22lbs. Hmm. Lets see. My bike weighs27 lbs. That's a difference of 5 lbs (or a 22.73% weight difference). Some guy named Levi beat me by 20 minutes in a 3ish hour race. That's a difference of roughly 10.7%. I think the writing is on the wall here kids. Do the math. If my bike would've been 2.5lbs lighter, I would've been sprinting for the line with some guy named Levi. If my bike was 5lbs lighter I would've crushed the guy!! I might have just missed my 15 minutes of fame by a mere 2.5lbs! Meh. Or I still would've got 10th. Who knows.


But hey, I didn't go down there by myself. I had some great company. First off, meet Sako (in the gray shirt). Sako had a great race. He even won a sprint to the end of the parking lot with a guy that was in his class (guy in the red shirt). Too bad for Sako, the official finish line was 30 meters further into the grass of the park. No worries Sako, there's only 364 more days until next year to try again.


Then there's Daryn, (aka D-Man) my co-pilot for this trip. It took me all week to talk D-Man into coming to this race. In typical fashion he registered the night before the race, hadn't ridden in weeks, showed up confused with two bikes at my house and crashed in a creek during the race drawing blood from most of his appendages, but hey... a hundred bucks for 3rd place isn't too shabby.




Last but not least, mad props to
the promoter (in the red beside some guy named Levi). As well, mad props to some guy named Levi who donated all of his winnings ($750.00) to the Lake Sonoma Trails foundation. I've already marked the race on the calendar for next year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

temp trail closures

I received an email the other day about some temporary trail closures in our area. I guess the woods are getting a "make over" in the Sawtooth ridge area. The following is quoted from the email I received.

"wanted to give you a heads up about some temporary trail closures. During the month of September Bill Banka (our forester) will have crews doing fire hazard reduction work in the areas of the 2 Bridges and 2 Beavers and a Bear trails. Who named those anyways? Nice trail signs by the way, I don't get out there too often. The plan is to not disturb the trail too much but it is likely that there will be some timber across them from time to time. I thought I would give you a heads up and ask for any help you can provide getting the word out to the xc community. The closure signs were put in place today and two beavers was poached within 5 minutes. I wasn't surprised."


Otherwise, I had an interesting time the other morning while riding the nature trail in Tahoe Donner where I managed to tear a hole in the sidewall of my rear tire. Before I rolled to a stop, I remembered that my pump was taped to the top of my cross bike.... miles away from where I was at the moment. Meh. After a nice walk in my super comfortable cycling shoes (I'm kidding here people) I made it out to the rec center and happened across 3 lads gearing up for an epic ride and borrowed their floor pump. Thanx guys! Hope you found the connector to Hole in The Ground ok.
Other-otherwise, If you see this guy anywhere in you travels.....

..... ask him if he's registered for the race yet? Remind him of how much fun he had at that race (sswc05) and how much fun this race will be.

Monday, August 23, 2010

geez....

So much going on right now. It seems like only a few weeks ago that Downieville happened, but upon looking at a calendar the reality is that it's been a while. As the days come and go summer moves forward like a freight train coming off Donner Summit with a full load and an engineer that has a cavalier attitude coupled with a hatred for the brake pedal (which I'm only guessing that in a train it's more than just a pedal... probably a big lever or something).

Things at Might Mobile are good. Although I still find myself hunched over in the back of the van doing projects that have nothing to do with bikes, my program gets a little more streamlined with each and every hole drilled, hook put up, this put over here, that put over there....it's a labor of love i guess.... or madness??

Work isn't the only thing I've been doing. I've been gettin' after it on the bike. Ridin' like crazy. Doin' some racin' too. Don't know what got into me this year, but I've had the desire to plunk my hard earned $$ on the registration table, zip tie a number plate on the front of my bike and go like hell at the sound of the gun. It's been working out pretty good too. With one more race to go at the Northstar XC series, I'm pretty sure I've got the points to win the overall. I'm also winning the points battle in the
Nevada State Championship series with one more round to go. I heard that if you win the series, you're rewarded with a fanny pack, some cigarettes and a stack of poker chips! Can't wait. Later this week, I'll be heading to Lake Sonoma to do battle on a course that's listed as having 8,000ft of climbing in 35 miles! I've seen the elevation profile for this race and it looks more like a readout from an EKG machine than something you should be riding a bicycle over. There are literally NO flat spots on the chart. Meh. I think I'll run some gears for this one.

Otherwise, I've got my dad in town this week. Ya know how cyclist always seem to know about the neat stuff on YouTube? Well, my Dad's a carpenter, so he knows about stuff like
this. Interesting.

Also, I did this a while ago but will didn't go public with it until now. I scanned some older pics from way back when and put them up on my online photo gallery. Quite the
blast from the past. I'll leave you with that for now.

Enjoy and keep the rubber side down.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

hello

I swear that I'm going to post some meaningful material. Soon. Really. Just hang in there.
In the meantime, check out this video. Make sure you have the sound on. It's in Italian, but still totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This Friday!!

Whadda ya doin' Friday evening? Put down that fingernail file and git-cherself out to the Truckee Regional Park this Friday night for some guaranteed good times.


Since I'm a bicycle industry insider type, I recieved the following email with allllll the beta from a top secrect source.

With Truckee being one of 14 stops along New Belgium’s nationwide summer tour, this unique event includes beers from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith portfolio which features some of their most creative and hard-to-find brews. Amateur film clips range from kayaking buddies navigating grizzlies and whales on a paddling trip from Alaska to Seattle, to an absurdist spaghetti western about a flat tire (and some beer). There are visual odes to people’s love affairs with their bikes, assorted comedy shorts, and thought-provoking environmental pieces. Food will also be available from local vendors. There is no admission fee to enter the event or view the films, just the cost of beer and food. All beer proceeds benefit the Truckee Trails Foundation!

Word on the street is that the Clips of Faith festivals in other cities this summer have been fantastic! Truckee is very fortunate to have New Belgium back in town for this great new event. Bring your friends and join us!!

Details:
When: Friday, July 30
Time: 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. (films begin at dark)
Where: Truckee River Regional Park: Chief Truckee Lawn
Other tips: Outside food is welcome, alcohol is not (leave that to New Belgium)
Bring low chairs or blankets – or lounge on the grass!

Sounds good to me. See you guys/gals there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Downieville

Some links of interest from/about Downieville.

First: Mad props and many thanks to Greg from
Downieville Outfitters for letting us crash at his house, use his kitchen and abuse his bathroom.

Here's a write up from a real writing professional from
Dirt Rag... unlike the amateur stuff I try and put out.

With
Ferrentino, you know you're going to get some "outside the box" thinking. This guy really needs to host the Single Speed Worlds some year.

Mad props to
Truckee from Truckee.

And last, but not least:
O-Ficial results from the race.

NO MORE!!

Just wanted to let ya'll know that I'm O-Ficially pulling the plug on Facebook as of 5 minutes ago. Sorry. I just wasn't using it to its fullest advantage... much like the elastic on the legs of Sakos' riding shorts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Downieville, Day Two

Day two at Downieville is the infamous downhill. People from all walks of life and every corner of the world come here to experience this ride. If you were to sit along the trail on a typical Sunday afternoon, you would see someone come along on an 8" travel downhill bike with its rider covered in crash pads from head to toe. A minute later, along would come a lycra clad xc type rider riding a hardtail. Funny thing is, both of these riders WILL be in their element at some point along the way.

Try as I might, the day doesn't stick in my mind like the xc did (previous post). At the finish, I don't remember hitting anything, but the blood oozing from my pinkie knuckle is sticking my glove to my left hand suggesting that I did indeed come into contact with something along the way. I'm tired, but not shattered. This is probably a sign that I'm not going to see a finish time quite as low as I'd like, but I'm glad to have made it down without flat tires, crashing or anything else that would have made the day a serious bummer.

I remember blowing out of a few corners on Sunrise trail early on while trying to find "my groove". I'd talk to myself quite a bit here with my legs, lungs and attitude all trying to negotiate a deal that would work out best for all parties involved. By the time I hit "the waterfall" section of the course I'd find myself riding and feeling pretty good. I was keeping in mind that I'd have to do battle once again with the climb out of Pauly Creek and that both sections of 1st Divide are more flat than descending. Then, there's the mile of pavement to the finish which would turn out to be waaayy easier with air in my front tire.



Was it fun? Yep. Did I ride well? Sure... but I can't help but think that my potential for a lower time is definitely within' my grasp. In closing, I'll just say that even though the price of registration is steep, the logistics of getting yourself around for two days of racing point to point is less than easy and racing guys like this and this makes vision of a podium blurry.... I'll definitely going back next year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Downieville, Day One

For those of you NOT in the know, The Downieville Classic is a two day stage race. XC the first day. Downhill the next. Lowest combined time wins and you've gotta use the same bike equipped the same way. They weigh your bike each day to confirm that you're playing by the rules.



The XC race is epic. 29 miles. Point to point. Always fun. Usually hot. Never easy. After a nice warm up on hwy 49 in Sierra City I pedaled into a mass of hundreds of people gathering at the start. I put all of my Squaw Valley lift line cutting skills to good use while working my way up to about the 15th row and awaited the start. Once we got "the gun", I shoved off and tried to stick to my plan of not "blowing it" in the first mile. At some point around the one hour mark, I'd reached the top and dove into the Sunrise trail (virgin trail for me) in a group of 5 other riders. After some fun twisty singletrack, there's another mile or so of fireroad then it's time to "get yer game on".

At this point, the race changes it's image dramatically. The next 17ish miles looses over 5,000ft of vertical with any trail condition imaginable. At the time, I had no idea where I was position wise but did know that the "baby heads" section was coming up and riding in a group of 5 unfamiliar riders would be dusty, dangerous and not that fun. Overtaking other riders would be next to impossible once we started pointing it downhill as the trail is fast and narrow. So, I did what any self respecting bike racer would do. I "pinned it". I clicked the shifter thingy on the right side of the bars, put my head down and gave it everything I had. And...by damned... it worked. I got a nice clear run into the baby heads and focused on riding clean lines and NOT FLATTING. The next couple of miles was/is kind of a blur. Trail, rocks, roots, water, fast, slow.... then you get to Pauley Creek. As is usual for me, Pauly Creek was a hike a bike through kneehigh snowmelt. I was caught right after crossing the creek on the steep pitch leaving the creek. I could tell by the guys bike that he'd ridden the creek AND the steep pitch... but he was paying the price. The next section of the course was a flattish two track and after getting the heart rate down (slightly) I was able to take a couple sodium capsules and drink some water. With both of us recovering at about the same rate, our speed steadily picked up. I knew the course got skinny and pointed slightly more downhill not too much further up the trail so I made the pass. Just as I started really letting it roll...."knock knock knock". Shit. The cramp monster. I tried to ease off slightly, let gravity take over and ride smooth lines mistake free while trying to forget about the cramp monster knocking at the door. The next couple miles of trail is soooo fun. Fast, swoopy and requiring only the occasionally burst of effort to maintain a high speed. Just the way I like it.



Enter, Pauley creek again. This time on the footbridge. You're 2/3rds done with the course at this point. I know this section well. After crossing the bridge, there's a 3/4 mile climb of a couple of hundred vertical feet. The trail is fairly easy, but it comes after many, many, many miles of downhilling without pedalling. If you're going to "blow up" this is where it's going to happen. I'd prepared for this. I crossed the bridge, yelled at a spectator in a chicken suit and drank the last remaining remnants of sun baked warm water from my bottle. 15 pedal strokes later "BANG, BANG, BANG". Again, the cramp monster's knocking. HARD! He's pissed. I "run for the door" but see that he's already inside. Ahh man! He's got his feet up on the coffee table, his shoes are dirty. He's getting chip crumbs all over the couch....shit! The inside of my thighs feels like someone has a dull fork jammed in them. I'm not off the bike, but I'm damn close. Then... then the inevitable happened. I'd get caught by four guys on this climb. I kept moving forward trying to limit the damage. Mark Weir would be the last guy to get by me and even my best attempts at swerving into him like a stumbling drunk (sorry Mark) did no justice to slow his pace. I crawled over the crest of 3rd divide and watched Mark coast away from me. Meh, at least I probably wouldn't have anybody in my way for the next bit of trail which points yet again downhill in a Star Wars Jedi type fashion.

I'd ride by myself until the end of upper First Divide where I'd be caught by my evil twin (Kenny Burt). He'd drag me all the way to the end of lower First Divide where I managed to hit THE LAST rock on the trail resulting in a front flat. Within' a mile of the finish in town, I'd ride it out but get passed yet again and almost take out a row of spectators on the outside of an off camber right hand corner close to the finish. For my efforts, I'd come across with a time of 2:04 and was sitting in 11th place.

Today was good. Tomorrow is the downhill.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Downieville

I'm back.
Big weekend.
Big fun.
Need a day or two to get my head around the whole thing before jotting some words about "the experience".
But, before I just let you (all 4 of my loyal followers) go with a feeling of windless sails and another somewhat empty and pointless blog post, I'll leave you with a blast from the past website (link to follow). Well after all the racing was over on Sunday, some miscellaneous chit chat with another rider turned to bikes (as it often does) and the nature of the conversation leaned towards the "back in the day" era. After a weekend of racing with factory teams and a town full of bikes with a street value that would probably feed a nation of millions for weeks on end, it was neat to stumble across
this web site while looking for results for Downieville. Now, I never had any of this stuff, but I'd see it at the races every weekend and longed for the day I'd either have enough money to afford it or be fast enough to get it for free in the form of sponsorship. If you rode "back in the day" you'll probably get a kick out of the link. If you didn't, you'll probably stumble across something like this bike some 20 years from now and remember how awesome carbon was "back then" but how even your current townie has better/lighter parts on it now.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oh Boy...

As if things weren't busy enough, the fork on my bike decided to "shit the bed" during the final lap of the race at Northstar the other night leaving me with absolutely NO rebound or compression. As my fork "clunked" its way towards the finish line, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on in there and why it happened now.... one week from Downieville.... with little to no "free time" before heading down to the race.

Embarking on an intricate job (which this would be) that you've never done before is kinda
like a box of chocolates. For this job, I kinda understand what's going on in there. The new F.I.T cartridges in Fox forx remind me of Showa forks that used to come on Honda CR125's and 250's. When I was doing Race Tech stuff with motos years ago I'd re-built a handfull of these. Their a "bladder style" damper cartridge that houses all the oil, valves, valve shims, port holes, needle valves and countless super tiny o-rings.

I was a bit anxious to figure out what happened in there. Was it a failed o-ring that I'd have on hand, or some "unobtanium wonder part" that Fox would be out of stock on? The first of these options would have me back together in time for the 6 pak super D later that same night, but the latter would force me to "step up" and race the one speed for Downieville.




I gave the fox site a look to familiarize myself with the "lay of the land", grabbed some tools and dove in. I had theories ranging from something as simple as a bad seal to my "outside the box theory" with a more scientific approach like reduced vapor pressure and low humidity coupled with magnetic variance and gravitational attraction. A half hour later, I'd realize that the top cap had come loose from the bladder shaft. I figured that since I rode the last lap at Northstar with no oil in my fork, I'd better have a look deeper inside. An hour later, my fork looked like this.I figured out that it doesn't take a whole lot of time on the trail to ruin the bladder seal when the fork is out of oil. Then, I ran out of time. My 10:00 appointment for a wheel that needed a spoke and a bike that needed a tune was rapidly approaching. I hopped in the van and headed out for a day of work.


During my day I found a replacement bladder from The Backcountry (LBS) while having lunch at one of my favorite spots in Truckee. Once back at Mighty Mobile headquarters, I continued re-building the damper assembly. Slowly but surely, things went back together. It took eight times longer that it will the next time (a common situation with a first time repair such as this). Bleeding the cartridge is a multi-step and time consuming process. Even the directions from Fox say "take a break.... up to 30 minutes.... air bubbles... blah blah blah".... ok, maybe I'm making up the blah blah blah part, but it's still time consuming.

So, the next step will be to get the cartridge back in the fork and put a few miles on it before heading to Downieville for a weekend of pain and suffering. Coincidentally, I was just on the Downieville Classic site and have learned that they have 15 spots open for the All Mountain Pro Class. These spots won't last long seeing as the race sold out in 15 seconds when they first opened registration.

Monday, June 21, 2010

OMG

Going big.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

this week

This week at Mighty Mobile is seeing a surge of bikes that have had their first rides of the summer with the rider realizing that the bike really isn't ready for a full season of "gettin' after it". As is typical for this time of year, I've been doing quite a few brake bleeds as well as shifter cable & housing replacements to keep things working the way they were intended to.

I've also been dealing with all kinds of shipping snafu's. First we have the bearing & pivot kit that I've ordered over a week ago. Customer still waiting. Fortunately, his bike is still rideable, it's just that you can hear his bike creaking and squeaking from waaayyy down the trail. I won't name names here, I'll just say that the area where the said bike company resides is within' a days drive from me and near the beach. The surfing must be going off right now. Siiiiicck.

Then, there's the rim that I needed (still need actually). It's a silver Mavic. It needs to be a silver Mavic. The job entails repairing some crash damage and I'm trying to match the front rim as best as possible (A.B.A.P.) and a silver rim would really tie things together. I ordered the rim last week and it arrived yesterday. The box looked a little battered. Upon opening said box I found......


..... this! This won't do. The old/crashed rim has its issues, but it's not THIS bad. WTF!!! I wonder if the guys at UPS remember this add from a while back while their handling packages?

So, I guess I should peel myself from the computer and get back to work.

Hope this finds everyone well.... if anyone is still out there.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a day in the life

Life's been good, but also very busy.

Round two of the Nevada State Championship series went quite well. I don't think I was the fastest guy there, but I did prove to have more luck at keeping the air in my tires than Scott Leland (round 1 winner). This being the case, I managed to come across the line in the #1 spot... much to my surprise at awards. I was sure I got second... meh... I'll take it.

Now that spring has FINALLY sprung (I hope) people are getting bikes out of storage in a hurry. My schedule has been a fairly constant 4-6 days out, so if your bike's in need of some love, don't wait to long to call.

With all that's going on, I've still managed to cram in some time to do a couple more projects inside the van. The past three or so days I've had saws, shop vacs, drills and everything else that's really noisy running at "full throttle". Sorry if I missed a few calls. Even with my ringer on the highest of highs, it's no match up against the skill saw. Hopefully my back holds out for a few more days while the finishing touches get put on the prejects at hand.

Hopefully this finds everyone well. Trails are opening up faster than you can imagine. Get out there and ride people!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In all my spewing of racing oriented stuff the other day, I forgot to put in a link of some epic photos from stage 7 of the Giro. Click on Cadel Evans (below) to see the whole set. The photos are rather large, so give it a minute to load.


On the mountain bike front, I had a precious time slot to do a little exploratory trail mission yesterday. I was quickly denied while trying to ride some favorites in Tahoe Donner fully meeting my low expectations of what I'd find. So, I road across town and did a loop on the 06 trails (aka sawtooth ridge). Good dirt. I was off the bike a couple of times for snow, but otherwise had good luck.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

goin's on's



Although cable television seems to be "the norm" at most folks house, we have no such thing here at Mighty Mobile world headquarters. Gotta say, life's been pretty damn good without it. I hope that when I die, there's no time table chart showing all the time I've wasted sitting through commercials during my life while watching programming that probably wasn't that interesting to begin with. I'm also happy to report that I'm much more happy NOT watching the news on a daily basis. Good grief. How depressing. Oil spills, corrupt business, failing government, skyrocketing unemployment rates.... how much bad news does a person need. How much bad news can a person handle!!

TV was also a fairly big letdown when it came to watching anything cycling related. Sure, you can watch the Tour Dey France five times per day while it's going on, but coverage for anything else is a crap shoot. Cycling can and will get cut short for ANYTHING else that the might be on the agenda for the networks. I can tell you from years of watching (or trying to watch) motocross coverage on tv that you just can't get worked up when shit like that happens. The program listing says there's motocross on from 4:00 to 5:00 and there will be guys airing 85ft gap jumps, banging bars while fighting for position, and otherwise going WFO for a half and hour plus two laps. But in reality, you might be watching live coverage from a nascar race that is running late... during a rain delay, with cars sitting under tarps as the cameras pan between people under umbrellas and shots of raindrops landing on the racing surface. That's ALMOST as much fun as watching paint dry. Friggin' ridiculous.

So, I turned to the interweb to satisfy my cycling needs. I've found some interesting things while surfing around. I found this site that gives a nice quick recap of various races throughout the world of cycling. It's my "go-to" when I'm short on time (this seems to be most of the time, even without wasting my time watching commercials on regular tv) either in the morning before heading out in the big white van to fix bikes or in the evening while kicking back with a fine beverage to end my day.

If I've got time in the morning, I'll go straight to live coverage of whatever might be happening at the moment. Lately, it's been the Giro. This race is epic. It ranks up there with the Tour Dey France, but doesn't seem to acquire the attention that the Frenchy race gets. In any event, go here if you've got time to kill and want to try and catch some live racing. This site is a little hit or miss. I've mostly had good luck finding coverage with English announcers, but have had days of watching the race while listening to two guys spewing some Italian language... which I guess is quite fitting since the race IS in Europe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Round #1

Raced yesterday.

Suffered.
Didn't expect anything less.
Round one of the Nevada State Championship series was in Gardnerville yesterday. As the guys to my right talk about their results at Sea Otter and the riders behind discuss training with power meters, I realized I'm in for one heck of a day.


Lap one: Suffer. Chest strap of heart rate monitor immediately slips down to my waist. Suffer some more. Hoping the pace mellows slightly. One hike-a-bike. Realize I can't hold the pace of the leaders and settle in 5th. Get caught. Get passed. Hop on! Still 5th. Following a local. Power course. Lots of big ring climbs. Fast and flowing high desert moto trail in the middle and end of the course. Trying to limit mistakes. My leadout guy blows a tire just before finishing lap one. I'm sitting 4th.. all alone.


Lap two: Laps start with a ripping descent. Then... then you pay. Three steep climbs with the last one having everyone off their bikes. I can see the lead three ahead on the third climb as I top out on the second. Their nearing to top of the hike-a-bike about 2 minutes out. Try as I might, all the teeth gritting, groaning, and digging deep I have in me ins't enough to bridge the gap over the next 10-15 minutes.
"Knock knock knock."
"Who is it?"
"It's the cramp monster."
"Oh, ok. I'll slow down now"
Back off the pace slightly. Force gel packs. Force water. Start "givin' er" again as the course tops out and starts descending. Try and hold momentum. Try and limit mistakes. Breath deep. Starting to struggle with staying in the big ring on the small climbs towards the end of the course. As elated as I was to see Summer with my spare water bottle nearing the end of the second lap, my good feelings were immediately crushed after looking back to see that I'm being caught by Monte running in 5th.

Lap 3: My strategy of riding the first descent like I'm on turrets works like a charm and I keep Monte behind me for another minute or so. I'm able to keep him slightly honest until the hike-a-bike.
"Knock knock knock."
"Oh... sorry."
"This is your last warning!"
Slumming the last lap. My drivetrain sounds bad. We've lost the sun and I've seen a few snow flurries. My hands... damn cold. All I can think about is food. Wish I had some. I roll across the line 5th. Cold, tired, achy.

Fortunately there was food after the race and two cheeseburgers hooked a brother up. This would ultimately lead to a nice "food coma" about a third of the way home on the drive necessitating a short nap a short distance off the highway. All in all... good fun.

Next race: June 6th. Let's hope it turns into summer by then.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Newz

Operations at Mighty Mobile continue apace... when the weather cooperates that is. I've been spending almost every sun shining minute getting caught up on repairs that were called in just before the last snow storm moved in a week ago. If you called for repair and I put you on "the list", don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you. If you're in need of repair, call now and get some time reserved for your "rig" so it's ready to go when the weather finally clears up.
I've been pushing the "envelope" of the vans ability to travel snowy roadways and let me tell you... it's been a bit "dodgy" at times. Even the
slightest bit of snow on the roads pushes the envelope of traction on the Mighty Mobile van.

Parts orders have been arriving daily and I'm well stocked to get your bike ready to roll for the season.

  • Mountain bike tires from WTB, Michelin, Schwalbe, Kenda and more in stock now. Size ranges from 2.1 through 2.5 to perfectly match your riding style.
  • Road tires from Michelin and Maxxis
  • Almost every conceivable drivetrain component. XTR specific (102mm) chainrings in stock. TomiCogs in stock in popular sizes for your single speed.
  • Brake parts! I ordered an incredibly crazy amount of brake pads this spring. I'm stocking both metal & organic (soft compound) pads for most popular brake systems. The brake parts bins are also stuffed with rotors, piston kits, master cylinder kits and replacement brake lines.
  • Crud catchers (fenders). Lots of crud catchers. For $12.00 NOBODY should be without one of these babies going into the spring riding season.
  • Fox fork and shock service parts also abound. Seals, oil, d.u. bushings, air piston seals.... the list goes on and the bins are full. Got a leak? Mighty Mobile's got a fix.
  • DuMonde Tech lubes in all sizes to keep your chain running smooth and quiet.

Until next time, keep the rubber side down and the chamois butter handy because the 2010 riding season in upon us.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

wurdz

"I love Paris-Roubaix because of the cobbles.
I hate Paris-Roubaix because of the cobbles."
Tom Boonen

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Game on!

January 11th. I remember January 11th. We did a stoopid ride ride that fine day. The kind of ride that reminds you that you don't know the ALL the trails and gravity is, and always will be, king. The temperatures were unseasonably warm as I remember. Apres' ride hanging out, telling stories and talking shit that evening was quite nice as the sun set and bikes lay strewn about along a deserted fire road just outside of Nevada City. As the talk turned from bikes to burritos, we loaded up and headed towards home. I drove the Mighty Mobile van that day. With snow already on the ground in Truckee bike jobs were few and far between. The extended range forecast called for more snow and with it, bike work was surely going to get put "backseat" to waxing skis and making sure things were G.T.G (that's Good To Go) when it finally started dumping. Remembering how worthless the van is in the snow I pulled into the lower driveway that night, got all my gear out and went to sleep.

The weather people knew what they were talking about. When I got up the next morning, snow was already falling. I worked the next three days at the ski shop and I'm pretty sure it snowed almost the entire time. When I was done with my "week" of work, I skied all I could until I had to go back to tuning skis again days later. This seemed to turn into a cycle of "work, ski, repeat" for many many... many weeks. Winter took a little while to arrive in Tahoe this year, but man oh man were things "ON" now. TIME TO SKI!!!

Fast forward to three days ago. Although I haven't put the skis or snow shovels away juuuusst quite yet the sun is out and spring is in the air. With warmer temps and lack of daily fresh snow, the ebb of skis gives way to the flow of bikes and the phones at Mighty Mobile start to ring once again. This makes me happy... and scared. There's a four foot berm at the bottom of the lower parking area and a sea of snow between it and the van. After a few arduous sessions of shoveling, snow blowing, scraping and otherwise unearthing the van; it's finally free.

Next comes some prep work for my "rolling bike shop". Cleaning up the van is kinda like a time machine and in some ways akin to cleaning up after a house party. In place of spilled beer on the floor, there's oil stains on the matting from where the drain pan fell over while rebuilding that fork last fall. Instead of bottle caps, pizza crust and empty beer cans surrounding an overflowing trash can, I find a single brake pad, a stripped our rotor bolt and various scraps of cable and housing. Where you'd normally find chips in the cushions of the sofa I found... CHIPS actually... crushed up in the drivers seat! And on it goes. I spend a day cleaning things up and doing some miscellaneous projects that got put off last fall. I reload the compressor, tools and other miscellaneous items that were pulled from the van over the winter to do various jobs and tasks. Next it's some stocking of parts that have come in orders placed throughout the winter. After a long day I step back, take a deep breath, stretch out my back and know that Mighty Mobile is ready to tackle another summer.


Hope this finds ya'll well.






Monday, March 8, 2010

The Great Ski Race

This week started off with The Great Ski Race (aka the "Tahoe Olympics"). Me and 1060 of my closest friends on a point to point course stretching 30 kilometers with 1,600ft of climbing. I did this race with only 4 days off skate skiing under my legs this year and as a result I really felt like vomiting for the first 10k of the race which just happens to head in the ever popular, yet oh so demoralizing, uphill direction. My situation actually improved once the course stopped climbing and leveled out a bit. As the Jimi Hendrix came through the headphones I was really starting to think that my day was turning around, my form was getting better and my breakfast had finally worked itself into a spot that didn't want to see the light of day again. Unfortunately, that feeling only lasted for a short time as the reality set in that I'm NOT a ski racer and if I was going to finish this race without totally blowing up and crying for my mommy, I'd better back down the pace and just except the fact that I was going to get passed by other skiers.... and plenty of them. In the end, I managed to cross the finish line with a respectable time, albeit while sliding on my back after crashing at a high rate of speed on the final descent. I still suck at descending on the skinny skis.



The scene in front of me at the start...



...and behind.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kona Unit 19" For Sale

  • 2003 19" Kona unit SS Frame
  • New Kona Project 2 fork
  • New Kona bar, stem, post
  • XT Cranks and BB - 32T
  • 17T freewheel
  • Rear Wheel: Pauls hub w/ WTB Laser Beam
  • Front Wheel: XTR hun w/ WTB Laser Beam
  • XTR V-Brakes and LeversSyncross FLT 2.2 Tires
  • $500.00
  • email w/ questions

Got a used bike for sale??? Email me w/ pictures and a discription I can copy/paste. Let's make some room in your garage!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Downieville

Still not sure if I'll try and re-sign up for the Downieville Classic.

Last Fridays' sillyness of spending an hour in front of my computer only to get shot down while trying to spend $190.00 as fast as possible still has left a nasty aftertaste. (even after trying to wash it out with beer) And for what?? As if my chances of getting into this thing weren't hard enough, it's trumped by the fact that it would endeed be the "ultimate sufferfest" resulting in a snot encrusted top tube, white salt soaked helmet straps and some seriously dirty socks.

Still though.... could be fun.



Monday, February 22, 2010

neat

This kid's got way too much time on his hands.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

ridiculous

If you were one of the countless riders (like me) swearing at your computer and cursing Yuba Expeditions while feverishly trying to guess a creative passcode while trying to register for the Downieville Classic last night... you're not alone. The "recent review" thread on the registration site was hilarious though. I'm guessing that Greg Williams (event promoter) had a bit of an uneasy sleep last night after a shit storm of online bickering, threats and other silliness took place immediately after registration opened.

The scenario went like this: While attempting to register online for the race you were prompted for a "passcode". Funny thing was (not really funny, more metaphorically funny), no passcode existed to the public. At about 8:05 a thread was posted in the "recent review" section of the registration site that the passcode was "trailstewerdship". I (along with 1,000's of other riders) typed in the passcode on my form and clicked the submit button. The system was so jammed up that orders weren't going through and by the time I refreshed the page, everything was sold out.... just like last year.

Sooooo, I read this morning that the event promoter is claiming last nights mayhem was a mistake and registration will officially take place NEXT Friday night instead. Meh. Honestly, the prestige and overall feel of the race has a funny feel.... and smell... kinda like ?????

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Remember...

..... registration for the Downieville Classic is TOMORROW, Friday the 19th @ 8:00PM sharp.
Registration is through active.com I'd have your account all set up with those guys if you're at all serious about getting into the all mountain class.
Even website here.
Active dot com here.
Good luck.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mighty Life

Life at Mighty Mobile continues apace. The snow I've been skiing the past week has once again made the doors to my service van inaccessible requiring me to do some shoveling. Never know when I'll need parts.

Also got a good head start on my taxes. Blah. This is always a time of love/hate. Mostly hate. In one way it's neat to see what I've done with my money throughout the summer. And in another way, it's scary to see what I've done with my money throughout the summer.

Also dedicated today to check in a couple of orders that arrived last week. All the parts for a Blur LTC build and some misc Campy parts from Sinclair to finally get that lever rebuilt.

Made a few calls and rolled right into the Campy lever rebuild. Got somewhat concerned when I realized that this diagram.....
.... looked nothing like the internals on this lever.... apart... on my bench.
I put the diagram to better uses (a coaster for my coffee cup) and carefully disassembled the shifter cleaning and inspecting all the amazement that is Campy. Seriously. This stuff's cool. A company that continues to actually makes parts serviceable even in today's "planed obsolescence" business mindset. It's amazing to see EXACTLY what happens inside a shift lever. While you're "sprinting for that county sign", there are these....
..... these two little springs.
These two little springs keep a ratchet wheel from turning backward as a result of tension from the shifter cable. The ratchet wheel dictates the tension of the derailleur cable thusly keeping the derailleur aligned perfectly with the cogs. After a bajillion or so shifts with the lever, the springs will eventually break (like the one above) because of being bent a bajillion or so times. One spring does a marginal job keeping the derailleur aligned but can allow the ratchet wheel to slip backward allowing the chain to drop down a cog. This can really suck when your counting on things staying together while doing the aforementioned activities on your bike.

Wow. Quite the outline.

Tune in next time for pfun with pfones... the real life story of the Motorola I80s and Y I h8 txtng.

Monday, February 1, 2010

wurdz

"...and it took me back to somethin'
that I lost somewhere
somehow along the way..."
Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Racing Bikes


What is it about racing bikes that is so addictive. If you were to ask me about racing while suffering up some hateful climb in the middle of a hot sunny day, I'd likely say that it was my last time undertaking such stupidity. Why not. With sweat stinging my eyes, my ass being ground thinner by the minute and my legs feeling like a mega cramp fest is juuuuuussst around the corner it's hard to keep the pedals turning. Hungary? You bet... but you don't have time to eat. That guy just up ahead is probably in your class! Thirsty? Sure... but bouncing down rocky trails on a single speed, blurry eyed on the edge of crashing (and pinch flatting) makes it difficult for one to grasp that bottle on your downtube containing the very liquid you need to survive. I should add that the liquid you're craving is going to be hot from baking in the sun on the a fore mentioned climb and the valve on your bottle, on which you'll be putting your sun caked lips, is covered in.... well.... let's just hope it's only dirt.

Fortunately, there is another side to racing. There are those times when "you're on" and things are going your way. The climb... yea, it was sunny, but that gallon on water you chugged on the way to the race payed off. Hungary? Sure. Good thing you took a few extra seconds to force down a gel pack on that last section of fire road. Thirsty? Yep. And I'm drinking too. Every chance I get helping me stay hydrated and lightening my bike with every sip. It also helps if you're lucky enough to be catching other riders while racing....keeps you're head in the game.

Sooooo, where am I going with all of this since there's 5 feet of snow in my yard and I haven't touched a bike in weeks?????

Ladies first. Let's get all of our collective energy together and focus it towards our local hero Katerina Nash as she prepares for the Cyclocross Worlds in the Czech Republic. Good luck Katerina. Give 'em hell girl!!

Secondly: Start training your pointer finger for ultra fast mouse clicking as registration for the Downieville classic opens Feb 19th at 8:00PM... sharp. This race sells out faster than your favorite line disappears at Squaw Valley on a powder day. Seriously, you've probably got about 10 seconds to do some serious double clicking to secure yourself a starting position for this race. Friggin' ridiculous. I'm doing some pointer finger exercises right after this post so I'm prepared.


Last but not least is The Great Ski Race. Some call it the "Tahoe Olympics". It's a little akin to Single Speed Worlds in that you line up with about 1,000 skiers and see everything from the seasoned pro that's going to beat you by a long shot to... well... this guy.... who may also beat you. In any case, it's a great race (it even says so in the name) w/ a good vibe, great course and free beer at the finish. The race benefits Tahoe Search and Rescue as a little "icing on the cake".


So, common'! Grab some lycra and powerbars and get you suffer on!!