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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!

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Gregg Stone
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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.