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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tax Tyme

Tax time for Mighty Mobile at least. Yep, good ole' California sales tax is due by the last day of this month and I've just sent in my check keeping my "rolling bike shop" in good standing until the next time the tax man cometh. Now it's time to wait and see how well the state manages the money. It is your money after all so you should be concerned about just where your 8.875% of that last tire, chain and/or set of brake pads you bought from me actually goes. I'll settle up with the Feds within the next week and then it's on to more important things for 2011 for Mighty Mobile like....

.....BIKE RACING! Yep, things are "in the works" for this year and I'm currently in negotiations with several manufacturers about the procurement of a new rig in which to stain the downtube with drink mix, ruin the shine of the top tube with sweat and otherwise suffer upon on various race courses in the area. I won't jinx myself with anything too revealing at this stage but will say that it's going to be a hardtail, have big wheels and -if things follow through from yesterday- it'll be red and white which just happens to be the O-ficial Mighty Mobile color scheme. My race calendar is slowly being put together but I can say with some certainty that the first two races of the season will be the
Napa Valley Dirt Classic on April 10th followed by the Shasta Lemurian Classic on April 30th.

Nope, won't be hitting the
Sea Otter Classic even though it's a classic which seems to be an important part of my race calender selection process this year. Sorry. The timing of this race really sucks for me. Mighty Mobile can be quite busy this time of year and the thought of being at a race that spans four days in length just doesn't work while I really should be working. Plus, this is also the time of year when I'm putting the route together for the FTR requiring at least a couple of trips down to the foothills for scouting the Nevada City areas sweet sweet singletrack.

I'm also looking into the Park Tool Tech Summit this year. What's the Park Tech Tool Summit you say?? This is when a bunch of industry folks (uber tech geeks) get together and rebuild forks, hydraulic disc brakes and other misc bicycle componentry down to the tiniest of tiny parts. I'm a little torn on this one. On one hand, it'd be neat to rip apart a new Campy electronic shiftlever without worrying about losing parts, breaking some really expensive small internals or otherwise wasting half a day tinkering with something that doesn't have a century ride or race in the next 24 hours. On the other hand, I could be riding bikes or skiing neck deep powder... both of which are really, really fun. It's a
two day seminar in Long Beach and the dates are coming up quick. If I'm gonna do this, I guess I'd better act fast.

For now that's it, but there's more. Much much more. The next time you read this some of the above questions will be answered with some others brought up for discussion, contemplation, procrastination or ponderance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Bike

Rode the bike yesterday.
Bullards Bar.
Near record high temps.
Lots of ticks. Careful if you're down there right now... their thirsty.

Felt good. Good to be riding. It'd been since Christmas since I'd been on the saddle and I'd almost forgot how I missed the feeling of rolling through the woods on a bike with my leg hairs waving in the breeze. The weather was perfect (read; warm) allowing all of my very very white appendages to see the light of day for the first time in months.

Bullards Bar: We parked at the Dark Day Boat Launch and rode the roller coaster like Bullards Bar Trail towards Willow Creek and then did the climb up towards Camptonville. From there, it's a little bit of dirt road riding back towards Marrysville Rd. Once there, you will see 8 Ball Trail running on the South side of Marrysville Rd. We took this trail to Schoolhouse Trail which drops you back to Bullards Bar Trail for a few more miles of roller coaster type stuff back to your car. There's a couple more trails there, but the mentioned route makes for a nice loop... especially if you haven't been riding for a while.

Things of note:
TICKS!! When we rode, they were everywhere! And I mean it! Upon inspection of almost any bush, vine, branch or anything else that was slightly overgrowing into the trail you would see these little bastards hanging out on the very ends of said overgrowth waiting for you come by so they could latch on. We stopped many times to do a "tick check" and were fortunate to only find a few of them actually on us. I think that when your on a bike at speed on the trail they have a harder time grabbing a hold of something and get "bounced off". If guessing that if you were hiking you'd have them pretty much all over you. Keep an eye out... these little bastards can really mess you up if you let them. My advice: Ride fast and check yourself often.
Also, about a 1/4 mile past the Dark Day area heading towards Schoolhouse the trail is severely washed out. It's possible to get through, but you'll have to earn it. The washout is about 15ft across and at least this deep.
One more thing; if you forget the ice/snow to keep your beer cold, initial testing we've done seems to prove that covering said "liquid refreshment" with abundantly found ground cover (leaves, pine needles and the like) does indeed keep things at a nice chilly temp.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ticky tack

Soooo.... been skiin'. Damn. Sure feels good. Sure is fun. Viewed by some as "hard", the hike up the skin track is -at least for me- very therapeutic (we're talking backcountry skiing here people). It gives me a chance to catch up with friends, get some exercise and sort my thoughts. Countless are the times I've worked out a solution to a problem while hiking up a mountain with skis on my feet and a peak an hour off in the distance. Mighty Mobile's name was actually conceived while hiking up a skin track on the west shore of Tahoe while thinking of Mighty Mouse in some random string of thoughts. Don't ask me how... it just kind of happens that way for me sometimes.
Then... then there's the ride back down. Bouncing down the side of a mountain through snow is something that needs to be experienced to fully understand and appreciate. The freedom of choosing your own lines back down is beautifully unrestricted and sooooo fun with your only boundaries being gravity and the size of your cojones (
english usage).
But (there's always a "but") the bike is never far from my mind. I don't think a day goes by when I don't think of an endless ribbon of trail that strings on for miles. Which trail? Where does it go? I don't know and I don't care but I want to be on it! It's been said before that my favorite trail is "the one I'm on right now" and for the most part nothing could be more true.

My thoughts this year are to do some more racing. I had a pretty good go of it last summer and wouldn't mind carrying the momentum into 2011 while I still have the drive, health and time. Been looking at bikes. Been thinking about races. Don't want to "bite off more than I can chew". Gotta be careful. Pick the right races for me. Keep it fun. Keep it real.
Meh... either that or I'll renew my fishing license this year and work on my relaxation skills and ability to drink cheap beer.