Saturday, December 27, 2014

The one that worked

Well with all the great weather we have been having here in Utah has been absolutely great but like every year the snow will fall and trails will not be ridable. I have been lucky this year ad really got a lot of good rides in, and just like every year I felt like I only scratched the surface. But I am extremely grateful to my wife for making time on some of those days I urged to get out release pent up energy. I knew of a storm of impending doom that was on the horizon so I was to get out just once this week to ride dirt before it hit. Luckily I was able to get in on daylight and rode into the night. I was enjoying the ride, the trails were good despite a lot of rain the day before. There were only a few trails open so I did to laps on Rattler/Ghost Falls and then rode shoreline. I forget that Shoreline is actually pretty good in South Valley and was a good mix up into the night. The night was beautiful, there was a sliver of a moon and the air was so so so clear! I could see very little house lit in christmas lights and the moutnains around me despite little moon. The temperatures dropped while I was riding and the ground froze solid and while I wished I had more time I got about 90 minutes in and called it a night. One heck of a year, lots of Utah riding but like I said I have barely scratched the surface but have many good years ahead of me to do so many adventures I have planned.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The sneak attack

The weather was tough last week and Friday offered a good day to ride but I was not bale to make it happen since I chose to ski that day instead of bike which is a tough decision. So I needed to make it happen on Saturday before the rain rolled in, but with some bad luck the rain came early but that was not enough for me to go out and try. Unloading the bike it was raining lightly and I found trail and it was not bad at all. I spotted a few groups of bikers out as well and I just rode Rattler and Ghost and shoreline since they are all weather trails. I was happy to feel no guilt in riding that day since conditions were not bad, glad to have got one. Looks like the next two days are looking like I can squeeze rides lets hope before christmas day I will be knocked out for the season mostly with 4-8" expected in the valley.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Night ride w Bentley

Been too long since I have gotten my dog on the trail, wanted to see how he could keep up, he has not been a good bike dog the last few years and not much has changed, well he is a great trail dog its just he does not run fast enough on the DH and slows to a jog really. I have no idea if its just what he wants to do or all he can do, either way I absolutely love to bring him if it weren't for that issue of waiting for him. I went out after I put my son to sleep in an act of desperation to ride at least twice this week so there I was at 8:30 riding with no one else but my doggy. Bentley was alert not he trail but followed me perfectly and loved being right at my side so we shared the trail on the way up with him on my left or right. After a long up we were ready to go down and then I lost distance on my dog. He slowed to a trot halfway down and I had nothing to do but wait for him which was not a big deal. It was awesome getting a ride in and could of been my last if we got enough snow on Saturday which we did't! Hope to get rides this week with confusing conditions but worth trying.

A monday rippa

Enjoyed ab absolutely beautiful day on the trail last monday, it was warm man, 50's warm! I went out on  a mission to hit my two favorite DH runs in Corner Canyon, Maple Dh and Ghost Falls. If I had more time it sure would have been nice to add in Jacobs ladder but I was more than happy with what I got. The trails were perfect after melting snow it was absolute hero. So happy to be getting ride in December!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Friday Morning

Me and my good friend Brent finally lined up the schedules and got on a ride. I definitely hoped to have more rides this year with him and I think we have been on 4-5 rides which is good enough but next year I hope we can do better. We chose to start at the zoo and see how far we could get in two hours. Starting in the dark my light was the only one leading the way since he does not have one, but with a full moon and the city lights it did well lighting the first 20 minutes of the ride as the sun rose. Going up dry creek was a snap and once we got to the overlook I had to make the tough decision to head down and would not be able to make bobsled. Still had a blast going down a steep loose trail mown as lime Kilhn or something like that. Making back to the car was sucky, was not ready to end that ride but was glad it happened in December!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December Bliss

The weather here has been warm, I absolutely love it, I don"t care one bit that winter is not here yet cause that means more bike rides! I waited for the trails to dry after a little rain and had a very tough 2 year old that woke me up at 5:40am and had not napped all day so I put him down early for bed at 7pm and set out into the night to decompress. Coner Canyon was the place since it dries well and is crazy close. I knew almost all the trails are technically closed but the fact was that trails were in good shape and were closed for the season cause mostly this time of year the trails are in fact muddy. I rode on a plan for a loop on Ann's, it was not long before I ducked my first chain. I would never do anything like this but feeling there were no consequences from doing so I rode all that I intended on riding. As I got higher things never changed, it was a good ride over to Corner Canyon and over to Rattler. While I was just minding my business a bird kicked up right in front of me and bitch slapped me in the face, the amount of shock form what happened made my brain skip a beat. Was happy to not have any damage to my beautiful mug. I rode on and to the car so stoked to have gotten a ride in. Looks like the weather is solid and there are more to come in the next 5 days.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

20 years of Snowboarding

It is close to 20 years I have been sliding on a board. This winter I wanted to try something different, like getting on a pair of skis and brining some spice back into the mountains. So I found a great place called and got set up with cheap gear that cost me only 108$ I got boots skis w bindings and poles, I opted for twin tip since I would like to ride park once I can get comfy and like the twin twip look of them. I realized this is a very used setup that I would upgrade one day but for now it gets me going. I was anxious for Monday to arrive so I could get to the ski hill and give them a try. I arrived to Park City Resort to use my season pass on my first day out. I booted up and carried the skis to the lift where I wondered if I should try them before taking the lift. I opted for the lift an said it can't be that hard right. They felt weird and I hated looking like a beater but I did all my best to make it look smooth. I got on the lift and wondered what the heck am I doing but I was also very very excited. Got off the lift clean and said here goes nothing down a green run. No doubt it was awkward and I avoided the silly snow plow and went straight for linking turns. It felt incredibly awkward but I made it down my first run without falling. After a few runs I learned how to really use the iside edge on the turning ski and that helped so much once I learned that. Took a lift up higher and took a blue which had some sections I was not ready for. I lost control a few times but never crashed or got out hand. I was catching quick and found a really great green run that was perfect for the next 10 runs and every one of them I got more comfortable and began to really get into carving. The experience was great, it was nice to be challenged in the mountain since I rarely am. I had to leave after 3 hours since I had only an allowed time to ride but can't wait to get back! I took a blue down the mountain and reminded me how I still have a way to go.

Friday Morning Schweetness!

The snow is melting, the weather has been outstanding, full of 50s and 60s. This one morning I got out had me up at 5:20 but had me riding none the less! I decided it was time for some adventure and would ride shoreline north to the Rose trails. From a trail map it seemed straight forward and I could get a 2-3 hour spin. Arrived to the start and got to climbing at a decent pace, I have not been on this trail is probably 7 years so I remembered it being brutal but just how much? Well the switchbacks began and I got out of the creepy woods without running into a homeless person and got the a stiff climb. It was not too much for me but I felt it for sure as I rose above and got a great view of the city lights.
    I was so happy to be out riding, the trail was perfect, it was a nice 40f and I was riding my bike in late November! Some light was shining through the top of the wasatch which was the beginning of a very very scenic sun rise. Sadly when I hit the radio towers I had to round the corner where I would lose sight of the sun rise until I came back the same way. I did take in what I had and continued on unfamiliar trail down to a unique part of the mountain. It was quite flat and the cool sun rise illuminated the trail to the neighborhood where I met pavement and found my way to the Rose trails.     The Rose trails are a small trail system located in Bountiful to the north and turns out are pretty sweet. I climbed up a comfortable trail and then had the option to do the Dh or continue, but unfortunately I was out of time and had to drop down. In the mean time the sky was stunning. I met a fork on the Dh trail and should have stayed on the DH but found myself climbing on another trail to make a better loop but had to drop down double track to the pavement since I was not wanting to run late. It was straight forward on the way back, a much longer climb than expected but a good workout for sure. Not a bad way to start the weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Bonus!

Well the storm has come and past, the valley sure did not get much snow, a dusting at my house meant I just might have another shot at riding before next year! By Tuesday I had a feeling I would be riding at some point this week and sure enough my lovely wife asked if I wanted to go out Wednesday and I of course was stoked out of my mind and could not wait. I knew a few trails should be good to go but had no idea what it would be like up top. I stopped by a trailhead and looked down at the trail this morning and saw a lot of ice, luckily the forecast was 60f today and hoped for some melting. Ride time came around and I was going to be getting some daylight in on this ride. Climbing up from the equestrian trail was softer than normal since its very sandy but nothing to turn around for. The plan was to see how Canyon Hollow was doing and I made it there and hit ice pretty quickly. I was so surprised I could pedal up it without losing much traction. Once I passed the Ghost Falls South connector it got to slippery and I turned around and made it to Ghost Falls and rode down a pretty much clear run. I decided to try my luck over on Potato hill and found it a bit soggy and icy but still ridable so I rode on. Then it was back to Canyon Hollow and down Rattler for a solid ride. So happy to be out there riding, should have time for a few more this week lets get cracking until that next storm!

Oh CRap

Well Saturday came and it looked like I had weather window in the morning before my local trails get buried. I headed out in the darkness of 6am with a sore heart to be saying farewell to the season. Others were out getting theirs as well, I was not the only light on the trail that morning. I had two goals for this ride, hit Maple Hollow DH and Ghost Falls for one last fun romp. Heading into the sunrise peaking to get a view into Utah Valley it was absolutely glorious. I stopped and smiled as I looked into the view of Mt. Timpanogos and the clouds above it vibrantly glowing in absolute majesty. I continued on as things went from pink and purple to a lush warm orange. When I hit the top of Maple Hollow I had to say farewell to the great view and put down a run the DH. I did not feel as good rolling down as I did the other week but I still managed to break all my record times set which was surprising. I could really do some damage on a longer travel bike but my tool works ok with 130mm of suspension. Went up Potato hill from there and got my XC on to make way to Ghost. Arriving to ghost I was sure to push hard down the trail as I usually don't on a SS rigid. I rode top to bottom and let off on the lower section and started to feel sad as I was ending my last ride of the season since 3-5" was on the way. I was content with this season, my wife was extremely understanding of my hobby and put up with me for one more season and that's all I could ask for with having to take care of a man child and our child. Boo Yah life is good! Turns out I did some real damage on the Ghost, I was not even pushing all that hard and got 5th overall out of 737! Also 62 overall on upper section out of 2,051 was not bad either. As I rode home the wind kick up and a strong storm rolled in.

Thirsty thursday

A storm is on the way and this looks like it could be my final weekend for riding if things did not go my way.  So there I went off into the sunset on another fulfilling awesome ride at Corner Canyon. Rode another mix of a loop that offered all the gems of the area. Corner Canyon truly is a great ridding spot and only 10 minutes form my house which is incredible! Riding up Clarks I put the plan in motion and rode solid for two hours. I knew that Friday or Saturday I could squeeze another ride so I did not get too emotional on this one but welcomed it as every ride as pure enjoyment, thank you wife!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday was the day

Off on a ride during the daylight, man I am a lucky man. We got snow on Staurday which put 9 inches in the mountains and a coating at my house. Corner Canyon trails looked like they had snow but also looked very ridable. Pedaling up the the shoreline trail I hit snow, politely off the trail I might add. I was on a mission to get a run down the Maple Hollow DH rail. Riding Shoreline the sun was warming my bones but it was still a chilly 34f out at 2pm. Each turn brought frozen trail as I climbed up the mountain. Once I hit Maple Hollow I hit snow, it was just a tiny layer and made climbing just fine. As I got higher I had to put a foot down but made it to the summit with pretty much no problem. Dropping into the DH trail it felt so good, I was kicking myself for not riding it more. Lots of air time and just a really good feeling rip down the trail, I must make it back before the snow comes for at least one more. After that as done it was a ride u Potato hill and snapped a pic of some deer chewing agasint the city back drop. I regret zooming in since the new iPhone 6 made it obvious its not a good zoomer. I felt like I could of rode for hours after that adrenaline run down Maple DH, but I had to get home to my duties. The snow will melt but this week and more is on the way for this weekend, could this be my last week riding I just don't know yet.

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Fridays delight

Set off in daylight while my little boy was having a nap his mom stayed home while I went off to Corner Canyon. While I am not a fan of wearing out a riding spot I find that since it's 10 minutes away it makes the most sense since I am always trying maximize ride time but also not take too long out there. I was off to make my way up to Jacobs ladder. I kept it interesting going up Rattler and over to Canyon Hollow which took much longer than I thought and probably is the slowest way up to the top. From there it's a pretty straightforward pedal up a mix of fire road and single track. I have been up a few times this year but I did not know this was going to be different. I went past the normal entrance to the trail since it down keep going up on a rough steep loose road. I pedaled a bit and then found myself walking the bike and wondering how much of this was going to be worth it. After about 10 minutes I did not see that I was missing anything so I dropped in, turned out my 130mm ate up the rocky terrain pretty well. The bike shop felt it was necessary to let some air out of my shocks since i ride them so full, the added squish was more enjoyable. I guess I have had them filled too high and was really not getting a chance to properly enjoy the travel. Once I got on the standard trail I began to rip, I was feeling real good and felt good pushing the bike real hard. When it came to end it kind of sucked, I wanted much more! I climbed up the road to the summit and went my way down Ann's trail missing a steep rough ride like Jacobs. Maybe this suspension and gears thing is a welcome to a completely different ride unlike a rigid.
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Chilly Night Ride

Ran off after my lovely lady got home from work and I was off for a ride at Corner Canyon. I was awaiting word from a new person I met if they would be riding with me tonight. With an opportunity to ride daylight I had to get out there so I did so. Armed with now with only my FS kona I set off into the sunset. Trying to figure a good loop I got a text notifying me he would join me at 6:30. Took a nice loop up Anns and down Rattler, then I was off to meet Bill. The temperature was dropping and my warm gloves got too sweaty on the way up and were now quite cold, but not cold enough to stop this guy from riding. I have to get used to the riding out here in the cold, there is so much up that any wick of sweat will be felt on the way down. Going back up I had a geared up with a sweater so at least I could keep some heat in, the hands would suffer but as I expected it was a toasty climb up. Bill gained a bit on me as my legs were not use to so much sitting and spinning since I ride gears very little these days. We rode up Canyon Hollow and down Anns to end a good evening ride. It was good to have company in the dark and hope to get a few more in before the scene gets shut down.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The ride that killed my bike

I set off at 5am into the darkness on a very warm Friday morning, it was my 2nd ride of the week and would be my last before the week ended since me and my wife were off on another National Park weekend. Riding into the morning it was only me out there, I was doing a pre ride for when my good friend Brent arrived at 6:30. I rode onto A big loop form shoreline to Canyon Hollow and then down Rush trail. I was taking it real easy and just made my way down as the normal and completed it top to bottom and then began to pedal at the bottom to another trail when I felt something very wrong. The cranks were clunky and had play. I check the cranks and they're erectly fine, I check the wheel and something doesn't feel right. The wheel seems fins so I begin to pedal again and feel horrid under my feet. I stop and take another look around and there it is, cracked down tube. My heart sank, I have just trashed my custom made steel frame. I could not help but feel disappointed but knowing what I put my bikes thru I am the only one to blame. Sure I could have grabbed that Kona Tanuki way more times but the fact was I loved this bike and adore it. I found pavement and made a sketchy fast smooth ride to the car. I would not be riding with Brent unfortunately. My other bike was off duty due to replacing the pads and pads rubbing. I drove home trying to imagine my options with repairing the frame. I contacted the frame builder and he informed me it's toast beyond repair. He will build me another since he knows how nutty passionate I am about his work. But the next will be burlier to stand my abuse. I stripped it down the other night and felt sad, it sounds pathetic but for some reason that bike was very special to me, I am very sad to see it go. So I want a new SS Rigid while the other frame is being built, something I can ride 50% or more of the time so I don't beat on the new Belltown when it comes. I am looking at a specialized Carve and am about to pull the trigger but still hesitant since I would be taking form savings and while I have some money I planned on using for this years ski season. In a bit of a dilemma that is really not a big deal but you know, 1st world problems. I still want a 160mm full suspension and was thinking of financing one this winter but I think I ride more XC and it just will have to wait. Lets see what happens.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Solid 5.10 Impact Lows

I will say it once I will say it again, if you ride flats, if your tough on your gear, even if your just XC guy but want flats, these shoes are bomb! I am happy to say the last four years have been on my Impact Lows. They may feel heavy to someone before they ride them but once rolling you will forget all about that and just enjoy the glorious stiff tacky sole and can worry about other things. If you ride flats, buy these shoes, they are seriously solid! I ride mostly XC and there is not another shoe I would use. I ride a 1,000+ miles a year on these babies and would not have it any other way.

Saturdays Rip

I found myself waking to my alarm at 5:50am and I get up in another act of enthusiasm on my bike. Load up the gear and off in the old rodeo we went, up little cottonwood canyon. About halfway up I started not to feel great, something sucked my enthusiasm for a bike ride right out from under me, maybe I was not meant for this ride. I get to the trailhead to ride on one of Utah's most notorious trails The Wasatch Crest. It's dark outside still but the sun will start to show rays soon and I just don't feel good. I drive home, feeling defeated I pull into the house and find my little one is up early so we had a long morning with him. I started to get that itch in my head like what if I could ride, how could I ride. The boys nap rolls around and I got the ok to go on a ride, it's settled I can salvage a ride after all. Hit the trail feeling pretty strong, real eager, all systems are go and the body and bike are performing. It's 66F out and it feels good, theres a strong wind from the south blowing dust and sand all over the valley I can hardly see it. The rain is near and could be any minute, will it be a lot or just a little? I don't care cause I am having a good time and whatever happens will. Tearing up Ann's I pass one rider after another, up Canyon Hollow and still dry. Over to Eagle Crest where I get a view of the south of the valley and things are busy, the rain sprinkles me just a little. Will I make the end of the ride or will I tuck my tail to the pavement and speed home. Nope I continue it's on, get to the top of Rush,  six just entered, 5 are waiting. They see a dude on a rigid un geared coming in hot they say I better get going so I am not behind him. Damn he got ahead of me, I tear into Rush with two tangos on my back, berm after berm they fade, probably scratching their heads on their more capable rigs. I see another rider in sight and he is riding good so I back off with no one behind me. He pulls over and I narrow in on another group of endure looking fools and they pull off. It's just me, having more fun each turn after the other. Rush is over and I am back climbing to get another killer DH run on another trail. At the top of Ghost Falls, let's see how good I can do. Would I be faster with suspension? Give it 90% and feel like I could give it much more but I beat my time on my suspended bike so I will take it. Down to the car but not really ready for it to end but wanting to get back to my family. A killer ride and one of only so many left this month.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thursday Itch

another ride for this lucky guy, I have been low on time but eager for a different riding location so I made my way to Little Cottonwood Canyon Quarry trail. I have some good memories riding tho trail for sure, but it is not high on the list of a good ride. Don't get me wrong any ride on a bike is so fun, but compared to other options in the valley is probably why I have not rode it yet this year. Riding up there were plenty of bikers on the trail. This is only an out and back trail which takes about an hour so I would plan to ride it 2x. It was a tougher than I remember climb which makes a good workout. Once reaching the top I looked forward to tearing down since I remember really ripping down this trail hard. It was way looser on the ride down than I remember and once again miss having a 160mm bike. Once I was done I made my way back up the trail, I was not overly excited to go back up and I felt like I should have but I did and did so with my headlamp on since darkness fell. A few riders passed me and then it was me all alone climbing and I decided to turn around about 75% of the way up. A good ride and some good memories but it may be another long time before I end up back there.

Tuesday Afternoon

Solid ride on another crazy nice day here in Utah. I put together my new favorite loop and this one is a keeper. It uses the quieter side of Draper and is such a nice climb then after all the xc is done I hit two solid Dh runs of Rush and Ghost Falls. I finished in daylight and just been loving the rides lately before this winter shows up.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zion National Park

I am happy to say that me and my wife got some much needed time for ourselves and with nay options to go escape in the wonderful state of Utah, we found ourselves heading down south Friday morning. Destination was Zion but we stopped in St. George to see some sights and then headed for our Gooseberry bike ride. When we got down off the mesa it was dark and we found our hotel and might I say I was absolutely loving the leisurely time management we were on. After getting shortly settled we were off to the Bit N Spur restaurant down the road and had extremely good meal. Chile Verde with lots of chips and salsa to fill me up proper. It was almost 10pm by the time we were done and the place was a ghost town so we tucked in for the night. The next morning I awoke and anxiously peeked out the window and found towering magnificent cliffs. It was a sight to be seen let me tell you, Zion is a very very special place and if you are reading this do everything you absolutely can to go see it on the off season and enjoy the crap out of it. Had a solid breakfast at the hotel free buffet, I guess I like waffles now. With a full belly we headed out in the car up the road and took a few stops to explore off the road.

 Our first destination was outside of Zion at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. When I arrived I must say it was way cooler than I expected. A pretty big are of dunes and we took our shoes off and played int he sand for an hour.

After some time playing we were back in that car to hit one of two hikes planned for that day. We caught the shuttle going up the Canyon since they don't allow cars, I must admit it was tranquil as the bus rolled up the canyon giving us our history lesson. We got off and started a walk to Emerald Pools.  Since we had most the morning to ourselves we were now in the park with many other people which kind of buzz killed but I was enjoying it none the less. We made it to the lower pool and decided to go to the upper, it was a nice hike but somewhat un impressive. 

Down the way on the canyon shuttle we stopped at the car to have a bite, I was surprised to feel not very ambitious for the last hike for some reason, I was tired. I was fighting a cold since Friday and I was a little worn out I guess. Luckily my sweet lady got me off my butt and we started our walk up the Watchman trail. This was an awesome trail, completely different feel and jus a ton of awesome! It was so good I didn't want it to end. The light became pretty awesome on the way up and Zions true glory was in full view and looking beautiful. We took a bit up on the top once we ran out of trail, it is a moment in my life I will not ever forget, I was so happy to be there with my lovely wife together taking it all in.

I was sad it was our last evening but we had one last great dinner and then headed in the morning .