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.