Monday, February 23, 2015

Saturday DH runs

        It was off for an early morning ride that started on a chilly morning but nothing I could not handle. The plan was ambitious for a climb up Jacobs Ladder and then a run down Maple Hollow Downhill trail. Climbing up Clarks was pretty bland and reaching the summit there began the hint of blue sky that the sun would was slowly rising. Climbing the road was going good and legs were strong as I noticed a few lights behind me growing closer. As I reached the top they closed in on me and went by in their cute matching uniforms, honestly I find cross country racers and their uniforms distasteful, one for being a grown man in a leotard, and two for being into biking for the wrong reasons. I let those weeners go by as I took in the scene and the moment and then dropped into a good run. Then began my way out to Eagle Crest and then dropped down Maple Hollow and as usual wish I had a larger travel bike. Got down in one piece and took the road to bypass more climbing and time I did not have. I am shocked to see my loops was only 15 miles and short on altitude, I think strava robbed me somewhere.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thursday night Double

       Well it was another warm satisfying night and what better to do than put the boy down to sleep and head out on some wheels and into the night. Heading to the garage I got the bike off the hook and and set her down upright and bam tire is flat and that awful feeling of rim on the handlebars. Knowing just what to do I ran my finger through the tire to look for a pokey and no findy so I grabbed a new tube for now and threw it in and off I went. Climbing up the canyon I was going to repeat a previous ride someone did that day that looked good on strava. So I was cranking hard up Clarks and feeling really good and then the front  end felt fishy, oh pedal on and maybe it was a soft spot. Ok it definitely does not feel right, I stop and feel the tire and it's going soft, grrrrrrrr. Position my headlamp so I can patch the tube and get my stuff out of the pack in light was tough, I was frustrated with having to do this now but to be honest I have had a good run since my last mechanical. I set the patch up and wonder how these things ever work, I had one extra patch and a little glue and hoped the first would hold. I took an extensive look into the tire and found a pokey on the exterior of the tire that must have just barely poked through enough to miss my interior search. Ok pump it up and see if she holds, as I climbed with fingers crossed I did not seem to be losing any air, yessss!
       Still very nervous but ambitious I decided at the top to head for eagle crest. A smooth event over to there through a little tiny bit of road sludge and I was off on a delightful cruise around the houses and headed for maple hollow downhill. I forgot just how awesome heading down that trail is, dark made it interesting and fun and it was over too soon as I hit anns trail. From then I realized I was not going to be getting a potato hill loop with my loss in time and that was fine cause I had plenty of ride left. Took anns all the way back to the summit and dropped down ghost falls and then down rattler. Oh by the way did I mention I was riding gloveless? It was 50 degrees at 10pm and I was in shorts and jersey. I was relived to get to the car without any more tire leaks, what a night!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Herriman Trails

      Landon was off to his Sensory Class for two hours as usual and I armed myself with the bike to ride the nearby trails. The trails are straight forward so luckily I don't get sketchy with my time management and I get a good 90 minutes to ride. It was yet another beautiful day full or warmth and surrounded by incredible mountains. I stuck to my guns and ran the same way until I came to the juniper crest and rode it clockwise to mix it up. I find these trails pretty bland, since it's completely naked and low on fun factor but it certainly gets the job done and that's fine by me!

Utah Valley Monday

     Wanted a change of scenery and found myself heading south at 5:30am on a groggy morning eager for a ride I have not done in awhile and add in some new trail to me trail. I parked the car in Lindon at a trailhead and found what I needed and began climbing pretty good, I expected it more mellow but for some reason but it was nothing too bad. There were plenty of trails branching off that I had no clue where they went so I kept on the shoreline trail and my maps I saved on my phone. It might be weak to be using a map and less adventurous but trust me maps don't always put you on the right track. I ended up riding some trail I have already ridden but since it was pitch black I did not know it. Once I made it to Dry Canyon Trailhead I knew this trail very well. I've always enjoyed the shoreline section down to Provo Canyon, but that long dirt road following is never very exciting. I had plenty of climbing ahead of me and was not looking forward to it, the climb up to the altar is brutal, it was nice when I was riding it on the regular cause it kept me in climbing shape, but corner canyon has made me soft as I knew it would. Had to step off the bike a few times and frustrated I took it in stride. After making the Altar I was trhilled and made the push to the saddle where I found snow. Luckily I did not have to come in contact with it really and didn't affect my ride. One last push of the bike and I was at the Lament Dh, I love that run! From then on it was straight forward in the crops and a fast ride to the car and missed a piece of trail but other than that it was a great success!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday Morning

After a terrible night of sleep Friday night I still awoke and rose form the 5am alarm and limped my way to the car and off I went for a early morning run to Shoreline trail for a bobsled run. Have been looking for a change of scenery so I found myself climbing up a familiar trail I have not rode in a few months. I though I would get light earlier but it was dark all the way to Bobsled where it made for a different experience but still good none the less. I wanted to throw another loop onto it but knowing it was valentines day the sooner I got home I think the better. Legs are feeling good looks like this year is starting off with some good miles and can't wait to get access to the high terrain!

Thursday Night

       My ambition was diminished but none the less when the kiddo went to bed I went out for a night ride, knowing upper mountain was open had me excited as I was climbing Canyon Hollow for a nice change. It was a cooler night and a few others were out and I found myself at the summit and made my way to ghost for a thrilling descent and then not feeling like Potato hill I went north on shoreline and back for a pretty good short ride and found my glass full after an hour of riding.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Herriman Trail System

        So I have not been that adventurous due to the fact that time is tight, most my rides are in the dark while your sleeping cause there is just not enough time to do all the big manchild things that I make in my head. But with a new schedule I find myself brining my son to Pre School twice a week of two hours for his Autism specific Sensory class. So I knew since I am not in west valley for two hours that the Herriman trails were close, after recon I got a idea of the trail system and would set the plan to Tuesday morning.
       After dropping off Landon I felt a little guilty but I had two hours to do as I please and that needs to be embraced. So to the trails I went and after my phone guided me to the trailhead I found a line of cars and would be sharing it surprisingly with runners. Heading off there was a confusion of trails but I navigated my way into a climb up the fire break trail. The trail was pretty fresh, I think they were cut a year ago and were a little chunky but great none the less. There is no vegatation over here, you can see every switchback and climb which is slightly punishing but straight forward. After I was done climbing the firebreak it ends there and you can drop down into the gully and climb back to a paved road so that's exactly what I did. Hitting the pavement I made my way to the lake where the second trail called black ridge I would session. I was loving the new views to the East of the Wasatch, was pretty surprised to see how detailed and different it was from that point of view. As I reached the top I reached a rocky ridge reminding me of a picture I have seen of a foreign planet. I had two options, make a go down the other side and take neighborhood back, or ride back down what I did and still take neighborhood back. I chose to ride down the other side so I would have rode more new trail. Straight forward ride down that was over quick, the trail carried pretty good flow and so far was pretty good. A chug through the neighborhood on pavement reminded me of how bad my rear wheel was hopping. Went by the car and entered the trail system again and now went onto a Juniper Crest Loop. Another funky loop but nice and different and fast as I headed to the car and running out of time. I was pretty happy with the ride, I am glad to see more cities building trails for their people, Corner Canyon has been a perfect model for others and look forward to more building in the Salt Lake Valley for meeeee!

Monday Mash Up

       Still warm and still got a working bike so this guy charged up the light and set off for a good way to start the week with a night ride. As I was driving I was thinking of maybe a way I can mix up starting point so I parked at a different trailhead that would have a bland start but exciting downhill. Cranking up the dirt road I did not even need my light, I saw no moon with cloudy skies but somehow the trail was illuminated as I headed towards corner canyon. The idea was to see how Ann's was going with the warm up, so up potato hill I went and through the tunnel and found great trail conditions all the way to the top. Flipping the shock on for the downhill was exciting as I shredded down into the city lights on a warm February night.  I backed off the steam since the bike was still limping with two broken spokes and had a bit of a hobble. Once I reached Mike Weir Drive I did the unusual which was dipping into the golf course on the Shoreline Trail which I usually bypass. Confused as what to do with Canyon Hollow with time in all I made a climb to Rattler in a different way and then had a good rip down Rattler and a quick climb up to Orson Smith trail and a good ride down to the car. Fast rid for sure and plenty of steam in the tank but two hours was a good Monday night dose.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Friday warm up

       Who would have though it could get any warmer right, well it did hit 68F in my car was we were coming back from a trip to Wyoming to buy Powerball tickets. It was a long way to go just for lottery but it's what LuAnn wanted to do so all three of us had a beautiful drive along the countryside. On our way back my lovely lady informed me I could go on a ride and I took her right up on that! I was nervous about limping on a wheel with two less spokes but eager to ride I would brave the risk. Decided to try my luck over on Ann's and so I headed out and hit a piece of shoreline I always bypass and found it pleasant and I guess time to put back in when I head over that way. Going up Ann's was incredible, so dry and so warm and toasty and best of all so good to be out riding the bike. I have done a lot of night rides lately and it was nice to be in daylight I must say. Once I reached the Oak hollow trailhead I found snow and some slick spots but very very little and then it was back to dry to Potato Hill. I was not planning on continuing anns but saw a rider go for it so I did the same. Then a run down Rush and headed for the car and a big old smile was put on my face!

Big boy

So I bought my kiddo his first bike some time ago, it was eager I know to expose it to him at two years old but hey I am a bike nut so whats a guy to do. It turned out to be too early and frustrated him a lot, but now some months have passed and the other day he took it out of the garage and wanted to use it and off he went in the yard. I was so happy to see him using it properly and look so forward to him once he can really ride it, I was a pretty proud papa to see him back on his Strider Bike!

Corner Canyon Nighty Ridey

      Lucky me snuck out on a warm evening ride Wednesday night and what a delight in shorts and t shirt. I was looking to see what else might be ridable since I have kind of wore out rattler and shoreline so I chugged up and made a run for potato hill and pop went a spoke and then another, two snapped while climbing, thanks Shimano blade spokes you suck! I was pleasantly surprised to find outstanding conditions and made a nice loop around potato hill. Somewhere around the top I ran into a victim, likely a Mountain Lion or coyote but all that was left was a leg in the middle of the trail. A creepy reminder of the critters that lurk in the distance, but I find it hard to believe they would bother anyone with 1800 lumens on their head. Once Potato hill was conquered it was off to see how Canyon Hollow was looking and it got sloppy after a little bit so I detoured to Ghost Falls and had a tough climp up the the falls but earned. Then I shredded hard down Rattler and found myself ranked 9th out of 1,019 and that was in the dark, impressed myself for sure. The over to the Quail trail and a spin down to the car. Solid ride and look forward to more opening up.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Laid Out

Mr Mike Levy could not have put it better! Forgetting about all the new gear - Given that a big part of my job is to ride and write about the latest (and possibly the greatest, but not always) mountain bike gear out there, this is one that I often bomb at. I love anything that allows us to go further or faster, don't get me wrong, but the truth is that I'm always a bit jealous of the guys out there who pull a seven year-old bike out of the back of their car and then proceed to not only push my shit in both up and down the hill, but also be completely oblivious to whatever bike I'm on that hasn't even been released it. This guy has no idea that I've got the latest super-wide carbon rims, or that 27.5'' is even a thing. He does know that the dropper post that he spent $500 on failed after only a few rides so he gave up on that junk, but not that single-ring drivetrains work anywhere besides on a downhill bike. Despite the fact that I may feel something move in my pants when I see a new carbon wonder-bike for the first time, I am truly jealous of this guy. To simply not care, and therefore to never need a gear-related excuse or have that consumer-driven desire to have the newest kit, is a thing of beauty, and he's a dude that is truly in it for the love of the game. He's also way ahead of me on the trail, which makes me feel a bit stupid as I'm breathing through my eyeballs trying to keep up with him on my 25lb, carbon fiber bike with six inches of travel and 27.5'' wheels.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Eagle of monday

As usual I found myself waking to a 5am alarm for a piece of morning ride bliss. I heard Eagle Mountain was dry and I was looking to mix it up since corner canyon is getting old. I have been to eagle mountain bike park just once before and found it petty cool, it's a small area of riding but lots of jumps and wood features. I guess there were so many other rides I was thinking about this summer that I had not ventured out west but was glad I did. Drive time was 45 minutes which was doable and found my way over to the trailhead by way pf phone gps. Getting out I climbed up a path and passed all the fun dirt jumps, slope style course and pump track in hopes of hitting it on the way back. Began to gain some elevation on a steep road going up the hill. Once I crested the mini 500ft mountain I rode a "ridge line" and began to search for the trail known as Flintstone. It was killing me trying to navigate the roads and starve looking for my trail but I did find it. Dropping in I really could have used a bigger tool for the trail but 130mm got me down just fine. I had to bypass quite a few hits due to rock garden landings. Coming to the end I was pretty unimpressed by the trail and was looking forward to the bike park end of things. I found the next trail named the farm, was pretty bland seeing how a moto tore it off and soft and slow going but still a good ride. Then it was off for a hunt for a trail named the shooting gallery, despite two attempts to locate the trail I failed and ended up with a bike on my back hiking up a steep loose mountain due to my lack of recon. Felt more like an adventure hiking up a steep hillside looking for a trial but I found the dirt road and would make my way back to the bike park. Took something from to top and hit a bunch of man made obstacles and had a good ride down. I did not have enough time to hit the slope style course but look forward to it next visit. Pretty wimpy 10 mile ride but did the trick.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thursday Night Heat

      Thursday night, this would be my last chance of getting out on the bike since just me and my wife were heading out of town to a cabin in Idaho. My Mother in law was over around 5pm that night so she could watch our little one, with the luxury of mom and daughter in the hands of my boy I was rendered not much help so I ran out into the night for a ride. I was absolutely thrilled I was going to be riding, it was warm like 40F something and I was in shorts at 7pm. The mission was going to see if I could find something new to ride, I know of two dirt roads that run along the benches but never set rubber down on them. So I did a standard loop up rattler and down and then back up and a run down. The next mission was to ride shoreline to the Orson Smith trail head and tear down that sucker to one of the dirt roads. That ride down was a lot more fun than I expected, pretty sandy too that made hairpins interesting. Hitting the road I had a fork, the high road or the low road, I chose high and began climbing. The road was obviously a bit dull but it was a beautiful clear night and all of Salt Lake was sparkling. I spotted some singletrack off to my right but had to ignore it since it likely ran into the neighborhood by the look of it. But after spotting another singletrack that I have never rode this one looked promising so I took it. Had the name of Quail and it was short but nice, I can't believe I found a trail I have not ridden! The trail ended pretty far down and finally answered my question as to where does that go when I have passed by. On the last stretch to the car I am not going to lie I threw my hands up and yelled a good weeeeeeeee in childish excitement of the good ride! Forecast is outstanding and more rides to come!