Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Butte

This has been a busy week but somehow I'm getting everything done that I need to get done. Craig and I leave tomorrow for Crested Butte, it's a part work/part play trip that I think we both need badly. I'm doing the art festival in CB this weekend for the first time but we're taking a couple of days afterwards to ride and we'll be camping the whole time, which is nice and what I prefer but can be difficult when doing a show. Hopefully I'll make some good money at this show but I have my doubts. Mtn. resort towns are pretty conservative and the art buying is not too sophisticated, my work is contemporary sculpture so I limit my potential clientle in these kinda towns, but maybe I'll be happily suprised. It will be nice to get away from the routine of things, away from the pressures and responsibilities of life and slow it down a little. We're leaving the dogs at home with Randy which will be nice, no responsibility of caring for them though I love them all madly.
My BLT is in the shop too. The bearings for the pivot points had to be replaced again!!! What's up with this Santa Cruz? I know I ride a lot but 6 months inbetween replacements? I love the way the bike rides but unless things improve in the VPP linkage for this bike I don't know if I'll ever buy another Santa Cruz. They were supposed to improve things for this year but we'll see how that plays out.
Anyway, I replaced the rear derailliur, some new cabling, tune up for drive train and a new BB as well, whew, that'll cost me but once in awhile it's nice to have someone else do all the work besides Craig (mostly) and myself.
The BLT should be riding nicely out in CB, sweet. I'm also thinking of replacing the fork at some point, going from a 130mm fork to perhaps 150mm fork. More travel, slacker head angle, more my style...
So I won't be posting until next week. I need to add pictures to this thing.
Have fun out there and stay cool.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy Days

Things have been busy lately for me with art shows, one this weekend in Crested Butte, riding, bike mechanicals that need taking care of, working in the studio and my Mom's birthday was yesterday, the first one without her.
I've been getting out to ride here and there, trails behind the house provide an hour or two of uncrowded riding. Yesterday Craig, Jim and I headed up to South Mag and rode up to the nordic trails all on ST, not crossing any private property. We had a lot of fun, the trails were good, a little dusty. Something different as I've been riding north of that area a lot this year, saving on gas and so forth.
I've had some bearing issues with my BLT and I'm having it serviced tomorrow, I don't know if I'll ever buy another Santa Cruz if their bearing issues don't get better. This year's VPP's are supposed to have this creaking issue solved but we'll see with time. It's a real pain to have the bearings wear out so quickly.
We're heading to Crested Butte this Thursday, I have an art show there over the weekend but we plan to take a couple extra days for some riding and some fly fishing for Craig. We'll be camping and I'm so looking forward to getting away from everything.
My Mom's birthday was yesterday, the first since she passed in January. I miss her so damn much, I just wish I could talk to her again sometimes. So yesterday I dedicated my day to her and it was all good, she would want nothing more than for me to get out and live my life fully and happily.
I plan to ride this Wednesday, I'm thinking North Sourdough stuff again, it's close to home and I enjoy the techy sections.
Oh yeah, the big beast is in the shop as well, the Ford 150 needs some work to make here road worthy, but it's costing us. Why does it seem like every other week were dropping serious cash to get something fixed. It's too much.
I'll see ya out there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two Girls, Two Bikes

It was nice to ride last night with just my friend Emma and myself. We headed up to Brainard Lake area and did a shuttle from Camp Dick to Brainard. Rode North, did Wapiti, down to Boy Scout and then Camp Dick (we decided not to ride up the road and down the ST on the other side of the creek, getting late) was nice just the two of us, no guys, no hassles, it was an easy feeling.
Though the trail, which I've ridden quite a few times this year as it's close to home, is as always technical and keeps you on your toes the whole time and requires a lot of strength. I love Wapiti for its burliness. I was pleased with my ridin' and feel like things are strong right now and my technical skills are on. Emma was ridin' great too.
We didn't see another soul except for some hungry mesquitos, otherwise we had the place to ourselves.
When you ride with the boys all the time you forget how nice it is to ride with another girl once and while, women relate in a whole different way and it's quite refreshing.
Anyway..if you have a friend who is a girl and she likes to ride, go ride together, it'll make your day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Ridin' and Daydreaming

Got in some good ridin' this weekend. Saturday was a lovely day, cooler temps were a relief to all. I rode from the house to Gold Hill and then rode trail back to LH and then back up trails to the house, a solid ride with some good ups and some fast and technical downs. Rode alone which was fine, I needed to get out of the house. It has a clearing effect for me. Made a Gluten Free pizza that evening, not so good really but Craig and Randy ate it without complaint, I guess if you put enough cheese on something it's always gonna be eatable.
Sunday was a late afternoon ride with friends on some more off the radar trails, one of my favorites, really fun stuff and not another soul except for one slightly suspicous hiker. We had a great time and the views from the ridgeline on this particular trail are outstanding and you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. I cleared a tough, technical up hill section. I was proud of myself because it's always a 50/50 chance I'll get it, it's nice when that kinda thing happens.
All in all it was good, and my new Specialized Trail shoe/boot is good, not too hot and worked well on the bike as well as in the one hike a bike section. They're a AM/FR/DH shoe. New trend? I think it's too niche to be a trend.
I've been daydreaming about a longer travel bike, but more specifically about a longer travel DH bike. I'd like to check out Sol Vista and Keystone, ride their runs and stunts. It would be a new facet of riding for me as I've always leaned toward All Mountain riding, which means up and down the mountain. But lately my riding skills have taken me to a faster and more technical place and I'd like to explore the DH parks we have here in Colorado, mix it up. I need to hone my jumping skills, they're not bad right now but I need to get comfortable with things that are more than 2 feet in height. Though I really can't afford another bike and in a couple of years I will replace the BLT with something with more travel but it will be an AM/FR bike, as I can have only one bike to do all things. Something along the lines of the Nomad, Intense 6.6, Titus El Guapo, new BLT (?)..we'll see what's out there in a couple of years. For now the BLT serves me well, I enjoy riding it and it does climb great, who would of thought 5.5 inches of travel would become too little, crazy.
Next weekend I have an art show so I won't be ridin', so I'll have to get my fill this week, hopfeully I can make some money. It's always good to take a break once and a while too.
I guess that's all for now..

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Stuff

MMMM, it's always nice to get new bike parts and gear, like a kid on Christmas morning.
Yesterday my parts came in at my favorite LBS and I was happy to get them as things had worn out on me.
I replaced my Cane Creek headset with a smooth as butter on a warm day Chris King headset, the difference is night and day, I don't know how I waited so long.
New Kenda Nevegal tires, still haven't crossed over to Maxxis as I've seen some of my friends side walls blow out on them and they're getting a lot of snake bites as well. The Kenda's have always served me well, so if it's not broke right. So new treads to rail on, yeah!
New WTB Laser V saddle, it took me awhile to find a saddle that worked for me and now I just keep on going with this great saddle, it works for me. The last one I acutally broke crashing on a down hill, it lasted a few years though and it was losing it's stiffness so it needed replaced anyway.
I run just a middle and little chainring up front, with a Gamut bashgaurd so I replaced both of the rings which really needed it, they were ovalizing on me. I went to a 34 middle ring now, so a little more boost going down. Never miss the large chain ring at all, love the bash gaurd!
The bike is looking good and I'll be riding here this evening, she should be handling real well.
I love getting new parts.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Had a nice long weekend with the holiday and rode each day, that was cool.
The rides I did on Friday and Saturday weren't long rides, about an hour or so on each day, but quality rides with good ups and downs, with plenty of technical sections to keep you on your toes. Both rides were with Craig which was nice, we rarely get to ride just the two of us and he's loving that Moment. I now believe that I need more travel than the 5.5 that I have back and front, I'm wanting to go faster and my BLT isn't able to stay stable with my progression. But I have to wait a while, save some $$$.
Sunday though was the long 4 hour ride that I was looking forward to. My friend Emma is back from holiday and I must admit it was good to have another female on the ride. The other three riders were Craig, Eddie and Baird. We put in above Ward and rode a lot of "secret" single track, we saw only one other rider and met the guy building trails up there on his dirtbike. We politely suggested a few more switchbacks in the hill climbs, he understood.
There was a nice rain off and on all day while riding, it felt like the NW to me. We ended up in a drainage, and had to ride through some shallow streams, many wet rocks to challange our climbing skills. We found even some more new trails in this drainage and couldn't ride them to their ends because of time constraints, we'll be back...
I was feeling pretty good all day, climbing and descending with confidence and strength. It was the last mile of downhill that almost did me in though, I hooked a low tree limb with my right arm, which stopped me dead in my tracks, the bike lurched to the left as my arm stayed in place held by the branch. I can't beleive I didn't go flying down the hill to my side with my bike, but I kinda just came to a very abrupt stop. My upper right arm looks pretty scratched up and bruised, my elbow pads didn't help me out on this one. Eddie had nailed this same branch a few years ago and it sent him flying down the hillside, I won't forget this branch, though we don't ride this lonely little trail in this drainage too often.
It's amazing how much trail is in BC that is off the radar, it's very cool to be out there and see noone else and have epic trail to ride so close to home.
The bikes were a dirty site after that ride, with all the water and muck and mud a long the way.
It was all so worth while, that type of riding is so much more fun than any kinda racing there is out there. Just being out with friends, riding hard, exploring, it's really good stuff. And it doesn't have a entry fee or hundreds of other folks to get around and away from.
There's plenty of time for that in the fall/winter/early spring when you have to ride the public trails lower down.
We'll see what this week has to offer.
Hopefully my chest will loosen up and I'll have some new tires to rail on, yeah!
Till then, park and ride!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Wednesday night ride yesterday was good to start out. Feeling ready to go and excited. Headed up Ward St. in Jamestown to ride singletrack 1800' higher up. The first part of the climb is solid and a good warm up. However the stream that runs next to Ward St. was raging and the one section of trail where the stream breaks bank and runs down the trail was pretty flooded, too flooded to ride as the water really had a current to it. So I managed to soak my feet pretty good on that section as well as on the stream crossing further up. The water in the stream crossing was up to my knees and the stream current was pretty strong here too so I had to be careful of my footing, but it was a successful crossing. The others I was with portaged across a single log that is perched about 3 or 4 feet above the stream, I didn't feel comfortable with that high wire act.
The second part of the climb was hard, it's always hard and steep but we made it and took a rest at the top.
The rest of the ride was good, however I bonked at about the 3/4 mark, no amount of food seemed to help and I just needed to get going and it was getting dark too and I didn't want to be feeling my way out in the dark, I don't see very well in the dark either, go figure, nor did I want to get home way late. The other folks I was riding with seemed to think they had plenty of daylight left and were feeling fresher than myself so they decided to keep going, we parted ways and I headed back on my own. Things were going fine, making some ground and it felt good to be heading down, it was nice to be by myself too, sometimes the added pressure of a group ride isn't what I need. Anyway, about halfway down I flatted and I had used my last tube earlier in the day and I was without patches, DUH! So there I was hiking my bike back down to Jamestown wishing I was riding instead. I made it back to the truck with some daylight left but I never did see my fellow riders that I parted ways with, even walking my bike, I beat them back to the trucks.
It's not always what you think it's going to be I suppose, I felt tired when I got home and hungry. I need a rest I think before the long holiday weekend.
Tonight I pick up a bunch of bike parts that I ordered from my LBS. Some new badly needed tires and a replacement for my broken saddle, yeah, I can give Craig his old saddle back. It's always like Christmas when you get new parts for the bike, much needed as I seem to go thru and wear things out really quick these days.
Until next time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Packed Weekend

We did a lot of riding this weekend, long rides both days.
Saturday Craig, Jim and I rode 99% trail from Ward/Gold Lake area all the way home, which is above Left Hand. We ride this area a lot and usually find nothing new but we managed to discover some more sweet ST that has been created in the last year. Now this ST is created by Moto's, more about that in a bit. It was fun riding with a wicked tough downhill at the end but nothing the LT couldn't manage. Craig's enjoying his Moment a lot as well but managed to take a digger that left one of his pinkies pretty beat up as well as his side. He's doing OK though. We didn't see another person that whole day while out riding, how great is that, except near the end there were two friendly MTB riders kinda lost, so we got them on track. They wanted to know if there were more trails in the area. I could only smile, say yes there are but you have to explore, look for them, put in the miles. I'm not going to give it away, sorry.
Sunday was a great group ride in Ned. on the West. Mag trails. We know of some trails that are more off the radar south and west of the main area. We saw more riders this day but not too bad really. Great weather too. We also saw some Moto's a long the way but they were all polite and courteous to everyone. Not like the one women on her MTB we ran into who was raging against the Moto's like it was her mission in life to damn them all to hell. Now how does that help anything? As we passed her she told each one of us to make them stop, tell them to stop riding their dirt bikes on the trail. Now we weren't in the normal no-moto riding area so I don't know if this trail was no-moto or not, but it didn't matter, they were there and she was going off on them and it wasn't working. Do you really expect people to listen and respect what you're saying when you're acting like an idiot? Of course the Moto's just twisted the throttle so they couldn't hear her. Crazy. And of course we do have the Moto's to thank for creating most of those trails anyway. Now I don't like to see trails damaged and Moto's can really rip things up over time, but if we all just use some commen sense we can all be out there together, don't you think?
Over all it was great riding this weekend. I was tired and pleased on Sunday evening.
I'm planning a ride this Wednesday afternoon, if you're interested you know how to find me.