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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In Search Of The Holy Grail

"Happy Camper" Mike was a little too excited to start the day's adventure, Crested Butte's 403 to the 401. I think my male viewers just logged off...

I felt like my Mom on a family vacation, taking pictures every five minutes, but with views like this it was hard to pass up. Someone pinch me please....

It is amazing the places a two-wheeled, human powered vechile can take you. The skys the limit so get out there and explore.

I am at another loss for words so I will let the pictures do the talking. I think the holy grail is just around the corner.

Ross is jumping on the "another loss for words" train and will let you make the call. Crested Butte, hands down is the holy grail of mountain biking. I realized this past weekend how lucky we are to have such a tight group of friends, united by the love for all things with two wheels. Much respect to each and everyone of you.... until next time, best of rides.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rhythm's From The High Country

You know you are a true cyclist when the bikes on your roof are worth more than your car. Trek Travel sets the standard in trailside comforts with killer trails and gourmet trail side food.... Thanks Zap for stuffing this starving professional athlete full of calories throughout this past week.

I waved goodbye to the scorching 100 degree heat of the desert and headed to the high country to one of the most spectacular places in the US, Crested Butte.

If you are contemplating a destination for an epic summer vacation, search no longer. The Butte offers endless miles of breathtaking singletrack and views that are worth writing home about.... You can email me for my address so you can send a thank you card when you return. This one is free but I may have to charge for the next one.

Trail recommendation, The 403 to the 401.... sick!

In other news, Trek/VW has ventured into the world of Xterra. Look for Brian and Jenny Smith'’s smiling faces at an event near you....They should look something like this.

It's a flex off.... Shonny V. is one woman you wouldn't want to challenge to an arm wrestling match. Speaking of arm wrestling.... Ross challenged Christoph Saucer to a match in the bar after Mt. Snow and he respectfully declined....

For every 40 pictures I take, there is one that really stands out in my eyes. The raw grit, emotion and talent capured here is motivation for any athlete. At 50 something Ned Overend has surpassed the definition of "legend" and has moved into a league of his own.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Curtain Is Rising..... Just Like The Ante

The "who's who" in world of mountain bike media have flown in from around the globe to Fruita, Colorado for Trek's "Ultimate Ride" media camp.

It's not only their chance to get a hands on taste of Trek's new and improved '07 line of high-end trail bikes but it is also their chance to talk with the folks that are directly responsible.... Brilliant.

With countless miles behind him, Travis Brown has earned what could arguably be the world's greatest job, a professional product tester. If I hang around long enough.... I figure he has to retire sometime.

Velo New's Tech writer, Matt "Paco" Pacocha, attempts to seek some refuge from the desert's relentless heat. Speaking of dream jobs, Matt gets to fly out to Japan on Sunday to check out Shimano's new XTR kits. Sushi and bikes.... Does it get any better?

Well.... Maybe a little better!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

These Winds Of Circumstance

..... Keep blowing me around. It's a doggy dog world in a sport where you are only as fast as your last race. My legs have finally caught up with my ambition and I am still picking up the pieces from their catastrophic explotion yesterday.

Vermont is not the place you want to have a bad day.... It is as unforgiving and raw as the DMV. I feel like I am singing Sager's song from last weekend. It seems to be pretty universal, tis' the time of year when the miles on the bike, as well as the miles on the road are starting to add up. Time for me to go home and hit the mid-season reset button.

Trek/VW has had some bad luck these past couple seasons at Mt. Snow. Last year Jeremiah broke his back and this year Lea "So Pro" Davison took a digger that left her with a pretty narly dislocated elbow. Word is she's keeping things positive (as usual) and will be back at it after some R&R. We've got your back Lea and wishing you a speedy recovery!

Borkowski's tech tip of the day: If you are looking for an inexpensive chain tensioner for your singlespeed, consider Bork's ingenious method. Use an old front chain ring (32 T shown here). It will move at the same rate as the rest of the system and the tension can be customized by where the ring is placed. It works?!?!

Friday, June 16, 2006

With Two Feet On The Ground

Ahh to be a kid again and lack the primitive fear of injury. This kid couldn't have had his training wheels off for more than a couple days and he already has the no-footer down pat. In a single moment this kid caught more air than I will all weekend.

Ross is showing us once again that his blood line somehow intercects with Chuck Norris. Apparently he doesn't sleep either.... he waits with one eye open. (not to mention drools) My friends hate that I have camera and know how to use it. I call this one, "Ode to road trips".

It's that time of the season.... the legs are starting to feel the residual effects of each weekend's efforts. Tomorrow is going to be another 12 rounds of pain, only this time in the hills of Mt. Snow Vermont. In an effort to stray from my normal style, (go as hard as I can till I pop and then do damage control), I think I might take a lesson from Ned and start it out slowly and gradually turn the screws..... let's see what happens?!?

I leave you with this picture worth a thousand words.....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Will Ride For Food

I once heard someone say that, "My favorite trail is the one I haven't ridden yet" .... and I believe every word. Me and my suitcase are currently in Harrisonburg, VA, home of Trek/VW pros Jeremiah Bishop and Sue Haywood.

I love scoping out the lifestyles and playgrounds of other professional cyclists, same daily routine.... Different trails.

No matter how much we moan about the lack of exposure and respect the American mountain bike scene is getting, we can't complain about the view from our office.

Instead of huddling around the office's coffee pot.... We kick it around the office's watering hole.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Stumbling Around The East Coast

The view from the trenches looks a little something like this.... eating the dust of two olympians. I actually black out completely from the moment they say "go" to the moment I hit the first corner. It would be impossible for me to fully express the pain of a pro short track in words but it would be like slowly giving birth to a catus..... with a heart rate around 200. You know what I haven't had in a while....big league chew!?!

Have you hugged your mechanic today? If it wasn't for Steve Borkowski I would be clapped out and sitting on the sidelines, cheering the rest of the pro field on. These guys behind the stands work non-stop all weekend for a bunch of skinny, high maintence bike geeks. Your patience and attention to detail is much appreciated Bork..... someone buy this guy a beer.

The downhillers seem to have things figured out.... shuttle runs, beer, big suspension, hot girlfriends and they don't have to shop at whole foods. In an effort to see how the "other side" lives, we saddled up and jumped into the back of the big rig for a free trip to the top of the mountain.... this pedaling stuff is over rated.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Dirt Tastes The Same

There is mystery in the hussle and bussle that surrounds an airport. Everyone with their own story, their own agenda, their own history. What is amazing is that you can roll through two international airports and maybe talk with two people total....Are we anti-social or just scared of the world.... Or both.

After a near perfect weekend in Vail, (besides my race mechanical) we have descended upon North Carolina for round two of the NORBA National Series. Blending in with the locals is critical to our safety when traveling to these remote parts of the states and no one does it better than Rad Ross.

After witnessing the energy surrounding The Teva Mountain Games, I am a little apprehensive towards the whole NORBA production (bike racers watching bike racers).

It doesn't take a marketing major to notice that something needs to happen in the mountain bike industry, at least on the racing level, if we every want to gain respect as a professional sport. Or maybe it is the outdoor history as a whole. Regardless, the folks behind TMG are on the right track by bringing together a variety of adventure sports to feed off one another's unique energy. (It must be working because I just spent the last two hours on a plane reading Climbing Magazine.... And I am afraid of heights!)

Time to step it up ya'’ll.

Speaking of local's, "The Naked Guy" is not only a well known icon on the NORBA circuit but also a die hard Trek fan... Wondering why is he referred to as "The Naked Guy"..... well you will have to ask him yourself, kids read this site! Thankfully he is fully clothed right now.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Like A River Flows

As a Teva Mountain Games reporter.... I have failed miserably. Thanks to all my readers who have sent email threats reminding me they need more content to occupy their time at work.

It doesn't help that I left my camera docking station at the hotel in Vail. So until the hotel ships it out, I will be pirating photos off others to keep ya'll entertained. Hope we can still be friends....

Not only does the TMG (Teva Mountain Games) have the largest cash purse of any event we attend all year, but it brings together athletes of every discipline, from fly fishing to kayaking. Everyone is feeding off one another's energy and the whole scene is off the hook.... word on the street is the TMG may turn into a series. If this holds true I think the dominating days of NORBA are fleeting and a new "festival" style movement will take helm .

BTW, I have to give props to one of the most hardcore and talented circle of athletes out there, Young Gun Productions... Check out their new Video, Dynasty. Whether your a cyclist or sunday hiker, these kids will amp you up.