Lightening on the Trails

Getting stronger
Legs are feelin good
Light dusting of snow on Green Mtn
Scottish Export rolls swell
Falling while track standing
with 100 cars all around

Green Mtn Lazer Show

Green Mountain Lazer show

Green Mountain Lazer Show

How Fast ya wanna go little pup?

Its been a few years since my tires have seen the race scene and the little bug inside has been itchin to get back out for a challenge. Last year I thought about doing a few races but something always came up and even the free race, The Crested Butte Classic was out due to having the flu the week of the race. Its actually a good thing I missed out on Crested Butte. I was dreadfully under prepared with inconsistent riding habits, poor diet, and mentally I wasn't into it.

This past Christmas though, when I saw my bathroom scale top 211 lbs, I knew I had to do something. Sure I could ride just to get into shape, change my eating habits, and go explore some more of Colorado's high country with no goals in mind. Understand I will still go explore more of Colorado's high country this year I just need a few races to shoot for to keep me motivated.

I'm not interested in winning any races, with the competition in the 1st one you may understand why. Heard of Travis Brown anyone? I just want to finish and finish strong for me. I've been disappointed in more then a few of my performances in the past, not just in the race itself but how I felt afterwards.

So it was to the drawing board. I'm not a huge guy but at 6 ft tall and slightly muscular I carry some weight. Best weight I hope for is 180 lbs and I'm already down to 203 since I've started eating better, doing core exercises every other night, and riding at least 5 days a week...usually in four days of an hour and half each and a weekend ride of 3 to 4 hours. This will ramp more once spring hits, I'm currently just trying to build a base of fitness and not burn myself out to early.

So the races I'm considering...

1. The Original Growler..May 30th, Gunnison, CO 64 miles

Registration opened last night at 9pm MST and there are already 225 people signed up for the Original Growler and the Half Growler. The field limit for the both races combined is 300 people so if you want in, you'd be sign up quick. It was here that Travis Brown set the course record of 5 and half hours...just to be clear that's 60 miles of singletrack and 4 miles of pavement at an elevation over 8,000 ft. Check out Jeff Kerkove's Report on the race.

2. Spikefest Como, CO Sometime in kept secret to keep it safe
Ok...not really a race even though its supposed to be a time trial. I don't know maybe the guys will actually want to time trial it this year? We'll see. More of just a great excuse to get together and ride with friends, camp, and drink beer in the middle of the wild. There will be options from 55 miles, 85 miles, and 115 miles. Most of the riding occurs over 10,000 ft and reaches close to 12,000. It was a blast last year and I'm sure it'll be more of the same this year.

3. The Laramie Enduro Laramie,WY July 31st
Wyoming's grand pom ba. The 111k is supposed to be the premier event to hit with a 4 hour drive of Denver, CO. Everyone says you have to try it once and then you'll want to keep coming back. This is assuming I can get registered quick enough because just like the fills up fast.

4. Crested Butte Classic 100 Crested Butte, CO Late September
I've been dreaming about doing this one for years and what all this years training will accumulate to. For some nice pictures and a little race report from last year check here.

There is a few more throughout the year I'm thinking of but I've promised Mrs. Goat that I wouldn't go to overboard. Races like the Firecracker 50, The B68, The Stone Temple, and maybe even a 24 hour race on a 4 man team with PBR and friends.

We'll see, all these races have their allure but for now I'm concentrating on getting back in shape, losing weight, getting faster while trying to maintain being a good husband and father. The last two being the most important.

Back to Pueblo....again

I know the new header doesn't show a wintery Colorado as you'd all expect to see but, it is Colorado in the winter. Just a little more south. Pueblo that is. I had once heard that Pueblo was compared to Fruita and the first time I rode there I scoffed at the idea. The more I ride there though, the more I see that comment as being true. Its dry and dusty trails are mostly the XCish stuff of the flatter sections of the Bookcliffs with a few rollers and short climbs thrown in, while the Canyons are a technical playground of rocks, drops and ladders. Oh yeah, thanks to AV Boy for the header and constant mechanical that allowed so many shots that day. Next time you'll remember that bearing preload on your crank, eh?

Water Tower

Outer Limits

Outer Limits


The Voodoo Connector

Broken Hip

South Shore

2 wheels for the little one and a Falcon Complete

Bragging rights have to come first and foremost.

Ayla Ridin

My oldest girl, Ayla(4 year and a half) has learned to ride a bicycle without the need of training wheels and without the need of daddy's helping hand.

Though Sophie has a two wheeled Glider she still prefers the trike. Time and hieght will help with this one.

Sophie and her tricycle

On to the Falcon...who is now complete

The Falcon

She has been man handled, roughed up

Broken Hip

and proven to be a machine capable.

Broken Hip

For all the detailed high res pics, check out my post on the MTBR 29er Forums.

Falcon Teaser

If you can read this, Locate Head

Please do

Headtube badge

Flaming skull inspired by Donnie Darko?

Paragon Sliders

Paragon Sliders

Hand made by Hugh Black

True Temper Platinum OX handbuilt by Hugh Black

Seat tube badge

Seat tube badge

That is all...till Monday

Fluid Stoppers

The latest addition to the Falcon has arrived. My local REI had them on sale cheaper then just a set of BB7 mechanical calipers and I've been wanting to go back to Hydro brakes for a while.

Avid Elixir R

Besides this means I can build Mrs. Goats bike back up to its former glory since the only thing it was missing was a set of brakes and my old BB7s and Avid Ultimate levers should compliment her bike nicely.

pink n juicy 007

The Falcon will be a mishmash of new and old parts and for now it will be sporting the Niner steel fork that Canyonrat gave me a few months back. My wrists have been bothering me on and off for the past couple of months so I'm trying to decide between Misfit's new Parody carbon fork or another suspension fork.

The Falcon will be on the Alfine Hub which proved to be to much for the Stan's Flow Rim or maybe that was just me as we all know I am in search of the Jeremy Proof rear wheel. It(the Alfine) is currently at the local wheel builder getting laced to a DT Swiss TK 7.1 D. It too, will be converted to tubeless. There is no other way to go.

According to my secret tracking code, the Falcon has made it past customs, cleared Detroit, MI in route for me. Thursday is the delivery date...Thursday night is build night.

Little trouble in the Down Under

This past Saturday Bad Andy and Lubes joined me for a trip down to Pueblo.The Soma must be realizing I'm replacing it as its starting to treat me bad. First off, its cracked. I hate to even admit it but this is the third Juice I've cracked in a year. Soma and the Merry Sales Co have been great about replacing the frames and now we have worked out a deal on a Double Cross instead.
Lets see what else..
I lost my camera...ending up finding it within the confines of Skull Canyon, my front brake went out on my 5 year old Hayes HFX 9's, and I ended up breaking two rear quick releases which made four hours of driving into about an hour and a half or so of riding. I let the fellas go on without me, no sense in killing every ones day. Bad Andy and myself made up for it Sunday morning with a Heathen's FIFO in Lair O the Bear from 5am till 7am and I met the Ameoba Light Guy and friends this morning from 5am till 6:30am for a ride at White Ranch.

I did make up for Thursday night's fiasco by switching the drive train on the Soma over to a 34x22 singlespeed. 45 gear inches is just right for what the Front Range can throw at me.

Pics from Puebl0

Startin the day
Lubes and Andy on the Duke
Bad Andy on the Duke
Andy on the Duke
The bottom of Skull Canyon
Andy and Lubes in Skull Canyon
Hooters at South Shore
South Shore and Hooters
Lubes in Hooters
Lubes in Hooters
Lubes in Hooters
Bad Andy in Hooters
Andy in Hooters
Fuggin Mechanicals!
Fuggin mechanicals

Even Macgyver can do a trailside repair on an Alfine

What can't be fixed without a little duct tape, gum, and a random assortment of tie bands?
Yes sir even the Alfine can if you have a little can do, spunk and hold your tongue in the right spot.
The trails surrounding Golden(seeing as I live closer to Golden then the Megatropolis I should give credit where credit is due) are still the gooey mess from all the slow snow melt in the area and we, the TITS crew still wanted to ride.

Iron Works

The plan was to meet at Ironworks for a few brews then a spin on the bike paths. I made it to Ironworks by bike, I hung with the smallish crew that showed up, I had my brew...a stout of course while the others enjoyed their IPA's.

Tie Banded Alfine

Not even 500 yards into the ride leavin Ironworks my chain drops. My chain has dropped before but in a random series of freak events this time the cable end for my Alfine gets caught in the chain as I'm still trying to churn another revolution from my cranks ripping the cable through the cassette joint, cracking it.

tie banded Alfine

Before I go on, understand the cassette joint is a easily replaceable part on the Alfine. Consider it like a derailleur and the $10-12 bucks for a new one doesn't seem so bad.
There is a bad part though, I don't carry a spare since this is the 1st time the Alfine has ever required a trail side repair from the time when I started riding it in May and my cable was a shredded mess.
Now understand the Alfine was perfectly functional now as a singlespeed and we were riding bike paths. The Alfine however is a Low normal transmission system which means without the cassette joint to put tension on the axle of the hub my singlespeed gearing was the equivalent of a 32x34.

Tie Banded Alfine

In other words I'd be spinning my ass off going no where fast.

I was about to hang my head low and go back to Ironworks for another beer when PBR offered up some tie bands. Between the lot of us, we were able to rig the Alfine to a 32x23 gearing which while still unfavorable for the riding, a little more reasonable.
1/4 mile later though the tie bands start slipping and having no desire to stop the guys I turned around and headed back to Ironworks, this time for the Scottish Ale.Calling it a night I check the hub and tighten the tie bands to give me my 32x23 gearing or as those only familiar with the Alfine will know, yellow line to yellow line.

Spinning my happy ass home I find the a new addition for the yet to arrived Falcon. An Origin8 Pro-Pulsion Headset. Ano Blue, sealed bearings and only 93 grams. For you weight weenies...that's 5 grams less then a Chris King.

Orgin8 Pro Pulsion


First In...First Out

Its 5am, 30 degrees, the trails are frozen and 4 sets of beams cut through the darkness.

Where were you?

Sleepin in like a little girl...thought so.

Thanks to Bad Andy! and the Amoeba Light Guy for setting it up.

Riding with the Coyote and why does it have to taste like an Apple Jolly Rancher?

Colorado straight aways

This past weekend I put in some descent mileage. I was on call on Saturday so I decided to run some additional calls to give me some doe for just being on call since mine is a commission based job where I don't make any doe unless I finish a job. In other words I don't get paid for losing a day to sitting around waiting for my phone to ring.
I made the most of it though. I brought my bike along for a lunch ride excursion which was originally intended for the Highlands Ranch Trails but my last call before lunch had me just down the road from the Stone House Trail in Lakewood.
The Stone House Trail is nothing spectacular though it is pretty and it reminds me sorta of the trails in Eastern North Carolina where I first started mountain biking just 12 short years ago.

Oh on that point, I've also been quit smoking for 12 years too. Yeah me.

Ridin the Stone House Trail

Back to the Stone House trail, which is multiple trails of social networks that surround Bear Creek between Wadsworth Blvd and Bear Creek Lake Park. Its mostly flat with a few swoopy sections and an elevation gain or loss of maybe 30 ft, Total. Its not a favorite around these parts but its great for putting in the miles in the winter especially when you tie it all together with Bear Creek Lake Park. Which is what I did.

Somewhere around 20ish miles of snow pack, snow drifted(Bear Creek Lake Park) trails with maybe a mile of pavement to tie it all together.

So there in the middle of my ride while riding pavement beside a golfcourse that strictly forbids bicyclist or pedestrians from doing anything on their golfcart paths I see a coyote about 25 yards into the golfcourse. For almost a mile this coyote runs following my direction but never intercepting me. I have to admit it gave me that whole "Dances with Wolves" tingling feeling but in reality it was more likely that coyote was just trying to figure out a way to take me down and eat me.

Coyote on the prowl

Sunday the Mad Scientist came over and we took Ayla down to the Stone House to throw down some miles on the bike paths. We got in over 2 and a half hours of riding where at one point Ayla broke down but a quick offer of hot chocolate at the next store we see calmed her down and got us through the rest of our ride with smiles and Ayla with a laughing scream for me to go faster every time the Mad Scientist made a break for it.

Me and Ayla

Later yesterday evening I picked up some Mike's Hard Lemonade Special Edition : Spiced Apple. Sure I was in a fruity mode I reckon as it was beer I was originally intending and beer that should of been purchased. I've never had the pleasure of having hard lemonade and its a good chance I won't after drinking the Spiced Apple which tastes more like a liquefied Apple Jolly Rancher. If I was five this would of been fine but I've grown a wee bit more refined in my tastes as I've aged.

Bike Paths

With a storm a brewing on the horizon bringing temps with the lows of -8 degrees Fahrenheit and more snow tomorrow I decided I needed to get my ride fix in tonight. All the local trails are a gooey mess so it was to the bike paths and the REI in downtown Denver. Maybe next time I'll check out the paths in the daytime as on my trip out to Downtown Denver I got lost once but quickly figured out where I was and on the way home, lets just say the neighborhoods got a little dicey.

The Sanderson Gulch Trail offered this stretch of creepy tunnel

Creepy Tunnel

Then the South Platte dolled out this beast. Yeah, looks like a insane asylum to me. Even has the creepy sky behind it...Scarecrow anyone?

The Creepy Building

Denver and I-25 lit up


Have ya heard of the Broncos?

Invesco Field



The Emperor's Last Nerve

Rumor has it my frame, ie: the Falcon will be shipping from the Kingdom above within the next week or so. Once this has been done I will most likely have a hit put on me as the Emperor has tired of my constant phone calls, bugging, and general interruptions of his life.

What he doesn't know is that even the Fett has been subdued.

In the interest of riding with some sort of alliance with the great Empire I've decided to get my ass back in shape so I can kick Joe Blow's ass but fear not Little Jackalope cause I fear all the training in the world would not be enough for me to hold your wheel.

Hopefully I will be better then the Big Ring, who no longer rides but just seems to like to pose with his ride.

Is this the new look for Mountie's, Big Ring?

and will your partner look like this?

No wonder you quit teaching and went to Canadian Bacon Skool.