6th Stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Sunday the girls and Guacamole and family joined me for watching the start of the 6th and final stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It was a great atmosphere and here's to hoping for many years of the Challenge continuing in Colorado.

Guacamole caught some random Pro getting squeezed and trying to take out Levi.

Some edited video I got

Ayla cheering on "The Man"


Crossing Argentine

Some call me evil. I call myself a Father, Husband, Macgyveriser and an occasional adventurous mountain biker.


Crossing Argentine Pass into Montezuma from Silver Plume, climbing Lenawee to Abasin and finally climbing over Loveland Pass has been a thought of mine for about 3 years now. JJonas has done it for some years and while there have been those that have questioned the route, its not theirs to question. It lies in the mind and bodies of those willing to do it.


But do I question myself at times. Between work and family, time is tight for anything else but I have a good wife and loving children who may not always understand my call to the wild but they let me explore and for that I am always grateful.


I hoodwinked 3 others into my adventure. Guacamole, Joe HomeGrown and Drew from the East. All three know my reputation for taking mortal men(my term for us weekend warriors) and pushing them to their limits. All three have seen me bonk and fight to keep churning the pedals when no power to push them was left in my body.


So in that day, it felt good to be a leader. To take us to 13,200 ft....eyes wide with wonder of the vistas at that elevation and to descend and climb two more times to elevations above treeline and feel strong all day.


Laughing at the middle fingers raised to my salute every time I looked back on Lenawee, I knew I had chosen the perfect crew for such an adventure for the mortal of men.


We may not be gods of the bicycle in your eyes but in that day, we were gods of our own adventure.


Slideshow Here....

We Were Giants That Rode The Sky And Parted The Waters

We found a wall of snow and climbed to its summit



We chased ethereal ghosts of my namesake


and we rode the Divide that separates the waters that flow to the Atlantic and the Pacific







To reach 13,000 + ft, climbing is required. At that elevation, the mortal man can't always sustain, so we hiked



at the top, we admired the views and new bikes...Guacamole's(left) and my(right) new Jet 9's...Thanks Golden Bike Shop


and then we descended...... to 8000 ft or so




another climb to 10,000 + ft


and another 2000 + ft descent




Thanks to PBR, Lubes, Guacamole and Canyonrat for joining me for a day of adventuring in the Mountains....oh and Lubes and myself, finally cleaned the Turn of Doom in Gtown and that which lays beyond.

My New Jet 9

I picked up my Jet 9 frame yesterday afternoon and had it built last night. I had to work today but was able to get out for a short lunch ride and in short, this bike is just fuggin rad! I'll be leading a group of 5 hardy souls to the top of Jones Pass tomorrow for a climb to 13,215 ft followed by a 5000+ ft descent off the Continental Divide.

My new Niner Jet 9

My new Niner Jet 9

Golden Gate State Park

Last weekend Guacamole and I tried to head for the Lenawee Trail to try out his new Jet 9. He was looking for some chunk but mother nature turned us from the High Country with voluminous black clouds that ominously hung over the mtns.


So we took a turn and ended up in Golden Gate State Park to do a big ol loop including Mtn Lion and then a counter clockwise circumnavigation of the entire Park.











A Brace To Keep My Wheel In Place

A few weeks ago I noticed my Phoenix had cracked again. This time on the weld at non driveside chainstay and the paragon slider.

chainstay crack

Reading up on the interweb and talking to a few builder friends led me to believe this was due to the fact that the area had never been braced. So I talked to Chris, a local single speeder bad ass, all around good guy and owner of Podium Cycles about repairing the crack and installing a brace.

Brake Brace

Chris installed a sleeve over the original chainstay and installed a brace between the chainstay and seatstay to hopefully advert this from happening again.

Another issue I've had with my frame is that the wheel has always leaned towards the driveside seatstay even though it was straight between the chainstays.


This difference is almost 3/8's of an inch. Chris put a Campagnolo dropout alignment tool on the rear dropouts and the driveside dropout was approx 3/16 of an inch lower then the non drive side. Chris said this was most likely due to an improperly set frame or possibly a miscut of the prebent seatstays...I believe this is the most likely cause since looking at the bends in the seatstays, they are asymmetrical.

As a temporary fix I took my dremel tool to the driveside dropout and removed the material necessary to allow the wheel to sit straight between the dropouts. A quick test ride tonight at 3 Sisters in Evergreen showed promise that the temporary repair will hold until I can get Chris to look at the frame more closely to determine what has caused this.

Demo'd: 2010 Niner Jet 9

The rented Jet 9

Rented as a demo from the Golden Bike Shop. I knew of the Jet 9 for some years now. 1st hearing of the recall in 2009 and later hearing about the "rise of the Phoenix in 2010. Niner claims the 2010 model is 30 % stiffer then its predecessor and though I never got a chance to throw my leg over the earlier model, I'd say they hit the mark with this bikes rocket ship, sling shot, point it and it'll take you there as fast as your willing to push it attitude.

Golden Bike Shop
recommends running a 120 mm fork to the 90 mm rear end. I was a little hesitant at 1st and on my 1st test ride, Chimney Gulch to Enchanted Forest to Apex, I thought they may be off the mark. The bike handled twitchy and nervous on the climbs and while I felt fast on the descents, I really didn't feel in control. I attribute this to the fact that the bike had a 0 degree rise stem and a flat bar along with skinny Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 Tires on the front and rear.

I got home that night and switched out the front tire for a Panaracer Rampage 2.3 and switched the stem to a 6 degree rise with a riser bar on top of that. That weekend we did my Great Big, Damn'd Vail ride and the resulting ride was astounding. The bike felt overall more comfortable under me and performed to every command I could give as long as my legs and lungs could continue producing the momentum. The result was a bike that climbed and tracked well, though new to me compared to my hardtail was a slightly longer wheel base that made switchbacks a little trickier. The descents is where this setup really shined and I had to reel myself in a few times when it felt that I was going a little to fast for my own comfort.

While I know the Jet 9 was optimized for cross country racing, I see the potential for this machine to be a epic cruiser that could handle a variety of diverse terrain while keeping a rider happy for many miles in the saddle. This can be accomplished through using a 120mm fork, 2.3 or larger front tire and 2.2 or larger rear tires along with a cockpit setup optimized for the individual rider. For this reason, I have Golden Bike Shop holding a frame for me until I can gather enough funds to make it mine.

The Great Big, Damn'd Vail Ride

ok..only 38 miles. Somewhere around 8,000 ft of climbing and just below 11 hours including breaks and lunch.

I've been wanting to ride Two Elks since moving to Colorado three years ago. The only thing that bothered me about it was it was gonna either be a shuttle or a long road/bike path ride to make it a loop. I thought about Resolution Road but I figured if I was gonna be pulling my teeth, I might as well do it on Single Track.

Enter Cougar Ridge. I'm sure it makes a fine downhill but it's a helluva climb. Least I knew it would be and an east coast friend who just arrived in town on Friday showed it could be climbed on a bike. Funny how all of us who were acclimated were the ones walking for at least 80% of it while she just rode away. Did I mention she was a girl? Watch out ladies, she is in town for the Leadville 100 and I have a feeling she might earn herself a belt buckle.

The ultimate route: Vail Pass>Shrine Pass Rd>Bowman's>Top of the World>Two Elks>Minturn>Game Creek>Cougar Ridge>The Grand Traverse>Two Elks Connector>Top of the World>Bowman's>Shrine Pass Road>Vail Pass

Keep in mind this is a lolly pop loop and while we took our time, had lunch in Minturn, and took many breaks....its a loop I'd only recommend to the super adventurous, the super fit, and have the spirit to persevere.

On to the video. Don't worry, I broke it up with pictures, pov, and people riding.

The 1st 15 seconds or so is PBR talking. Some reason the sound didn't transfer well and he is berating yours truly, while climbing a ridable portion for me of Cougar Ridge.

"He did this. That guy. He's the one. His Fault"

Chunky Chunk

I've been missing some good old chunk style riding. big rocks, roots, eroded(did he go there, I believe he did IMBA*) singletrack. I took Guacamole to a favorite gem up in the mountains somewhere between Boulder and Estes Park where the line between Colorado Backcountry and what definitely has a backwoods Appalachian feel, becomes blurred.

Everything in the area from the trails to the ...ummm towns, if you'd call them that, feels like they stepped straight out of the Appalachia's. Rugged defines this country and it'll break you without thinking twice about it.

I figured I'd start our day in Colorado's east coast style riding right. A couple miles on pavement followed by a brief fun descent on rocky singletrack followed by a hike a bike>ride a bike>hike a bike climb.


I followed this up with a dirt road climb to Left Hand Reservoir and a view that said we were still in Colorado


This was followed by entering the Little Raven Trail. A trail of boardwalks over high mountain bogs followed by lots of rock gardens.



This trail brought us back to Brainard Lake and some brief views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness


where just beyond, a bit of rock and roots awaited



And the roar of the South Saint Vrain kept music with our pace



A bit of smooth singletrack intermittently broke the constant pounding


and after getting lost on a bit of, "new to me" trail...we found the way


During the ride I kept getting a creak out the rear of my bike. Thinking it was a wheel I soon discovered it to be a crack in the chainstay. Fugg me, right in the middle of our peak high country season too.

Sanded just to be sure. The horizontal line is the crack.

chainstay crack

* I'm not really meaning to bag on IMBA as I believe they are positive ambassadors of our sport. A root or a rock in the trail is not always a bad thing though and while I love a good ol IMBA style flowy trail as the next mountain biker, I believe there is a limit to excessive trail cleansing.