Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 is almost in the books...

The year of the road trip for sure.  Tuscon, Sedona, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Ellicotville, Mont Ste Anne, Ontarieriroooo and a few more spots in-between.

New bike ( enter Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 )  The Castellano Silk ti 29 is still going super strong as the go to steed.  Back on the road and cross bikes pretty steadily.  The retro revival was great, and a few people have some pretty cool winter projects on the go.  Ride for Karen got a new base camp.  Life is Good.

Not sure where 2015 is going to point to but Utah, North Carolina and British Columbia are on the planning list for sure.

B.C. has been loooong overdue and all the great riding articles and outfitters are stoking the trail fire big time.

Whatever you ride and wherever you do it be safe have fun and stop and take it all in.  Life is short the trails are long.  Go Explore.

I enjoy hearing from followers of this blog so please keep sending me your notes.  The Inter Web is a big place but the riding community is small and once you share the love of two wheels distance is a formality.  All the best.....

Heading back to Canada from AZ - 3000 km to go.

Merry Christmas & Seasons Greetings

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Road Bike Party Take 3...

Presented by Martyn Ashton and starring Sam Pilgrim.  PINKBIKE did a really cool back story on the behind the scenes making of the video and director. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cold Winter Miles...

It's never too cold for taking the road bike through the skate park

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Copeland Forest October Colours...

Got a break in the weather and cold temps this past long weekend so we ventured up to Copeland to get some non retro rides in on a couple of ti soft tail's ( Silk ti 29 & Moots Ybb )

Copeland is a pretty tough spot to ride both in route finding and elevation gains and when you add the leaf carpet plus a GoPro you are inviting that highlight reel crash.  We never got to test this formula out but a few wheel stoppers made you pay attention.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Bikes of the Retro Revival

Derek took some good bike pics pre ride.  Carbon & Ti 29'ers not pictured :)

Retro Revival Pics..

First Annual Kris & Phil's Retro Revival Ride - Durham Forest

Bill's IBIS, Phil's Rocky, Kris's Klein, Paul's Trek, Derek's Kona

Kris and I have been floating this idea around for a while and the ride finally took place this past Sunday at Durham Forest. 

It was 8 degrees when we rolled out at 9:30 ish but the trail conditions were mint. 

We have lots of ideas and venues for future rides ( think Mono Center, Seaton, Mansfield etc. ).  We had a mix of old and new rides and all ages and levels out and everyone had a blast. 

We did 2 loops so everyone had as much as they wanted.  No major mechanical issues even though I kept expecting the air upgrade kit in my Judy XC to project upwards at 180 psi :)  Paul's Trek put the rake in RAKE.  Good Times !!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rinascita Di Una Leggenda...

What a difference a few part swaps make on a classic bike like the Colnago Master X Light.  This frame has been with me for a while and I finally retired the Ambrosia rims and the Durrachi crank set ( sacrilege I know )  Enter Mavic Kysrium SLR, Campagnolo Record 11 speed cranks, Pinarello Most Bar / Stem combo, Pro Evo Stealth Seatpost,  Flite Ti Saddle, Look S-Track MTB pedals and the 61 cm bike weighs in at 17.6 lbs as pictured.  Not bad for a steel frame and 1/2 carbon Colnago fork.

 I wish I had a chance to throw all of this on pre Ride For Karen but never had the time.  The last few long road rides have been great with more to come.  I am glad I kept it and I have a few more part swaps to make but I am 2/3rds done.

Jury is still out on the Mavic Tires and their longevity.  Stay tuned.

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Ride For Karen

Getting fired up for the start of the ride rollout.  Perfect day and it was great to see some familiar faces that come out to support this great ride.

Ride For Karen's New Dig's

The new venue was the Markham fairgrounds and the new loop used some great road routes.  All in all I think it was a good success and there was lots of riders out showing their support.  It was looking bleak on the setup day but just like last year ride day was stellar.  Not much wind, no clouds in the sky and the temps were a little cooler. Mint...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Last long weekend of the summer.  Got 3 days of epic rides in the Horseshoe area.  Despite somehow losing 3 of 6 rotor bolts during 1 ride ( thanks to Hardwood Hills for the save ) everything was mint, including the weather. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

3 weeks to go for the 2014 Ride For Karen...

Nice morning for a rip around Durham Forest and the Ride For Karen crew was out taking full advantage of a empty forest and it was cool to realize we all had different years of the ride covered  off between 4 jerseys.  Kris & Kirk ( blue jersey and far right ) have a new route in store for 2014 and once again Kris and I will be marshaling the 30 km per hour group.  Still lots of time to register and raise some funds for a excellent cause with the comfort of knowing that all the funds raised are going to a great cause.  Over the past 12 years the RFK has raised over $2,000,000.  A great accomplishment and fitting tribute to the life and legacy of their mom Karen.

Philip, Kris, Steve, Kirk ( Fu taking the pic )

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

XCO Highlights from a few different spots along the 4.1 km lap

Mont Ste Anne XCO photo dump

Yes that is Miguel Martinez 38 years old 2 time Olympic mountain bike medal winner and all around xc animal.  The course was a 4.1 km lap that was treated to a night time rain storm so the pre-rides on Saturday went down the mountain with the previous days lines.   Once again it turned into the Nino & Julien show as they battled back and forth doing insanely fast lap times.  Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) was victorious but Julien has the points for the overall lead,  For the women it was Olanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) who is the U23 champion but decided to race with the elite ladies.

Mud, Roots and Orange painted Rocks.  QC's finest

Nino's winning bike, Scott, DT Swiss, Dugati tubulars

Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol

Geoff Kabush opts to use his cross skills and run the hill.  Marco Fontana grinds on.

Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

Evelyn Dong (USA) Slides out on the mud chute

Miguel Martinez (Fra) Tropix-FRM

Lotto AG Esso

Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) making it look easy

UCI Downhill Men - Sam Hill takes the win.

Just a few clips of different racers as we made our way down the insanely steep and rocky trail they race on. 

Coupe Du Monde 2014

Its been a while since the last visit to the beast of the east.  Despite that things remain the same.  A looong drive, good weather, tough trails, wet roots and orange spray painted rocks, lots of beer and incredible riding and racing.

City 8 Slopestyle Invitational

What a great backdrop to kick off the festivities in Quebec City and Mont Ste Anne.  The course was built in and around the old fort in the old city and it was packed.

Tricks were flying the crowd was amped, beer was flowing a couple of bad crashes and then...the rain... it poured so they called it with the best score at that point.  They were on a delay anyway because of a crash but this is what it looked like before the downpour.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Carbon Fiber Footprint

Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 - Durham Forest

Dog Days of......June

Spent the last few weeks riding up at Durham and Walker Woods.  The trail gnomes have been busy with a few nice new sections of trail and the conditions and weather has been nothing short of amazing ( minus the mosquito's and poison ivy ).

I wish DMBA / IMBA or others would take a few minutes and offer up some rider etiquette lessons for new riders.  While this idea is nice to float around I realize the logistics and access would be difficult to capture the right audience ( keep in mind even seasoned riders could benefit from a refresher ).

Maybe the onus sits with riders in general to pass on some knowledge ?  I'm not sure but when you see hikers literally jump off the trail to avoid bikers and downhill riders making zero attempt at yielding to uphill riders you gotta wonder if people are even aware ?

Places like Durham are heavily used by many different groups on non directional trails and while this won't address all the issues it sure as heck would be a good start.  This is part of the reason we have been going there at different times hoping to avoid the morning mad house that the weekends seem to turning into.

Kris is starting up some night riding in Durham so if this sounds good to you reach out to me and I can get you the nights and times we are meeting up.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014


 " the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects....."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brilliant May Weekend at Horseshoe Valley

Still have snow on the hills at the resort but the trails at Copeland were in mint shape.  There is so much stuff to ride up here that even after years and years of exploring you still find new options.  Events like the old Hardwood Raid & Substance Enduro's don't happen but they showed us ways to link so much of the tracts together the combo's are endless. 

i9 bling in the woods of Copeland Forest

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ticket to ride, white line highway Tell all your friends, they can go my way...

This never made it up either from Feb / March. Better late than never.

Santa Cruz Tallboy on the Rocks...

A little late to post this pic but one of my favorite from AZ 2014

Spring time in the GTA

Durham Forest

Durham Forest - Check

Dufferin  Forest - Check

Don Valley - Check

Walker / 3 Rox - Wet down low so skip.

Rouge Valley - Not so check.....

April is always hit and miss with weather.  The trails are  thawing so lots of time spent on the roads north of the GTA and itching to get back on the MTB.

Durham on Sunday morning was great.  3 cars in the lot at 9 and at 12 the lot was packed.  Easy to stay off the trails that are still too wet as they have signs up but the rest of the forest was mint and a easy couple of hours to be had.  The trails were getting the leaf blower treatment which is always nice so make sure you stop and thank the volunteers that buff the singletrack for us to ride.  The Don is fantastic.  Again not much to say other than really enjoying perfect conditions.

Motown heading north

This is a far better weather report than what took place this past weekend in Prescott at the Whiskey Race. Yes Arizona, and yes snow, sleet and hail. It seems we are not the only ones...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's a Wrap...

The sun sets on a killer winter weather swap.  Traded in one of the hardest and longest Canadian seasons for Arizona.

Was able to check out new areas new trails, terrain, bikes, skillsets and now that it's over heading back to the rollers as the tail end of winter hangs on to the bitter end.

Arizona has so much to offer it makes this destination so appealing.  The riding is as tough as you want it to be and the rocks will test you but in the end it's time on the bike and that's the point.

I am still putting Sedona on the top of the list but there are so many other areas to check out like Tuscon, Flagstaff, Prescott it makes the possibilities endless.  Unlike Toronto you can drive 90 min out of Phoenix in any direction and hit completely new topography and trails. 

The Crash Trail Panoramic

The calm before the storm.  After getting off a 2 mile rock garden the trail pointed up towards Windgate and Tom's Thumb.  This ride was a out and back and on the descent that's exactly were I ended up....  My back. 

Gateway Trail - Scottsdale AZ

A Few More Trails...

Tom's Thumb Trail - Phoenix AZ

Backside of Highline Trail - Sedona AZ

Cone Mountain Trail - Phoenix AZ

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Madness

2 days of rain and the trails are perfect.  Like sticky tacky perfect.  No 2" of fine desert dust perfect.   Arm warmers and shorts perfect.  No one on the trails early perfect.....


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cytoe Industries - The small company you need to know...

O.K. you spent north of $2K on your Tallboy and now you're ready to shred. The bike is built to ride and ride fast but it's carbon, and the linkage hangs low, so now what ?  Enter Ron and his company Cytoe Industries from Fort Collins Co.   Cytoe designs and hand crafts rock protection plates for select mountain bike frames.  Ron started off by making a guard for a Niner Rip 9 and due to the overwhelming response from posts on mtbr and local clubs, he branched out to cover off Santa Cruz.

I can tell you after an inaugural 50 hours of the rockiest trails Arizona has thrown out, the plate has done what it was designed to do, and well.  Santa Cruz is shipping the new Tallboy 2C's with a built in rubber frame guard, but it only protects the lower portion of the down tube.  All you need to do is poke out the 2 water bottle holes and the Cytoe rock guard screws on over the built in SC rubber.

The ultra guard costs $40 usd and shipping is fast and secure.  It's a small price to pay for the piece of mind that follows install.  Ron's mtbr link can be found here CYTOE.  Shoot him a email you'll be glad you did.