Thursday, May 12, 2016

Don Days of Spring..


Mowtown Trail Heading North in the Don Valley

Shimano XT 1x11


Decided to go the 1 x 11 route that I have set up on the Santa Cruz without dropping the coin on the SRAM group.

Enter Shimano and the workhorse group in their line up.  The trusted XT.  They have since released pricing on the XT Di2 but honestly can't see the need for electronic shifting on any of my bikes so far.

The parts I put on are the XT crank with a 32 ring, the 11/46 cassette, XT rear der and shifter and the e13 xcx chain guide.

I was concerned about the chainline and rubbing as this seems to be the complaint for people running guides.  e13's mounts between the frame and bb and comes with spacers to shim if needed.  Mine went on with the 3 mm spacer and on either end of the cassette there is more than enough clearance.

Have about 6 rides on it so far and I am liking it a lot.  The only place I think I will miss the rings is on the road  or on long downhills as you will spin out but the flip side of that is getting up the hills and I was fine on any trail so far.   One thing to note if your running bar lockout or levers the shifter has a gear indicator window that is quite big and there is a replacement dummy plate that will be released in a few weeks by Shimano for a few bucks.  I guess people realized bar real estate is key.


Shots from the trail...



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Colnago C60 Disc Courtesy of Glory Cycles.


Glory Glory Hallelujah... It wont be long now before the annual NC / SC pilgrimage and while we may not be able to do the Assault on the Carolina's this year we have other things to look forward to courtesy of Clive & company......

Photo credit: Glory Cycles


NAHBS is next month in Sacremento. Steve Potts is confirmed.












Full show info and exhibitor list can be found here.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

T.W.'s Lake Ride. Brought to you by tapwater....( that sh&t's good )

Saturday turned out to be the perfect bookend to a pretty solid week on the bike.  2 Don Valley training rides and a pre-tour of the new Dagmar trail with Jeff & Co. 

So the plan was hatched.  A Lake Simcoe ride via Zephyr and Jacksons Point.  Throw in 2 flats ( yours truly ) 1 throw away Vittoria Open Corso tire, 1 km of gravel, a boatload of headwind and that's what the 120+ km route had in store for us.

We started out Saturday at 6 a.m. in the hopes of beating the heat and salvaging some of the long weekend for non riding commitments.  It seems everyone was pulled in one way or another.

The day was perfect, the route was somewhat new and we hit a few roads that I had not done before.  2 flats, fresh butter tarts and coffee equals good times. 

As you can see from the picture the wind strung us out pretty good coming back from Lake Simcoe but that is nothing new it seems for the summer of the changing headwind.  For whatever reason it is a curse and leg destroyer.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger or something like that...

All in all a solid lake ride with talk of getting another one in this fall.  This weekend is the Ride For Karen and the long range forecast looks perfect.



Friday, September 4, 2015

DAGMAR.... Is finally ( almost ) back. I week to go SEPT 12th


One of the old school G.T.A. mtb destinations has been resurrected.  Official Press Release:

Uxbridge: September 1, 2015: The Durham Mountain Biking Association (DMBA) is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Dagmar North Trails on September 12, 2015. The new 13 km of trails in the Dagmar North Tract (DNT) are the culmination of eight years of planning and 5 months of building. The building was accomplished with over 200 volunteer builders investing over 5,000 hours of sweat equity in the project. This is one of the largest volunteer trail building projects in Canada. 

In the meantime here is " some " of the trails sped up into a 18 minute sample video.  There is a lot more and tons of options and can't wait to add this to the mix... officially


 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Harold, Pete. Pete, Harold...


Pee-tar-bur-oh has a nice little trail system that goes by the name of Harold...  Harold Town Conservation Area to be specific.  

We decided to hit this on the way back from a week chasing trails in QC and got rained out of a full recon ride.  

Got a hour in of sliding and clipping trees in the pouring rain sliding around on Scwhable Thunderburts ( which suk in the wet ).  It was a fun little place though and definitely want to get back out there and check it out properly.  
 Maybe a Ganny ride in the a.m then lunch followed by a drive up there ?  The only thing is the distance vs. abundance of trail.  Hard to make this a go to outing when your driving from T.O.  If you want to check out a small sample of the trails there is a 2 min video here.

Wheelie Wendnesdayz in the Gatineau Parc


They do a really good job not making public the singletrack outside of the Camp Fortune end of the park.  So much so that you almost get the feeling they don't want you to find it.  They don't know how determined we are when it comes to finding the good stuff.  Gatineau has km after km of mapped and marked double track and the stuff on the north end ( Wakefield QC ) where we just were but if you step off the beaten path, commit to bushwack, you find gems like this.  This was probably one of the most scenic singletrack stretches that was well hidden and obviously ridden and we really enjoyed these..


Monday, August 10, 2015

Don Days of Summer


Roller Flowster Trail - Don Valley

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A couple of pictures from the Pan Am Road Race.


Canada got 3 medals combined in the women' s and men's races.  Mexico has some deep talent on the road.  They were impressive along with the USA ( especially in the men's race )


Mid Summer Movie Madness....




When I find the Chris Akrigg and The Water Cycle video again I will add it below...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Colnago V1 R Dream Machine


I don't own this ( yet ) but it's nice to drool over in the interim...

The dream build would be Ultegra Di2 / Discs, Enve / Chris King, Enve Bar / Stem, Vittoria / Selle Italia Flite 1990


Pan Am Games are just over a week away...


and Hardwood Hills is almost ready to go.  Perimeter fences are up, course is marked and taped, flags are flying, expo tents are erected, team Canada is practicing daily at Copeland and the surrounding forests and some teams are here. A few things to note, parking will not be onsite and travel to the venue from the lots will be via shuttles.  The 4 concessions that border Hardwood are a security perimeter and residents and authorized users have to have permits to enter the OPP checkpoints.

Copeland Forest Canada Day



Steam Whistle Brewery and Urban Racks


What a killer idea.  This is at a trail head up in Simcoe ( I think there may be 2 or more in the area ).  Innovation and necessity at its finest.  Well done !!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Road Trip Choices...


So the short list is down to the final 2.  Both are about 30 hours drive away which multiple ride stay / stops enroute.  6 weeks and counting to the final choice.

*** original pics from the interwebs ***

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dual (ly) Personalities...



Twisted Cityscape View


Lots of kms this year it seems variety is the theme developing.  Cross adventure rides, MTB epics and LOTS of road kms.


Had a chance to ride the Canada Cup course at both Hardwood and Horseshoe and we really liked what Superfly did with the Horseshoe venue.  Who'd a thunk it. 


The Don has been great and the trails have been delivering good rides minus the insane red ants or spiders or whatever has been biting the hell out of us.


Peter Oyler has struck out on his own with Mindset Cycling and this past weekend about 60 people showed up in Goodwood for a great ride in and around Zephyr / Ravenshoe and surrounding roads.  It was a great day and a good groupetto. 

Got to preview some of the Dagmar trails today and all I can is " I can't wait ".  Having these trails online in August is going to breath some new life in the Durham / Walker loop options and although not quite as technical and raw as the old Dagmar ( at least what I rode ) its gonna be sweeet nonetheless.  Getting geared up for the Pan Am Games next...


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don Valley Views



What goes around comes around....


It seems sometimes the bike industry runs out of innovation and like other platforms start to re-introduce the " NEW " new.  Take for instance the soft-tail.  A lot of people discount elastomers and sub 2" travel bikes but truth be told it still works and is still relevant.

Case in point the Pinarello soft tail road bikes of Team Sky used in the Paris Robaiux and the BMC Teamlites being used on the World Cup circuit. 

So while bikes like the Silk ti 29's and the YBB's and La Ruta's have stuck with this platform those of us lucky enough to own one of these know all too well the benefits of simplicity.

All of this is of course scenario based.  For instance my Silk ti would not be my go to bike for a big all mountain type road trip but having been on more than few with it it never really hurt but you can certainly push the envelope a bit more with a true big squish.

I won't be getting rid of mine anytime soon and I'm glad the masses are being re-introduced to them.  In Onterrible where I live this is all I need... Oh ya those are Rotor Rings aka Biopace.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Keep It Simple Stupid...


It's hard to believe ( well not really ) that this bike is 6.5 years old.  I have lost track of the standards, wheel sizes, bottom brackets, headsets, dropper posts, cable routing, new trail riding descriptive names that have all come and gone in this time.  I still get asked about this bike the most and from locations all around the world via this blog and instagram so I thought I would do a review this summer and share some thoughts on the simplicity of the ti soft tail.  There are many like it but this one is mine...

In the meantime enjoy this ti collage of the best bike I've owned.  Castellano Silk ti 29 by Steve Potts.



Another twisty road in SC - Endless Options From Hincape's Hotel Domestique


It's worth noting this was the Road / Pit Bull encounter that prompted the pepper spray :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

No Title Needed



Assault on the Carolina's ( Place Holder Check Back Later )


What's the definition of insanty ?


Isn't it something like doing the same thing expecting a different outcome ?  So why am I riding Mavic wheels you may ask after my 2 year ordeal with the Crossmax 29er wheels ?  Well I got a killer deal on a set of Kysrium SLR's and could not pass them up at that below cost price for new wheels.  Plus a few years have past right ? Well at least that's what I keep telling myself.

So let me skip to the coles notes on these.  Superlight and very very strong.  A bit of wheel flex with the rear non drive side carbon spokes.  Braking is great ( Exalith rim treatment ) but expect MEGA noise unless you run a extreme toe in.  ( 1mm on front 3mm on tailing ).  Stealth look and the tires are pretty good too.  Wore through a new set of Mavic Exalith pads on the downhills of NC. 

I have about 1000 km on them so far so we will see how well they hold up after a summer of Grand Fondos and club rides.


Curves for days in Travellers Rest SC and on top of the Ridge in Brevard NC.


How can you get tired of looking at this ? By introducing over 7000 meters of climbing.  Legs are toast but in a good way.  Can't wait for the woods to thaw but in the meantime it back on the road bikes.



First time in about 5 years we have done a " Road Only " SC / NC trip.


The weather was perfect in South and North Carolina, the roads were brilliant and yes we found out first had that the butter smooth roads in NC is down to the gas tax that SC does not have so thank god for 25C's on some of those 10 km long descents.


A few reviews and updates coming up soon...


Going to be reviewing the 3sixty5 wheels on Novatech hubs, Giro Empire Shoes and the Cinelli Saetta Radical.

Dealt with 2 big web bike shops too so we want to spread the feedback on these.  One was good one not so much and want to give a heads up for some things to watch out if your buying a bike cross border.

Got lots of road miles on these three items ( only the shoes for me personally ) over the past 2 weeks in South and North Carolina so stay tuned for the updates.  Also look for a post on George Hincape's Hotel Domestique and the Assault on the Carolina's.



Friday, March 6, 2015

Less than a month to go for North / South Carolina


Well it's decided.  This will be the bookmark on the 2015 Carolina camp.  Caesars Head is a  challenging 6 mile climb to the top ( that's the big dip in the profile ) and Walnut Hollow which is a steep mile climb.  This ride caps out at a 1000 riders ( sold out ) and is in it's 16th year.  We will be lining up with some friends we met in Sedona that live in Brevard so should be a great ride.

2015 AOTC Century


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Photo BAUM


It's not often I post bikes that are not mine or my buddies but there is something about the BAUM line of road and mountain bikes that makes it hard to resist.  The latest creations from the land down under sets the style bar high.

If you head over to the BAUM Flickr page check out the GTR or the Duck Egg Blue Gulf Livery inspired bikes.  I would not be lining up to paint my Silk ti but these ti bikes wear the Assos blue well.

If your in Ontario and are sick of the -20 degree days set your desktop image to some summer stoke and dig in.  It's almost over.






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.

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..