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

Copeland


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

Perfection...


 " 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.....

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.





Monday, February 24, 2014

Shaw Butte


Been saving this one a bit.  The access road is only hard for the first 4 switchbacks ( my Garmin said 16% grade ) once you get about half way up the grade levels out to about 9% and it's about a total  2.5 km climb to the radio towers.

Gary would have liked this one for sure being his namesake Butte.  This one was for you Gaz....





Shaw Butte from the Towers




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

North Mountain via Trail 100


Different route on the 100 again, rode up towards Shaw Butte but ended up on the top of North Mountain.  The climb up to the top was off good and tough and the views worth it.

Funny thing about Phoenix is coming from Toronto I am used to seeing people walking around the streets.  This is not the case here but they are a lot more people out in the parks hiking, trail running, walking etc.

Another good thing about the trail is the free water at various spots along the route so you can still rock a waterbottle.

Everyone I have run into, ridden with, talked to have been great in the 5 rides here and rolling out the driveway at 8 or 9 you can get your daily 2 hours and be back before lunch.

Heading east to meet Dave Thursday and probably riding out at McDowell again but hitting & Dixie Mine then on Fiday its Red Mountain.  Black Canyon is still on the list as well as FINS north and a few more to check off the long list.  Are there really 7' Western Diamond Back Rattlers out there or is Ray trying to sell books ?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mandatory Bike Shot on Hackamore Trail Brown's Ranch



Browns Ranch


This is far from technical but what it lacks it makes up for in flow and scenery.  A good break for the constant barrage of rocky trails.  Did a 35 km loop with a climb up Browns Mountain from both sides for the view / descent.  Did not see any scorpions or rattlesnakes but the trail signs seemed to indicate they were around.  Another killer 80 + day in the saddle.

This area reminds me of Hartman Rocks in Gunnison CO with huge rocks and loops

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ramble on.....




Trail 100 Options


It's hard pressed to load up the car and venture out to ride when this is literally 2 min away.  Over the past 3 rides tried to cover off some new options.  The spin off trails are abundant and the climbs up and around the buttes are tough.  The more you ride the chunks the more you get some flow happening.  This is so drastically different that any trail back home it certainly keeps you focused.


















Saturday, February 15, 2014

South Mountain Preserve


See the theme ? Hot and dry and rocky.  Checked out South Mtn today this shot was from the Desert Classic trail if my memory is right.  Decided not to do the National trail...yet.  These rocks are not forgiving and when you get up close it changes your invincibility factor.  This place was packed for a Friday afternoon.  Would not want to hit this on the weekend.










Can't get this theme song out of my head while I'm out there.  Could not find the heli pad climb ?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Scuse me while I kiss the sky..


This is the view from Trail 100 right before the switchbacks heading under the hwy.  I am not sure what the green haze that visibly hangs on downtown Phoenix but I'm guessing it's not good.

This is day 2 on the trail and went to the Dreamy Draw Lot from the 7th st entrance.  Had a chance to see the group that were building the new singletrack up around Cave Creek.  They're the American Service Corps and are a federally funded program that lets them earn money for their college education.  The program is essentially community service on a large scale.  It was tough work clearing rock and churning up dirt in 80 degree heat so we can shred on it later.  Hats off to them.  It was a good loop too.

Trail 100 is pretty neat and it snakes up around buttes and around some pretty sweet homes perched on the rock and sees quite a bit of use like running, hiking, horseback riding and dog walking.
Everyone I ran into was nice which is a welcome change on a multi-use trail system.  The trail is not particularly tough, 2 + hours yesterday covered 27km and 690 m ascent.  There is a lot more stuff in here to explore on the non driving days coming up.  A good local haunt !

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Trail 100 Phoenix Mountain Preserve


This is the local PHX equivalent to the trails in the Don Valley.  The similarity being it's a great urban mountain bike trail right in the middle of the city.  Difference for Phoenix is the fact they have mountains... and while the main trail is 11 or so miles long it has pretty much everything you need like spin off loops, multiple entrance / exit points, climbs, descents, and chunk. Cave Creek entrance is a 2 minute ride away and with the temps climbing up into the 80's it's time for the camelback on Wednesday's ride.  Saw my first Coyote cross the trail today.

Imagine this view at Bayview & Pottery Road

 



Sunday, February 9, 2014

McDowell Mountain take 3..


I think I understand why night riding is so popular down here.  It is 80 degrees in February and its hot.  I can't imagine this would be the case in mid August when it is consistently 100f +


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Can't get sick of looking at this....


Views from McDowell Mountain Race Loops ( Long Loop )