Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Work saved Tom

 Sean and I were going to take Tom up to North Yuba on Sunday, but he got stuck working. I think that saved him. On our way up there we read a trail report saying the lower section was impassable. So we rode the top portion from Downieville to Goodyears Bar then crossed the highway to Halls ranch trail. I've been looking at this ride for 7 years but it never worked out. The climb up Halls ranch has to be one of the worst climbs I can remember. After pedaling as far as we could stand it we still pushed for another 45min. The only good thing about walking our bikes was that it freed up a hand to swipe the face flies away. We kept telling ourselves the down hill will be worth it. If we  been exhausted that might have been true. At the to you turn on Fiddle creek trail. What we did not know was the name of the trail is actually Fiddle Creek ridge trail. So our "downhill" was infested with gut punching climbs that we just didn't even try to pedal up.
If there is another way to the top of Fiddle Creek trail we may go back someday but I don't ever see myself climbing Halls Ranch again. The views from the top are pretty cool but there are so many better trails in Downieville it's just not worth it. In this picture I think Packers Saddle is right behind my head. It ended up taking over 4 fours to go 30 miles. The crazy part was the first 10.5 miles was on pavement and only gained a couple hundred feet. It was about 3800 ft. of gain in 20 miles of brutal trail.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sandy Ridge

 Last Sunday I was in Portland for the weekend and managed to squeeze an amazing ride in. If you are ever driving through the Portland area make sure you take your bike and allow a couple hours to check out the Sandy Ridge trail system. This place is amazing! Mammoth Mt. wishes it's trails were like these.  The trails were built in conjunction with I.M.B.A. and use all the latest ideas. I rode here a couple years ago when it was still new. Now the flow and speeds on the bedded in trails are unbelievable. You can see how sculpted the berms are behind my bike, and this is the way up. I couldn't bring myself to stop and take a picture on the trail down.
As you can see the creek crossings don't slow you down one bit. The coolest thing about the trail system is that you could ride it on any bike at any skill level. Bigger bikes and better skill just means you jump farther and go faster. I saw a single speed rider tearing it up and I saw a 7 year old out riding with his Dad. Sandy Ridge is really a mandatory stop of your in the area (Bobby on your way to Washington).

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cool 2014

 Racing season has begun. This years version of "The Coolest Mountain Bike race" was one of the best  I've participated in. The weather was awesome. The trail was super muddy but that just made it more fun. 
 The Boys were stoked to be out on the bikes.
 Think Ashton likes green?
 The kids race was loaded this year
 I think Gage was happy he didn't do the adult course this year.
 Tongue out is definitely faster.
 Sean grunting out a third in his class. 
 Single speed was a good choice for all the goo. If you look over my shoulder you can see the drome the N.S.A. is using to spy on mountain bikers. Who needs course Marshals.

 Only a hundred yards to go.
 The Tebb's owning the tandem category. 
 Sean's first time on a podium. Congratulations! 
 Everybody had a blast.
Gage had so much fun he slept half of the drive home in the shirt he won in the raffle.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gravel Solo

 I realized it had been over a year since I rode to Camp 9 from my house so I decided to fix that. The day after a rain storm is an awesome time to hit the gravel roads in your area. It doesn't damage the trails and single speeds don't really care how gooey it is.
 I only ran into 1 car the whole time I was on dirt and only three on the pavement. Total solitude for three hours. It's always cool to wander around this area and imagine the gold miners coming through here on foot and horseback. It kind of makes riding it on a single look wimpy in comparison. 
I also wanted to give a long term update in my Lynskey Ridgeline 29. I think this bike is perfectly set up for what I ask of it. It gets the worst treatment and the least maintenance of my bikes. If the conditions suck and I'm afraid of wrecking the shifting or linkage bearings on the other bikes I don't think twice about running the Lynskey through the worst slime or mud. The sliding dropouts  work flawlessly. The handling is more XC than anything I've had before but It's not a bad thing. I have the Fox terralogic fork on it. That was a bit of a gamble for me because I like controlling my suspension. But it has proven to be the perfect addition for a single speed bike. It is always locked when your standing up hammering away and its always open on the down hill. The SKS frame fender is also very nice to have on muddy days like this one, I never had to clean my glasses. If I was to build another one I would probably skip the blingy seatpost. It is cool and it has a lot of give but I think every bike needs a dropper. Over all for a Titanium frame I don't think your can beat the quality for the price Lynskey is asking. Also they are made in U.S.A. and very receptive to questions when you call, can't tell you about he warrantee because I haven't broke it (yet).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The climb is worth it

 It's hard to convince beginners that the climbing will pay off in super fun down hill, especially kids. All they see is the suffering. Gage decided that it was all worth it after just 2 min  of the down hill. He was yelling the whole way.  
Even at the very bottom when he could barely pedal he was still having fun. Thank you Jeanie for picking us up at the bottom so we didn't have to pedal all the way home. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A month of stuff

 This last Month has not been a good MTB month. I did manage to get some riding in though. This last week I hooked up with Eric from Turner bikes in Carlsbad. We rode an IMBA epic called Noble Canyon. This is the top of a section called "Devil's staircase". I don't think Eric will appreciate me posting this picture. I walked just so you know. It's rideable just not worth it. That's a brand new Turner prototype he's smashing on the rocks.
 Noble is the best trail I have ridden in the San diego area.
 Earlier this month I had a heck of a time finding water for Katie on my local rides. Luckily I found this cattle trough. As nice as the weather has been I hope it gets wet soon.
I took Katie out through Deer Creek today. That storm a couple weeks ago helped a lot. No dust and lots of creek water for Katie.
 I finally wore out the Scrub brake pads that I bought last year to try to fix my over heating Avid's. These pads did all I could ask. They stop great, make very little noise, and most importantly cool the fluid enough that I have not bled my brakes in almost a year. Bleeding was getting to be a weekly chore. Now they run great and never fade. I can't recommend them enough. The cooling fins do come unattached after a while but it doesn't affect the performance and they can't come out on there own. Also they are made in the U.S.A. and you can call and talk to the owner if you have any questions or problems. His name is Chris and he is super "Chill" pun intended.  
I wish I could endorse these Mavic C29SSMAX wheels that came on my Pivot 429. I tried to have these serviced at last years Sea Otter. The tech said that they were not maintained well enough. I call Bullshit. The guy I bought them from is obsessive about his bikes and if anything over maintains his stuff. The free hub is basically a disposable part. It uses a plastic bushing that transfers the load to the outer surface of the drive body. When it wears out the whole cassette wobbles. If you don't replace it in time this is what you get. You can see where the teeth from the free hub were eating into the hub itself. I replaced these wheels with another set of Mavic's. This time I got a set of SLR's. These new hubs are supposed to have a different design and address the issues I had.   

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January in Deer Creek

Starting to get a little scared about the lack of weather around here. Might as well take advantage though. 7 of us rode through Deer Creek and the biggest problem was dust. Nathan and Tom are flying down the "improved" trail, smoother but less fun. The Forrest Nazi's like to make everything useable for everyone. Pretty soon there will be handicap ramps.
 I think his name is Chris.
 Jordan and Scott? I suck with names.
"Skinny" Tom. I think every one had a great ride. The down hills were super fast. Hopefully we will get some weather soon and be forced out of these trails soon.