Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Downtube Guards

Here are some pics of the prototype. It weighed 29 grams including mounting tape. Pretty light insurance if you ask me. It mounted really flush and looks really clean on the bike.I've currently got a few in cue with more layers of fiberglass. We'll see how stiffness and strength compare, although I personally think that a light barrier with the foam mounting tape will be enough to disperse the impact enough to prevent frame damage. Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Superfly downtube guards

Custom molded downtube guards for the 2008-09 Gary Fisher Superfly are in the works. We're just finishing our first prototype. Expect to see them on a few bikes at the Canyons ICUP race. They should be available for purchase soon afterwards! Initial price will be around $40. This is a great preventative product to help eliminate rock damage to downtubes.


Breckenridge is a small little ski town in Colorado. It sits at about 9,300 ft. elevation-wise. It was the setting of the Breckenridge B-68 and B100 that Dan, Calvin, and I participated in last week.

We rode some of the course, about 4 miles, on Friday, and it was scary. The elevation and the fact that we were riding cliff-like singletrack definitely worked out lungs over in just a few short miles. The descent, although rocky and rooty, was pure sweetness. The trail was really well built, with rocks laid out before every switchback to eliminate brake bumps, and some fat berms at the bottom that required almost no brakes at all. The descent erased all of my fears regarding elevation and climbing (coz going downhill on sweet trails makes going up easier, right?).

Saturday morning Dan got up early, I remember trying to say good luck but already being back asleep when he left. He had a 6 AM start. Calvin and I rolled over to the start at around 8, setup an ezup, and hung out. Dan rolled through starting his 2nd lap around 9, and our race started around 10AM.

We had a neutral start that went uphill on the road for maybe 2 miles. By then everyone was so spread out it wouldn't have mattered to have a neutral start. Soon after, we jumped onto one of the nicest singletrack climbs I've ever ridden. The quality of singletrack must have got me excited coz I started picking riders off one by one. I passing 100 mile racers quite constantly throughout the day which was so nice as it gave me a target to chase down all afternoon. The uphill climb lasted for about 12-14 miles and got more steep and technical the higher we got up. We were all walking the last 100 meters of the climb. After a bit of level singletrack we hit a fireroad that was built like a 4x or Dual Slalom course, with sick 'jumps' every 50 yards or so. Since it was a race, I pumped through about half of them, and just launched off of the other ones. As troublemaker says, "on a long ride, you've got to look for stuff to keep it fun." I was having fun, and not looking far to find it. Next we got on the Colorado Trail which involved a bit more climbing. I was riding with two others on 29ers who were spinning their 22/34s the whole time. I was a bit jealous since my low gear was a 32/34. The next 10 miles or so was more amazing singletrack.
Soon after, we hit a road followed by a dirt road with a gradual climb back into town. After pushing the singletrack sections I was getting tired, and the climb almost took me out. I was worn out and considering quitting. Once I (finally) rolled into the finish area though, I got all adrenalized and forgot about quitting or even taking a rest until I was 5 minutes into my next lap, which quickly took us to a the most technical, steep road I've seen. After pushing, walking, remounting, riding and repeating several times, I just started walking up the dang road. One rider caught me and gained about 10 feet over the course of a half mile, so I wasn't losing much time by walking.
More up and down singletrack, a 12 mile grind on a dirt road, and some (by this time, miserable) singletrack, and I finished.
All I could down was gels and water the entire 7.5 hours. Gross. I couldn't eat for another hour afterward. My stomach was not happy, but not wanting to do anything about it either.
My back hurt so bad, as well as my wrists, shoulders, and buttocks, that the only somewhat comfortable position was standing over the pedals. Walking was quite nice too... Now I understand how being stuck in a room too low to stand up in and too short to lay down in is torture.
I did not enjoy thinking about anything bike related for a full 24 hours afterward. I hated bikes and what I had punished myself through.
And yet, by evening the next day, I couldn't wait to do another one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Last tuesday, Ash and I took a 2.5 block bike ride to the church on our single speeds.

We only made it two blocks.

At the intersection two blocks away, I got hit by a car turning right as we were crossing on the left side of the road in the crosswalk. I could see that the guy wasn't looking at me and going to turn anyway in time to 'set up' for the impact.

I tried to jump over the front of my bike onto his hood as my bike smashed into the front of his car. I landed on the hood and rolled off onto the road.

I was okay. My bike was hurt. The fork is bent, the rims are mostly oval.

The most disappointing thing is that I've spent the last year swapping parts to make my bike just how I want it and really, really, really good looking. All silver components, nice cranks, etc. The wheels were less than a month old, and already compromised for life. I was trying to build a nice, durable bike that would be good for life. Ha, jokes on me.

New rims and a fork should do it. But I'm really gonna miss having the matching frame and fork.

Anybody know a good frame painter?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday night

Lessons learned:

1. 30 PSI. No matter what. Any less is too little. This lesson I seem to have to learn over and over again. Maybe I haven't learned it yet.
2. Ride mountain bikes more. My descending was off, and I totally blew through a few corners.
3. 1 AM bike builds are sure to have at least one problem. (a very noisy rubbing front rotor)
4. Be the first winner of the raffle. P712 gift certificates are the greatest prize.
5. Riding regularly reaps results. Check out that alliteration.
6. Breckenridge will be a blast. (not really a lesson learned, but I'm still super stoked)

Everybody Wants One

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The downhill finish-playing it safe

It's no secret that downhill finishes are dangerous. High speeds become higher, bikes become less stable, and crashes become uglier (as well as the people in the crashes...).

On second thought, maybe it is a secret. I'm not sure if the average cat 4/5 rider knows this, although I'm sure that the 4/5 field at the Whitewater Road Race (actually circuit race), knows this now, and at least 8 people have first hand experience in becoming uglier.

It's also no secret that cat 4/5 fields have a stereotype of being full of sketchy riders (note: to that cat 4/5 who is constantly talking about how sketch the other riders in their race were, you need to know here and now that you were part of that sketch and not just a witness to it.) The stereotype is true.

After just the first lap of seven into this race, I knew that if the group stayed together on the last climb, I wouldn't be contesting the sprint. The course was sketchy, the riders were sketchy, and a finish in that situation was sure to get ugly.

That's exactly what happened. As we crested the hill and the finish line came into view, everyone went nuts, and mass carnage ensued. I stayed to the side and cyclocrossed through the gravel shoulder around the biggest road racing accident I've ever seen. I rolled in at 16th place, which meant there were only 16 of us who didn't go down. I know I was the last person to finish who didn't crash. 8 people finished after me, and I'm thinking that 4-7 people never made it across the finish line who were involved.

And let me tell you, at least two of the people involved got very uglied.

Some times it's smart to sit out on a sprint. I can think of a few good reasons:

My face isn't any uglier than it was before.
All of the pain is on the inside, ya know, like lactic acid stuff.
I don't have to take time off the bike to let my body heel.
I didn't shave my legs, so any and all road rash would have been painful.
Breckenridge 68 - two weeks.
12 hours of sundance.
The ever important 3 gun biathlon next month.

The best 16th place finish ever just happened.