Alive and shredding in Moab…

27 09 2012


The wacky internet connection at the campground I’m staying in has prevented regular blog updates while I’ve been in Moab. Riding solo I don’t have much bike porn to share anyways and it’s nice to take a break from the beast blog for a few days. I finally seem to have a strong connection so I thought I’d fire up a pic and a few words to make sure nobody calls out the search and rescue folks 😉

The riding has been great and I got to go all the way up to 11,600′ to ride The Whole Enchilada which has been a goal of mine for years. 🙂 Without a bike buddy photos have been minimal which has allowed me to focus on just riding. Although I’d still prefer to have a partner in crime on a MTB trip – going at 100% my pace sometimes is fun and it’s amazing how fast to ride when you have no reasons to stop.

I’m at the end of my 4th full day here in Moab. Sadly I have to leave tomorrow around noon. After a few days of tweaking I have my bike’s suspension dialed to the faster chunkier terrain and my body is finally adapted to the higher elevation just as I have to leave town. 😦 Next time I’m here I’ll make sure I have 2 weeks to enjoy the amazing trails the area has to offer so my bike and body will be at 100%.

Now the hard part – deciding what trail to ride tomorrow AM before I leave town???

BTW – the blog will be back with regular updates starting next Monday.

Vancouver Island Mountain Biking…

21 09 2012

Got Moab?

20 09 2012

Slickrock baby!

I’m headed to Moab tomorrow. I’ll be in town Sunday and ride through the week until Friday then fly home Saturday.  My usual biking buddies can’t make the trip so I’m just checking in with anyone out there in the blog-o-verse who might like to get their MTB dirty with some crushed red rocks.

I’m no expert nor super fit – so you don’t have to be an uber MTBer to ride the trails here. On the other hand if your MTB is covered in a thick layer of dust from hanging in the garage Moab isn’t the place to get reacquainted with it.

Amasa Back Trailhead…

If you can get to Moab next week and want to shred drop me a line. Sorry for the short notice, but the trip literally went from idea to reality in 2hrs. You gotta roll with the flow when it’s happening 😉

Where The Trail Ends…full movie free to watch…

20 09 2012

Movie trailer…

…for the next 24hrs. Check it!

Mike Curiak on MTB weight…

20 09 2012

Photo: Mike Curiak…

Mike Curiak gets stuff done. He rides, paddles and takes great photos. He also tries out lots of gear which is the only way to see what works and what doesn’t. He posted some info on his main MTB ride [seen above] to his blog – it’s a Lenzsport Milk Money 29er with customized Fox ~160mm fork on the front. He also started a thread over at about the positive attributes of a heavier bike – especially in terms of wheels and tires. If you are pondering any upgrades to your mountain bike his perspective is worth a read as it may steer you away from the conventional wisdom that light is always right.

My Santa Cruz Nomad tries to fly…

My main mountain bike has ended up looking a lot like Mike’s in that it’s a long travel FS bike that weighs a fair bit and has robust parts hanging off it. My path has mostly been determined by luck and what I could afford. I’m not as bike savvy as Mike C and I don’t have the opportunity to ride as many different bikes. But, I have been impressed by how capable and trouble free my Nomad has been for me. My latest upgrade to wide Velocity P35 rims has had a clear boost to my steering precision and traction at the cost of a slight weight increase. Occasionally when I am lifting my bike I think “Holy crap she’s heavy!” However, I rarely think about the weight when I am riding.

I wouldn’t trade my Nomad for a lightweight XC bike with less suspension and more fragile parts. The question is would I change my Nomad for another all mountain bike that was lighter, but just as tough? With a carbon frame and a better [ie. more expensive] spec I could shed 5lbs from the beast and get her sub-30lbs without losing the suspension travel or compromising the toughness of the bike.

Of course some would argue that a carbon frame isn’t as durable as a metal MTB frame. Certainly there are folks riding carbon Nomads and carbon Ibis Mojo HDs pretty hard without having them explode. Having not had a carbon MTB in the fleet I can’t say for sure. I’m at the point where I would at least give carbon bike a shot if it was from a brand with a solid reputation for quality.

On the parts end of the equation dropping weight means adding $$$. One benefit to my use of fewer gears on my MTB is that a 1 x 9/10 drivetrain is lighter and cheaper than a 2 or 3 x 9/10 since you can ditch the front derailleur/shifter/chainrings. It’s a little shocking when you use one of those bike builder programs and see how much more an XTR spec costs vs. SLX or X9. So my choice will be limited by price to some degree.

In the wheel/tire department I wouldn’t trade durability or traction to save weight, but I must admit 2.4″ tires on uber wide rims are not needed a lot of the time. I could live with 2.2″ tires on standard width MTB rims in the summer and still hook up just fine on our trails.

It will be interesting to see what my next full suspension bike looks like.

Abusing the Nomad…

At least in the 6″ travel full suspension category of the mountain bike world it seems like the obsession with bike weight is fading from the bike culture. That’s a good thing. There is a lot more important stuff to worry about like suspension setup, geometry, bike fit and tire choices. These are things which will radically impact your ride experience for the better or worse.

In praise of a big kiteboard…

19 09 2012

RRD Placebo kiteboard…

I don’t love riding my big 144 x 47cm RRD Placebo twintip. It’s heavy and not the most maneuverable board, but I’m still really happy I have it in my quiver. I only pull it out when winds are light even for my large kites. It gets me riding when I might otherwise be staying on the beach. It’s also nice to have a twintip strapped to my feet when my kite is flopping around like a jellyfish and my hands are busy relaunching it.

I’m happy to lend this board to my GF or anyone else who might need some help staying upwind in light conditions. If it gets lost or damaged I won’t freak out.

I wouldn’t spend a ton of cash on one, but if you see a large kiteboard for sale at a swap meet think about adding it to your quiver.

Mountain Bike Retirement Plan…

18 09 2012

Photo: Knolly Bikes…

Eventually all good things must come to an end. I’d hate to think of the last ride on my Santa Cruz Nomad, but one day it will happen. That could be next month, next year or a few years from now. Whenever it happens I’m going to be down an expensive rig that’s not easily replaced. So I’ve decided to start a bike retirement fund and put a bit of money aside every month so that when I need a new full suspension mountain bike I have the budget to get a nice one. Any money I get from bikes I sell will also go into the savings pool.

Photo: Knolly Bikes…

I’m great at saving money when I have a goal and a sweet mountain bike is a pretty motivating goal… 😉

BTW – these photos aren’t a hint that I am planning on buying a Knolly Bike. They just have some lovely MTB porn on their blog. If you have some time to kill I highly recommend a visit to their site.