Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Paradise Royale

It seems as though I can't stay away from this trail, or at least try and get down there whenever I possibly can. My buddy Matt came down from Portland, after family activities in Eugene, to come hang out for a few days and get on some dirt after a long hiatus. We first had some wrenchin' to do on his steed before making tracks, and all but the wavy rotor we got it rolling. The community forest chanted only a few blocks away where we got a training ride in, but the real mission was to head south to the King Range.

This was the first time actually staying down at the Tolkan Campground, which is literally a spit's distance from the trail. We left camp setup for our return, ate a bagel sandwhich, a apple cinnamon hammer gel and hit the trail.

This was Matt's first time on Paradise Royale. The ascent can always be a bit frustrating but Matt kept a positive attitude. The weather was perfect which made the riding that much more enjoyable.
The crazy Tanoak grove heading back up to the trail head is always a delight. My buddy Scott calls it the octopus forest for good reason. The second day of riding was quite brutal. The moment we departed the trail head it started raining hard and didn't let up the whole ride. The ridge up top was fiercely cold and windy. I lost feeling in my hands and feet for most of the ride and could barely enjoy the downhill section. I realized then how as minimalist as v-brakes may be, only having about 5% stopping power that day was a little scary. My hands and wrists were sore from squeezing what little friction I could create. Once I figure out how I'm going to pay for school this semester it looks like some disc brake research is bumped up on the priority list.

The fungus photo is the only shot I took on day two. With the rain coming down I kept the camera holstered safely in the Camel Bak, putting most of my energy toward getting out of the woods alive.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Y'all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Butler Valley Solo

Everyone seems to have left, has a real job, or is hiding out in their bat cave. The forecast called for completely sunny skies for today and the next couple days; I was skeptical. When I awoke today, got some oatmeal and coffee in my veins I realized there were sun rays and not rain drops falling from the sky. Motivating for a long solo ride is hard without dragging my feet, but once I got started I was stoked at my decision.

The Britt Ranch is always an exciting arrival. The steep 2 mile Korbel climb is over, and then you are surrounded by amazing idyllic overlooks. Today was no exception.

I've ridden the Butler Valley loop a half dozen times or so. Either I completely overlooked this every time, or someone recently had an experience that trumps anything I've had. This minivan seems to have been there for sometime though - cloaked in dated rust, bullet holes, and excessive signs of vandalism I can't imagine it showed up within the last month since I last rode butler valley.

I know I've already thrown in the typical self-camera-phone shot, but the mad river bridge is an amazing place. During the summer on this ride this is where we would hike down to the river and take a quick, cool splash. It's a good point to rest, take in some calories, and ponder the 8 mile climb ahead. At this point my legs were still feeling pretty good, but I still had a long way to go and I knew it. The best part about going solo is I have only myself to be competitive with rather than redlining while I watch the fast guys rapidly fade away.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Playing with Liquid Nitrogen

In an attempt to break Chris' seat post free from seizure, we drove down to the local welding/gas supply shop for a liter or so of LN2, or liquid nitrogen. The idea is this: aluminum (the seat post) contracts quicker than steal (the bike frame) under cold temperatures. According to the sales man at the LN2 shop, we were playing with about -362 degrees Fahrenheit, which to me seems cold enough. Note: I researched and found that LN2 freezes at -346 degrees, so maybe he meant -342 degrees. Either way, the seat post is still stuck and Chris went with the last resort of cutting the post off attempting to cut a slit in the post with a long hack saw blade. This is obviously a to be continued post.

Prepping involved taping the holes to the downtube and stays in an attempt to funnel the nitrogen down the seat tube, thus freezing the seat post mercilessly stuck in the frame.

A look inside the bottom bracket reveals the cave of confusion, wondering what the heck we were about to pour into it.

LN2, the smoking gun, awaits patiently as we prep allez. Little did he know it was like frosty waiting in a greenhouse, only moments longer and you'll be dead.

After a couple seat tubes full, vice grips, vices, monkey wrenches and a lot of brute force we concluded defeat. That wouldn't stop us from using the LN2 to freeze burn anything we could find in sight.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mountain Lion Defense

Well most of us have been in an environment where moutain lions exist, however, many of us have probably never seen one. Just in case a sighting occurs, this trusty sign just may be the ticket for a safe journey home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Photo Gallery Viewer

I've been tossing around the idea of putting photos into my own gallery viewer for awhile. It's been one of my many distractions from acadamia this past semester. Unfortunately I just haven't found any nice opensource viewers out there until now. I finally found one that works have way decent, has a good looking interface, and will store photos in a database. I must be picky or something though cause there are still many things about this viewer that I would also change. Franakly if I had the time, and the source code I just might do that. But for now I'm going to move forward with what I've got. I'm still now exactly sure how I want to organize them. I really should get my web page up and running, but I'd rather go pedal 50 miles than spend any more time behind this damn glowing screen. Click on the image above. To choose an album select choices in lower left-hand corner. Cheers.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Racing supports riding

It's been a couple months since I've really had time to clean my room. In an effort to maximize space I did a routine organizing which consists of grabbing things from the more central parts of the room and putting them as close to the walls as possible. This was mostly done so I could put my touring bike up on the trainer in hopes of getting to spin some miles soon. What I had realized at the time of my organizing tantrum was exactly what I titled this blog post. I had a rather large pile of swag, but even better than swag, useful things that actually enable me to get out and ride more. I've been running on a tight student budget for awhile now, been tromping with the same crankset on my mountain bike since 1999 (yup that's 10 years), a shamy that's three years old, and rims that are busting at the seams. Now I'm not one to rush out and get the lastest new hip bike gadgets, but I've definitely come to realize how upgrades can make my bike work a lot better, which only fuels my desire to go ride more. It's a sick cyclical cycle really. What I'm getting at is this, I have a pile of great stuff sitting here from a couple local bike races that I participated in which really helps an economically challenged dude like myself out. This is a BIG shout out to Vic at Team Bigfoot, Jennifer at Adventure's Edge, and all the folks up at Revolution for really making the cycling scene around here kick ass. Cheers.

Stomach Churn 2009

This weekend I got a break in from studying to participate in the 11th annual Stomach Churn bike race. The race has moved around throughout the years eventually landing at the current location for the last 8 or so. I have no idea what the previous race conditions were, but I do know what they are now. If the creators had foreseen into the future than they adequately named this event Stomach Churn. This was probably one of the hardest races I've ever done. Steep climbs nope. Crazy technical rock sections, nada. This race meandered through rolling cow pastures and cut through a small evergreen stand with pure intentions of making each rider work for each pedal stroke. In the end I finished pretty lousy from my norm, but probably had the most fun I've had at a race event. Typical with a lot of cyclocross races in the cross competition. Luckily for me my outfit more than made up for my inadequacies on the race track. I left with a couple sets of tires, a big bag of hammer gel, and some sore legs to remember it by. Thanks to all who participated and especially all those putting hard work into making the event a success! Click on the above pic for photos.


Monday, November 30, 2009

T-day Break Riding

Although the weather wasn't ideal for riding during break, we did get some nice pedaling in. On friday we went down to Redwood State Park with the intention of riding for the day and heading south from there to sleep in tents and hit some more single track the next day. Unfortunately (or not so unfortunately) my chain broke and not a one of us brought a chain breaker. Because of the cold and rain I think we were all secretly stoked to load up the bikes and head back north for some dinner and great beer at Eel River Brewery. We decided over dinner to go home, warm up, fix our bikes and head out early with Don's Donuts in hand. But not before heading to Scott's for another round of great homebrew and viewing of "Seasons" by the Collective. The next day turned out to be magnificant, and Kevin decided to be a macho man and take along Scott's 7 inch travel Iron Horse. We all got to sesh out some sections of single track with the steel horse while Kevin got the honors of lugging the 40 lb. tank up the climb. Thanks Kevin.
Click on the pic for a slideshow.

Turkey or no Turkey day

Thanks giving was a much needed break. School has me burnt out and I'm starting to feel unnecessarily inefficient. The weather was damp and cold most of the week. On thanksgiving morning the temps were bitter, but at least no rain was coming down. I managed to get a quick 20 mile bike ride in through the bottoms and Eureka loop with my buddy Chris. The food was plentiful and it took me three sessions to finally finish what food I put on my plate. The old "eyes were bigger than my stomach," but I was persistent with trying to get my stomach to catch up. Dinner was hosted at the hostel this year so we got our rounds of ping pong in, with the traditional board games such as Apples to Apples getting cleared off the shelves as well. Successful, you betcha.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wet ride

It was a wet and muddy one out there today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stomach Churn 2009

Coming up December 5th is the Stomach Churn Cyclocross race brought to you by team bigfoot. There will be a ton of prizes, BBQ, and of course beer after the event. 30 minute race starts at 10:30, 50 minute starts at 11:30am. I'll be there for sure, racing, maybe puking, and of course taking a ton of pics. There is also a cross-dressing contest in which the winner will score a new set of Kenda tires. Check out the map to the race and my after race posting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Paradise Royale Trail With Ocean Views

In its infant stages is a trail addition that will link up with the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike trail in the Kings Range. For those of those wondering what the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike trail is, you're definitely not alone. Situated on a hill, in a valley, near the coast, of some unknown range is pure pleasure. A friend of mine hit it on the head when he said, "This is how a mountain bike trail should feel." I couldn't agree more.

Back in the days of living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, I was surrounded by hundred of miles of incredible single track, World class single track -- although I didn't realize it at the time but I sure did take advantage of it. Living in northern California has made me realize how much things are spread out. I can't complain about the beauty and the quality of the trails that are near me, but there sure isn't the quantity, at least legitimately. Having said that I have to give a huge shout out to those who have worked and are working on the Paradise Royale project. I'm not really a fan of climbing into a car to drive 3 hours in order to ride my bike, but this trail sure is worth it. With the additional 8 miles of riding it will make it that much more tempting. Here is a great article by Vicky Sama of discussing the project and the adventures one takes in order to build an amazing trail. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bogstomp '09

Yesterday was the second annual Bogstomp race put on by the guys at Revolution. There was a pretty good turn out for all the races: kids, 30 minute, and 50 minute. From what I've been told and from what videos I've seen of last year, it was a lot less muddy out there too. I partook in the 30 minute quick death portion, and with seven years since I've raced that was about all I could handle. Luckily I've been getting on my bike a few times a week, so recovery wasn't that awful. I was, however, only 1 of maybe 4 dudes without glistening legs. There was some heavy hitters out there for the 50 minute race. Luckily I took my camera to capture some grins, and grimaces. Click on the link to check the gallery. For all of you at the race that want a high res print hit me up, and help out a poor college student.

Times are now up on the revolution website.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So... where is that bike made?

Ever wonder where the heck your bike was made? Me too. The problem is, it isn't that easy. This is a great article that emphasizes the abstract process a bike travels through before getting that "Made In..." sticker. This article by Kerry Roberts, past president of the National Bicycle Dealers Association, demystifies the profiling of bicycle origin. Check it out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paradise Royale round II

Got a chance to head down to the King's Range again with a great crew. There had been some recent rain so the trail was perfectly tacky, making a lot of the steep uphill sections easier to bite. The weather was great, a bit chilly when we first got there, but with the climbing we warmed right up. Chris took a spill this time, pasting his blood on some trail stones. Click on the pic to see a sideshow, although I didn't get a chance to take many photos. Enjoy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In the Guts

If you react to this as I did, then it will blow you away. What an amazing account of our greater impact on the natural world. Through the eyes of Chris Jordan, these photos depict a sorry situation occurring in the middle of the North Pacific. Check out the link.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Huggett West Coast Wedding Celebration

This last weekend was an amazing few days of celebrating with the Huggetts' for their west coast wedding party. An amazing crowd of folks showed up, some of which I haven't seen in a few years. It's easy to forget all the amazing people you know when you're so buckled down doing your own thing with school. We had a great recap of the ceremony, a great assortment of food, and then moved the party over to the veteran's hall for a night of swing dancin'. Click on the pic for a slide show of what I captured. From what I've seen out there, some pretty amazing photos from everyone that was there. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Single Track Action

Not the best quality, but some single track in the Community Forest just blocks from my house. My training grounds.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good folks in Trumbill Conneticut

My good buddy, his wife Monica, and their new 1984 MTD riding lawn mower have a new place to call home. Congrats to you guys and good luck on the renovations. As a briefer, my buddy Andrew and myself had an awesome adventure together in the summer of 2002 right after we both graduated from Norther Michigan University. A friend of ours, who was headed up to Alaska to work on a fishing boat for the summer, dropped us off in Anacortes, WA where we proceeded to ride our bikes eastward toward a large body of water many folks call the Atlantic Ocean. It was a trip I'm sure both of us will never forget with many great memories and people along the way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Paradise Royale

Yesterday I got a chance to ride the Paradise Royale Trail in the King Range National Conservation Area with a couple great buddies. The riding was absolutely amazing, some of the best mountain biking I've ever done. Although my legs felt a little burnt out the superb riding kept a smile on my face for the whole 12 miles. The trail had some pretty gnarly, steep, and loose climbing up some switchbacks up to 2,500'. The route is designed to be ridden in a clockwise fashion especially the downhill segment, also known as Mad Queen's Careen. It was amazingly designed and rode like a mountain bike trail should, although it was quite soupy and some sections felt like your were riding over marbles. The jumps were fun, the berms were well made, and the smiles perpetual. Click on photo to view more photos, and if interested check out the map view. BLM Trail Link.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

12 Hours of Humboldt

Today I realized what an amazing place I have in my backyard, and how that amazing place made an amazing backdrop for a cool event like the 12 Hours of Humboldt. Although I should have been suffering with the rest of them, I chose to head into the woods with my camera and take a few shots. Click on the pic to view the gallery.

Dyerville Loop Ride

Dyerville Loop ride with Allie and Jenny on July 13, 2009. Click on photo to view map and photos.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grants Pass, OR to Arcata, CA

Bike ride from Grants Pass to Arcata with Ted and Dereck. All went well, great roads and great weather. I'll have the photos posted up soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let's go for a bike ride - TDF 17

Overview of TDF stage 17 - Bourg-Saint-Maurice -> Le Grand-Bornand

First climb of stage 17 - Cormet de Roselend

Ascent up Col des Saisi

The last Cat 1 climb - Col de la Colombiere

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gjoa's Bees

I got a chance to go check out a friend's bee hive last Sunday. Click on the pic to see the gallery of Gjoa's Bees. Enjoy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tide Poolin'

-2.2 feet low tide last weekend meant good tide pool action. I posted up some photos of what we found.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

once was....

Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
If it rolls and flows all down her breast.
Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
That's the way I remember her best.

I'm a-wonderin' if she remembers me at all.
Many times I've often prayed
In the darkness of my night,
In the brightness of my day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Eel River Brewery Trip

Finally got a chance to go check out the Eel River Brewery down in Fortuna. Pretty nice garden out back, with horse shoes to throw around. Just watch out for the cats.