Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Snow Day!

Timberline Climb
Originally uploaded by Facility Bike Club.
We had a big snow storm last night...about 8-12 inches of snow accumulation down in the valley. A few weeks ago this would've totally bummed me out, but today was different. The sun was shining all day, and it just didn't seem as cold even though the thermometer would suggest otherwise. It's also the end of February, and we should be back to 50 degrees by the end of the week. So in other words...no worries.

The snow was too wet and deep to ride up in, so we decided to take the Timberline Road climb. The streets back in town were wet and slushy, but were in great shape up on the hill. My legs felt great! Taking a few days off the bike (and eating like a horse) certainly does recharge your batteries.

When we got to the top, Todd decided to give a little foot path in the snow a try. The snow was too deep and soft, and he sunk down in. He had to climb back out to the road on foot. We decided to ride back down the road a ways and try another trail.

When we got to the other trail, Todd once again charged into the snow, only to find that once again, it was not rideable. Dammit! We wanted to play in the snow today! We parked the bikes in the snow bike rack and contemplated our next move.

The girls had an interesting idea. One that I decided not to participate in. Barbara, Sandie, and Kristy (pictured left to right) jumped into the snow and started making snow angels! After the artwork was completed, Sandie decided to hurl a snow ball at Todd. Todd informed Sandie that she threw like a girl, and that's when the snow ball melee broke out.

It was time to get going, so we went back down to the bike path. At the lower elevation, the snow was quite rideable. We took a couple sections of packed, snowy single track before finally ending up back in town. What a great day!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Backwards Land

Backwards Land
Originally uploaded by Facility Bike Club.
The coordination of Friday's ride was full of miscommunication. So much so that we ended up doing a loop backwards. I've done many of our loops backwards, but this was the first time on this particular loop for me. It felt like a brand new trail, and even the scenery was unfamiliar. So if you have the same old trail blues, try riding one backwards. Got me?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lapidary Maxim

After days off the bike, and many a bellyful of ethnic victuals, a dark cloud had shadowed his mind. He had a head cold, and the weather was even colder. Thoughts of letting himself go and growing jowls larger than curtains of beef percolated in his feeble mind. He knew he would need inspiration soon. He would need a sign. And not just any sign. A lapidary maxim from the almighty powerful one that would move his soul once again to push those pedals and propel his body up the hill.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Windy Daze

Windy Day
Originally uploaded by Facility Bike Club.
It's been several days since my last post. I've been fighting a cold, and haven't felt like doing much of anything! I was able to ride yesterday though. It was a sunny day with brutal winds. And not just winds from any particular direction...the foothills and canyons seem to direct wind in multiple directions. Usually the opposite direction you are riding. In this first picture, Barbara is taking it easy down the hill. It's hard to appreciate from this angle, but there's a pretty good drop off the right hand side of the photo. The wind was trying really hard to push us over the edge!

The winds were high today, and it looks like even worse tomorrow. Wind driven snow/rain. Yippee! If I'm feeling better tomorrow, I'll have to come up with some new excuse not to ride. Maybe I'll create an emergency at work...

I felt great on Monday though! It was a cold day, but we had lots of sunshine. We were able to get a 30 mile road ride from Carson City through Washoe Valley and back. We had originally planned to ride from Folsom (where Johnny Cash really wasn't in prison) to Old Sacramento and back, but the weather didn't cooperate. The Washoe Valley loop was a good substitute.

In environmental news, it looks like the Bush Administration wants to build a new Coal Power plant in Eastern Nevada. I bet our new coal friendly governor/ex congressman couldn't wait to get this dirty project going. In a state that is full of wind, sun, and geothermal energy potential, a huge coal plant is ridiculous. If you'd like to take action and preserve your cyclist lungs, protect your family from mercury emissions, slow down global warming, etc., it's easy. Just visit the NRDC Take Action webpage, fill in the blanks and hit submit. There are plenty of other action items to get involved in too. Check it out!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sunday's are for Riding

Last Sunday me, Brent, and the Chili Dog headed out for a quick ride at Centennial Park before Brent's first of two Futsal games that day (he slept like a baby that night).

It has rained quite a bit the day before so the trail was in pristine condition. The weather was a bit chilly with quite a bit of a head wind on the way back but other than that, the sun was shining.

Here is a video I shot of Brent coming down the beginning section that is basically a rock garden with jagged rocks and huge boulders. It is a bitch to climb!

Foxy Lady

As you know from my previous post, my Fox Talas RL fork broke about a week and a half ago while I was riding. We immediately called Fox and sent the fork back to them on Thursday the 8th. As a result of the accident, my Avid rotor was damaged so we also asked Fox to replace that.

I am happy to report that the fork was replaced under warranty, but the rotor was not. We received the fork back yesterday. They said my skewer was loose which contributed to the accident so we were equally responsible. Honestly, I am totally ok with having to replace the rotor (about $40) and NOT the fork ($400-$500). Fox is an awesome company to deal with superior customer service and quick turn around time.

Anxiously awaiting the auction ending on e-Bay for my new rotor.

I need to get a new front skewer and soon...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Spy Photo of the Day

High Security
Originally uploaded by Facility Bike Club.
I don't know Barbara... This form of bicycle security might work in Reno, but Carson City is another story. The thieves here have figured out how to cut through 1/4 inch bungee cord, and some may even know to just unhook the ends from the tie downs. I'd go for something more robust...climbing rope perhaps. Or go crazy and buy a metal cable and lock...

I shouldn't tease. The poor riders at the Facility have lost their indoor bicycle storage, and are coping the best that they can...

My New Riding Partner and BFF

My mechanic got me a
(PRODUCT) RED 8G iPod Nano for valentines day to replace my 2G pink mini.

He is not only good to look at but can follow the ever so subtle hint I threw out. Here is how it went down:

Me: "Hey, you know what would make a great valentines present?"
Brent: "No, what?"
Me: "A red nano with a heartfelt message inscribed on the back"
Brent: "Ok"

Why do I love my new Nano? Well let me just tell you why, when it is ride time it does NOT have to "work" from home (Ryan), go on vacation with it's family (Kathy), go home because it's kids have a half day of school (Barbara), go to lunch with it's MIL (Jeff)...I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

I actually had a really great ride with my pod, the weather was perfect and the Killers were the perfect soundtrack.

Check out the other great products like my iPod that you can buy to support a great cause at joinred

Birth to Death in a Car

I was reading through the comments over at The Minus Car Project, and I found some references to cartoonist Andy Singer. This cartoon and many others can be viewed HERE.

On my daily commutes by car I often get overwhelmed by all the cars and car culture around me. Cars on the road, cars in the parking lot, car lots, car washes, car garages, tire stores, drive thru's, the list goes on... It annoys me to see all this, and yet I am part of the problem. I drive a small fuel efficient car, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still out there, occupying space on the road.

With the short, cold days, bicycle commuting isn't really an option for me. Public transportation between Carson City and Gardnerville is non existent at this time. It is very frustrating, and I'm so sick of being in the car.

I am anxiously awaiting day light savings time so that I can start riding the new road bike to work a couple times a week. My normal commute route is a 32 mile round trip, but is a scary ride alongside 70mph traffic. The safer route is a 44 mile round trip, and is very scenic. I'd still have to do some riding at lunch I suppose...I wouldn't know what else to do. It sounds like a lot of time on the bike, doesn't it? But consider this...

At another blog that I frequent, Oil is For Sissies, I found the following in the comments:

"Fun car math:

60 minute commute each way to work
x2 times a day
x5 days a week
x52 weeks a year
=31200 minutes a year
or 520 hours a year
or 21.6 days a year

Three weeks spent in a car, just going from home to work. It's no wonder people often ask, where does all the time go?"

My commute is half of this example, but it still freaks me out that I'm in my car for at least an 11 day period each year. My goal this year is to move as much time from the car over to the bike. Then maybe all that time won't seem wasted!

I'm not feeling too good today, so I went out to eat instead of riding (yes by car...). Before I left though, I got a chance to see Barbara's high tech bicycle security system. Photos and details later tonight...

Update: Jane Holtz Kay's book Asphalt Nation looks like it may provide some insight into my car culture woes. "Asphalt Nation is a major work of urban studies that examines how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape, and how we can fight back." I'll have to check this book out...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Susan B

"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."
Susan B. Anthony

Kathy provided us with this quote today, it was rather fitting for me this week. I had a test on Monday so I could not ride. Naturally, I was itching to get out on Tuesday. I even had two rides planed but my front tire was flat! I have watched my mechanic, I mean Brent, change flats before and he has often tried to hold what he calls a "fix a flat clinic" in the back yard. My first thought (as was Kathy's when Mike tried the same thing) was why, my tire is not flat. So I have never taken him up on the offer.

Anyway, I decided to dive in and fix the flat or I was not going to get to ride. I found a thorn on the inside of the tire, removed it with needle nose plyers I borrowed from my IT guy, found the hole in the tube, patched it, and put the tire back on. I am very happy to report it is still holding air and I feel the freedom of self reliance that Susan B speaks of!

I am hanging on to my mechanic though cos he is nice to look at...

Self Portraits

These fantastic photos were taken on Tuesday night with my Motorola Slvr cell phone. Our girls practice soccer at a great park south of town that has hills behind it so we can MTB ride while they practice. Any good mom knows you have to multi-task!


My office is in a basement. It's well lit, but still I feel like I'm in a cave 40 hours a week. Such has been my life the last 12 years. Not always a basement, but no windows. There was a brief period of a few months when I had a skylight...that was nice. Anyway...this is what I saw when I headed out for my ride yesterday. Blue skies and sunshine. One of my favorite things!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Surprise Attack

Today's ride started off partially sunny. So much so, that I thought I may have overdressed when I left the office. A couple miles out the sun went away, and it got really dark. And then near the top of the climb it started to snow. It was a happy snow though as you can see from the picture. Just light, fluffy, and non sticky.

We had a good downhill run, but near the bottom, the snow became a near whiteout. The flakes were huge and wet, and my glasses started getting all blurry. My vision was distorted and I was having a hard time with depth perception. I tried taking the glasses off but was immediately pelted in the eyes with snow. I think we would've all laughed at our situation, but our faces were frozen, preventing the smile muscles from functioning. Still better than hanging around work or going to the buffet though...

In other news... I got a call from the boy on my way home from work. He told me that somebody dumped a blue bike in front of our house. This might have concerned me at one time, but this is the fourth derelict bike to be dropped off in my front yard. I'm pretty certain I know where the first two came from, but this one and the last one I'm not sure. The bike is a WalMart Mongoose that looked like it was exploded. I sent my bike sniffing dog in for a closer look. He gave me the clear signal, and I carried all the pieces into the garage. If you look closely at the picture by the sprocket, you can see a separated valve stem. As if I could reuse it again... The one thing the bikes all have in common is that they are all severely abused and broken. There isn't much to salvage on them, and they're not worth fixing up with new parts. So out they will go into the backyard with all the other derelict bikes, waiting for some idea to come along on what to do with them. I know a guy that cuts up bikes to make choppers, or there is the Reno Bike Project. I think they collect parts and stuff like this to make whole bike for people...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday Road Ride


Kathy joined Kristy and I for a road ride today. Kathy seemed to have a hard time kicking our butts on her road bike. I don't know...maybe she's losing some fitness. Or maybe it's because her road bike had 2.1 knobby tires, and full suspension. Whatever...


Kathy and the rest of the gang had just finished doing the Lakeview/V&T loop, and decided to ride with us for the rest of our ride. After we finished our upper Lakeview loop, we headed for Kings Canyon. When we got to the canyon, I headed east for work, and the girls climbed the canyon to the end of the pavement.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Skull Rock

Our Sunday road ride turned into a mountain bike ride. Kristy and I hooked up with Jeff, Amy, Dave, and Anke, and headed up into Ash Canyon. I really enjoy the weekend rides. The weekday rides are so rushed with only an hour to ride. It's a nice change to just hang out, stop and talk about the trail, plan new trail sections, take pictures,etc. Plus, if you screw up a section of trail, you have the opportunity of going back and giving it a second shot.

The highlight of the ride for me was the new upper section of single track. It was a 1st gear grinder with a strong headwind out of the west. The chilly southwest wind kept the precipitation up higher in the mountains, giving the mountains above a misty look. The trail conditions were excellent, still wet from the previous night's rain. The sand was wet and fast rolling, and there were only a few slick clay sections that caused a little bit of a surprise.

After we completed the climb, we headed down to the new Jackrabbit singletrack. In it's 3rd or 4th revision now, the trail is starting to flow really well. The end has been extended almost all the way down to the bike path now. Once back at the bike path, we did the Combs Canyon climb, and took the Rail Road Grade back home.

Then there's skull rock. Since the quotable helmet has been removed from the trail, a new totem was required to warn weary cyclists of the large, obvious rock at the end of the postal route. It's pretty cool looking, so it may be lost to scavengers soon. Enjoy it while you can!

Quotable Helmet - Safe

DSC00107The quotable helmet has been removed from the mountain, and is now under the careful watch of two vicious dogs. We can all rest easy...

Friday, February 09, 2007

I've Gone Pro!

I've gone pro! Flickr Pro that is... There are 526 pictures on our Flickr page now, and I've even meticulously categorized them for your viewing ease. Here's a link to the Photosets Page.

Stumpjumper WSD FSR

As you may have read in the previous post, Kristy and I traded bikes yesterday. I was able to get a full 10 miles on her Womens Specific Design Specialized Stumpjumper FSR.

Kristy's bike is just a hair small for me, but is still big enough for me to ride it comfortably. Since we had a few road miles to get to the trail, the first thing I did was lockout both ends of the bike. The rear lockout definitely felt firm, but not like a hardtail. You can still feel a little movement.

When we got to the trail, I put the rear shock in pro-pedal mode, and unlocked the fork. The first section of the V&T RR Grade has some rocky sections, so it was a good test of the suspension. Both ends of the bike have five inches of plush travel, and allowed me to keep pedaling hard through the rough stuff. My five inch travel freeride bike (Kona Coiler) has much firmer suspension, and isn't near this comfortable in the slow stuff.

Another cool thing about the bike was the center of gravity. Even though it has the long travel suspension, I still felt like I was sitting low on the bike. It turned very quick in the tight twisty singletrack sections, unlike my Coiler that sits very tall and requires a lot of body English to do the same turn. The Stumpy is also seven pounds lighter than my Coiler. A very noticeable seven pounds! The shorter top tube, and light Fox fork made wheelies a snap. I was having fun with that all day. On the return trip, I took it over a couple double jumps. It felt easy to jump with the more upright riding position. Don't worry Kristy...I didn't case it, or taco the back rim! I stuck the landing...

So what makes this bike a WSD? A comfortable seat (I'm jealous). A shorter top tube. The color? Not so much...I wouldn't mind a bike of the same color. Skinny riser bars..24.5 inches wide to be exact. Too skinny for the frame size really. In fact, Kristy just ordered up some Race Face Atlas riser bars this morning. 27 inches wide, 1.5" rise.

Oh, and what's up with the picture you ask? That's me at the 2006 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington. Since I was testing a WSD bike, I thought I'd show off my muliebral side!

Hmm.... a 29r Single Speed?

So the other night Jeff and I were on the Internet for hours looking at frames. We decided it would be cool to get a 29r single speed frame. That way the bigger tires would soften the bumps a little while keeping the front end light too. After looking at many frames we kept coming back to this Karate Monkey by Surly. I really liked the frame and it comes with a matching fork. You all know how I like to match.

I could run the bike single speed, geared, 1x9, rim brakes, disc brakes, put a rack on it, run just about any tire width...it's very versatile! And the price is right...

And Jeff just pointed out that the initials for Karate Monkey, KM, match my initials!

Going Single!

I have wanted a single speed for a while now, but would I be strong enough to ride it? That has been the big question on my mind, so I decided to try out Jeff's bike first. So yesterday, we switched bikes. I rode the Inbred and Jeff rode my Stumpy. After we adjusted seat heights we were off. Other than the Inbred being a bit long, it was a nice fit. We did the RR Grade, an easier ride, perfect for my trial. We headed through town towards the bike path when Sandie asked me, "how do you like it?" At this point it was great, I was able to keep up with the group and felt comfortable pedaling. I was still apprehensive because the true test would be on the climbs.

On the RR Grade I was surprised to find that it was a little easier pedaling up the hills, as long as I charged them with a little speed. The front of the bike felt so much lighter than my mountain bike. This bike just wanted to fly up them. It was kind of exhilarating! I didn't realize how much difference a couple of pounds make on a climb. Felt like I was on my road bike, kinda sorta. I also found that I needed to balance a bit more, to get my momentum going on steeper sections of the trail. Usually, I would just down shift but that wasn't an option. I did miss my suspension a little bit on rocky sections, however I don't know that I would want to add any weight on the front. I really liked the front light. I even climbed a couple of hills, that I rarely make on my Stumpy. Amy and I had so much fun we decided to do the route again, as the rest of the lunch bunch went back to the office. We also ran into Kathy and Mike while on the ride, it was good to see them!

I had a blast! I can't wait to get my own.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

If a girl endos in the woods but nobody is around to see it...

I am riding along down the Deer Run minding my own damn business when all of the sudden my bike comes to a complete stop and I am flying over the bars. I lay there for a minute trying to catch my breath and then hop up to see what the hell caused such a thing to happen. This was my first endo. You see endo-ing is one of my biggest fears of riding a bike. So much so, that I am a back-breaker meaning, I hardly ever use my front brake to avoid this horrible fate!

Back to my story, so I look at the trail and can clearly see the indentation in the ground where my front tire stopped suddenly but there is no apparent cause for this to have happened. No rocks, no logs, not even a twig, nothing! Dazed and confused, I try to hop back on the bike and catch the group. It won't go anywhere. I check the back break thinking maybe the pads are stuck on the rotor or something. Nope, they are fine. Then I look at the front tire and notice that the skewer is stuck in the rotor! I can't get it out and am just concerned with catching the other riders so I start walking the bike on it's back tire and leave the front one in the air (a trick Kathy taught me while we were hike-a-biking at our daughters soccer practice).

Finally, I see Kathy in the distance coming for me. She has a look of concern on her face. I tell her what happened, she removes the weeds sticking from my helmet and then turns her attention to the bike. She takes off the tire and hands me a piece of something. I ask her what it is and she very casually says "a piece of your fork" I start to FREAK. I say "WHAT?" "No it is not" and then she shows me the void that piece had left on the fork. She takes off my tire and gets the skewer loose and puts the tire back on. We figure it is safe enough to ride slowly back to work. So that is what we do.

The damage? The fork down something-or-other (the hookey thing that holds it to the tire) is broken off much like this and the rotor (disc brake) is bent or warped. I call my mechanic (also my husband) and have him stop by my office after work to assess the damage. It is his opinion that the fork failed or broke which caused it to twist and suck the skewer into the rotor and causing the bike to come to a sudden stop. He also thinks it has been cracked for some time. He gets on the phone to Fox and tells them what happened and arranges to send the fork back to them. We are hopeful that this is a warranty issue being that the bike is less than a year old and I weigh less than 100 pounds and do XC riding not dirt jumping! We are also trying to get the warped rotor covered by Fox. I will update everyone later on the status of that as things develop.

We arrive home and Brent asks if I need anything to which I respond "yeah, a stiff drink" he tries to give me whiskey but I refuse and decide on some Smoking Loon Cabernet which I proceed to almost finish all by myself. I guess I was more shook up by all this that I expected to be or just thirsty, whatever.

My mechanic then took an old Rock Shox Sid fork he had laying around (thanks to Bill) and installed it on my bike so I won't even miss one day of riding. He called our buddy Todd who drives for Fed Ex and got a box delivered to pack the fork into. He packed it all up and then took it back to Todd to ship out to Fox today. I am hopefully going to have the replacement by this time next week.

Physically how do I feel today? Like I got hit by a truck. I landed on my head and left shoulder so obviously my shoulder hurts, a lot. But for some strange reason, the entire right side of my body from my ear lobe to my lower back hurts. Oh, and it hurts when I cough. I am pretty sure I did not break a rib or puncture my lung....

Ride on...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Jeff, Amy and I did a lunch time road ride today. Our road bikes have been a little jealous, while our mountain bikes have been getting all the action. We did two tough climbs today, the first one started up King's Canyon road. We had a fierce headwind which made the climb difficult and slow going. Usually the reward is in the downhill, but today it was not the case. The wind came through the canyon from both directions in gusty bursts, so it was hard for me to let loose. At the bottom, we did a quick time check. We decided that 15 minutes was enough time to get across the valley to Lakeview, and still get Jeff back to work on time.

We felt a few sprinkles of rain along the way but decided to go for it anyways. I am glad we did too. By the time we were ready to head up Lakeview, the goo (Power bar Jell) that I sampled at Amy's house before the ride, had kicked in. Let me just say that my body isn't used to caffeine, so the double dose made me feel like, I was all hopped up on Mountain Dew. I couldn't believe how much easier the climb felt. Usually on my mountain bike, I am praying for the final stretch. Today, I found myself sprinting to the end.

Personal note to self...
caffeine = fast, fun
no caffeine = slow, miserable

Captains log supplemental....
I got a big kick out of watching Jeff suffer a little last night. He said, "man am I tired, that was like two lunch time rides in one!" I just snickered and said, "oh so your tired huh," as if I wasn't. I have waited a long time for this day. I remember many times where he has done circles around me, or even climbed to the top of the hill and come back to meet me. I just look at him in disgust when he can easily carrying on a conversation, while I am struggling to breathe and trying to keep the sweat out of my eyes.

Lookout honey....here I come!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Today was even warmer than yesterday! I wore my shorts, and light duty long long sleeve jersey. Once underway, I felt like I could've gone with a short sleeve! We had a rather large group today, including our other FNG, Scott. The warm weather has brought out all the hibernators. We had a great pace getting to the dirt, and everyone was climbing very strongly. We regrouped at the top of the Deer Run and prepared for our descent.

Once we regrouped at the top of the Postal Route, we agreed that the next checkpoint would be the beginning of the new trail, "Jackrabbit". When I got to the end of the Postal Route, I started looking for the spot where I face planted a couple weekends ago. And then there it was...very near my impact crater...The Quotable Helmet. The trailside curiosity stopped me dead in my tracks. Hanging off the front of the inscribed helmet was the Red Teletubbie, "Po". I carefully observed the Quotable Helmet from a distance, not wanting to disturb this rare artifact.

Once the rest of the gang had arrived at the helmet, someone said, "Hey look...there's a note on it!". Ah yes, there it was...a rolled up pink message in Po's circular chapeau. I didn't see it earlier. One of the gang started to read it, and then said, "It's addressed to you, Jeff...". "What the...?!?" I thought to myself, or even possibly out loud. As I read the message aloud to the gang, I began to realize what was going on here. A memorial-like helmet at the same location where I broke my visor and dented my helmet. This could only be the work of the....Potters...

Monday, February 05, 2007


Much of the country is frozen today, and a lot of tough cyclists reported that it was too cold for even them to ride due to the dangerous wind chills. It was quite the opposite here today. It was in the 50's by noon, and we got to wear shorts* today! There was a mixture of shorts, knickers, and light weight tights in the group today, and the feeling was very liberating!

Also of note today was the performance of one of the FNG's. Randy, who's starting on his 2nd week riding with us, completed the Lake View Loop on his first try! I gave him the option of riding out the V&T Rail Road Grade, and we'd pick him up on our way back. Instead, he opted to do the hill with us. I expected him to turn around in the first 100 yards of the Coombs Canyon climb, but he surprised me and kept going. Every time I turned around, he was still there! When I got to the top of the road climb, he wasn't very far off, so we waited for him. He finished off the remaining dirt climb, and headed down the thrilling sandy downhill that leads to the Rail Road Grade. All the way back to the office, he kept pace with the group. He may need to be tested for performance enhancing drugs come to think of it...

(*Note to Alaskans: "Shorts" are shorter versions of pants, that stop above knee and expose a fair amount of leg flesh. Shorts are enjoyed by many in warmer climates for their cooling effect.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bike Wash

This weekend was a rest weekend. Kristy was out of town, so the boy and I were left to fend for ourselves. Saturday, the boy and I rode down to the Shady Grove Coffee Company for drinks and a few games of Connect Four. Later in the day we drove up to the Sierras for a long soak at Grover Hot Springs. I soaked and stretched in the hot mineral bath until my body became rubberized.

Today we were treated to temperatures in the 60's! I put on some shorts and decided to wash the bikes. This would be an easy task for most people. It's quite an undertaking for me though. I got to most of them... Some bikes were pretty dirty, as it's been too cold to get the hose out. I had a big smile when I saw how shiny they were underneath all the dirt and grime!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Timberline Loop

Today I got to ride with Kathy and Kim on the Timberline Loop. Most of the gang was away doing other stuff today. I'm so glad that I took my heavy bike home, and brought in my hard tail! We had a good pace up the 1,000 foot climb. I had to stay in the middle chain ring the whole way just to keep up. This would be no church social! When we got to the top, I was anticipating catching my breath and getting a sip of water. Instead I heard the Santa Cruz and Titus up-shifting for the downhill. We would rest later.

We took a quick breather at the saddle above Ash Canyon, and then jumped on the new single track. It's narrow, off camber, and on the side of a steep hill. It's quite a thrill! It's still kind of grassy in some places, so my rear end was slipping off the trail when braking too hard. It is so cool to be able to ride single track all the way back to town from here!

When we got back down to the bike path, I was a little tired and very hungry. I had to head back to work, but the girls were going out for at least one more loop...possibly two. It was a good reminder that I need to work on my endurance this year. I imagine the road biking will help with that.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother

"The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother"

~The Hollies

At least that's what I used to sing. I rode my Kona Coiler this week, and I've forgotten how heavy this bike is! I used to pedal this bike all around, and never complain. In fact I enjoyed it. This overbuilt Freeride/XC bike tips the scales at 35+ lbs. That's 11 more pounds than my single speed, and 9 more than my hard tail...the two bikes I've been riding for months now. It was hard to load on my roof rack, hard to do wheelies on, and feels like a truck in the turns.

In its defense, there were a few really fun sections on the bike. The suspension really swallows up the bumps, and the stiff frame and front end really track well. It is kind of fun to haul butt on it.

I used to love this bike for some of the boulder strewn trails around Lake Tahoe, but I'm just not sure I feel like pedaling all this weight up some of those Tahoe climbs anymore. I'll have to test out some of those trails on my hard tail this summer, and see how bad I miss the Coiler.

In other news today, we helped ride in some new sections of trail. The new upper section is more technical, and provides great views of Carson City. Coming down is very nice too. You can pick up some speed, but you also have to be ready for hairpin turns, weaving around a few trees, and some really cool bumps and dips.

The new lower section, named "Jackrabbit", is starting to become more defined. It crosses a dirt bike section that is starting to get a little nasty from all the high horsepower wheel spin. How we'll finish this trail is still under debate...