Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moab 2010

We got back from the most spectacular Moab mountain biking trip ever. We started out looking for a camping spot on Friday night. Finally, at 10:30, we found our spot... a free spot. We had no idea how amazing the scenery would be until morning.

Upon waking, we were pleasantly surprised when we looked around. We were surrounded by hundred foot bluffs of nothing but red rocks. It was nothing short of amazing.

The first day of riding we rode the famous slickrock trail. I heard rumors about how if you had the legs, you could climb anything. It was true. We encountered many steep rocks to climb and I was able to power up all but one. That one was about 40 yards long and probably about a 30 degree angle, maybe more. I made it about 10 feet from the top when I actually lost a little traction and my front wheel popped up. I landed on my elbow and needed assistance getting up. The rock was too steep for myself to gather enough traction on my hard soled biking shoes to get any traction.

The rest of the day consisted of climbing lots of hills similar to the one previously mentioned. It was a tough day of only 12.5 miles. The weather ranged in the 80s and with the rock warming up kept us heated up.

The next day we got some information from a local bike shop, Chili Pepper Bike Shop. They told us a great ride was Sovereign. They were right. It had some moderate climbs and some extremely technical riding. It was the best ride I've ever been on at that point. It was tight, windy single track with lots of rock climbs and little ledges. It was an up and back route in which the back was definately worth the climb. Riding back to the truck was very fast and flowy. The trail fit so well with the natural elements the desert had to offer. We had a couple drops and ledges to ride off as well as some super fun roller coaster type rocks. I didn't take any pictures this day since I forgot my camera. I would highly recommend this ride to anyone who is willing to put in a little time climbing for an awesome downhill adventure.

The last day we went to Porcupine Rim. This trail had a shuttle that took us to the top. We started off with a small jeep trail climb that led us to the Rim. There was a couple hundred foot cliff that we rode along for the first couple miles. The view was absolutely amazing. Lots of stunning scenery with some death opportunities. Most of this first part winded through some trees to evenutally turn just short of the edge. We then met up with about 5 or 6 miles of double track that was very rocky and had lots of little 2-3 foot drops that flowed very well with the landscape. It was so fast that I was in my middle ring and the smallest in the rear and I couldn't peddle fast enough to gain more speed.

All this led to the greatest single track around. We finished off the ride with 5 or 6 more miles of winding single track with moderate drops and some opportunities to take a few jumps. We hit most of them and they flowed so well, it didn't even make me nervous or anything. The trail was a 12 out of 10. We rode along the Colorado River and it had so much fast, flowy technical riding that fit so well with the landscape, it would be hard to rate anything lower. I would definitely recommend this ride to anyone who wants an adrenaline rush with an addiction for beautiful scenery.

I can't wait to go back!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Experience with a Ute

I picked up the Ute today. I had to drive it home since I had the truck. That bike is loooong. It barely fit but fit it did.

I parked it in the garage and kept begging my wife to go check it out. I couldn't stop saying how different and useful this bike could be. After about a half hour, she finally went and looked. Her first glance was, "yeah, that's a cool looking bike". Then she went into how weird and different it looked. It does. In a good way of course.

I was finally able to take it for a spin at around 8pm. I tooled around the neighborhood cruising up on the sidewalks, riding on the street and up and down hills. It peddles surprisingly easy. It rolls really nice thanks to the continental city slick tires sizing in at 700c. It rode real smooth and had a very comfortable, upright position.

The hardest part for me to get to was the fact that this is not a racer. I'm used to pretty aggressive bikes. My mountain bikes have more aggressive positioning and I used to have an entry level road bike that was pretty quick. If I decide to keep the ute, it will be an adjustment. I'm sure I won't be getting to work in any record time. That's not what this bike is for.

Some of the components felt a little cheap. Mainly the peddles and the cranks. I could tell they weren't of the highest quality but with a $900 price tag and the amount of bike you get, I can't complain. I didn't have a chance to run to the store or haul anything yet but I'm sure that will come.

My main concern is if I will decide to use this bike to it's fullest potential. Would I be happier with more of a touring bike where I can go on long rides and camping trips? I've heard of this other fellow in Sioux Falls who does bike camping trips on his Big Dummy. The Ute will work the same and I'm sure I can do some pretty serious rolling on the Ute. It's a hard decision.

I have some time before I have to decide. It needs a few more miles before I can make an informed decision. So far, I'll give the ute one thumb up. I'll post more as it gets some more miles.

8 Days

8 Days until we go to Moab. It's going to be a busy 8 days too.

First, Angie leaves to go to Chicago tomorrow morning.

I travel 1/2 way to Miller to meet my mom to get a suburban for the Moab trip.

Monday, drop off suburban and my gear for trip on Friday (16th)

Tuesday, fly to Denver for work

Wed-Friday noon, Denver for full days of meetings

Friday noon, hopefully my friends will have made it to Denver to pick me up to get to Moab

Friday night, should have reached Moab and found a camping spot.

Saturday, ride

Sunday, ride

Monday, ride

Tuesday, travel all the way back to Rapid City and try and make it before 5pm.

Tuesday, Angie leaves to go to Nashville through Friday.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kona Ute

The Ute arrived at Acme Bicycles today. I stopped in to take a peek. It looks awesome. The Ute is very comfortable to sit on and I can already dream up ways to use it. The one thing I'm disappointed about is that I didn't take it home. It was a snowy, wet mess outside and I didn't want the bike (which will start out as a trial) to have it's first ride in nasty conditions. I'm sure it's up to the task, but I didn't want to subject it to the elements quite yet; especially since it's not mine, yet...

My father-in-law is a woodworker so I'm sure I could negotiate with him to building me some bolt on deck options. I've seen a couple pictures out there where they would build 2 child seats onto the deck. I've also seen a beer deck among other nifty items I'll have to look into if it becomes a reality in my household.

If the weather turns around, I'll get a ride to the shop and ride it around for a couple days and decide if it is worth the purchase. I think it would be a great commuter with tons of options for a grocery getter and child carrier. It's just fun and economical.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend and Easter

I had planned to ride up to my parent's house by Nemo. This didn't happen. We got snow and the higher elevations got even more snow. I didn't want to risk riding on a no shoulder road with wet and slippery conditions. I'm going to have to start getting some rides in so I'm prepared for Moab.

I'm going to start gathering my leftover parts to put my Dawg back together. I need a bike where I can go bash around and have some fun. It won't be a light build but it should still climb well and will only have a few minor upgrades from stock. The fork will be different and probably some other minor things. As long as it runs and is fun, I don't care.

I have my hardtail for races and training. I'll probably end up riding it the most.

If the weather would straighten itself out I could get some more riding in. I might have to make due with what it is.

Friday, April 2, 2010


It sounds like my favorite local bike shop (Acme Bicycles) will be offering me a chance to test out a Kona Ute next week. Am I excited you ask? Well, I think that's a stupid question. I get to try a Kona Ute for free! It's going to be my commuter, get groceries, haul the kids places bike and I'm going to like it, then I'm probably going to purchase it. I might have to see if I can trade or offer services to help pay for the damn thing, but I think I can make it work.

I'm excited. Yes!

The weather sucks today.

I was hoping to ride up to my parent's house by Nemo tomorrow. The ride would be about 20 miles mostly uphill which really doesn't matter to me. It'd be fun and i could get my first long-ish ride in of the season. If I had the Ute, I'd take it and maybe haul a kitchen sink, but I don't... so I'll probably just haul myself and maybe a water bottle or two. This will all take place IF the weather cooperates. I'm not going to ride when the roads are slippery and slushy up that dreaded, windy, drivers don't pay attention road.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Moab 2010

Me and some buddies are heading to Moab, UT in a couple weeks for 3 days of slickrock riding fun. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Moab biking since I got into the activity. I'll have to post lots of pictures once we return.

I went on my first (real) ride of the season last Sunday. It was spectacular. I know crossfit has definitely help me keep my fitness over the winter but I will still have to incorporate some more riding. My breath seemed a little short at times but I did have good power and my recovery time was very short.

The fat tire festival is coming up soon also. I'm not sure if I'll be doing any races. I might try the hill climb, maybe the cross country. I'm thinking of just helping out though. I will try and ride as many bhmba sponsored races as I can this year instead.