Monday, August 30, 2010

Like a lightbulb going on over my head...

My current obsession with long travel bikes has a mile-wide grin plastered on my face this week. Thanks to Devin Lenz, Brandon Schmitt, and Skippy Wixom for pushing me harder and faster than I'd previously gone before. Which, of course, means that now the bar has been raised, the comfort zone has ben enlarged, and next week will be harder and faster still.


All 4 of us were (are!) riding LenzSport PBJ 29" park bikes. Devin and Brandon are on Manitou Dorado 29 forks. Skippy and I are both on White Brothers Groove 200's. All of us are riding wheels that I've laced using DT 440 hubs, Sun MTX 33 rims, butted DT spokes and Prolock alloy nipples. All four of us are riding the WTB Dissent treads in 29 x 2.5".

Put simply, these bikes just flat rip. The best way to explain it is that they are built for the riding you don't know how to do *yet*, but are willing to learn.

'nuff with the verbiage.

If that doesn't make you wanna ride, you might wanna check for a pulse!



Friday, August 27, 2010

From the desert to the mountains. And back.

And back again.

A ~week worth of pictures from down low, up high, and a lotta the spaces and places in between.

It kinda, sorta seems to be a vibrant time of year, eh?!

When your biggest problem is trying to squeeze more into every already-packed day, you need to pinch yourself and realize that it doesn't get any better.

To all that have been involved in our lives this summer--from helping with the move, to getting us out on bike rides or fishing days, or merely just tolerating our chaos while we try to settle in, *thanks*. Really.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sure ya can.

I've been spending increasing amounts of time riding in bike parks the past two years. Simply put, I stink at getting airborne and being graceful while up there. And because I'd never seen anyone else get 'up there' gracefully on a big wheeled bike, I kinda sorta wondered if maybe being fluid in the air wasn't among the easiest things to do on a 29"er.

Devin and Brandon disabused me of that line of thinking up at Winter Park a few days ago. Devin was light and fluid and smooth through all of the jump and drop lines in the park. Uncharacteristically smooth--he rides like he weighs 100lbs less than he does. Brandon sessioned the slopestyle park and, quite frankly, blew any preconceived notions that *I* had about airborne big wheels out of the water.



Although Brandon had thrown umpteen no-handers throughout the day, it wasn't until I saw him execute the one above that I realized (with a shiver!) how wrong I'd been. Grace in the air is a simple function of rider experience and comfort, NOT wheelsize.


Lower down:

I guess I was just guilty of believing what I'd heard from so many industry 'wizards' and local bike shop owners through the years. Big wheels are too weak for DH, are too cumbersome in the air, only work for taller riders, blah de facking blah.

I'm counting down the days to an end-of-summer fling at the biggest and baddest bike park on the planet. Thanks to superstar riding by Devin and Brandon, I've got a new goal for the time I spend up there.

A psick no-hander?


Hucking it huge?

Nah--I'll leave that in Skippy's capable hands.

I gotta start smaller and work my way up. Whenever I find myself way up there I just wanna be able to keep my eyes open...

Thanks for readin'.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Over the hump.

Did anyone else sense that the back of the summer was broken (snap!) about a week ago?

I couldn't help but to notice. From a sweltering 100+ to a cool 85* is impossible to ignore. I'm sure there'll be a bit more heat, and maybe even humidity, but we're clearly heading down into fall and to that myself and the rest of my fellow desert dwellers say Hell yeah!

The drop in temps allowed us to do something pretty much unheard of in summer: ride (comfortably!) deep into the afternoon. L and I headed to a favorite local trail and did some ledge sessioning both uphill and down. Nothing epic or brutal or awful about the ride--just lots and lots of good solid fun.

There was one small section that L couldn't quite wrap her head around. She attempted it from several different angles but was never 100% confident that she was on her game enough to pull it off. So she'd roll the approach (smoother each time) then clamp on the binders, curse at herself, then head up for another go.

Here she's getting into character and preparing to head down for one more shot at it:

No pics of the successful execution (the photogeek was needed as spotter--just in case...) but she smoothed it and spent the rest of the day 'giddy' as a result. Nice.

I also managed to do the first (of, hopefully, many) afternoon rides with the Tweedles.

Great to get back on that program, and maaaaan am I looking forward to continuing that tradition over the next few months. Great riders push you to become better than you are, and better than you think you can be. Call me a sponge--the shoe fits.

Lastly, the week wouldn't have been complete without a Fishin' with Fang (and L!) fix...

Thanks for checkin' in.