Saturday, September 24, 2011

Going Live

spent the week in Asheville working on our next studio record. got in some wicked runs on the local trails, totally hashed out the legs before what I realized today is a 4 day, 3,300 mile "drive" for me. in the van now, headed for Mass for a show, then we immediately head for Nashville. Sarah and I start our Colorado Tour on Wednesday in Durango. I'm taking the 'hopper so there may be an update from the trail. started taking this stuff called diatomaceous earth. it's basically drinking dirt. more on that in the future. maybe.


Stringdusters live album, We'll Do It Live, is to be released at The Festy on 10.7.11, but you can pre-order it now and name your price. seriously, you can pay whatever you want so click that link.

The Devils Backbone Challenge at The Festy is coming up October 9th. I'll be defending my title and I'm offering a free Festy Pass to anyone who beats me in the Single Speed race. you can register here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

legs

they were the heroes yesterday. 60 mile North/South Trail at Land Between The Lakes is no longer on the list of rides that have reduced me to mush. thanks to legs, I returned the favor over 7 hours yesterday. then I went and did about 3000 calories at Wendy's.

 

blurry, I know. I swear that's how everything looked.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tires


disclaimer: this shit doesn't matter.

now that that's out of the way, I did a race today. Montgomery Bell, home court, if-you-will. I'm fixin' to smash another win when out of nowhere, Kyle, the new mechanic at Bikers Choice (therefor, our team mechanic) shows up with his National Ultra Endurance Race Series legs and crushes my soul. he followed me around then straight-up rode away from me when we hit the climb. couldn't even begin to think about doing anything about it. it was completely awesome.

to elaborate:
we started, six of us. I ended up first, because I'm nervous and impatient. Kyle was right behind me and we started getting a gap. by the time we got halfway around, we had a big gap, but I was pushing too hard. I was trying to figure out how to get my heart-rate under control before the climb when we hit the climb. Charlotte's Ridge is not the steepest climb on the course but it is far and away the longest. I knew Kyle would make a move but I had no idea he was going to literally just ride away from me. at first, it broke my heart. but then I got my shit together and kept pushing. he went faster on the second lap, eventually breaking the unofficial course record prior to lining up for the 3 lap category 1 race. totally badass. totally inspiring.

so what was the difference? couple things. Kyle was using a lower gear, a 32x19 as opposed to my 32x18. he was having a much easier time getting the pedals around going up the hills. more than that, Kyle couldn't possibly weigh 140lbs soaking wet. I tipped the scale at 192 this morning, post-dump. Kyle's bike is sub-19 lbs (I'm guessing), mine must weight 23 lbs and most of the over-weightness is in the wheels (the worst place) which brings us to the topic of this conversation (that I'm having with myself).

I've run the same tires since I started riding SS 29 4 years ago. WTB Exiwolfs, 2.3 in. I ride them till the rear wears out, then I move the front to the rear and buy a new one. it's a highly efficient system that produces minimal waste (since I can run a rear tire till it's bald so long as I've got tread out front). unfortunately, these tires are exceptionally heavy for a kevlar (foldable) tire. 825 grams claimed weight. I love the feel of a big tire, it floats over everything, I never break traction, I can run super-low pressure, it has a beautiful round profile. but it's super heavy, and a bigger wheel and single speed exacerbates the main issues with heavy wheels: slow acceleration and difficulty keeping the wheel rolling at low speed.

when it was time for me to choose my prize, a Bontrager Team Issue tire caught my eye. I had a set of Bontrager's years ago and loved the round profile. This tire was listed as a 2.0 and I hadn't ridden anything that small since the 90's, but it only weights 510g... so I picked it up, and mounted it up. turns out it really small. I measured the new tire and my old tire and found that the WTB is actually a 2.25 and the Bontrager is a 1.75. a 1.75! that's like cyclocross size. I watched the World Championship XC race on Freecaster and those guys are all using super small tires, so it can't be crazy... but it looks pretty strange paired up with the balloon on the front. I'm going to take it for a spin, see if it might work as a race tire, if it does I'll find something like a WTB Nano or a Maxxis Ikon to put on the front, match it up a little and hopefully save some weight.

look at that clearance!

back in the day, we always ran a smaller rear tire. we thought it was the best of both worlds; faster acceleration on the rear but a fat front tire for ripping (fatter is faster when you head down, don't argue). I got away from that when I started riding SS 29er but I'm starting to think I may be missing something... like I said, doesn't matter. the main reason Kyle beat me was because he's really really fast. and strong. I might also add he's proving to be a damn good mechanic, free of attitude and ego, meticulous and concise. good to get beat sometimes, especially by someone like Kyle.

comparison:

before

after

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Speed

Speed. with a capital S. Time Trial today at Monkey Bell. came in first in my category, Single Speed, with a time of 10:34. third fastest overall. XC tomorrow.

speaking of speed, mute the volume, the commentary is lonesome, but the riding is spectacular.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Accidental Bounty

any time I hear someone claim they don't have the time to garden or they don't have a green thumb, I just smile. I've already harvested 20 pumpkins and I have another 20 on the vine. all volunteer from the compost. I also just pulled three large bowls of tomatoes and a fistful of okra inside. the 'maters are also all volunteers.



I'm usually gone. for weeks at a time. good soil and occasional deep watering are all that's necessary. lovin' this.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Other People's Bikes part 2

borrowed a Surly Crosscheck when I was in Charlottesville.   took a little ride through the country.  considering a move to Nelson County, if we do it I'll definitely need a road bike to tackle the country roads and brutal hills.

the bike was a little small, but the swept handlebars were really cool and the brooks saddle was like a hammock for my balls. 

The next day I flew to Denver and picked up my friends Ti Single Speed Rabbit and proceeded to rage around my childhood trails in the Work Service area beneath Mt. Herman.  Totally awesome.  here's a shot of that bike from last winter when I did the same thing.


gorgeous.  headed east after a show in Flagstaff this afternoon.  28 hours and I'll be home for the first time in a month.  local mountain bike race this weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Other People's Bikes

Last few weeks I've had the opportunity to do some riding in some beautiful places. In Park City/The Canyons I rented a 26" BMC full suspension bike:



I flipped the stem, adjusted the seat up and back, moved the brifters inward and put on my pedals. This was the first time I've been on a 26 in a couple years and it wasn't bad. The riding at the Canyons was superb, the tires on this bike were a liability and the weather was beautiful.

A couple days later we arrived at Grand Targhee Resort to teach a music camp for a week.  Fortunately I had afternoons off and I made friends with the guy at the Activity Center who loaned me his Santa Cruz Tallboy.  For those of you who don't know, this is probably one of the highest user-rated bikes in history.  It's carbon and it's magic.  It climbs like a hardtail, rails rolling singletrack like you'd expect a full-suss 29er and when you point it downhill it rides like a downhill bike.  I was seriously amazed. 


The next day we got out on some of the resorts downhill bikes and ripped up the downhill-specific trails there.  I didn't take a picture of the bike, it was a Rocky Mountain with 8 inches front and rear.  We started on the easy stuff, then I ditched the band and hit Sticks and Stones complete with 15-20 substantial jumps and a few serious 4-8 foot drops.  It was really ridiculous.  I was tempted to rip the downhill again the next day but I knew I dodged a bullet coming out of the day unscathed, so I borrowed the Tallboy again and explored the remaining trails on the mountain.

I was able to squeeze in one more ride yesterday in my hometown of Palmer Lake.  There's an epic ride, called the Airplane loop that takes you way way out to an old airplane crash from the 50's.  I'd only done the ride once, back when I was 15 (that's my half-life) so I was going out on a limb thinking I could find my way out and back on my own.  To add a little difficulty I accessed it via Limbaugh Canyon, my old haunt.  It ended up taking just under 6 hours of solid riding.  Fortunately my friend loaned me his Specialized Stumpjumper 29er.  It should have ridden a lot like my 'Hopper, but I had a hard time steering it on the steep climbs and the tires were crap (I'm spoiled by my big 2.3 balloons).  the bike felt great and the 2x9 drivetrain was brilliant once I figured it out.  the bike:


Added my pedals, moved the shifters and brake levers, per usual.  Here's the crash site:


It's been nice shifting gears a little.  I wouldn't have been able to do yesterdays ride without them. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Colorado

Spent last week in the High Country in a little cabin with the band, sleeping in a loft, drinking lots of beer and writing music. Saturday we came down out of the mountains for a show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.


Great review and pictures of the show here.

When you're in Colorado, you tend to stay there, so we've been hanging out the last three days. Tonight I'm going to squeeze in a ride in Palmer Lake. Tomorrow I'm going to watch the US Pro Cycling Challenge as it passes through Buena Vista. I'll get a quick ride in before they roll through then I'll drive down to Salida and ride again before getting some sleep for a 6:45am flight to Charlottesville, VA, home of The Festy Experience. The crew and I will be meeting, riding, and working on the grounds for a couple days prior to my return to CO for more riding and a couple shows including my 11th year at 4 Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, CO.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

4 months to the day

I might, MIGHT, be picking this thing up again. not sure. can't decide.

been itching to hit the BMX track in light of my new passion for the pump. headed out there last night to hit up gate practice. turns out it's extremely hard. one lap and I was huffing like a fat kid trying to catch the bus (late again?). spent some time working out the rhythm section, though I never was able to rock it as hard as the first time. like I said, it's really freakin' hard. consider BMX added to the plate. I was looking for something fun to work the guns and this is definitely it. kiss my ass swimming.

we have a killer ABA track here in Nashville, apparently it's the fastest, scariest first straight out there:



on another note, hit a car/got hit by a car a few days ago. absolutely ripped the mirror off this van. still nursing a bruised left bicep area. 'twas bound to happen eventually.

Best Mountain Bike Video I've Ever Seen. gorgeous cinematography, beautifully crafted lines and killer riders obviously having a blast.



if I keep doing this blog thing again, I'll bring the pictures, don't you worry. coffee's ready!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ongoing

I've taken a hiatus, as life's been too rich and creamy to not just dwell in the present. In the Atlanta airport headed to Asheville. Home in 8 days bit not before 3 days in the studio, 5 gigs over three days and one rehearsal...


-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, March 18, 2011

Epic Tour 2011

I was about to start this off by saying we were "midway through our tour" but touring and life are on a continuum, so it would have been untrue. instead I should say I'm in the midst of one of the most beautiful and inspiring seasons of my life. last night in Denver cannot be described. the last month can't be summed up adequately, but I can try to give a little rundown...

Paddle surf in LA
Attend Grammy's
Snowboard Montana for 8 days
Pull Goalie
Shows from MT to ME
Visit Grandparents
Produce record with Dehlia Low in Asheville
Shows with best friends band in CO:

Here we are during the encore, singing an Irish drinking song, Whiskey 'fore Breakfast, right after Greensky covered us and we covered a Greensky tune and before we all did Cee Lo Green's Fuck You.



that's only the half of it. up ahead:

snowboard CO
hike Utah desert with father
snowboard UT
Shows in UT, MT, ID, CO, NM
Snowboard UT, ID, CO
Dirtbike in NM
back to Asheville to finish up record
shows in GA, SC
beach
start the next record

this is all the same trip... or tour... or whatever. life = grand

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sandboarding

this one hits close to home, for a variety of reasons. I grew up not far from the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado and have spent a couple wild nights cruising around this lunar landscape, including one epic solo full moon mission that totally freaked me out. Sams guide for the dunar adventure is Marc. Marc and I worked at the ski shop together in Durango, he was a laid back hammerhead then and it looks like he's even more laid back and even stronger now. So cool to see him in this.



I've got some downtime in Alamosa in May... I think there's some sandboarding in my future...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cyclocross Unstoppable

Sam tries Cyclocross in Boulder and loves it. of course.



in the studio producing Dehlia Low all week in Asheville. The weather is epic, spring has sprung, but we're indoors 12 hours every day...

Friday, March 4, 2011

We'll Do It Live!

Dusters announce the We'll Do It Live Tour today. We're doing a live album over 5 nights in April/May. This is what it'll sound like, take it all the way to 1:00...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

unstoppable

EAS Nutrition (if you can call powder nutrition) has this cool thing going on called the Unstoppable Tour. a former Marine, Sam Tickle, is doing 30 sports, in 30 days, in 30 cities. today he did this weird thing called Octopush, basically underwater hockey, in Pittsburgh. day one was sea kayaking, day two speedskating... I found out about it on Mud and Cowbells, he does cyclocross in Boulder in the yet un-aired Episode 13. pretty cool, actually. in this episode he swims the Hudson:



I'd love the opportunity to do something like this. very curious to find out how he fares at cyclocross...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Teton Gravity Research

TGR is the pinnacle of ski film. they used a recording of ours for a film they shot on the blue-bird Monday up at Big Sky. it'll give you an idea of what we were up against that day...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eye Candy

belt driven carbon cross from Independent Fabrications.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

drink smoke

a photo project, found on Mud and Cowbells. images straight from the motherland. beautiful. you can taste the fries.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

seasoning

the end of another epic year at Big Sky Big Grass. the riding/skiing got better and better through the weekend culminating in an epic 10 on 6 on 4 on 3 bluebird powder day yesterday. one of the best sessions I've ever had, riding with the boys in the Old Man Style. here's a little shot of the OMS crew, lovin' life.


headed for Billings tonight, then across the top of the country, finishing up next week in Killington, VT. it'll be running and yoga until we hit the High Country again in mid-march. considering adding some backcountry corn skiing to the agenda for the May Duo Tour.

exciting finish to the cyclocross season:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

the funny

couple great days in Big Sky. won't even bother going into the details except to say we're having an awesome time, the riding has been epic and it's dumping. again.

downloaded Radiohead's new album, The King of Limbs. only one track in at the time of publication, but so far, so good and you know Radiohead, if you can't trust them, you can't trust anyone. fucking awesome.

like crashes and splinters?


guy gets a splinter through his calf, gets back on the bike and rides across for 3rd. that's almost as badass as Falco breaking his Tibia Friday and still cutting the gig late night.

Gorgeous Belt Driven Calleti rigid 29er SS from Belt Bikes

here's the funny

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow

...and just like that, everything changes.

when it snows, I'm happy. when i get to dust of the Legend after 3 years of dormancy, I get downright giddy. if you only knew.

actually, if you were at Big Sky for the Big Sky Big Grass Festival right now, you'd know. we'd be about to down 2000 calories before flogging ourselves in 7-15 inches of fresh all day long...

yep, just like that, everything changes.

truly, Pow!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whoa!

Things are happening very fast right now.
Forget cell phone and shades on porch.
Fly.
Delicious Meal at Home.
Sleep
Paddle surfing in Paradise Cove.
Free drinks.
Sleep
fantastic LA vegan breakfast
baby Grammy's.
more Free Drinks.
The Real Grammy's.
many, many more free drinks.
Sleep
8am flight to SLC.
drive to Big Sky.
Sleep
Ride. Ride. Ride.
Drinks.
Pick.

had a really fun jam with the band in front of the fireplace here in Big Sky last night. First time we've played together in weeks, first time I played bass in weeks. I'm actually better now than I was then.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crux

There's two of these in my size at the shop...



when bunnyhopping goes wrong

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roots of Freeride

Everyone's taking it back to the roots.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

on aging

I'm 29. in two months and ten days I turn 30. I just started thinking about it yesterday. I wouldn't say it "hit" me, but it occurred to me, for the first

I always like the old adage that you're only as old as you feel. and it's been easy for me to say, since I've been in my 20's for 9 years, 9 months, and 20 some odd days. until I busted up my knee last year, I pretty much assumed I was invincible. but ever since I busted up my knee, I don't really feel so young anymore. I also assumed as soon as the knee was 95%, I'd start to feel like a 20 year old again. recently, I've been questioning this assumption (and you know what happens when you assume). maybe it's the beer, maybe it's the knee or my diet, but I'm not so convinced anymore. I fully intend to continue along in denial of reality, I know guys that are older than me that still rip, but it's got me thinking...

read a couple books lately. one called Off The Deep End, a sad story about a delusional 40 something who's convinced if he trains hard enough, he can be an olympic swimmer. this dude, Hodding Carter, wasn't even an exceptional swimmer in his youth, but he's convinced he can become one in his 40's. you can see how this ends up. I also just finished Ten Points by Bill Strickland, 49 year old editor of Bicycling Magazine. it's a tale about trying to score some points in the local crit series. a crit, for the uninitiated, is like cyclocross without all the good stuff and all the bad stuff. roadies, pavement, short laps, an hour of racing, lots of sprinting and pain. Bill's a great writer and went through some terrible stuff as a child, so it's a great read. the descriptions of the races are riveting (to a bike dork like me), he's racing against people of all ages, national champions, pro cyclists, but in the end, he doesn't get his ten points.

I know a really really fast guy named Troy, he's an amazing physical specimen, I'd guess he's about as thin and strong as he could possibly be.


Troy's a cool cat, super nice, and though I think we've got some pretty substantial ideological differences (just like I have with damn near everyone down here) and we've only really talked in short sentences, I think of him as a friend. I think we've raced maybe 5 or 6 times and every time he's finished in front of me. I followed him around, sucking his wheel for at least 5 laps in Birmingham this season. I managed to keep up with him and the only other Pro1/2 in Chattanooga two seasons ago in my last weekend as a 3, I was even leading for half a lap after he and the other guy got tangled up in the sand. Troy's a hoss, fast as hell and consistent, even though he's riding less than he used to (TBAR and State Cyclocross Champion in '08). He's got a wife and two kids and I assume a full-time job and he still kicks ass. Troy gives me hope and keeps me in denial. I still believe...

this looks awesome, modern free-riding at it's best

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Epic Finish at Lille!

the four best 'cross riders on the planet take an epic last lap.



USGP Schedule has been announced. these are the big ones.

Friday, February 4, 2011

more mountain bike access in Middle Tennessee?

I heard today from Scott at Eastside Cycles that there's plans for a short beginner mountain bike loop through the hills and fields and woods of Bells Bend, right across the river from my home.  apparently it'll be pretty mellow mountain biking but it sounds like it will be absolutely perfect for cyclocross. 

the Burch Reserve property adjacent to the Warner Park system is still under consideration for mountain bike trails, you can voice your opinion HERE at the Friends of Warner Parks website.  the possibility of new trails, whether for hiking, running or biking is a positive thing for our community and I'm optimistic that we'll continue to make our voices heard.  next meeting is March 17th, I believe, but don't quote me on it, just double check and mark your calendar.  there were probably 120 mountain bikers there, it'd be great if 300 showed up.

I've become a member of SORBA today, you should consider it as well.  If you don't live in the south, at least become a member of IMBA (no, not IBMA, you don't want that).

In a little more than a week I'll be back at Big Sky to tackle the huge chunk of granite known as Lone Peak:



this photo was taken less than an hour after I skied it last year.  this year I'll be using just one plank.

Jeremy Jones is the greatest snowboarder alive.  he's ditching the sleds and choppers and doing it all under human power.  you gotta see this:



Mountain Bike Trails near Leipers Fork?

friend and fellow cyclocross freak Cooper dropped me a line to let me know he's on a committee to decide the fate of 400 acres south of Leipers Fork. trails and mountain bike access has been a pretty hot topic around these parts of late and I've somehow worked my way toward the center of the action. from what I can tell, this is a great opportunity for the mountain bike community, we're underserved (I was not underserved last night, but that's another story) and while these trails aren't in Davidson County, they are within striking distance. here's an overview of the area:


I think at this point the best thing you can do is head over to the Facebook page called Yes! to Mountain Bike Trails In Williamson County and "like" it a perhaps even leave a message.  we need all the help we can get.

in cyclocross, despite the World Championships having been contested, they're still racing.  even I'm getting a little tired of it, can't imagine how these dudes must feel.  even cyclocrosschannel is burned out, only offering a highlight reel of the race in Maldegem instead of the typical last two lap offering.  much of what I post on here about cyclocross I pick up from the CXMagazine website, and most people who would care already go there, so it's a bit redundant...  anyway, here's a great video from the womens World Championships:


Championnat du monde Cyclo cross 2011 - Dames Elites from Web Petitesreines on Vimeo.

it's been a cold week, with lots of moisture.  pump track is shut down, I did about 60 miles down to the Natchez Trace on Wednesday, but other than that, I've been an indoor creature.  spent about an hour reading an epic Floyd Landis interview yesterday morning.  Floyd was raised Mennonite, so I was always a fan, until the doping thing broke, then I was confused.  for some, this interview clears things up, I'm still confused, but it's a great read. 

speaking of reading, picked up Bill Strickland's Ten Points for $.75 yesterday along with the Aron Ralston book about cutting off his own arm and a couple David Sedaris books.  that's useless information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chaco

summertime is a long way away, but since I'll be surfing again next week, I figured I might as well cue up some flips:

ordered a pair for the wife as well. I had a pair of Chaco flips but my roomates dog ate them years ago. that is all

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"anybody who rides a bike is on drugs, unless you's a kid"

"he's American, I'm American, what do American's do? We do drugs, quit bein' ignorant"



I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

new day, new month

fuck yeah!

let's start it off with a demo reel of all things awesome:



it's amazing how much "things" are progressings. by things I mean all things awesome, like bikes, surfing, snowboarding, ladies physiques, etc... I was born a little too late, I could really mess myself up if I was 18 right now.

long ride with Jeremy planned out on the Natchez Trace. We're looking at 100% chance of rain, 30 mph winds and lightning! Awesome! Look at this baby rolling in! wheeeew, we're stupid. maybe I should just stay home and eat a pizza.

one of my favorite artists, Daniel Tashian just released an EP, The Lights Of Town. Daniel makes the coolest music and he's going to be a dad.

Interview post Worlds with Sven Nys on velonews.

alright, gotta roll, this kitchen ain't gonna clean itself...

Monday, January 31, 2011

perspective

sometimes, you need a little feedback to make you realize you're a fool. I've been foolish. if you like to see someone get a big fat dose of you're a fool and you should shut your fucking mouth, then check this out.

damn! doesn't feel so bad to learn something the hard way, at least I've got some perspective.

probably dropped a few notches on the ladder of the local hammerheads, but, you know, you can't please all the people all the time and today, all those people where to local cycling community... whew... now I'm feeling pretty bad...

thanks to Cast-L-E for telling it like it is from his perspective. I respect that. obviously.

tomorrow's a new day... what will it bring?

Just some thoughts...

I like to gripe, but I hate myself for it. I try to avoid it here, because there's already entirely too much negative energy floating around, but today is an exception. couple things on my mind.

Montgomery Bell Trail Closures
this weekend we experienced Colorado Spring-like conditions here in the Nashville area. it was gorgeous, warm, and dry, perfect for riding. Montgomery Bell closes when super wet or when freeze/thaw conditions exist. for the uninitiated, freeze/thaw is the term for the worst thing ever, when the moisture content of the ground is uber-high and it freezes, causing "heaving" which, if ridden on, results in a completely fucked trail. the rangers at Montgomery Bell close it up by locking the gate when this happens. they locked it up this weekend. it shouldn't have been locked. people rode anyway, it was the best weekend of riding I've had out there in a long long time. there's a very interesting thread on the Nashville Mountain Bike board that you can soak up if you want a little more context.

Prairie Home Companion
the radio dial in my car stays on NPR. I love it. except for Sunday morning at 11 when it's hijacked by Garrison Keilor and the rest of the Prairie Home Companion crew. this show is not funny. not even remotely. when it comes on after Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, it's particularly irritating and un-funny. the music is impossible to listen to, the dialogue is like gravel in my ears and the jokes... I love The Writers Almanac, his voice and tone is so soothing and the content is always interesting. "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." love it. how could someone responsible for this gem could have gone so awry over the years. this show used to be tolerable, even somewhat enjoyable. those days are done...

as a musician who's music somewhat parallels the usual fare on this program, I will no doubt be killing any possibility of ever appearing on this show with this public opinion, but I just can't keep it to myself anymore. I can't take it.

cinematography, dirt, jumps:


I stumbled on this nasty crash on the track. I had a similar experience my first night racing at the velodrome in Colorado Springs when I was 16. I still bear the scars, couldn't sleep on my left side for 3 months (still can't and I believe it's because of the conditioning of that sleep-period).



I think if more NASCAR fans knew about this type of thing, there would be a lot more velodromes in this country.

tomorrow I will return to positivity, blame it on a case of the Mondays.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stybar repeats as Cyclocross World Champion

stayed out till 2 dancing to Toubab Krewe. woke up at 6:45 to try to stream the World Championships. was able to find a stream and watch the entire race. Stybar attacked early and kept a 17-20 second gap over Nys. Jonathan Page was the top US rider, leading early and riding well until he flatted, still managing a 12th place finish. Jeremy Powers landed in 16th, Tim Johnson crashed out while in the top 20 and Driscoll landed 27th. great day for Team USA.

last two laps:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"hey birds, you guys have little bikes?"

this shit is severely funny.  Portlandia!



Cyclocross World Championships are tomorrow in St. Wendel, Germany. Live coverage on CXMagazine.com at 7am. I'll be up, because I can be, then I'll be headed back to Montgomery Bell to follow up on one of the best days of riding I've had in awhile.

man power



"if we all learn to pull our weight, nobody... nobody...  will be able to siphon away our high life."

last two laps from the U23 World Championships:

Friday, January 28, 2011

pump track expansion

decided last week, in the van, I was going to try to wedge an s-turn into the pumptrack.  the goal is to create the most interesting track in the minimum of space.  so after almost two straight days digging, I'm getting closer.

the 180 at the top is now a choice, you can 180 then roll down the re-worked front stretch, or do about a 220 and roll into the s-turns.  I had to move a lot of dirt to get it to flow.  I can't decide if my technique needs to improve or if I need to move more dirt, but it's not quite right.  yet.



this photo was taken from right next to the hay bale.


amazing what subtle changes will do to the flow.  it's true that you're never done with your pump track, there's always dirt to be moved. 

in Nashville news, the meeting for the Warner Parks expansion was well attended by mountain bikers.  I said my piece, so did a lot of other riders.  I'm optimistic, but not holding my breath.  at one point, a guy stood up and said, "I don't want mountain bikes in the Warner Parks.  you need to stop being selfish."  this got the expected response from the gathered.  clearly, if you have 0% of something, you're not being selfish asking for less than 10% of something owned by the public.  it seems more like the anti-mountain bikers, by wanting to keep us out of the new areas, are the selfish ones.  is it not enough to have 100% of Radnor Lake (children can be fined for running there, it's so uptight) and 100% of the vast Percy and Edwin Warner tracts?  there's only so much open space on the west side and you can't deny the mountain bike user group forever.  share that shit, people!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Sun

I hadn't seen it since I'd been home.  After last week in California and Utah, I was getting pretty used to it.  This time of year if you get one sunny day a week in Nashville, you're stoked.  It ain't right, just a reality.  This morning I flung open the shutters (we don't have shutters, it's just a saying) and to my surprise, there it was, in all it's flaming glory.  The Sun.  My best friend.  I think it's a sign.  Odds are by the end of the day I'll be pumping the pump track. 

Stumbled upon the biggest dirt jumps I've ever seen hit on a 20:



A little mini-velodrome action?



Tonight the mountain bikers of Nashville will hopefully descend on the Warner Parks meeting at the Nature Center at 6:30 to help determine the future of the new land acquisition. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mountain Bike Trail in New Warner Park Acquisition?

Nashville is a good city. The people are fat and docile, it's cheap and the greenways are expanding, as evidenced by a discovery today that I didn't photograph but will explore in more detail later. One thing it's severely lacking is decent urban singletrack, especially on the more mountainous south and west sides. There are several large public parks, but while one allows horses, the the other doesn't even allow trail running.  No running at Radford Lake.  Civilized, slow walking only, please. Bicycles have been restricted from the Warner Parks since the late 90's, I think (I should check on that). Every city dweller deserves some singletrack within' 20 minutes, but the closest trail to my house is Montgomery Bell at a severe 42 minutes travel time.

The Warner Park system, consisting of Percy Warner Park and Edwin Warner park has recently acquired an old growth forest to the tune of 453 acres adjacent to Percy Warner Park on hwy 100.


10 miles, 20 minute drive, 40 minute ride. I could ride trail from my door. This is a revelation. In fact, there's plans to extend the Richland Creek Greenway all the way to Percy Warner Park.  This would cut my total time on city streets to less than 5 minutes.  I need this.  Please help me.

Here's the scoop from SORBA as quoted from joyride on the NMB forum.

Warner Parks will be holding public meetings to determine the use of the new Warner Parks land acquisition (on the other side of Hwy 100). It has been a dream of many to have mountain bike trails in Warner Parks. This is an opportunity to have your voices heard. It has been documented and understood by the Metro Planning Committee that mountain biking is an underserved community in Nashville. Show up in numbers to drive this point home. If you ride a mountain bike, know someone who rides a mountain bike, or would like to ride a mountain bike, PLEASE come out to these meetings and show your support!

The Master Plan meeting dates are held at the Warner Park Nature Center (7311 Hwy 100 Nashville, TN 37221) at 6:30pm and the dates are:

Thursday, January 27th
Tuesday, March 22nd
Thursday, May 5th

for more information contact Carolyn Heichel via email at president@sorbamidtn.org or

The SORBA mid-TN board's email is board@sorbamidtn.org

More info at their website http://sorbamidtn.org/
__________________

 Hopefully I'll see you all on Thursday.

juxtapose

stumbled on a couple sweet cycling videos from two ends of the cycling spectrum.  first, cyclocross:

Cyclocross in Our Words - Pt. 1 from Jim Fryer/BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.


now for some gorgeous dirt jumping:

VANS Team edits: JEREMY MULLER from Vans Europe on Vimeo.


in cyclocross, reigning world champ Zdenek Stybar has gone to the road, which disappoints some. I don't really care as I don't think much of him, his statements, or his style. I tried to find a photo of his terrible euro-hair, but instead stumbled upon this photo of the prettiest 'cross racer I've ever seen, since my wife doesn't race:


in other news, we've hit the rain cycle in Nashville and it's making it increasingly hard to get out and ride. considering giving myself some real down-time, but I'm not a pussy (if I keep saying it it must be true) and I want to dish out The V next year, so I probably need to get up out of this chair and suck it up. time to consult Rule 10

Monday, January 24, 2011

Utah's got a bad reputation...

Let me try to sort out the last three days into something coherent.

ORshow
The Outdoor Retailer Show was in full force at the convention center. We spent a couple days hanging out with our new friends at Mountain Khaki, a killer outdoor clothing company. We even played a happy hour set right on the convention floor. There was some crazy stuff going on out there, like this:


there was literally thousands of cool products, but the only one I really cared about was the new split board from K2:


It ain't pretty, but if it rides anything like my K2's...

Toubab at State Room
Two nights with one of our favorite bands, Toubab Krewe, at the State Room. Both nights featured some really sweet sit-ins at the end of the show, Saturday Dave and I rocked Double Bass' which usually sucks but ended up being completely badass. Dave is my favorite and his rhythm and hair are inspiring.



Epic day at Brighton
Last time I was at Brighton, I completely fucked up and crushed my leg. I've been patiently waiting for a chance to redeem myself and the snow was flying all day Saturday, so during the show that night I called out for a ticket. After the show a nice gal came up to the stage and gave me a ticket, and 5 minutes later I'd rented a car and solidified a plan to shred Brighton. In bed at 3:15, 6:15 wake-up call and by 9:15 I was on the lift with my bro Zingg. One of the best days of my life. We slipped over the backside, out of bounds and I took 20 of the best turns of my life.


If you look closely, you can see, in the center of the photo, Casey ripping right beneath the big rock.  The turns coming down the gut, those were the best I've ever had.  Zoom in, take a look and imagine how that must have felt...  this line required a several hundred foot hike out but was absolutely worth every bit of effort.  I went back later in the day and rode the still untouched spine beneath the cliff band on the left...  I get a semi just thinking about it. Brighton is now at or near the top of my resort list. So much great terrain, so many good features, best snow in Utah and a laid-back, old-school vibe you won't find at Snowbird or Solitude. Did I mention it was a bluebird day? Or that a strange couple in a Hummer hooked me up with one of these in exchange for some beginner snowboard advice?


Utah's got a bad rap, partially deserved, but unfair none-the-less. The Wasatch are some of the most incredible mountains I've ever been amongst, the snow was the best I've ridden, the people at the shows were awesome and we managed to get some good beer (not just Steel Reserve).

In Cyclocross news, Knoxiecross this weekend. Looks like I'm headed out there Saturday with Jeremy. Hoogerheide World Cup this weekend. Here's the last two laps:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

mysterious bruise




found a mysterious bruise under my left arm last night. if I wasn't looking at myself in the mirror I wouldn't have seen it. I like to look at myself in the mirror. vanity is only part of it, there's just a simple curiosity, especially when the body's been acting as a vessel for adventure. so there's a mysterious bruise on the inside of my arm, almost in the armpit. it's not that mysterious, actually, I know it happened surfing, I just don't remember when. that's the mystery and a sign of a good time.

fausto coppi. the look on the photographers face says it all

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

crossresults.com

crossresults.com is a great idea. compile all results into one algorithm that figures out how you really shape up compared to the guys you race against. in TN, a lot of the races we do are part of disparate series. from Nashville, I race in 4 different states within' 3 hours. crossresults.com compiles all of that information, theoretically and puts it in a format that enables and encourages comparison, something that cyclists are practically addicted to. for example, here's how I stack up next to my rivals. it shows win/loss ratio with every rider I race against, and a bunch of other useful information that I don't have to try to remember. here's an old video in which crossresults.com is mentioned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Surf

San Diego, 78 degrees, wetsuit and a surfboard. paddled into and caught my first wave. battled repeated washing-machine sets. perfection.

the view of the break at Terramar from the cliff-top patio


sunset with the crew


days like these it's good to be alive.

Downhill/Freeride Showreel

I cruise pinkbike.com sometimes to get a look at what could have been.  Back in 1996/97 when I was big into junior racing in Colorado, I'd go the big state races, the CORPS series, and race cross-country and downhill on my Cannondale F-1000 which looked a little like this:


I would never have put bar-ends like that on my bike.  Just need to make that clear.  I also flipped the stem which, I realize now, was far too long.

Anyway, I'd do these CORPS downhill races and race against guys on 4-5 inch travel bikes.  The technology on those bikes wasn't great and the courses were still rideable on a hardtail, so I usually did pretty well.  I was also doing really well in the local dual-slalom series, as long as the jumps weren't too big.  There was a time when I was trying to scrape together enough money for a downhill bike, and I think there's a good chance if I had, I would have made something of myself.  Maybe I'd be one of these dudes on Tim Lake's Showreel:



not likely.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tennessee Cyclocross Champions crowned

Last weekend's races in East Tennessee, the State Championships and Kingsport Cup UCI, crowned the seasons State and Series Champions.  The consistently fast and always upbeat Jeremy Chandler was victorious in the TBRA Series both in Pro/1/2 and Single Speed categories.  Here he goes over the barriers.  Note the beard and visor.  This is anti-Velominati in every way and a style I fully endorse and often sport.


 Here he is mooning someone mid-race.  I post this without permission.


I really like and respect Jeremy and I'm glad he attends so many races.  Cyclocross in Tennessee would be much less interesting and challenging without him.  I finished 3rd in Single Speed and tied for 3rd in Pro/1/2.  I did not, of course, repeat as State Champion, I was on a mountain in California, but Adam Meyerson showed up again and stomped the boys after a strong ride for 3rd on Saturday at the UCI in Kingsport.

Another TBRA season in the books, but the hard-core winter racers still have 8 races in 4 weekends in Knoxville as part of the KnoxieCross Series.  I might hit one up, or I may be done.  Time will tell.

Beautiful drive from Tahoe to San Diego today, eastern Sierra's, an incredible view of Mt. Whitney and a desert sunset.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sliding

Snow sliding, in it's various forms, is addictive.  I'm addicted.  My personal addiction is strong, honed over several years in the San Juan Mountains at Purgatory, Wolf Creek, Telluride, and Hesperus ski areas and in the back-country around Silverton.  Today at Kirkwood was my first day on snow in awhile and it had all the elements, most importantly, it proceeded at it's own pace and in a natural arc.


Best line of the day was through that big gap at the top of the ridge.

In cyclocross, World Cup goes to France:



This is the only one of these I've seen all year that I've seen American racers.  I'm not ultra-patriotic, but it's important to me that we're competitive with Europe in cyclcross.  You can see Timothy Johnson at right in the still-frame.  There's a great moment at 7:30 where mountain bike specialist Fontana is leading the chase group and he goes down scattering the field.  It's excellent.  Pauwells grows some balls at 11:05.  Borish course, but a fun and fast last lap.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

name this bike

I watched a lady ride up to the paint store next to the diner we ate at this morning in Santa Cruz.  I ran across the street and took a couple pictures of her bicycle.  I remember reading an article written about these bikes in something somewhere, but I can't recall their name. 


check out the seat on this thing.  beautiful.


she seemed very comfortable and relaxed, almost tranquil.  It made me want to ride it.  If you know what these are called, please let me know.

ed. note:  Ed Jaramillo, a man who's virtues know no end, informed me it's a Pederson Bike.  Ed, hopefully one day, you will live in a state where people has some idea how to pronounce your last name.  Until then, I'll keep trying to teach them when we talk about you during your race.

Monkish behavior/ Kingsport Cup

We've been in southern Oregon and northern California all week, and you know what that can lead to lots of local produce and a laid back week.  Now we're headed to the ocean, then to the mountains, then back to the ocean, and onward to the mountains.  

In cycling news, Kingsport Cup this weekend in eastern Tennessee. Theoretically big-time racing comes to Tennessee, the start list is expanding with 16 signed up for the Elite Men including Adam Meyerson and Andy Reardon, who beat up on me a few weeks ago.   It's good to see racing in January, I wish I could be there.  I thought the State Championships last year in January was one of the best races of the season, and if we'd have had decent field sizes, I really think it would have been epic.  We'll be in Tahoe on Saturday night and riding at Kirkwood on Sunday, my first day on snow since last February

Here's the band the other night in Ashland:

Monday, January 10, 2011

crossresults.com

crossresults.com is something that some dudes up east started, but they're starting to input more and more results and they're including the Southeast now, which is very cool and gives you an idea of how you stand relative to the rest of the country, not just your region. They identify your nemesis' as well as your top victims and do a thorough job of tracking your results. They got all my TBRA, as well as my Louisville, Atlanta and Birmingham races in there, by far the most complete. Go to the website and input any riders name, check it out.
www.crossresults.com

Belgian Elite National Championships

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Think again, I did.

Tervuren last week. Very tough looking course, some really gutsy riding.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Everything's harder in Belgium

This time of year, it's all about cross for me.  Tomorrow the Belgian National Championships will be contended and since there's 9 Belgians that regularly place in the top 10 in World Cup Events, it's going to be a good one.  I can't wait to watch the last two laps.

Ryan Iddings just got back from racing in Belgium.  He had some things to say, even rode Sven's wheel, which must have been amazing.



He talks primarily about how hard it is, which is something that I think everyone who races cross here should hear. ITS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. Technical, especially. These "grass crits" have got to go! Seriously, we're making things entirely too easy on ourselves. HTFU, North American Cyclocross Scene.

Here's the last two laps from Zolder, there's a great sequence of the descent Iddings talks about at 6:00, the leader, Lars Boom almost loses it there at 14:40. Check out the corner at 11:40 and the run-up at 15:10, Boom uses his free hand to help climb the hill! What a course!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ski Tour Boo

Ski Tour 2011 is under way.  We've been in Seattle all week leading up to our show at The Tractor last night.  I starred in a short mystery we shot in the house we rented.



Belt Bikes is a sweet blog featuring belt-driven bikes. This was today's bike, a bamboo Cyclocross model from Boo Bicycles.  As cool as this bike looks, I wonder if a bike made out of a material who's structure is compromised when exposed to moisture is the right call for cyclocross. 


That said, I think this bike is absolutely beautiful.

In other news, the Tennessee Bike Racing Association posted the preliminary summer schedule. I don't really like to race my mountain bike, it's usually less fun than riding and I've developed a tendency to cramp during the hot races of the southern summer, so I doubt I'll be at many of these.  Already ready for the fall Cyclocross Calendar, but that usually pops up in April or May.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sven Nys


Yesterday I posted a video of Sven Nys at the Sven Nys race. Conveniently, CXMagazine.com posted their Ask A Pro interview with Sven today. One of the questions is mine. Incidentally, Sven's got a smokin' wife.


In the spirit of spirited borrowing, I picked this up on the BIG RING RIDING blog. They picked it up from Bianchista. From Matt Loyd, of Omega Pharma Lotto in reference to Euskatel's propensity for crashes.

“They just fall off. There’s no reason why. You’ll just be riding along and there they’ll be like a bleeding carrot in the middle of the road lying in pain.”


that's funny

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Epic Battle

I want to take this blogging thing seriously. I really do. I just don't really know what I have to say. There have been times when this blog is little more than a journal. Other times it's been worse; a training journal. Who cares about my latest single speed road ride under gray skies in Nashville? No one. I've only managed 2,000 views on this thing in several years. I've put up that many posts. Do the math.

There are posts about music, these tend to be more valuable. There was even a brief time I thought I would help the Nashville bicycle dialogue by tracking any and all cycling related developments in Nashville, but that was no fun, especially since I don't spend that much time in Nashville. I don't know what to do, it seems to continue on a path of journalistic journaling will only serve to support my fading but tenacious narcicism... does this thing have spell check?

So, to my loyal reader, these next few months could get strange. I don't really expect anyone to read this, but I'm going to find a groove here, create something useful, original, or interesting (maybe just best 2 out of 3). I've noticed on the other blogs I read, much of the content is borrowed. Apparently, if it's new to you... you know the slogan, I don't, actually. Anyway, to that end, here's a video I've watched over and over again this week. Sven Nys and Zdenek Stybar locked in an epic duel at the race named for Sven. It gets really good around the 10 minute mark.



There's no one tougher than Sven. HTFU.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seattle

Arrived in Seattle last night. 34oz Guiness, some picking and bed. Spent the day playing music with the 'Dusters, but I got out for a sweet 4 mile run through Discovery Park. We're only a block away so I'll be out there tomorrow again. Chris Pandolfi's stop-animation video got picked up by the Sharpie blog. It's very cool, featuring original music and animation by CP.

Monday, January 3, 2011

On the Road, again.

"When I go, on the road, I go fast, I go slow.
It gets cold, don't you know, won't get home, much this year.
And the stories, I will tell, when I've nothing left to sell,
wonder what's happening somewhere's else, won't get home much this year."

John Hartford

It is with tired legs that I board a plane in 3 hours bound for Seattle. The last two days of riding have been exceptional, the pump-track is all covered up with pine needles and pine boughs (so don't come over here trying to ride it) and the gear is all packed. 6 bags. Yep, 6. Timbuktu, gear case (both carry-on) suitcase, gear bag, flight-case (with bass) and snowboards... this will get expensive.

Shows in Seattle, Portland and points south. You can see the full tour schedule here: www.thestringdusters.com

Updates will be coming from the road, lots of running and a few days snowboarding the next few weeks. Hopefully some substantive thoughts as well, but no guarantees.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

New Years Day is a great day for a long ride. Changed the cross bike over to winter road mode last night. That entailed changing the gearing from a 39/18 to a 42/16 and putting on a set of slicks. Left the house around 11, got back around 3:30. 60-70 miles maybe. I can feel every one of them.

After dropping the parents off and before the rains yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours on the pump track, riding mostly. Every other session has played out as mostly an exercise in digging but yesterday was all about riding. So. Much. Fun. I hung a light in the tree and rode a few laps at dusk, I'm thinking I'll mount three or four lights to a board and secure it to the tree, like stadium lighting, so I can ride at night... Pump track grand opening party is imminent, perhaps at the end of the month when I return from my California adventure. Drop me a line if you want on the guest list.