Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a weekend of SSUSA

SSUSA up in Stowe(eeee) Vermont was a big hit. Just about everyone had a smile on their face and were super ecstatic about riding the trails that the fine folks at Bike29 have linked together. Make sure you thank George & Mandy and the Stowe Mountain Bike Club.

Think of an event that had everything from kick ass trails to 40s of Old English to shots of Whiskey to any rider costume you can think of to fireworks to 2nd degree burns to dogs taking a swim over 20ft waterfalls to machetes and sausages on the trail to pints of Vermont maple syrup. Yup, it was one of those events..

I did not compete but rather was behind the scenes helping out keeping the event going. Directing racers through the first turn to high-tailing it across town to pick up last minute supplies to helping the mid-point aide station and setting up the finish.

It was different being on the other side but it was fun nonetheless. Definitely an equally as tiring weekend without even racing or getting on the bike.

All in all, everyone had a blast including myself. That is what it is all about. Ginger and I did get out on a ride Sunday afternoon which was much needed. Being around a couple hundred cyclists and not riding your bike will make you go crazy. We did a short 10 mile loop covering almost half of the race course. Got to ride some awesome trails such as Pipeline and Kimmer's while picking up the trail markers.

Speaking of trail markers and cleaning up. I could NOT believe how clean the trails where. I did not find any debris on the trails from the racers (food packets, etc..) and could barely tell that upwards of 200 racers came through the day before. That is how pristine the trails looked. How is this possible? I can think of two things. 1) the racers had a lot of respect for the local bicyclists and the trails they have created and 2) the local bicyclists (Stowe Mountain Bike Club) built some highly sustainable trails. Congratulations! Everyone wins out in this case.

T-Hom was up doing cyclingdirt coverage so you can find some video and interviews here.

As in similar fashion to the SingleSpeed World Championship, this event travels from host family to host family every year. The deciding factor to whom will host for 2013 was a maple syrup chugging contest.

Watch more video of 2012 SSUSA on thom.cyclingdirt.org

Up next is the Darkhorse 40 this coming weekend. Our bikes are all set and I just need to get another singlespeed cog for my commuter. If the weather holds I'm riding the 100 miles out to Newburgh New York, racing and riding back.

See you in New York this weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

see you in Vermont

If you are not in Vermont this weekend, you are missing out.

That means you, Dicky.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the Singlespeed USA

Singlespeed USA is coming up at ludicrous speeds. This coming weekend to be exact!

This year the festivities will take place in Northern Vermont in a ski town called Stowe (not the 'e'). Five Hills Bikes / Bike29 is the host and George has put together some mighty fine singletrack that is in essence, 'East Coast'.

Dicky is coming up with excuses not to be in Vermont. I am hoping this is all a hoax and he's actually en-route with Muddiman or the O'Deas. Shit, even Missouri Miller will be there complete with his staf infection. Thom ParSSons is on the other side of the country delivering Iglehart his automobile and will still find a way to be in VT in two days. Word has it even Garth will make an appearance and he doesn't even own a singlespeed.

Details of the main event on Saturday are here.

Went out on a ride today. Hardest ride I've done in probably a month.
Strava says I did well but I definitely was hurting a bit. This weekend is going to hurt me but we'll still have fun.

See you this weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

long weekend of singlespeeding in New England

I had quite a few days off from work last week. Five total to be exact.
It all started with a bike ride after work. I moved our Wednesday ride to Tuesday as I had plans for Wednesday, July 4th.
I then high-tailed it across town to meet Ginger for a ride. First time out on her new singlespeed.

She loved it and felt faster than her geared bike. I think we're onto something...

What is it?
Niner Air 9 scandium frame, size small.
Rock Shox Reba XX 100mm fjork
Cane Creek headset
Industry Nine wheelset with NoTubes Crest rims
Kenda Kozmik Lite II tires
XTR m975 crankset with 34T chainring and Dura-Ace bottom bracket
XTR m975 disc brakes
Surly 21T rear cog
Thomson seatpost & stem
WTB saddle
Ergon bio-kork GP1 grips
Truvativ crabon handlebars

We then went and enjoyed our July 4th.

July 5th we went out to New York to visit the fine folks at Darkhorse Cycles. Got the low-down on this year's DH40 course and went out for a ride.

Got to explore some new trails that may or may not be in this year's 40. You'll find out come race-day. This was probably the longest ride I've done in quite a few weeks not to mention one of the longest rides Ginger has done in the past few months (yet now with only one gear). Temps were quite high too. 90Fish and the air in Stewart is quite stagnant. We managed nonetheless and had a fun time.

Friday the 6th we were back on the road with final destination being Waterbury/Stowe Vermont. There was one stop along the way... Pine Hill Trails in Rutland VT.

Ginger rode these trails a few weeks ago and wanted to show them to me. Temps were still quite high (80Fs) with some high humidity but we went for a ride anyway.

This place was a ton of fun. Very well maintained and some amazing hand built trails. Definitely worth the stop.

We had a blast railing the bermed turns and climbing and descending the trails. Even stopped for a quick photo.

From there we made our way to see George from Bike29 up in Waterbury. Dejay was still up there hanging out and T-Hom was slated to make an appearance as well. We arrived just in time to gather the necessary ingredients for dinner and cook up some good food. Dejay was the chef bringing his southwest flair to our meal.
When we got up to Stowe we were greated by hot air ballons.

Stowe had fireworks on Friday so we walked to what was supposed to be a good vantage point from Lower Stowe Village but turned out we couldn't see anything. Dejay was catching frogs for the kids.
T-Hom's estimated time of arrival kept slipping. No matter where he was the time to arrival was 2 hours. He eventually showed up sometime around or after midnight. It wound up being a long evening...

Saturday we paid George a visit at the shop for Ginger's Reba XX didn't feel right. George pulled the fork lowers off to find that there was no oil in the fork. Supposedly this is the norm now-a-days. Most RockShox fjorks seem to be shipped lately with little to no oil in them. Don't ask me why.
Photo: T-Hom 
After some addition of proper fork oil the fork was now buttery smooth. (Thanks George!).

Photo: T-Hom
While we were on the topic of fjorks I pushed on T-Hom's Reba XX and it barely moved. George was kind enough to pull that apart and we found a little bit more oil in it than in Ginger's fjork but still not the proper amount.
Photo: T-Hom
When T-Hom's fjork was all fixed he wasn't sure what to make of it. See.. He's been riding this fjork for months in its previous state: an overweight pseudo rigid fjork. Regardless, T-Hom was ecstatic.
So ecstatic that he did a little dance.
While I cleaned the chain on my bike.
Photo: T-Hom
Later that day we converged on a bike ride. This may or may not be part of the SSUSA course.
Lets just say that not many people will make it past the Trapp Family Lodge.. We certainly didn't. Their beer was so good we stayed for a while and then decided to head back to dodge. Word on the street was that Dejay was Le-Tired.

Later that evening we re-convened on The Reservoir down in Waterbury for dinner and some more drinks. T-Hom opted for the 'Truck Driver'.
Photo: T-Hom
Photo: T-Hom
Somehow he finished all of that as well as his pickle and french fries. He had a race the next morning too. First race in months and a race against Dejay in the singlespeed field.

Who is this Dejay guy?
Why he is The Creepy Mullet Man Dog Chorus Conductor

Sunday Dejay and T-Hom went to race in New Hampshire while Ginger and I took a leisurely drive home. I didn't want to pay 30something dollars to race my bike and would rather relax at home before another busy week at work.

Despite not racing much, T-Hom is still on his game and had fun racing with Dejay the whole race until somewhere near the end. Kind of makes me wish I was there. Watch the video.

Watch more video of All Out In Moody Park EFTA NECS #4 on thom.cyclingdirt.org

Saving a few pennies, relaxing and having a fun weekend of riding bikes and hanging out with friends? Yes please!