Fatty’s First Ride

I took my fatty out for its first ride yesterday, and boy was it a awesome! I’ll do a full review of the 2013 Surly Moonlander soon. A few things that stood out that I would like to share. Don’t kid yourself this thing slays the downhills. Its heavy, so once it gets going good luck slowing it down. I took it down the CBMR Evolution Bike Park and it had no problem getting air and turning in burmed corners. It also climbed better then I thought a 37lb bike would climb, sure its still sluggish but it likes it that way. I had to get used to the heavy wheels, especially from my Stan Crest’s, but once I did, I was rolling into corners almost more freely then my Stumpjumper HT. There is some super rocky terrain on the Upper Loop, the large wheels stayed on top of the rocks almost making it easier to take on then my cross country bike. All in all it was a great ride, and I didn’t baby it at all. Check out some photos from its inaugural ride.

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Just riding the the backyard, no big deal!

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Mr. Moonlander, all shiny and clean.

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Fat!

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I took my time on the ride up Tonys trail in Crested Butte, I really had no choice. Its not like my 21 pound Hardtail.

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I slogged my way up a road at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. But I took a downhill trail down. I was shocked what this bike could handle.

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My Fatty! I need to get a few more rides on it, but a full review in the eyes of an adventure junky to come.

Spin The Doctor Enduro

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Bike events are rad if you have not figured that out by now. If you’re a mountain biker and have not experienced any sort of cycling event, I think you should do so before seasons end. This past sunday, a bunch of Crested Butte locals, and a few others got together to take on the 2nd annual Spin The Doctor Enduro. It’s a timed race from the start of the Doctor’s Park downhill, to the Doctor’s Park Trailhead. It’s by far one of the best downhill rides in the Gunnison Valley.

I’m not that great at downhill riding, but I love it. People say it comes with time, and I hope they are right. I decide to test my limits on my Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail 29er. I arrived at the trailhead a little late, around 11:30am and missed the group shuttle to the top. I was a bit happy about that however, as it was a good excuse to ride up to the start of the race. It took a good hour and a half to climb to the top, but it was a welcoming site to see Justin Varaljay (event director) and the crew.

The climb up to the top of Doctors. Its pretty darn steep.

The climb up to the top of Doctors. Its pretty darn steep.

I got the OK from Justin to cruise down the fast open field. I pushed myself, but not nearly as hard as I had wanted. It’s been two years since I’ve been on Doctor’s Park, and I decided it was not a great time to hurt myself. I still pushed it, making sure I wouldn’t take ages to finish. I’m new to this type of racing, but I’m guessing that enduro racing is going to be taken over by cross country racers in the years to come. These races comes down to seconds, and each little bit of uphill will make or brake your race.

I rolled up to the finish with a bunch of super rad folks cheering me on, what a great event. The best part was the gathering afterwards. We ate dogs, drank some Mirror Pond, and chatted about bikes and life. I can not wait for next year! For the results and more information check out Westelkproject.com

Mikey, one of the volunteers rides down in style on an old school Intense M1.

Mikey, one of the volunteers rides down in style on an old school Intense M1.

Gearing up for fat bike season

Alright you nordorkers, here’s to taking over your trails and forever leaving a lasting tire mark on that sweet corduroy. Ok – so it probably won’t be that easy, we know you will submit endless “letters to the editor” and argue until you win.  The Nordic Center folks work hard every year to please nordic and skate skiers, but with all new things comes controversy in Crested Butte. I could go on and on, but I’ll save this talk for winter. Currently we are able to ride every single dirt trail in and around Crested Butte while the aspen leaves turn gold, this rocks! We are very very blessed to be living in such a beautiful area of the country, a place where I may never leave. Here is a little stoke for winter. Your thinking… another ski video, well your wrong. The fat bike world is only growing and it looks like Grand Targhee is at the forefront of the culture. Check it!

2013 Vapor Trail 125

vaporWell, its been a few days since The Vapor Trail 125, and since then its still drilled into my head. I’m upset with myself for handing over 1st place as easy as I did. But my excuse, I was exhausted, empty, drained. There is always next year, but who knows if I’ll ever feel this good again. Check out my write up on Singletracks.com for the full play by play. This was one very hard race.

http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-events/race-report-vapor-trail-125-salida-co/

Finish

Well it has arrived, one of the highlights of my summer, The Vapor Trail 125. I have been hearing a lot about how hard it is, but little about details. I’m coming off of a very long recovery from the Colorado Trail Race (CTR), much longer then I had imagined. I feel good, well rested, but not nearly as strong as I did before the CTR. Excuses excuses, I know. Like every race, I set a goal. It’s always the same goal, and it always will be… FINISH. I know we all run into bumps in the road, but there is no reason for me to just quit. The reward is too great to quit, but avoiding the thought is nearly impossible, at least for me.

The Vapor Trail is a 125 mile race that starts at 10pm on Saturday, September 7th in beautiful Salida,Colorado. We will ride through the night and into the day, until we reach Salida again. I will join the other racers as we climb 20,000 feet of elevation, at an altitude much above where many of you live. This will be the 8th annual Vapor Trail 125, and I am a rookie to the race. Fortunately, I have ridden close to 1/3 of the course this year while doing the CTR, Salida’s Big Friggin Loop, joy riding, so that is slightly comforting.

 

If you want to track us nut jobs, go here: http://trackleaders.com/vapor13

Also Check out the race website here: http://vaportrail125.com/

All I can say is I love biking, and I’m so excited to put the Vapor Trail 125 to the test!

Summer’s Almost Gone.

I grew up listening to The Doors, actually I was obsessed with them in  high school. The unique sound of Ray Manzarek on the keys, and Morrison’s stage presence and poetry drew me in. Obsessions come and go, some stick for a while, some not so much. Which got me thinking about how obsessed I am with bikes and that I know this obsession is to last a lifetime. It’s funny how life brings you to new places, introduces new things, and connects you with new people. I am sooooo very grateful to have found my home in the Gunnison Valley. It started with education but has turned into a whole lot more. This is what the bike industry wanted right? Its ok, I have accepted it, because I love every bit of it, the people, the adventure, the beauty. 

This has been an unforgettable summer that started in Arizona in April, where at the time it was not quite summer yet in snowy Crested Butte. I fell in love with Arizona, the warmth, the desert, and the trails. Summer continued with a few races starting in Utah, followed by Gunnison, Salida, and the Colorado Trail. In-between, life was filled with many laughs. Through pain and bliss, summer has quickly come to an end. The days are getting shorter, the nights get colder, and soon golden aspens will be accompanied by snow capped peaks.

The end of summer does not mean the end of bike season, and I’m going to make the most of it. It’s not very often I get to ride new trails around Crested Butte. I must admit — I love buff, smooth singletrack, and Crested butte has a lot of that.  Saturday I decided to ride the Para Me y Para Te trail just south of town,  a trail that has been on my todo list for some time. It was the perfect time as I needed to prep for some hike-a-bike that the Vapor Trail kindly has to offer. This ride was special because it exposed me to a different perspective of the land around me. I usually don’t feel so eager talk about a trail, but there was something special, it was a day where everything felt right.

The day started with me waking up far to early, but nothing a little coffee couldn’t fix. I hopped on the bike and made my way to the Green Lake Trail. I figure this would be a good test of my new XX1 drive train. It’s still a transition for me as I parted ways with a whole granny gear and my legs are still adjusting. Anyways that is an entirely different story. I started at race pace, but soon was taken over by the hike a bike. If I were racing, I would push it, but I decided to relax and enjoy the ride.

Panorama at the junction of  Green Lake Trail and para me y para te Trail.

Panorama at the junction of Green Lake Trail and para Me y Para Te Trail.

Mt. Axtel through the pines.

Mt. Axtel through the pines.

Whetstone Mountain, West face.

Whetstone Mountain, West face.

I made it to a clearing that showed just how big Whetstone Mountain really is. It’s just a big rock, high up in the sky.

Skyland and The Club in the far far distance.

Skyland and The Club in the far far distance.

And then I looked down, showing me how small we really are on Earth.

Carbon Peak, you look so epic.

Carbon Peak, you look so epic.

After some hike a bike came a fun steep downhill. My bike and I rarely are on the same page in this aspect, mainly because I suck at descents but today we were on the same page. Oh and I never realized how epic Carbon Peak really is. Wondering if it gets enough snow to ski?

Carbon Trail, with the Anthracite Range in the background.

Carbon Trail, with the Anthracite Range in the background. Sweet sweet singletrack!

The Castles.

The Castles.

I got to Ohio Pass, and decide I wanted to sit back and relax at Lake Irwin, I climbed up through the old Irwin Townsite, found a good spot, and laid back.

Lake Irwin.

Lake Irwin!

Although the Autumn Equinox is not until the 22nd of September, it will start to feel like fall before we know it. Get out there and enjoy it.  With the end of one activity comes another, and although I have found my true obsession in biking, it’s always such a great change to bring out the skis.  Feed your need while you can.