Monday, November 19, 2012

New Wheels. New Adventures.

New wheels on the Nature Boy. NoTubes Alpha 340 rims (prize for taking 3rd @ TSE) on White Industry hubs built up at Brave New Wheel
They've stirred my desire to explore my new backyard here in Estes Park. Below is the "Bone Pipe" trail heading back into campus. Longs Peak just to the left. Our very own Shaman Peak on the right.
The weekend I picked up the wheels, I dove into the deep end and raced at the USGP Ft. Collin's cyclocross race. 40 some single speeders and more carbon fiber than I'm used to seeing in the ss field. It was the biggest, most pro race I've done in a long time; maybe ever. Fun, but cx is certainly not my discipline. Way too fast, with no room for error. Not to mention I haven't been really riding for months now. Below's a picture of the fly over. Run stairs, ride ramp.
Two weeks later I got the stupid idea to subject myself to another battery-acid-flavored race down in Boulder. This time I thought I'd make it even harder on myself by riding down to it. 40 some miles of mostly downward slanted pavement. Beautiful ride, but I wasn't exactly feeling fresh at the start line. A bus of students and a colleague of mine drove down to cheer me on, and thank the internal combustion god, drive me home. The night before I experimented with some rice cakes (a la Skratch Labs recipes). Super simple combination of rice, crushed pineapple, and salt. Sure beats paying an arm and leg for energy bars.
I showed up to the Boulder race early and got to take in the views. Did I mention that the race was at Valmont Park? A city maintained bicycle specific park. Yea, it's pretty sweet. 

And new warranty replacement mountain bike came in. Out with the Salsa Selma, in with the El Mariachi. A huge thanks to Ray (of TSE fame) for pulling the warranty together back in PA! I gotta say, it's nice having a steel steed finally. Plus, I can fit fatter tires in the rear. 2.4 Ardents front AND rear? Sounds plush to me. 

A day or two after I built it up my friend Rick and I rolled out to nearby Crosier Mtn. He was lending me his size small 26" full suspension bike to show me around the first two months here. It was probably the longest I've ever ridden either a 26" bike, one with gears, or a bike with suspension. It took some getting used to, but it was time to explore my new local trail options and so I bobbed around and crunched through gears with a smile on my face. There were moments when I thought that some of these trails would be unrideable when I got a ss full rigid under me again. Silly me. That moment came and I've been crushing it. 

And I leave you with a view of a distant Longs Peak from Hall Ranch in Lyons (home of Oskar Blues Brewery). A grainy bedrock and boulder strewn climb, technical to the point of walking, but definitely rideable, led to a sandy well-designed lollipop loop on a plateau. There were signs warning you about mountain lions, but all I saw were mule deer. Ok, and incredible views. Again.

1 comment:

Tom Mrotek said...

YES! You rode 40 miles to the start of a race. Eric and I are so proud.

Oh yeah. The last time that I was in mountain lion country and saw a bunch of deer I also saw a mountain lion take down a deer. And then stalk me. So yeah... don't let your guard down quite yet.