Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Trail Work - Krug

Would anyone be available to put in some trail work time at Krug on New Years morning?
I plan to be up there at 8 am. We will be clearing some new short sections of tie in trail just below the area where the haunted forest takes place (Tom Bennett trails) and possibly a few short sections of trail to tie in the old tree house trail. Also plan to take out the bridge planks at the bottom of the tree house trail and move them to the new location where this trail is being re-routed to.
Great way to start off the new year and as many of you have said, now is the time to be doing this work.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What's Next?

Hey everyone…
I’m excited and thankful about everything you guys are doing up at Krug. The timing appears to be near perfect as I have had a few recent discussions with city staff regarding the possibility of sponsoring some type of annual bike festival in an effort to promote the city’s park system as well as community wellness. In my opinion, Krug Park is the ideal location for the center of activities. I’m thinking in terms of XC racing, a starting/stopping point for road racing, trials comp/demo, beginner clinics, live music and food… or perhaps awards, music, food, videos, raffles, etc at the civic arena after the races whereby alcohol could be served/consumed, since it’s illegal in the parks.

Please understand that I don’t have the authority to make promises or commit resources on behalf of the City of St. Joseph. Staff has asked for my input and will likely rely on that input when making decisions as it pertains to the city’s involvement, if any. At this point, it appears that Parks and Recreation Director, Bill McKinney will have to grant permission as it pertains to many key aspects of bike related activities in the parks. Naturally, the city council may have some involvement depending on the nature and extent of city finances and other resources. I believe some of you may have worked with Mr. McKinney on various elements up to this point.

I have not spoken with him regarding the use of Krug Park for a bike related festival/event. I would like to make sure that all of us are on the same page and fully supportive of all activities that may be pursued. I think most of you know that my interest is in observed trials, thus I would like to pursue that aspect of the big picture, however I will not go it alone as I believe biking venues and events are made better by complimenting activities. I believe that perhaps the biggest part of growing any sport is reaching out to the spectators who, depending on what they see and hear may decide to get involved themselves… especially the kids… pull them away from the video games.

Simply put, not everyone wants to sit around watching a trials rider like me struggling to get over a rock and not everyone wants to stand beside a trail waiting for an XC rider to come by… but, when you put everything together and provide options, people start to feel the “Vibe” that all of us love. How many times have you heard people say, it wasn’t the race or the comp that made it cool, it was the before and after, it was the people, the whole scene, the “Vibe”. Thanks to many of you, St. Joe now has an awesome trail system that keeps getting better.

So, here’s my question for all of you… and responses are needed… Would you support this type of event and be willing to meet with and speak to the necessary people to get the wheels turning? My sincere apologies if this is something that you’re already working towards and I just haven’t heard about it. We must have a unified group approach with as many supporters as we can get… even if it’s just someone willing to say, “Yes, I would like to see this in St. Joseph.”

This post is not intended to be all inclusive by any means. Just wanted to get the discussion started in a format that everyone can view and provide input. Again, I make no promises on behalf of the city, nor has the city committed to anything at this point. Given the current economy, there’s no telling what kind of support there may be in the coming months.

I'd love to sit down and have a face to face discussion with everyone at some point if possible.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Patient Anticipation

before the sunrise, when the first light breaks over the horizon and twilight begins to bring the scenery back to light.... the cold is deep in us. too cold to shake off, and all we want and need are those warm rays of light to stir us back to life.

but it doesn't matter how cold we are. it doesn't matter how much we want that sun sent warmth. and we can only position ourselves to a point - and then there is nothing more we can do but sit quietly in the twilight; waiting for the light to come. we can do nothing to speed the ascending salvation we need so badly. we can do nothing but fill ourselves with silent patience and the faith that our sun will come to save us from the cold.

And then the Sun Bursts over the Horizon. We feel Invigorated, as though we had Never been so close to freezing. We Forget the pain radiating through our Bodies as the cold night draws to a close and the Warmth of a New Day Bathes The Earth with Love and the Heat of Life.

A Whole New Perspective is in Play NOW. The problems of the cold night are an unpleasant memory, but seem Distant and Unreal NOW. The World is Filled with Colors. There is Music from the Birds and Squirrels, and things are so Different than they were just a Moment Ago. And the Priorities Change, and The Soul Changes, and the Person Changes - for Another Day; We Press Forward TOWARD ANOTHER NIGHT. Toward Another Night. toward another night. toward another night. toward another night

Saturday, December 27, 2008

where it's at

when do you feel lost and small?

where do you find quiet solice?

where do you find beauty?

where do you find peace and joy?

is there a right answer for everyone?

for anyone?

do you know your answers?

are they same today as they were yesterday?

somehow we keep moving forward toward the answers we believe in today; and maybe tomorrow. forward toward a desired experience, a desired person, a desired object, or a desired feeling. sometimes our ships find port. sometimes they don't. and yet we sail on. on through the questions and toward the answers of a new year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I hope Sata brought you all new MTB parts and toys...

Shirts, Wood & Move

First things first the jerseys are getting the final designs finished. I need everybodys sizes and know who's in on the cross/mtb/road team. There will be some expense to the jerseys but with all the donations (thanks Craig/Larry) it will be less though. Next week we will have a sample jersey. Next I'm moving locations next month so sorry to be lacking on trail building but I needed to get things rolling for the new shop. Since I'm moving I have lots of wood in the back room that needs to be moved to Krug. That should be a good modivation to get bridges built, I'll let you know when we will have a bridge day. Once all the lumber is at Krug we need to get them done before Buba moves crap around on us. We have a generator now to run power tools and maybe two soon so we can tackle two bridges at a time. If Lance want to bring his thats three. I like Craig's ideas on the Krug routes the only thing I would like to add would be a little more on the tree house trail.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time of Year to be TRAINING!!

It really sucks to think about, but now is the time get your training into full gear to come out guns a blazin come spring.
I read this post from Cornbread out of Lincon.. Pretty interesting..
I know Dr. Allen Smith out at Performance Plus can test your VO2 Max if your interested...

Your VO2 Max is what is is though, I would rather focus on increasing our anaerobic threshold.... That is where we are going to make the most gains... I know there are tons of resources out there, so post what works best for MTB....

Here you go, its a (rather) short read....

Recently, I did a metabolic stress test (often referred to as a VO2max or a cardiopulmonary stress test) on a local elite athlete. The test results were outstanding for this individual. In fact, the results were some of the highest that I’ve seen on a test subject. The only other one higher was on a classmate of mine in grad school and he was a Division I cross country star. The results were also significantly higher than I’ve ever achieved.
The test got me thinking about the basic physiology of an aerobic athlete and what makes one faster or more powerful than another. Why are some individuals “natural” aerobic athletes while others struggle to hang on to the back of the pack?
WARNING! Geekdom at it’s finest approaching
VO2max is the ability to consume oxygen and utilize it for aerobic glycolysis. The muscles use oxygen in aerobic glycolysis to break down stored carbohydrates and eventually produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The high energy phosphate bond in ATP is what allows muscles to contract.
Man, I wish I had a syringe of ATP to inject into my legs during cross. Kinda like nitrous oxide for your legs. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work and would probably kill you.
Anyways, back to the nerdy stuff, if the cardiovascular and pulmonary system cannot sustain the volume of oxygen required by aerobic glycolysis, the body will begin to call upon anaerobic glycolysis to help keep up with the muscle’s demand for ATP. Aerobic means with oxygen and anaerobic is without oxygen. Anaerobic glycolysis isn’t as efficient as its bro aerobic glycolysis and only provides a fraction of the ATP from the same amount of carbohydrate. So anaerobic glycolysis is kinda like the friend you call as a last resort to pick you up from downtown when you’ve had too much to drink. You really don’t want to go there, but you have no choice.
Anaerobic glycolysis results in lactic acid (actually lactate and hydrogen ions) as a nasty byproduct of producing those valuable ATP’s. That’s the familiar burn we’ve all felt on numerous occasions and especially during cross country races, crits and cross. So as the body is unable to provide sufficient volume of oxygen to the working muscles through aerobic means, the balance swings from aerobic to anaerobic glycolysis. As a result the muscles and lungs begin to suffer. Eventually if a person “red lines” for too long the muscles will shut down. The hydrogen ions from the lactic acid combine with bicarbonate ions and form carbonic acid which spontaneously dissociates into water and carbon dioxide. The increase in water isn’t such a bad thing, but the increase in carbon dioxide eventually has detrimental effects. A lot of folks don’t know this, but carbon dioxide is actually what triggers us to breath. Not a lack of oxygen.
Now there are several ways one athlete can be superior to another in various physiological systems which leads to a higher VO2max. Huge lungs help. Also a great diffusion capacity (ability to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the lungs and the blood) is vital. Any kind of pulmonary disease (asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and smoking) can hinder the delivery of oxygen to the blood.
After the lungs come the heart and vascular system. Having a big strong and efficient pump (heart) is also critical, but if the plumbing is shitty the delivery of oxygen is hindered. Atherosclerosis (heart and vascular disease) will narrow those arteries and make them less compliant and impede delivery of oxygen rich blood. Pressure is also higher in small pipes which can lead to greater endothelial insult and subsequently more atherosclerosis. It’s a vicious cycle.
Now once at the starving muscles, AVO2difference (arterial venous difference) is the next critical physiological variable. The AVO2difference is simply the difference in the oxygen content of the arterial blood and venous blood. The arterial blood drops off oxygen to the working muscles and become venous blood (artery away from the heart and venous towards). The venous blood goes back to the heart and then the lungs to pick up more oxygen and start the cycle over again. Some individuals have higher AVO2differences than others. This was the great debate when I was in grad school. What is the deciding factor in a high VO2? There was the central theory (the big pump – heart) and the peripheral theory (AVO2difference). I personally think you gotta have both, but there really is no way to easily measure AVO2difference potential. The heart can be assessed rather easily with echocardiogram, CT and even catheterization.
Some folks just have better genes for dropping off oxygen. If you got Norwegian genes, consider yourself lucky. The highest ever recorded VO2max results were from Norwegian cross country skiers. Records for VO2max are 96 ml/kg/min for men (Bjorn Daehlie) and conflicting records for females, but most state 80’s. Greg Lemond was 92.5 ml/kg/min at his peak and I’ve read that Lance was near 94 ml/kg/min. Just to put it into perspective, dogs used in the Iditarod can be as high as 240 ml/kg/min. Just think how fast you would be if your Mom was a canine. Maybe Dr. Moreau was on to something.
Bottom line is the really great aerobic athletes are the ones who were given great genes from their parents. A lot of one’s ability is predetermined at birth. Training can dramatically improve initial performance, but once an athlete is trained it is very difficult to increase the VO2max.
Now once the VO2max is determined, the one thing that can be shaped to increase performance is anaerobic threshold. I’ll save that discussion for another day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Proposed Krug Loop

For those of you who are familiar with Krug, this is my take on how we can make one long loop out of it. Some of the washed out gulley areas need to be re-routed, bridges need to be built, several existing sections need to be completely blocked off, a few new sections need to be flagged and several new sections are currently being rough cut. We have purposely tried to steer clear of the "haunted forest" area as much as possible as they seem to do whatever they want for their precious few weeks every year.
The goal is to make one long loop, eliminate as much as possible the confusing intersections and short cuts and to make this trail as single speed friendly as possible while still maintaining much of what we had in the past.
Also, I am not a fan of building trails just to build trails and I don't think we really need to add much more in the way of length to Krug. I for one do not look forward to maintaining much more than what we currently have with the Corbies, GSC, the Brownie, Krug and Sun Bridge.
Maybe if more people would get involved with trail maintenance I could see building more but at this point with the limited number of people willing to pitch in I just don't see the point.
Krug will never be an "easy" place ride and in my opinion that is not a bad thing. What it will be is an extremely fun trail that will provide as good a work out as you could ask for around these parts.
We could use all the help we can get with this as it is a pretty major undertaking. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Now THAT was a good night ride!

I first want to apologize for my lack of eloquence/elegance with my writing. Lansen is SOOOO comfortable with his mangina that prose seems to effortlessly spew forth from his pie hole.

Crook and I started out last night riding downtown, as I saw a bike come in the shop from Corby North that contained most of the topsoil that we so diligently try to preserve. We made our way out to the casino where I told the security guy we were NOT gonna leave $3k worth of bikes outside for some butthole to take. After some 10 minutes of waiting they let us put em inside in a storage room. We had a very mediocre buffet and commenced to ride(Dave) and walk/push(hippie) up the long Highland/Waterworks dirt hill into the bluffs at about 8:30. The trail was getting frozen and not really muddy at all except where there were those f'ing leaves! The views of the Kansas side were amazing with the bright-ass moon along the middle trail. There are now even more of those landscape timbers across the main trail. The trail now may last longer than we are alive, but it sure makes for a sore ass. We rode through Krug w/o any problems and saw all the lights strung throughout the park. We came through the first tunnel on the roadway and the cars were all backed up. We took the right side and started passing with pleasure until the glare ice reared it's ugly head in the corner. I thought for sure we were gonna pull one of Dave's patented 2 wheel drifts and plow a car or 2, but it never happened. We then made our way to Corby North and found it to be perfect. The tracks from the earlier soil-sampling ride were very evident. With Dave's light and my legs and lungs fading fast, we went back to the shop and loaded up.
I am sorry now that I didn't do more night rides this year. Commuting to work at 4:30 am is technically riding in the dark, I guess, but somehow just not the same. Point being is that if you arent Dave or the hippie you missed out! The night-riding hippie

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Night ride on Friday anyone?...Beuhler...Beuhler...class...

Mr Crook and myself are going on a nightride Friday night at 6:30 pm from Corby to wherever the money takes us. We can't stay out too late, as trailwork at Krug happens Sat morn at 8:30 a. and lights only last 6 or so hours. The I-wish-my-lights-were-brighter hippie.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trailwork Sat morning?

Any of you buttholes up for some work? Krug needs more lovin. 8:30 if you want, top of the hill through the Jurassic Park rocks. RT

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

progress at Krug

Randy, Craig, Lance and I are making progress at Krug. I think the section Craig cut is about .1 miles by the look of it and the new section on the south side of the parking lot is .3 miles giving us close to a half mile of new trail. I estimate that I have another 3/4 of a mile flagged so that means another 1.25 miles added to the 5.5 mile existing loop. I hope we will have an 8 mile loop at the end of fixing Krug. I think Lance is working on the trails Saturday, let me know if anyone needs to borrow the equipment. We already have several contributers for new equipment, the city and everyone else is really supportive of what we are doing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

north corby

This is the before shot of a large ivy field flagged. the next is looking back at the trimmed section. and finally some cool down trees the trail will zoom past. Things are starting really nice on the new Corby north section. I trimmed the first section and it will have some rolling sections that should prove to be fun. There will need to be two bridges about 8 feet to cross small creeks one at the first. The next one is to a cool ridge between two creek beds. There are a few things that I feel need to be addressed since we are at a good point in our trail building process. First of all we need to get the city to promote the Corby trails as the Mark Reynolds complex. First of all because its the right thing to do to remember him for his enthusiasm for the sport and secondly it can only promote what we are doing ourselves to grow the sport. I plan to talk to Bill with parks and Donna Marks mom to make this happen. With these last touches to the Corby trails it really is mostly complete and we should be proud of what we have done. The next order of business is to get more equipment. I was thinking we needed more chain saws and trimmers but I realize we don't have heavy duty portable battery operated tools to build wooden structures, this is what i want to buy. We need to get out bridge building in order to do the things I plan on doing to Krug it requires building new bridges. Please give me your thoughts on this. I am on a fund raising campaign right now so anyone with ideas of who I can get donations from please let me know, because the tools we need are not cheap at all! Again if anyone wants to trim at N. Corby's new section please have at it just follow the flags. The same is true of Krug too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Trail Section

Here's a few pics from this weekend's trail work at Krug.
Lance... Thanks for all the help Saturday morning.
The new section is pretty much complete along with an additional switchback on top.
Still need to build a small bridge at the start though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

quiet clarity

today was amazingly clear. that sun was so crisp. just awesome.

felt kind of guilty for not doing trailwork today, but needed to get the dogs out, and needed to get myself out too.

it was a completely off trail day. started out going south, but then dropped all the way to the bottom and headed north. climbed and descended probably 25 cliffs and rock ledges. it was awesome, if not a little dangerous at times, and probably flat out stupid at other times. but it was that kind of day - a "do something stupid today" sort of day, and i was going to do something stupid come hell or high water. only fell once, but after a tumble landed on my feet and kind of slid down the rest of the way like i was skiing. stopped. looked around, and wished for a moment there was someone there to see it.

Also found some places i had not been. an awesome over look that was just best view of the north river i have seen around here. ended up sitting down and enjoying it for 30 minutes or so. it was just really nice.

also found some new trails that someone has been working on. i might have been in camp gieger, i have no idea. but the trails ran and ran and ran. shawn, have you been over there working?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Krug Trail Clean Up / Re-Routing

Walked through parts of Krug on Saturday picking up limbs and trying to find Shawn's re-routing flags. Found one set of flags but will need Shawn to explain things in a bit more detail. Went back up on Sunday after an early morning ride through the Corbies, GSC and the Brownie.
Looks like we need to re-build several of the bridges on the bridge trail... Maybe set some posts so they stay put when the rains come. While I was up there I tried to hand clear some of the old trail across the big revine behind the log cabin. The long bridge we put in years ago suprisingly is still in very good shape. Went back up later in the day and started clearing several downed trees with the chainsaw.
There is a very steep hill basically at the beginning of that trail right after it crosses the creek. I decided to re-route the trail to the right just before crossing the creek. This will take us across the creek and up the side hill of the revine creating a longer gradual climb. Once on top we will tie back into the old trail.
If any of you are interested in helping out on the new section you can call me or post a comment here. If you just have some free time and want to go up there, by all means feel free. We could definately use help (especially with the bench cutting).
Overall, the trails still need alot of clean up... more chain saw work, some weed eating, bridge re-building, overhead thinning, blowing and of course more re-routing.
We obviously are not pressed for time but it definately would'nt hurt to get started soon as there is alot to get done.
One other thing for you amusement... Was back up there with the chainsaw late this afternoon and ended up getting the chain and bar stuck in a tree that was laid across the creek and the new section of trail. If you see a bar and chain hangin there you know you found the right spot!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A forest dark...

"Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost." -Dante Alighieri - The Inferno, Canto I.

So through the forest I stumbled, looking for something - but not finding it for the nature of its indentity was unclear to me.

I found myself at an apparent impass. A narrow path where turning around was not easy, or sensible, moving forward was arguous, to the right a wall, and to the left a cliff. How I found myself there was unimportant, but the risk associated with each decision was potentially mortal - though each risk at the hands of a different fate.

Finally as the footing began to give way, a decision was forced. Up. This time I would climb up and out of the predicament into which I had stumbled. Up and out of this dirty, cold place aside the cliff wall, where there was nothing but rodent excriment and crumbly rocks to fill my grasp.

Up on top. To feel the fresh wind. To ask for forgiveness for the actions that put me in the prior escaped situation. To feel the warm radiance of that forgiveness, and the redemption that comes with it. Up was the right way. This time, it was the right way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well, I guess winter is officially here. Icicles from the roof this AM. Doesn't seem possible does it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TV Dude???


Would you pass this one to your mountain biking dudes if they are interested.

Bob Fitz


Subject: Mike Steidley
On the off chance that any of you are interested. Mike and another rider are going to be featured on the Discovery Channel show “Time Warp” on the evening of Nov. 26th.

To think I got to ride with that dude! He was actually at my house… and he rode in my car and truck.

On a serious note, please pass the word to those who may be interested… if you know of anyone… other than me.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Trail Work Saturday???

Anyone up for some trail work on Saturday? I have Shawn's blowers and his chainsaw.
Let me know... I plan to be at the GSC around 8:00 am

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things I need to be reminded of...

Above all family comes first
Friends are important, you need them more than they need you
Work is necessary but riding is a priority
Working too many hours leads to a lack of riding which leads to laziness which leads to inefficient work habits... Ride damn it!!!
The smartest people are those who truly listen... Sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut
Embrace getting older, what's the alternative?
Winning is'nt everything but losing sucks... You are not a loser
When you're done, you're not... Push harder
If you think you have an excuse, you don't
There is no better place to ride than Moab... Get out there!
13,000 feet is better than sea level, 14,000 feet is better than 13,000 feet... Get your ass up Long's Peak
Trail work... You ride it so help maintain it
You'll never be the best rider but you are a good rider, still... you can be a better rider
Push yourself past what you thought was your limit, if you don't you'll never know
Riding is a privelage... Get off your ass
Life has treated you well... You owe somebody... It's not all about you
Get over yourself... Everyone else has

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

anyone wanting to race

I'm finally back in town from living the rock star life style. I spoke to JC Shores who's parents own the skating rink here in town. He is living in Kansas now but is always back in town, He loves what we have going on with our trails and riders. He ask me about putting together a MTB/Cross race team for next year. He is wanting to do jerseys and everything so we look bonified. There will be some cost on the jerseys about $40 if we cant get additional local sponsers to pitch in (Craig we would even put your logo on the jersey..hint hint) JC said he will sometimes pick up entrey fees through his company for certain races. Does anyone know anyone else we can tap to sponser the team in any way? If you are interesed in the team please respond to this poast with your jersey size. Just realize you will need to pick up what ever the jersey cost will be after sponsers chip in.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

sun bathed

this morning i stepped out of the house into a misty, foggy, sun bathed world.

everything was dewy and fresh, and it was a good morning to ride.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Strangely Enough....

I got to ride a little today... and it was good.

The weather was beautiful, and the time I spent outside was not enough, but i gulped it down like I would never see the outdoors again. I showed up late at GSC and the gang had already been through all the trails. Jason had it in for me, and took off like a mad man. He drove us hard for awhile, then finally slowed down about half way through a GSC lap. I was finally starting to warm up at that time, took longer than usual for some reason. It was a hard half lap. The second half was pretty more of a tempo pace. After that, everyone took off except Hoppe and me. We pulled out a lap at Brownie, then headed over to the Corbies.

The Corby trails were leafy, but for the most part were clear and fast. We hit it pretty hard and I was hurting bad and moving a lot of air around. Toward the end of the lap at Corby South, Hoppe decides he wants to jump the creek down by the pond. I got a picture of him landing. The whole thing looked pretty cool, but he landed really hard and won't be having any more kids, sorry buddy, watching hurt me too.

Well, we kept rolling for a minute. Then out of no where Hoppe is riding a front wheelie and is going over the bars. He saves it, sort of - and we take a breath and see what the hell happened. Turns out his tire came off the rim, but the tube didn't pop. Weirdest thing I have ever seen a tire do.

Hoppe proceeded to molest his tire for the next 10 minutes or so. I was kind of somewhere else today, so I wandered around and tried to take in the woods and water, just tanking up to hold me through the next week. I know I won't be able to get out during the week.

The sun streamed between these trees and hit me in the face. Everything kind of turned colors in my field of vision, like happens when sun hits you in the eyes. Surroundings kind of looked like a dream for just a second. I was happy to have been there.

Wandered back the other way, checked on Hoppe (still molesting his tire), made a smart-ass comment, then stood by the waters edge. Everything was very calm, the water was glassy, and things were peaceful. A vibrant yellow tree reaching out over the water caught my eye. Once I saw it, I couldn't get it out of my head. Wondered if anyone else had noticed it. It was trying so hard to be noticed; reaching out, busting with color, casting its reflection and doubling the visual impact. Again, felt lucky to have noticed it, and again was happy to be there.

And we were off again. Rolled through Corby North to finish things off. This time it was my turn to lead, and I tried to do it justice. Trails were pretty open with only one tree down I think. We rolled pretty fast and I was feeling it. Hoppe was right on my ass the whole time, there was no way I could have pulled away from him. So it was fun. Toward the end of the lap it was my turn. Started to feel my rear wheel sliding out in the corners.... Yep, flat tire. Dammit. Stopped and started farting with it. The new pump in my back pack didn't work, so that sucked. Also broke the tube, so that sucked too. Finally got a new tube in and pumped it up with Hoppe's pump - and we were off again.

Finished it off and headed for home.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trail Maintenance Day

Any input from you guys about scheduling a trail maintenance day?
I was hoping we could get a good size crew together on Saturday, November 8th (Next weekend)
The GSC could use some bench cutting, more de-nubbing and blowing. We could also stand to shore up the rocks in the small drop towards the end of the trail.
Also some bench cutting needs to be done on the Brownie.
Maybe we could even get Shawn to lay out the extension to the Brownie so we could get started on that later in November or early December.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

just sick and wrong

I had my first chance to do a cross race Sat at Smithville lake. The day was cool and very breezy with the wind whipping off the lake. I entered the single speed class and just got my butt kicked I only beat a guy on a Wal-Mart bike and he was'nt even in my class, it was sad. 30 min of anarobic sprints is not my strong suit. I hung out a little longer and races 35+ masters race. I placed 13th out of 16, I was still out of my class. There were other groups racing at the same time so I got to beat a few girls too, but some passed me too. Tim Crowley also raced we all had a great time. It wasn't till later that we discovered that I was racing aginst CAT 3-4 roadies. They smoked me on the opens but I tore it up on the dirt turns and technical sections. Pappy Long was there killing everyone of course. All in all I had fun and think I'd do it again if i got a chance even though it was sick and wrong.

Sunday Ride w/ Jason

Jason and I hit Corby and the GSC mid-afternoon today. I was a little off from hiking and he was kind of tired from lifting, so we just cruised. He did a few of his signature stops for me in the middle of some down hills, and even in the middle of a couple uphills, just to keep me on my toes since he was leading today. I promised him that if he did it again, I was going to plant that 29" wheel in his ass. Joking, of course - I know it wouldn't fit in there.

It was very windy, so much so that talking was difficult over the noise in the trees. There are some branches down, and we were definitely keeping our eyes out for falling objects. Need to get out there with the chainsaw it looks like.

In the Brownie trail, we were cruising along and a deer jumped off the trail in front of Jason. At that moment I looked over and saw two more deer right by the trail. We slammed on the brakes and all three of them just stopped and looked at us. We were less than 10 feet from them and we all kind of just hung there and stared at eachother. They were not scared and infact they started grazing while we were stopped there. I got a picture of them, but of course it kind of sucks.

Ran into Hoppe out there leaf blowing the GSC. Trail was very smooth and fast where he had been. It was certainly a lot of work, and he should be thanked for his efforts.

On the older trails, fall leaves provide a protective barrier and a regenerative layer. This regeneration will help protect the hills and gulleys from spring rains. Leaf cover will also allow us to ride when it is more muddy. Wet leaves don't stick to tires, wet dirt does.

On the other hand, it does slow down the riding for a month or two. And, leaf litter does increase the risk of bike damage from hidden sticks and rocks - so it is totally a give and take situation. Hell, last year I went through a couple deraillers because of trail clutter. Sucked.

Anyway, this is a point of contention in other areas of the country, and there are alternative viewpoints - but I'm pretty sure it is the case around here. Other thoughts? Trail Hippie, what do you think?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Started the Day....

With a feeling that things might make sense for awhile. I wanted to cement that state of mind, so I decided a hike at River Breaks was the thing. There are three trail systems at River Breaks, I have been on one, so I thought I might try one of the other two.

Started the excursion in a clearing that overlooked a valley, and across to the surrounding hills. Colors are starting to pop, and a cool breeze hit me in the face. Shivers ran up and down me, and I felt really alive for a bit.

I descended a long steep hill, dropping about 150 feet in elevation into the tree canopy. Found a wonderful little stream. Every thing was so quiet, except for the sound of running water. It was a cool dewy moment of watching small frogs hop into the water, and imagining how good that water might taste. I was not brave (or stupid) enough to taste it though. What a simple decision, that could have such dire consequences. Life is like that I guess, funny little decisions all the time that we take for granted, but can be severly altering for what can seem like an eternity. I guess the example fits, cause any amount of time seems like eternity when you have giardia.

Up and out of creek bottom. Another vista, and a surprise - a pond in the valley below. It was absolutely beautiful. Started another descent into the valley.

The pond was so calm. Crystal clear and peaceful. I sat in the grass for a little while, watched the dogs chase a snake, and just thought about things. The sun was so warm - fall warm though, the kind of sunshine that is working real hard to be warm for you. It's a losing battle though, soon the sun won't be keeping up and the snow will be flying. That's okay too though, I'm looking forward to that stage again. Something different. Hang up the bike, pull down the skis. I hope we get some good snow this year.

The rest of the hike was up and down the loess hills that line the Missouri River. At the tops are reminant loess prairies, in the valleys are old growth forest. Both have their majesty. Eventually I started getting blisters on my heels. Funny thing, I have never had problems with these boots, could be a socks thing, or the fact that I probably descended and climbed a couple thousand feet over the course of 7 miles or so. Finally completed the loop and decided to jump out onto the road for a bit to get back to my car quicker. I was torn doing this, I wanted to go back the way I had come, and the pain in my heels was definitely a main focus of my experience, but it was also the kind of bitter sweet, redemptive pain that can last for awhile before it really starts causing problems. I was starting to feel my socks get wet though, and that is not a good sign, so I cut it short and jumped out on to the road for a mile or so.

The road was smooth, and it made me want to get out and do an epic dirt road ride. In the mile or so of road that I wandered, I didn't see a single car or indication that there was another person on earth. Solitude.
Saw one thing that I have never seen before... Walked for awhile with a "cloud" of lady bugs. Apparently those little bugs swarm and migrate or something, cause there was thousands and thousands of them, all moving at just a bit faster than walking speed, and me right in the thick of it. Really felt like I was part of something there for a minute, something larger than myself for sure. Just kidding, it was just a bunch of bugs, but it was pretty weird and I felt kind of lucky to see it.
Till next time....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have you ever....

Lost control for just a second. Hit an immovable obstacle. Then fallen to the ground?

After hitting the ground, did you shake the impact out of your head and wait for a moment as things came back into focus? Did you have a new perspective on things, from a different vantage point? A view of the world that you don't usually take. One where you are close to the earth, where you can smell the dirt and the rot. You can see the busy activity of small insects. Did you notice how the fallen leaf litter blankets the earth, protects it, and regenerates what was lost in the spring and summer rains? Did you notice that the colors of the forest are different from down here? The yellows brighter, the browns more earthy, the dusty yellow filtered fall light warmer and more regenerative than it is from five feet higher where you normally see this view?

While you were down there, did you find something that you weren't looking for? Something that made you think about perspective and how it can change everything depending on which side of it you reside? Did you ever think about luck? Did you consider that nearly any situation where luck is involved has an element of good luck for one party, and bad luck for another? Truely, the rabbit's foot is lucky for the hunter - but the fact that the hunter now possesses the rabbit's foot is unlucky for the rabbit. Did you consider this as a constant through life?

As you pick yourself up, and dust yourself off - maybe look around and think about the give and take; the ebb and flo; the birth and death that is constantly surging forward and pulling back all around us. Think about how as you gain, others lose; then when you lose others will gain. As you climb back on your bike, think about how small these things are in the scheme of things, but how they also might have an unintended, or unexpected impact.
The rabbit would never have comprehended that he might have had an impact on your life. Maybe his bad luck was your fortune this time as you ride away with another perspective that you would never have gained if it weren't for his loss.
To all those who lost someone this week (there were many around me)... I'm sorry for your time of pain and sorrow. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe with some luck a little meaning will come from what probably seems like senseless loss. I hope so.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Girls on the Girl Scout

Ok, I all wanted was to get in one last lap around the GSC. I had been riding for an hour or so and was coming off the Brownie trail and decided it was getting a little bit cool out but thought one last good lap through the GSC would be just the ticket to finish off my ride.
I headed up the short steep section that starts the reverse loop. Just as I was getting to the top I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a pair of female butt cheeks about 30 feet or so down the trail in front of me!
Dumbfounded, all I could think to say was "hello". All of a sudden the girl stands up and I see another girl behind her with her pants down also! These girls were both squatted down face to face in the middle of the trail in an extremely close proximity to each other!
When they spotted me they just freaked out and started yelling "Oh my god, Oh my god" over and over. All I could muster was a lame "sorry" and turned around and headed back out of the trail and decided that last lap really was'nt all that necessary.
The common sense part of my brain told me that all these girls were doing was just peeing in tandem on the trail but seeing these two girls face to face so close together with their pants down told me that "common sense" thinking on my part just was'nt panning out.
I'm thinking it must have been some type of lesbian ritual that these two were enacting!
Guess I should have asked but I was a little freaked out myself.
What do you guys make of it?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Clinton Lake next Saturday?

Met Lance yesterday at GC trails and he offered to drive several interested (he has Suburban said he can carry 6+ & their gear) out to Clinton.

Posting this early will hopefully give some of us opportunity to plan for it.  After tentatively setting these plans I ran into Jim S. and Craig H. and they both seemed interested.  Lance, I plan on going so call shotgun!    ;0)-

BTW... I know it's last minute, but me and out of state friend will be hitting Landahl around 3PM today.  If anyone wants to hook up, you can call my cell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

thursday ride

i would like to ride thursday night after work. i can probably be there around 5:30 with a little bit of luck. that leaves about 1 hour until dark. i will have a light with me, but it has been a whole season since i used it, so who knows how it will work.

any other takers? night riding is always more fun with a group...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Four Guys Who I Thought Were My Friends"

Is how the Crookster describes the start of our Sunday AM ride. He should never have crashed in Corby North. We were having such a good time we just rode past him. We didn't know he was unconscious. How can we be held responsible for him waking up in such a state with Missouri's finest woodsmen keeping him company.

Just kidding. The Crookster went down hard in Corby North. Too fast on the off camber curve that has knocked so many over. He rode that slide like a champ though. I was right up his ass and that freak of nature thinks so fast that he started crab walking off the trail as he was still sliding and bouncing on the ground. For my part, I locked up those BB5s (yeah they lock up sometimes) and did my best not to steam roll him. It would have been nasty if he hadn't of moved out of my way, cause when I finally stopped both wheels would have bounced over him.

So after the wreck the Crookster pretty much looked like the swamp thing with mud and shit hanging all over him.

Then we all stood around and made fun of him. TOUGH LOVE. (shit, I better never, ever, ever, wreck in front of anyone again - or if I do it better kill me).

So we kept rolling with just a couple short stops along the way to b.s. and catch our breaths.

Afterwards, the Hippie had a coronary, which was fun for all of us. I thought I would immortalize the moment, although I missed the part where he was digging in his pants. Dammit.

It was a good ride, and a good morning. On the way home Hoppe and I hit Karnes hill with some vengence. At the top he mumbles something about being able to get a good workout on the road with a single speed. I wasn't really listening, as I was trying not to pass out.... I did notice that ole zippy wasn't even out of breath when he said whatever it was though. So Jason, what are you charging for your hits? You just want to let me borrow your blackjack and I'll do the dirty business myself.

Kidding again, of course. Keep it coming, the faster the better I always say. MAKE IT HURT!

More Photos from Week...

Glad Lansen beat me to posting about yesterday's ride... he's such a poet & doesn't know it.
I really enjoyed the diversity of riding in the bigger group.  Lansen sure did get me going in that last half at Sunbridge... didn't know I could fly over some of those double logs... definitely got in my zone. 

This past Sunday took my 11 year old, Elijah, on his first mtb trail ride using my GF Cake... that's right, he's taken over my shoes & bike... and that's fine with me.  I am most proud that he used the eggbeaters and didn't fall over once!
BTW, that same weekend Rusty took his two oldest boys on same trails and Greg Goat took his daughters riding... future MTBers?! 

Had to take picture of Ed cause this Wednesday we rode together with Dustin and didn't know he could hold a solid/strong pace through woods (thought he only did Trials stuff)... got me so pumped that I found myself pushing & cheering him on like if he was in a race.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday AM Ride Recap

Had a great group this morning. Fast, steady, smooth. We hit the Corby North, then to Brownie, then to GSC, then to Krug, then through Sunbridge. Great morning. It was beautiful!

Randy led us through North, at a nice steady pace. Jason led us through Brownie, and besides taking a bad line and leading me off the trail, was very smooth. Hoppe took the front through GSC, and with some heckling from me really turned it on a couple times. Of course Rusty climbed the big hill on the other side of the creek at Krug.... Everyone else walked it. The Crookster led us through Sunbridge for part of the way at some pretty high speeds along the shelf. That may have been the fastest I had gone in that section. Then I realized I was going to be late to the Pumpkinfest Parade downtown, so Jav and I ripped out the rest of the way in Sunbridge, not sure what the rest of the group was up to but we hit it pretty hard I thought.

Anyway, by the end I was feeling pretty good about the morning. I felt like I got to follow pretty much everyone at some point or another, and it was good. Got to hear some of my favorite old stories, some new ones, and we started making plans for future adventures. Randy made some filthy jokes, I think Javier made a pass at me, and I'm not sure but I think Rusty might have won another $100 hill climb challenge. It was a good ride.

Coming out of Krug, I noticed that the trees in Sunbridge are starting to change colors. Right now they are still kind of dull, but it is going to be a good year for color, I can tell. I hope to be posting some good pictures!

Thanks for the great ride guys! Lets plan to meet at Corby again Sunday... 8:30AM sound good?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Recruits

Rusty inpecting the newbies... Larry, Tom, & Nick and their new bikes from Forces.  I'm betting Rusty will give preference to Nick since he was the only one with 26" wheels.   ;0)-

Fun chatting with these guys and sounds like they have been riding quite a bit lately and already met some of the regulars.  It's great to see more new faces on the trails & look forward to riding with ya!

PS... Nick, Lansen lives just 3 houses west of yours.

PPS... thanks to whomever took out that big trunk on GS trail... and now there is another on Brownie trail, near the parkway road.  Rusty and I cleared some smaller stuff that must have blown over from the weather earlier this week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Did You Know...

...That the Sunbridge Hills have magical powers. Sometimes when you can not find peace, you can go there and peace will find you. When you cry out for guidance, something hears you and provides you with clues to what the right path might be.

As you move up the trail and the Liliger Cemetry rises to meet you, the sun moves behind the small plot. You see a hawk soar over head as you stop to pay a quick respect to those who have passed.

The dogs run ahead, but the animals aren't scared of them today - and you see a racoon staring into your soul from his perch in a tree. What does he see?

A vista opens up at the top of the hill on the overlook point. You can see for miles, to the bluffs on the other side of the river, far away. Things are quiet for a moment, the hawk still circles high above. He calls out and you hear him clearly.

Time to move off the trail and feel the wild earth beneath your boots.

Loose your footing and fall from a cliff. Not a long drop but enough to rattle you. Sit in the rocks for a moment and collect your bearings. Silence falls through the woods again till the dogs come back in to check things out.

Notice some beauty as you sit and think about what nearly happened as you hurtled toward the earth, totally out of control. Would you have seen this flower had you not fallen? Did you fall for a reason?

Keep moving out, back on the trail now. The sun is beginning to fall behind the rocks. Shadows cast long and the woods take on a pink hue. Every thing is soft and gentle. A groundhog peeks out its head and peers at me as I move past.

The sun sets over the far hills. The change in shifts begins. The hawk is gone now, but an owl swoops overhead and announces the shift change. His call is an affirmation that you have stayed too long - but you are not ready to leave.

It's getting dark now. The moon is out. You question your steps at times, but your boots know the trail, and the dogs are surefooted. Just follow their sounds, you will be back at the car soon, but you are not ready to leave even still.

You feel the energy of this place. It has at least partially recharged you for now.... Until the next time.