Last weekend Tony and I braved streets full of hockey fans and giant pickup trucks endlessly circling the Excel center looking for a place to park their trailers containing custom motorcycles as we hit downtown Saint Paul for a spring street session.
Entries for 2008
I got peer-pressured into ducking out of work early for a street session at the University of Minnesota campus with Tony and Buck. I got a chance to take the Riot out for the first time. While I still suck at street riding, I really liked the bike and I can’t wait to try it out on some dirt jumps.
A friend sent me this pic of the new hayes 4-pot brake caliper. I don’t know anything about it, but I like the looks of it.
I was recently approached to help build a website for a new advocacy group that is just getting off the ground. The group is “Midwest Freeride Community” and it was conceived by Adam Buck and Tony Benusa. With these two guys on the job I think it will be a banner year for freeride and gravity events in Minnesota and the Midwest.
I’ve been reading BIKE magazine since the second issue. The two things that first attracted me to the magazine were Mike Ferrentino’s column and the photos; which were a huge step above any other mountain bike publication at the time. So I am proud to say that a photo I took will be appearing in the latest issue in the “50 trails” article. My friend Pete, who happens to be one of the trail bosses for the Murphy Hanrehan trail, was interviewed for the article since Murphy was to be the trail featured for Minnesota. When they asked him if he had any photos of the trail, he showed them a few pictures that I and some others had posted on the MORC and MTBR messages boards. Shortly after that I received an email from a Bike photo editor asking if I was interested in submitting some photos for the article. I didn’t have very many images of the trail but I sent off what I had, not expecting that any of them would be used. So I was pleasantly surprised when Pete sent me an email a couple of weeks ago telling me that they had used my photo.
Nik called me the day before I was supposed to board a plane bound for Las Vegas. We had been planning this trip to Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City for a month and I was ready to leave the cold and snow of the Minnesota winter behind and get some DH time in on some dirt that didn’t require that I clear it of snow first. Nik was calling to tell me that a huge storm was rolling into Santa Barbabra. The streets were flooded and the stoplights were out. More omnious for us were the tales of 8 inches of snow that had fallen on the mountians outside of town. “If it’s snowing in SB, it’ll definately be snowing in Bootleg.”, Nik told me. Nik has many skills but thankfully meterology isn’t one of them. When I landed in Vegas the skies were clear and the temps were in the 50s. Coming from the frozen north it felt positively tropical.
While Bootleg Canyon has excellent XC trails including a IMBA Epic ride, we were there for the DH action. The local bike shop All Mountain Cyclery runs a shuttle on the weekends but since we had had problems with the reliability of the shuttle vehicle and also since we wanted to ride on Monday and the shuttle only runs on the weekends, we decided to rent a pickup truck and run some hot laps with each of us taking turns driving.
The first day there were no signs of the storms brewing to the west of us and we were greeted with perfect winter riding conditions; bluebird skies, temperature in the high 50s and most importantly, no wind. The terrain at Bootleg ranges from technical, is-this-really-a-trail type terrain, to fast flowy, carveing-the-ridges type sections at the bottom. We spent the day reacquainting ourselves with the trails and getting used to the alternately grippy rocks and loose dirt. Near the end of the day Nik and Brady dropped into the upper section of Ginger. The trail was so exposed and steep in some sections that they questioned whether it could be ridden clean. We ended the day riding the jump park until it was too dark to be safe.
We awoke on day two to the sounds of rain outside our hotel room. By the time we had finished breakfast the rain had ceased but the air was damp and the clouds hug low. Getting to the top of the downhill trails requires a ten minute hike-a-bike. The clouds were thick and five minutes into the push we could no longer see the truck or the road. Rounding the last corner we were met with a fierce wind. The fog made it difficult to let the bike run in the open sections as the tech sections would jump out at me with little to no warning. As the day progressed the fog burned off and the wind picked up. As long as I kept my wheels on the ground the wind didn’t pose much of a problem.
The run of the day was Armaggedon to Snakeback to Diva. Armaggedon starts off with some rocky tech carved out of the side of the hill. The first move is the “Toliet Bowl” a tight left hard turn over steep rock. Armaggedon gives way to Snakeback right before a small drop which can be tricky when the wind is blowing. The entrance to Diva comes in the middle of a loose right hand turn that was preceded by a extended loose straightshot. Upon entering Diva, the rocky tech is left behind and is replaced with ridgeline trails that are fast with flowing banked turns that are broken only the occational braking bump and random rock garden. On the last run of the day my connected with a trail-side rock. I hit it hard enough that it blew my foot off the pedal and my toe went momentarily numb. Unfortunately the numbness didn’t last long.
On Day 3 the wind came. It started strong and kept growing stronger. Any time our wheels left the ground we were in danger of being blown off the trail. On my last run I had to maintain a 45 degree lean into the wind to keep from being blown off the ridgeline trails. Every bump mashed my swollen big toe against the front of my shoe. It was unpleasant and I called it quits after two runs.
The wind was blowing so hard that I had to find an indoor spot to break down the bike. We had already checked out of the hotel and I wasn’t excited about the prospect of packing the bike up in the airport parking ramp. Luckily the bathrooms at the at the trails was pretty spacious. So while the wind howled outside I got the v-10 broken down and packed up in under 25 minutes; a new record for me.
While the wind sandblasted our cars in the parking lot, Brady, Nik and I said goodbye. It was our most successful Bootleg trip to date in terms of most runs completed and most fun had. I look forward to returning next winter.
In preparation for my trip to Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, NV this weekend, I’ve been browsing some videos of the area. I’m excited to once again put some rubber to dirt. It’s been a while.
Before I built it up I decided to take a couple of pictures of my new 2008 Black Market Riot. The build is almost done but I’m still waiting for a couple of parts. When it’s completed I’ll post a more detailed write-up and pictures of the finished bike.
On a side note, here are a couple of things I learned while taking these photos:
- Don’t take pictures of a white bike with white shades in the background.
- Make a list of the shots you want or you’ll end up with no decent shots of the entire frame.
- Pugsley is all done. Ready for the snow to fly. http://instagr.am/p/L4Fm/ 2010-11-08
- Had a great time today riding at Battle Creek with @forum116 , but damn, I suck at climbing. 2010-11-07
- Building up the Pug http://instagr.am/p/KR6N/ 2010-11-05
- These cranks intrigue me. // RT ^BM New Truvativ DH cranks in stock now. Part numbers and photo: http://ow.ly/i/5cbG 2010-11-04
- Nice! See you in Feb. @cartertx Just got the call from @qualitybike about presenting at #Frostbike 2011. Very excited to see my MN friends. 2010-11-03
- More updates...