Saturday, October 31, 2009

The cycling seasons of Colorado Springs

Here in the Springs, we have a variety of trails and terrains available to us during the year. In the winter, we can ride many trails in town and down in Lake Pueblo State Park. As the snow melts, we inch higher and higher into the mountains until we can hit 14000' if we want! Here are some pictures from the many seasons of riding here:

January in Pueblo is a blast!

Way better than sitting in front of the tube.

It's June and we can hit the high country.

August at 13000'

Winter Park, CO on my birthday...sweet!

October is night-ride time before the big snow flies.

October at Rampart Reservoir.

It's November and we are in Palmer Park.

December: Back in Pueblo in the State Park trails. Good times!

As you can see, we can ride year round on the front range of Colorado, and there are some really good riders to hang out with if you are lucky!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It must be snowing

That means it's time to brew up a new batch of homebrew!

First, you have to get the equipment together

Then you get your wort (grain tea & sugars) boiling

Then you have to cool it

It takes a while, so I am having the last beer from the previous batch while I wait

Cool enough to put the yeast in

Now you have to wait a few weeks to bottle it!

Not a bad way to kill a few hours on a snowy day. Soon I will be drinking a fine home-brewed 90 Schilling Ale!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some days.....

the body just won't cooperate. I was planning a pretty good-sized ride today. But as I was climbing out of my neighborhood into the Blodgett open space, my lungs felt like I was at 14000'. Keeping in mind that if I run myself down  I could easily catch one of the many fantastic flu bugs going around, I decided to explore a few trails and head home.

Here is a view of my "hood" from several hundred feet above it.

Here is a good view of where the gravel pit collapsed.

That's about it for today's adventure. Can't wait to feel 100% again!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Leadville 100 Movie

Just got back from the movie "Race Across the Sky" and really enjoyed it. They even had footage from 2 days ago when it premiered in Durango. Not bad for such a short time window. If you have ever considered riding this race, you need to see this movie. It will give you an idea of the terrain, altitude, the race crew and the sheer amount of racers. There were some good stories as well. It wasn't just the "Lance Armstrong" show as some were anticipating. This movie will make you realize just how awesome riders like Dave Wiens, Lance Armstrong, Travis Brown and many other elite bike racers are. They make it look way too easy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tour of the Lakes!

This is why I love Colorado and riding mountain bikes. Today we rode a route we call Tour of the Lakes. It starts at the Rampart reservoir trial-head and follows the reservoir trail towards the dam. After that, you have to be with someone in "the know" to find the rest of the route. Today is October 18 and we rode at 9000' feet in shorts! In a week, that could all change but why not live for the moment?
There is a certain part of the ride called "The Rock". It is a huge granite slab in the middle of the forest. It is quite intimidating the first time you ride down it (much like slickrock). We used to do it with cantilever brakes which was really scary. Now the modern disc brakes make things a bit less stressful.

Here is Matt leading the unsuspecting followers down to the steep section.

 Scott and Don are blindly following.

  Scott on the steeper part.

Don had to think about it for a second.


As we continued  on the ride, we ended up on the Stanley Canyon trail. The hikers always look surprised to see bikes on this trail!

Here we are discussing important issues like global warming, etc..

This is truly a classic loop especially in the fall!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Everything old is new again

There was a Mountain Bike race in Palmer Park today. Normally I would avoid that area and go for a ride elsewhere but I got a wild hair and asked the promoter, Andy Bohlman, if I could race the Men's Cat II 40-49 age class and he said yes. Even more awesome was that he would comp me the entry fee!
I retired from racing around 15 years ago and never looked back. But I also have raced every mountain bike race in Palmer Park that has been held. So yesterday I emailed Andy and explained my situation and he was down with it. Talk about slipping into an old pair of comfortable shoes...

So my streak remains and that means next year I will have to do it all over again. Now that I am older and wiser, I have learned the best recovery food:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Night Ride of the season!

Last night, I dusted off the helmet-light and met my friend Ron for our first night-ride of the season. We started at Cheyenne Mountain high school and headed up the Stratton trails to Gold Camp road. At the first tunnel we headed towards Columbine trail (which is closed-doh). I passed a deer on the single-track and he waited until the last minute to skeedaddle out of there!

I forgot how sketchy it is to ride those decomposed granite trails at night. It makes you feel like a novice all over again. I think it's actually harder to go slow in the dark because your balance is so weirded out.

Forgot my camera so had to use the cell phone for pics! This is at the overlook before descending to High drive.

After Columbine and Buckhorn, we headed down Captain Jacks back toward Gold Camp. I didn't know it but Ron had flatted right before the top of the last climb. When I got to the parking lot by the first tunnel, there was no-one behind me! I sat there for a while, shining my light all over the place, wondering where ol' Ron had gone. All the while there was a young couple in a car sitting by the tunnel and they were wondering what the heck that light was. The girl finally yelled out at me: "You are freaking us out! Can you come here and tell us about the area?". Still wondering where Ron was, I rolled over to converse. She started asking me all these crazy questions about the tunnels being haunted and the bloody hand-prints on the walls of the first tunnel and how a family was killed in the third tunnel collapse many years back. I told her that was all BS! She asked me if being out there at night freaked me out. I said no (but sometimes it does!). She asked me if I was a thrill-seeker. I said no (but maybe I am a little). About then Ron showed up and told me about the flat and we headed down the way we came. That descent down through Stratton is a blast at night!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why is it...

that every time you get a new part for your bike and you are really excited to go ride, it snows, rains or you get sick?

Case in point: my new Fox 29er fork. I was fooled by the local weather forecasters into thinking it would be around 45 degrees out right now. It's 34 degrees and foggy. I am older and less hardcore about riding so I will wait this cold front out and ride when it's warmer.

Of course the best alternative to riding is a wee bit of alkeehaul. Maybe a cocktail before dinner will ease the pain...

Welcome to the banality of my life!

Actually I really like my life. But to some, it could be boring.

For example, I visited the Busch Brewery in St. Louis in '08. It was awesome! Maybe you don't like beer...
Anyway, I named this blog "Round is IT" because my life has been shaped by the wheel. Whether it's a bike, skateboard, motorcycle or car wheel, it has been a key element in my (and most everyone's) life.
I never thought I would do a blog because who cares what I have to say? Then I realized how much enjoyment I get from viewing my friends blogs and seeing what they are up to. So if nothing else, all of my friends can now see what I am up to. Boring or not. I hope it's not!