Friday, January 29, 2010

Coffee is mandatory.

Most of the athletes I know love coffee. It has been proven beneficial to athletic performance in one way or another and it's soooo good in the morning.
I got a coffee bean roaster for Christmas 2 years ago and my world has changed for the better since then. It sounds so complex and difficult to roast your own beans, but I am going to show you how easy it really is.

First you need to buy a roaster. A home coffee roaster is like a glorified popcorn popper with a timer. Here is a link to the one I use:
Actually, I have the predecessor to these models and it works great.

Next you need to buy some green coffee beans. I like to try new beans all the time and I use these companies:,

Now that you have to beans and equipment and beans, here's how easy it is:
Put the raw beans into the roaster.

Set the timer for how long you want to roast the beans.

The beans have a distinct "cracking" sound while they roast. This indicates the different levels of roast. The more cracks, the darker the roast. If the roaster starts smoking, you have reached espresso roast!

Here's one pound of raw beans. I roasted these fairly dark but not espresso-dark.

After cooling, I put them in a air-tight container and brew them the next day.

This whole process takes about 6 minutes. I usually roast the beans in my garage because there is too much smoke to roast in the house. Here is my "roasting station":

Simple, easy....worth it!

An added benefit of roasting in the garage is that my car's air circulation system has a faint coffee odor. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Demo a bike today!

At work (The Colorado Cyclist) we have several bikes available to demo (for a small fee). I've had my eye on a Giant Trance X2 for a little while but have never really ridden one for more than a minute.

Today was the day to test ride this sweet bike, so I invited my full-suspension-loving co-worker (our warehouse manager) Rick and we headed for Palmer Park at lunch-time.

I have always preferred a rigid frame with a suspension fork (since I am so "old school") and I have owned full-suspension rigs in the past (AMP Research, Santa Cruz Heckler). But today I was ready to try it again...I even wore baggy shorts!

Palmer Park ride on a Giant Trance from Alan Keeffe on Vimeo.

Oh yeah, I will be purchasing one of these bikes as soon as I can afford to because it was waaaaaay too much fun and that's what it's all about!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Urban Assault!

A great thing about Colorado Springs is the amount of riding areas located all around town. Years ago, I figured out a way of linking many of the riding spots together in one loop. This is usually done in winter when the high country is snowed in and unrideable. I dubbed it "Urban Assault" and have called it that ever since. It's a pretty big loop and takes well into 3-1/2 hours of riding time and it can be quite challenging-especially when there is snow and ice on the trails.
Today was the first assault that we've done in quite a while. I invited a few friends and here are some pics:

Water, check. Food, check. Cell, check. ID, check.

First stop: Ute Valley Park

Posing in Pulpit Rock Park

A quick pass through Palmer Park after riding through The Bluffs (University Park).

Leaving Palmer Park and heading across town to Bear Creek Park.

After Bear Creek and prepping for Stratton's climbs. Downtown C. Springs in the background.

Slippin' and slidin' at the top of the Chutes.

Awesome city view from the top of the Chutes.

After descending Gold Camp, we rode up Section 16 to Inteman on the way to Red Rocks open space.

Attacking Red Rocks!

After Red Rocks, we rode up Ridge Road and through the legal trails in the Garden of the Gods. Then back to my casa!

Another great ride in the books. Thanks to the Matts, Don and The Champ (Alison) for making it even more enjoyable!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Not my bike

Have I ever mentioned that I really like my job? I've been a bike mechanic for about 25 years. I tried other things, but realized that I had better stick with what I do best. Luckily, The Colorado Cyclist called me after I realized this and now I've been back there for over a year, putting together really expensive bikes and getting paid money for it!
That brings us to my latest video. A customer of the Cyclist ordered a sweet $5000 carbon fiber Santa Cruz Blur XC and requested that someone take it for a ride to break it in. Umm, I guess I could give it a try. Oh, the sacrifices one has to make for his job...

Not my bike from Alan Keeffe on Vimeo.