Thursday, December 29, 2011

Update from an old post

I have been perusing the Pikes Peak library's collection of historical photos in the Pikes Peak area and found two more of the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge. I had done a post about an adventure ride that Russ and I had done to the top of Cheyenne Mountain ( and thought that I would add these photos to the mix. Enjoy!

This is an interior shot of the Lodge. Plenty of taxidermy going on here.

Really cool old car in front of the lodge.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The seasons may change but the riding is always good.

My friend Matt made an end of the season video:

And that got me motivated to get all of my photos and videos gathered up and flatter him by imitating him!

This year started out with some nice riding conditions for winter. That enabled preparation for the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde mountain bike race which was May 8th. We did some good urban assaults in January/February/March and even got up in the higher regions in April. We got to visit Arizona in April and I got my dream vacation of just riding my bike and eating and hanging out with my wife and Dad.

We did many a lunch ride and a few night rides. I spectated a few races and even jumped in on one to do some filming. Then I got a wild hair and decided to do Ring the Peak on two different bikes (cyclocross and mountain).

Colorado Springs landed the Prologue for the Pro Cycling Challenge and we were lucky enough to have the world's top professional road cyclists riding all over town. I even got to see Danny doing what he does best (make massive power on a road bike) much to the delight of the fans.

Matt invited us up to his Mountain Command to do some cross country and chairlift-assisted downhill riding. That got me all motivated to build up a bigger travel (6.7" of suspension travel) bike for next year and for some fun on local trails, too.

I spent many hours riding with my friend Russ, who is 10 years older than me but keeps three National Championship jerseys in his closet to remind everyone that age is only a number. He is always positive and never complains and is the best riding buddy a guy could have!

I am also fortunate to be friends with some of the best female mountain bike riders on the planet. We have had some great rides in Palmer Park (and Airplane Loop!) and I feel so lucky to be friends with Alison and Kelli. They, like Russ, are always positive and never complain. I am still working on that....

Editing videos can be tedious but I really enjoy it. Here is my end of season video with a groovy and mellow soundtrack to go with it. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I....oh never mind.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Project...

After riding the chairlift, I have been tainted and must now go on a quest to build a bike with more suspension travel. On the right side of my blog page is a picture of what has been accumulated so far...
Keep an eye on that one. If you know me, you know I am a little bit impatient when it comes to building up a new bike. I am trying to take it slow but.....any guesses to how long it will be before this one is complete? Ha!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Catching up...

....ummmm, yeahh....I've been neglecting the blogosphere lately. Like I said before, I completely fall apart around July and for some reason this year, it's been tough to re-group. Not that I wasn't riding but the rides were smaller and not as noteworthy for blogging.

Let's all came unraveled right after our nephew's wedding in Illinois. We had a great time there although it was during a heat wave which made the outdoor ceremony last about 15 minutes! The reception had a photo booth for some serious pictures:

Unfortunately, we flew home in the "germ tube" and I picked up a summer cold. Bummer.

After getting over it, I got to ride with some old friends:

Then I got to ride with my oldest friend (since 1972)!:

Of course, I have the privelege of being old friends with a World Champion Mountain Bike racer and we did some fun after work rides. Here we are checking out an advanced line to practice going up:

She is a very serious character as evidenced by this video clip:

I also did some solo riding. I decided to film the whole Williams Canyon descent and had a pretty clean run. Here are some stills from that ride:

It's probably a good idea to skip this ride if you don't like heights and exposure to cliff drop-offs.

I bought Cindy a digital camera and took this video of the dogs with it. Check out Klaus' eyes!

And of course, it is becoming a tradition to visit another old friend (TwoWheeledWorld) at his luxurious mountain command post in Winter Park, Colorado. This year was a mix of cross-country rides...

Seen here watching Stunt Double lubing his chain.

...and this year, we let the chair-lift do the climbing for a super fun day of downhill riding at Trestle Mountain Bike Park. Please turn up the!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Big news! Sort of...

If you read the last post, I mentioned that there was some pretty big news coming. Well, here it is:

I finally got in our catlog! I knew that I had no chance as a model but never imagined that one of my photos would make it to the cover. Sweet!

Here's the back story: Marc Kipp (one of our catalog guys) came by my work bench to chat and asked if I could take some pictures with the GoPro camera since they were looking for something different for a cover shot. The next evening I put the camera on and rode across the street from my house to Ute Valley Park. Ironically I was feeling a bit "off" on the bike and actually almost crashed in the most random place during the ride. I turned the camera on a setting that takes one shot per second and started to ride some fun sections of the park. The reason that I picked the area that eventually ended up on the cover was that it was the only place during my ride from which you could see Pikes Peak. This cliff is just off of the main trail and I just started riding along the edge while the camera was shooting. Simple.

The owner of the Colorado Cyclist, Doug Bruinsma, picked this photo not knowing that I had taken it. When he found out that it was me, he came back to the shop to ask about it and then wrote the copy on the back side of the cover. I think that it's funny that his perception of me is a "wild man" when I am actually pretty cautious on the bike. Especially when you know the kind of riders that I ride with!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Photos from the GoPro

If you remember my rhetorical question from the last post about how long my perception of what a long ride is, here is the answer: about 2 weeks. For some reason, July is not a good time for me on the bike. Maybe it's the pollen/mold wreaking havoc with the allergies. Or spending too much time in an air-conditioned environment all day and not doing lunch-rides because of the 90+ degree heat... Who knows?

What I do know is that I am eating and drinking beer like I am still doing epic rides every week so my blog title may soon be referring to the shape of my belly! Ha! Hope not...

Anyhow, the GoPro has been a fun source of photo ops lately. Actually, I have some pretty big news about that, but you will have to be patient. There is a setting on the camera that allows you to press the shutter once and it will take a picture every second until you press it again. What follows are the results of that action whilst riding mountain bikes in the woods or just standing around in the woods...

Merely blocks from my house. I have been scoping out this line while sitting in my car, slowing for the stoplight. Now I have it dialed!

Super fun descent in Ute Valley Park. Roots, rocks, trees! Teetering on the edge of disaster.

Way up in the mountains near Catamount Reservoir there exists a pristine single-track descent called Magic Carpet Ride. One of my favorites.

 Chasing Kelli down the first descent towards the crashed airplane near Palmer Lake. Keeping up with her is not a walk in the park. Just ask any of the Pro Women that she routinely drops.

This is what you get when the camera mount comes loose and starts slipping down and pointing towards your feet: a really cool picture!

 Another random shot while the camera was still shooting. Kelli is like: "is that thing on..." and Jeremiah is contemplating the tragedy of the plane crash from a half-century ago.

Unintentional yet ethereal self-portrait. Standing around in the woods has produced this, my new Facebook profile pic.

Chasing Jeremiah down Limbaugh Canyon. He bobs right while I weave left.

   Riding bikes in the woods with friends (or alone) is fun. Now get to it! Don't forget your camera.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ring the Peak, twice in a week!

Initially I was going to do the "Ring the Peak Trifecta" but decided that a 7+ hour road ride is not something I really want to do at this juncture.

The plan was to jump on the cyclocross bike for the "easy" version of Ring the Peak ( a lap around Pikes Peak) on dirt and paved roads. Then on another day, climb on the mountain bike for a long day of Ringing the Peak on trails.

As it happened, June 11 and June 18 would be the chosen days. Mostly because Scott N. was available to join me for both rides. And the weather looked good.

Here is the Google Earth pic of the cyclocross ride around the Peak. Ride stats include: 75.6 miles, 5:03 ride time, 5932' of elevation gain and about 4300 calories burned.

Scott conned his buddy Mike R. to join us on his newly assembled Breezer mountain bike. He had the advantage on the washboards and deep gravel, for sure.

Here we are posing in front of some spectacular rocks along Gold Camp Road:

Once we hit the pavement, we were rewarded with a tail-wind and ice cold water from a mountain spring. That is the back side of Pikes Peak in the background. 

At this point, my legs had turned to cement (reasons unknown) but soon after ingesting this Costco frozen organic burrito, I started to feel better. I now carry one on every big ride!

A week later, we met at the bottom of High Drive at 7am for the mountain bike Ring the Peak. This time we got Todd B. to join us. It was decided over a sushi lunch the day before. I wonder if he knew what lay ahead?

Todd shot this at the top of the first hike-a-bike climb. We had been riding nearly 2 hours and were still in town. That's a hard way to start a ride like this. Right after this photo, we started riding and a large black bear appeared in front of us on the Ute Pass trail. Luckily, he ran the other way.

Here is the start of the second hike-a-bike, the Mount Esther trail. Half way up, I found out that my fancy new custom mountain bike shoes are not made for hiking. Blisters appeared on my heels and made the rest of the day's hiking pretty miserable.

After Mt. Esther, there are some really great sections of trail that eventually get you to here, the scenic Catamount Reservoir.

Here is Todd and Scott with the Peak and the "W's" in the background:

My co-worker Dave B. decided to drive up and ride the trail to meet us with delicious treats. We missed him by that much:

That was all the pictures that I took that day until Scott and Todd did their final emergence from the last single-track descent of the day, Trail 666 (Bear Creek).

 That was a really long day to be riding (and hiking) a bike. Final ride stats include: 73 miles, around 9:00 ride time (and almost an hour of hiking), 13,800' of elevation gain and around 6600 calories burned. This ride was so long that the battery on my Garmin died at the mountain spring rest stop! That was only 2/3 of the way around.

After gaining big fitness from riding Ring the Peak, riding has become quite a bit easier. A short ride is now 4 hours. I wonder how long that perception will last?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday night races- local style with heckles and laughs.

Scott B. and I decided to go watch the local Sand Creek Sports mountain bike races in Bear Creek Park last night. Our buddy Jon C. has been training all day for this one...without even pedaling his bike. He is the master heckling spectator and was in rare form last night. Here is the video of some of his verbal assaults and some helmet-cam action as well:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The time for Epic rides has begun...

It has been a strange (read: typical for Colorado) weather season for spring around here. I feel like the winter riding was almost better for the working man who likes to ride bikes. I think that Summer is finally here and with that comes the epic, all-day bike rides that a select few of my friends have come to know and love.

Matt (The Bagel) is on injured reserve, so I am having trouble finding someone who is as willing to do giant rides on a moments notice. I got busy texting my potential candidates for riding partner and here's how it went: Russ- on the way to Italy, Daniel-racing somewhere, Kalan-racing at the Teva Mountain games (he got 11th in the Pros!),  Greg-riding moto, Kelli -racing at the Teva games (she got 2nd in the Pros!). Matt (Simmmmeeee)- a go!

Here is a pic of Simmmeee taking a pic of me:

Here is a pic of the ride profile (which may expain why it's hard to find riding partners):

And here is an account of the ride from Simmeeee's perspective:

It's going to be another Epic Summer!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fun with my GoPro HD

I recently picked up a LCD bacpac for my helmet-cam. Of course, I was at work so I decided to film a typical test ride after building a customer's bike. It took me about 10 minutes to film and an hour to edit. I posted it on Facebook so if you saw it there, nothing new here!
For some reason, it is one of my favorite videos and I laugh every time I watch it. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2011 12 Hours of Mesa Verde

I keep telling people that I am retired from mountain bike racing...then I keep finding fun races to do. This one is at the top of the list. Phil's World in Cortez Colorado, is one of the best places I have ridden a mountain bike!

Russ and I did the race last year as a Duo and we both decided to NOT do that again. So over the winter I hatched a plan....put a four man team together containing a few of the old school crew and call it team "Legends Packfill". This year's "Legends" team contained Ned Overend, Dave Wiens, Travis Brown and Daryl Price. Our team had myself, Russ, Wade and Todd Wilderman. At least three of us were packfill for those guys in the 80's and 90's!

Of course being an ex-racer, I had set some little goals to keep me motivated all winter. One was to beat my best lap time last year and hopefully get a 1:20 lap. Another was to beat the lap time of at least one Legend. Pulled it off. I did a 1:20 and change my first lap and beat Daryl Price on both my laps! Of course, Daryl probably didn't even ride much and was still pulling decent times. He could train for 2 weeks, like Wiens did, and crush me just like the old days!

Had to steal this shot from the photo website. Throwning down some style in my non-descript jersey.

The team decided that Wade should start us off. It was a "Lemans" style start which meant a 300 yard dash in cycling shoes. I did it last year and vowed to avoid it at all costs. Wade was always good at starting fast (still is) and would put us in a great position for the rest of the race.

I swear Wade looks like a gun-fighter ready to draw. We picked the right man for the job!

Here is a quick video of the running start and subsequent chaos:

Lemans start of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde mountain bike race from Alan Keeffe on Vimeo.

Wade's daughter Sage was also there with her team, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Devo Sweet Elite. She already has a closet full of National Champion jerseys and proved she is the future star by setting the fastest lap by a woman (and all but the fastest men) of 1:15!

Here is Sage with two of her heroes, Susan DiBiase and Susan Demattei (of the Women's Legends team):

One of Sage's teammates is Colton Anderson and he came into the start/finish in first place at 1:09 with Travis Brown a few seconds behind. I thought I heard Travis saying something to the effect of "he tore my legs off on that first lap". I think the future stars of the sport are making themselves known! Here is Colton leading the fastest of the fast (including my buddy Daniel Matheny in the second Honey Stinger kit):

As it turns out, a four man team is the way to go for maximum fun. We placed 24th overall out of over 500 teams. And we were 11th place in our category (Legends got 3rd). The top 5 in our 3-4 man category were also the top 5 overall so I feel like we did pretty good for a bunch of 45+ year olds.

I'm already looking forward to next year and hope to bring more friends so they can be part of the fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arizona trip

Just got back from Scottsdale with a bunch of pics, videos and memories.

After 12 hours in the car, we took a walk around the neighborhood where my Dad had rented a house.

The next day we headed to the McDowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve for a hike and a bit of re-con for my mountain bike rides.

The next three days were filled with fun desert mountain riding.

On Wednesday, I did a big ride over to the McDowell regional park where they had the last Cactus Cup mountain bike race. They have specific directional "competitive loops" laid out as well as a fun pump track (no pedaling around a small course with big banked turns and roller jumps).

This is the top of Windgate pass looking toward Scottsdale. Elevation is over 3000' and the climbing up the west side is brutal at times.

That saddle is the top of Windgate pass as seen from the McDowell regional park side.

Who says you can't get some good elevation gain in the desert?

I recommend a "knees in" cornering style. There will also be a stiff penalty for over-shooting corners!

We spent a lot of time relaxing. It's a dog's life.

On the last day of the trip, I had scheduled a tattoo appointment with Cory Lenherr. He is well versed in the Traditional American style of tattooing. I had been saving a Sailor Jerry piece of flash for just such an occasion. Thanks, Cory!

One night after a long ride, I was sitting around thinking about some music for my next video. My Dad suggested "Cool Water" by The Sons of the Pioneers. Sorry Dad, but that was a little slow for a mountain bike video. I chose "Low Desert Punk" by Brant Bjork. Enjoy:

Fun in the Az sun! from Alan Keeffe on Vimeo.