Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Reading online content usually lasts me less than 15 minutes of perusing through an article/interview, whatever before either a) it really grabs my attention and I send it to the printer or b) A.D.D. sets in and I move on. If I really want to get my head around something and actually absorb it, it has to be in printed form. I heard a news story on the radio of how universities and colleges are making text books available on-line only as a means of saving some money for students which makes sense, however I would suffer horribly in this type of environment. In more cases than not, online content has a sidebar with some advertisement which is constantly luring your attention away from the purpose of why you visited the site in the first place. I don't mean to sound like a Luddite and go off on a Ted Kazinsky rant and list 10 reasons why the typewriter should be resurrected....but I really appreciate the tactile feel of a good book or magazine in my hands. Which brings me to Bike Monkey.... a regional NorCal magazine I found laying about our office a few weeks back. It's such an excellent publication, very well written stories and a nice complete package with photography and art that is extremely pleasing to the eye. I would encourage you to go hunt down something in print and keep it around the house for a good long time whether it's a magazine kept in the bathroom or a novel on the bookshelf .Happy reading and thanks for visiting this site...just don't spend too much time here!


Monday, March 23, 2009


Growing up, I was a strictly a lover of Summer and Winter. Summer was sans school, time filled with some random job that didn't require any real type of thought, ambition or responsibility. Activities included but not limited to: bike rides to the nearest (or farthest) ice cream place, fishing in the local cities water supply, riding that razor thin fine line between having a really good time and not getting into trouble. Winter was all about potential. If all the correct pieces fell into place then any type of terrain became an opportunity for building snow caves, toboggan jumps, trips up North to VT. to visit real mountains. Just pure bliss. Spring and Fall ? well, in Southern New England, those seasons were just spent...waiting. Waiting for the mud to dry up and the mosquitoes to die off or waiting for the first snow flakes.

These days, it's the "tween" seasons I'm growing to appreciate, especially here in Colorado. Spring and Fall creates the possibility of melding all favorite activities. This past weekend proved just that. Saturday with temperatures rising rapidly into short sleeve and shorts territory, five of us from work decided that an LSD ride was in order. Long Slow Distance for the uninitiated. We gathered mid morning on a mix of cyclocross bikes and skinny tired contraptions and headed North to Palmer Lake. Depending on your starting point, it's about a 50-60 mile jaunt along the Front Range path that runs North to South. This ride marked my maiden voyage of the Independent Fabrication Planet Cross pictured above. I had taken a few rides back and forth to work just to sort out the functional bits but those rides don't count. I picked up this frame with the intention of using it strictly for rides like this, figuring the weight penalty was too much to bear for that of a race bike. The more I ride this bike, the more it's proving me way wrong. It's doesn't ride like it's a pound and a half heavier than the Jamis. it's extremely lively and surefooted. The geometry is spot on and inspires confidence which is what I hope for when swinging a leg over a new bike. I'm sure that it'll be brought into service come Fall. Needless to say...I am a huge fan.
I woke up Sunday and got online to check weather, it looked as though another repeat of perfect was in store. More front range options abound but Jen and I figured we'd load up the Element and head for the hills for a day on the slopes. We were met with sparse crowds, abundant sunshine, superb snow conditions and smiles everywhere....yes, I'm getting soft, I don't crave mid January days when I'm stuffing those little heating packets into the toe box of the boot in order to revise some piddly amount of blood flow to the nether regions of the feet. Bring me Spring!! Thanks for reading, the calender is filling rapidly so I'll try to update here as often as possible

Sunday, March 1, 2009


It's March ? for real ? No weather system that has passed through our burg has resembled anything like winter. Not the winter I grew up with anyway...."why, I walked 5 miles each way to the bus stop through waist deep"......but I digress. Perhaps we've swept a nice light, bone dry couple of inches of the white stuff off our sidewalk no more than few times since the solstice. It's so tempting to keep riding, which I've been doing by commuting faithfully and partaking in a handful of lunch break races in Ute Valley Park. The "problem" is I love snow and relish some downtime off the bike to mentally recharge the batteries and change up the game a tad.

This winter has made it soooo easy to clamp on to the out of sight, out of mind mentality and just grab a bike and take in some trail rides vs. a trek to Summit county. The scenario I'd like to avoid is the arrival of Spring and sensing immediate pangs of regret by not snowshoeing, nordic skiing, making snow angels....etc, etc. So we did force ourselves to load up and head for the hills last weekend spending a few days playing with gravity at Keystone and it was all that and more. I grow very tired of the local "natives" returning a quizzical blank stare back to me when I've just told them I just came back from the mountains despite the fact that it hasn't dumped in the last 36 hours. Trust me, the worst ski day in Colorado and still better than most of the best days back East. I've paid good money to sit on a chairlift in the pouring rain back there and don't ever wish to repeat that scene. Be grateful for what your are served, that's the lesson I took with from the East. So, yes the snow at Keystone was not very fresh, but it was white and very very fast and the views didn't suck either.

Apologies for not updating here for the past few weeks...I've got heaps of excuses, work is getting in the way, watching the TOC, skiing on the weekend. Other interesting tidbits of news. I am in the process of building up a beautiful Independent Fabrication Planet Cross steel frame. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this is will be the forth IF I've owned. Thankfully the geometry matches up ridiculously close to the Jamis so will use this primarily as a dirt road bike which is completely necessary in the quiver here and will definitely use it on some super rough courses ( yes, Louisville Rec Center....I'm looking at you ). Also, all around super nice person and former World Champ mountain biker/Colorado Springs resident Alison Dunlap will be returning to the cyclocross scene this fall. We're almost blushing with the stable of cross talent down here ( Gully, KFC, and Alison )

Thanks for reading!