Monday, June 28, 2010

Big M Weekend

On Saturday Bryan and I headed up to the Big M for Sunday's XC race. We got to the cabin unloaded our gear and headed over to the Big M for a pre-ride for Sunday's race. This was the first chance to ride my new 29er. Bryan was also getting his first taste of a 29er. When we got the Big M parking lot, we realized we left the keys to the rack on the back of the truck. I managed to get the lock open and got the bikes on the trail. We did a few laps and headed into town for a pizza. On our way back to the cabin we saw sign "Thule Keys Lost". We stopped and grabbed them and headed back to call it a night.

We woke up Sunday Morning to a Thunder Storm. Big M is a giant sponge so no big deal we thought. About 8:45 we headed over to the Big M. As we arrived it stopped raining. Bryan got his gear on and turned in a great 6th place performance in the Expert Men 30-39 group.

I then geared up and headed to the start line. It was starting to rain just as we were staging. Just sprinkles I thought. About 2.5mi in it started to pour. I finished lap 1 thinking it has to stop some time. Covered in mud I decided just to finish the race. It stopped raining at the end of lap 2. Lap 3 was better, but it was a struggle just to finish. I managed to make my way to 5th place and was very happy I made it to the end.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My trip to NMU and Mt. Marquette.


Recentley my family and I went up north to Marquette for my daughters orientation at Northern Michigan University. We are certainly proud of her and excited for her and I was excited to have the opportunity to ride in such a beautiful area. Doing some research I decided that riding from campus where we were staying in the dorms south through Marquette to Mt. Marquette ski hill was my best opportunity. I had to be creative when I took this window away from the family and also had to reschedule due to rain. Need less to say I found the window and weather was very cooperative around 11am Tuesday. Once at the trail head you basically have 4-5 options. Blue, red, yellow, green and strategic mixtures of all four. I heard that the blue was the most difficult and of course had to see for myself. It did not disappoint. As you can see by the pic what kind of work I had to do on the blue and that was only one place I had to get off. The climbs were not so bad but the jagged rocks were somewhat daunting. The pic is only a small taste of what else is up there. It was a fun trail but highly suggest full(front and rear)suspension. After finishing the blue and reading the map trying to make my decision another rider rolled up doing the same thing. He was a local named Brian and also rode from home closer to the lake. Since he had also just finished the blue he offered to show me the red. It was across the highway and had a steep climb up a jeep trail as a welcome statement. Once at the top of that climb there is a great view of Mt Marquette. Looks like that's the bonfire party area from clues left behind. Note to self. Brian and I continued to climb the Benson Grade and he pointed out where the trail took a fork to the right were all the Free Ride stunts. We were not really equipped for that so we continued left on some awesome single track climbing. For about a half mile I was following Brian's line when we came to an opening. That's when he said "Go ahead, have at it.". So I took the lead and shot down this ultra smooth rail of hard pack with the occasional rock and root at a turn with slight up hills that just sucked you into a few pedals and down again through another rail with a little moisture to create a two wheel slide that makes you wake up real quick. I think I had the most fun on this trail because of spots like that to keep me honest. The red had awesome flow and still challenging climbs. After rolling out of the woods, across the freeway and back to the map, Brian said he had to show me "Gorgeous" which is part of the yellow. We went a slightly different rte that he knew and were able to circumvent most of the yellow and get to that area. This was the most beautiful area I had seen all day and and the name did not disappoint. At some points you are riding on a bench cut made into the side of the ravine and looking down 30-50 feet at the rapids of the Carp River. That was incredible and only regret not stopping to take a picture if not for having so much fun during the ride. I knew Brian the local was excited just by my reactions. It felt great to be the one to be shown around a new area and I understand how he felt by being the guide. I hope to get some more time in that area in August and October. Let me know if anyone else wants to go. Also for anyone doing the Ore2Shore you should check this out after if you have time. I will be there a few days after the event.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


What an awesome time today. The trails were great and the but riding with the group was even more enjoyable. This was such a fun ride that we need to do this again. Here is my garmin activity showing the route!

Brighton Epic 6/13

On Sunday morning myself, Bryan, Adam, Jim S, Andy S, Brandon, Roger, Melissa, Jimmie headed out from Island Lake State Park for our Brighton Epic ride. We followed the Blue loop until we took the path that led to Lee road. We then made our way to Brighton Recreation Area where we rode the Murry Lake Trail, Torn Shirt and the "Lost Loop". We the headed back to Island Lake, picked up the Blue Trail. We then finished up the ride on the Yellow loop. All total we covered 40mi. This was a great ride and we plan to do it again later in the year.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday Training Ride

Our first "Team Training Road Ride" was a blast last night. We eventually split up into two groups with the faster riders pulling away. The B group pace was still faster than any pace I would run on my own. It was motivating to ride with Melissa, Andy S., and Andy E. as we traded the lead position and helped each other by drafting. It should also be noted that Andy E. was riding a fixie with only a front brake!!

Hopefully we can continue to have a good turnout for these training rides. Here is my Garmin Activity showing a map of the route!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

My New Friend

Here she is folks! After patiently waiting 3 months my new friend finally arrived. She sure is pretty but don't let that fool you. This bike is fast! After one ride I decided that I didn't have room for another so I have broken up with my Epic.
Many thanks to Jimmie for assembling my new ride! I swapped the cranks for the current XT, brakes for the real Elixer CR's with carbon blades and anodized red fittings, and shifters for X0 all from a pile of "new" parts that I took off the Kona I built last summer. She weighs 24.2 pounds and has a beautiful carbon fiber body but could lose a little weight. Jimmie also re-taped her wheels with some Stan's tape and converted her slippers to tubeless. She needs a PrecisionMTB tramp stamp!!!
Thanks to and to Jimmie Coleflesh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New road rig

I FINALLY got a road bike from our friends at KLM this past Saturday. Living 1 mile from Hines Drive, it seemed like the right thing to do. Sure its been fun to rolling with the roadies on the Cannondale (pictured behind the Giant) but its kind of like bringing a knife to a gun-fight. Sure you get lucky - sometimes. More often than not though its just a beating.

AndyS and I took her for a spin on Sunday. We planned on hitting Hines but realized that it would be more appropriate to swim due to flooding. We enjoyed a nice relaxing ride down Outer Drive. I am looking forward to stretching the legs on this Thursday night with the team and seeing what it can do.

Thanks to KLM and sales associate Paul Mann. He was very helpful and offered some good insight into the purchase. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all these G-E-A-R-S ;)

Dragon Gap Race

John G & I represented the team tonight at the Dragon Gap race. It was a good challenge for me mentally and physically, the single speed was humping tonight. Think Bloomer but worse. Waiting on the results to be posted. I rode from home and needed to get back before dark so I didn't stay till they were posted. This race is being held again next Wednesday at 6:45, pizza for everyone after, it was a cool event. Starts at Lake Orion High School

Here is the GPS

Monday, June 7, 2010

Today Brandon and I volunteered our time and participated in a community service project on Hines Drive at the Newburgh comfort station. Several of Brandons Ford coworkers, Parks n Rec and Wayne County employees, and other volunteers removed invasive weeds and plants from the surrounding grounds, spread 10 yards of mulch, planted a couple pallets of plants, posted Grow Zone signs, and filled approximately 25 industrial garbarge bags with brush, debris, and general trash.

As an avid cyclist of Hines Drive I appreciate all the effort and man hours volunteers put in for cleaning the area and making it an environmentally friendly place for all users.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hanson Hills Part 2

It was a rainy day at Hanson Hills. The expert and elite riders a slight drizzle at the start with a finish under the rain drops. The sport riders left and finished in the rain. The course was very fast with a lot of mud in the turns.

Bryan, Joe, Ray, Nick, and had a great day. I managed a 2nd place finish in the Sport Men 30-34. My best finish of the year. Maybe one the times we can ride Hanson Hills in some dry conditions.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hanson Hills Part 1

Bryan and I just completed our pre-ride lap at Hanson Hills. The trail is in great shape. Looks like it will be a great race on Sunday.

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Bling, Bling!

After a two week wait in my basement collecting dust while we worked to sell our house, the new MTB is finally built up and ready. Welcome the latest addition to the family. It's a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er SS. And yes, the reflectors are staying. At least for its debut. Check out that profile. That's one sexy lady.

Inevitable customization has already begun. You may have already spotted that Thomson seat post in the previous picture. Check out the red KMC BMX chain wrapped around the stock 32 tooth chainring on the 180mm Stylo cranks. This was originally intended for the Motobecane's single speed conversion but, wouldn't work with the tensioner I bought. It's a nice addition to the red highlights already present on the bike.
Out back, the stock 20 tooth gear has been dumped for a 17 tooth Surly and mounted up on the stock DT Swiss 240s hub. Making the gearing just under 2:1 and hopefully just right for all that climbing on June 19th at the Lumberjack. The tubes have been pulled and after a failed attempt with the stock tape job, tapped with genuine Stans NoTubes tape, filled with sealant, inflated and are now holding air just fine.
This thing is sex on wheels. She's tipping the scales at 19.4 lbs as she sits. That's basically 4.5lbs lighter than the Motobecane sans gears. More updates are certainly in her future. Likely some Ergon grips and cutting down the extra wide bars.

Many thanks to Jimmie Colflesh for the help putting the finishing touches on it and the team sponsor KLM.