You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.

Believe it or not…..Travis Brown showed up in El Paso to race the Coyote Classic.  He loved it and said the trails were kick ass!  Take that you fools that kept talking shit on us and didn’t want to come down here to race!

 Damien Calvert beat him.  Damien has been on fire the past couple of seasons.  It’s good that he gets to race against guys like Ned and Damien every now and then.

The Coyote drew in 160 racers….most of whom I had to pass as they started the SS category behind the entire sport field.  I think it was close to 100 sport racers.  I threw down some balls scary passes and even crashed through one turn.   I passed people the entire race.  It was a bit frustrating, but good practice.

Jen lost a horst pivot bolt (even after I loctite’d the thing in there) and had to walk a couple of miles.  After returning to our trailer, she put in another bolt, refueled and completed the entire course for third place.  A bit bummed she was, but glad to be getting the bugs worked out now.  It’s a bit frustrating when you know you’ve done all the right things for prepping bikes and something stupid like that happens. 

Not many people showed up to the BMBA tent.  That was a bit dissapointing.  It may be that people just want the social aspect of a club.  If the trails disappear, then there will be fewer places to hold those social rides.

The Borderland Mountain Bike Association is being revived…..as a real mountain bike advocacy group for El Paso mountain bikers.  There will be a membership drive this weekend at the Coyote Classic.  Membership fees are $25.  Our first official meeting is May 5th at Sunset Pizza/Brewery on Mesa at 7 pm.

Here’s the website (still a work in progress).  If anyone has GOOD gps tracks of the trails off Redd Rd., please contact me. I’m trying to put together a page with links and google earth pics of the El Paso trails.

I finally got out on one of the new WTB tires today.  Three and half hours of pavement, sand, gravel, rocks, rocks on top of rocks, more rocks, and a little cactus.  Did I mention rocks?

Riding in El Paso demands tires that can resist sidewall cuts, big thorns, and sharp rocks that can puncture the center of the tire casing.  I took the Stout out for a spin today mounted up to the WTB Dual Duty rim up front.  Since I was going to be putting in about 45 minutes on the pavement, I left the ExiWolf on the rear.  The knobs on the Stout are huge and widely spaced.  So I ran the tire at a bit higher pressure than normal.  Probably around 35 psi.  I don’t like to run a grippy tire with low pressure as they tend to get squirmy and can cause some Stan’s burpage in hard cornering or when negotiating some of our infamous rock washes.

stout-on-bike.jpg

This tire is pretty good.  Despite the 900+ gram weight, it rolled well on the pavement.  It’s super hairy with all the little rubber things sticking out, so I could tell it was not very efficient in the air resistance department.  Geoff Kabush is a big proponent of running low tread tires in order to reduce air resistance over the knobs. 

I was relentless on this tire today and pushed it hard.  It never lost grip except on some large gravel/small rocks that started to roll as I leaned the tire.  I think it might do even better on the rear, especially for single speeding.  It has a lot of bite.

So for those looking for big traction, the Stout is a good choice.  If WTB were to beef this tire up a bit more in the casing, I would point to this tire as a good choice for downhill racing on the 29er.

I have too much stuff.  With me and Jen each having two 29’r Racer-X’s, one 29’r FCR single speed, Jen a Solera road bike, and me a Moto-lite….plus our commuters, we now have too much stuff. 

But this summer is going to rock!  With the ability to carry 6 bikes without touching each other in the trailer, spare race wheels (with Stan’s rims no less) for each of us, a full organizer of SS gearing, a quiver of tires, and enough spare parts to build another bike, I think this summer is going to be good.

The only downside?  Diesel prices.  If I could put a second tank on the truck, I’d do the french fry oil thing.  Those systems are pretty amazing, but you need a second tank and harvesting used oil from fast food joints is not something I want to do while on the road this summer.  So the money is being stashed to cushion what is promising to be $4 a gallon or higher prices.

Hopefully it will be nice and cool in the Northwest this summer and we won’t have to stay at any rv parks in order to get AC.  Last year’s heat wave sucked.  I hate rv parks.  I’d rather stay at a Walmart parking lot.  Maybe one day Walmart will clue in and start putting in “by the hour” electrical outlets for rv’s.

I won a race last weekend!  My first official “masters” road race.  With 8 miles of climbing to go, it started raining and snowing and nobody wanted to do anything.  So I left the field.  A few minutes later another guy was able to join me, but I dropped him with just under a mile to go.  I got a little cash for my efforts and a bit more confidence in my climbing form.  I did get hosed in the TT the day before.  30 minutes was too short for me.  The winners were under 27 minutes.  I got beat by the first place woman.  I’m not going to buy a TT bike.  My 9 year old C-dale still does the trick.  I’ve got too much stuff anyway.

The new job has been a challenge.  The kids are tough and many of them have learning issues and language issues.  I keep finding things out about some kids and I have to run around after school trying to meet other teachers to see what I need to do for those kids.  I really love what I’m doing, but these kids are tough to teach.  Freshmen high schoolers should not be smoking pot at lunch.  Aarghh.

Anyway.  I found some time to build up some new wheels and rebuild some old ones.  I got some silver WTB LaserLite Disc hubs and laced them up to some new Stan’s 355 rims and laced a new 355 onto an old race hub since I had trashed the rim last season.  These Stan’s rims are substantially heavier than the rims I raced on last year.  Last year they sat right under 400 g each.  They were tough to keep true and they took quite a beating.  These rims all weigh just under 430 grams and I’m not complaining.  First off they were free.  Secondly, they built up much easier so I’m hoping they’ll stay true much longer.  Last year I drilled out a set of rims for Jen.  A large hole between each spoke hole only dropped 4 g’s from each rim.  So I’m figuring that 30 extra grams in each rim will help keep the rim much straighter throughout the season.  Only time will tell.

wtb-stans-front-wheel-2.jpgwtb-stans-front-wheel.jpg

I have a WTB Stout mounted on one of my front wheels…..the Dual Duty rim.  It’s pretty big, but not as big as the Weir Wolf.  It’s not as noisy as I’d thought it would be on the pavement.  I’ve only spun  it around the neighborhood and haven’t been able to get it on the trail yet.  It’s got some huge knobs.  The sidewalls are very light.  I’ll get some time on them next week.

stout-on-bike.jpg

I’m “pressing” my Stan’s tape right now in my new wheels with a tube’d WTB Prowler. 

mounted-prowler.jpgprowler-up-close.jpg

It looks like a sweet tire.  It has a great profile and the knobs are just the right size.  I have a feeling those are going to be the “go to” tires for uncertain conditions….like the Cream Puff. 

Did I mention I got into the Cream Puff?  My first official hundred miler.  I have never ridden in Oregon.  I’ve ridden in WA, ID, CA, NV, UT, CO, WY, AZ, NM, TX, ID, AR, FL, TN, GA, OH, VT, VA, WV, SC, NC, AL, MS, MN, and CT.  How did I miss Oregon?  Not sure.  I can’t wait to get up there this summer.  Hopefully it will be nice and cool.  We might work our way over to SD and ND as we’ve never ridden there.

NOVA will be a good prep for the summer.  I’m doing the 79 mile marathon on the Racer-X then I’m doing the SS Advanced stage race with the Super D and the XC.  That should be a burner for sure.