The Mountain Bike Life

Tire upgrades are by far one of the biggest upgrade improvements that anyone can do for very little money. Unfortunately, all of the different tire specs can be daunting and confusing. So, how do I pick tires for my mountain bike? So what does everything on the side of this tire mean? …and what should I choose? First of all, I would say that my type of riding would be defined best as “Trail” that is more towards the XC end and further from the DH side. Based on that information, here is a quick rundown on the terminology, and what my choices were for the type of riding that I do. TPI (Threads Per Inch): This is the cloth…

In the last week the 2014 Paul’s Dirty Enduro has been on my mind a fair bit. Especially after last years Paul’s Mud Enduro. This year has been more challenging then expected as there have been some significant events. And this has taken a toll on plans made for the year and such. As well as significantly taking away riding time and thoughts of any sort of a plan. And suddenly one realizes the event is 2 months away. And this leads to thinking about Paul’s and what to do. It doesn’t help when you add in how last year didn’t go well at all. So in the end I am having way to many moments of second guessing and…

You don’t hate that trail, but you do not like it. You still ride it, but almost begrudgingly so. It is old faithful. The first to thaw in the spring, the last to freeze in the winter. It is always there. It is unchanging. There are never new expansions. There are no new features. No new jumps. No alternate lines. It is constant. The views have long become mundane and uninteresting. What few alterations happen to the trail only seem to further neuter the trail and make it even more disinteresting. For me, this trail is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. A ribbon of trail that is by no means a bad trail, it has just become the trail I ride…

Big often defines the riding stories we share. The multi-thousand foot uphill grind to get the long downhill descent. Twelve hour epics that finish in the dark. Multiple laps in Whistler Bike Park’s Garbanzo zone. You don’t need to do the highest, the longest, the hardest trails to have a memorable experience. Also delivering big are the little gems, those under-the-radar trails that lack the fame of the likes of Slickrock and the Swiss Alps yet have plenty to offer What makes for a gem of a trail? Different reasons for different riders. It could be a loamy trail that quietly meanders along a river. Maybe it’s that sweet spot where you get twenty minutes of unadulterated flow. Perfectly spaced…

With over 20 years in between rides, an extra rig, and gorgeous northern Arizona weather, it wasn’t particularly hard to convince my dad to get out on the trails. His last bike was a fully rigid, steel, V brake disaster. So an all mountain, full suspension, disc brake trail defeater felt like a complete game changer to him, as it should. We made our way to the Thumb Butte Trail Head and started our journey with a parking lot briefing of how to stop and maneuver the bike. The braking was a big concern for me, and I facilitated several attempts at appropriate stopping technique in the parking lot. Here we developed his skills but more importantly we enhanced his…

When it comes to all things maintenance I tend to learn things the hard way. Clean your suspension fork after every ride, dust off the drivetrain, lubricate those bolts. I know it all like the neighbourhood mechanic, but how often to I actually heed the advice? Almost never. The subject of this blog entry will be my lovely SIDI trail shoes and the cleat that has been stuck in there for over a year. At this point I don’t remember how the SPD cleat became stuck in my shoe, but I had rounded off the bolt trying to extract it numerous times. Once the bolt head was stripped, I was screwed. At this point I quickly convinced myself that these…

He picked his line, hovering over his seat, pedaling through a patch of rough roots. He felt like he was floating over them; the result of a timely burst of cadence and the perfect tire pressure. His wrists were still hurting, but were short of screaming at him with the help of a good coffee buzz and a dose of Vitamin I. He leaned into some tight turns before hunkering down into the longest climb of the trail. At times, while getting lost in the focus of riding, a part of his brain would start producing a stand-up comedy act. He could often be seen smiling while passing hikers, a maniacal grin stuck on his face not out of a…

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a shifter with a thousand parts explodes with a single screw. There is something satisfying in the assembly of bicycles. Cathartic even. Something promethean about creating a thing that is more than the sum of its parts. Something useful. Something poetic and artistic. The slow becoming of reality, watching the product of the hands take shape and match the vision of the mind. From musing to lusting to creation of spreadsheets (yeah… my bike builds include spreadsheets), to pulling various deals and connections and the patient waiting for it all to materialize. Neurotic email checking waiting for things to ship, waiting for wheels to build. The panicked flutter…

One of the most exciting things about riding is riding in a new place. Whether it is that trail that you always pass by on your rides or a trip miles down the highway. The excitement seems to build the further away from home you go, but as a mountain biker any trail can be called home. I love riding new locations, so I jump on the opportunity whenever I can. I was lucky enough to take a trip out to Colorado this summer, a state filled with trails. Our number one mission was to look at schools, but I couldn’t miss an opportunity to ride. I went on one mountain bike ride during the trip in Grand Junction. I…

For the past few years now, NEMBAfest has been held at the Kingdom Trails in Northeast Vermont. Don’t know about the Kingdom? This trail network was voted best mountain bike trail network in North America by Bike Magazine in their annual readers poll. This multi-use non-motorized trail system is operated year round and has trail options for riders of all abilities. Sounds fun right? Now add camping, a weekend trail pass to the 100+ mile trail network, live music, a bike expo, access to a bike park, near perfect weather and what do you have? A recipe for awesome. Kingdom Trail Association was established in 1994 by a group of visionary residents and business leaders in the area. Their mission…

Good day riders and enthusiasts! How is your summer in the Northern hemisphere? I hope you’re enjoying the Tour as it is certainly one of the more entertaining ones of the last several years. It’s been dryer than Steven Wright here in central Virginia and that is making for some pretty good trail riding albeit with a mouthful of dirt. Thank dog for my Ryders glasses or else my eyes would be breaded by now! This morning I want to talk about clipless bike pedals. I’ve been using part of the summer to train a couple of newbie friends in the ways of the MTB and one of the most daunting things for new riders is always clipless pedals. Since…

I Needed to build a new front wheel and re-inspired by The Serial Driller aka Dr Jon. Set out to keep it simple as I haven’t done it in a while the whole wheel building thing. So the first goal was to simply lace it up on the is first one without expert supervision.            

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