The Mountain Bike Life

I’m an explorer at heart. The simple joy of pedalling through the forests around Yarraman has uncovered some rich experiences for me. I’ve been able to soak up dream-time echoes from one of the world’s oldest cultures, follow the old stock-routes of colonial pastoralists, retrace the steps of alluvial gold-miners on the banks of a rugged creek, and wander through logging tracks under cathedrals of hoop pine plantations. Yarraman Creek   Forestry Roads Hoop Pine Forest Since the early 1900’s, the main industry around Yarraman has been timber. Early loggers harvested precious native Red Cedar. Later, the area was covered with thousands of hectares of Hoop Pine plantations. Today the forests are traversed by a network of forestry roads which…

I have been riding with the Kali Amara for about 9 months now, through hot summer rides and wet, cold, muddy winter rides, and I thought it was time to share my thoughts with you. In the name of transparency the good folks at Kali sent me this helmet for free to test. To find out my first impressions of the helmet check out my preview post. I like this helmet. It’s fun, colourful, comfortable, cool and safe. How do I know it’s safe? Well funny you should ask – on a super easy bit of trail on my way to work last week I got a little zesty and had a high speed encounter between my noggin and the…

One of the things that amazes me about mountain biking is that it takes what should be a solitary experience and makes it social. I’ve mentioned before that when I first met Rivers I was amazed at the mountain bike community he was surrounded by – not only his (then) roommate and riding buddies, but also the broader community. I’m talking about the people who will tweet you a welcome if you mention you’re in their town then show you the best local trails and the best post-ride drinks. I also mean the local bike shop mechanics who will let you know when a part that solves that problem you were having becomes available. And, now that I’m more familiar…

It’s an odd feeling to be situationally deprived of one of your favorite sports. For years as a kid living in a small town, everything was pretty accessible. From a young age, my only real sense of sport deprivation was waiting for it to snow to go snowboarding. I’ve gone through countless injuries, yet a predictable cycle of seasons and residence in a small town in New Jersey has always allowed me to enjoy my favorite sports. But for the past few months, I’ve been living in Paris. It’s my first time living in a big city, and the longest I’ve gone without biking. 6 Mile Run, NJ I’ve been treating my bike envy and trail deprivation with a ton…

This past weekend was the 4th annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival in infamous Aptos, California. It was presented by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and the title sponsor this year was Fox Racing Shox. At the center of the action is the expo. This year there were nearly 40 exhibitors and 15 companies demoing bikes. There were also a number of gourmet food vendors including a beer garden featuring brews from local breweries. Shuttle Smith Adventures was also on hand to shuttle riders to the top of Soquel Demonstration Forest for only $25! Pro Short Track winner Alex Wild No festival is complete without riding! The Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival holds some awesome races including a pump track…

The Foxy Five Every culture has their own social greeting and customs that are to be observed upon meeting. Britain has long embraced the mutual joys of bitching about the weather, it binds us. Sadly it’s just too nice out there! A spring filled sunset with a view of the Lambs making the most of what is left of the light and chasing each other all the way to bed time. So in a break from our cultural norm I’ll just say hi. Now as we discussed in the last (gripping) episode, Brit bikes are back, big time! The brands are burgeoning and the reviews are telling. Where we may loose a few points in the culinary cook offs, beach…

Sometimes the planets line up and benefit you. And in the last 2 weeks it finally did. Like it does in a Mishun H Sugworth cartoon. And this caused this box to appear on my door step. With something special inside…special not in the WADA nightmares secret enhancement kind. Maybe it’s my mail order Caribbean Queen? But the box looks a little to narrow for that to be the contents. I sure didn’t order anything in Aluminum flavour. But it is much better. As the contents are a 2005 Chromag Samurai frame as a weapons grade upgrade for 2013. And a much long awaited one at that. For it was a long wait before being able to get my hands…

I’m excited to say that this season I am part of the 2013 Evil Vengeance Tour. It’s the kind of opportunity that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid, and almost seems too good to be true now that it’s actually happening. This photo was taken in 1995 Slater Dirt jumps Huntington Beach CA I will be receiving support from Evil Bikes, IXS Sports Division, Kore USA, Fox Racing, Mavic, Shimano, WTB, e*thirteen, Kabuto Helmets, and Outdoor Technology. This kind of race support is a huge help, and not easy to come by. With the amount of races and events I attend, it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong. This has made racing at a high level…

Biking with your dog is great! It’s exercise for you, exercise for you dog, and bonding for the both of you. Sometimes, though, you need to haul a bit of extra stuff, more stuff than you can stuff into your pack. That’s where dog packs come in: quit letting that little bugger get away with carrying nothing, strap a pack on and let him haul his own food and water! Below, I’ve reviewed Canine Equipment’s answer to the dog pack, their “Ultimate Trail Pack”. Equally usable as a pack or just as a harness, this thing has a lot to offer for bikers and hikers alike. Check it out! The Good: Very adjustable; highly visible; Lots of storage space; Strong; Detachable…

Camp Mountain Lookout It’s less than six kilometres from the middle of the third largest city in Australia to one of the most spectacular national parks in the country. D’Aguilar National Park stretches north-west from Brisbane’s doorstep in a seemingly endless network of trails that can keep the most avid Mountain Biker pedaling for weeks. Cabbage Tree Range Road This 360 square kilometre environmental park covers the rolling hills of the D’Aguilar and Taylor Mountain Ranges with peaks rising as high as 770 metres (2,500 feet). While not high by international standards, this still means that many rides through this area involve long steep climbs and exhilarating descents. Before it was a national park, much of this area was used…

This past weekend was my 40th birthday, and what a great time it was. Shannon surprised me big time with great friends and family in a beautiful Chalet up at Mt. Washington. She posted about that part of the weekend yesterday, so I want to talk about another surprise I had. I really didn’t know what I was in for, Shannon was amazing at keeping this weekend a surprise so when we got up to Mt. Washington I tweeted where we were and how awesome it was. Lucky for me Teresa and Colin tweeted back welcoming us to their awesome part of the Island and agreed to show us around the kickass Cumberland trails…YESSSS! After a great breakfast with friends…

This past weekend our fearless leader Rivers, the founder and head of awesome things on this blog and the man whose passion has engaged nine other blog contributors, over 1,000 followers on google plus, and many more on Facebook and Twitter, celebrated a milestone birthday. He’s also my sweetheart. So what do you do when someone who loves mountain biking as much as Rivers does has a significant birthday? Well, you plan a surprise birthday weekend that includes friends, family, great food and a get-away mountain bike ride, of course. Pie cake – strawberry rhubarb pie baked in a golden cake. Technical issues not-with-standing, this will happen again.  Rivers has known for a while that something was up, but did…

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