Archive for December, 2013

FOTP and Racing

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Well, Christmas Day has come and gone.
I hope you all got what you wanted this holiday season.

Perhaps you asked for some accessories for you bicycle?

Either way, I hope that you all had a nice week.
Before I jump into the mix of bicycle photos, let me give a hats off to Richard Sachs – who I overheard on the internet make a comment regarding a bike customer who wanted a certain detail a certain way. And I get this a lot at our custom shop, because really, you could have a bike built up any way in the world. We could put 650B wheels on your Turner Czar……We could put 650B wheels on your Mojo HD….we could make your road bike into a fixie. I get calls and emails every day asking about compatibility.
I see a great many people focus on one single detail when they look at an entire bicycle. For example, people say – if I just had a carbon frame – that would make me ride better. 20 years ago, people would say….If I only had a handbuilt set of wheels – then I would have a better ride. When people look at framesets, I can’t tell you how often I hear – Oh, that bottom bracket is too low….I’d never buy that. Or I hear uneducated people at bike shops say – Oh, that headtube angle is too slack/not slack enough….blah blah blah. Richard Says “The dropouts are not the frame, the headtube angle is not the frame, the chainstay length is not the frame…..The Frame Is The Frame.”. And I couldn’t agree more. While it is true that some upgraded parts and higher performance bits can make your bike ride better – the choice on what to do or not do is a delicate one and not without consequences. And some consequences are easily seen….and some are not.
For more than a couple of years, I’ve stopped mixing and matching gruppo’s, experimenting with things I’ve heard of on MTBR, and I’ve had little input when it comes to frame designers…..the end result….the experts do their job and the high expectations are met. Guess what, I also don’t tell my endodontists how to do root canal’s….and guess what – the success rate is high. So the lesson of the day is don’t get too stuck in the bits and pieces of a bike. Its a whole system friends….trust and support your experts.
Now lets get to a reverse chronological accounts of bicycle riding. You may be ready for the apocalypse, because I suited up and did a cross race. Yes indeed friends, a week after missing my second cross race, GroPromotions had Christmas Cross in Santa Clara.

So, being the festive person I am, I put a bunch of lights on my helmet and showed up for the morning race. Racing as the Star of Bethlehem comes with a lot of responsibility, but closer to the end of the race, as I was feeling mighty tired – I became the Porn Star of Bethlehem….for motivation.
But on a serious note, let me tell you how fun it was. Racing is a spectrum in many ways and for just as many people as there are who take it too seriously, I have to believe that there are those who get it just right….and thats how I felt.
The lineup happened and the gun went off. The group stayed together for 1/2 lap and then the sandbaggers in the skinsuits took off. My plan initially was to stay with the rest of the group, but I saw that they were splintering early and my “minute man” was jumping from the group. So I rode my own race for a bit….looking to defend my position and/or attack the person in front of me. As the laps wore on and I settled into the rhythm of the barriers, the feed zone, the timing area and of course the rider in front of me. I figured we had 2 laps to go and I inched closer with every turn. It was a 20 something man with a full team kit and fancy bicycle – he looked refined. At a place where I could show a little horsepower, I overtook the rider and put a 5 metre gap on him – this was just enough to allow me to check on him as the course turned. I saw the concentration of a man not wanting to loose. For the next lap he tailed me…staying on strong. I was running at the higheset rpm I could muster and fought through the pain to keep my transitions crisp and clean – knowing that if the racer saw me looking crisp – he would be demoralized. Then, at the end of the final lap I recovered just a little…..and put the hammer down. And by hammer – I mean toy hammer. I stretched my lead to 20 M and with the finish line in sight, knew my rival would not catch me. Panting for air and feeling the burn everywhere I made the last few turns and crossed the line…..where I was offered a Christmas Cookie.
I managed to sneak into 3rd. For the C Race. But it was a blast. The course was fun, the competition was great – and some days you take your minute man.
And through the wonder of technology, you can view the race HERE…I’m 293
Alright, we can move on to warmer climates and riding in the Sonoran Desert.
For Thanksgiving, we headed south to see family and ride trails.
On Thanksgiving day, I had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend Pete, and riding FINS.

It was great. 80 and sunny. Then after Thanksgiving, it was the Flight of the Pigs….73 miles of the National trail, the AZ100 and in my case the AZ210.
At the “check in”, I compared my Mojo HD with Jims Ibis.

Hey, Wilson was there!

One of the signature moves I seem to do every flight is a wrong turn off the AZ100 trail and onto the AZ210. At first I used to be a little bummed that I didn’t stay on trail…and one year, I was the caboose because I took the turn and everybody else was waiting at the grassy knoll. But this year, the pace was perfect and I had time to ride the 210 and still make it to the knoll on time. A favorite part of the ride for me is the lap around Hunts Tomb.

As always, a nice afterparty at Jim and Kim’s in their backyard. So big thanks to Familia Wilcox for another incredible flight…and hope to see you next year.
Then it was back to PC for some DH skiing and snow biking.

And look at that….its what winners do.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Well guess what, Mike flew up to visit Dan to bury the hatchet. Because thats what winners do.

To all the semi-pro bike people out there who are going to pick apart this apology and tell the world how false it is….I invite you to, if you care enough, to fly out to Morgan Hill and ask to go on a road ride with Mike. You will first of all….be able to…..and I’m sure after spending 6.66 minutes with the man, you will know what leadership and integrity is.

So much to talk about today.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

And after a little time away from the computer, lets get right back at it.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way. Chris Sherwin has merged with the Universe. This guy was all class ’till the end. Let me show exactly how to have a little fun when your going in for you last radiation therapy.

Save me a seat on that last ski chair.

Lets talk about the weather. Here in SW Utah, it does not snow….or if it snows for a hour – it burns of when the sun comes out. Nothing ever really accumulates. Once in my lifetime, I saw snow on the Jem trail.
Ladies and gentlemen, it officially snowed all day on Saturday. so much so that a small portion of my shops roof needs a little repair. Don’t worry – Dharma HQ SW is still fine…..but it is way abnormal to have snow on the driveways and ice on the roads several days after. Its 9 degrees out. I think there will be some dead palm trees around these parts soon. I’ve got the wrappings on mine and our lime tree is in its teepee with heating light on. But take a look at Saturdays Cross venue….

And as far as cross races, I’m 0/2 this year…Yup, really getting the most out of my season pass. I also have 0 ski days so far. More on that later.
But can you believe the snow? We’ve got pictures of a 6″ storm in the Santa Clara City Museum…..from 1907. You can see our shop/home in the pictures…..which I think is pretty cool.
Here is a picture from Rob.

Its cold in Flagstaff, here is a pic from Big Jonny.

And here is a cool pic from Fixie.

Vernal has snow, here is a pic from Troy

And just in case your feeling cold, here’s one from Garro

Steve also sent me this.

I’ve been asked to comment about the recent legal actions taken by Specialized Bike Corporation…..I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about.
Here is a funny picture from a shop mechanic who has more time than money on his hands…and also no understanding of what it takes to run a business.

I preface the picture with that tidbit because Mike Sinyard is a friend of mine. And I don’t like to see my friends dragged through the mud. But if my friends make bad choices, it is the responsibility of other friends to help them to make better choices.
So rather than say, “Man what a dick!” or “Fuck Specialized”….I’ll say this.
Mike Sinyard is an idol of mine. He is a man of passion. He is a leader in the bike industry. He built his dreams into reality. From making bicycle tires in his garage to now being a global bicycle company. Mike is a business man. Sometimes in business we make good decisions….and sometimes we make bad ones. I’m no different.
Neither is any business person. I don’t work for Specalized and have no authority to judge “the roubaix” decision. I like that the “bicycle industry” is making an attempt at self regulation and self determination – but I don’t like the mean-ness and bullying on Sinyard. The wants and desires of bicycle culture are not always founded in reality…like a 22lb full suspension 29er that is durable. Mike gives every year more money than all the wages of the meanest bike shop employees out there combined to charity to get people on bikes. He provides paychecks for thousands of people every two weeks. Yet people who have never met him are calling him an asshole. You know what, SS soldiers were motivated by propaganda and popularity and look where that got them. Mike is not an SS soldier. His company is not run by shareholders….its run by him. He has no exit strategy for Specialized. That is dedication.
So my opinion is that the bike industry should chill out. Its above your rank and grade to so publicly comment on another persons business. In dentistry, we call is professionalism.
Flight of the Pigs Recap next post…Oink!