27 July 2009


Got to take another quick trip to HQ in Princeton for our yearly training session. This one was a quickie - arrived, grabbed a late dinner, went to bed. Got up & spent the the next 2 days sitting around going over problems that may arise in our duties at work.
Made it to Newark w/way too much time to spare, so Lord Nate & I hit up the bar to kill some time. Haven't had one of these in a few years. Mmmmmm good.

Boarded the flight back to Denver & just as we were to roll out of the gate, a thunderstorm from Hell showed up. Then, as it was dying down, el capitan told us that weather had shut down all westbound routes. So the normal pain & misery of sitting onboard a plane just increased exponentially. Finally, after almost 2hrs of cramped, stuffy confinemet, were got the go ahead & began our 3hr 36min flight back to the mile high.

That turned out to be a looooong day. But after talking to another person who spent the night in the Subway at SF airport, then making it home just in time Monday morning to start work, I didn't feel that bad anymore.

23 July 2009

The Monkey is dead. Long live the Monkey!

It put up a good fight, but my above-average ass did it in....I'm sure the local trails didn't help matters.

PBRMe & I met early at 3 Sisters and planned on a bit of pedaling before meeting up with the COMBA Social ride. We hopped on & went up Hidden Fawn, then stopped to decide which way to go to make it to the meeting point in time. Decision made, so I started to clip & stood up to pedal & had that feeling of rear axle slippage. I completed another stroke & it still felt strange, so I hopped off to see what was happening. I figured it couldn't be slippage since I had my Tuggnutt fastened & hadn't ever had an issue with it. While standing beside the bike, I pushed on the pedal to see where this instant suspension-like flex was coming from, when lo & behold, I see a section of air that shouldn't exist in the downtube.

I do feel very lucky with my bad luck lately. My rear tire tumor happened within 1/2 mile of ending a large ride. This mishap occurred within 1/4 mile of leaving the car, instead of during the ultra-adventure of last week, or that of Spikefest. Not as bad a break as it coulda been. (nice pun, eh?)

Almost 3 yrs of hard abuse has me thinking I'll end up putting another of the same between my legs for a few more years of enjoyment.

Shit Brown XL Karate Monkey
10/20/2006 - 7/23/2009

It's morning & that means..........

Got back on the bike for an easy spin last night. Didn't feel too bad, quite good actually.

Headed out of the garage, up to GM. Skirted the hill itself & climbed Zorro to DR. Crossed that & crossed over to RR, hung a left into Morrison & did the dam to get thru BCLP, then the single track along Stonehouse to get me back home.

The recent moisture put a hurting on the trails that were right on the banks of the creeks - several of them no longer exist.

Off to 3 Sisters tonight, then to NJ for a weekend of work-related fun. Oh, joy!

20 July 2009


Since coming to CO, EvilMG had an idea brewing in his evil little mind - climb up to Jones Pass, follow the CDT, hook up to Bard's Creek trail & finish in Empire. I had off Saturday, so I jumped onboard. Got up early Saturday & headed over to EvilMG's to toss his bike on the rack, then grabbed BadAndy & made our way to Empire to park along Main St, where we began our pedal up towards Jones Pass, 13.3 miles away & 4,000' up.

Almost to Jones pass. Looking back to whence we came.

After 3 hrs of pedaling & a few spots of walking, we made it to the pass around 10:30am to see jjonas awaiting us atop a 20' +/- snow cornice. This was my 1st time using the Monkey as an ice axe - had to jam the bar & pedal into the snow & hold on while making steps, then repeat. A bit sketchy at first, but I took my time & felt safe doing it with his guidance.

Ice climbing (pic stolen from jjonas)

Once on top, we were greeted with an incredible view of the hills around us, Pettingell Peak, Mt Parnassus, Torreys Peak....
After a bit of breather, we set off south on the CDT. The CDT was as I remembererd from last year's trek above Monarch ski area - rocky, very rocky. A good bit of scenic riding was had, along with some walking sections, both steep ups & treacherous downs.
After some time up top, nearing 13,000' at times, we took a left towards Herman Lake. jjonas said we'd run into some traffic & he wasn't kidding! It was packed with people, which was unfortunate b/c this was one of the funnest descents I've come across - flowy, rocky, rooty, with some good tricky section here & there.
One of the fun parts was a bridge about 30" high. I was feeling great coming into it, so I went for it...got both wheels up & centered as easy as pie, then I froze. I guess I was in shock that I was going to clear it so easily. All I had to do was pedal & I'd have launched off the other side, but we can't have that. Instead of doing the right thing, I leaned to the right, which was the tall downhill side. Fearing a broken arm, wrist or collarbone, I unclipped & jumped off to the ground about 6' below my pedals. Grabbed the bike to head out & noticed that the front brake lever dangling - same thing I did a few weeks ago at Buffalo Creek. I was fortunately able to get it stay somewhat usable for the rest of the day, as long as I kept a finger on it to hold it in place. (just got in from garage from a ghetto fix - looks like it'll work fine)

We took another breather at Herman Gulch trailhead & this is the point when the day changed.

We turned off the CDT & headed uphill to hook up with Bard Creek trail...and kept going up & up & up. A long 1-1/2 mile climb/hike got us to Watrus Gulch trailhead where we refilled with some more water, thanks to jjonas bringing a filter.

We followed the contour around the south side of Mt Parnassus & Bard Peak, but it was up the entire time I think....not really sure cuz I was pretty delirious by this point of the day.

6:14pm & we're feeling it.

After reaching the final saddle between Bard Peak & Silver Plume Mt, the good stuff reappeared. Singletrack along Bard Creek that led us to Bard Creek Rd, a jeep road. Miles & miles of fast, rocky jeep road, where the FS boys let it go. BadAndy let it go just a bit too much, as I caught up to him near the bottom pulling off his front tire to fix a flat. Another swig of JB from the flask as he swapped out tubes & we were on our way to meet the other 2 for a quick drop down Bard Creek Rd to the car. Got off the bike for the last time of the day at 8:30pm, 13 hrs after hopping on.

13 hrs to go 37 miles. That just don't figure.
Throw in 10,000' of climbing & now it makes sense.
Woulda been much longer w/out jjonas guiding us. Thanks!!

If you wanna try this route, may I suggest you leave the bike at home.

08 July 2009

General Maxxismus

4 for the Audi & 2 for the Monkey.

-Crossmark is partway through the ghetto procedure.

06 July 2009

Having no luck w/my rubbers

-Got out & pedaled into the big city w/e, Troy & Steve yesterday to0 see some tires I researched up close & personal. Salvagetti's had the top 2 contenders on my list, Maxxis Crossmark & Kenda Nevegal. After spending some time squeezing'em like Charmin & eying'em up & down, I decided the Crossmark would be best - seems like a longer-lasting rubber & less space between the treads.

Did some searching last night & this morning, and came across a month old ad on Craigslist for a cheap pair. Miracle of miracles, they were still sitting there, so they are now in the mail heading this way.

-Noticed a bubble in the left rear tire of the Audi as well last week. I already knew they were balding like my own noggin, but now it became imperative to replace them or else there would be no driving, except for local surface roads under 40mph w/out risking a blowout. Ending up goping with a set from General, so I no longer need be scared of doing donuts when the road surface humidity gets over 43%.

Y'all like BBQ Chicken?

04 July 2009


July 4th, lil E & I set out on our own backdoor 'Firecracker 50' - rolled outta Alameda parking lot at 4:50am and....went straight up Hayden trail to Summit Loop, down Box o' Rox, up Zorro, across Dakota Ridge, through Red Rocks over to Mt Falcon. Up that S.O.B. then dropped the road to O'Fallon to Lair o' the Bear. Hopped on the road for about 2 miles & hung a left on Grapevine Rd, which led us to the top of Apex, through Enchanted/Apex, then over the top section of Dakota Ridge, down Zorro & finished up rounding the bottom of Green Mt, rolling to the cars 7 hrs after lift-off.

Pain, pure pain today. Last week's 3 Pass 55-miler, part of Spikefest '09, felt like a deathmarch at the time, but I wasn't hurting as much as I thought. Today's really did it to me. It may be b/c I tried to keep e's pace throughout the ride, except for where he left me days behind when he jammed non-stop up Mt Falcon bottom to top. Bravo, bro!! Had to wake him up from his slumber when I finally got there.

In the final 1/2 mile of the brutality, I hear a pop, kinda like someone cracking bubblegum. Noticed the tires were still holding air, so kept rolling. Then again, I hear it - a loud, weird sound. I put the bike on the rack to head home & notice a huge bubble in the center of the tread.

Stout #2 is dead. Not again!!

Guessing the casing snapped in these spots & the pressure is blowing it out. 10 rides (about 275 miles) & less than 3 weeks of use. I need a new rear tire, again.

This time, I ain't looking at WTB!