Friday, August 24, 2012

More of The Same Old Thing

My favorite road race is now the Tour of Colorado. They have increased the number of stages to 7, changed the routes, added some gravel sections, moved the time trial to Denver on the last day, and they still stream full coverage of the race on their site. There are still 3 stages left, so tune in and check it out.  Go here to watch bike racing while you're at work. I am cheering for Tom Danielson, who graduated from Fort Lewis college, which is located at the start of the first stage, Durango. The race has been pretty exciting as far as stage races go, at the end of stage 4, the entire top 25 is within 1 minute of the leader.

This same week another cool stage race, the Brek Epic, is going down, and Pittsburgh local, Montana Miller is posting daily dispatches over at Dirt Rag, so go check that out too. All the stages are wrapped up at this point, but you can still follow Montana as he enjoys suffers through hundreds of miles of sweet single track that is all the way, way up there, above treeline.

Speaking of Pittsburgh locals, the folks at PTAG are hosting a little drinking and riding link-up on Saturday, so if you are anywhere near here, then you probably already know what to do.

The Rigid Bikes crew has been busy at the BMX track but I was able to squeeze in some super fun twisty threads of single track at one of the area's best spots, North Park.

I met up in Lawrenceville with the Mayor of Smutsvirgina, we packed bikes into his busted-up pickup and headed for the hills. First we embarrassed ourselves on the jump lines, then we ran into the actual Dr. J for whom the local downhill trail is named, then made asses of ourselves on that same trail before getting out into woods.

First it looked like this:

And then there were deer everywhere. Seriously, we probably saw 50 deer. The Mayor of Smutsvirgina suggested that  we should save on our dinner expenses and cut one off the back of the pack, which as it turns out, is a skill he finely honed years ago during his college days. 

I convinced him to keep riding instead.

The light slowly faded, we began seeing fewer people than the very few we had seen up to that point, and finally, there was a great stillness and through the wooded darkness the fluffy white tails of bounding deer were the only other perceptible movements besides our spinning legs.

Eventually, we made it back the grit of the Steel City, found a welcoming watering hole, saddled up for sustenance, and got deep into conversation concerning groundhogs and photo shoots. Sometimes a bike ride is all you need to help put the puzzle pieces into some kind of order. Peace.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music for your Mondays

This song is real.
There is a nice wheelie on a "20 bike with brake levers, but no cables. Chinese export department-store mountain bikes are in nearly every frame.

JA represented very well at the Olympics, the whole world is celebrating. At the same time, there are some real problems out there. The system set a way, fi real.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Fever

The Olympics are wrapping up this weekend, and they have saved the cross country mountain bike race for the last day. When I read the schedule a few weeks ago, I naturally thought "Wow, they saved the best event for the last day, this is going to be thrilling." As it turns out, the last day is like the Olympic version of the consolation prizes they used to give out in elementary school sports: all the medals were awarded but then the rest of your class got a participatory ribon just for coming to school that day. Awesome. Mountain biking shares the last day with the group all-around rhythmic gymnastics, the women's modern pentathlon and  men's handball finals. I have no idea what any of those sports even look like.

Anyway, if you want to check out what the Olympic cross country course looks like, you can get the first person shooter video game version of it right here.

The Olympic cycling events have been a great pleasure to read about so far and I suspect the XC race will not disappoint. Notice I say "read about" because NBC has been tyrannical in its blocking of any event streaming for those persons not subscribed to a cable TV package. So you can't stream any of the event coverage on a computer unless you have already paid to subscribe to those stations using cable TV? Why the hell else would anyone want to stream it? Thanks NBC.

In matters much closer to home, there has been lots of mountain bike riding taking place here in Western PA. In that sense, the rigid crew have been hard at work.

Also, the folks at PTAG ahve some amazing trailbuilding going on right now in North Park. They have added new features to the existing dirt jumps, and are working late nights and weekends to make the downhill trail badder and scarier.

Last thing to take note of before we sign off is the big bad pajama jam that Bike Pittsburgh throws every year. If you are a last-minute type of person then by all means go check out BikePGH's BikeFest party tonight.

Until next time, be healthy.