Rampage is back!

Not the ex-UFC light heavyweight champ, but rather the Red Bull Rampage… Ending its four year run in 2004, the Red Bull Rampage was the premier freeride event at the turn of the century.  Many may have seen DVD movies and pictures as this was a widely covered event.  Held near Virgin, Utah, many professional downhillers and freeriders flocked to the Rampage.  The likes of Cedric Gracia, Kyle Strait, Andrew Shandro, Thomas Vanderham, Wade Simmons, Josh Bender and Robbie Bourdon, just to name a few… were all competing.  This year there are about two-dozen invited guests.

bender

wade 

Scheduled to take place in October 2nd – 5th, once again the hi-flyers and risk takers will make their way to Utah.  For more information, go to www.redbullrampage.com. 

 

 

 

Sho-Air’s Go-Green entry fee incentive/relief program

Just recevied from American Mountain Classic & Sho-Air International:

Press Release
July 29, 2008
Sho-Air International is pleased to announce a “Go-Green” entry fee incentive/relief program for all competitors in the American Mountain Classic Stage Race in Brian Head, UT set to run August 21-24.
In light of the recent escalating prices at the gas pump and the slowing economy, event title sponsor Sho-Air International is extending a rebate incentive program to all currently registered riders, plus any new rider who sign up for the event.

“Its no secret that prices at the pump and the sluggish economy makes traveling to the races more taxing on the wallet these days” reflects Sho-Air’s marketing director Ty Kady. “As a result of early entry’s exceeding expectations for an inaugural event, we want to give back to the person who wanted to race in America’s most prestigious MTB Stage Race, but was feeling the pinch in their pocket book. We hope that the $50 rebate can be spent towards gas or some other event related costs. We are also encouraging people to car pool with a friend, hence why we created a “buddy” rebate program for new registrants that sign up with a friend. Remember to Go-Green when ever possible!”

Effective July 29 through August 19th all currently registered athletes that get a new registrant to sign up for the American Mountain Classic will receive $50 refund on their entry fee, along with the new rider. Additionally any new rider who signs themselves and a friend up, who are not currently registered for the event, will each receive a $50 rebate off each their entry after proof of purchase.

To be eligible for the “Gas Relief” incentive program, all athletes must sign up on Sports Base Online at the following link- https://www.sportsbaseonline.com/Item.aspx?item_id=2346.

Upon completing registration, all registrants who qualify should contact Ty Kady with their entry receipt for a rebate access code. Ty can be reached at Ty@shoair.com or 800-227-9111.

Ride Report: Whiting Ranch Grand Re-opening

This past weekend was the grand re-opening of Whiting Ranch.  Having been closed since October 2007 due to fires, mountain bikers and hikers were eager to hit the trail for the opening.  I was one of them.  Joined by several friends we hit the dirt anxious to see what was left from the fires and changes to the popular trail.   

Off the bat, the most evident was the sand.  There were sand pits throughout the trail.  Not sure if this was part of the restoration process but this was the main obstacle of the park.  From the start and all the way to the base of Mustard (climb), every so often you will have to grind through sand pits.

                               Sections of sand through out the trail.

     Unable to ride through, many walked their bikes.

The route to the Cattle Pond was also widened into more than a double track.  What was once a sweet singletrack was now groomed and more than less-technical.  The climb to the top of Mustard was smooth and all of the rocky sections were now gone.  When we reached the top (Four Corners), many bikers/hikers were congregated.  Many were either resting from the humidity or sharing past stories of Whiting.

     Climbing Mustard Rd.

Onto the fun stuff… the entrance to Cactus was also rerouted.  Many sections of the singletrack was sandy.  This made the descent slower than expected.  As we headed into the meat of the trail, we found that majority of it was changed.  There were lots of turns where it was virtually impossible to gain speed. None the less, it was new and exciting.  The last part of the trail was still a blast.  As we rode through the Oak trees, many of the fun sections where still there mixed in with sand pits.  

Despite the sand, we finished the trail with smiles for miles.  Whiting Ranch can definitely use rain and in time, the sandy section will become hardpack.

Bonehead move goes to…

Me.  This isn’t an ad for CROCs or modeling hairy legs – rather a display of not being prepared.

 

For the first time in all of the years riding, I forget one of the essential items – my shoes.  My friend Val and I rode the Loop the other night.  Just when we were ready to push off, I noticed that I didn’t have my riding shoes… ughh!!!  Man I was ticked!  Val had his running shoes in his car and offered them to me however they were too small.  Not wanting to back-out since we were already dressed and ready to go, I decided to just ride with my new Crocs Cayman.  Obviously these were not made for riding, just for pure comfort with very soft soles

Within the first few miles, I can feel the pedal bars pressed up against the ball of my feet.  Truly an uncomfortable feeling as we rode the 11 mile Loop.  At the same time, I kept envisioning this guy with the “Helmet Hair” who had a mishap when he rode without his shoes 🙂  yikes… You can read his story through here.  Here’s a shot of him…

 

We finished the ride without any incidents.  However, my feet were in pain after enduring the obstacles of the Loop.  Fortunately I was already wearing the right shoes for the after ride.  As much pain I was in, I was now in comfort wearing the Crocs. 

Moral of the story, keep your riding gear together 🙂

Crashing – All part of mountain biking

As you recall on Father’s Day weekend, I took my friend Val Macatangay for a ride at our local trail – Coal Canyon.

Since then, he’s been frequenting this trail.  Almost on a daily basis, Val hits the trail at 6 am – rides from his house and climbs a little further than the last.  Little by little, he is getting better.  He recently told me that he is getting acclimated to what the trail has to offer.  He enjoys the workout of the climb and looks forward to the reward of the descent…

Several days ago, Val headed up Coal Canyon.  On his way back down, he was going pretty fast.  On a fireroad descent, you can easily let things fly.  As he neared the bottom, he overshot a left-hand turn.  Panicked, unable to unclip and the fear of going over the side – he laid his bike down.  He stopped his momentum with the left side of his body, including his face…OUCH!  Unable to ride his bike all the way back to his house, Val had his wife pick him up at the trail head.

The Damage:

  • Road rash – left cheek (face not the backside J)
  • Road rash – left leg
  • Tweaked rear wheel

                                                         Crashes are common for both beginners and experience riders in our sport.  For Val, he did not let this crash deter him.  He was back at Coal Canyon two days after grinding up the mountain and bombing back down.  Way to go Val!

Ride Report: Bonelli Park, Part II

Everything RL said on the previous post with an emphasis on HOT!!! I tried to get these video clips to RL but unfortunately they were too big to email. Following his video theme, here are some of the footage I took. Definitely had a great time despite the heat!!!

Whiting Ranch scheduled to re-open in July.

Late last year, majority of Whiting Ranch park (commonly known as Whiting to local trail users) sustained heavy damage from the arson-caused Santiago fire.  It has been closed since last October 2007.  Long awaited news from OC Parks brings excitement for many as Whiting is scheduled to open mid to late July.  To read more click on this link. 

          Whiting Ranch on fire.

Whiting Ranch was one of the more popular parks for mountain bikers in Orange County, CA.  Its typical loop is 7 miles, but for many mountain bikers they did one of two things – either ride a double loop or connect with Santiago Truck Trail (STT) and down the Luge.  The Luge’s exit is near the famous Cooks Corner; a local watering hole for many bikers (Harley type).  STT/Luge along with other nearby trails were also damaged from the same fire.  Whiting Ranch will be the first scheduled to re-open.  

I’m excited and cannot wait!  I used to frequent Whiting when I was working in South OC.  I have had many rides with great memories.  The typical loop is rather short but it has many things to offer a mountain biker enthusiast.   There are the long climbs up Mustard Rd., a killer singletrack down Cactus, and plenty in between to keep you on your toes.  

     My son, Jared in the late 90s on Borrego trail.  

Whiting Ranch is in the rebuilding process so I’m sure it won’t be quite the same just yet.  But in time, with everyone’s help, we’ll have it back to where it once was. 

               Popular hiking spot – Red Rock trail.  Off limits to bikers, but certainly a spot you don’t want to  miss.

     The only time I hiked Whiting Ranch.  Red Rock Canyon, March 2002.     

First Impressions: Sette ST-7 DLX Workstand w/Tray and Tote bag.

The cool people at Pricepoint sent us the Sette ST-7 workstand for review. As a wrench-at-home guy and a part-time racer I have been given the task to put this product to the test.  The following are my first impressions of the stand.  Off the bat when I opened the box, I noticed how compact it was folded – 38?.  This is a plus for storage and when transporting during races.  Also included were a heavy duty bag and a tool tray – another plus!  The bag is made out of nylon with carrying straps and pockets on the outside.  The tray has several compartments for miscellaneous parts and slots for various tools.  This can be mounted directly onto the stand.  All this for just $114.98.   

As I opened the stand to its full size, I noticed that tubes were constructed of steel frame.  This is perfect for strength and durability as consumers will have a variety of bikes which differ in weight.  The stand is fully adjustable in height; the tallest setting at 59?.  This will be great for the short and tall folks. 

The locking clamp is padded and can be rotated 360° (which again will accommodate a variety of bikes/frames) and can also position the bike at different angles.  It utilizes QR (quick releases) locking mechanism at three major areas on the stand – unfolding, height adjustment and the head.   

So far I’ve only mounted two bikes on the ST-7.  One is 27 lbs and the other is a 35 lbs All-Mtn bike.  Thus far it has remained sturdy with no issues.  There was one instance where the 35 pounder caused the main tube of the stand to slip to a lower height.  Apparently the QR clamp for height adjustment wasn’t tight enough.  Once I re-tightened the QR, I haven’t had any issues. 

The stand will be put a lot of use in the next few moths.  I frequently work on my bikes at home and attend races.  I’ve yet to mount my 40 lbs DH bike on it.  Stay tuned for a full review on the Sette ST-7 DLX Foldable Workstand.  In the mean time for more information here is the link to the site.

Father’s Day weekend Ride Report: Solo @ El Moro and another grind up Coal Canyon

This was a fun filled weekend of riding.  I rode both days making trips to a popular Orange County trail – El Moro and my local trail – Coal Canyon.

Saturday: I headed out to El Moro bright and early for a solo ride.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been here.  Last time out w/the MtnBikeRiders’ crew, El Moro was closed due to rain.  Arriving at the Ridge Park, I noticed that the parking lot was full.   There will be a lot of hikers, joggers and mountain bikers on the trail…  I entered the park through the northwest corner which starts on a fast fireroad that descends towards a technical singletrack called Rattlesnake. 

                           On the way to Rattlesnake.

The trail was in excellent shape…   making my way out of Rattlesnake, the trail transitions into a graded-like  singletrack covered with tall plantation.  From here the fun continues as it switches from singletrack to a fast fireroad which eventually leads into Mach One – another fast descent, hence the name. 

                              Looking up from the bottom of Mach One.

I climbed up a steep fireroad called – I Think I Can.  As I reached the top there were many riders gathered at this junction.  Apparently there was the S.H.A.R.E. Poker ride which I had totally forgotten about. 

        S.H.A.R.E. Poker ride checkpoint.

 

       Checkpoint at the top of I Think I can; rider picking his card.

There were many faces present that I have ridden with in the past.  From here on until I exited the park, the trails were busy with participants from the Poker ride.  Overall the trail was in great shape.  There were a few sandy spots, but that’s expected.  Fun ride!  

Sunday:  I rode Coal Canyon with my co-worker/friend Val.  He lives close to me, however much closer to the trail.  I rode approximately a mile and half from my house to meet Val; from our meeting point we rode another mile and half to the trailhead.  We started at 6am to beat the heat.  Val is new to mountain biking so he wanted a crash course with what our local trails had to offer.  This would be his first ride on anything that has a consistent climbs.   

              On the way to the trailhead; paralleling the 91 fwy.

 

The ride was uneventful being that it’s nothing but climbs.  However, the trail did take an early toll on Val.  Within the first mile he ended up walking his bike.  This is nothing to be ashamed of as we’ve all done it and it’s a part of riding.  After a few breathers, he was able to regroup and continue to ride.  We rode up to the two mile marker and headed back down.  I was able to capture our descent through my helmet cam, however it’ll take me longer to put together a video.  

               View of Chino Hills and the San Gabriel Mtns.

Overall the weekend was great for riding.  We are heading into our summer heat so plan your rides accordingly. 

Ibex Ignition 3: First Ride, first impressions…

The Ibex Ignition 3, Emerald Sand color, had been previously reviewed by two other staff members (Lance & Jeremy). As we are all individual riders and have different riding style, I’ll share my first impressions of the Ignition 3. I’ll try not to be redundant and rehash any of the previous reports on this bike.

Off the bat when I picked up the bike from Jeremy, the first thing I noticed was the weight. As I mounted the bike onto my hitch rack, the bike felt to be on the heavier side. Also what immediately got my attention was the 2? hi-rise handlebar. In my thoughts, it looked a little high for me. When I arrived home, I rode the bike on the streets to see if I needed to make any immediate changes. I wanted to be comfortable on the Ignition without changing any of the parts for the review.

I noticed two things – definitely with the 2? rise, the bars were too high and the rear shock was set-up was too stiff (since it was last set-up for Jeremy’s weight). Back in the garage, I lowered the stack height of the stem, binging it down by 10mm.

I also adjusted rear shock to the appropriate pressure and the sag to my weight. Last, I swapped out the stock pedals to the Crank Bros Candy SL. I had an extra set of pedals and my shoes are already equipped w/cleats (for Crank Bros pedals). Changing this part of the bike should not compromise the review.

First Ride: I took the Ignition to my local training ground, Coal Canyon. This trail is a ride in – ride out, which consists of fireroad climbs all the way up to the summit. I started a little later in the morning therefore the sun was already beating down. There are no shades going up Coal Canyon so it can get hot…ugh. Shortly after the entrance, when the flats transitioned into an incline the Ignition climbed very well. The bike’s front suspension, Marzocchi MX is equipped with a lockout however I didn’t need to use it. I cruised up the first two miles effortless. Despite the Ignition’s climbing efficiency, I can definitely feel the weight which eventually will take a toll on your legs.

  Coal Canyon trail, 241fwy and Anaheim Hills in the background.

As the trail became steeper, with the hi-rise bar and the lack of height adjustment on the fork, the Ignition steered all over the place. It was manageable but the efficiency was no longer there. At certain areas of the trail, when I stood up to mash on the pedals, the high position of hi-rise bars felt awkward. I reached the four mile mark and decided to head back down.

Bombing down the fireroad on the Ignition was a blast. I only wished I would have climbed all the way to the top as the four miles ended too quickly. The Avid brakes worked really well, both front and back. There were certain sections where I was approaching a turn and merely feathered the lever to slow down. I felt confident on the descents. The rear suspension wasn’t quite as responsive as I wanted it to be. Perhaps I needed to adjust the rebound… There aren’t too many technical areas on this trail so as I was climbing, I spotted a few hill-side rock sections that would be pretty fun. Sure enough I was able to hit some of these sections on my way back down. All though not too technical, the Ignition stay true to the line I picked.

First impressions:  The Ignition is a bit heavy.  I believe we had weighed this close to 35 lbs.  It can certainly use a diet.  However, with the first ride, the bike lived up to its label as an All-Mountain bike.  Despite the small issue of handling on steeper sections, it did very well on both ascents and descents.  Sure adjustments will have to be made, but we do that on most of our bikes anyways.

Back at home I lowered the stem by another 10mm. Hopefully this will feel a little bit more comfortable on the next ride. I’ll be riding the Ignition 3 quite a bit more so stay tuned for a full review in the next few months.  Below is a short video of the bike in action.

Price: $849.00
Specs:

Frame:  6061 Aluminum w/ 5″ Travel
Fork:  Marzocchi MX Lockout – 120mm
Rear Shock:  Rock Shox BAR 2.1 Air*
Shifters:  Shimano Deore Rapidfire (SL-M530)
Front Derailleur:  Shimano Deore (FD-M530)
Rear Derailleur:  Shimano LX (RD-M581-SGS)
Crankset:  FSA Gamma Drive (44/32/22T)
Bottom-Bracket:  FSA MegaExo
Cassette:  Shimano HG 50 9-spd (11-34T)
Chain:  KMC Z9200
Brakes:  Avid BB-5 Mechanical Discs
Rotors:  Avid 7″ Roundagon (185mm)
Levers:  Avid FR-5
Rims:  WTB SpeedDisc All-Mountain
Hubs:  Formula Disc
Tires:  WTB VelociRaptor (26″ x 2.10)
Headset:  Aheadset STS-2K
Handlebar:  UNO Alloy OS (50mm Rise x 670mm)
Stem:  UNO OS Alloy – 3D Forged
Seatpost:  UNO Microadjust Alloy ( 31.6mm dia.)
Saddle:  WTB Speed V Comp
Pedals:  Shimano M505 Clipless w. Cleats