Wake Up Mother Cluckers!

I don’t know about you, but caffeine in the form of coffee has been my go-to drink when it comes to waking up. I usually go with coffee because it’s a natural high. Most energy drinks have synthetic caffeine, though they work fast and get the job done, the crash is a bit harsher than what I would desire. Prior to a ride, I usually will drink a cup of coffee about an hour before I get on the saddle. I say an hour because there’s a good chance I’ll need to take a dump soon after drinking coffee.

Oh after you take a dump, make sure you wipe good or use a wipey…having left over toilet paper on your butthole is super uncomfortable during rides…feels like sand! Anyhow, I’ve always loved coffee and I even worked in the coffee business for a few years. I was doing the digital marketing for a coffee roaster. Soon after I left that job, I found myself having to buy coffee, before it was free, I could take home as much as I wanted.

Being subjected to stale coffee from the grocery store, I decided to start roasting my own. I learned quite a bit while working at the roaster. I knew about brightness, types of beans, flavor profiles, 1st crack, city roast and etc. At first I tried my luck with a popcorn maker. Yes you can roast coffee with an airpopper, just google it. Once I decided on my profiles, I sold one of my beloved scooters to fund my newest toy, an actual coffee roaster! Yup, this was my gateway into roasting great coffee. I had to learn how to roast on my new machine and once I figured it all out, I decided to launch Cock Coffee Roaster. Get this, it’s really GOOD coffee! I only use 100% Specialty Grade Arabica Beans, that means I’m roasting some hight quality stuff.

You know what they say, don’t get high on your own stuff…well I’m breaking that rule because my coffee is good! Anyhow, I’m curious to know what you guys use to pre-game a ride? Coffee, Redbull, 5Hour Energy, Crack?

Where did RL go?

Hey long time readers!

So I’m back for now. Many of you have read that I was going through some rough times. No, I didn’t go to Rehab or jail. But I went through a divorce. Considering most divorces are a pain to deal with, mine was pretty amicable. Don’t get me wrong, all the emotional stuff that comes along with it was bitch…

But I digress. Within the last 2 years, I really haven’t done much riding. I’ve been caught up with motorcycles and other hobbies. But as Facebook reminds me of some great memories I had while riding, I was starting to miss it. My buddies The Moe and Artie have been the ones I usually head out on the trail with. We ride slow and we’re always making fun of each other, whether it’s about who’s got the smallest penis, who’s balding and who’s the most out of shape, it’s all in fun and it makes the event even more pleasurable. Our humor isn’t for the thin skinned, our pace isn’t for the racer. We just know how to have a good time on the trails and we don’t rush anything.

HANDLING THE ROUGH IS NO PROBLEM HERE
HANDLING THE ROUGH IS NO PROBLEM HERE

With all that in mind, I’ve decided to start riding again. I also just want to get on my bicycles more. I’ve got this electric cargo bike that I used to go fishing with all the time. I haven’t done that in so long and I figured if I use it, it’s all part of the adventure, right? Plus I’ve got an official Awnry fixed gear bike that still needs to be assembled. I think if anything I miss the peace that mountain biking brings as well as the thrill of the downhills. One of the best parts about riding is we usually will eat afterwards and The Moe usually pays for the tab! Score!

 

Betting for Beers

Betting for Beers

If you ever raced downhill or XC with your buddies then you may want to start a wager. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your group of riding friends are participating in a race, then why not bet each other a 6 pack of beer? Sure the event will rank riders based on their finish times, but to add some fun to it, do the beer thing.

Let’s say you all are doing a DH race; everyone is timed to see who gets to the finish line the fastest. So the premise is this, each of you has to bring a 6 pack of beer. Make sure you all keep it in a cooler so you can enjoy it after. Go race and once they post the results, see which one of you came in the fastest. Back in my racing days, there were a few of us who were in the same age group as well as same riding level. It was pretty fun to compete with each other to see who came in the fastest. Sometimes the times would differ by thousands of a second, while other times we knew that the fast guy in our group would win. However, there were times we’d see an upset. The fastest guys in our group wouldn’t always be fast. Often times they’d come in too hot during the race and crash, thus causing them to lose.

MYSELF AND BRYAN "YOUN GUN"DONEY TAKE 4TH & 2ND OVERALL AT THE SRC WINTER SERIES
MYSELF AND BRYAN “YOUN GUN”DONEY TAKE 4TH & 2ND OVERALL AT THE SRC WINTER SERIES

One of the things we figured out during our time DH racing was “slow means fast.” This mean that sometimes you have to go slow so you can go fast later. I’ll give you an example; there was a deep rutted turn that I was having a hard time on during practice. I talked to one of the Vet Pro riders to get some advice on how to handle it. He told me to just go slow. At first it didn’t make sense because you’d think I would have to go fast…I mean it’s a race isn’t it? He explained to me that if I go slowly on that section, I won’t risk crashing or making a mistake, and I could make up the time somewhere else in the course. Makes perfect sense right?

Alright, back to our bet for beers. Another game you can play is BettingTop 10 with your buddies. So all of you puts in $10 in a pot. If you or your friends make it on the top 10 of the top finishers, then you pay accordingly. But the higher you are on the list, the more money you get. So out of your group, let’s say one person gets 10th, another 7th, and another 2nd, then the person who got 2nd would get the whole pot. Doing this just ads some additional fun to your race experience. Besides, it’s a great incentive to do well for the next event.

Betting for Beers

If you ever raced downhill or XC with your buddies then you may want to start a wager. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your group of riding friends are participating in a race, then why not bet each other a 6 pack of beer? Sure the event will rank riders based on their finish times, but to add some fun to it, do the beer thing.

Let’s say you all are doing a DH race; everyone is timed to see who gets to the finish line the fastest. So the premise is this, each of you has to bring a 6 pack of beer. Make sure you all keep it in a cooler so you can enjoy it after. Go race and once they post the results, see which one of you came in the fastest. Back in my racing days, there were a few of us who were in the same age group as well as same riding level. It was pretty fun to compete with each other to see who came in the fastest. Sometimes the times would differ by thousands of a second, while other times we knew that the fast guy in our group would win. However, there were times we’d see an upset. The fastest guys in our group wouldn’t always be fast. Often times they’d come in too hot during the race and crash, thus causing them to lose.

SHIMANO MT33L IN ACTION
SHIMANO MT33L IN ACTION

One of the things we figured out during our time DH racing was “slow means fast.” This mean that sometimes you have to go slow so you can go fast later. I’ll give you an example; there was a deep rutted turn that I was having a hard time on during practice. I talked to one of the Vet Pro riders to get some advice on how to handle it. He told me to just go slow. At first it didn’t make sense because you’d think I would have to go fast…I mean it’s a race isn’t it? He explained to me that if I go slowly on that section, I won’t risk crashing or making a mistake, and I could make up the time somewhere else in the course. Makes perfect sense right?

Alright, back to our bet for beers. Another game you can play is BettingTop 10 with your buddies. So all of you puts in $10 in a pot. If you or your friends make it on the top 10 of the top finishers, then you pay accordingly. But the higher you are on the list, the more money you get. So out of your group, let’s say one person gets 10th, another 7th, and another 2nd, then the person who got 2nd would get the whole pot. Doing this just ads some additional fun to your race experience. Besides, it’s a great incentive to do well for the next event.

Guy shows up to a technical trail with a hard tail is a total bad ass

Ken Crouch, a local mountain biker shows up to a group ride with a hard tail 29er. Everyone in the group brought out their 5″-6″ travel trail/All Mountain bikes. Some even scoffed at the idea that Ken wouldn’t be able to handle the technical aspects of the trail with his 4″ XC machine. To make things worse on Ken, he was just wearing a T-shirt and some Dickies work shorts. His buddies were wearing the latest designer riding gear from Troy Lee, Fox and etc. Again he got some questionable looks from the douche bags of the group.

But you see Ken doesn’t care because he knows he’s a bad ass. He knows what he can and can’t do on the trail and frankly there really isn’t anything Ken can’t do on a mountain bike. So the group started the ride with a long climb to the summit. While his long travel bike buddies were huffing and puffing up the hill, Ken locked out his fork and granny geared it to the top. They decided to descend down a technical trail where everyone believed you need a full suspension bike. Before they started going down the trail, people were lowering their seats, strapping on elbow and knee pads, plus they ate a lite snack of GU because they had depleted their energy from the previous climb.

Ken wasn’t too fazed by it all. He did lower his seat the old fashioned way, by loosening his seat collar’s quick release. Some of the douche bags wanted to go in front of him because they thought he’d slow them down. He said no problem and let them go ahead of him.

As they started rolling down the trail, the pace got faster and faster. To the point where he was catching up to the last riders of the group. Eventually Ken got to the front of the pack and was tackling some of the nastiest baby heads and rollers on the trail. While the rest of the group slowed down, Ken kept charging down the mountain. Some of the riders even dismounted to walk the trail because it was too scary.

Ken was the first to get down the trail. He greeted each rider that came in with a big smile and fist bumps. Once everyone got there, they started talking about how much of a bad ass Ken was. This badassery demonstrated by Ken earned the respect of the other riders. But he didn’t really care if they did or not, he just loved to ride.

Mountain bikes are expensive!

So recently I’ve been in the market for a new mountain bike. But I balked at the idea that a mountain bike can cost as much as motorcycle or a small car. The one I am interested in was over $3000! Back when I first go into riding…mmm about 15 years ago, a thousand dollar bicycle was crazy! Ya I know that there’s innovation and inflation and etc that come into play. But being the Brother on a Budget (BOB) that I am, I find it hard to let go of that 3 grand for a bicycle. Most people will say that it’s an “investment” into their health and etc. Yes true and I agree with that. But it’s still a lot of money out of my pocket.

According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, there’s been a 42 percent decline in bike shops since the industry’s height in 2001-Outsideonline.com

Ok so this may sound like a poor guy’s rant, which it is. But I can’t help see the correlation to the decline in bike shops to the price of the items they sell. My first mountain bike…well let’s think about this for a moment, but if I go way back to the 80s, a decent mountain bike was roughly $200, sans any type of suspension. My first mountain bike as an adult set me back $300, it was a Gary Fisher Tarpon with a front RST shock. When I bought that bike I remember walking around the shop looking at the bikes that were around $1000 and thought “damn that’s expensive!” Fast forward to 2018 and geez…$3000 for a entry-mid range mountain bike. What sucks is most people can’t afford that so they either go one of two ways. The first option is to not buy a mountain bike because it’s so dang expensive. The other is to finance a mountain bike. For me, I don’t want to go into debt for a hobby. So the guy that doesn’t buy a bike, he’ll just walk away and not even get into it. Or he may even buy a lower end bike that can do the job, but it may not give him the best experience.

Oh one other option is to buy used. Craigslist is chock full of used bikes at a bargain. With that in mind, a sale is being taken away from a shop…because it’s cheaper. I know that many LBS’ use the argument that if you buy local, you support local. Plus they may even give you a discount on your purchase or throw in a helmet and water bottle.

Truthfully I’m all about supporting your LBS if you’re budget conscious. Here’s why, let’s say you are looking at a $3000, the mark up on that bike can range anywhere from 35%-40%, so if you ask your sales man, they may give you a discount. Let’s say they give you a generous 20% discount, they’re still making a 20% profit on your purchase. That means the $3000 becomes $2400 and the LBS still makes a decent amount of money on you. Some shops will even sweeten the deal by giving you accessories. It makes sense to buy from a shop, right? But I digress to the matter at hand is that bikes are expensive! Personally, if I didn’t have the disposable income to purchase the bike I mentioned, I probably wouldn’t even consider getting it.

Another aspect to this that some may not have even thought about would be the kids…What about the kids? How are they going to afford to get into mountain biking especially if their own parents can’t afford it. So what will happen is these kids who can’t afford the bike, they’ll just keep playing Minecraft or start eating Tide Pods because they’re so bored and have nothing else better to do.

So that’s about it. I think I’m tired from ranting. I’m going to have a beer and maybe go hiking

Clickity click…click…slip click

So you’re out riding, and you put some force down on the pedals and clickity slip! Ugh. You try again, but click…clickity slip! From my experience that usually means my drive train is worn out. If you’re anything like me, I usually look for the best value in parts. I tend to shy away from anything super high end because all this crap wears out anyway. So I might as well save money when I’m replacing parts.

Personally I like to go on Amazon or Ebay to shop for my parts. I’ve been doing this for years. Ya I know that we should all support our LBS, but I’ve got to support myself first. Anyhow, I ordered some value parts and it came in within a few short days.

What you see is the following:
KMC X10.93 10-Speed 116L Stretch-Proof Bike Chain fits SRAM Campagnolo & Shimano

Sunrace CSMS1 11-36 10-Speed MTB Bicycle Cassette 11-36T fits SRAM/Shimano Black

Red Derailleur Pulley Set Upgrade for Shimano & Sram 9/10 Speed Derailleurs

drive

I went with the KMC because I’ve used this brand before and I’ve never had issues of them snapping. This is my first run with Sunrace. I honestly bought it because it was black. Then I needed some new pulleys since mine are cracked in half. I bought these, not because they have ceramic bearings, but because they were cheaper than the SRAM brand and they were red. My total spend was $66.35 with free shipping. If I had spent the money on SRAM branded stuff it would have been over $90, so going with the value parts I was able to save $23.99.

Once I get these bits on Madea, I’ll post a quick assesment on how they did. In the mean time, here’s a video to keep you entertained.

If we make fun of you, it means we like you

Over the years we’ve had some friends come through the thickness of MtnBikeRiders.com. The Moe and I were pretty much the ring leaders of our group rides. He and I share the same style of humor and when we rip on each other, neither of us get butt hurt. We then met Art Aguilar who shared the same humor that we had, with that in mind, our bond was formed. Through many years of riding together we’ve learned how to make fun of each other. We don’t do it to be mean or to hurt each other’s feelings, but it’s a sign of endearment. Basically if we like you, then we’d make fun of you. It’s basic boys life kinda stuff.

18739994_10212120599677858_6723092576105465538_n-2

I was just thinking of all the people that we used to regularly ride with and some of them left because they felt like we were picking on them too much. Um…no man, it just mean’s we really liked that person. I remember one guy who we used to ride with, he became a vegan and so I wrote a post talking about he went back to eating meat…well guess what. He got butt hurt and stopped talking to us. That’s just one example of extreme butt hurtedness that occurred due to our humor. There’s actually a lot more. If you really look at it, we may just be mean…and people don’t like it. Eh, all I know is this, my closest friends who know me the best as are also my riding buddies. Humor is a major part of our riding culture and I’m cool with that. Another way to look at it is this, we may just have thicker skin and know when a joke is a joke.

If you ever get a chance to ride with any of us, you’ll see that we’re actually down to earth, very slow, and we have such a great time out on the trails. We constantly rip on each other out of fun. Nothing super mean like teasing about each other’s wife/gf/bf, small penis sizes or our kids. But more so we tease each other about our lack of riding prowess.

 

Look what I got for Christmas!

Alright so here’s something totally unrelated to mountain biking. The Moe got me a super cool present for Christmas! This here is a mini oak barrel. The purpose is to age your own whiskey, tequila and other booze. So here’s the deal, you’re supposed to pour in moonshine and let it age. But I didn’t have any, instead I took a bottle of Rebel Yell Bourbon that I received from my friend for Christmas. It’s a decent bourbon, but a little on the light side. I let it age in the barrel for a total of 2 weeks and boy I tell you what, the taste is incredible!

barrel

The booze became sweeter! Yep, I could taste hints of vanilla and caramel. The color also got darker, it went from a piss yellow to a darker amber color. There’s nothing better than pairing a good whiskey with a good smoke. In the photo I paired it with a Acid Cigars Kuba Kuba, which is a delicious medium smoke that goes well with any whiskey. I also like to take bites of chocolate to help enhance all the flavors while drinking and smoking. Damn…all this talk about booze and cigars is making me want some right now!

Build Update

marin palisades 29er

As you may have read from my previous POST, my bike broke and I bought a new frame. I found a Marin Palisades 29er on closeout from Ebay for about $130. I pulled the trigger and the frame came in.

marin palisades 29er

I sat on building the bike up for a while because I had to order parts for it. I had to get bottom bracket spacers since I went from a 73mm shell to a 68mm. I also had to order a new headset since the Marin’s was larger in diameter than the Titus Rockstar. All that took a few weeks to arrive. Once I finally got the parts in, I got sick.

But laying in bed all day sick gets a man all bored and stuff. One can only watch so many hours of Youtube videos before he gets cabin fever. So I decided to get up, go into the garage and start building this bike up. I ran new shifter cables and housing, installed the new parts and got everything dialed in.

Voila! I’d like to introduce you to….MADEA!

26232038_10214039828257373_1256470814978770892_o

Yes her name is Madea, just like Tyler Perry’s Madea. I named her that because she’s a tall bike! This is a small, but with the big honkin’ fork, I can’t even touch the ground flat footed unless I’m practically off the bike. I’ve yet to ride Madea, still recovering from my cough, but soon…soon.

46d7ea61c3b32c4595298d53ca4cd945-madea-humor-madea-quotes

Have some fun at Betting Top 10!