Happy New Year!

Since we had a day off to celebrate 2008, we decided to organize a group ride with some of our best riding buddies. Scott and Jen Finch of RPM Cyclery, along with their two sons, Alex and Evan drove all the way out from Temecula, Ca to hit the Fullerton Loop. We were also graced by the presence of the other Finch Family on the ride. Tony, Kim and their son Tim was out there to enjoy the new year with us. My new riding buddy Robert came out to rock the big wheels on his 29er X-Cal.

Here’s the fellas…Tim, Tony,Scott, Alex, Evan and Moe.

The ladies; Kim, Priscilla and Jen.

Since my fork on my regular mountain bike had some issues, I decided to take out the Ibex/Xtracycle. Normally this is my grocery getter, but its built tough so it can handle the trails. I basically rode this thing as if it was a normal sized bike.

I spent most of the morning shooting some video of the ride. Keep an eye out on Tim…he’s the fella wearing fancy red pants. This guy can ride! Plus seeing the smaller Finch kids ride was really fun. I can imagine them in a few years dominating some of the local races. Alex, 13 will be racing the downhill course at Southridge, Fontana in the next two weeks!

I’m not sure what it is, but it must be in the Finch blood because all of them are great riders. From the oldest…that’s Tony, to the youngest, Evan… and everyone in between, they all have great biking skills. Dang, I wonder if they adopt me…would their skills be automatically bestowed upon me…wishful thinking…

Check out the video to see what I’m talking about.

Happy Anniversary MtnBikeRiders.com

That’s right we’ve been here a whole year! We opened the doors to MtnBikeRiders.com last December.Woohoo!

When Moe and I first started talking about building this site, we didn’t realize how popular it would become. We literally went from a few visitors a day to thousands of visitors per day in just a few months. Sure we had a few set backs that were caused by some envious hacker…oh hey Mr. Hacker, we know WHO you are.

But because of those challenges we’ve become stronger and smarter on how we do things. We’ve made some great friends in the industry…too many to mention. But these same people liked us and believed in us enough to help us get started.

Looking back in the great year we’ve had, we were able to test some pretty cool and not so cool products. Heck, a new Ergon BD-1 back pack just showed up at my door today! Besides all the great items we’ve tested, we were able to go on a few road trips. Sea Otter in Monterey, California was soooo much fun! I even got a picture with the Sea Otter Mascot! Then Priscilla and I got to ride out in the desert of Yuma, Az, Moe was in Fruita, Co., Jeremy was up in Northern California and in North Carolina and then to top it all of, we were at Interbike! I do love me some Interbike. The guys and gal(Priscilla) did a great job in talking with all sorts of companies and I have to say Moe and I did a bang up job ourselves by talking to a handful of companies about advertising with us in 2008.

One thing that stands out the most for me this past year was having most of the crew race at Mt. Sac. I am very very proud of Jeremy, Lance and 2nd Placer, Priscilla. I also have to give some kudos to my daughter Breanna who raced tandem with me. Oh another thing that made this year interesting was the birth of our new style of riding…”Relaxed Vibe.”

I’m sure you’ve seen the videos, but basically a Relaxed Vibe Ride is taking the time to enjoy the trail, its not a time trial, but a time to relax, go at an easier pace. We had some great memories of encouraging one another, laughing and basically having a great time on the trails.

I think what makes MtnBikeRiders.com so unique…well its the people. We’re a diverse bunch. Diversity runs in forms of ethnicity, sex(yes please!), religion, orientation(though I don’t think anyone is gay…) career and family size. Our diversity provides our readers something different every time they visit our site. Some days you might see me shirtless, or other days you might see Lance doing a 5 footer drop…heck some of you may even like just staring at Priscilla’s pictures. But here’s something else that makes MtnBikeRiders.com a really good site….we all like each other! Ya its true! We genuinely care for each other and have at many times had meals together, rode bikes together and in some cases, cried together.

I’m sure you folks have your reasons why you keep coming back each day, what ever they are, we do appreciate you for supporting us and making us your choice in getting your daily dose of news, product reviews, articles, and How To’s for all your mountain biking needs….wait that sounded like an anchor man signing off for the night! Ah…oh well!

Anyways, I do want to wish the whole MtnBikeRiders.com crew and our readers a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Side note…

Dear Readers,

Thanks again for being there for us. Though there are thousands of you visiting the sites everyday, I would like thank each and one of you…so here it goes…Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Thank You, thank You, thank yUo, thank you, thanks! thankz, salamat, gracias, Thank you, thank you!

Priscilla’s Birthday Bikes and Breakfast Bash

This Saturday join us at the Fullerton Loop at 7am for a “relaxed vibe” berfday partay ride. We’re celebrating Priscilla’s “just turned legal” birthday.

Her actual birthday isn’t until the 20th, but in our family we always celebrate birthdays as a week long event. So come out, ride the Loop, eat some grub at the Farmer Boys Restaurant on Harbor Blvd. I’d love to treat everyone to breakfast, but I can’t…cuz we Po’h.

MtnBikeRiders Dedicates a Ride to Jay of Evomo

This past Saturday MtnBikeRiders rounded up the troops to hit the trails at Aliso Woods. On one of the invitations that I posted on the site, Jay, Trials Rider for Evomo commented…“Wish I lived closer to you guys, Iā€™m sure we would all have a great time. Fill us in on how it goes.” Well when I read that all I could think of was this…

Aww…poor Jay…riding all by himself…

Not wanting to make anyone feel left out, we decided to dedicate our ride to our buddy Jay. Since he was all the way out in PA, I made sure we grabbed some fine images and video of of our “relaxed vibe” adventures.

Jeremy brought his fancy camera to take some shots cuz Khoa was off from his picture taking duties for the site. Jeremy armed with his gigantor digital SLR lugged that thing around just for you Jay! Cuz Jeremy always goes above and beyond.

We were graced by the presence of Flynn Ryan…he’s the dude that made 1st place in the Sport Div. at the Mt Sac Fat Tire Classic. This fella can ride. Just think of Lance’s speed and gutz…but on steroids…that’s how Flynn Ryan rides…the dude is pretty impressive. Not to down play Lance…cuz we’re just as impressed with his riding abilities.

Flynn Ryan

Here’s Moe with his “Anger Management” face…I think that Black Sabbath jersey is starting to influence him…

Is that the anarchy sign on his hand? I never knew a programmer to be so angry…

Here’s Priscilla enjoying the trails…mmmhhhmm šŸ™‚

At one point Melissa’s bike had some problems. So Khoa and I got down and dirty and wrenched on her bike. One of the problems she had was her bottle cage was all crushed from a fall she had.So I tried to bend it back only to break into tiny little pieces in my hulk like hands. Don’t worry Melissa, I got you a brand new one…red!

So Jay, like I mentioned we did a video for you buddy. So scheck it out mang..

Khoa “Sports Photographer” N. Knows Photos

Right before the race, Khoa was taking random photos of the crew. He then gets in front of us, crouches down, and starts to snap away.

He takes this picture…

Then says to me…”RL suck it in!” So I did and he gets this…BAM! Man Khoa not only made me look skinnier, but my complexion got way lighter!

Just kidding! That was Lance right above, but here’s the real deal. Even with my husky physique, Khoa knows how to make me look fabulous!

Happy Berfday Moe!

That’s right our very own Moe “Master Mind” Ramirez is turning…old! We’re going to celebrate Moe’s berfday by getting some nachos and beer this Friday at his favorite hole in the wall in La Mirada, Ca. called Marisa’s.

Here’s the address if you want to join us at 7:30pm
15711 Imperial Hwy
La Mirada, CA 90638-2510, US

Just to show our appreciation for Moe, I’ve created a short slideshow/video about the guy that is pretty much the brains of our network of bicycle sites.

I am a sucker for good marketing

Interbike was about one month ago to the day. As I walked around the Sands Expo, I had heard so many pitches and schpeels about why this and that product was far more superior than the other. I especially love the companies that have a new item where perhaps there really don’t have any competition. When they start telling you all about their goods you start to nod and agree why you need their product and how it will change your life.

I’m the same way with Infomercials….oh boy do I love me some RonCo…”Just set it and forget it!”

What about the Magic Bullet, we actually have one, but we didn’t buy it. My sister inlaw gave it to us since the Infomercial gaver her a 2 for 1 price on the deal. Even though I use this thing, everytime I see the commercial…I STILL watch it!

Ok, going back to bikes…or at least bike related. I swear, once a sales person starts to talk and tell my why their products are great…I’m hooked. I then start day dreaming of having this item and how it would make my life so much more fulfilling. And if I hear someone telling that the product that I am infatuated with is no good, oh man, you better hold me back! I’d go Kung Fu Crazy on that person for saying such nonsense!

Here’s the thing with me personally. I have brand loyalty in my blood. Basically that means that if I’m riding a brand X bike…then that brand is the schiznitz. No matter how many times this brand X bike breaks down, or fails on me, I’m still loyal to it. It’s to the point where its unhealthy. Just ask the people I ride with. There have been many times where I held up the group because I was messing around with my brand X bike before the ride. So there I would be trying to make the air shock or fork to hold air or tightening the crank arms so they wouldn’t fall off. But at the end of the day…I still love brand X.

However, my loyalty to brand x soon ends once I meet brand Y…and they start telling me how their product is the bestest dur eva waz. So if anything, I love marketers. I love the show, the glitz and the effort they put into making products shinny, glamorous and fabulous.

Thursday Tech Tip: Balancing

Learning how to balance on your bike will come in very handy while you’re out on the trail. One of the things that helped me get this skill down was riding my fixed gear bike. As I would wait at a stop light during my commutes to work, I’d do a track stand. The cool thing about a fixed gear is that you can pedal backwards. While I wait for the light to change, I simply get off my saddle, use my pedals to either pedal very slightly forward or backwards. The biggest factor in balancing is moving your weight side to side. Yes the front wheel will help, but once you start practicing balancing, you’ll notice your hips/butt and shoulders move side to side…kinda like a trials rider.

Just watch Trials Rider Ryan Leech in this video.

Here’s a picture of me from last weeks Santiago Oaks ride. You’ll see that my shoulders and hips are compensating for my weight. This was a drop that basically didn’t give you room to have a running start. I had to get on my bike, clip in and roll all within a foot.

Balancing will also help your descending skills. While you’re going down a rock garden, you’ll be moving your weight in all directions in order for you to not fall over.

It’s true that this tech tip isn’t necessarily a mechanical thing you do on how to fix bikes. But this tech tip will help you learn how to handle more technical trails that you’ll be riding. So get out there and start practicing track stands on your bike. The longer you can do it, the better…just like sex. šŸ™‚

I just…(blanked)…myself!

So the other day I was talking to a shop employee who was definitely into bikes. He started talking about the new Marzocchi forks and what not. I don’t even recall what he was saying until he tells me that he “just jizzed” himself when he saw this new fandangled fork.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time someone told me that they just messed themselves when they saw a new fancy schmancy product to hit the market. There was another time when a former wrench was telling me all about a 29er frame and while he was explaining the great things about this frame…he would roll back his eyes…make gestures as if he’s pleasuring himself, at the same time making that hmm donut Homer Simpson noise…

Here’s what I don’t get…why do guys do that? I’ve never heard of a female talking about how she just got an “O” when she saw a new product. If anything these dorks that do that look so dumb…and perverted. So what’s the moral? Well, keep bikes and your sexual desires separated!

Diversity, the MtnBikeRiders Way

If you were to ask anyone their definition of Diversity, you’ll get responses that talk about diversity in ways that touches ethnicity, financial, skills, personality and etc.

As we walked around Interbike last week, I started to see the diversity in our group of bloggers. Well for one, Moe and I run the show with the help of some of the worlds bestest mountain biking bloggers in the face of the universe that walked this whole planet…did that make sense?

Anyhow, you take Moe and I for example. Moe, a programmer by trade, he’s basically the guy that is in charge of all of the sites. He does all the coding, tweaks and basically he’s the brains of the operation. In reality if it wasn’t for his noggin, the sites would be pretty mediocre…no pizazz, attitude and flair that Moe adds.

Then there’s me. Though you may not think so, but I am the beauty of the sites. I’m the fella that does most of the talking between the two of us. Yes my degree is in IT and I have several years working with networks, servers and all that stuff, but I don’t know jack about programming. Basically if I think something would look cool on the site, I ask Moe if he can do it. Usually his response is…”I don’t know how to do it, but I’ll figure it out.”

Because of the diversity in our skills, personalities, and riding abilities, Moe and I work really well together and that right there is pretty contagious through out the rest of the staff. Priscilla is our women’s advocate and has the ladies always in mind. In fact she’s so into the women on bikes thing that we’re going to be launching something special just for our female readers which will be lead by Priscilla. Oh and she’s gotta be one of the better riders out of the whole crew.

We have Jeremy who is our first recruit, his job was to focus on the 29er side of mountain biking and the fella has delivered and keeps bring more new things to the table. Great rider, awesome photographer and has to be one of the tallest Mexicans I know.

Lance is our newest team member. We like him because of his tattoos. But he’s also a great rider. His Tuesday Brewsday is always fun to read about and I’m learning quite a bit from the fella. We’re actually banking on Lance to place at the race next month. We’re probably going to sponsor the guy to next year to race in a few events.

I can’t forget about Randy, if you haven’t figured it out, he’s my brother. Yeah Randy has to be one of the toughest guys I know. Mr. Freefall is based out of Yuma, Az. The guy jumps out of airplanes all the time and its one of those where they have to wear oxygen masks just so they don’t pass out. Oh yeah, he’s got a pretty impressive bar at his place and I’m sure when he retires from the Army, he can easily become a bar tender.

So there you have it, Diversity via MtnBikeRiders. With the colorful background of our lives, personality, riding ability and knowledge we can easily bring you a very interesting website to check out everyday. What makes us stand out from the rest of the other sites out there is the fact that its not just one guy jibber jabbing about what he thinks, but its a collective effort to bring our readers something more than what their used to.

Sure there are other sites out there that may have pro-racers, better riders, heck some may even know more than we do. But I can tell you this about us, we LOVE what we do and check this out, we do this for fun. None of us are paid to do this. We all have full time jobs, families, kids, dogs and responsibilities like the rest of you.