The First Annual, Quarterly Lift Assisted Ride Report, Part I


Cabin sweet Cabin

This past weekend three of us went up to the local mountains for one day doing lift-assisted riding and the second day riding the Santa Ana River Trail (SART). We drove up on a Friday night and stayed at a cabin that had a front porch with full view of the lift we would be riding up on the next day. The bikes got a great spot in the kitchen. Every time I glanced at the bikes that first night I smiled. It’s just one of those things that bikes do to you.


The slopes & lift could be seen from our cabin porch!

Things had changed over the years in our local mountains. Just a few years ago the local mountain lift, Snow Summit, allowed you to bomb down the ski slopes with huge downhill/freeride bikes. But as the years have gone by, the local mountains have banned downhill/freeride bikes as well as riding down the slopes. In the meantime, great XC style & downhill trails developed as alternatives to the straight downhill slopes used by the winter skiers and snowboarders. The only difficulty? The XC and downhill trails are not marked, not on the trail and not on the map.


First ride up to the top: Khoa, Jeremy & JJ

We met up with two other friends when we got to the lifts. The other two guys decided to only join us for one day of riding… the wusses. j/k. 3 of us had never ridden the lifts before. 1 guy had but it was years ago and he spent most of that time on the now forbidden slopes. The last guy did the same lift-assisted riding last summer, so at least it wasn’t totally blind leading the blind. But still, we basically guessed wrong the whole morning.

A paragraph ago I mentioned that there were XC style & downhill trails? Well, all morning, except for maybe a short 1 mile section, we rode downhill style trails. “Rode” may be too generous a term here as you’ll see in the pictures below I did very little “riding” and lot more walking. And as always, the camera never makes the trails look as steep as they actually are.


Jeremy walking


Jeremy walking… some more


Jeremy walking… even more


OK, just so you know it wasn’t just me… Jeremy, Tim & JJ walking

Some random pictures:


Gotta love them lifts

The great thing about walking our bikes is that we get to see things we don’t normally see, like this caterpillar that Tim picked up. Tim nicknamed him the dinosaur caterpillar due to the horns and weird tail.


RL, you like the caterpillar?


Justin hitting the log jump


Justin, adding some flair to the jump


JJ, grinning like a mad man


Justin riding a log, no sweat


Redline Mono 9 & Trek 9.0 ready to hit the trails


Well utilized Honda Ridgeline

Part II, a HUGE lesson learned as things get much better.

Memorial Day Weekend Ride Report

This Memorial Day Weekend Joe, Priscilla, our friend Christine and I did some riding at a couple places. Our first destination was Fontucky to ride the world famous Southridge XC course. What’s great about Fontucky is that this place has a XC course, DH course and a 4X section. Nationals are held here every year and some of the biggest names in the business show up.

Anyhow, Priscilla has been itching to do some races and the last time we were at Fontucky she didn’t like the trail. But since then they’ve carved out some new sections that eliminated the parts that she didn’t like. This trail is pretty fun, but can be brutal…especially if you’re on a single speed. Joe and I macho’d up and both rode our SS rigs.

I’m not going to lie, Joe and I walked up some of the toughest parts of the trails…no shame in that. At the end of the 7 mile course, we played on the 4x track. It’s pretty similar to a BMX track and you have to do allot of pumping much like a pump track…and it comes with some sweet berms!

I love stuff like this so I made a few passes on the track. I’m sure I was going way slower than what some 4x racers ride this thing through, but it was really fun!

Weee!

I made a little video of our adventures at Fontucky…enjoy!

Then on Monday, the three of us decided to meet up at El Moro, its basically the Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach. But as we drove down there, dark clouds were hovering the area. As soon as we got there Joe, who had arrived earlier and was waiting for us, said that the trail was closed due to some rain that occurred last night and early this morning.

It sucked to see this sign…

We were all pretty bummed out, so Joe led our caravan down to Santiago Oaks in Orange/Anaheim Hills.

Once we got there, we geared up and about a mile into the ride, we saw a rider who stopped and was obviously staring at something…a big rattler! From what I’m hearing from other riders, these suckers are coming out all over SoCal to get some warm spring sun…

Pretty eh…this is the view we were treated with.

Here’s a shot of the girls right before we got into some single track.

and Joe doing his “queso” pose.

Today I was riding the new test bike that we have at HQ, the KHS XCT 535. The bike is set up as a mix of XC and trail bike, and so that meant climbing was doable and bombing down trails was a must. Santiago Oaks has some really nice, groomed single track with plenty of technical sections that can and will beat you up if you’re not paying attention. The trail varied in terrain, from hard pack, clay, baby heads 1-2 footer drops and chutes. What’s cool was the XCT 535 was able to handle everything that Santiago Oaks had to dish out.

Priscilla got a new haircut, its cute huh?

Joe and I broke off from the girls just so we can have some extra fun. It felt like we were flying down some of the trails and it was really cool to ride with Joe because I feel like he and I have the same riding style. So that means we were both speeding through some of the hardest parts of the trail. In the shot below, it was pretty gnarly.

Right before it is some single track that has some exposure on the left side. I came around the corner way too fast and looking at where I had to go, I felt like I ran out of options. I braced myself to go over the bars and luckily I sat way back on the XCT 535, so far that it felt like the rear tire was buzzing my butt! I tried to slow down as I entered this section but any time I tried to, my rear wheels would skid and I’d lose control momentarily. I figured, I’ll feather the brakes, but I was still going too fast for comfort. As I pointed the bike exactly where I needed to go, the bike responded, and the suspension was very forgiving…I made it without eating it! Phew! I was so relieved.

When I finally got down, Joe joined me at the bottom and we waited for the girls to show up. But these two riders appeared and Joe and I were doing some trail side commentary. The first guy started loosing control right at the beginning and slid down sideways with one and sometimes both feet on the ground. But the fella made a great recovery and rode through. The second guy came along and he freaked out and held onto his bars while both legs where on the ground trying to slow himself down. Luckily he was able to make it down without getting hurt. So now it was the girls’ turn. They were smart and walked that portion of the trail. I don’t blame them, that section is pretty scary.

So today this bike was pretty much my guardian angel. The KHS XCT 535 is still being reviewed but after today, I have come to realize that this bike is the shiznitz! In other words, it’s wickedly awesome!
khs xct 535

St. Patty’s Day Feast Downhill & Super D Mountain Bike Event

Our buddy David “Crash” Collins of Crash Innovations sent us an announcement of an event he’ll be hosting…

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

• Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, Nevada (a designated IMBA Epic site)
• Super-D & Downhill Racing – Open to the public
• Crash Innovations (presented by)
• Complete event insurance (MCKAY Insurance Co)
• Saturday Night Street Party featuring The “Stoney Curtis Band? and big screen highlights of Saturday’s racing
• Spectator Friendly Courses
• Sponsor owned sections for both Super D & Downhill Courses
• Concessions (food & sponsors, etc.)
• Sponsor announcements with music and more
Racer discounts at local Motels, Hotels and Casinos
• On-site Mechanic support by Stan the Bike Whisperer
• FREE Beginner MTB Clinic taught by World Gold Medalist & National Champion, Doris Matyasovich (Saturday Only) Bike rentals available @ All Mountain Cyclery
• Race Meal Deals throughout the town
• Super cool trophies for all classes / Cash prizes to the elite racers
• Event T-Shirts
• Sponsor Giveaways & Raffles
• Award ceremonies following each day of racing
• Estimated participants both days total = 400
• Mail-in, on-line and same day registration available (All Mountain Cyclery in Boulder City will also have onsite-registration)
• ***Free*** camping (restrooms and showers)
• Race DVD’s available

You can get more info on the Crash Innovations MySpace Account.

Interbike 2007: Gimme LOEKA!!!


I stopped by the Loeka booth at Interbike and was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcomes and friendly faces! Super sweet over there! I am a big Loeka fan after reviewing a couple of thier pieces a few months back. And they are super excited about their new gear for 08!!! I got a few shots of of some of their new stuff. Enjoy!!!

New: Half sleeve jerseys! Yea! Because it gets warm out there! 🙂

Some cool new colors:

And for you rockin downhill girls!!! Downhill gear!!!
Here’s a pair of their downhill shorts:
loeka
The new tech jacket…made to comfortably fit over your gear and helmet.

I am really diggin the plaid this year. 😀

Pinstripes!!!

We have lots more pics in our Flickr account for you to see in the Interbike file. And will they have stuff for guys you ask???? Nope! So sorry guys…I know your jealous! You’re just going to have to settle for dressin up your special lady in their gear. 🙂 Loeka has their new line up on their website – www.LOEKA.com. And if you hurry up they are having a 30% off sale on their 2007 line to make room for the new stuff!!!