How to customize your mountain bike

fat tire mountain bike single speed

Well there really isn’t a rule on how to do this. But if you’re happy with your component group, then start making some changes on how your bike looks. A lot of people will change out the color of their grips, bars, stem, seat and etc. Changing out those items is a sure fire way to give it a personal touch.

Personally I like to accentuate some of the subtle colors that the bike has. For example, if my frame is orange, but the graphics like the logos are white, then I’d go with a white saddle and grips. If the bars and stem are black, I’d keep it the way it is.

One of my bikes had a pretty blue frame with white letters. So I made sure I got white wheels and a white saddle as well as a white seat collar(eventually).

Titus Rockstar 29er

The Moe followed the same idea with one of his older bikes. At the time there was a tire company called Sweet Skinz that sold these colored tires. They had a variety of designs that could make your bike’s appearance pop.

My newest bike in the stable is all white with black logos. I decided to go with a USA theme with it. I ordered red bars, white grips, blue water bottle cage,  USA flag water bottle and a frame bag that is black and blue. I thought about getting star stickers to make it more patriotic, but I’ll probably do that later on.

Gravity Single Speed Fat Tire moutain bike
I decided to go with a red white and blue theme.
wake best bicycle handle bars
Wake Best Bicycle 780mm bar and short stem.
fat tire bike
White grips
gravity fat tire single speed mountain bike
Though my frame bag doesn’t match my cage…I’m ok with it because not every shade of black on this bike matches with each other…right? I’m going to put my snacks in there!
 Ahren's WiseCracker bottle opener
Last but not least, my Ahren’s WiseCracker bottle opener

So that’s about it…customizing your mountain bike can be as easy as changing out the colors of your accessories. Unless  you get your frame painted or Plasti-Dip it, then you’ll have to work with what you got, and that’s what makes it fun!

Top 50 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get into Mountain Biking

As much as I love mountain biking, I realized there are some pitfalls to the sport. But I found these out AFTER the fact that I started riding. Perhaps if someone told me about them, I may have gotten into bowling or mopeds….ya I can picture…….

With that in mind, don’t get into mountain biking because…

1.Expensive to get into.

2.Parts break all the time.

3.Parts wear out.

4.Flat tires.

5.Throwing up after a climb on your single speed.

6. Sweat.



9.Getting hurt.

10. Ticks.

11. Poison Oak.

12. Bug bites.

13. Moldy water bladder.

14.Walking after your bike breaks down.

15. Driving 50 miles to ride 10 miles.

16.Loss of money.

17. Poor resale value of products.

18.Addicted to mountain biking websites.

19.Always looking out for a good deal.

20. Getting into online fights about what is better, 26,650, 29er.

21. Convincing the wife to let you go riding.

22.Trying to get the girlfriend into riding.

23.Hoping that your kids will become the next world champion.

24. Sweaty balls.

25. Chamois…how come it’s not spelled SHAMMY?

26.Bicycle that cost more than my car.

27.Garage becomes your own personal shop.

28. Can’t decide on which jersey to wear.

29. Cycling socks…you don’t need them. There’s no Sock-Police to tell you that you HAVE to wear them. Just use regular socks.

30. You don’t like people.

31. You don’t like douche bags.

32. You are a douche bag.

33. Racing.

34. Jumps.

35. Rocks.

36. Air shocks.

37. Tubeless tires that leak.

38. Too many types of lube to choose from.

39. XT, XTR,XO,X7,STX,KKK,ABC, BBW,DEORE,RED…too many product lines to remember.

40. Not being able to breathe after a climb.

41. Can’t bunny hop.

42. Can’t wheelie.

43. Can’t change a flat.

44. Can’t fix your bike.

45. No power tools involved when fixing a bike….pssh. mOaR POWaH!!!

46. Garage full of bikes.

47. 1Bed Room Apt full of bikes, no room for furniture.

48. Bike hoarding.

49. Excess parts…you’ll never need that 7speed freewheel again, but you hold on to it just in case!

50. Fun. Yes…it’s too fun.

But don’t you worry, I’m not a Negative Nancy, I did find one reason why you should get into it and it’s probably the main reason why I tell people to try it…and that’s #50…yep, It’s fun! I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a fun time riding with Lady P and my friends. From all the memories of racing, biking trips and the great conversations I’ve had over the years, I simply love mountain biking.

All done…almost!

Ok kids, I now present to you the world famous…BURT REYNOLDS…again!

Here he is in all his glorified glorehh! You like his new bars? Those are the On-One Midge bar. I think I bought the last one since I checked this morning, they were out of stock.
redline d600 burt reynolds

This bar tape you see, it’s the On-One Micro Fiber Bar Tape. Easy to install, comfy on the hands, legit on the looks. The tape it self makes the bike look uber-fierce.
on one bar tape

I say that it’s almost done because I’m having chain skipping issues. Could be the chain I’m using because the line is perfect. Basically what happens is when its on the stand, it works fine. But as soon as I put pressure on the pedals, it skips.

Enduro Stuff: OC Parks Tour 2012

This summer in Orange County, Enduro Stuff held a series of four races in the local country parks, entitle OC Parks Tour, starting at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park, then Santiago Oaks Regional Park, O’Neill Regional Park, and ending at Caspers Wilderness Park. I had not raced any other races put on by Enduro Stuff before, and they did a great job of organizing and running these events. They even held formal pre-rides for riders to come check out the course before the events. Being XC races, I was on my SS for this series.

The first race, held at Aliso Woods, was especially early in the morning on May 5th with a start time of 6:30am. Luckily for me, I live in Aliso Viejo, so the 5 minute drive to the event was the shortest drive ever for me to any race. It was chilly on the line with the sun having just crept above the horizon. The course was a lollipop layout starting with fire-road off the starting line (which was just across the street (Alicia) from the entrance to Laguna-Niguel Regional Park). The fire-road let to the Aliso trail-head bypassing main paved entrance. From there it headed directly to the bottom of Mathis via the main fire-road. Up until that point, the course was relatively flat. Mathis is a major climb ascending about 1000’ft. in 1 mile. The first 25% of the trail is the steepest, and clearing that part is the hardest section of the climb. On the SS is it quite a lung-burner. After the climb, Mathis leads to the ridge-line trail West Ridge. A quick right then and the course head down to Rock-it trail. If you cannot gather or guess from the name, there is a large rock garden in the middle of this trail which is like a big cheese grater. It starts out with nice, tight, and twisty single-track that opens up in the middle with the rock garden and then back to awesome, flowy single-track with a long straight chute out at the bottom. From the bottom of Rock-it, the course made one more loop up Mathis and down Rock-it a second time before returning toward the start/finish the we we came. If Mathis was not hard enough the first time, it surely was the second. I ended up with a 3rd place finish for this race.

Blazing Down Rock-it @ Aliso Woods.
Blazing Down Rock-it @ Aliso Woods.

I missed the second race of the series on July 14th at Santiago Oaks, as I was out of town.

The third race was held at O’Neill Regional Park on Aug 25th. I had never ridden in this park before, so I definitely took advantage of the pre-ride event to familiarize myself with the course. The course had two sections to it, an out-and-back first section to separate and thin out the riders, and then a single-track loop. Starting briefly with some single-track the course quickly led to a river-bed crossing. This section was sandy, rocky, loose and a potential hike if you lost your momentum. I wanted to be the first through this section as to not get bogged down by other riders struggle through or dismounting. Across the River began a short pavement climb to a longer mild upward pavement grade. After about 2 miles or so, we made a U-turn and jumped onto single-track that paralleled the road for the return route.

The first section of the course was pretty straight-forward and uneventful with a few switchbacks at the end, but the looping section of the course is where all the fun (good & bad) was to be had. Passing back through the starting area, the lap began up pavement for a few hundred yards before jogging left and onto single-track. A mild climb led to a quick single-track descent, with a quick turn at the bottom where too much speed could be troublesome. From there the course headed a pavement climb that was steep enough to be tough, at for me with each recurring lap on the single-speed. At the top of the pavement a double-track trail continues the upward grind. After quick descent the trail hit the steepest section and was just barely cleanable for me with only one gear. Shortly after this section the trail reaches it peak and a single-track drops off to the left. This is the major descent of the loop and it is fast, fun, and twisty. This was by far my favorite portion of the course. At the bottom it spits out to a pavement section that led generally down toward more laps or the finish line. I completed this race with a 5th place finish.

Cresting the biggest climb @ O'Niell.
Cresting the biggest climb @ O’Niell.

The fourth and final race of the series was held on Novemeber 3rd at Caspers Wilderness Park in the San Juan foothills. It was a chilly 43 degrees (F) upon driving up to the race venue and slowly warmed up into gorgeous racing weather. The course was simple one and consisted of a short loop and a long loop branching off of the same climb. Out of the gate the course started on pavement for a bit then headed to a left and began an undulating climb of varying grades. For the short course, a quick left down the hill over some loose dirt led quickly down to a lower rolling fire-road which headed back to the start for then next lap. The long loop passed the turn for the short loop and continued the climbing. At the top of the long loop, a FAST fire road descent lead down to the same lower road, but another mile or so out. I finished this race in 2nd place.

Flying down a fireroad @ Caspers.
Flying down a fireroad @ Caspers.

With three out of four races completed I ended in second place overall for the series. This series was unique in the it was held solely in local Orange County parks, and made great use of the available trails. The events had a great atmosphere and weas well enjoyed by the racers. Ron ,the head of Enduro Stuff, made sure to choose courses that were spectator friendly and fun for the racers. Post-race each event had food available and a raffle (in which I won a new light). Being a newer race series for the area the attendance was reasonable, but not overwhelming. In other words, if you have not been to or raced at one of these events, there is room for you!

OC Parks Tour Series Results Podium
OC Parks Tour Series Results Podium

Special thanks to Called to Creation, local MTB photog, for all the photos above. You can view more MTB photos from all the these races and other events as well on his site.

Demo Rides: Trek Superfly Al and Niner S.I.R. 9

A couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to drop by the Paul’s Ride for Life event, which centers around a charity ride that raises money for life-saving organ transplants. While I found out about it too late to join in the ride (which seems like it might be a cool thing to do next year), there was also a Cyclefest event sponsored by a local shop, the Bike Lane. As part of that, there were not only tables and booths for cool local organizations like MORE and FABB (join one or both if you’re in the area!), but demo bikes on hand from Niner, Felt, and Trek. I got to try out the Trek Superfly Al (geared) and the Niner S.I.R. 9 (singlespeed) for a few minutes each.

I tried the Niner first, and man… it was a fun bike! You can probably trust the word of a man who owns one more than mine, but in the few minutes I got to tool around on it I was very impressed. The geometry felt really natural – the bike was responsive without being twitchy – and it didn’t feel too hefty despite the steel frame (853 Reynolds, for those who might be wondering!).

Niner S.I.R. 9

When I got on the Trek, I noticed immediately that it had a different approach than the playful Niner. The Superfly (in all editions) is billed as a race-oriented XC bike, and it shows in how it rides and handles. It was a nice bike, but I didn’t really get that grin on my face that I look for when testing a bike out. To be fair to Trek, part of this may have been because the brakes on my test bike were REALLY dirty and noisy, so I was distracted by that for much of my ride.

Trek Superfly Al

This was my first real experience testing out multiple bikes at a demo event (I was supposed to have a 2nd a couple days ago, but it got rained out), and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure many of you do this when you can, but I’d encourage everyone to attend demos when possible – it’s an easy way to check out one or several bikes fairly quickly, whether you’re looking for a new ride or not!

Back to basicSS

A few years ago I was bit by the Single Speed bug. I loved it for the time being, but I gradually moved away from it and back into multi-geared bikes. I have to admit, when I was riding SS, I had so much fun and felt like I was in some great climbing shape.

With the Winter Series coming up in 2012, I need to get into some sort of shape other than round. So I took my Soma Double Cross DC and reconfigured it from a 27 speed, flat bar CX to a single speed with drop bars. One of the concerns I had was figuring out what gearing to use since my single speeds of the past were 26″ bikes. With the Soma having 700c the gearing would be different because of them larger diameter wheels. So I called on some of the 29er SS riders I knew and asked them what set up I should go with on the bike.

I placed an order for some parts and gathered up some of the my older stuff from my old SS bike and configured the Soma to what you see it today. 32t in the front and 20t in the back with a Yess Pro tensioner.

The biggest change for me was the drop bars. It’s going to take some time getting used to since my time on drop bars is pretty scarce. Check out the new bar tape I used, its from Fyxation and its called the EVA Foam Bar Tape.

I went out for a ride this morning and I gotta say the 20t in the rear makes climbing easy, but the flats is where I spin out.

RR: Rwanda 50mi SSufferfest

This Saturday, April 30th was the Project Rwanda ride. This a ride to raise money for Project Rwanda, and they provide bikes for those in Rwanda to be able to transports agricultural produce. According to their website:

Project Rwanda is committed to furthering the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope. Our goal is use the bike to help boost the Rwandan economy as well as re-brand Rwanda as a beautiful and safe place to do business and visit freely.

Rwanda Bike
An example of the bikes proovided by people by Project Rwanda.

They sell tons of raffle tickets, and will give away a carbon bike as the grand prize, as well as lots of smaller items. There are two ride options available for those who want to participate, 25 miles and 50 miles. Somewhere in my confused brain I thought, “I’ve done 25 mile ride before, why don’t I do the 50”. Needless to say I am now paying the penalty for that decision. From what I heard they were expecting around 600 riders for the day. The 50 mile ride started at 7:00am and the 25 at 9:00am. When I arrived at Cook’s Corner early due to limited parking for the start of the race, the wind was absolutely howling. I prepped the bike and stayed in the car out of the wind. There wasn’t a good area to spin and warm up, plus 50 mile is plenty of time to warm up, so I waited till the last minute jump on the bike and spin a little bit.

Riders begining to line up at the start.
Riders begining to line up at the start.

After some brief comments by one of the ride organizers, he finished by stating, “You have now officially started.” It took a few moments for those at the very front that this meant GO! This was a mass start so even near the middle of the pack it took a minute before I even started moving. The first section of the course followed part of the Aliso Creek bike trail (which is paved). This was just downhill enough that there was no point in pedaling on the single speed. Next was the first turn onto dirt and riders were backing up trying to get into single file for the single track. This section headed into the Whiting Ranch for a small loop. After a quick climb the trail headed down and out of Whiting on single track. With SO many riders so densely packed, this was the absolute slowest I had ever ridden through Whiting. At every water crossing, there were at least five riders who would stop for some unknown reason. I never did figure out why so many riders seemed to have a water phobia on this ride. This fear of water continued throughout the entire ride and only got worse as the water crossings got bigger and deeper.

Riders coming through Whiting.  ~photo credit Gene from Warriors Society.
Riders coming through Whiting. ~photo credit Gene from Warriors Society.

Once out of Whiting we headed back toward Cook Corner’s and on to O’Neil via Live Oak Canyon. This was a fairly easy stretch, but had some good climbs. The first aid station I knew was around the 12mi marker, although at this point it felt like I was past 12mi, it was probably only 8-10mi. By this point the riders were starting to thin out a little bit, but the hardest part for me, being on the single speed, was the single track climbs. All the geared riders would immediately drop into granny up the hills and spin away, not climbing very quickly. I, however, had to stand and crank on the pedals to get up the hill, but it was even harder to do it at a slow pace. By this point I was beyond the brief 10-15% of the course I had actually ridden before, and everything was going to be new to me. So I pulled over for a quick snack. I had checked with another rider before the race who does a good amount of endurance riding and was informed that your body is only capable of making us of approximately 250 calories and 24oz of water per hour. Based on that info I had loaded my pack accordingly with GU gels, Cliff Bars, Gatorade, GU chews, orange slices, and a peanut butter & honey sandwich (for the home stretch). I ate one of my oranges, chugged some Gatorade and took off again.

As I continued to head on I scaled back my pace a bit to make sure I wouldn’t run out of steam too soon. This section was mainly rolling fire-road and a little bit of pavement till I hit the first aid station. The aid stations had plenty of extra water, Gatorade, snack bars, as well as fresh oranges and bananas. I downed a couple a bananas, a bottle of Gatorade, a shot of GU, and a bag of chips. The aid station was near a set of restrooms, which I made use of while they were available and because I had already had to stop once and answer the call of nature. The though did cross my mind at this point, if this is only 25% of the course, how am I going to finish. After the brief rest, I was feeling good and headed out. Once past the first aid station the riders definitely began to thin out. After about 10-15 minutes I began to feel the benefits of the food I had consumed and kept on spinning. Not far out past the aid station I hit some pavement as the course wound away from the dirt and through a few intersections. In just a few miles I came upon the second aid station. I only stopped long enough to grab a few Cliff Bars and down another bottle of Gatorade and kept pedaling. I’m sure I probably was not eating quite enough as I should, but my stomach is not very forgiving when it comes to mixing food with strenuous exercise.

Dove Canyon Aid Station ~photo credit Gene from Warrior's Society
Dove Canyon Aid Station ~photo credit Gene from Warrior's Society

I was already in unfamiliar territory by this point. All the dirt was new to me, and I had to start keeping an eye out for the trail markers as not every turn had someone pointing in the right directions and no large groups of riders to follow. After some downhill section which I knew would be tough on the way back I came across several water crossings and each seemingly followed by sand pits. And just like before there were riders who didn’t know how to attack the crossings. The water on the deepest crossings was only about 12-18”in. My fee didn’t even get wet till the third one. The sand coming out of the water was pretty deep. A lot of riders ahead had given up and were just walking through. I pedaled through most of them, but 2/3 of the way through the biggest sand pit, my front wheel sunk in and I was done in with it. A quick hike a bike out of the sand let to trail through the river bottom that was just painful at this point. All of the little river rocks were just chattering me to death.

Rolling hills and deserted fire-road came and went for several miles as I tried one by one to pick off the isolated riders ahead of me. In one section I came charging down a fire-road only to find a off-camber left turn at the bottom with a large rain rut on the outside of the turn. I quickly tried to lose as much speed as possible before I made a fatal mistake and ended up going OTB. Just as my front tire slid into the rut I had gotten my speed under control and was able to keep rolling through the rut without going over the bars. There were constant reminders that MTB’ers were not the only ones to use these trails as evidence of horses was more than abundant. After a bit of trail that was more down than up I rolled up on pavement and third aid station situated just past the halfway point.

As I sat resting in the shade at the aid station I contemplated how much energy I really had left. It felt like I had used up 75% on the first 50% of the mileage. More bananas, oranges, and a cliff bar quickly were eaten while I chatted with some of the other riders from which I found out that there was a big climb out of where we were back in the other directions. I took a little longer rest knowing that the first thing out of the gate was another big climb. There were guys at the rest stop cleaning and lubing chains, so I took advantage of that while I rested and ate. I was not really watching the clock on my rest, but quickly enough I reached a point where I realized that I was only postponing the inevitable and further rest would not be of any benefit.

I headed out to face the pain of the final half of my journey. Just like I had been told shortly after the aid station there was a long grind. The first bit of it was not too steep and I slowly conquered it. The last section got fairly steep and I ramped up what speed I could and made it about halfway up before I spun out and lost my momentum. A quick HAB up the remaining climb, I then headed back through the rolling hills that led to the sand and water crossings. After the final water crossing there is a significant climb, but all the riders ahead of me stopped to clean their bike in the middle of the trail at the foot of the climb. On the single-speed this just sucks, as momentum is your best friend. I ended up having to attack the hill in sections, stopping for air several times. This just depleted what remaining energy I had, and in the 35-40 mile range I was really SSuffering. I was starting to get cramps in both legs, and when I straightened my legs they cramped up badly and wanted to stay that way. About the only thing keeping me moving forward was sheer stubbornness and unwilling to give up. I was definitely slowing down and other geared riders were passing me. I came across some covered benches and took a few minutes to rest.

I got back on the bike and continued on at what felt like a snail’s pace, but I was still riding. After a while I came upon a group and riders and used them to pace me and chatted with them along the way. After a while things were starting to look familiar and I realized we were quickly approaching the second aid station on the return route. With that glimmer of hope, I had a small resurgence of energy and pulled ahead of the small group I had been pacing with. The aid station was down in supplies to mainly water and a few granola bars which I passed on. Finding a spot in the shade to rest, I finished off my remaining fruit as well as my sandwich. I still had a good amount of water remaining, so once my food was eaten there was no point in further rest. From the aid station it was pavement for a bit, so even on the mild uphill, it was fairly easy even in my tired state. Soon enough I found dirt and generally gravity was in my favor as I headed back passed the first aid station toward O’Neil Park.

I came through the pavement section of O’Neil and began the last major climb of the ride. I was so spent I had to break it up in to section again stopping every hundred yards or so. By the top of the climb it had gotten too steep to ride. I hiked the remaining bit of the climb and the cramps returned only much worse this time. I made it to the top of the climb and the last hard climb was over. With every pedal stroke my legs wanted to lock up whenever they straightened. The cramps were bad, but I was not about to quit this close to the end. I was on the home stretch, and I could virtually see the finish line. That alone was enough to give me the burst of energy I needed to finish strong. Up the final climb at Live Oak Canyon, and down the hill back to El Toro and Cook’s Corner where the finish line was. It felt good to be done!! I had never done a ride of this caliber before, let alone on a single-speed. 50 miles is a long way, and this was an awesome but painful ride.

Riding with racers

So I had the rare fortune to ride with a couple of local heros Monday afternoon. I got to ride with Mark “the Polish” Hammer and Dan “Super B” Burdett. Both Mark and Dan are great riders and all around good guys to hang with. I know that there is a certain “air” that comes with being a celebrity and a local hero but with these guys none of that is apparent on the surface, what you see is what you get; on our ride I even witnessed these guys speaking with the common trail user!

You can read more about:
Dan Super B HERE
The Polish Hammer HERE

We set out Monday afternoon at one of our favorite trails, Marshall canyon. With all the recent rain, we weren’t real sure what to expect but we had a hunch. Our hunch proved to be correct and the trail was pretty beat up but totally ridable. We were warned up front about a huge mud hole that would sink bike and rider up to 10 inches. We found the mud hole but there was a work around, no problem. We did however discover sections of the trail that were totally wiped out (just plain gone), down trees and more water flowing down the numerous water crossings than I have ever seen.

The Day was beautiful and it seems others shared the same sentiment as I. We ran in to numerous other trail users, horses, bike riders, hikers, basically the usual for Marshall Canyon. The trail was not crowded and everyone ended the day safe and no real mechanicals other than Mark losing a little air from his rear tire, a Specy S-Works Fast Trak 2Bliss set up. you guessed it, tubeless with Stan’s. These tires seem to be pretty vulnerable on the side walls as we have both experienced small tares that happen more easily than they should.

Mark @ Marshall
Here is Mark charging the last hill of our climb.

We decided to make this a Single Speed only ride and boy did I pay for it, Dan and I were on 29ers and Mark was on a 69er. For one, I have not been riding after having the “big V” in November and secondly, I chose to ride with 2 of the team racers from the site. They were accommodating to say the least but I could sense they were chomping at the bit to be set free of shackle they called me.

Dan Super B charging the last hill of the day.

Team riders were set free….
We worked our way up to a mid-point rest spot that includes a comfy old bench, plenty of tree cover and flowing water, lots of flowing water. From there, 3 options are available to ride not including turning around and heading down hill.
1) Climb to a fire road, back down single track to climb again and back down more single track, to the car
2) Climb to a fire road, turn around come back down, climb again and back down more single track, to the car
3) Climb to a fire road,down some single track and to the car

I chose #3 and waited at the top of the last descent while Mark and Dan chose #1, they were finally set free of their buddy and bike anchor! When they finally met up with me after climbing a ton in only a couple of miles, Dan says to us after resting a few seconds “the feeling like I’m gonna puke is starting to go away” — Ya, I’m not ready for that feeling just yet after being off any bike for 6 weeks.

Gotta LOVE Marshall Canyon….it’s absolutely beautiful

Dead Bird
This was me at the end of our ride….another victim of Marshall Canyon

We had a great time and ended up very muddy….but this was totally expected and this is why we ride…good times!

Shimano Winter Series: Finals by Eric Hunner

RL Policar-The Animal has been a great asset to the team and continues to deliver great results in each race. Read his report below and enjoy his race experience for yourself.

I had a great day to say the least. I arrived early in the morning at Southridge to get settled in, I got myself registered for the 34 & under Single Speed class, started the fire in the old school portable Coleman fire pit, ate a tasty ham sandwich for breakfast, followed up by some Sportlegs and Gatorade one Power Bar.

I started off on my pre-ride with very little pressure, I was on time to the event, my bike was dialed in from the Pow Wow event two weeks prior, the dirt and sweat still on the bike from that 44 mile event, I didn’t want to disturb the bike it was working just fine, and the course was in perfect condition for racing all the new sections had settled in. On my preride of the course I stopped and put down two Hammer Gels-Apple Cinnamon best flavor if you like sweets, and one banana.

On the back stretch of the preride which is mostly flat, I practiced my one leg high speed cadence pedaling, and the switch over to the other leg that was resting while other one was working. Single speeds don’t have to be slow on the flats just start pedaling like a crazy person. In my case sprinting with two heavy legs at 150 cadence on 32×20 gearing with 26″ wheels doesn’t make sense to be spinning all the excess weight, give a leg a break and let one do the work. You may be thinking how did I come up with this, in the past I have had many crank arm failures, even snapping a crank arm off six miles from the truck. The bike still rolled, so why walk? Pedal what you can with one leg I thought. I threw the broken arm in my bag and gave it a shot, it worked. Now years later I am using my one leg pedaling to keep up with or pass other racers with or without gears in the flats, during the race I was pedaling up to 21 mph on 32×20 gearing with the cadence as high as 165.

Let me get to the race, we had a large turn out for the SS class this final round at the SRC Winter Series, all the usual suspects were here in attendance David Sanderson, Adam Spik, Rod Leveque, and myself all battling for the overall Shimano Winter Series points for SS 34& under X-Country. We started the race and I surprised myself being able to hold on to fourth position out of the thirteen SS racers with gearing choice. I put my head down and started grinding away at the water tower hill, I kept hearing “Go get’em Mike”. Mike was in the 35 & up SS class, he set a good pace he pulled away at top of the hill putting me in fifth position. I didn’t want to lose any more positions so I kept up the pace with Mike Brauns, we went back and fourth all race. On the second lap riding into the aid station RL tells me I am in the lead position [in my class] and to keep it up. RL then runs up the hill and noticed I was sprinting with one foot, he asks me if I was OK, “I am doing just fine”. I had not showed RL my trick yet. Later on the second lap, out in the back section Mike says, “You are killing me, I am trying to stay up with you” I replied about my gearing being 32×20 he said,” I am running that too” I said on 26″ wheels. Mike then said,”I am on a 29er, you must be spinning like crazy”.

Mike Brauns & I at the finish

We headed for the finish line a few miles away and I think Mike saw my one foot pedal action on the flats, I caught up to a geared bike about to hit the last rocky hill before the finish and see him slow down from a distance and change gears heading for the path on the right, I just aim for the middle and powered down until the rocks claimed my momentum. I jump off and put my new Shimano SH-M182 Cleats to work digging the the toe spike in between the rocks looking for traction and ran past three people tied up in the rocks. I then have only two things on my mind the last half mile to the finish ‘Don’t fall & Don’t Flat’ I made though to the finish in 59min 35 seconds good for First place in the 34 & under class.

Eric and Rod L.

Eric, Adam and David
I ended the Winter Series on a high with First place and Second overall in points to Rod Leveque, Adam and teammate David tied for points.

Podium for overall results.

I had a great time in this Winter Series due to the camaraderie of the other racers David Sanderson, Adam Spik, Rod Leveque, Mike Brauns, and Jon Fugitt. Another big Thank You to Team for the support, pictures, gear (Evomo Clothing, Ergon USA, Hoss MTB and, and the great food after each race. Good Times…