Desert Snow

This past weekend I took my kids and dog to my sister’s house out in the high desert of SoCal to a city called Phelan. We’ve had some crazy weather here and occasionally it will snow where my sister lives. Even though she lives in the desert, the city is about 3500-4000 feet high.

My original plan was to try and build a pump track out there. So I brought shovel and rakes and ofcourse the bike. We stopped off at a cafe, which is next to Wrightwood to take some pictures of the snow. My youngest Aleah has never touched snow, and this provided a perfect time for her to see how it feels.

Here’s the full suspension single speed Woodstock 707.

We then drove into town and pulled over again so the kids can play a bit in the snow. Besides I wanted to ride my bike through it!

Bizarre weather brought so much snow to SoCal.

Here’s Alyssa and Aleah making snow balls to throw at me.

We finally got to my sister’s place. She own a big piece of land…which was free of snow. She gave me free reign to build what ever I wanted related to bikes and dirt. So with the help of my 3 kids and 2 nephews, we dug up the desert ground to try and create a pump track.

After a few hours or digging, shaping and testing, we found that the desert ground was too sandy and wet for the dirt to get packed down. At one point I hit one of the berms then onto a roller, but the roller was too soft, my front wheel dug in and I went over the bars…

I was a little bummed that we couldn’t get it right. But I’m going to come back when the ground is a bit drier and see if it makes a difference. So for now, my pump track dreams are put on hold.

Mountain Biking in the Snow?

Buuurrrrrr. It’s turning out to be a cold winter. And many of you out there are bravin the snow on your bikes! Our very own Randy recently lived in Pennsylvania and he didn’t let the snow get in his way! Check out his “Chillin” post! And feel free to share any of your snow adventures with us! Anyone else out there mountain biking in the snow?

You can read Randy’s post here.

DIY Tire Chains Revisited

When Randy lived in New Cumberland, PA, it would snow there. So he was smart enough to make his own tire chains so he could go riding in the freezing cold.
how to make tire chains, bicycle

You can find out how to make that by clicking HERE.

He even tested his invention and it works! You can read that HERE.
tire chains fro bicycles

Overcoming a serious case of the blah’s….

Well here in Orange County it has been a rough week. Fires ablaze all around us and the air quality has been nothing short of awful. The skies have been filled with smoke and ash all week. My prayers have been with the families that have been threatened and with the firefighters that have been working non stop to protect us all.

Actual pic from one of the California fires….

There’s been no bike riding this week, we’re just lucky to escape any smoke inhalation driving from home to work or home to school. It will still be awhile before the air quality is decent around us even with getting some of these fires under control.

Some of you in other parts of the country have different issues. Maybe it’s the rain? I have friends in Colorado that have already seen their first snow fall! Must be tough to bike in that? So what do you do to keep in biking shape in these circumstances?

We can’t really complain here in California. For the most part these winter months aren’t nearly what the east coast has to put up with. But even so we have our circumstances that keep us off our bikes.

It’s really nice to have some alternatives if acts of nature (or arsonists) are keeping you off your bike. And so might I suggest: Indoor spinning. I am not sure why more guys aren’t doing this?! Ok, so it’s not as fun as riding the trails, I hear that and feel that! But I’ve worked too hard all spring/summer to get where I am at on my bike. No way am I letting the weather ruin all that for me! And neither should you!

You can get an amazing work out on a spin bike. I have read you can burn anywhere from 600-1000 calories an hour on a spin bike depending on how much energy you put into it. If I don’t have a puddle of sweat on the floor after my spin session then I haven’t worked out hard enough. Gross, I know. ;D

Spin is also a great way to improve your biking skills. Maybe you are lacking cardiovascular strength? Are your lungs burning, gasping for air while you’re on the trails? Or maybe like me your legs are just BURINING on your climbs up the hills? Or maybe you poop out way too soon, lacking endurance? Indoor spinning can make a huge difference with all these issues!

I started off at the local gym, two times a week, and within two weeks I saw a huge improvement in my riding. The gym is great if you have an awesome instructor. It’s very motivating and pushes you to work harder. My gym has a mixture of good and not so good instructors. If you come across a lousy one don’t give up! I prefer an instructor that is going to kick my butt in the class though. If I am about to puke at the end of class then you have my stamp of approval! Haha! 🙂

Ok..they aren’t mountain biking, but I bet those bikers near the top of the hill take spin classes!

If you’re fortunate enough I definitely recommend having a quality spin bike in your home. They are pricey though. Another alternative is a trainer. We have one made by Kinetic. These are great also and most often have DVD’s to assist you in your training. All of these are great for these cold winter months. You’ll be back in spring better and stronger than ever if you add this to your winter routine!!! And it will pull you out of the blah’s!