Monday, March 13, 2023
A Very Yinzer Spring Break
Friday, March 3, 2023
Opinion: No Backhoes in the Backcountry
Monday, February 13, 2023
Flat bars are the new drop bars
I knew exactly what I was doing taking apart my Raceface crankset on my singlespeed gravel bike, but in another very real sense, I had no idea what I was doing. I broke it, and I'm waiting on a new bolt. I swear I'm usually a good mechanic, so I don't know what happened there.
That meant instead of using my Salsa Stormchaser gravel bike with 38x19 gearing, I blasted pavement and gravel all weekend with my 31-pound Karate Monkey mountain bike with 32x16 gearing, and a 140mm fork. Stick calls it "enduro gravel". At least the gear ratio is the same, because maths. You'll see later on there was one road where I was glad I had a mountain bike, and I felt bad for my drop bar frands.
Everything above probably isn't very interesting, but if you keep reading, you can at least see some neat ride pictures and maybe another couple funny bits.
|Picture by professional photographer Rob Cinderblochner|
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Being on the Dark Side
|Ironic that a post about Pittsburgh has a photo from Colorado. But, this is the most inclusive photo I could find, and even this only has a fraction of the people I call friends.|
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Texas actually has some really neat places
I guess it's sort of becoming a tradition of mine to spend the New Years holiday in the desert. Last year, it was Arizbrona bikepacking with Will, and this year, I drove down to Big Bend Texas with my brother to explore some new terrain.
I'll start off by saying that the Big Bend area of southwest Texas is awesome. When I was in Texas back in May, it wasn't exactly my favorite state. Eastern Texas is pretty flat and there really isn't much public land. Plus, driving around Dallas to pick Will up from the airport sort of left a sour taste in my mouth because of all the sprawling suburbs and traffic.
|Looking through an old truck in the desert|
Friday, January 6, 2023
Looking Back and Looking Forward
Monday, December 19, 2022
Friends and bikes and snow
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 8: The End
Sometimes it takes being at the end of something to truly appreciate it. When you're in the moment, it's pretty hard to see the forest for the trees. I think the first time we actually looked back at the trip was in the community center in Hachita, because even though we were still 45 miles from the finish, we knew we had made it. I always sort of hesitated to imagine being done, because I thought if I did, a bike would break or something would happen that would prevent us from finishing. But like I said, in Hachita, I let myself think about the finish. I couldn't possibly be more grateful to have Will as a friend to do this with. I'll save the rest of my ramblings for another post, but even just writing about this really makes me appreciate how fortunate I am. Bikes are fun, y'all.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 7: Cuba to Silver City New Mexico
The Great Divide threw us a few curveballs in this stretch. For one, I got giardia. We also hit tremendously terrible mud just south of Cuba, New Mexico. But, looking back at it, those are the things that add color to the trip. Nothing that takes over six weeks - like our trip did - is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. And I wouldn't want it to be. Anyways, here's a recap of how our trip went. There's gonna be one last chapter and then I'll make a more general, broader overview post. I'll include one of my favorite pictures of the stretch here before I dive into the daily recaps, partly because it's a cool picture and partly because it'll be a good thumbnail picture for Blogger.
|The flash flood creek that we couldn't cross|
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Short Story: Grizzly Bear in Camp in Montana
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 6: Breckenridge to Cuba, NM
The AirBNB was near downtown Breckenridge, so our day started at the base of Boreas Pass Road, where we climbed around 2,000 feet to the pass, which was at 11,400 feet elevation. My brother rode up the climb with us on a mountain bike, and at the top, my parents met us in their car. We said goodbye and rode down the backside of Boreas Pass; the next people we'd see that we knew would be Will's dad and brother at the Mexican border (well, actually, we did see Taz again).
The descent off of Boreas Pass was somewhat chunky and incredibly scenic. It seemed to go on forever, and when we finally reached the bottom, we were met with open plains and miles of fast riding. We had a strong tailwind, and the mix of gravel and pavement saw us averaging over 20mph for quite some time.
About halfway through the day, we got to Hartsel, CO, where we stopped for some lunch. The restaurant was a pleasant surprise, and if I remember correctly, we each got a pretty big burger. I think I even paid a little extra for a buffalo burger.
After Hartsel, we had a little pavement, followed by some pretty nice gravel. An afternoon storm was looming, and before long, the sky was getting dark all around us. Lightning was flashing in the distance, and, wanting to avoid getting struck with lightning, we stopped for a snack and relaxed off the side of the road for maybe half an hour while the storm passed.
We got riding again and gradually made our way uphill. We were met with a great view of the valley overlooking Salida, and we knew we wanted to camp somewhere on the downhill. We checked the maps to see what was private land, and we slowly made our way downhill searching for a camps spot. We found a pretty good spot off the dirt road just a few miles before Salida, so we stopped there for the night.
There was a fox walking around the campground, which was especially funny for me, remembering how much Dicky loved a fox in Breckenridge last year.
Monday, October 24, 2022
Yew Mountain Doozy 2022
|A great view in the WV backcountry|
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Great Divide Chapter 5: Rawlins, WY to Breckenridge
|One of my favorite pictures from the stretch; near Radium, Colorado|
Monday, October 17, 2022
Thuns out guns out (in Mike Tyson voice)
I swear. It's not offensive to Mike Tyson, he designed a shirt himself with that same slogan on it. But also yeth. You really couldn't have asked for a better mid-October weekend; there were blue skies, behks, frands, and some killer dinner (more on that later). Read to the end to see a funny Mike Tyson video and its context.
There was the Iron Cross race on Sunday, and even though I wasn't doing it, my friend Nate was, so he came up to my apartment for the weekend to ride before his race. Then there was also a 50km running race on Sunday in Rothrock which somehow seemed like a good idea for Will to do after only 2 weeks of running training. Actually, it did end up being a good idea for him, but more on that later also.