Tuesday, July 31, 2007

24 Hours of Killington

Tough course, TONS of climbing, superslickrootyrocky downhills that were anything but fast. Slippy slot-in lines with some DEEP mud, boardwalks with 'S-turns' built in, a few drops... Laird did a great job, we got almost no rain during the race even though it threatened pretty severely.

Great course. If you liked the Big Bear course, the Killington course would knock your socks off! That's JoFo on the right, bringing it home in the last mile of the course on our last lap (his 6th!).

More later. Oh yeah, we won. 1st Expert, 1st Overall. Not sure exactly where we are for the overall points (whether it's locked up or not) but this helps, for sure. Thanks Kent 'Chewbaake' Baake, MattyD and JoFo 'Mr 6th Lap.'

Friday, July 20, 2007

08 Specialized - Back from Salt Lake

Hey all! I'm back!


I spent a few days with the best and brightest at Specialized out in Salt Lake City. Boy is there a lot of new product!

On the right, we have the new Enduro in kandy korn color. I love it. Just like a Fender Strat. On the left, we have the re-designed stump fsr. Good color. It seems like there is a lot going on color-wise with the mountain bikes. I really like it. Look for the 08 stuff to be pretty exciting-looking. I complemented the designer. It's about time.

Bottom-left is Lars, taking a bite out of the new 120mm FutureShock fork from Specialized. 1 1/8" upper steerer, 1.5" lower bearing. 3.2lbs at almost 5" of travel. It's the same internals (almost) as the rear shock. It rides pretty well. There's no travel adjust (I don't mind) which helps keep the weight down. It's a real weight on that Sworks Stump FSR at 23.5lbs. And the bike is STIFF! I've been riding the 06 version and there is a difference that I actually noticed.

I REALLY like the new Captain tire. Ned said that he wanted a little more volume in the 2.0 size casing (as do I) but we'll probably see a 2.1 or 2.2 before they redesign that 2.0. It rides better than the new 2.3 Eskar tire, if you ask me. The Captain has three rows of knobs (side to side) where the Eskar has a lower set of lugs and only two rows.

We rode up at Deer Valley above Salt Lake. Good trails, not too challenging. There were a few skinnies and drops and one big, slow teeter-totter that I almost went face-first into behind Lars. It dropped SLOW! It gave me some ideas for stuff we might be able to do at Patapsco. I managed to ride an 8' long 4x4, mid-trail on all the bikes I rode. The upper part of the trails were fast, super-loose and fun. Dropping the shoulder on some of those berms tested my will. I only went down once, into a stand of trees when the front wheel let loose on a little left-hander-'S'-turn on the Enduro. Medium speed, I'm ok, don't worry...

I managed to be sitting at the top of the mountain collecting my demo bike when Eric Johnson from FL came off the lift. He rolled down the ramp and leaned right. Both tires came out from under him and he broke his ankle. He was laying flat on his back and his foot was pointing 90 degrees to the right. 'Severe angulation' was what the EMT said. After laughing REALLY HARD at him when he fell, I apologized and waited with him until they evacuated him down the mountain. I even helped pick his 6'2" 210lb arse off the ground into the 6-wheeler. Pins, plates and surgery awaited him on Wed. Get well...

As I mentioned before, there is a new rocker-link design of the Stumpjumper FSR bikes. Also, the 29'er Stump FSR (103mm travel) bike is out. Little brother of Enduro is the Pitch (heavier, cheaper, single-crown, rad), WAY more carbon bikes, new saddles, tires, helmets, shoes... wow.

Finally, bottom right is Lars, waiting for a way down the mountain after we were left by the shuttle bus. We were too busy waiting with 'Mr Broken Leg' Johnson at the top of the mountain.

Here are some pics. I got to ride the new SL2 road bike at 14.5lbs (stock, w/pedals) and it's nice. Duh. It should be for around $8k. The new stump fsr bikes ride great as well. Just more fun.

Here are some pics from the event. I spent more time looking at stuff and talking to people than taking pics. This is my fourth (?) year at this event with Specialized and it's better than Reno. Next year is at Copper in Colorado. That's good.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Pics of Dead Lewis and Clark

Pictures From the Morgue: Lewis and Clark

Thanks to Eric. It looks MUCH better now...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lewis and Clark is Dead

All the stuff that we have come to know and love is gone from the Norris Ln/Lewis and Clark trail at Patapsco.

Please sign the petition. Please.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thanks! 100 Signatures and Growing for Patapsco!

Thanks to everyone for signing the online petition to support the Skills Area at Patapsco. Please continue to forward it around and share with your friends. There are over 100 signatures already in two days! I'd LOVE to see a few thousand by the time we are done.

Thanks again.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dammit Specialized!

Ok, I'm upset. I've seen the 08 Stump FSR Carbon Sworks bike. New Spec'd fork, new rocker-link design (as seen in earlier spy photos) and lighter weight at 120mm.


Claimed weight is 23.2 out of the box. It's probably closer to 24lbs, but for a 5" travel bike, that's HUGE! I guess I'm getting a new bike this year. Well, in Jan/Feb when these are available.

I'm assuming that the fork will work as well as the Enduro SL fork. With matching internals from the rear shock, it should be really nice.

I'll be on the bikes on Tuesday next so I'll try to post up a full report.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

PVSP Petition Up and Running

I've had some time this morning to look at the petition and who has signed it? None other than Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and all-around good guy Ned Overend. I emailed a copy of the petition to Ned and I know it's him cuz I can see his email address on the admin side of the petition signatories.

Yeah Ned! I'll be seeing him in Salt Lake City for the Spec'd 08 product launch. I'll be throwing him a HUGE, embarrassing 'Thank You' fo sho.

This is a pic of Ned riding one of the skinnies at Patapsco at the area in question last year.

Patapsco Skills Area Petition

I'm going to be bugging everyone in the world about this shortly.


I want to try to drum up some support for a legal, responsible, well-designed, fun to ride, natural surface replacement for Lewis and Clarke. I've written stuff on this blog about the ongoing situation at Patapsco regarding those jumps and skinnies and this is the next step. It's the reason I'm up so damn late posting. I should be asleep.

Please send this link along to your friends who ride and those who don't. I think there are some real problems in the DNR regarding the disconnect between the public and the bureaucracy as well as between the staff at the park and the Resource Planning staff in Annapolis. I've been stuck in the middle of it with MORE and Jeff and Eric for the last few years and it stinks. There are a few great people, but things aren't working right.

Please send me email if you have questions or post comments if you have questions.

Here's hoping this democracy stuff works...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bush Humor

From my bro-in-law:

While visiting India, George Bush is invited to tea with Indian President Abdul Kalam. He asks Kalam what his leadership philosophy is. He replies that, it is to surround himself with intelligent people. Bush asks how he knows if they're intelligent. "I do so by asking them the right questions," says Kalam. "Allow me to demonstrate."

Bush watches as Kalam phones Manmohan Singh (Indian Prime Minister) and says, "Mr. Prime Minister, please answer this question: your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or sister. Who is it?" Manmohan immediately responds, "It's me, Sir !" "Correct. Thank you and good-bye" says Kalam. He hangs up and says, "Did you get that, Mr. Bush?" Bush nods: "Yes Mr. President. Thanks a lot. I'll definitely be using that!"

Bush, upon returning to Washington, decides he'd better put Condoleeza Rice to the test.

Bush summons her to the White House and says, "Condoleeza, I wonder if you can answer a question for me."

"Why, of course, sir. What's on your mind?"

Bush poses the question: "Uhh, your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Rice was puzzled and finally asks, "Can I think about it and get back to you?" Bush agrees, and Rice leaves.

Rice immediately calls a meeting of senior senators, and they puzzle over the question for several hours, but nobody can come up with an answer. Finally, in desperation, Rice calls Colin Powell and explains the problem.

"Mr. Powell, your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Powell answers immediately, "It's me, of course."

Much relieved, Rice rushes back to the White House, finds George Bush, and exclaims, "I know the answer, sir! I know who it is! It's our own Colin Powell!"

And Bush replies in disgust, "Wrong, it's Manmohan Singh!"

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