Sunday, June 20, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
So Cateye has a new altimeter computer that should now be available at your local bike shop (please support your LBS - the internet can't tune your bike or help you install your new computer!).
I've been playing around with my demo sample, and it's so cool to be able to look down and quickly see your current elevation, the temperature, your total gain, the percent grade you're on, not to mention your speed, countdown distance, etc.
The Adventure (its official handle) utilizes digitally wireless encoded transmission for reliable communication between sensor and head unit, and also features the ClickTec feature found on the Strada line; groovy as the entire computer body functions as the mode button - easy to work as you're riding along.
Initial impression are very good, and I'll update as my time and experience with the Adventure grow. As you may already be aware of, I work for Cateye but try to remain as objective as possible.
However, every once in a while it's nice to have a respite from all the hustle, be among some folks who take life one day at a time, and see more pine trees than yucca plants. Enter Nederland. This is a great mountain town about 2o miles west of Boulder with a vibe of a somewhat-cooler Sandpoint.
A particular bright spot in Ned (as it's locally referred to) is a little coffee shop (that conveniently also sells beer, burritos, and bike tires - no kidding) called Happy Trails. Swell place, great staff, can't wait to go for one of their Sunday mountain rides once the snow melts. Took this pic while enjoying a beer and some Thoreau:
BTW, the Left Hand Sawtooth Ale (what else is a displaced Idaho boy to drink?) was splendid, as was the black bean burrito. Word to the wise: consuming beans at 8,236 feet above sea level won't make you the most popular person on the car ride back home.
In any case, highly recommend a trip to Ned and The Happy Trails Cafe if you're ever in the area!
I haven't quite adjusted to not being able to buy beer and wine at the grocery store, pro-life edition license plates, and having audis, volvos, bmws, bentleys, and mercedeses outnumber fords and chevys on the roads.
The drive down was mostly uneventful with the exception of my Subaru hemorrhaging oil from many leaks. Wasn't sure it would make it the 1,100 miles but it did, and is running like a champ for the time being. Had some oddly beautiful grey skies in Montana near Anaconda:
Spent the night in Billings, apparently Montana's fasting growing city. Not necessarily my kind of town, saw several oil refineries within city limits. Had a feel of pseudo-old oil money about the place, but folks were mostly friendly.
I stopped in Sheridan, Wyoming the second day as my step-mom's father was born there and she had never seen it so grabbed some pictures of main street for her, and a cup of mud for the road. Great little coffee shop, believe the only one in town, that brews drip by using filter paper and a spout. Even spied this bike shop, encouraging for a tumbleweed kind of town in the middle of Wyoming:
Made it to Boulder, and after waiting for the snow to melt from several significant storms, was finally able to hit some singletrack. My first venture was to an area near Lyons called Hall Ranch which features a decent section of rock garden and some good flowing track.
Closer to Boulder is Heil Ranch, good riding for after work:
Barely visible in the above picture are the Flatirons. I also made the trip down to Pueblo to ride out at Pueblo Lake State Park South Shore - certainly worth the drive! You can ride either sinewy singletrack through the sage and cactus, or go hit the 'canyons' and get your technical riding skills going. Really fun in the canyons, lots of shale, rock slabs, a few wooden bridges, but you had better be paying attention or have to deal with some reconstructive dental work. An overview of the area from the parking lot:
Sorry if this entry seems a bit anecdotal but not feeling terribly literal right now, and mainly wanted to get a post up as it's been some time, and felt the need to document recent exploits.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I've been reading some of Henry David Thoreau's essays as of late, and I came across this passage in one of them, 'Walking', that I'd like to share here:
"We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last, just before setting, after a cold gray day, reached a clear stratum in the horizon, and the softest, brightest morning sunlight fell on the dry grass and on the stems of the trees in the opposite horizon, and on the leaves of the shrub-oaks on the hill-side, while our shadows stretched long over the meadow eastward, as if we were the only motes in its beams. It was such a light as we could not have imagined a moment before, and the air also was so warm and serene that nothing was wanting to make a paradise of that meadow. When we reflected that this was not a solitary phenomenon, never to happen again, but that it would happen forever and ever an infinite number of evenings, and cheer and reassure the latest child that walked there, it was more glorious still."
This passage strikes me for a number of reasons. First, it reminds me of a brief moment last evening as I was outside cleaning my bicycle; the setting sun poked through that 'clear stratum' for only a moment, warming and calming the air I was sharing with the trees in my yard.
It also evokes many similar memories that I, and I'm sure many of you, have of those perfect fleeting moments throughout my life - that first ride of the season on perfect singletrack, that early morning run down an untracked ski hill, that last cast of the day to a stubborn rainbow trout rising to everything but my fly, the warming rays of a rising sun after a frigid night sleeping under the stars. Those sacred symbiotic moments that keep us recreating in the wild, an almost tangible connection to natural world around us, as if It allows us temporary membership to the Club.
More striking is the permanence of our existence it assigns to my psyche, knowing that moments like these were experienced and appreciated long before I came into being and will be relished long after I am gone.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
OK, not real timely but who cares, riding pics are riding pics regardless.....right? Anyhow, I was fortunate enough to work a temporary job in Ketchum during the summer of 2008, working for an environmental non-profit group as a recycling coordinator. This afforded me the opportunity to experience some of the valley's great riding.
The singletrack in this area is amazing; one minute you're buzzing through a grove of aspens, the next you're ripping across a sagebrush meadow, back into the pines, long grind up, then top out for spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
I lucked out as the summer of '08 saw an amazing wildflower bloom - the hills were covered in the yellows of arrowleaf balsam root and the purples, lavenders, and white of lupines.