Thursday, May 31, 2007

Next Up: Laguna Seca

The Earthlings will race again at the 24 Hours of Laguna Seca on Saturday, June 9th. This is a different adventure for us in that it is practically in our backyard here in Northern California.

In the past moth or so, I have largely forsaken my mountain bike for the skinny tired road variety. The idea is that some quality time on the road bike will up my fitness for this event. None of this has won me any respect from my team mates, who call me unspeakable names for not joining them on more fun local trail rides. But what do they know... maybe I really am a weanie.

This is not to say that I have not done some great dirt rides of late. Check out these pictures from our recent ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail. Can you guess which one of us is shown wrecking in this picture?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Moore Fun

Yes, that is the name of the trail: Moore Fun. Apparently, this is in reference to the person who helped forge this trail. On Saturday, Dave, Shannon and I embarked on this aptly named route.

I love riding very technical, slow trails. Getting your bike over and around rocks and obstacles is less about strength and endurance than it is about finesse, concentration and fear management. Sometime a lot of stupid luck helps too. Watching the best riders I know, I've learned body language (throwing your weight around on the bike) can make an impossible section of trail suddenly become rideable.

Or not. At one point on Moore Fun, I looked ahead to inspect the formidable rock pile ahead that was supposedly the trail. I looked up long enough to miss the small-but-big-enough-to-stop-my-front-wheel rock in front of me. So I went hurtling (or is "hurdling" a better description?) over my handlebars. Fortunately, I landed on a rare smooth, soft spot on this otherwise menacing trail and was left unscathed.

At that moment, I could have collided with some sharp rock, absorbed some intense pain and become fairly useless the rest of the ride. But, no, I laughed and kept on my oblivious way down the rest of trail. So it kept being Moore Fun and not Less. See what I mean about stupid luck?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Monkey Wrench Gang’in

While it’s true that often times when filming and/or shooting photographs of yourself and friends riding seemingly steep and/or otherwise precipitous trails, the resulting media doesn’t seem to do the trail and/or riding skills demonstrated justice? Thankfully this action shot of myself in Fruita, CO during the Fat Tire Fest managed to eschew this typically unavoidable cinema graphic fraudulency, and conveys the sickness with which I hit this jump with not only a high degree of accuracy but with a still photographic astonishment that is in a word, prodigious.

In its purely unaltered form, you may see for yourself the staggering awesomeness that I refer to:

However, despite the grandeur of this photographic achievement, I do feel compelled to highlight several possibly non-obvious elements that can only provide clarify to the possible dissonance established by the brain’s skepticism at comprehending just how ill this jump really is.

Allow me to provide you with further details:

Note the distance between each of my two wheels, and further note the presence of an active rock slide not more than 20 feet behind me.

And as final annotative evidence, I would like to elaborate, if only ever so slightly, on the complete spatio-temporal trajectory undertaken by me as I “droped-in” to this somatically treacherous, naturally-formed half-pipe from hell:

You'll notice the severity of the initial drop-in with respect to the near immediate upwards slope that I have launched off of. Please don't hesitate to comment on the ridiculousness of this maneuver if you would like me to pontificate upon it any further.

And yes it is true, that is a single-speed steel Kelly you see me on. I will expound more on my new two-wheeled Pegasus later, once I’ve had time to collect my thoughts and calm myself.