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The only place to stay current on the latest manic ramblings from Lakewood, Colorado.

Rudy Project, the exclusive eyewear of A2B

Saturday, April 30, 2011

TEN MINUTES FROM HOME, UNLESS I HIT THE RED LIGHT....


I'll try and follow up on all this later, but this don't exactly suck, imagine if you will Boneyard with short, punchy technical sections that's about twice as long, and wallah, you've got a portion of Hall Ranch just outside of Lyons, park downtown and ride up to the entrance and then get ready for some killer riding. My dome camera went dead before the descent back to town, we'll get that rolling next week sometime, cause I'll be back, often, and it's reeeeal good.

Friday, April 29, 2011

10 MINUTES FROM HOME? WTF?

I've heard about the place nine million times, Hall Ranch, never rode it, never needed to. So today I met Jenn up there after she got done working and we rode the place. And the entire ride I'm like WTF? And it's ten minutes from where we live. The trail is very similar to stuff I've ridden at Buffalo Creek, ground up granite "sand" and incredible riding. I guess there is way more of this stuff to come. There were literally hundreds of dear up there, which we had to stop for, and a climb and descent that have a bit of everything, I actually had to pay attention for a change. Perfect, there is life after Roxie. Looks like I'll be keeping the mountain bikes close at hand after all, and often.



Western Kansas indeed, with Oskar Blues Brewery right at the bottom of the ride, I hate when that happens.

SHORT TRACK RETURNS TO EAGLE COUNTY

Ross Holbrook (Boulder Cyclesport) sets pace for the lead group in the expert field Wednesday night in Eagle, Colorado as the Vail Rec District Short Track series got underway under clear and cool skies. Tyler Eaton held on for as long as he could finishing third while Damien Fraser (Yeti's Grind) absolutely buried himself to hang with Holbrook, attacked very late and held on by a half wheel for a sprint finish win....good stuff

Monday, April 25, 2011

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER?

KAPPIUS AND ANDERSON DOMINATE VOODOO FIRE AT PUEBLO LAKE STATE PARK

The Rocky Mountain Endurance series kicked off on Saturday at Pueblo Lake State Park with huge fields lining it up to race the 35 or 69 mile races. The half Marathon was taken by Gretchen Reeves on the women's side and the men's race was super got at the front with Brian Alders, Mark Legg Compton and Jay Henry all together after lap one, just 30 seconds separated all three racers at the finish, with Alder taking the win, Compton second, and Henry third as he tunes up for the Whiskey 50. The full Marathon was a dead heat after 46 miles but Brady Kappius was able to separate on the final technical descent and take the victory. Sari Anderson absolutely dominated the women's field winning by nearly 50 minutes on the 69 mile circuit. If you have never ridden at Pueblo Lake State Park, get down there and check it out, it's the fastest 40 miles of single track you will ever ride, for real.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

MY RESPONSE TO THE RESPONDERS...

First of all let's get this straight, you, (anonymous), have always been welcome to post your comments on this blog in response to whatever I choose to ramble about in a whimsical whim of rant or rave. I welcome the body punches thrown back my way, and to the contrary, any post which induces a response of thrashing desires towards me is a good post, not a bad post, because it has clearly touched a sore spot which needs to be addressed by the locale. So, back to the point. I am planning a return to Eagle one day to run for Mayor (not really), on the platform of "More Fun and Less Taxes". You may think this funny, and that I'm an idiot, which is fine with me, because I am at times. But if the town were to take this simple platform for itself seriously, it could make it. That town's main attraction is fun, not shopping. Get the people there to have fun and the rest will take care of it for itself. I tried, not many cared. The above picture is taken from BLM Land in Pueblo Lake State Park, this trail rolls like this for 40 miles (you can see it climbing the rolling hills in the back ground), it brings people to Pueblo, a place I would not even think about going unless this was there. The race this weekend brought hundreds (if not a thousand) of people to town for the weekend. They all camped, ate meals in town (all though our choice turned out to be a ill fated), and had one hell of a time riding their mountain bikes there, it was FUN. The likes of Jay Henry, Paul Gorbold, Ryan Cantrell, Pam Davis and many other Eagle County residents as well as Gretchen Reeves, Sari Anderson and even Chris Carmichael came to PUEBLO to race, and I was there working, making money. There was a smaller event there the weekend before, they are getting it, and so is the BLM in that region. This race was held on STATE PARK grounds for crying out loud. That would be like doing a mountain bike race up at Sylvan Lake State Park around the lake, headin up Sneave Gulch, going up McKenzie Gulch and then coming back to Sylvan Lake for the finish, IT'S A STATE PARK, just like Lake Pueblo.

With that said, I AM thankful to those who supported and helped what I was trying to do there. People like John Shipp and John Mac who made the short track series happen last year. The sponsors and the the people who stuck around to help with tearing down courses, I am thankful for that, you are a bunch of good blokes. And I'm glad that the Vail Rec District has decided to keep the series going and I'm more than glad to help. But why did'nt the town of Eagle step up to help promote the series? They knew about it, and sat silent. You would think they would jump on board to help make this happen, but instead it falls on silent ears. The races in Eagle are actually held on Eagle County grounds, so hail to them for the use of the facility and the grounds. 
What does this have to do with empty store fronts and tax base problems in Eagle Ranch and Eagle? GET THE PEOPLE THERE TO SPEND MONEY, you have an endless resource of FUN there, use it and promote it, GET PEOPLE TO COME THERE instead of driving by on the way to Fruita and Moab to do what is already in place. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. 
In the meantime, I will continue to dwell in Western Kansas, it's actually quite pleasant here, and it's warmer, and I like that. Gas has not quite hit $3.50/gallon just yet, I like that too. 
Let's see , what's next, oh yea, I made a little bit of money for two years as a realtor, but not a lot, just some, enough to get me through a couple of years. I had to take this position after my 20 year outfitting career was cut short by Cordillera, where I was managing two rec programs, and was sourced out to one of the larger Outfitters in the valley because of their own economic woes with the club. So I performed my duties as a Realtor for a couple of years, no big deal.
So bag on ME all you want for bagging on Eagle, it needs help, the help is in your backyard, promote it, and it will work. Until then, if you do not have a better solution, then continue to stare at the emptiness and watch it grow, or do something about it, have an imagination, make it work, and have the balls to post your name when you respond, ok?
 I'll be back in Eagle often, to ride, work when applicable and I'll probably bring groups of friends of mine from down here in Western Kansas, Longmont, Colorado to introduce them to the mountain biking in the area, and we will spend money, somewhere up there, just not sure where, but somewhere.

Bottom line is this blog has done WAY more good than bad for the town of Eagle, Colorado. I never saw much of your support during the good, but crack the negative door open and it's good to see you all over me. Cheers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

YA KNOW, IT'S FUNNY....

 It takes me just about the same amount of time to drive to Arapahoe Basin from Longmont as it did from Eagle, and I did that yesterday, and Ski Patrol crushed their Avalanche routes early and got the East Wall hike from Little Lenawee peak and the lower traverse open FAST and safe, so we could go rip lines, and there was a foot of snow up there, and it was magical. Some pics from Al's Blog of the First Notch, Second Notch, and North Pole. This is the year of a lifetime at Arapahoe Basin....you better get ya sum soon.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ENDURANCE SERIES KICKS OFF SATURDAY

Race #1 of the series is this Saturday at Pueblo Lake State Park. Possible shorty night ride tomorrow from Arkansas Point campground if I can get there on time with Jen and get the tent set up, otherwise we'll just drink OBB Beer and wake up with the A game rolling Saturday morning....see you there.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

TODAY WAS THE DAY...

The views from Loveland Pass in Colorado are simply mesmerizing. On a clear day you can see some of Colorado's and the Nation's most spectacular peaks and valleys. Loveland Pass sits on top of the continental divide, which for those of you who do not know, "divides" the water sheds here in the United States of America. All snow and rain that falls on the east side of the divide eventually rolls to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean via the Mississippi River once it gets there. To the contrary, all snow and rain which falls on the west side of this "divide", eventually makes it's way to the Pacific Ocean via the Colorado River should it be lucky enough to avoid all the irrigation and human needs along the way.

My father was a good man, he, unlike myself, really had no enemies during his lifetime. He was a simple man who lived a fairly simple life, who got dealt a bad hand in life health wise when he had to battle a brain tumor at the ripe old age of 40. He won that battle for an additional 29 years of life, but it left him scarred and unable to live at the level he would have preferred for those 29 years. He was a really funny guy, and I loved him, a lot. He really liked to fish, and taught me how to.

When my father passed some dozen plus a couple of years ago when I was 39 years old, I had just spent the entire winter in South Florida to be closer to him as his health had become fragile. Upon hearing the news from my mother that he had taken a turn for the worse and was on life support, I told my mother I would fly right home. Her response to me was to stay put as my brother and sister were already there. She told me to simply remember him the way he was when I left to come back to Colorado after the previous winter. This is what I then chose to do. When the call came one evening just a couple of days later that he had been taken off life support as he had wished, it was a tough day, but also a relief, as to know such a difficult struggle is over brings peace, and time heals our wounds and makes us better, we must take the good, and I have.

My father's ashes were split amongst those who wanted. I had carried some of my father's ashes for all this time until today. And it was a very good day. I spent the day with my girlfriend Jennifer at Arapahoe Basin teaching her how to ski, and she learned some, and we had so much fun. I'm moving to Longmont, Colorado to be with her, and I'm excited for the change. When we left Arapahoe Basin today, Jennifer had to head back to Longmont and I had to come back to Eagle for several reasons. I chose to come back over Loveland Pass, in a raging wind and blowing snow day which was spectacular on the Divide. Many years ago when my father was in better physical shape, he came to visit me in Colorado with my mother, and he stood on top of Loveland Pass and was in great wonderment of the views and grandeur.  We stood there together, and I pointed out all the peaks and bowls still covered with snow in late May, and explained to him how myself and friends would strap our skis on our backpacks and sometimes walk for hours to go ski some of the off piste and incredibly beautiful terrain he was looking at. 

Today I stopped on the top of the Divide on my way back to Eagle, explained to Jennifer what I needed to do, and walked about a half mile in incredible wind and blowing snow along the east ridge line of the Divide. This is where my father's journey now begins, half on the east side, and half on the west side, and the views are still the same, and the journey will be grand. Rest in Peace Dad, with your luck you will end up in a fountain in Vegas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

WORLD'S GREATEST DOWNHILL IS ON....



And so it's on, another mountain biking season officially opened in the town of Eagle on April 15th. At 12:01am last night, I hit the trails of Eagle to kick off the season with the "Legal in Eagle" ride, which incidentally nobody showed up for, so I had a go of it solo, and it was dog ball ass cold at about 25 degrees, but the ride was actually pleasant, and of course fun. With that, it was followed up pretty quickly with the first and always lung awakening ascent of the Abram's singletrack and a screaming descent down the World's Greatest Downhill, which is notoriously in it's best shape of the year at this time...here's the action.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE BONERYARD...IT'S ON

In case you have not been overwhelmed with one upperness from Eagle already, the ONE fun thing to do here is getting rolling. The Boneyard is riding perf, and the lower stuff should be fine on Friday unless it shits water out of the sky like it is predicted. Look for recon reports shortly. Today it was pretty tasty on the Boneryard, until the windchill dropped temps big, and the snow rolled in over Hardscrabble Mountain.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

Ok, so the 2011 Cycling season is off with a bang, and it's exciting to see it rolling, in particular from an announcing standpoint. My life is full of excitement these days, both positive and not so positive excitement, and it is simply outstanding. I love big change, it's refreshing and gives you new perspective, and resiliency, and it's fun, and you realize that moving on is an education, and that there are so many cool places and people in this world that it is a shame to sit in the same place for too long and waste opportunity.
With that said, there is so much of the same old, same old that always perpetuates itself in boredom and rediculum. I'm already hearing the excuses pouring in as to why people I know had a "bad day on the bike". For once I would like someone to simply say that "today I sucked, and I'm really not as good as I think I am, nor will I ever be, because the Lord of Cycling did not give me the proper genetics to do so". Instead, it is a rambling nonsensical bunch of shit that I personally like to shut off and walk away from. For me, if I race, and I finish 37th, it's because there were 36 ( maybe even more) riders out there that were better than me that day. On days when I do better, it was just a good day and fun to do better. It means nothing in the big picture of life, and as long as it is non life threatening, and did not have an effect on my ability to try and make money, it's all good.
It's the same every year, there is no magic, everyone out there who likes to compete on the bike is training fairly hard if not very hard, new kits, bikes and gear ratios are not going to move anyone up in the standings, larger lungs and VO2 max are, and if you are not blessed with a large enough one to beat up on Fabian Cancellera or Frank Shorter, then just go out there and have fun, and stop with the excuses, it's killing us.
With that also said, I realized something upon my return to the town of Eagle from the front range last night late in the evening, and it struck me. There is nothing to do in Eagle but get a cup of coffee or go ride your bike out of town for a few hours. I guess I could go to the Brush Creek Saloon and get elbowed in the face by a random drunken fishing guide, but I did that once and it was really not that fun, but at least he got arrested and charged with being a douche bag. I mean really? I guess I could go fishing, I like to do that, I like that, I could. I could go to Costco and buy a $1.50 steamed Hot Dog, but that would actually be in Gypsum, so it does not count. So I guess it's time for this same old, same old to go away. It's been a cool ride, I need a new one, and I've got a great one to move to and start building....and I like Abos Pizza.

Monday, April 11, 2011

CRANK BROTHERS CUSTOMER SERVICE

A couple of years ago I had an "issue" with Crankbrothers pedals which was documented right here on A2B. Crankborthers took care of me pretty well and made offerings they did not necessarily have to. 
With that said, I had two pairs of Egg Beater pedals that were ancient and had a zillion miles on them. They were so jacked up from rock and root blows over the years that they barely held a NEW pair of cleats very well. Hence, I decided to send them back for the Crankbrothers Spa treatment which is explained on their website. I had a pair of old Double Ti's and some standard Eggbeaters I sent back. Without getting into details of the transaction, Crank offered me TWO NEW pairs of Egg Beater 3's for next to nothing, and when the box showed itself uponce me, there were new cleats, non-slip bar grips and a sweet skull lid as well. So get ya some.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BIKE RACER....MEAD-ROUBAIX 2011, THE HELL OF NORTH BOULDER

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MEAD ROUBAIX, CHAOS ON TWO WHEELS, EXCEPT FOR THE TOUGHEST MEN AND WOMEN....

It was all fun and games at the 2011 Mead Roubaix road race today in Mead, Colorado, until the racing started. Having pre-rode the course the day before, I tried to explain what lay in front of these racers today, but it was really not explainable nor could you ever imagine unless you were out there on course today, in that wind, and that dirt, and that sand. It was maybe the toughest road race Colorado locals will see this season. The Boulder edition of this race was mild compared to what those who lined up would face today in Mead, and completing just one lap was an accomplishment, much less four, like Haga did in the men's open field today. If you think you are tough, line it up in this one next season, I dare you...
And this would be the start of a very tough journey for every racer that lined it up today, bar none. For some amazing photos from today's action visit 303 Cycling.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

IT'S ON, MEAD-ROUBAIX THIS SUNDAY.....

The legendary Mead-Roubaix takes place on a new track in Mead, Colorado this Sunday. Expect 600-700 racers and utter chaos on the dirt and paved roads north and east of Boulder. See you there.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

MIKE HOGAN GETS TAKEN OUT AT THE ABSA CAPE EPIC, SOUTH AFRICA

Below is a video from this weeks Absa Cape Epic. Some consider this the toughest Mountain Bike race in the world. Mike Hogan and Thomas Dooley were racing for Justin's (teams consists of two riders and they must start and finish each stage together) during stage 5 of this grueling event when a rider from another team made an ill advised inside pass on Hogan and caused this horrible crash. To set this up, Dooley is in the camera shot when the video starts and Hogan is filming the video. Another rider from another team makes a very ill advised inside pass on Hogan, hits a ditch, tacos his wheel, and rolls in front of Hogan sending him over the bars and breaking ribs. The crash is horrible, the sound makes me nauseous. Mike Hogan has won everything in his day, and he is a favorite two wheeler of many here in Colorado. Recover quick Mike, and we will see you back on the home dirt soon...

Mike Hogan's Absa Cape Epic Crash

NUYENS SAYS NO TO CANCALLERA

photo; cycling news
Nuyens denied Cancellera at the line in an incredible finish at the Flanders

Saturday, April 2, 2011