Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Arkansas Epic

So I rode 83 miles today on the monster cross down here in Arkansas. Fayetteville to Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and the Hidden Discovery Trail System and back. At least 2500 feet of climbing, probably closing in on 3k...my legs and back are on fire right now, 4 hours after getting off the bike. Lots of hike a bike up some stupid steep gravel roads. But anyway, let me narrate this adventure:

So yesterday I decided to skip out on riding and make Wednesday my epic day. I had a route planned thanks to google and map my ride, notes taken and even a little sketched map. I got all my gear and food ready the night before so I could wake up and roll out. And that's basically what I did Wednesday morning.

Headed out of Fayetteville towards the northeast and Hobbs State Park. It was pretty pavement heavy going there (75% of 30 miles) but the gravel I hit was amazing! Super sketchy long downhills followed by unrideable LONG uphills...It was worth the view though...


I then caught War Eagle Road north through some historic river valley action...


And a couple miles later saw this weird house...its like someone had take a ranch style house and added 2 more stories, but on only half the house...



Then a few more miles in I stopped in and had a nice cup of coffee at the local grain mill (that still uses the water-driven mill in War Eagle/Clifty Creek) which also has an awesome restaurant on the 3rd floor overlooking an old wood plank/steel frame, one lane bridge and the creek...


After that goodness I rode up to the HIdden Diversity Trail and did the visitors center spur, little clifty creek loop out to piney road then across to the basehor ridge loop and dutton hollow loop, then came back across piney road to finish up the clifty creek loop and head out, when I ate it hard going down towards the south...I finished the loop and limped back to the restaurant/grain mill to get some more coffee, a bowl of soup and clean my wounds:


I headed back towards fayetteville and had to stop to take one last picture of beaver lake from the hwy 412 bridge:


somehow missed my turn getting back to fayetteville, probably cause I was concentrating on not dying, and added in a few extra miles and a most unwanted extra 500-800 foot of climbing. Finally got home a little after 6...I had left at 9:30 am. I did make quite a few stops though...breakfast, bike shop, coffee, trail snack, meeting people on trail, soup and coffee, getting lost and eating shit on the trail...I think my riding time was about 5.5-6 hours considering how many times I stopped...oh and I took a bunch of pictures on a crappy celll phone I had to pull out of my bag every time I wanted it.

today was one of those days you look back on during races...at least thats what I do...when ever I am suffering in a race, I always think about other times I've suffered worse...today was one of those days :)

peace and riding!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

winter break



so I'm on break from school...thank god. I'm down in Arkansas and its 63* outside at this very moment, nice! Only ridden once since I've been here (pic up top is from Lake Fayetteville trails sunday afternoon) but that's gonna change this afternoon with a good long ride out to some trails/gravel and a braums dinner in my future....mmmmmmmmmmmm.

So I remember back a little while ago about me saying something about wanting a bike with gears and suspension...I lied...rigid and SS for life!!!! I've been tearing up some trails recently with a fixed gear monster cross bike and absolutely loving it. Fuck suspension and fuck gears!!!!!!!!! muhahahahahaha!

ok wal-mart run then ride time then braums.

peace and riding!!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm big in indonesia...

so i just found this stats thing why I was gonna post something else....now I forget what it was, but anyway...check this shit out:

United States
4,575
Indonesia
319
Canada
138
Sweden
111
Germany
95
Ukraine
85
United Kingdom
83
Italy
71
Brazil
70
Poland
61

Those are my blog hits by country from May until today. Apparently I'm more popular than I thought. I could do some really fun stuff if I actually though people cared. I've always just used this kind of as a stash spot/journal for myself.

If you read this blog on a regular basis or just from time to time, let me know by commenting here...if you want to.

peace and riding!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

halcyon holiday

so i hosted the halcyon holiday gravel grinder yesterday in lawrence..sounds like everyone had a good time, I know I did after the caffeine started hitting the legs...my knees are feeling it today though, 75ish miles total on the fixie yesterday...awesome! recap/pics here: mtbkc.blogspot.com

I'm in arkansas now, my abs are more sore than anything...i'm gonna go ride some around the paved paths down here and around the lake fayetteville trails. got a week, so I'll be getting around down here I'm sure :)

peace and riding!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the past few weeks in pictures....

not much to report...although I will be riding a bike again very soon :) only one more final to take tomorrow at 1 and this semester is in the books...only 4 more months of undergrad...holy crap.

Next few weeks are gonna be something like this:
*go home to lawrence for saturday's halcyon holiday gravel grinder
*leave sunday for fayetteville, arkansas
*ride, ride and ride some more.
*festivus
*ozark trail
*chicago???
*more riding in piss ass cold.

peace and riding!!!





Friday, December 3, 2010

the year that was.

It's getting cold...it sucks.

But at least Gravel Grinder Season is here!!!

And street cred is coming too!!!



man it was cold that day...3* roanoke time trial.

Which has me thinking and reflecting on the past year. I looked through my race list the other day and did some results stuff. This year was pretty good bike racing wise, good base, good peak, now back to base.

January and February were filled with Streed Cred, GOTHRs and Gravel Grinders.

March brought some roadie action since I had a new bike, that i now no longer have, and because of the rain.

April brought MTB season and drier trails.

May, June and July were just good riding months, lots of long rides, some Arkansas business, etc.

August brought peak time: 3rd at RIM, 1st at Cruise the Blues and MTB-KC short track series was hot and hard.

September continued peakness with 5th at KC Cup CX, 2nd at KC Cup MTB 3 hour, and 5th at Manions.

October brought being hooked to cross because of the new pake.

November brought lots of school.

And december starts it all over again :)

peace and riding!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

read up

This is what I do for fun:

Brett Shoffner

Environmental Studies 334

Gender and Environment

11-29-2010



Agriculturally-Reinforced Gender Identities in Rural Communities

Introduction

Gender, like everything in our world, is a socially constructed concept reinforced by the dominant social narrative. Throughout her book Earthcare: Women and the Environment (1996), Carolyn Merchant provides a great historical background of capitalism, patriarchy, and technology and their reinforcement of dualistic thought and practices in modern society. She provides a challenge on page 54 that I believe should be considered when doing any gender-framed work, whether that is academic research, public health, community organizing, etc:

“…narrative is the story told to itself by the dominant society of which we are a part. We internalize narrative as ideology. Ideology is a story told by people in power. Once we identify ideology as a story—powerful and compelling, but still only a story—we realize that by rewriting the story, we can challenge the structures of power.”

Rural communities throughout the world are dependent on agricultural for their livelihoods, from the farmer to the seed/fertilizer suppliers to the produce processors. There is no doubt that the face of agricultural production and gender roles has changed dramatically since the Industrial Revolution (Merchant, Ch 5). Women’s sphere or control has moved from the actual land of the farm to inside the home or off the farm (Merchant 1996, Brandth 2006, Saugeres 2002, Peter et al. 2000, Wilson 1990). Agri-culture (purposely hyphenated) and technology reinforce male hegemony, patriarchy and help to embody the idea of woman as “other” (Brandth 2006, Saugeres 2002, Peter et al. 2000, Merchant 1996). Rurality and masculinity also serve to help define each other and reinforce ideology (Campbell and Bell 2000).

The objective of this paper is to examine how both women and men have become embodied through agro-technology, how gender identities are reinforced through agricultural practices and community though, and to show a link between agro-technology and gender identities in rural communities. Specifically the tractor, sustainable agriculture practices and dualistic though will be considered.

Embodiment through Biology

Throughout history man has been embattled against nature and the forces that “she” displays; nature being equated with woman is because they are regarded as the “other” in need to domination by male dominated society (Kheel 2009, Merchant 1996, Mellor 1997). In her 1997 article “Women, Biology and Nature in Feminist Thought”, Mary Mellor has explained how women have traditionally been defined by their biology, particularly their reproductive capabilities. This idea is echoed by Brandth, “it is through their reproductive abilities that women’s bodies become essential to the continuation of the family farm (2006). Women often work up to “four shifts” (Peter et al. 2000). Their role can be defined as mother, caretaker, wife, homemaker, etc. (Merchant 1996, Mellor 1997, Saugeres 2002, Peter et al. 2000, Wilson 1990). However, there is another variable that is further reinforcing the existing narrative of male dominance.

Embodiment through Technology

It has been stated how since the beginning of the industrial revolution gender roles have been greatly redefined. Lise Saugeres provides an amazing analysis on how specifically the tractor has come to define gender roles in rural societies (2002). On page 148 she explains how her respondents “talked about women’s agricultural work being ‘over’ because their work in the fields was no longer needed.” She also provides a great antecedent on page 152 between wife Michelle and husband Arnaud, showing how technical knowledge (how to operate a tractor) is equated with superiority. Berit Brandth’s 2006 essay builds on Saugeres’ idea by defining four processes that rural women can engage in when defining their roles:

1) Women can engage in technology and experience increased control as “honorary men”.

2) Women can engage in practice one and experience feelings of discomfort because of their projected masculine qualities.

3) Women engage in traditionally male roles and are devalued as to maintain the male dominance structure.

4) Women avoid engaging in technology and/or machinery, oftentimes as a safeguard on bringing more work upon themselves.



So, what about men? Peter, et al. (2000) provides the description of a good farmer from research participant Dave: “the good farmer is a ‘he’—and not just any ‘he’ but ‘a guy with big machinery; their study also describes how farmers regard the land as female in need of “impregnation and raping” (pg 223). Of course not all farm men think and behave the same way.



Rural Masculinities

Campbell and Bell (2000) argue that masculinity is defined by rurality and in turn rurality is defined by masculinity; they are constantly being redefined and/or reinforced by each other. Basically, the farming man is masculine because he is a man who farms. It has been previously stated how men regard size of farm and/or equipment as a reflection of social status and masculinity, but these beliefs may be changing with a new wave of sustainable agricultural practices.

Peter, et al. (2000) have identified two heuristic masculinities within the farming community, and they argue that sustainable agriculture practices help lead to redefine traditional views of masculinity. They define “monologic masculinity” as having rigid boundaries, specifically between men and women, discussion topics, manhood and definitions of success and work (216). They go on to define “dialogic masculinity” as “a broader understanding of what it is to be a man”, being characterized by men who are open to discussing mistakes, feelings, criticisms, emotions and attitudes (Peter, et al. 2000). They recognize that there is no distinct separation of these two masculinities between groups or even individuals but do make the argument that sustainable agricultural practices seem to predict which type of masculinity rural farm men are more likely to engage in. They argue that because sustainable agriculture does not place such an emphasis on technology, men are more likely to disengage from traditional gender roles because they are already disengaging in defining their own masculinity through technology. This idea directly correlates to Saugeres and Brandth’s arguments that technology defines gender roles.

Technology and Economics defining Gender Roles

Saugeres (2002), Brandth (2006) and Peter, et al. (2000) have all provided great agreements on how technology or technological processes have helped to define gender roles. I however would also like to introduce the Marxian philosophy of Carolyn Merchant’s Earthcare Chapter 5 as a way of defining gender roles in rural societies.

In her Earthcare Chapter 5, Carolyn Merchant describes how women in the pre-colonial through post-colonial periods moved from being defined as “corn mothers” who were active in production to “moral mothers” whose sphere was defined as reproduction. She makes the argument that industry, technology and capitalism are to blame for this shift and that they work together to reinforce hegemonic masculinity. Lisa Saugers argues however, that while technology can help reinforce current gender roles, it can also be used as an arena for challenging the dominant male power structure by providing an opportunity to express control (2002). So what do I think about all this?

Moving towards Change

Peter, et al. has detailed how sustainable agricultural practices are helping in redefining gender identities and Saugeres has suggested that technology be used as a catalyst in redefining roles. I agree with both of their positions, as well as Merchant’s that capitalism helps to reinforce patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity. Almost all of the articles I reviewed had a common story that males still dominate rural society but that times are changing and women are taking a more pronounced role. I think our culture’s push toward sustainability in every sense of living can also help remake gender identities. Our increased dependence on technology and technical knowledge will mean more people, both women and men, will use technological devices and have proficient technical knowledge. Government social programs and regulation are increasing throughout the world, redefining capitalism. Women are accepted as national leaders and legitimate rulers, although there are still old stereotypes that are still sometime unfortunately expressed, often by males (ie: God-forbid that Hillary Clinton become President and get the “red phone” call while on her period). With time though, everything will change.

Academic research in general is a great way to help redefine current social structure. Very good work has been done in gender studies and other areas, and with continued research and discussion, change can be accelerated. Discussion though is the key to any social change. We must have cultural debate and community discussion about gender identities, what they mean, how we feel about them and how they make us feel. Education and discussion are absolutely key in changing people’s thoughts and actions and in turn power structures and male and female roles within society on both the small and large scales.

Conclusion

Women in rural societies have been defined by both biology and through technology and agricultural practices. Men in rural societies are defined through technology, agricultural practice and reinforcement of existing narrative. We must recognize the problems and provide potential solutions using the resources we have. We must use an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, using sociology/gender studies, environmental studies, economics, psychology, history, etc. to solve complex social problems and to retell the story, remake the narrative, change ideologies and produce new power structures.



Annotated Works Cited

Brandth, B. "Agricultural Body-building: Incorporations of Gender, Body and Work." Journal of Rural Studies 22.1 (2006): 17-27. Print.

*Study of how bodies define gender in rural societies. Outlines four processes that women can engage in when defining their roles.



Campbell, Hugh, and Michael M. Bell. "The Question of Rural Masculinities." Rural Sociology 64.4 (2000): 532-46. Print.

*Discussion of rural masculinities.



Kheel, Marti. "Ch 2 Masculine Identity: Born Again "Man"" Nature Ethics: an Ecofeminist Perspective. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. 35-63. Print.

*Provides a historical analysis of masculine identity and relation to nature.



Mellor, Mary. "Ch 4 Women, Biology and Nature in Feminist Thought." Feminism & Ecology. Washington Square, NY: New York UP, 1997. 71-101. Print.

*Examination of how women have been defined though nature and biology.



Merchant, Carolyn. Earthcare: Women and the Environment. New York: Routledge, 1996. Print.

*Amazing collection of gender and environment related history, theory, antecedents, critiques and solutions.



Peter, Gregory, Michael M. Bell, Susan Jarnagin, and Donna Bauer. "Coming Back Across the Fence: Masculinity and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture." Rural Sociology 65.2 (2000): 215-33. Print.

*Study of how masculinities are defined through agricultural practices.



Saugeres, Lise. "Of Tractors and Men: Masculinity, Technology and Power in a French Farming Community." Sociologia Ruralis 42.2 (2002): 143-59. Print.

*Case study of how the tractor reinforces gender identities in rural France.



Wilson, John. ""Public" Work and Social Participation: The Case of Farm Women." The Sociological Quarterly 31.1 (1990): 107-21. Print.

*Case study of North Carolina farm families and their gender roles.



.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Manion's CX Wrap-up, Happy Holidays, and future...

howdy folks! long time no blog, so let's get to it.

I have only raced once since the boss cx 3 in october and that was this past weekend at Manion's, which also was Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee's second hosting gig. I think we do damn well, but I may be biased.

I did terrible, 9 of 12, came in right behind a 39 yeur old lady...obviously I haven't been able to be on the bike as much as early in the semester...it's amazing how huge projects and cold weather will kill your riding and motivation, respectively.

Have some pics:



A good time was had by all.



My baby: "the stitches"



Roger got smart and I can't upload his photos anymore :/ So enjoy Maccu Piccu!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS.

future plans:
near future, lots of research, paper writing and powerpoint making.
kind of near future, MTB-KC winter wander and halcyon holiday
little bit longer, grad school application to new mexico
little bit longer now, new mtb season
may, graduate.
mid-may, figure out life after undergrad.

Next race I will be at is Boss CX 4...not sure if I'll have cash enough to race but i'll be there nonetheless. Week after that is winter wander, then another week is halcyon holiday...get ready for gravel bitches!!!!!!

peace and riding!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

trails kc

so i've been reading the 134 page trails kc report: http://www.kcmo.org/CKCMO/Depts/CityPlanningandDevelopment/CitywidePlanning/022111

I'm in this environmental planning class that's fun but pretty intense work-load wise. We're doing final analysis and "big idea" designs for the Green Impact Zone of Missouri. My focus is on environmental justice and public health. Of course, I am looking at trails within the zone (non-existant pretty much). Fun stuff, I hope I can get a job doing this crap some day...reading trail data then making decisions about them and recommendations for/against, I could do that all day every day, especially getting a pay check.

I'm also proposing 10 community gardens within a 150 square city block area and a health care facility within the zone.

so that's a little personal information...applying to grad school at new mexico very soon for MCRP (masters in community and regional planning), environmental/natural resource planning concentration...then perhaps more grad school for masters of public health, maybe even KU! ...i'll be in school/debt forever!!!

gravel around l-town in a couple hours, destad cup cross tomorrow. home is awesome.

peace and riding!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This pretty much sums up...



Boss Cross #3.

Happy Halloween!

peace and riding!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

(: Off Road Goodness :)

Totally deserving of a double smiley:

From Doug "Pappy" Long:

2011 United Federation of Dirt-West Tenative Schedule
April 9th (Sat)-River Trail Mountain Bike Challenge- (Lawrence, Ks.)
April 17th (Sun)-Bone Bender 3/6 MTB Odyssey-(Smithville Lake, Mo.)
May 1st (Sun)-Kansas Fat Tire Festival -(Wilson Lake, Ks.)
May 7th (Sat)-Roubidoux Roundup-Krug Park- (St. Joseph, Mo.)
June 5th (Sun)-The Down and Dirty-(Warsaw, Mo.)
June 12th (Sun)-KC Cup -Mo State Championship (Landahl Park, Mo.)
June 26th (Sun)-Crocodile Rock- Ks. State Championship (Perry Lake, Ks.)
July 17th (Sun)-Shawnee Mission Mayhem (Shawnee Mission Park, Ks.)
July 24th (Sun)-Sunflower State Games (Topeka, Ks.)
Aug. 13th (Sat)-Spoke Pony Showdown 3/6 (Swope Park, Mo.)
Sept. 10th (Sat)-SAC 6/12 (Springfield, Mo.)
Sept. 11th Sun)-Tour de Lizard (Arkansas City, Ks)
Sept. 24th (Sat)-RIM 6/12 (Crowder State Park, Mo.)

That is 9 cross country events and 4 endurance events. Mountain Bike racing is back, big time.

There will also be a UFD East, UFD South, the Midwest Fat Tire Series, Psycowpath Series, AMBCS, Tour de Dirt and Iowa Championship Series for MTB racing within a few hours drive. Holy crap batman!

also from Pappy via Keith Bongrager...badass oldschool CX race: Click me.

peace and riding!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Berryman Epic

Well the Berryman Epic was fricking sweet. This may be a good recap post because I do remember quite a few details of this race..so if you're not interested in the long story here's the short:

57 miles...5 hours 43 minutes...1 broken water bottle cage...1 flat tire...53rd place overall...7th place in 20-29 age grouping...1st overall finisher under the age of 25. It was a good day :)

So my 29r is out of commission right now due to dropout issues...this was a huge blessing as it turned out. SC let me borrow his Mad Max bike fully geared with baby wheels. I used every single stretch of gearing in this race, from granny-granny to big ring/smallest cog.


A bike with full suspension and gears may be in my future...

So this race is 57 miles, 46+ of which is singletrack, the other 9ish miles are on fire/gravel roads. The race begins with a pretty easily graded gravel climb to the first part of single track...I hammered this section going in not too far behind the leaders. The road skills acquired this year helped big time here...lots of sketchy riding on sandy/loose gravel and lots of drafting wheels to keep up.

So I get to the first checkpoint where we have to get colored zip ties. I had no idea this was also the first aid station so I grabbed a zip tie and blew through, didn't refill bottles or grab any food..it was ok though, weather was mid-70s, kind of cloudy still and a decent breeze. I found out about 3 miles later from a guy that the zip tie area was the aid station and we had like another 12-13 miles to go to station 2/the bag drop. I settled into a good rhythm here with Doug Long and Brian Duff on either side of me...that old man Pappy sure can pick some clean lines!!! I broke the water bottle cage probably about 20 miles in so had to stop for like 10 seconds to stuff it into my jersey and put the phone bag in another pocket. Caught back up with them by the aid station and I stopped in, grabbed a gatorade out of my bag, chugged like 3/4 of it, refilled the one empty bttle of water and topped what was probably 1/8 of a bottle of perpetum with heed...still no soild food, I totally spaced it until a couple more miles in....oh well, just stay up and going...I couldn't believe the position I was in and how good I was feeling still, then of course, psssssssss....stan's spraying out of the tread of the rear tire...that's right, the TREAD of a rear Geax TNT Saguro tire. fuck!!!! Thanfully pappy long had thrown me a tube before the race so I had a spare. Denny Albertson passed me about a minute in trying to change it and asked if I was ok...I was so flustered I just kind of mumbled something and he went on...about another minute later Lyle Reidy came by and asked if I needed anything and I told him if he had a CO2 it would make my like a helluva lot better at the time...he graciously jumped off his bike and popped a cartridge into the tube for me and took off. HUGE UPS to Lyle for the help...It saved me some good time for sure, even though I had already lost a good 5 minutes by the time I got the wheel set back in and going again...and of course I had aout 15-20 psi in the rear tube so I took it super easy so not to pinch flat...probably lost another 10-15 minutes rolling easy on the 10ish miles of single track and 4ish miles of nasty roads before getting back to the bag drop/checkpoint 4 (checkpoint 3 was at the the far turn around of the singletrack-->gravel transition). There I grabbed a pump, refilled both my bottles again with heed grabbed 1/3 of a banana and tok off again.

The final part of the singletrack is on the Brazil Creek part of the Ozark Trail. The only reason I remember this section is because it was nasty...after 40+ miles already hitting some of these rock gardens and roots and killer climbs was taking a toll. I got through though and make the final stretch of 6-7 miles of gravel back to the Bass' River Resort. Big ringed the road the whole way back and felt amazing suprisingly...like I could go another few hours easily. Came in and was handed a beer from the tap not 2 minutes after crossing the line...sweetness.

got a t-shirt, socks, $75 pair of interchangable sunglasses, drop bag, BBQ and beer for the race entry (which was free, thanks Tripp!) Damn good race, aid stations were best I've seen anywhere ever, no lie...and I didn't use them haha.

So yea, I had fun, seems like I should have told a few more detail things but whatever...I should be doing homework instead of this anyway :)

peace and riding!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Boulevard Cup



Thanks to SC for the above picture and the one at the bottom.

There's so much I should write about this race, it was so fun. So much food, so much beer, so many good people. but alas, it has been 3 days and my short term memory burns quickly...but I will feebly attempt.

Big ups to phil for the ride out to the race and to bently for the ride home when I was sauced off the 6! kegs of boulevard beer that there was to be had; of course there was the famous spicy gumbo and penne as well, along with the best assortment of breads and cookies a racer could ask for...super big ups to the Boulevard Brewing Racing Team for making this event happen.

Also, a huge ups to Greg Rupp for the course design...gaddamn man, hella fun but I don't have the roadie fitness to keep up with those dudes on those long straightaways.

So I raced singlespeed again...22 starters this time! fuck...lots of folks from nebraska there. Kent and Britton from my team got 1st and 3rd respectively and I was 12th behind 4 Nebraska guys...cornbaggers. not much to say other than I need better aerobic fitness for 30-45 minute races...I'm redlined for about 10 min, another 10 to recover then a good last 10 to race...need to fix that.

Colavita Corner circa Colavita Creek was in full effect with trombones, digiridoos, hand drums and vibraslaps. We even did the wave multiple times...as you can see, there was plenty of colvita lovin'...


Got confirmation this morning that I am in the Berryman Epic...60 mile MTB race Saturday...I've been out of endurance mode since after KC Cup...we'll see if the legs hold up against the cramps, cooler weather should help :)

peace and riding!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

boss cx...



Thanks to Joe A for the picture.

Did the Boss Cross #1 race yesterday...I'm gonna keep it short and sweet, list format. lots of homework to catch up on...

I got 6th.
Britton (teammate) won, 2nd thru 5th were 360 racing guys, then me, then another 360 guy.
It's impossible to make moves when there are two guys on another team blocking you the whole race.
Cross is aerobically intense.
Smoking doesn't help.
Drinking does help, or at least it feels like it does after a race.
Mexican food post-race = food destruction.
Sand pits suck.
Hill/barriers run-ups really suck.
Probably not gonna do another real race until BLVD Cup.
KC Cross scene kicks ass.

peace and riding!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

manion's cyclocross race...



well, wasn't planning on racing since the stiches were still in, but I got out there and saw the course and was the first single speed to register...little did I know that nasty climb would get realy nasty.

So I chilled in Lawrence Friday evening and Saturday before coming home saturday night with some groceries and other fine fresh produce!! whooot whoooott out to the "madam and sir". mmmmmmmm pineapples and cherries ;)

Sunday I arose quite early (5am) to ride out to KCK for our team's cx race. I underestimated how hilly the route was, how long it would take, and how much riding a fixie for that long sucks. I can see lots of 60+ mile gravel fixie rides in my future...new suffering is needed!!! :)

So I get to manions at the crack of dawn, literally, see the course and register. Set up tape and other course materials and we're ready to rock and roll...helped with registration for like 30 min while jimmy jam (james) was raging in the 57 man cat 4 race with a bunch of our team guys. My race was at 1 so I was chillin.

Single speed class was stacked again...fink, hedjuk, tilford, walberg...goddamn fast old men!!! Tilford, Kris (Steve's brother) killed his chain killing it up the climb so I got to hang on for 5th, after getting the hole shot and leading the race for 1.5 laps before getting caught on the hill and dropped like a cashed cigarette. It was brutal climbing that shit on a 34-17...I couldn't imagine doing it on a stiffer ratio.



The run-up and climb really sucked.



big shout out to the team for coming together and getting er done this weekend...we kick ass. slap hands.



Thanks to Jon P and Jake for the pics.

boss cross next weekend...probably race one day, watch the other...may sit the whole weekend out though and just do some long training via riding to/from the cx races, cash is getting tight...who knows?

peace and riding!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KC Cup Weekend Recap

Well...had to give myself a little time to reflect on these. It was a long weekend, lots of racing, lots of unexpected stuff. It was good, mostly...

Saturday started off with me deciding to double up in my first ever USAC sanctioned cx race. Single Speed and Category 3, also on my SS. Well SS went well, I got 5th.



The singletrack really gave me an advantage, I played it smart and hung for the first 2 laps then attacked and passed a few people until I caught Michael E and passed him for the top-5 in lap 3 of 4. The last lap I just held on and settled in, rode smart and finished 5th barely at the line, almost edging out 4th. Mike ended up 6th.

The 3s race I knew I was going to get smoked, especially considering the effort I had just put in the SS race (which had ended 20 minutes before the 3s race). Well, I got way smoked, off the line, first lap, whole race...I pulled after 5 laps with 3 to go cause Brian Jensen was lapping me so I figured I'd get out of their way and go drink beer. Definitely did good at that.



Thanks to Jon Peck for the photo.

Sunday I was extremely hungover and not feeling too well. We had also recieved about 3/4 of an inch of rain so the rocks and trail surface was nice and slick. So was the road I would find out...

Somehow got myself around and rode to swope in time to enter into the marathon class with 10 other brave souls. I was just hoping for a podium finish again, especially since I was relatively trashed still. I jumped off the line quick as I ever have and caught Roger Williams wheel going up the starting climb..through the grass start/finish and into the first single track I'm still right on Roger...within a couple minutes we are forming a little gap on the guys behind us but they catch us pretty quick once we hit the road section...I slip back to 4th at this time cause some gear heads go flying by me not realizing that there is a little paved incline to muscle up before hitting the turn into the singletrack...I hit the climb hard and scooted back up to Roger's wheel right as we were making the road turn to enter the single track again...bam! next thing I know I'm seeing trees and hearing people yell and bikes are flying past me. People are asking if I'm alright, my adrenaline is spiked big time and I'm confused that I'm no longer on Roger's wheel. Takes me a good 30-45 seconds to compose myself and get back on the bike. I immediately high cadence it and give chase to everyone who had passed me. Now I'm sitting in like 11th. Pass 2 guys on the Hope lodge singletrack section before the gravel road, 1 more on the gravel road, 2 more as soon as I hit phase 1. Here I ride for a few minutes before seeing the next guys ahead of me near the jawbreaker area. Pass 3 guys through that cause they're walking and pass the finla 2 right after cherry bomb cause they are walking wudchuk run. The rocks were uber slippery but I had the tech skills to handle it. Riding smart and staying upright was key. By the time I hit the phase 3 part of the loop, I had gapped 3rd already by 5+ minutes but was already down 8 minutes to Roger. So I just kept telling myself to ride smart and stay up...Only went OTB one time the rest of the day, and that was because I was being too cautious haha. So I finished 2nd! fuck yea suckas!



Not all was rainbows and buttholes though. I had suffered a pretty good gash going down the first lap on the road.



So I ended up at Truman Medical Center for 6 hours. Big ups to Leslie for chilling with me the whole time. 15 stitches and no riding for 10 days (I made it until Tuesday at 6 pm)



Lots o pics, prose and pimping...what a great blog post.

peace and riding!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Bike!



Pake Steel C'muter Frame
IRO Carbon Fork
Truvativ FireX Crankset/Integrated Bottom Bracket
Ritchey Carbon WCS Saddle
Ritchey Comp Seatpost
Ritchey Comp Stem
Ritchey Comp Headset
Salsa Bell Lap Drop Bars
Tektro Oryx Brakes
Alex Rims flip/flop wheelset
All City Stainless Steel 17t track Cog
ACS 17t freewheel
Panaracer Crossfire 32 cc tires
Pink Bark tape

can't wait for some gravel grinding on this bad boy...gets its first cross race tomorrow at swope :) This fixed gear stuff is going to take some getting used to...



Thanks to Britton for the first pic and Adam for the second.

peace and riding!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

home...

Went back to lawrence this weekend...spent more time there than I was planning, got zero homework done, drank free state beer, rode home trail. it was good.

did 2 very fast laps at the river trails saturday, followed up by some white-blue-skills park loving at clinton sunday. river is super burmed out and a couple new jumps are in.

clinton needs some major loving sustainability wise, but everything was dry so it was ripping fun anyway. The skills park was definitely fun, getting to do just a few small drops and dirt jumps at the end of a good technical ride was very very fun. get out before it gets wet again.

I highly recommend making a long day trip of it...clinton in the morning, free state brewery for lunch then a lap or two at the river before going home..doesn't get much better than that :) (well it does but you know what I mean...)

Probably ride tomorrow a little and short track thursday before racing all weekend at the KC Cup. Cross race I think I've settled on the SS class so I can heckle the 1/2/3 guys and still haven't decided what class to do sunday...marathon, 19-29 sport, or straight up singlespeed again...probably depends on how the legs feel and how much beer i consume during/after cross saturday.

then sept 26 is colavita's cross race. we're gonna have the best one all year, guarenteed, or at least another race will not be better than ours. it's on a farm and goes through a barn, free food and beer. pasta, olive oil, and coffee. I'd say our sponsors kick ass.

hopefully the new pake cross bike will be here by midweek so I can build it before saturday..otherwise I'll be on a borrowed masi...thinking about running fixed, maybe not this first race though, but definitely a few times upcoming this cx season...

peace and riding!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cruise the Blues in Photos

Well...I did end up getting fastest lap again...by over two minutes :) Hopefully another plaque will come in the mail soon! Notice the vaired riding landscapes. big ups to mike burke for the photos...









peace and riding!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

anti-r5-ness

I've never offically done an usac sanctioned cyclocross event.

And I just applied for an upgrade and was approved to cat 3, all this afternoon.

suck on that sandbaggers.

peace and riding!!!

ps--2 posts in one day!!! amazing.

looking ahead...

not often I get 2 posts up in a week...especailly during school. but I figured I'd do a little writing since I'm on a little class break.

Looking back, I accomplished my two big goals for the MTB season...riding well at Rapture in Misery (3rd place) and winning Cruise the Blues with my brother. I had made these 2 goals last september after the KC Cup and I am happy to say accomplished them.

Of course I must attribute a lot of this to losing 31 lbs so far this year. In March I weighed 195 and was quite blubbery. This weekend I was 164. I feel lots better, look lots better and generally am probably better off for it. Last winter was really bad when I look back...not much riding, lots of available food, and generally lot of laying around the house and being lazy. I could blame people who were living with me at the time, but the more I reflect it was my personal choices that led to the ridiculous weight gain (this was not the first time I had realized this as well...I hit 204 after reconstructive knee sugery my senior year of high school) So here's a little preaching...

Take responsiblity for yourself and your actions. If you don't like something, work to change it. If you don't succeed at first, work harder and/or try again! Get involved with things you are passionate about and love to do.

I make much better food decisions (its amazing what cutting out just a little beer and ice cream will do along with having a fresh instead of processed foods). I commute everyday again (maybe because I no longer have a gf who has a car). Keeping lbs off is pretty easy when I'm riding 10+ miles a day just to get around. I have gotten highly involved in trail building at swope, because I like to do it number one and number two, I want more trail to ride. I also feel like I can pop off 40-50 miles+ a day and be good to go again the next day. My fitness is good and my emotions are in check. Overall life is good right now :)

KC Cup is in a few weeks. Cross season! and the last local MTB race. I put in my upgrade today for cross so hopefully I'll be a three next week :) Looking forward to local cross season...can you say trombones and cowbells?

Thinking about the berryman epic...will probably make my final decision this weekend...your thoughts are appreciated.

And Really want to make slaughter pen jam. 5 races over 3 days in Bentonville, first weekend of November. anyone want to go???

Next big goal: The Trans-sylvania Mountain Bike Epic Stage Race.

peace and riding!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cruise the Blues Champions.

Brother and I won the 31-60 combined age joy division at cruise the blues this past weekend. 6 mile course, super super windy out in a wide open pasture for 2 miles. I did 7 laps, Dillon did 3, for 60 miles total on the day in something like 5 hours 20 min or something close to that. He needed a little more pre-race training and I was pumping out laps like a robot. I did 1 lap, he did one and bent his wheel, so I did 2 laps back to back, he did another 1, I did two more, he did 1 then I finished with 2 more. I think we won by about 15-20 minutes. :)

I think I got fastest lap in my division again...Should find out this week sometime when results are posted online...should be a few pictures to come hopefully as well.

On a side note, it was cool to see cameron chambers come out killing it in the solo division. he did 6 laps of the long course (78 miles) in 5:55 on his full suspension single speed. watch for him to come out of nowhere at moab. I'm calling podium right now.

also...big ups to denny albertson for the bully porter. beer...nommmmmmm.

peace and riding!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Swope Map

This map is not official, but I figured I'd rough sketch something for those that need it since we've opened up some newer stuff recently...



peace and riding!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

well..

I should write a lot for this post, but am going to try to keep it short...already have homework to do :'(

Last week's mtb tour of KC went ok...3/6 of the races got cancelled because of rain but what ya gonna do?

Big shout out to justin bay for picking me up at stockdale after I had been under a shelterhouse for 3 hours waiting for the storm to blow past. I even got a nice comfy couch to crash on.

Saturday was spiderfest at smithville. huge fun, lots of beer, lots of food, lots of real good people. short track was a hit...even had an appearance from the infamous Mike Young (Frank Tuesday fame), who decided that the course rode better the opposite way...I was pissed at the time, but only cause of the kiddies, I knew he was having fun, and in all reality, if I had not been promoting it, that guy could have been me :) just saying I like to have fun...and maybe create havoc.

camped saturday night, heavy dew got me all wet even with the rain fly on. rode home on the roadie bike from the camp branch campground back through liberty to home hauling my trailer, camping and riding gear and my 29r. A shade over 3 hours ride time, exactly 39 miles....not too bad considering I was hauling at least 60 lbs of extra crap behind my road bike.

and to the asshole who about hit me on 210 because you ran a red light...next time when I say to "get out of your fucking car I'm going to kick your fucking ass", I mean it. Locking up your brakes is dangerous enough on a road bike...hauling 60+ lbs behind you going 27 MPH complicates matters more so. Next time, have the courtesy of at least giving me a shot at your face insead of just your hood.

cruise the blues this weekend! my brother and I are going to win that shit after losing by less than half a minute last year. Plus Palen's trails are always fun to get out and rip on.

I am sad right now kind of because my monday mccoy's/river ride ritual has ended until at least december. I am enrolled in a gender and enviroment class during that time period...hopefully the scenery's nice...

Also back into Urban planning classes...but this year without the drawing stuff...we'll see how these two classes to know for sure if grad school is in my future.

And I'm quite sure I will be leaving Kansas City after May 2011...probably new mexico someplace...alburqueque if I go to grad school...santa fe if I have to get a job....tons (read: literally thousands of miles) of riding around there. Plus the scenery (outside and lady folk) aren't too bad down there either, and that doesn;t hurt. Love you KC, but the weather here sucks, especially for MTBers.

short post ended up long...imagine that.

peace and riding!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ecstatic Exhaustion

Well Rapture in Misery 2010 is in the books. This was the race I had been prepping for all year. Unfortunately, the heat did me in pretty well during the afternoon, I rebounded a little, then cramps finally did me in. Big ups to Doug "Pappy" Long and the heartland crew, another fantastic event fellas.

Lemans start, I walked. I told my self from the get go, you're doing 12 hours solo on a 32-20 single speed 29r, take it easy. Passed a lot of people on the double track then a ton of people in the boneyard where everyone was falling from the slippey death roots and wet rocks. I was riding along fine until trying to spin up a root, slipped and then dismounted, shouldered my bike, started to run and proceeded to pass about 30 people who were still trying to ride the nastiness. good call by me. got in a nice groove with a couple other folks on the singletrack until the first dam crossing before the first large hill. got maybe 50 feet up (the easy part) and jumped off...people on geared bikes started passing me left and right then I caught probably 3/4 of them at the top cause they were gassed and hike-a-biking now as well. There are 5 climbs at on the loop that absolutely kick some assage and I walked every single one of them in my 6 laps (30 hill climb hike-a-bikes, not fun). Did I mention every lap was 9.2 miles with ~750 ft. of climbing a lap?

finished my first lap feeling alright, but could feel the day's heat settling in. I would guess we ended up hitting somewhere around 94-95* with absolutely no air movement and good old heartland humidity (had to be 100+ heat index easily) Finished my second lap feeling alright. Stopped to change my kit and fuel back up with a spoonful of peanut butter (note...get it down before you take off on the bike again, PB is sticky-icky). i was also changing my socks and gloves after every lap I was doing. i knew staying dry would serve me better later. Here's a shout out to baby powder.

third lap I really started suffering. Took a long water/cool down break at the aid station by the dam and finished my third. Decided to skip the heat for an hour and give the body time to cool down and process the water that was sitting in my stomach. I did manage to throw up twice but did cool down finally and start to feel better. By then Adam K. had pulled from his 6 hour solo effort because of cramps and Ty and his partner were still hammering away in the 6 hour duo. After a literally hour long break, I got back on the bike around 5 and took off on my fourth lap. Still hot but it was feeling better. Also decided to stop at the aid station every time I hit it to dump water on my to try and combat the core from overheating...this seemed to help a lot, but did take up considerable time, oh well I was in survival mode. Came in from my fourth lap and found Garet Seacat had dropped from the race so I was on the podium no matter what. Also by then I was 2.5 hours down from the leader because of my break. oh well, press on and have fun :) i did puke again after my fourth lap, but then I caught a good second wind and started to be able to keep a steady pace for awhile.

Lap 5 started and I went out probably 15 minutes before lights were required. i wanted to squeeze in another before having to mount up. lap 5 was considerably better, but then the cramps started. i know exactly why now too, I had bought new shoes (not the problem) and had forgot to think that I should have had 1 insert in my left shoe and 2 in my right to line me up correctly. Wearing those shoes for my 3rd lap set a little muscle fatigue in my right leg that came back to haunt me this 5th lap. Got back in and still didn't feel too bad, so I lighted up and went out again.

The night air felt so good after riding in the nasty august heat all day (I concur with Mr. Locke...can we move RIM back to September?) Sixth lap was one of my better ones, body feeling wise, not necessarily time wise, until I tried to dismount at the end of my lap. unclipped my right leg and tried to toss it over and bam, lock up, still clipped in with my left leg, fall down, scream in pain, make a scene, pull from the race. All in all a great time. thanks midwest mountain bike patrol for rushing over when I fell haha. I'm sure it looked/sounded cool.

final thoughts...Heat killed me. I thought I was prepared and acclimated, nope, although I was a lot better off than a lot of folks (after 3 pm a lot of people were pulling themselves). I need to ride Crowder more. It's like Arkansas and I love riding Arkansas. huge climbs, awesome ridge riding, ripping descents. good job green hills trail crew :)

I have really so much more to say about this race, but words can't do it justice. One of those things you had to be there for. I'm gonna try to wrangle up some pictures of me somehow from someone. Until then, MTB Tour of Kansas City is this week, Spiderfest Saturday, then Cruise the Blues next week with the freshly married brother (congrats my sister).

peace and riding!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This weekend...RIM

This is what the whole year of riding my bike for stupid long times has come down to...the 12 hour Rapture in Misery race. There is no dedicated single speed class, and I can almost bet I'm gonna be the only single speeder stupid enough to do 12 solo. But I'm ready. Legs and body feel great. Been on top of the nutrition and hydration game. Bike is running perfect.

let's roll!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Site Redesign

KC Rasta Rider has made a modernization to his blogosphere.

enjoy the new digs.

Fayetteville wrap-up

Most of this is copy/paste, so if it is seems kind of weird, that's why (these were written over a 3-4 day period on the Earthriders message boards). Enjoy. I did. :)

So I've been spending the week down here in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Not really a riding trip, but I have had some time in the evenings to squeeze some mileage in. We all know about the bigger trail systems in northwest arkansas, ie: Devils Den, Leatherwood, Slaughter Pen, Upper Buffalo, and Hobbs. Of course not owning a car I was more interested in local trails (as in riding distance from UArk) and have had some pretty good luck.

Lake Fayetteville

Had one of the best rides of my life tonight too/from/at lake fayetteville on Tuesday evening.

left around 10 and rode down the road east of campus about 1/4 mile to the skull creek paved trail. really cool 12 foot wide MUP that was lighted for the first couple miles until passing through the I-540 underground tunnel. This trail connects to another MUP called the Mud Creek trail. Rode that as well. I was looking for a turn, but missed it and ended up riding the whole trail until it ended at a road. too the road back to the main road, then back to the road I was looking for that had a bike lane (vantage). Rode that north to another east-west bike lane (zion). Then turned north on yet another MUP into the Lake Fayetteville area. found the dirt and rolled around the lake to the very end of the off-road trail, then turned around and came back, then did another around and back cause I had so much fun the first time. wanted to go another but i knew it had to be near midnight-ish so I took the bike lane/MUP's all the way back to sunset st north or UArk. Really cool to be able to ride trails/lanes for a whole ride.

I had heard bad things about lake fayetteville, mainly that it is extremely crowded. Well I can see why. super fast and fun trails. really flat, just enough roots/rocks to make it interesting (sometimes). Kind of confusing sometimes as there were some offshoots, most that generally went down/up real nasty stuff (old fall line trail). The main line through though (once I figured it out) was super super fun though, especially in the dark with absolutely no one else on the trails The only complaint was that I was only running a minewt bar light set up and needed a head lamp as well so I could go faster Had to ride 50-60% of normal to stay within my light in the woods. Hopefully yet another new light will help the speed thing out.

Overall, the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists are doing great work rerouting/closing old fall line trail to make a really nice 5+ mile loop around the lake. I recommend this trail if you want to have a fast ripping time, and make sure you try to hit it in non-prime usage times.

Dennis Moore's Trails

Wednesday afternoon I visited to local shop in downtown fayetteville, highroller cyclery, to scoop some more trail info. picked a good day to go in because they have a wednesday evening group mtb ride. The ride leader/shop mechanic Jonathan Sebring offered me a ride out to Farmington to ride some private land trails owned by Dennis Moore. Mr. Moore is a rider and has graciously opened 8+ miles of kick ass single track around his land on top of a mountain. And when I say kick ass I mean kick ass.

First off there is a 3/4 of a mile climb straight up a mountain. Did I mention it goes straight up a mountain? Like straight up. I made it up the first grade and was churning at probably 5 rpm before the second grade started, which was insane steep. Jonathan was also on a single speed rigid 26r, while the other 3 guys we were with were on fully geared full suspensions. ALL of us were walking. 2 guys had full XX set up and ran out of granny gear. It is an insanely steep climb to get up to the trails by the blue water tower, but once up there

I have ridden a decent amount around NW arkansas before but nothing around like these trails. The rock gardens were ripping!! The trails/terrain actually reminded me a lot of swope park. We rode along a ridge then there was another push up the mountain to the next ridge. UP there we rode literally around the whole mountain counter clockwise along the upper ridge through some seriously awesome rock gardens. The trail tread is not burned in like we're used to in KC, even what you get on most other Ark trails. Because it's on private land and a ways from civilization (10 miles from campus area) the tread isn't burned in perfectly. But man, that made the adventure aspect even that more fun.

So we rode along the ridge for awhile and fixed a few flats between a couple of us, then got to go down and down and down some more Through some real serious rock garden (probably about 1/2 mile+ long), riding through huge boulder faces (a lot like swope) and ripping back down halfway down the mountain on some awesome, technical single track. We eventaully came to a gravel access road that was perpendicular to the main road up. Here was an absolutely breathtaking view of the town of farmington below in the valley. wish I had a camera on me. By then it was getting pretty dark and so we ripped back down the mountain on the gravel road...that took about 3 seconds and was probably the second fastest i've ever gone on a bike (near equal to taking a road bike down mission road hill). Enjoyed some $.40 wings and $4 pitchers afterward...10 wings, 1 pitcher and generous tip, 11 bucks.

Mr. Moore allows riders and hikers on his trails at all times. Just park at the bottom of the hill, read his signage and be respectful. The go enjoy some of the best trails you'll ever ride.

Lake Sequoyah

Mapped route:
http://www.mapmytri.com/route/us/ar/fayetteville/132128106341817908

Well, it turned into more of a road ride, but sometimes I guess that happens Absolutely beautiful scenery riding to/from Lake Sequoyah from/to Fayetteville. Awesome views of the mountians to the south. I was actually wishing I had a road bike to ride out around there; I'm sure the local roadies go out that way. Nice super wide shoulder and lanes, low traffic, and accessible to mountain climbs everywhere. Of course I opted for the flat routes since I was on the SS MTB, which kind of sucked actually, unless you like to spin like crazy for 9 miles

Got to the trails at Lake Sequoyah (the actual lake is awesome, kind of reminded me of a mini Leatherwood tucked in between some mountains with an old WPA era stone dam). There are two different out and back trails at Lake Sequoyah, the Rookery and the Kingfisher. I started out on the Rookery which ran along the southern east side of the lake. This trail would have been really fun if it had not been completely overgrown. Definitely in need of a good weed wacking. other than than the trail ran within 10-15 feet of the laake at all times, giving you sweet views. One spot you will go into the lake if you don't manuver your bik right. The singletrack was super flat and fast, no roots or rocks to speak of (The OORC also built these 2 trails and did a great job). It was fun riding other than the super tall grass I was riding through on 6 inches of tread

The Kingfisher trail is across the road, right outside the gate of the marina/trailer home. This trail was super wide open for the first half, really looked like double track, but again it was in need of a trim. The second half after the turn around the lake got into more wooded area trail like the Rookey trail, minimal rocks and roots (very minimal) and again super fast smooth singletack (if it was trimmed). This trail is also an out and back so I turned around and headed back to the marina area to road ride back. No more bus wacking for me.

All in all they weren't the best trails I had ridden so far down here, short mileage (maybe 6 miles total on the two out/backs), but they're by far not the worst I have ever ridden in my life. I think with just a simple trim, these two trails would be really fun to rip back and forth for a few hours. I'll try them out again this winter or when I know for sure they have been cut back.

Mount Sequoyah


View from atop Mount Sequoyah looking west over Fayetteville.

Hopped back on the road to Fayetteville, got to Happy Hollow road and turned north to start the climb up Mount Sequoyah. The road will take you about halfway up the mountain and is totally rideable (32-18 SS 29r). On your left you will see a huge kiosk and a paved trail randomly entering the woods. The paved trail takes you about a 1/4 mile in to a shelterhouse where the singletrack branches off in like 8 directions from there. I found out real quick that these are probably mostly hiking trails. Very terrible construction, lots of fall line stuff. I made the decision to just hike-a-bike up to the very top of the mountain so at least I could ride back down Had a nice little hike up a ridiculously graded/eroded/rocky mess and got to the top. If I would have had rear suspension I would have gone back down, and actually saw a coupe guys on full DH bikes ready to jump in (There are two enterances to the trail, at the very top of the mountain where I now was and the lower enterance on the east side). They were quite impresssed by the fact that I had came up the trail instead of gone down it. The two fellas confirmed my suspesions that the only riders out there really were DH guys who started at the top and just ripped it down, which would be extremely fun other than the fact i was on a rigid 29r with 80 mm front suspension and other than that it was just hikers that used it. I'd ride them again if I had some more squish and a shuttle Even saying all that, I would assume it's probably a 3-5 minute run down the hill, really short.

Mount Kessler

Basically to sum this up real fast, it's like someone transplanted swope park on mount kessler and vice versa. Terrain is eerily similar. I swear a few times I was riding at home Huge rouck boulder faces, sweet rock gardens, armoured creek crossings, huge crib walls/rock work, massive bench cuts, big drops/step-ups, small drops/step-ups, fast flowy flat single track, tight windy tree pinched singletrack, lung bursting climbs and ripping downhills. Absolutely an awesome mix throughout the mountain.

Starting off, I met with a couple guys I rode with Wednesday at Ozark Mountain Smokehouse on Hwy 62 west of I-540. You go up the mountain on this steep, extremely long climb (~15 minutes) a little more than midway up the mountain to enter into the single track. From there, I thought we had climbed a lot already, this was only the beginnning. It was like going up the first switchbacks at swope, but 5x as long. The worst part was I think was that it was all doable on my 32-18 29r, albiet I was at a very hard grind. We went through some sweet bouldering and one creek that had to be walked because of washout. Definitely was wishing for a 19/20 on the rear about 20 minutes into the single track climb up. Was definitely glad I had the bar ends on. About 5 minutes later we came to a clearing getting towards the top. We (I) caught our (my) breath, stashed some bottles and took of to the eastern side. About a 40-45 minute climb total to start.

Climbed just a tad more then ripped down hill for a little bit, then did a huge climb again (~15 min) and came to another intersection. This is where I found out that these trails are basically a series of stacked loops (I think 4-5 total). we continued on around the ridge to "lookout 1" looking over the to the southeast across prime ozark scenery. Looped around some more and hit "lookout 2" which had views off to the west. awesome spots, really want to get back to them in the fall

Continued along the ridge to another loop that went back doen the mountain a little then sent you off a perfect 3-4 foot drop that you couldn't help but hit because you're going so fast. Then through an area they called "rock city" which was damn near identical to 8-pins in that it was a bunch of rocks, step-ups, drops, tight turns, etc. And it was about 3/4 a mile long! Intense workout. We looped around some how somewhere and ended up doing this section the other way as well. very very fun. Lots of huge boulder faces, large stone, great rock work, tight benchcut mountain singletrack. Very fun section of trail. We had a little bit of a climb back up to the original clearing spot, but compared to the first climb and the second from the east side back up this one on the west side was cake. We re-watered thankfully cause we were all out, then got to go back down the 45 minute climb. It took less than 10 to get back down and I had a pretty good scare hitting some loose gravel at probably 45 mph., I was told my bike was sideways in the air (good ole moto skills came back thankfully).

To sum up, these are some of the best trails I have ridden in my life, if not the best. It has absolutely everything. When paired with Dennis Moore's trails, fayetteville can boast some absolutely kick ass singletrack. I will definitely make time for both these systems every time I am in fayetteville from now on, and hopefully include them on all future NW arkansas trips mixed in along with Leatherwood, Devils Den, Slaughter Pen, Hobbs, and/or Upper Buffalo.

FInal Thoughts

Fayetteville had some pretty nasty local trails, that no one knows about (other than Lake Fayetteville). Definitely going to be including Mount Kessler on any arkansas trips, and hopefully moore's too. really sick systems. Lake Sequoyah would be nice with a trim and maybe a few more miles of trail, if possible (don't know what land they have to work with). All in all, a trip that wasn't geared at riding at all brought some of the best rides I've ever had. Very nice people down in Arkansas, bike shop guys helped out big time on the trails, Jonathan Sebring took me on two rides to two different private systems, that were really sick. He's not exactly a bad rider either: USAC results Super nice guy too. He should be coming up to dominate some KC cross stuff later this fall and we have to return the visit to Slaughter Pen Hollow for their jam the first weekend of november (XC, Short track, Trail run, Trials, and Mountain Cross!)

ok, i bet this post is really long. There's pictures, embedded links and good prose. Must say I'm really on top of this one :)...outie.

peace and riding!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fayetteville, Arkansas

To see my ride reports from this week in Fayetteville, please visit:

http://forums.earthriders.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=12001

good times...more thoughts to come.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

lots and lots of riding.

lets see here....since july 24 I've ridden a ton. that day I did the farmhouse classic gravel grinder hosted by joe fox of cycle city. great free event north of kc. ended up with 78 miles around 7 hours total time w/breaks and all.

the next day I did cliff drive laps and a downtown river/west bottoms ride with clay. ended up doing 35 miles when I had planned on 15.

monday was the mccoys ride and we did an extended after-food ride. another 25 in the book.

tuesday I rode swope for like 4 hours. awesomeness as always. having multiple loops to choose from now is awesome. as is having open connections :)

wednesday I ventured up to he northland with eric a for the humpday ride at the smok and davey trail head. huge group, i was having slider problems still so I ended up doing about a half lap then another small loop later. smithville trails are really fun on a single speed.

thursday was swope again for another 4 hours. 2 before the race, I timed, then 2 after plus another one with adam riding blue river road to the trolley trail back to the plaza.

friday I took a little break. :)

saturday (yesterday) I did this:

Decided to hit Clinton today instead of the river. I was really leery about doing so cause I had already seen the damage but was really happy after 4.5 hours of riding :D

There are lots (and I mean lots) of areas that have become double track or wider. The farther west you get the better it gets, generally. There are also numerous trees down, washed out creek crossings and the lake has reclaimed parts of the low lying blue trail. There are still the occasional mud holes, and even a few areas with standing water in the tread still cause there's no where for it to go. All in all though the trail tread has packed back in well for I'd say 90% of the trail.

I rode from northwest lawrence over to kasold, took that south to k-10 then took the south lawrence trafficway trail out to clinton. Continued out to Sander's Mound then took the connector up to the north shore trails. This was the first time in a long time I had ridden that connection and you can definitely tell not many people ride it. Basically a mowed grass path now until you actually get up to the tree line.

Once up to the actual trails I rode white for the first 5 miles then took a connector down to blue about 1/4 mile later. Finished Blue to land's end then continued on blue to campground 1 where I refilled my bottles. Jumped back down from the campground and took the white trail again for probably another mile or so then connected back down to blue which I finished riding out to the skills park. Rode the skills park for a few laps then decided to ride the cactus ridge loopm as it is one of my fave areas of clinton. I thought I was eating spiders before but this section was terrible, literally stopping ever couple minutes to de-web my face. The trail in this area is also extremely overgrown and the tread is actually un-follow-able through the meadow sections because of weed overgrowth. Just needs a good weedeating and some wheels and cactus ridge will be buff again. Got back to the skills park, did another couple laps, got to the end, hit a good 2 foot drop off the ties then got an infamous clinton thorn in my rear tire, which I had a tube in still. Changed it and got probably 25 psi in and decided it had been almost 4 hours and I had no patches, no tube, and had now lost 11 knobbies off my non-drive side rear tire. Needless to say I jumped back out to the road, past the park gate then dropped back in to take the last mile of trail back. Made it through then hopped back down to the paved trail and took it back north along k-10 and back into north west lawrence.

I was riding w/breaks for 4.5 hours and probably managed 40+ miles. Great RIM training! I forgot how humbling the roots of the white trail can be, those climbs are NOT single speed friendly.

Today I rode out to Perry to watch the racing action since my rear tire was trash and no shop was open until noon. 50 miles roundtrip and got to watch 3 hours of good racing on even better trails. wish i would have had the 29r as I don't get to perry often anymore. It was really hard being there and not being able to ride trail.

I found out some shitty news in the past couple days. The man I have considered my father for a long time (since before my real father was murdered) has been told that he basically has about 6 more weeks to live if he's lucky. He has had cancer for over 6 years now, multiple rounds of chemo, had multiple surgeries, is on enough drugs to literally kill someone else, and is is need of 24/7 care now.

Because of this I have decided to cancel the MTB Tour of Kansas City to take a trip to Arkansas with him. We have done this a lot and I would like to do it again. It just sucks that this might be my last chance so I'm not going to miss it. I will be rescheduling these events in the near future. mtbkc.blogspot.com for more info


peace and riding!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Laundry and such

This is how you do 8 loads of laundry when you don't have a car :)

1 schwinn, 3 crates and 1 fisher price kid carrier.

bam suckas!




on other riding related stuff had a huge day weekend really. Saturday I rode for about 3 hours at swope from 5-8, then sunday I woke up early, rode the road bike to swope, did 3 hours of trail work, felt great so decided to RUN (gasp!), and popped off probably a good dirty 5 k...side note, this was one of the best runs I ever had, running phase 3 and the short track loops at swope are awesome! (cough: flat)...then I rode back home ate some chef boyardee ravolieeeeee then went to lawrence with phil and jon (aka dirty mummy) to ride the river trail. great day all in all.

oh yea, short track started last week too. I got 2nd and puked, it was good.

peace and riding.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

new stuff.

been riding not a lot recently, but enough to satisfy the urge it seems. should pick back up after I finish spanish class this week.

lots of great Tour of lawrence pics up here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/teamcolavitakc/

I'll be hosting the dirty thursday short track series at swope this year, for the inagural year :) mtbkc.blogspot.com for more

also the MTB-KC tour of kansas city. details also at mtbkc.blogspot.com more to some soon, i promise.

lance is finished at the tour after today. no one should be suprised, I'm not. now let's see if he's a real man and sticks around for his team or pulls (i'm guessing the latter within a week).

fucking monsoons, when did KC become costa rica north?

peace and riding!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour of Lawrence Pics

This pretty much sums up my Tour of Lawrence (dying), I'm 349 on the right, Ryan is on the left:



--from SomethingClassicinKC

These are from Jake:



--Ty, Ryan and I on the line before start, next pic too



--COLAVITA LOVING!!!



and these are from good ole Roger (lantern Rouge):




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