Thursday, May 24, 2007

And why is there such a lack of singletrack in Portland?



New York City gets more trails

New York City and mountain biking are two words not often occurring in the same sentence, but New Yorkers will soon have a new place to practice dirt jumping at Inwood on Manhattan, a new three-mile trail system.

"On the face of it, it sounds preposterous," admitted city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to the New York Daily News. "But we really do have it, and it takes advantage of the terrain that was always there. It's probably the only mountain-bike course in the country you can get to by subway."

The trails are result of 18 months of work and a US$100,000 state grant. They are aimed at BMX jumpers, casual riders, and hard-core experts. The Parks Department was looking for an area appropriate for cyclists.

"It's pretty impressive for mountain biking in the middle of New York City," said Jamie Bogner of the New York City Mountain Bike Association to the New York Daily News. The club helped plan and build the paths and will host a cross-country race Sunday after the trails open Saturday. "We look for the longest way from point A to point B, with every technical obstacle we can find."

The Fort George Hill Trails twist and turn through a section of Highbridge Park once considered unsafe by park goers and littered with stolen cars.

New York City Parks Department officials are also looking at trail opportunities at Cunningham Park in Queens and at capped landfills in the Bronx's Pelham Bay and Staten Island's Fresh Kills.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Falls City Firecracker presented by Cyclepath

'Mountain Biking'
Sung to the tune of 'Kung Fu Fighting'

Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing

There was lots of single track in this built up ewok town
They were riding it up and they were riding it down
It's an ancient Marin art and everybody knew their part
From a hucking a gap, and sprinting from the start

Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing

There was spandex clad dudes and baggy shorts too
The downhill singletrack came round, smoking fast, cool
We took a jump and made a stand, started sliding down the trail
The sudden motion made me skip now we're on a downhill rail

Everybody was mountain biking
Those dudes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they rode with expert timing

(repeat)..make sure you have expert styling
Mountain Biking, had to be fast as lightning

Falls City Firecracker Presented by Cyclepath

The stats:

  • May 20th, 2007
  • Falls City, Oregon - Black Rock Freeride area
  • First Race of the year
  • My First Mountain bike race in over 5 years(excluding Short track)
  • 2nd place finish (Sport class)

This past weekends race took place at the Black Rock Freeride 'park' - Basically an area outside of Salem, OR (Falls City) owned by the Oregon Department of Forestry that has been designated as a recreation area. The Black Rock Mountain Biking Association has been busy building up a really nice freeride area there (lots of ladders, jumps, skinnies, gaps, drops, as well as lots of trails) for the past couple of years. The course itself was a multi-lap format where each lap was about 4.5 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain per lap. Basically, each lap consisted of a prolonged uphill grind up a combo fire road & single track and then a bombing single track & fire road descent. The promoter of the race did incorporate some routes that had ladders and drops into the course which did add to the excitement and made me glad I was riding my 5 inch travel full suspension Titus Motolite. (The Motolite was probably the least cross country oriented bike to make a showing though).

Cyclepath has been the title sponsor of the race for the past couple of years. I missed it last year, so I made a point to race it this year even though I had really low expectations. My main goal was to be there to support the shop as they have been so great for me. The race itself was good fun and the Cyclepath team was out in force (A Cyclepath rider took 1st in the SS), though it was quite wet and muddy which did make some of the ladders slippery. I did admittedly race pretty conservatively though.

The race start & finish was midway up the fire road climb which resulted in both the start and the finish being on a hill (nice...). At the starting gun, I took off with the pack and proceeded to pick off a few riders here and there, about .5 miles into the climb I was at the front with 2 other guys (on Single Speeds!). 2 other guys - another SSer and another geared rider were close on my tail.

By the top of the climb, I was still hanging in with the top 5 guys (3 single speeders and the one guy in my class). I managed to stick with them for the descent and much of the start of the 2nd lap, however at that point they began to pull away (a bit) and we basically stayed in this position until the end of the race. I pretty much raced solo for the remainder of the race, lapping the occasional slow rider here and there. I finished about 1 minute behind the leader and at least 3-4 minutes ahead of #3.

Sorry, no pictures this time as my photog had prior commitments with the family.

Training Log 5/18

Here's how it went down this week. We'll see how much progress is made at this weekends firecracker race.

Monday - Lunch time Fairmont Loop road ride
Tuesday - Gym at lunch, evening mountain bike ride (night)
Wednesday - Gym at lunch
Thursday - Lunch time Flat road Fixed Gear out to Sauvies Island from work
Friday - AM Forest Park ride

Love the spring.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Training log 05/13/07

In the spirit of my blogs new name, I wanted to share this past weeks training log.

Monday - Lunch time road ride
Tuesday - Lunch time SS mtn ride in FP
Wednesday - Gym
Thursday - Fixed gear - up Lovejoy to Skyline to the Cemetary and back
Friday - AM SS mtn ride in FP prior to work.

good times.

Firecracker is next weekend.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Title

Taking a page from my friend, teammate and fellow blogger, I've decided to rename my blog (for the 3rd time) to something a bit more "me".

I still like the name "Axles of Evil". I thought of it soon after the infamous Axis of Evil speech by our "fearless" leader. Unfortunately, alot of others also thought about it, including a bike polo team here in Portland.

I then changed the name to "Two Wheels Only" (or TWO). I liked it, but it never really fit.

"The Lunch Time Grind" came to me on a lunch time ride this afternoon. As a full time working parent I do most of my training rides in during the week - My regular commute to and from work, lunch time rides and either long rides in or long rides home. Weekend rides are few and far between, so they are a luxury (Especially mtn bike rides!). I do however get out with the family (trail-a-bike in tow) on a regular basis, so I can't complain about that.

I *think* some people might be interested in a working dads racing and riding experiences, right?