Today On A Bike

This week’s been a bit tough for me with a kidney stone, something I deal with once a year or so. I didn’t get a lot of miles in this week because of that but I did manage this relaxing ride at Northshore and a group road ride earlier this week. It was my first time riding my fatbike there. It’s a rough ride on a rigid bike even if it’s got fat tires. Sadly, my titanium fatbike probably doesn’t have a long life with me looking forward. I love it but I don’t think I’ll ride it enough to justify keeping it. I think a hardtail or another Epic would get a lot more use in my normal mountain biking down here in Texas.

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Spring Knoxville MTB Trip

I joined some friends for a spring mountain bike trip this weekend in Knoxville Tennessee. We largely rode the Urban Wilderness trails. It was a fun trip to see some good friends I’ve not seen in a bit. I slept in my Element part of the way from Texas to Tennessee on the drive up to our Air BNB house rental. My element and Ibis are as dependable as ever.

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Putting Tires On Dirt In Texas – Northshore Trails

We’re settling into life in Wylie outside of Dallas Texas now. I took the opportunity yesterday on a beautiful sunny 68ºF Sunday to ride my Ibis HD3 at Northshore trails near Dallas Texas. It’s the trail system that I’d been wanting to ride since moving based on reviews. I only had enough daylight to ride the East loop which makes up about half of the 20 or so miles of singletrack. I’ll be back soon to loop the whole place.

Gathering my stuff took about twenty minutes longer than usual because of the move and it’s been a while.

It was really nice to ride again. The roller coaster of flowy and technical trails were a lot of fun. There was plenty of rock and the trail flowed as well as about anything else I’ve ever pedaled. I had a great time and will be back regularly.

Riding local rocky trails in 70ºF temps in January. That’s something I’ve never typed before.

I met some nice local DORBA members. I wanted to show some of the technical climbs and descents. Here’s a local making his way up a rocky steep climb and he later held my phone to capture me rolling down a section. #itsAlwaysSteeperInRealLife :)

It’s been too long, but now that’s made correct. I’ve got a lot of exploring and riding to start doing every week. I’ve found several mountain bike trail systems and will begin to check them out. I want to ride up and around a lake in my area on my cross bike. The roads are busy enough I’d like to find an out of traffic country loop somewhere. I’m hoping I can make that happen in the coming weeks. I’ll join the big group rides on the road as soon as I can make up my mind on what road bike to buy. (Please Specialized release the 2017 S-Works Tarmac Dura Ace Di2 soon…)

Thanks for continuing to read this thing I started a few years ago. I hope you find some joy out of it in this sometimes crazy but often times wonderful world we’re living in.

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2016 Lake Tahoe Trip

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The highlight every year cycling for me are the big group trips. Winning a race is amazing, but doesn’t come anywhere close to a great trip. Time spent with special people who feel like family, amazing locations, and shared experiences that will last a lifetime are as good as it gets for me. This year, we traveled to Lake Tahoe, California. The week we spent was perfect, great weather, amazing trails, smiles shared on the porch around meals, I could go on and on…

A lot of the amazing downs are captured in the video at the bottom of this post. Check that out, I’m pretty proud of it.

Day One, Cold Water Downhill – Garmin Data

After unpacking our bikes and building them up, I joined a good friend for an out and back to get our tires into some Lake Tahoe downhill action. The trail’s surface was made up of sandy granite dust, dirt, and rock. The elevation wasn’t as bad as trips to high mountain areas but rides starting around 6,500′ and climbing to above 9,500′ on some days did remind you where you were.

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Day Two, Armstrong Pass to Corral Downhill – Garmin Data

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My loved Ibis HD3 and I were in real harmony this trip. It’s dialed in to what I wanted in a trail bike almost to my idea of perfection. I love the one by eleven drivetrain. The 28 tooth chain ring paired with the 42 tooth cog allowed for easy work up any pitch and the 10 tooth cog allowed me to pedal as fast as I dared. The brakes were great, the tires were great, I’m really happy with the bike.

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My good friend Matt riding his Ibis HD3 much better than I can, making fun work of the terrain. It’s really fun to ride behind him until he disappears riding away from me. His bike skills as well as his character are equally impressive, and I look up to both traits, even if his signing is pretty bad on the climbs. Spending time with him and his family make these trips a great experience.

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Day Three, Star Lake Loop – Garmin Data

This was our big ride of the week, climbing over 3,800′ to Freel Pass at 9,535′. The last 1,000′ were pretty steep and tough. The views were great up there though.

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On the descent, we passed by Star Lake, a real beauty tucked away in the mountains that my iPhone picture doesn’t do justice.

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Day Four, Family Beach Time

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Day Five, Mr. Toads Wild Ride – Garmin Data

Mr. Toads Wild Ride is probably my favorite downhill I’ve ever ridden. It’s really good. The top section has tech far bigger than I feel comfortable riding but it soon fades into tech right at or slightly above my comfort level, making for great fun. The trail didn’t let up like many of the downhills I’ve ridden. Mr. Toads Wild Ride felt like the tech, speed, and fun were turned up the entire down. I loved it.

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Day Six, Armstrong Pass to Corral Downhill Revisited – Garmin Data

We revisited the Corral Downhill on day six, it didn’t disappoint the second time, great trail.

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Day Six, Flume Trail – Garmin Data

Flume Trail was one I wanted to ride after hearing about it, so I doubled up on my last day to catch it. The ride had a 1,400′ sandy climb up and down on the out and back route I rode. There wasn’t any real tech and once on Flume Trail, there was no real climbing or descending, but the views of Lake Tahoe were second to none. The beauty of the ride for me is only rivaled by 401 in Crested Butte, CO.

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Beyond the amazing riding, this vacation was perfectly rounded for me personally. There was a great balance of family time, resting away from work, hanging out with friends, and cycling. It was a great recharge, and a reminder of what cycling trips mean to me.

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Here’s a video I put together of some of the downhill awesomeness. The climbs were definitely worth it. The video is a bit shakey in parts and there’s the occasional annoying Camelbak chest strap in the view. I’m still learning and to be fair, tech is bumpy :)

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