Moab.... Where the beer flows like wine. Part 1.

There is a little town in Utah, you probably haven't heard of it, called Moab (pronounced moe-ab). The thing about Moab is that you can ride a mountain bike there, and it is super crazy fun.

Coincidentally I (Lucero) found myself in Moab on two different riding trips over the past three weeks.  The first trip was a dealer event with Devinci Cycles.  They decided this year that they should skip the trade show, and just go on rad mountain bike trips with their dealers all over the country.  We whole heartedly supported this idea the moment we were invited.  Using scientific methods, it was decided the Vince and I would be the lucky ones to go on the trip. 

Devinci did it up right, hosting several dealers in a big house in Moab, with a fully stocked kitchen and a caterer showing up each evening to cook up amazing dinners, and a completely ridiculous beer pile, as well as heavy duty margaritas every night.

Pro-tip; pick up your 20 cases of Ska brewing when you are in Durango, Moab beer prices aren't fun.

And of course, awesome riding on amazing bikes.  We shuttled both days with Coyote Shuttles, home of the extended Vanagon shuttle rigs.

After years of seeing these vans in Moab, it was pretty fun to finally ride in one (except actually I was super hung over and car sick the whole time).  Our driver made the extended vans himself, and he is the mechanic for the fleet as well.  He was a Vanagon zealot, as you may guess.  It was a fun conversation on the drive to Upper Porcupine on our first day of riding.

We were dropped off in the clouds and fog, with a light drizzle/snow starting shortly after we started riding.  It was sort of an ominous start to the day, which didn't help me feel any better about the hangover/car sickness. 
But, the weather cleared up pretty quickly, and it turned into a beautiful day. 

Pro-tip; tuck your ears under the band of your Rec Specs for maximum aero, and for the ladies.  

 Vinnie givin' the trail the ol' what-for.

If you haven't "done" Porcupine Rim, you really should.  And if you can time it right, do the Whole Enchilada (there is often snow at the top in the spring, and summer in Moab can be brutally hot, so we usually seem to miss out on it).  

Our second day of riding was the collection of trails known as Mag 7.  It was bananas (b-a-n-a-n-a-s).  

I'm too sexy for this cliff. 

Mid-ride sandwich was so good, it seemed selfie worthy.

The challenging and unique trails combined with absurdly impressive views makes Moab a truly special place.

The Mag 7 route finishes on Portal trail, famous for being super technical and also deadly.  It was super impressive to watch many of the guys in our group charge the trail at full speed and make it look easy.  I could see them doing this from my position off the back, where I definitely did not make anything look easy.  

Zoom in, can you spot the rider in black (or the trail)?

We rode back into town, and to the house, for another night of amazing food, endless beer, and good company.  It was a lot of fun partying with other shop owners from the region.  I don't often get to chat with other bike shop owners, and I made new friends from Kokopelli, Big Al's Bicycle Heaven, and Colorado Cyclist, among others.  

We partied enough on the last night that I achieved drunken selfie status with our gracious hosts from Devinci, Bryan and Francis.

Turns out the Québécois like to party too!

Big thanks to Devinci, and Brent and McKenzie for having us on the trip, and the absolute first class rock star treatment.  

Thats all the attention span I have for now, so next time I'll get to my second Moab trip, with my crew from Elevate PHW, and our tackling of White Rim trail in one day.  


Closed Saturday 12/2 .... Swinton's gettin' hitched!

Hello Dear Readers!

You may remember a fella that goes by the name of Dan Swinton, aka Danny, aka Swank Steak (nobody actually calls him Swank Steak). You know, the red head that hides in the corner and builds the wheels, and owns half the store with me.

Anyway, that fella decided to see if his Special Lady Friend, the lovely Ms Anona, was willing to marry him. This was generally considered a good thing for him to do, as it was commonly accepted that Swank Steak would never find another Special Lady Friend as lovely and perfect for him as Ms Anona. 

Much to everybody's surprise, Ms Anona agreed to his proposition.  In fact, she more than just agreed, she was quite enthusiastic about it, and set about planning the wedding post-haste! And that day is coming up, on Saturday December 2nd!

Unfortunately, the wedding could not be planned to accommodate Bikeworks normal operating hours. And for some reason, everybody that works at the shop was invited to the wedding, which honestly concerns me a little, as I'm not sure all our employees are wedding-guest material, but oh well.

The point being, we have no choice but to close the business for the day of December 2, 2017.  I assure you we are quite brokenhearted at having to miss a wonderful Saturday of working in the shop, and I will spend most of my conscious thoughts on the bikes I could be fixing for you, Dear Reader, while attending the wedding.  Seriously.

But, it's not everyday that your business partner and best friend gets to marry his soul mate (I'm assuming they are soul mates, based on the amount of time they have spent riding a tandem together without breaking up), so we gotta do what we gotta do.

Thanks for reading, and we will be back open on Monday Dec. 4th at 8am, most likely with stories of drunken wedding shenanigans for your entertainment.

Race Report: Zia Rides Tommyknocker 10, 2017 Edition

It's almost spring, so that means it's time once again to get out and do some bike racing in some uncomfortably cold almost-spring New Mexico weather.

So last weekend I (Lucero) loaded up my new battlewagon, aka Code Brown, aka The Funmobile, and headed down to Silver City for the 3rd annual running of the Zia Rides Tommyknocker 10 race.
This race is the only 10 hour race in a series of 12 hour, and one 24 hour, races. The 10 hour format is to accommodate the short daylight in February, and avoid the need of using lights, in case you were wondering.

Just in its third year, this race has grown very quickly in popularity and it sold out for 2017. Being very caught up in the effort of moving the shop (did you hear, we moved!), by the time I realized the race was coming up it was already sold out. Fortunately John The Viking found himself in need of a last minute teammate substitute, and I was the man for the job.

With a Friday afternoon planned departure, the Mark Castelo and I found out on Thursday evening that we were both planning to drive out alone. So I invited the Mark Castelo to join me in Code Brown for a noisy, slightly below speed limit, and windblown trip.  Thankfully he joined me, and we had a good ol' fashioned buddy adventure on our hands.

The one and only Mark Castelo, never not smiling.

We made it to the race venue without any trouble, which was nice, because a) I don't 100% expect my new (old) van to make it through every road trip without trouble, and b) I didn't 100% expect my new bike rack setup to actually succeed in holding onto the bikes on the interstate with very strong winds.

As seen above, I decided to take two bikes to race on, a brand new Devinci Django 29 with a custom build kit and Shimano XT Di2 electronic drivetrain, and our Yeti SB5+ demo bike set up with 29" wheels.  
Both bikes rode awesome, and I would have to spend significantly more time on each to figure out which one I liked better. And both bikes are now (still) completely caked in mud and an utter mess.

Why so muddy? Well, this year there was 8 (or 9 or 10) stream crossing per 12 mile lap on course. And a couple of the stream crossing were decently big, as in you had to put in a pedal stroke or two to get through, and deep enough that if you hit them with speed you were soaked from the waist down.

These steam crossing were the talk of the race. Mostly because the temperatures were in the low thirties over night, and I'd be surprised if it hit 50 during race day. So everybody had soaking cold wet feet by about mile 2, and was finishing their laps with numb toes. I have no idea how the solo riders were handling it, as I was so happy to have an hour in between laps to change socks and shoes and get my feet dry and warmed up.

Despite the cold windy weather, and all the frozen toes, everybody I saw out at the race was enjoying themselves tremendously.  As usual, it was all good spirits, high fives, hoots and hollers, and plenty of pints and pizza as the race drew to a close and we watched the final racers come across the finish line.

The Dr.Dave and The Dr.Brad, happy and worn out from their solo races. 

The MV, looking like he's about to cause some trouble. 

The Trevor, who's 10 year old rode 3 laps (36 miles!) with him.

We were rewarded with a wonderful sunset.

And everybody was handed a birthday hat and we sang happy birthday to Seth, el Capitan of Zia Rides, and he turned 40 that day (ewww, old, gross).

John the Viking and I were out to enjoy ourselves, and just put in a couple of good efforts, with no goals of getting on the podium (and we succeeded in enjoying ourselves and we got nowhere near the podium, win win!).  Jay and Kevin, racing for our newly formed Elevate PHW / Bikeworks ABQ race team, did manage to take the win in the Mens Duo category (again). And team member Vern picked up the 3rd place trophy in the Mens Duo with Barry on his team.

It was a great weekend, during which I never really felt warm, rode my mountain bike more than I have in months, filthied up a couple of brand new bikes, and totally didn't even break down once in Code Brown (I've heard there were some bets against me, no love for the 30 year old VW's!).  We are all now fired up to have mountain bike race season back upon us. Plans are being hatched for the next Zia Rides event, 12 Hours in the Wild West, in Ruidoso in April.  You should join, I expect it will be much warmer, there will be fewer (or zero) river crossings, and we can all camp out, drink too many beers, an have sore legs and sore cheeks from laughing and smiling so much.

Moving Time!!!

Hey everybody, we are heading to a new, and much nicer, location.  Which means we will be closed the rest of this week, Thursday Jan. 26th through Sunday Jan. 29th.
We will be open there Monday the 30th at 8am.

Our new address is...
2920 Stanford Dr. NE Suite 180
Albuquerque NM, 87107

It's over there in the "brewery district". So if you know how to get to La Cumbre, The Canteen, Left Turn Distillery, and 365 Distillery, you'll be able to find us.

Here, let me google that for you.. 

Here are a few pics of our new spot (it doesn't have any stuff in it yet, but just you wait!)....

Yeti Tribe 2016: Uncompahgre Plateau

Hi, this is Lucille speaking...

We rolled up to the Yeti Tribe gathering. There was a little check in table, a waiver to sign, a T shirt to be gotten, etc.  And a personalized sticker for your bike, a nice memento and a way to keep everybody's bikes straight (it can get complicated when there are hundreds of Yetis laying around).  This was my first trip to the Tribe, but I had seen these stickers on customers bikes, and was looking forward to getting one of my own.
The check in table was being ran by children, girls in the 10 to 12 year old range if I had to guess.  We already had these girls a little flustered, because there were four of us talking over each other, and asking them questions they weren't there to answer.
"So what's your name"
"Dan Lucero"
"Hmm, I don't see that sticker here. Do you have a nick name?"
"Errr, no."
"There's a Lucille sticker, is that you?"
"No, thats not me."
Then the girl proceeds to look through all the stickers, looking for Dan, or Lucero, with no luck.
"Are you sure its not Lucille"
 The oldest girl at the table jumps in, asks my name again, cross references a different list, and shouts out "Dan Lucero- yeah, Lucille is his sticker"

Thats when I remember that Swinton signed me up. Well played sir. I believe he had been watching a bit of Arrested Development at the time. Is he saying I'm a grumpy alcoholic matriarch?

Charlie also discovered that he was signed up as Chuck Fresh, but that makes sense, because that is his actual name.*

(*not his actual name)

The Tribe Gathering is basically a big bike riding weekend party that Yeti has been throwing for 15 years. Reportedly it started impromptu, with 10 people the first year. Last year they had 350. This year was a little down, at 250, presumably due to the remote location of the Uncompahgre Plateau, outside of Montrose CO.  Everyone is invited, as long as you ride Yeti.  They put it on as an appreciation event.  This was the first year of our crew going, although we had a number of customers and friends there that are regulars.

The drive to Montrose takes about six hours. It is both a beautiful and boring drive, at times.  If you have never been on the passes between Durango and Silverton and Ouray, you should check it out, unless you find tight and twisty roads with no guard rails and sheer cliffs scary, in which case you should maybe avoid it.  It is a little surprising to have such a seemingly dangerous stretch of road open to the public in America, the lawyers and safety police haven't taken all the fun away yet.  But I doubt it will be long before somebody goes sailing off the cliff while texting, and somebody will declare the road unsafe.

The Tribe gathering was another 30 minutes or so outside of Montrose up on the Uncompahgre plateau.  So by the time Dave, Charlie, my Dad (aka Lee), and I pulled up to the party we were a little road weary and excited.  After we were finished making the poor 10 year old volunteers stressed out, we found a nice little spot to camp.

The setting was beautiful forest up on the plateau, with the big tent headquarters in a big clearing and dispersed camping all around it.

The event was catered, and the food was amazing. The beer was supplied by Oscar Blues, and there was enough on hand to kill every last attendee with alcohol poisoning.

Friday was pretty mellow, as there was a big day of riding ahead on Saturday. We didn't have enough time to ride Friday, but lots of people had been out exploring the area that day.

So if you happen to own a school bus, you should totally build a deck on the roof, and then get a 3 man water balloon launcher, because it is hilarious.

You can really take some people by surprise when you hit them with a water balloon from 100 yards away.

Saturdays ride was dubbed "The Whole Uncalada", the local equivalent to Moabs Whole Enchilada.  It was 27 miles, with a shuttle at both ends, and way way more descending than climbing.  
Loading up 3 moving trucks and two school busses with riders was an impressive sight.

And the stretch of bikes laying along the side of the road at the start of the ride was awesome. It was a seriously impressive collection of nice bikes.

It was a great ride. We didn't stop for too many photo ops, we were having too much fun pedaling.

But feeling thoroughly jazzed on the bus ride home (with a couple quick beers in me), there was plenty of time for photos.

We got back and stuffed ourselves on an amazing dinner.

Danny doesn't appear to trust his meal.

And once everyone was thoroughly fed and beered up, Yeti started their traditional stupid human tricks.

Mini bike racing...

Mini bike tossing...

 And foot down....

There was some talking on the mike, a little video to watch, and eventually a booze fueled dance party broke out.  I may or may not boogie down when the right number of beers have been drank and the music is good.

We did another ride on Sunday morning before heading out of town. It was a beautiful ride through the trees on really nice loamy soil, undulating along the plateau, with a few great views thrown in.
Then we packed it up and hauled tail back to 'Burque. A quick 12 hours at home and here I was opening shop Monday morning, bleary eyed and smiling.  I can definitely think of worse ways to spend 72 hours.

We will definitely go again next year. I hope we can bring even more friends with us then. If you're lucky, you'll get to watch me dance (and maybe even get an "I love you man" hug from me).

Thanks for reading.