We came across the following video last week thanks to All Hail the Black Market, and we can't stop watching it....

It's a truly amazing video, perhaps only rivaled by this one...

Have you seen this new BMX video? Because its kinda cool and stuff....

Wanna know what makes Vince laugh? It's this...

And thats all I got.

12 Hours of ABQ pics

We never got around to posting any pics from the 12 Hours of Albuquerque last month. 
It was the first year of the race and it sold out. The course was great and the weather was perfect. Bikeworks sponsored a donut aid station and we were located roughly at the mid point of the course. We had tools, a bike stand, first aid, water, beer, and tons of donuts on hand. 
Hanging out there on course turned out to be really fun. More fun than I expected. 

Our spot was a good ways in from the road, so we hauled everything in with the Big Dummy. It was entertaining. 

Thanks for the great day Zia Rides! We will see you there next year. 

Is winter here?

It rained most all day today. I'm wondering if the East mountains are going to be muddy for the season. 
Managed to get out for a good Cedro loop on Monday, and it had just dried up from the last rainstorm. 

It was a beautiful day. We found our way onto some of the less commonly ridden trails. 

Guess it's time to dust off the singlespeed and head for the foothills. 

Not-Race Review: 48 Hours of Playing in Flagstaff

Many (most?) mountain bikers in New Mexico have taken a riding trip to Sedona at some point.  It is legendary, and totally rad. On my journeys to Sedona I have just cruised right past Flagstaff, never stopping but always curious what the area had in store for mountain biking fun.
This past weekend I headed out to Flagstaff with a couple of friends, Paul (aka Taco Truck) and Marc (Lindarets)  to be shown everything Flag had to offer by our friend Alex (Alex), who moved there from Albuquerque a couple of years ago.

We headed out of town on Friday after work, finally getting on the road around 5 or so. Flag is a pretty easy drive, only about 4 1/2 hours.  We got to Alex's house sometime after 10pm, and proceeded to stay up drinking beer unnecessarily late into the night. We were all far too excited for the days ahead to go to bed.

After going to bed too late, we proceeded to wake up too early.  A combination of the hour gained, the skylights in Alex's living room, and a loud coffee maker had Paul, Marc and I up and milling around by 5:30 am.  It has been a long time since I've seen 5:30 am, but the anticipation of a big day of riding new trails had me awake and feeling energetic even before my requisite 3 cups of coffee.  It sure is easy to get out of bed when you have nothing but riding bikes to look forward to for the next couple days.

Adding to my excitement was the fact that I had brought our Yeti SB5-C demo bike to ride for the weekend.

I hadn't ridden this bike since the Glorieta Enduro race a few months ago, so I was very excited to get some quality long days in and really get a feel for it.  After 60 something miles and 8,000 something feet of elevation over two days on singletrack, I can now say without question that I love this bike.  It does absolutely everything I want a trail bike to do. My single complaint before the weekend was the lack of an accessible water bottle mount, but now I am willing to forgive that flaw.  I am also unwilling to return this bike to our demo fleet.  Currently, if you want to demo our SB5, it's gonna take some sweet talking to get it out of my hands.

But back to our early morning....  Our ride plan was a 9am meetup with a couple of Alex's local buddies (Garrett and Mike) and his lovely girlfriend Erin.  Having woken up at 5:30, we had time to watch the Tour de France race up Alpe d'Huez while Alex made us breakfast burritos before the ride.  I was in my happy place for sure.

One of my favorite things about riding in Flag was that the trails were a quick ride from town.  We pedaled for about 5 minutes through neighborhoods before we were onto little singletrack connectors through other neighborhoods, and then a couple of quick miles later we were in the forest.

(just a couple quick miles on pavement and we were in the dirt)

We didn't touch a car between our arrival to and departure from Flagstaff, which was very gratifying. 

Our course on day 1 had us climbing a steep road a couple of times...

and bombing down a selection of trails around it.  We enjoyed what seemed to be the local downhill shuttle trails, including one called Wasabi that particularly stuck out in my mind for its challenging (for me) log drops and beautifully sculpted berms.  Clearly some locals have worked hard on that trail, and it is a blast.  

The top of the dirt road had some nice views...

I always enjoy a scenic meadow...

Marc managed to take some pics that make me look like I know what I'm doing...

It's important to note that my helmet matched my shoes matched my wheels (for which I was teased repeatedly)...

By the end of the last big climb on Saturday, everybody was looking a little beat...

(happy tired Paul)

(happy tired Marc, Alex and Erin)

This is Garrett, he was riding 26" wheels, a triple crankset, and he didn't have a dropper post.  I tried to explain to him that his bike was obsolete and un-rideable, but he couldn't hear me because I was so far behind him the whole day.  Hopefully he learns soon...

We finished our first day by riding straight to a local brewery and proceeded to be the smelliest, dirtiest, happiest people on the patio while we stuffed our faces with burgers and sandwiches.

I don't remember the stats from day 1, but it was something like 30 miles and 5,000 ft of climbing. 

Day two was planned to be less technical and more pedally, with our route taking us out from downtown quickly onto singletrack, and eventually to the base of the ski area.  

We started the day by going downtown to a bagel shop, grabbing some bagel sandwiches to stuff into our packs for lunch, and something to bring Erin who was working that day at Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution (FBR), which is a very cool shop I had been hearing about and wanting to check out for a while. Over several years a few of my sales reps have told me that FBR and Bikeworks had similar vibes going, so I was curious.  However, their shop is in a cool old building stuck between a brewery and a local pizza place, and they have a proper coffee bar in the shop, so I'm kind of super jealous.

While at the shop, we ran into our friend James, who used to live in Albuquerque but moved to Flag and now as working at Flag Bike Rev. He had heard I was in town, so he intentionally wore his very last wearable Bikeworks sock that day....

I was very flattered, and James should keep his eyes peeled at work for a care package from Albuquerque.  

We pedaled off from FBR and quickly jumped onto some singletrack, then some dirt paths through town, then into the Forest Service land, and at some point we hopped onto the Arizona trail, and followed it up the 6 mile climb to the parking lot at Snowbowl Ski area.   

(Dirt path out of town and to the mountain. It sure is nice to be able to get onto dirt so quickly.)

The climbing was real nice, just steep and technical enough to make you work for it, but easy enough to let you stay on the bike with a steady pace.  Once at the top we took a break with some breakfast bagel sandwiches and freeze dried ice cream that Alex had stuffed into my bag.  

(In case you are wondering, freeze dried ice cream is weird and delicious and deserves a spot in you riding pack)

(Bagels and Ice cream and happy tired boys.)

On the way up we saw a few people who were shuttling laps going down the trail.  I hadn't been paying much attention while climbing, but the trail didn't seem shuttle-worthy at the time since the climb wasn't that hard.  But as soon as we started chasing each other down the mountain, I understood.  It was an incredibly fun and fast 6 mile descent.  Nothing was super steep, but it was generally steep enough to go faster than you should be going. There were enough rocky techy spots to keep you on your toes, but enough smooth open sections to let you relax, haul ass, and rip a few turn.  Marc and I chased Alex all the way down, working hard to stay on his tail. It was all goofy grins and high 5's at the bottom (except we didn't actually high 5, that's not really our style).

From there we just basically backtracked until we found ourselves at Alex's house once again.  We had some root beer floats, got cleaned up, and walked back over the FBR to say hi and grab some beer and pizza for dinner.  

And that's about it.  We eventually wandered back to Alex's place for the night, stayed up too late drinking more beer and whisky and watching the Tour de France, and got up pretty early Monday morning to grab some breakfast and hustle back to ABQ.   Flagstaff is a rad place to go ride, especially if you know awesome people there that want to show you around and give you a place to stay (thanks Alex and Erin!).    

Thanks for reading!

Yeti Demo 7/13

Hey Everybody,
If you are looking for info on today's Yeti Demo, we will be at Chamisoso trailhead in Tijeras from 4 to 8pm this evening. Yeti is bringing SB5C's, SB6C's, and ASR's. 
Bikeworks is bringing some grillin's and some beverages. 
Hope to see you there!

Race Review: 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest, 2015 Edition

Seriously, you guys, I like rode so hard at the 24 Hour race that just now, like 3 weeks later, am I like recovered enough to finally write about it. For reals.
Actually, no, that's a lie.  I has been like 3 or 4 weeks since the race happened, but not writing about it for so long has more to do with working long days, and choosing sleep, and a little bit of riding bikes, which are almost all good things.

So, onto the race.  As usual, it had a lot to do with bacon.

I felt weird buying 48lbs of bacon, Costco employees however, didn't bat an eye.

For several years running, we have sponsored the ever popular Bacon-Station. Situated mid course, and just before the most fun few miles of descending in the race, the Bacon-Station seems to have become an important part of the Enchated Forest experience.

We kept a couple pounds of bacon for our base camp, and Vince made some killer bacon pancakes to get us fueled pre-race.

Take the bacon and you put it in a pancake. Bacon pancaaaaaaaaaakes! 

Who makes the bacon pancakes? This guy.

How much bacon do you bring to feed people on course at a 24 Hour race?  About 50 pounds seems to work well.  At the 'ol Costco the bacon is sold in 4 pound packages (if 1 pound of bacon is good, 4 must be great!), so I picked up a dozen packages.  Ringing up with my 48 pounds of bacon, a 48 pack of Kirkland brand light beer (I just had to try it.  It's not the worst cheap beer I've ever had, but I doubt I'll be buying it again) and a few other grocery items, I felt like I had a weird selection of stuff.  But the cashiers didn't think anything of it, and then I started wondering about what it would take to actually get their attention with your purchases.

The past couple years we used (and killed) microwaves for cooking the bacon.  Open flames weren't allowed due to fire concerns, so the microwave was the solution. However, it turns out that cooking about 50 pounds of bacon over the course of 24 hours will kill a microwave. So this year we had the genius solution of using George Forman grills.  It worked out pretty good.  As a bonus, Savers thrift store had no less than 10 used George Forman grills to choose from.  I picked up 3 just to be safe.
I felt absurd buying 3 George Forman Grills at the thrift shop that morning, and the silliness of it had me grinning like an idiot trying not to laugh at myself, for the second time in one day at the checkout line.  As a result, I'm sure I just looked that much more ridiculous to the cashier, but again there was no question or comment. I'd like to think I caused a little confusion in her day.

Here is the station, being run by the amazing volunteers that show up every year.

As we are on the topic of me buying weird things before a bike race, I am remembering a last minute trip to Sprawl-Wart before the 12 Hours in the Wild West this spring.  I wanted dog tie downs and leads to contain the pooches, and we needed some Almond milk for the kiddo's cereal.  And on my way to finding the milk I came across the liquor aisle, and happened to grab a handle of Jack Daniels.  So, dog ties, almond milk, and a lot of whiskey.  I asked the cashier if this was one of the more odd collections of 3 items she had seen. I believe her reply was "not even close."  I can only imagine what would get the attention of a seasoned Sprawl-Wart employee.  I have since found out that this is a bit of a game people (hypothetically) play.  

Besides bacon, Bikeworks also sponsored the Neutral Support station this year.  It was a bit of a last minute thing, as the organizers needed help and thankfully Vince and Mike were up for it.  Here is our setup, just past the start/finish line in "pit row":

However, just hanging out and fixing flats for 2 days sounded boring, so Vince and Mike signed up for the duo-singlespeed category.  They planned on each taking a few laps casually in addition to fixing bikes and drinking beer etc.  To make things more interesting, they chose to ride Mike's awesome Schwinn Panther coaster brake "klunker".  They both rode the same bike, just adjusting saddle height between laps.  

One speed, rigid, coaster brake only, carbon rims, DH tires, and the legendary Schwinn Panther frame.  Drool on that you bike nerds!

Despite claims that they were barely going to ride, Mike and Vince got inspired during the race and finished a total of 9 laps, coming in 2nd place.  The bike worked very well, however Mike did feel the need to re-pack the coaster brake mid race as they had managed to burn off a lot of grease on the descent.  

Mike repacking the hub, Charlie providing moral support.

The "Neutral Support" job turned out to be a fair bit busier than we had expected.  I think there was some different ideas about what neutral support is, and at least a few racers seemed to think it was the "free tuneup right before you race station".  We weren't entirely prepared for the level of disrepair that some bikes were in when they arrived to the race, but we managed to save the day for more than a few racers, and their gratification was rewarding.  But if we agree to do it again, we will bring more shop supplies, and more spare parts, and maybe a credit card swiper.

Personally I was racing Solo Singlespeed, as I have been doing for the rest of the Zia Rides series.  I have been racing a Spot Honey Badger this whole year. It is an awesome steel frame the Spot recently decided to discontinue. Hopefully they will replace it with something even better (and we happen to have a couple left on our sales floor, on sale even!).

This bike has gone through a couple of changes this year so far.  The most exciting being the Enve M60 hoops on Chris King hubs, wrapped in some Maxxis Ardent skinwalls just for style points.  I am really quite enamored with these wheels, they are so much more laterally stiff than the other 3 pairs of wheels I've had on this frame that I actually ride the bike differently, turning in later, cornering harder, braking less and feeling the tires grip with more confidence.  It's stupid fun, I'm hooked.

This was my first real attempt at soloing a 24 hour race, but after two 12's, and a 10 finished already this spring I figured I was in a good place to give it a shot.  I wasn't taking it too seriously, I was riding pretty fast laps because the course was fun, and then taking decent brakes every other lap or so.  Only drank a couple of beers during the day, and at one point Vince cooked up some steaks, which I don't believe is on the approved mid-race diet, but it was amazing.

While riding I had the idea of taking a selfie after every lap, but I managed to remember just once, about 5 laps in.

I managed to only take about a 4 hour nap in the night, and get back up in time for the sunrise lap, which is always my favorite part of a 24 hr race.  In the end I finished 4th, behind 3 badasses who didn't stop at all during the night.  I finished 11 of the fourteen mile long laps, a personal mileage record on any sort of bike.  The singlespeed winner, Rich Emery, put in an impressive 15 laps.

The turnout seemed good this year, not sure how many people raced, maybe a million?

The co-ed 4 person category turned out to be very popular this year, and a few very competitive teams did some good battling through the night.  The Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution team took the win with 23 laps, after spending much of the race neck and neck with the Stans No-Tubes team.  It was fun for us to keep tabs on the battle as 3 out of 4 members on each team are good friends and customers of ours (the 4th on each team we just don't know, but I'm sure we'd be friends given the company they keep).

Charlie and Danny were also on a 4 person co-ed, with Anona and Brooke. They finished about mid pack with 19 laps. I'm sure they have some stories to tell from the race, but I don't know them. I think I saw Danny for about 10 minutes during the whole race, which is a bummer, because we totally don't get to spend enough time together.

And that's about all I have to talk about for the race.  I'm kind of out of pictures, and really I just rode my bike in circles the majority of the time.  I think some other stuff must have happened, I heard there was trouble with somebody smoking weed in the outhouses (odd choice when you are out in the woods), and something about somebody starting a forest fire, and some drunk locals causing a ruckus, but I really missed it all.

If anybody has any pics of the Bikeworks crew they'd like share, please send 'em my way!

Thanks for reading!

Some time wasting videos....

Last week for some reason I kept coming across YouTube videos that seemed worthy of sharing. So here we are.

Firstly, there was a video posted by Stevil over on All Hail the Black Market.  It's about Matt Hoffman and Dennis McCoy crashing into each other on a half pipe, and the resulting injury is incredibly gross and painful looking.  If don't blame you if you don't want to watch it, but I want to point out the moral of the story, which is make sure you have some good sturdy bar plugs installed on your handlebars please.


I think I'm going to start using pillows as bar plugs now.

Secondly, have you ever seen the cartoon Adventure Time?  Well here's something incredibly stupid to get stuck in your head. It's not new, but it's new to me, so here you go...

My kids were so inspired by this that they convinced their Mom to take them to the store just for bacon and then go home and make bacon pancakes, and then they didn't even save one for me.

And lastly (but certainly not leastly), there is a 30 minute long masterpiece called Kung Fury, which you need to know about. I'll just go ahead and say you're welcome now.

Thats all. Now you know what it was like to work at Bikeworks last week, in a nutshell.

Coming Up: 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

On Mondays I often find myself daydreaming about what the next event or adventure will be.  Even when my Monday is spent unpacking from the last race, as I fold up the camper and dump out the laundry bag I'm exhausted and wondering if we can head out again in 5 days.  It can get a bit addictive, this bicycle racing business.

So, whats next?  For me, June has one main event, and it is 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest on the weekend of the 20th.  Just under 3 weeks out now, I'm already getting excited.

Bikeworks has closed down and raced the Enchanted Forest 3 times, 2011 (unicycles, Super Grover, and beer), 2012 (all the bros, tequila, and beer), and 2013 (USAC screws everything up, mud, and beer).

Honestly, 2013 was such a shit show we couldn't really work up the enthusiasm to return for 2014. But this year its on! USA Cycling will no longer be involved, which is definitely a positive for the race.  The course has been shortened back down to 15 miles, which will be nice.  Bikeworks will of course have a Bacon Station yet again.  And for all you Dads out there, the race falls on Fathers Day, so you kind of get a pass to go do whatever you want (especially if you can convince your own Dad to come along, as I do).  It's going to be a great race.

And to make things even more interesting, June 20th happens to be the official day of Wizard Staffs Across the Universe.  What's that, you've never heard of Wizard Staffs Across the Universe (WSATU)?  Well, it is the brainchild of Stevil Kinevil from All Hail The Black Market, who wisely decided that Wizard Staffs is such a glorious game it deserves it own Universally recognized holiday.  So we are going to have to integrate that into our race weekend somehow.

There it is.  Plenty of time left to get it on the calendar and start "training".  We really hope to see you out there, because it is going to be a great time and the more the merrier.

Race Review: New Mexico Enduro Cup Glorieta Camps Enduro (Bro)

I have been beating the "do you even Enduro, Bro?" joke like a dead horse.  It is probably a year past due to give it up (Bro).  It has nothing to do with a dislike for the cycling discipline of Enduro racing, but mostly having a laugh at the stupidity of the cycling industry in which I make my living.

Two years ago at the Interbike Bicycle Tradeshow Extravaganza in the lovely cycling village of Las Vegas Nevada, absolutely everything new was labeled as "Enduro".  It didn't matter what the component was, headset spacers, cable housing, chain lube, if it was a new product it had been optimized for Enduro. It was stupid, and it deserved to be mocked.

But last weekend (or the weekend before last, whatever) I went and participated in my first Enduro race.  And it was awesome.  I had a fantastic day of riding bikes, racing bikes, and hanging out with friends. I met cool new people, rode cool new trails, rode up mountains until my lungs were screaming, and raced back down until my eyes were watering and my hands were cramping.  It was the biz.

Sadly though, I don't feel like I can make fun of Enduro, Bro, with quite the same satisfaction as I had before.  Which is probably a good thing, as I was the only person still laughing.

Anyway, on to the sick sick action shots of me racing that you all come here for....

You didn't even know it was possible to get that far off the ground on a bicycle, did you?

Actually, I feel bad making fun of these photos, because the lovely and talented Marlene Squillaci took them, and if it wasn't for her skills as a photographer I'd look even more the hack that I am.  (Marlene is the Mom of our teenager in residence at Bikeworks, young Taylor Squidlaunchy, by the way in case you were wondering.)

Several other Bikeworks-ers were racing too! Such as Young Wesleytons, the afore mentioned Young Taylor Squidlaunchy, and Young Mike-hasn'tbeenworkingwithuslongenoughformetocomeupwithanickname.

I asked for "game faces", so apparently that is what you see here.

Also in attendance was our favorite Restaurateur (and second favorite redhead) the Young Jay "Wulfpack" Wulf.
"Nobody calls me Wulfpack"

I mention Jay because a) He helped talk me into attending the race, b) I have a limited number of photos from the race, and c) One of the photos I have is Wulfpack sleeping off a hangover on his tailgate after the first stage.

Nice socks, Wulfpack 

Why was Wulfpack hungover you ask? Well, the night before was the Santa Fe Bike and Brew Festival, and there was brew, and a free concert by The Reverend Horton Heat.  And it was fun (and cold, and a little drunk).

Where was I? Oh right, the racing of Enduro.  Pre race looked like this...

Which is basically what post race looked like too, except everybody was sitting on the grass, and there were beer cans everywhere.

"Bikes is fun, beer is good." 

People were a little less smiley at the beginning of "Stage 1" however, because it was preceded by a 2 mile slog in the mud up a dirt road.  I personally did a lot of walking with my bike on my back, and I wasn't exactly in my happy place.

 The waiting line for Stage 1, as everybody tried desperately to get some rubber to peek through the mud on their tires.

But the suffering was soon forgotten as we were racing down the newly built "Chili Dog" trail, which was a blast.

Me, forgetting the suffering, being mediocre, and puckering.

While Stage 1 was 2 miles up and about 6 minutes down, Stage 2 was about 50 miles up and 15 minutes down. (It only felt like 50 miles, it was really more like 5 or 7 or something).  I really enjoyed Stage 2, it was less techy and more pedally and more my style (aka less scary).

Stage 3 was cancelled due to mud. I don't know anything about it, since I went into the race completely blind and uninformed. 

Then we repeated Stage 1 to finish out the day (which was way more fun with less mud and having done it once already).  And by then end, I don't think many people were sad about the missing stage, because it was a long day still and most people looked pretty worn out.  

How did I do, I hear you not asking?  Well, for perspective, our very own Young Mike-withoutanickname showed up as the freak of the race on a rigid Jeff Jones singlespeed with a fatbike front tire.

It was so "not Enduro" that people dropped their jaws and shit their pants as he rode by.

So with Mike on a rigid singlespeed and me on a brand new $7,000 Yeti, I managed to beat him by about 5 seconds.  Had we switched bikes, he would have beat me by an hour and a half.

What about that Yeti, you say? Well, it's the biz. 'Nuff said. 

And we both finished mid-pack or so.  And Young Wesleyton? Well he's a hoss uphill and downhill, and was in podium contention. We actually thought he was in 2nd in the 30+ Open category, then the final timing took forever, seemed to be a little screwey, and he ended up not on the podium.  But it's all good.

Wesleytons, pouting about the mud, but we can pretend it's him pouting about not being on the podium (which he totally didn't do).

And how did Young Squidlaunchy do? Well, he had some mechanicals, which seemed to be a result of his bike brand of choice (which we totally would never sell at Bikeworks), but we won't get into it because we're classy (but not classy enough to not mention it. Actually, I don't think anybody has every called me classy, so maybe I'm just full of it).

So, um, yeah, there's all the pics that I have. The race was awesome. I had so much fun I can't wholeheartedly mock Enduro anymore, and if you want to go check it out for yourself  look at the New Mexico Enduro Cup, which can be found below....

And that's all I've got. Boom! Microphone dropped! Proofread completed! Laptop closed! Blankets pulled up! Pillow snuggled! Sleepy time!