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.

Enchanted Forest, Bacon, and Mondays

Hi Everybody!

We have a few important pieces of info that need sharing.

Firstly, as of right.....NOW!....we will be open for bizness on Mondays. We will do our normal weekday hours of 10 to 6.  Our reasoning for this is two fold:
Fold 1) It will allow us to make even more money than we already are, I mean, we are getting pretty rich, but my wealth hasn't exceeded my wildest dreams yet, which is precisely what I was promised would happen when opening my own bike shop.  And..
Fold 2) This will give us more time to crank out the repairs, because it is riding season, you know,  and everybody would like their bike done yesterday, thanks.  And we get it, and while I'm fairly sure our turn around is the fastest in town (and our work is the best, but you already knew that), we want to keep it that way all through the summer.

So there is that.

Secondly, The 24 Hours of Enchanted forest is this weekend, June 18th and 19th. So we will be closed for the weekend, so HA! No bike repairs for you!

As per always, the infamous Bikeworks Bacon Station will be serving up gross amounts of cooked pig flesh.  It is always a good time, and this year promises to be better than ever. Why you ask? Because normally we just provide all the provisions for the Bacon Station, and the awesome volunteers run it. But this year we will be bringing home the bacon, and cooking the bacon, and heckling the racers about eating the bacon, and drinking the beer from the keg which we may or may not bring, and we will be partying and not racing and its going to be awesome.
That along with a new course which sounds amazing, and perfect weather (I haven't checked the forecast, but I'm just going to declare it), this should be the bestest Enchanted Forest ever.

So... if you didn't sign up to race but don't want to miss the fun, come on out and camp with us (we will be camping down a random dirt road, in the trees, where the race course passes by, so I'm told).  Get a hold of us at the shop, and we will give you directions.  And maybe bring an extra pound of bacon, because we normally go through 40 or 50 pounds of it, but normally I'm not there drunkenly eating it the whole time.  And I'm bringing my kids, and the little one can seriously put away some bacon.

Thats about it. To summarize:
1) Bikeworks ABQ, now 100% more open on Mondays
2) Bikeworks ABQ, 100% less open this Saturday than normal.
3) Bikes, Beer, Bacon (in whichever order you prefer).


Who's going to Santa Fe?

So what has everybody got planned for the weekend? Have you heard about the Bike & Brew fest in Santa Fe? Its got like, bikes, and beer, and music, and food, and stuff.  Seems like you could definitely find a worse way to kill some time.

Here's a random picture of my two dogs, nicely stacked, because I like to put a picture near the top of each post.

I checked it out last year, it was a  pretty cool scene. Unfortunately last year it was really cold and rainy during the event. Hopefully this year will be nicer weather. Also they moved it from the Railyard area over to Fort Marcy park, which is an awesome park. So I think the vibe will be more festival-y.

There are numerous organized rides that you can sign up for, so if there are trails in the area you haven't done before, this might be a good way to learn them.

There is also the Poker Ride put on by our bro-hams at BTI. You ride around La Tierra and pick up playing cards, and then you can win prizes and get beer. It costs $20 but it's a fund raiser for trail building, so quit being cheap.

I will be most likely toiling away at the Bikeworks sweatshop on Saturday, but perhaps the boss will let me off early enough to catch some of the fun.  Then on Sunday I will be partaking in the Santa Fe Century, with my beautiful and lovely wife on our school bus yellow tandem.

(my wife is short, but the children's stoker cranks are for the kid, not her)

We haven't exactly put many miles in on the bike, so we're going to do the 50 mile option, assuring we all make it home alive and in good spirits.  

Shortly after we acquired this lovely tandem, I hooked up the trail-a-bike to it, and rode with my 8 year old on the back, and my 5 year old in the middle. It was about all I could do to keep upright when my boy started rocking side to side on the trail-a-bike.  That experiment only happened once.

Anyway, also in Santa Fe on Sunday is the Big Mountain Enduro series race at Glorietta Camps.

The BME series is pretty big, and you should expect to see some pro level riders hauling ass, which makes for good spectating.  I plan on cruising over there to do some watching after the century. 
 I raced the Enduro at Glorietta last year (it wasn't part of the BME then) and there was a newly built trail called Chilidog.  That trail had some pretty cool technical spots, with A and B lines, that were a short hike up from the start/finish. So I'm thinking this will be a good place to head to with a backpack full of beers on Sunday afternoon.

(I got so rad at the enduro last year!)

So thats about the gist of it.  If anybody is planning on being up there this weekend, let me know, maybe we can meet up, and high-five, and be all like "hey Bro, we normally high-five in Albuquerque, but now we are in Santa Fe!" And then we will slam our beers and go get another.

And if you pass us during the Century, say Hi! We should be easy enough to spot, the bike is literally (like, literally, you guys) school bus yellow.

'Til next time.

Ooh! Ooh! Story Time!

Hey there internet website readers.  Long time no see. I blame myself, really. I mean, you could write me stories, but its cool, I'll do the stories, don't worry.

So, stories huh? Want to hear a story about me crashing in a great big painful stupid way, but where I don't get seriously injured so we can all have a laugh and not feel guilty. Yeah you do.

It all started way back around lunch time today, when a group of us headed out for a few hours of pedaling in Otero, in a civilized, friendly style.  It was one of those rides that turned into an impromptu big group, because everybody happened to be free at 1pm on Sunday.  At least all the beautiful people happened to be free.

(I only associate myself with the beautiful people.)

I don't know if you know this, but mountain biking on a warm spring day with a bunch of your friends is a pretty awesome thing to do.  As a result, spirits were high.  Also, I was riding a new Yeti, the SB45c to be exact, which was resulting in high spirits as well.

It's a real fine bicycle, and it makes you feel confident going very fast over the big rocks and drops and jumps and stuff.  But the problem is, I'm not so good at the jumps part. So descending Otero Canyon I got a little over zealous and took one of the larger rock-pile jumps. You know, the type that spits you straight up into the air, with a completely flat landing, and it takes everything you got not to land completely on your front wheel.  
Well, I didn't quite get it done.

The interesting part is trying to decipher all my bruises.  I managed to hit/bruise my right ankle, knee, thigh, hip, shoulder, and palm.  But I have that long scrape running down the length of my left forearm, and I can't figure out how, or what I scraped against.  
I pretty much rode my front wheel until it hit a granite slab, which I then splatted onto, best as I can recall.  Quite the rookie jumping mistake.

Disappointingly, I only took the jump because Charlie took it right in front of me, and he made it look easy.  Stupid Charlie, he should have crashed for my sake.

As for my fancy pants new Yeti, it came away relatively unscathed.

The only part of the bike that hit the rocks is the driveside seat stay, as shown.  But mostly what you see there is a frame protector sticker that has done its job, and is now peeling up.  The frame protector is from a small company called Invisiframe out of the UK.

These are full frame clear sticker kits, from 3M. They are made specific to the bike model and even size. They come in gloss or matte finish. They are a wet application, and they are quite tricky to put on nicely (at least for me they are).  I haven't pulled the damaged piece off yet, and I can tell that the carbon did get a little scratched underneath, but I'm pretty sure that the Invisiframe just paid for itself, and I would have been very sad with a very scratched bike without it.

The kits go for about $115 once we get them here to the US, depending on the exchange rate at the moment.  I have been doing them installed for around $200, maybe more depending on how dirty the bike is and how many cables/hoses have to be removed first.  So, if you like keeping your shiny new expensive toy shiny and new looking, give it a thought, it seems to work.

This wasn't my first time riding the new Yeti.  I built it last Thursday, and then took off Friday morning for a weekend in Flagstaff and Sedona with (stupid no-crash) Charlie and some Flagstaff friends.  It was a silly good time, we got 3 days of riding in, about 20 miles each day of singletrack, and I broke the SB45 in real good.

Some things that happened along that trip were....

Charlie and I achieved Ninja tire-plugging status, with this 1/4" long slice right at the rim successfully repaired using a Panaracer plug kit on the trail. He probably has 75 miles on the tire since we plugged it, and no problems.
 I have mostly been using a more simple kit made by Genuine Innovations, and I have become very fond of those little booger looking strips. If you haven't checked them out yet, you should stop by and grab some, it's $6 very well spent.

 Charlie and I posed for a stereotypical Sedona pic, which I then shared on the internet, which caused quite a stir, since we are so shockingly handsome.

My bike got nice and muddy, as it snowed 3 inches Friday evening in Flagstaff, and we rode there on Sunday.  People are often worried that the Switch Infinity link on Yeti's is delicate. But it's not, and I took a bad upside photo of my muddy bike to prove it.  Boom, problem solved, end of discussion.

Charlie was also riding a brand new SB45c, it was totes adorable, we were both riding brand new Yetis of the same model.

I talk to a lot of people that have never ridden in Flagstaff, but have been to Sedona numerous times. Flag is a ton of fun to ride in, there is some really challenging stuff, and I highly recommend it.  I also like the town quite a bit more than hanging out in Sedona, which is often overwhelmingly touristy.  And if you are in Flag and need bike stuff or trail info, you should go to Flag Bike Revolution, because they are rad.  So there, one more of my opinions shared with the world even though nobody asked.

Well, that's about the end of story time.  Thanks for joining in.

Race Report: 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo; 2016 Edition

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is the kind of fun that takes some time to recover from.  Typically you get home wiped out, filthy, and disheveled.  And you spend a little time telling yourself that you won't be doing that again.  But like anything, the exhaustion fades from memory while the stories of hijinks and glory grow.  Six months later you're scheming on next year, and before you know it you're bumping along in the back of a Westy for seven hours, staring at dog ass and drinking banquet beers.

(little Neptune surfed his way to AZ, while I contemplated the upholstery and trucker bombs)

I have been attending Old Pueblo intermittently over the past 13 years.  My last two efforts were duo races with Danny, stories of which I am sure can be found elsewhere on this here website.  This year we were on a 4 person singlespeed team, consisting of myself (Lucero), Danny, Anona, and Ryan Travelsnacks.  

Danny, Anona and I drove out together on Friday in their  Eurovan camper, while Travelsnacks and our friend Maggie showed up like rockstars at about 10am on Saturday (race starts at noon).  Preparations were quickly made and the race was off before we knew it.

 (pre-race hair braiding, Maggie meets her teammates moments before the race starts)

(the sprawling "24 Hour Town" is always a little shocking)

One of the "things" about Old Pueblo is the LeMans style start. With such a massive field, the very long LeMans start provides a way to thin the crowd out a bit. Serious racers run hard, soloists and partiers take their time.  I even saw a table stationed along the run full of half filled cups for beer handups.

(here is Ryan, flying the colors, lined up near the front waiting to run)

One of the other "things" about Old Pueblo is the sheer size.  

After I handed Ryan's bike off, I stood and filmed the start for a bit.  It just goes on like that for several minutes, while the horde files in and grabs their rides.

Our race got off to a good start, with our whole team putting in big efforts. I managed to get a flat, and managed to bungle the fix with a too-short valve on my spare and a broken co2 inflator.  As I realized I needed bailing out, a guy wearing a 2 Wheel Jones jersey rolled up and offered help.  He gave me a tube and a co2 and chilled out while I got sorted. When I offered to give him something for payback, he laughed and said "nah man, It's cool. My brother owns this shop (points at jersey), I'm pretty styled out."  To this I could only reply, in my embarrassment, "awesome, thanks!"  I didn't feel like explaining that I also own a bike shop, but couldn't manage to fix my own flat.

(out of context sunset pic)

The size of the "camping" rigs out at the race is always a little shocking.  It seems that an unofficial competition is played amongst many to set up the most elaborate base camp.  Massive RV's and 5th wheels, multiple EZ Ups, giant backyard grills and gourmet meals, movie screen projectors, couches, you will see it all out there.
Generally the crazy setups just add to the spectacle of the race, and help make everything quite exciting.  But the constant running of generators gets pretty old, and the race day morning traffic within 24 Hour Town was completely ridiculous.  At one point it actually felt a little dangerous trying to weave my way down to the exchange tent through the incoming trucks .  I'm assuming most of the traffic was friends and family showing up to watch the race start, and it seems that most of them could have parked down the street and walked to their camps.  
So, if by some chance the powers that be at Epic Rides are reading this (the aren't) my one suggestion to improve an otherwise perfectly ran race is to make a parking lot, possibly with a shuttle service, to handle the Saturday morning visitor traffic.

Our team's camp was pretty minimal, hiding under the Eurovan awning for shade, with a couple of tents and a cooler.  Maggie went even more minimalist and blew off setting up her tent..

As I returned from my 5am lap, and saw the mat on the ground with tipped over cans of pringles and beer, I couldn't help but laugh at the contrast to the luxo RV's all snug with their sleeping inhabitants.  
Which brings me back to our race.  So I headed out for a 5am lap, after trying to back out of it.  I was suffering from allergies a couple days before the race, and I came down with a head cold during Saturday.  When I woke up at 4:30am Sunday morning to go out for my 4th lap, just drinking water made my throat hurt.  I didn't think I could do another lap, as I was going into coughing fits and breathing was difficult.  
Ryan was up, and told me not to worry, skip my lap, we were just there to have fun. But I had been watching Ryan watch the results, and we had been bouncing between 3rd and 4th all night.  Danny was out on course, and Anona was sleeping.  After fantasizing about not riding, I realized that nobody was ready to take my lap and I would be tanking our race if I didn't go out.
So I suited up and headed out, promising to my team that I was going to go nice and slow.
I got through my lap, but it was about 30 minutes slower than Danny and Ryan's laps (1:05 vs 1:35, approximately).

(sparkly gold temporary tattoo war paint)

I was allowed to skip my last lap. Which was fine, because by that time Danny and Ryan had finally gotten warmed up and really started flying.  They went back to back for our last 4 team laps, securing our 3rd place position by about 40 minutes and finishing just 30 minutes off 2nd place.

(here is my view from the podium)

(the 4 Person Single Speed category isn't "co-ed", and Anona was the only Woman on the podium)  

Getting on the podium was pretty exciting at such a big race.  As I mentioned, I first did this race in 2003.  And that was the last time I had been on the podium as well, in the 4 Man Open category. It was pretty exciting, and the prize table was ample, I scored a sweet Maxxis hoody and an Ardent Race tire.

After podium pics and high 5's, I jumped in with Ryan and Maggie and we boogied back to ABQ, getting in around 11pm.  It was a long drive.  It was one of those drives that had you questioning what you choose to do for fun.  

Old Pueblo is pretty much a guaranteed good time, if the weather cooperates.  The organizers are on point, the goody bag is amply stocked, yummy food vendors, beer flowing everywhere, and of course a screamingly fast and fun 17 miles of singletrack.  And this year, the weather was perfect.  It was a fantastic episode of Old Pueblo, and I'm recharged and ready to do it again.  

Thanks for reading!

Bargains!! Closeout bikes, used couple used bikes, and a little construction project.

Hi there! Did everybody have a lovely holiday season? Are you a little fatter than normal, and your liver hurts? Yeah, us too.
Well, enough chit chat, lets talk about bikes.
Since it's the off season, we finally got around to putting price tags on all our bikes. And in the process, we have marked down every bike in the store that isn't a 2016 model. That means that most of the bikes in the shop are at least 15% off right now. We are also selling off a few of our demo bikes.
I wrote some lovely sales tags using my fine penmanship skills, which I will present to you now, so you can get an idea of what we have around....

See! Bargains!!!! And that's just some of them.  Speaking of bargains, we have a funny story behind us yelling "BARGAINS" in the shop all the time. Come by and I'll tell it to you.

Nextly, we've got a couple nice used bikes to move along. Such as a nearly new Surly Karate Monkey singlespeed, a Trek Madone 5.9 with Ultegra Di2, and a Volagi Viaje XL.  We will talk about the Volagi, since that's the one I have pictures of at the moment.

Remember Volagi? They were the ones that the big red S sued when they first came out.  Anyway, we took this Viaje XL in on trade recently. It hasn't been ridden much, has a few upgraded parts, and we've dialed it in so it's ready to roll. Originally it probably sold for close to $3,000. We're asking $1750.

Check it out and other screaming deals on our "Sales" page.
Whats that? You didn't know about the sales page? Well there it is. Boom!

Lastly, we're up to a little winter remodeling project.

Yup, we're finally putting a phone booth in our shop.
Actually, we're taking the useless dead corner of the shop and trying to make it useful.  There will be some storage space inside for clothing, and some much needed slatwall space for retailing our fine wares.

And that's about all for now.  We have a few more bikes going up on the "Sales!" page soon remember the Sales! page? You know, the one I was just talking about? Seriously, pay more attention.

Moochas Smoochas!
Buneo Bye!