Monday, October 25, 2010

P.U.B. Expo at Snake River Brewing

Snake River Brewing has a very cool event planned for this Wed, Oct 27th & Thurs, Oct 28th upstairs at the Brew Pub. The "Pretty Unique Bike Exposition" will display the valley's most unique bikes and each bike has its own story to tell. I can't wait to see which bike is "paired" with Zonker Stout. Yum!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Racing Mother Nature

This has been the best Fall for mountain biking since I have lived in the Tetons but this weekend's forecast looks ominous. JayP, Hamilton, and I rallied to squeeze one more big ride in before we get shut out.

Looks like pretty good odds for snow on Sunday

Friday's Big Hole Crest Trail Adventure was a great season-ender...if in fact it does end up being the end of our mountain bike season. There are two key turns on the Crest Trail and missing either one will cost you some hike-a-bike. We went 1 for 2 today. Doh! Now I have those two sneaky turns on my GPS though. Ha!

Quick Stats:
43.7 Miles
4,650' Elevation Gain
4:29:57 Moving Time

Our ride began and ended at JayP's in Victor, ID

JayP and Hami at the top of South Fork of Horseshoe

Scary Tree

JayP flatted near the end of the ride. Most Big Hole group rides typically involve at least one flat

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More BIG Adventure in the Big Holes

The incredible weather we have had during the month of October has inspired me to leave the cross bike in the garage and bang out as many mountain bike rides as possible (8 rides in the last 8 days) before the snow flies.

Troy Olson shares my passion for fall riding and isn't scared of a little hike-a-bike so we planned to explore Calamity Creek and complete a missing piece of my Big Holes riding puzzle. I had heard good things about the Calamity Creek trail but due to its remoteness I had never ridden it.

Troy Olson on the sweet Calamity Creek singletrack

The South Canyon Creek descent is long, technical in places, and gorgeous

The route in TopoFusion

Quick Stats:
30.3 miles
5,890' of climbing
5:10:00 moving time
Multiple steep Hike-a-Bikes

The Route:
Park - South Fork of Horseshoe Trailhead
Climb South Fork of Horseshoe Trail (219) to Elk Flats
Take South Canyon Creek (226) downhill, continue past North Canyon Creek junction
Take Carrlton Cuttoff Trail north (you WILL hike your bike a bit)
Turn right at Calamity Creek (224), prepare to smile a lot
Turn right at North Canyon Creek (227)
Merge onto Relay Ridge Trail (225)
Turn left on (219) and ride South Fork of Horseshoe downhill back to trailhead

Trail Notes:
-The South Fork of Horseshoe goes up quickly, a warmup spin is advised.
-South Canyon Creek should ALWAYS be ridden as a descent, not a climb. I think it is the best descent in the Big Holes and keeps you honest with root drops, tight turns, and rideable creek crossings.
-Take a rag and chain lube. South Canyon Creek has many deep creek crossing, springs, and muddy sections.
-Carrlton Cuttoff is a solid hike-a-bike.
-Most of Calamity Creek (heading east) is sweet singletrack climbing at a reasonable grade. You will enjoy it unless you burned too many matches to get here.
-Packing iodine tablets and a first-aid kit is not a bad idea.
-Finishing the ride with a return trip down the South Fork of Horseshoe is greatness. For some variety, you could descend Long Ridge instead.

This ride proves yet again that rides in the Big Holes should not be measured by mileage. As I sit here sipping coffee, I am feeling the effects of yesterday's ride.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blowing the needle off the Fall Fun Meter

If Mother Nature keeps giving us sunshine and dry trails, I will do my best to ride the snot out of them until she decides to shut us down.

ROUTE: Home to Spooky to Big Hole Crest to Drake, down Drake (techy greatness) to home

Why have I never done this loop before today? Dumb. Ok, so there is some hike-a-bike involved but there is also some very sweet trail and the Drake Creek downhill is long and technical. Nice.

Quick Stats:
15.66 Miles
2,100' of climbing (with a little hiking thrown in to build character)
1:45:00 moving time (20' of this was on Pine Creek Pass pavement)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Big Hole Crest Trail Adventure

When planning a ride in the Big Holes, you need to be prepared for two things:

1) You WILL hike your bike up and least a little
2) You will ask yourself why you don't ride up there more often

The Big Hole Crest Trail west of Victor, ID

Today's impromptu adventure in the Big Holes (not simply a ride because hiking and route finding were involved) was pure greatness. The fact that we rode to the trailhead from Victor and then exited the mountains not far from home just added to the cool factor of the ride. Earlier in the summer, when I am more concerned about training and the quality of my pedaling, the rides in the Big Holes don't appeal to me as much but today left me wondering why I don't ride there more. I am fixin' to change that.

Saying that the riding in the Big Holes is diverse would be an understatement. One minute you are zipping along on buffed Sun Valley-esque singletrack, and the next minute you are sliding downhill through softball sized rocks praying that you can slow down before things go very badly.

Brandon riding through some small sticks near Elk Flats

It is funny how this pic does NOT capture how steep the trail is right here

Our ride in Topofusion 3D

Ride Stats:
34 Miles (14 on pavement)
3,800' of climbing
About 4 hours of moving time

For the locals, I rode from my house to Cedron Rd. where I met up with JayP, T-Race, and Brandon. We then headed north on pavement to the Mahogany Creek trailhead and began the the dirt portion of our ride. The Mahogany Creek trail ramps up in steepness the closer it gets to the ridge and the last mile is just plain rude. From the top of Mahogany we headed south along the Crest Trail to the juction of Grove Creek where we banged a left and sent it downhill in a hurry. We could have continued and taken a couple of other routes down like Drake Creek (next time) or even Corral Creek to Spooky.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moose Cross Images

Scott Wood,Victor Velo Board Member and all-around creative genius, was kind enough to share his Moose Cross images with us and I have posted a slideshow of my favorites.

Individual images of racers are posted up on Tony Jewell Photography as well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010 Moose Cross

Now that the dust has settled from Moose Cross, and there was a lot of dust, I thought I would jot down some random thoughts and observations from the Organizer’s side of the race.

In only its third year, Moose Cross has morphed from a one-day race into a weekend cyclocross festival. In addition to putting on two quality days of racing, we try to provide our guests with a festive atmosphere and a little entertainment after Saturday’s racing concludes. (The keg toss Saturday night was pure greatness!)

Being Type-A, I take my Course Director responsibilities very seriously and expend a lot of energy trying to perfect our lumpy, bumpy, but incredibly diverse, cyclocross course. I obsess about fresh paint on the barriers, protective caps on every piece of rebar that was pounded into our rocky ground, custom printed course tape, hundreds of soccer cones to mark the way for blurry-eyed racers, weed whacking, and raking as many loose rocks out of the way as possible.

The “Grassy Knoll” is my favorite feature on our course. The rounded hill covered in lush grass and sparsely planted trees at the north end of the park serves as the perfect canvas for a cyclocross course designer. Over a hundred white step-in stakes and lots of course tape are my brushes for this canvas and this year I am especially proud of my work. The “Grassy Knoll” was challenging, yet fun, and rewarded the rider who had solid bike handling skills.

The week leading up to Moose Cross was pretty hectic and I just couldn’t shut my brain off at night. Will all of the prizes show up, what projector will we use for the movie, how many porta-potties do we need, will we have any volunteers, etc...these are the random thoughts going through my brain at 1 AM.

It’s not just a race, it is a festival. We decided last year that in order to bring folks back to Victor, ID each year, we needed to be more than just another cross race. And each year we tweak things a bit and learn a lot. This year I learned that if a venue is too spread out, your racers & spectators will be spread out too. When I think of the perfect cross venue, I picture a Roman Coliseum with a rolling dirt & grass infield to build a twisty cross course on. In my humble opinion, the race, the festival, the awards, the food, the beer, the camping, and post-race party should be as condensed as possible without being too crowded. I wish I could hire a giant helicopter to move Grand Teton Brewing to the north end of the park for Moose Cross weekend each year.

Registration & Timing are two areas where we have to become more efficient. I worried about them before the race and I am still wrestling with a few results issues the Tuesday after. Grrrr.

Moose Cross is Victor Velo’s largest fundraiser and all proceeds will fund future cycling-related projects such as Phase II of the Victor Bike Park. To everyone who paid to race and/or bought Moose Cross merchandise, thanks for your support.

Most importantly, it is about the people. We have made a lot of great friends through Moose Cross and it feels good when they come to Victor and have a great race weekend in our hometown. The compliments from racers were much appreciated and I tried to thank as many for coming as I could. Thanks again.