Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We're In!

Received last evening from Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin:

CONGRATULATIONS! Your entry into the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race has been accepted. Get ready to "Dig Deep" and challenge yourself to the highest and biggest mountain bike race around. Gear up to race with the world's BEST cyclists at the nation's highest quality athletic experience with the utmost degree of safety, medical care and racer support.

Uh Oh!

August 14, 2010 is gonna be another long day . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Man Killer Details

I took advantage of the snowy evening yesterday and made my second visit to our local bike shop (Golden Bike Shop)  to talk about ordering the Man Killer.

Most people go to a bike shop and pick out a bike that is already built and on the floor, and they take the bike as is – maybe they change out the saddle and the stem, but otherwise, they buy "off the rack." That is generally a great way to go (especially if you go to a good bike shop).

I'm not doing that with this bike. I'm individually selecting every component and having the whole bike built to my custom specs. So, it takes a little bit of fussing and chatting and "what to do you think about this" discussions before you place the final order.

Some of the things I'm thinking about doing are a little out of the ordinary, so Adam, the bike shop manager (think "drug dealer" for bike junkies), called Pivot (the frame manufacturer), to ask some questions.

I hear Adam say "Hi Chris. . . .Uh huh; yes, I'm sure we can build it lighter than your standard build kit. . . . Really? You'd do that? Great!"

"Chris" is Chris Cocalis – the owner and chief designer of Pivot bikes. He's a big deal in bike world. Chris agreed to do the custom build at Pivot. That is unusual, unexpected and undeniably cool! It means Adam doesn't have to scour around for all the bits and pieces to put together the bike. Pivot will do it at the factory, and due to economy of scale, they can probably pull it together for less than Adam could have.

I've decided do go with the SRAM XX component group. Ridiculously expensive, but almost a full pound lighter than the Shimano XTR component group.

Here are some photos of the SRAM XX bling:

Eight of the cogs are CNC-machined together out of a single block of billet steel, creating an incredibly lightweight, precise, and strong cassette. It’s a process that takes nine hours per cassette! The aluminum large cog can be replaced as needed. You have never seen a cassette that looks like this. The open design aids in mud clearance, giving you cleaner shifting performance and longer component life.

One of the lightest and most compact shifters ever created, the XX Trigger features a fully adjustable carbon fiber lever, resulting in minimal weight with maximized durability. Pair the XX Trigger with the MatchMaker™ X clamp to streamline your handlebar setup. The XX Trigger maintains the legacy of X.0™ shifting with new features and technologies optimized for 2x10 and Exact Actuation.

The XX Crank delivers amazing performance and durability with no penalties in weight. The first MTB crank specifically designed for 2x10 uses some of the world’s most advanced material science. The oversized chainrings are CNC machined 7075 Aluminum blanks—2mm thicker than the competition. Unparalleled stiffness is delivered by an increased Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD) and a two-piece insert-molded carbon composite construction. The XX Crank geometry provides a narrow 156mm Q factor, efficient chainline, and beveled crank arms to maximize clearance. It’s pure science in action.


RockShox is the leader in remote suspension controls. The domination continues. The patent-pending XX XLoc works simply: just press to open and press again to return to lock. The system is completely sealed and installs directly out of the box. The sealed system combats contamination with perfection and can be simply bled if needed. The hose is lighter and extremely flexible for distinct actuation. Also, we've produced 60 grams of weight savings compared to our PushLoc™/BlackBox® Motion Control™ actuated system. The minimalist design is compact and efficient, providing superior ergonomics without compromising the cockpit. XLoc integrates the MatchMaker™ X clamp for the ideal customized handlebar setup.

XX Motion Control damping offers the same great characteristics as our other Motion Control dampers: efficient small-bump performance and incredible reliability in a highly tunable package. Featuring Dual Flow rebound to accurately control beginning and ending stroke rebound, tunable low-speed compression, and the XLoc™ hydraulic actuated remote to turn on our lock-out and adjust the desired Floodgate. XX Motion Control can handle rider input, small bumps, and big hits any way you see fit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Walt’s Dip

I never met Walt. I’m not even sure who he is . . . I think that he is my brother-in-law’s sister-in-law’s across-the-street-neighbor. Maybe.

Who ever Walt is, he’s a genius.

Today, as I have done many times a year in the past 20 or so years, I salute Walt by making Walt’s Dip. I’ll warn you – it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. But it tastes like a little bit of snackin’ heaven.

Walt’s Dip
1 jar (any size) of your favorite salsa [recently I’ve been hooked on Newman’s Own Black Bean and Corn Salsa]
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 small can pitted, sliced black olives, drained

Dump the salsa, chopped avocado and olives into a bowl. Mix.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Sit back and watch your bowl get licked clean.

If I’m having a Martha Stewart moment, I’ll chop a sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla), then sauté it in a teaspoon of olive oil until the onion turns translucent and begins to caramelize. Then I mix in the onion in with the rest of the goop. Sublime!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Are you Ready for Some Football?

After two weeks of non-stop hype and media efforts to invent stories to fill the sports pages, Super Bowl weekend is finally here.

I’m a football fan. I’ve enjoyed watching football for as long as I can remember – rooting for the Minnesota Vikings and Fran Tarkenton when I was a little kid (just to annoy my neighbor Art, who was a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan), to the last 20 years as a Denver Bronco fan.

Ask Phil about football and his response is “meh.” He would rather do yard work or simply take a nap. Football holds virtually no interest for him. Every now and then, he tries to humor me by watching part of a game with me, but it is rare for him to last more than 5 minutes.

So I was surprised a week or so ago when he asked me some questions about the NFL draft. I could answer some of his questions, but certainly not all of them. Rather than suggesting he spend some quality time on Wikipedia reading up on the draft, I rented “2 Days in April” from NetFlix so we could get educated together. 

TWO DAYS IN APRIL is a 90-minute documentary about the NFL draft seen through the eyes of four star college athletes. With never-before-seen access to the draft process, viewers travel with the players as they navigate the intense training and nerve-wracking emotions of a rigorous training camp, the 2006 Senior Bowl, the NFL "Combine" and draft weekend. It provides a behind the scenes look into the secretive, fiercely competitive and often brutal process of creating NFL players.

After watching the film I learned there was a big controversy in the making/release of the film. Sometimes it seems that the “rest of story” is almost as interesting as the film itself.

Phil really enjoyed the film and felt he learned a lot about how the NFL draft process works.

The statistics are what shocked me. Of all the eligible players, only 1400 sign up for the draft. Typically only 255 players are drafted. For all those little boys with a dream of playing in the NFL, the reality is harsh.

So tomorrow, while you’re eating chips and watching the game, know that you are truly watching the best of the best.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Beti Bike Bash

Lakewood, Colorado, will host what is claimed to be the first women's-only mountain bike race this summer. The Beti Bike Bash will be run by Team Yeti Beti at Bear Creek Park, 15 miles west of Denver on June 12.

"Chris Conroy, the president of Yeti, pretty much told us to make it happen. We've wanted to do this since we started the team in 2007 but didn't have the resources to do it until now," said Amy Thomas of Team Yeti Beti. "The Beti Bike Bash is something that the team supports 100 percent as a way of giving back to our sport."

Citing other successful women's-only events in triathlon and running, it seemed logical to the team to host such an event. "Mountain bike races are intimidating for beginner women for several reasons," said Sarah Rawley, Bigfoot Productions public relations.

Hosted by Yeti Beti host with the support of Yeti Cycles and Bigfoot Productions, the event will offer women several races for all ages and abilities. The five-mile, non-technical, singletrack loop, with views of the surrounding Red Rocks Park, will see beginners, sports, and elites race two, three and four laps respectively. There will also be a three-woman relay fun race for those who want to experience the camaraderie of a mountain bike race with their friends.

"Steep climbs, rocky descents, high altitude, and often you are gone all day from your family. We wanted to break down those barriers and offer something that any woman who rides would enjoy. With Bear Creek's close proximity to Denver and great trail system, it was a perfect venue for an event like this."

Colorado has been home to many elite mountain bike women including US cross country and marathon National Champion Heather Irmiger and retired pro and former World Champion Alison Dunlap. During some of her career, former World Champion Juli Furtado lived in Durango.

For more information, visit

Some fun t-shirts here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Just Can't Do It . . .

I have gotten feedback that I am tough enough to ride a pink bike.

I just can't do it.

I know a gal who rides a very tricked out pink Yeti.

She is tough enough to ride a pink bike and still call it "Killer."

Me . . . not so much.

Gotta go for the black.

If I break down and buy an electric bike, maybe I'll get it in pink . . .!