Saturday, August 15, 2009


I wish that I could say that the picture above is me! You can't really tell from this view but that is a total drop of about 12-15 feet! And that would be my friend Drew Rohde making it look easy! Last Sunday the boys from the shop took me downhilling! Drew has an extra bike that he let me borrow, so he, I, Jordan and Twig went to Suicide! Suicide is a trail that is right above my house and I had rode/hiked up it once. It is definitely a downhill trail. They decided it best that we push the bikes up the actual trail instead of the easier way to the top so 1. I could see it and 2. Drew could teach/show Jordan the faster lines down. Seeing the trail on the way up had me a little freaked out! I starting to wonder if I could do this? We finally made it to the top and I said a prayer and I was off. It was so NOT as scary going down! The big rock gardens and drops were totally smaller as you flew down them! I did get off at one drop that I did not feel comfortable with. A quick remount and I caught up with Jordan. I was able to then match his speed the rest of the way down! It took us over an hour to push the 35+ pound bikes up the hill and only about 10 minutes? to get down! It was so much fun. Drew and I hiked back up a quarter of the way and hit the bottom section again. He is scary fast! As much fun as it is...I don't think I will ever get too deep into it. Too much risk and way too much money!!

So are you ready for the carnage story? Thursday one of our reps brought us in two SWEET demo bikes to use for three weeks! I will write a review in the next week or so! So Mike and I decided that Sycamore Canyon would be the ideal place to put these bikes to the test. I text messaged him yesterday that I would be bringing both bikes so all he needed to bring was his pedals and a pedal wrench. We were set to meet at the trail head at 7:30 and when he showed he did not bring his pedals! He jumped back in the car for his 20 minute each way drive! Once he finally arrived we set up the bikes and were off down the trail.

It being Saturday it was pretty busy and after we dropped down the "black ?itch" we watched a lady in front of us EAT IT HARD! She seemed to of just slightly get off the edge of the trail and WHAM! We stopped and tried to help/comfort her and her husband whom seemed in shock as well. She took the brunt of the crash to her right elbow and may have possibly broke something? They told us that there was nothing more that we could do so we took off. We headed to the Sin Ombre trail and luckily (or maybe unluckily?) passed a very large group of slow riders into the beginning of the roller coaster of a trail. Everything was flowing great (famous last words) and on the last swooping left downhill turn into the next all went horribly wrong. In hindsight I believe it was a mixture of way too high of tire pressure and a little too much speed. I started to drift and I drifted right into an off camber rut that twisted me. It seemed like it was slow motion as it happened but to be honest I only remember drifting than hitting the ground HARD.

I hate to admit that the first thing that I was scared about was whether or not I ruined my brand new Chain Gang Kit? As I looked down I saw the blood...everywhere. OK maybe not everywhere but there was enough! I screamed to Mike and he headed back towards me. I picked up the bike and quickly realized that it did not roll! I had pretty much taco'ed the wheels! Luckily Mike had some mad skills and after about 30 minutes of spoke tightening/loosening, rim pounding and bending, I was able to wobble back onto the trail. Again, I will review the bikes later next week but for a little info Mike was riding the BELT driven singlespeed 29'er and I was on the 1x9 29'er but rode it as a singlespeed in order to level the playing field!

My body was pretty sore but I was able to push hard! We climbed Sage Trail then dropped into Wood Canyon. Guadalajasco was the next climb and it was awesome on the singlespeed! We passed a few people as we had no other choice than to push the only gear we had! We made it to the top and I was ready for some downhill! We dropped Backbone and these bikes just flowed down that! It was a stoke for sure! We headed back up 2 foxes to Sin Ombre than up the paved road to the bottom of the "Black ?itch." Mike and I were both dreading this climb as it's a doozy! I REALLY wanted to beat Mike so I stayed with him most of the way up. I felt that about 3/4's of the way up would be a good time to "go" and I tried. He must of been anticipating it because he turned it on as well and gapped me by about 15 feet. I put absolutely everything I had into catching him and as I locked onto his back wheel he hit the gas again and I......had nothing left. With about 200 feet to go, he dropped me! UGGGHHH! So close! He chuckled and had a good laugh!

I took the bikes back to the shop and begged Tony (the mechanic) with lunch in order to get him to attempt to fix the wheels! One half of an amazing pastrami sandwich from Rhineland Deli later...he fixed them! I got the other half of the sandwich! Then I was on my way home to be with the dogs and endure the intense pain of washing the dirt and rocks out of my trail rash. When all was clean I have trail rash on my elbow, shoulder, back, side(love handle), hip, and knee! I am just glad that it wasn't my other elbow! Thank you Lord!

My body is pretty sore as I sit here and type this. Kind of like I got hit by a truck....I hate crashing!!! I do think that if I can spend three weeks on this singlespeed...I might be able to beat Mike....someday!

Keep Climbing

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great writing Luke. Loved the story about the downhill bike ride. Dad