First Ride with the new bike

I got my first ride in today on the new 6.6 rig and while I’m still working a extensive review, the bike really felt great.

Here are a few shots from the day on a trail system attached to Los Penasquitos Canyon.

This is a big as air as I ever expect to get and the shock and fork were pretty close to dialed for it.

Greg
Greg getting a little air in the trees.


Brian in the air.

Stay tuned for a full review.�

I love cardboard

I love cardboard boxes.   Some of the coolest things ever have come to me by way of cardboard boxes.   Look at the worderfully inscribed boxes that have graced my presence as of late.

Foxy
Oh this box is so foxy!

 Intense
And this box is just downright Intense!

There were a couple of boxes that were plain and unadorned.  But inside of the bad boys were cool and shiny bits looking to get together for a bit of fun.   Who was I to refuse?  I picked up my new Intense 6.6 and buildkit yesterday on my way up to a July 4th thing at my Mother-In-Laws.   What a better way to spend time at your Mother-In-Laws than hiding out in the backyard and putting together a bike.   I bought all my tools along just for that purpose.

I got the frame in the really killer custom “Red Works” color which is a translucent red over the top of the works finish which allows for the various weld marks to show through the red in various suttle shades. 

Close red
This picture really does not do this finish justice.

I got everything put together and aligned.   I still need to trim down the brake lines but that will have to wait until after the weekend when I can pick up some more mineral oil.   One thing that will not wait is a ride.  I’m gonna hit the trail with this bad boy tomorrow.

Da Bike

Here is the quick low down on the bike setup:

Large 6.6 Red Works Frame with RP23 shock
Fox 36 TALAS RC2
Spinergy Xyclone Enduro Wheelset with Kenda Kinetics 2.6 Stick-E tires
XT Drivetrain, derailuers and shifters
XTR Brakes
Thompson Elite seatpost
Titec Hellbent Bars
Titec 100mm stem (gonna put a shorter stem on)
Intense saddle.

Have not weighed yet, but I guessing 31-32lbs.

One thing this bike is certainly missing is some dirt!  �

New Bike Shop in North County

North County has a new bike shop, BikeBling.com.  I had heard about the new shop located in Escondido so when I was in the area I swung by.  The place still has the that “new shop” smell and from what the owner told me new stuff is coming in everyday.   I dig that the service area is not tucked away in the back somewhere.  It is right up front as soon as you walk in the door and you are more than welcome to watch the service in action.    The shop is catering towards service and higher end gear, you know real MTB stuff.   I forget all of the bikes brands they carry, but it was a nice list.   This is pretty cool for Escondidio as there was no real MTB bike shop in town after the Performance Shop was shutdown.   It is also cool for all of North County to have another local shop to add to the variety stuff to chose from as no one shop carries all brands.  The shop is also going to be doing Internet sales as well.

I was impressed that they had a really good selection of full-face helmets and I ended up getting a Giro Remedy CF to me from busting up my face again.   Now I just have to go get some sweat on the inside of this bad boy.

Full Face Helmet

PSA – Poison Oak

Last week I was on scouting trip checking out a way old trail that could possibly be reclaimed for mountain biking.   Don’t ask, it is currently on the Double Top Secret – Specialized Compartmentalized Information List.  There are Navy Seals posted on the roof of the building across the street right now with laser-pointer sights shining through the windows as I type.   Somewhere along the hike I came in contact with the evil leaf and now I am all jacked up with the stuff. I used to stroll the stuff as a kid, but over the last five years I have progressively gotten more sensitive to the stuff.   While I have a full complement of goodies to try and keep the stuff off of me and scrub the stuff off afterwards.  Ever year I seem to get a patch of the stuff.   This time is especially a bummer due to some of the locations.  Lets just say I taint interested in getting my saddle time right now.

Anyway, thought I share some of the pages I have browsed off and on on the subject.

Poison Oak FAQ

Here is stuff on natural remedies

This is a good site will lots of info was well as a review of specific products.

Sorry no ooze shots here 🙂

 -Bill

Back in the Saddle at Lake Calvera

After a couple of weeks being off the bike due to my face injury at Goat Camp, I finally got back on the trail.   I had tried doing a bit of stuff in the outdoors late last week but the “brand new” skin on my lips was quite sensitive and the slightest of breeze and direct sunlight was unpleasant to say the least.   Today I gave it another shot and decided hit up one of my local trails, Lake Calvera, which I ride to right from my front door.   Will has a two hour hockey practice tonight so I decided to take Jake out for some one-on-one Dad time on the trails.

Jake on Bridge

We had a great time out on the trails today.  I am always amazed at how easy kids put up new skills.   Most of the time I show them something once, they do it once and then it is locked in.   Man I wish I could still learn at that rate.    I have made a point of gradually progressing the length and difficulty of the rides I take them on each outing and today was no different.   I took him on a lot more twisty and rocky singletrack that he has done in the past.   I also made a point to get him to the “Back 40” of Lake Calvera which meant he had to do a good deal more climbing than usual out there.  

Jake Singletrack Cruising

For me I can tell it will take a few rides to get my MoJo back.   I still have some numb spots on my face which makes for a really weird sensation (or lack thereof) to feel the sun and breeze only on a portion of your face.    The good news is that the spots are getting smaller everyday.    In what little technical bits I did encounter today, I caught myself glancing at where I don’t want to go.  Not good.   I’m sure after a few rides I’ll get “it” back but it was an odd mental riding state today.    What I lacked today in riding prowess was more than offset by the high quality time I got with my youngest son who put in a solid 14.4 miles today. 

-Bill

Goat Camp Goodness Goes Bad

Sunday was a climb up into the White Tank Mountains west of Phoenix.  This area was incredibly awesome with the vibrant colors of spring going off.  The trails of the White Tanks are extremely diverse.  We did a loop that included some burly climbing on the Mesquite Canyon trail before things mellowed out to mostly smooth benchcut singletrack interspresed with technical bits.  There were some impressive views along this trail.  From the Mesquite Trail we connected to the Willow Trail and enjoyed some more springtime desert goodness.   From the Willow Trail we connected to the Ford Canyon Trail which had us busting out a switchbacking climb up to the junction of the Goat Camp Trail.

Greg on Buttery Smooth Singletrack

The Goat Camp Trail had been on my to-do list for a long while as people who are much better riders than me have all said it is one of the gnarliest trails they have ever been on.    The trail did not disappoint.  It starts off really scenic and pretty as you work your way over a couple of ridges before coming to the final descent.

This is where things get incredibly technical.  The opening descent is a steep loose monster that is quite shaly with big chunk a plenty.   Our guide and all-around awesome guy for the day, Greg, described it best when he said “If you touch your front brake just a little too much, the earth opens up and swallows your front wheel”.    The middle section gets more firm undertneath you but the trail is just impressively rugged.   It is hard to put a pucker factor on this section.  It is more like a continual state of colon lockdown.

Kevin at the top of the Staircase

There is a really tricky feature known as the Spiral Staircase.   There is a bit of a chunk gate to get into the feature followed by steep left handed roll down into a really tight righthander that exits into either a spine roll or a chunky set of stairsteps.  JD impressively flashed the entire thing after a quite look see of the line options.  I kept having problems at the bottom as I could not get through the bottom right hander smooth enough to get onto the spine roll.

Below the Spiral Staircase is another just mean section known as “Jack Hammer”.    It was somewhere along this section that I blew a move and went off the bike and unfortnately smacked into a sharp-edged rock with my face.   OUCH!!!!! I knew it was bad as soon as it happened as I could feel the left side of my face move in the “wrong” direction and then go numb.   Behind me was Kevin and when he gave the question we all get asked sooner or later “Are You Okay”, I had to respond with “No, I’m hurt bad”.

Here a Carnage Shot (WARNING: It is quite icky …)

Like myself, Kevin has been offically trained on Wilderness First Aid and he did a great job sizing up the situation and getting all the supplies out and starting the work of patching my lower and upper lips back together with some steri-strip wound closures.   I know the poker face and measured repsonses  medics are trained to give in situations like this and I knew Kevin was concerned.  I’m sure some of you are already thinking “Did he film that?”  Yes, I was filming when it happened.  It is mighty hard to see you own face so I used the camcorder with the screen flipped so I could see the damage myself.  It was not pretty at all.   After getting patched up, Kevin and I walked down the rest of the trail.  It was not too far before we JD and Greg where waiting for us.   I could see the concern in thier eyes as well.

Kevin Patching me Up

We had some gear spread amongs a couple of cars, so JD and Greg went on ahead to get everything setup for my exit.   I walked some more until the trail got pretty tame in comparision to the rest the trail.   I made a point of going very gingerly as I did not want to elevate my heart anymore than needed.    On the way back we came across a few hikers who gave some quite truthful responses like “Holy S#$T” and Oh My F#$king God!

Once off the trail, I got my chamois off as I knew I would otherwise have it on for a long and end up with a bad case of monkeybutt.    JD got me to the ER straight away.   This was the first time I had the term “Though and Through” used outside of a CSI show on TV.   Both the upper and lower lips where lacerated in that manner with the lower getting the worst of it.    I walked out of the ER four hours after arriving with 19 stitches (some inside and some out) and a hankering for a smoothie!

Jerry thankfully had taken a catnap while waiting for me and he drove back to Orange County so I would only have to deal with about an hour of driving from the OC down to North County San Diego.  It was way freaking late when I got home.  Even though the Novacaine of long since worn off, a good portion of my face was disturbingly still numb.

After some stitchwork

It has been a few days since the crash.  I had thought about posting earlier about this but was just not feeling up to it.  The good news is that I can tell the nerves are starting to heal and the feeling is starting to come back into most of the area.  The bad news is ……The feeling is coming back into the area!   The inside of the left side of my mouth feels like a have a cold sore the size of a quarter and few of the bits of spare change.

I’m already shopping for a full-face helmet for my technical trail excursions. :-)

-Bill

Setting up for an Intense Weekend

6.^ 

I have finally kicked most of this crud out of my system and I’m getting jazzed about heading out to Arizona for the weekend to visit with some friends and hit up some trail goodness out there.  I’m going to “Intensify” my longer-traveled bike stables here in the near future so the fellows at Intense hooked me up with a bling bling sled for the weekend so I made a little visit up to Temecula.   I’ll be kicking this 6.6 around for the weekend.  This bike is a beauty!

6.6

I did not have a lot of time today, so I hit up one of my local rides, the La Costa Preserve, after picking up the bike.   I went up Switchback, down NASCAR, up Vista Del Mar and down NASCAR again.   I spent a bit of time dialing in the suspension.   My first impression is pretty freaking awesome.   I had to sum up that first impression in five words or less it would be:

 Climbs Well,  Descents Great!

I feel it out more over the weekend, stay tuned.

-Bill

Goodies in the Mail

I just had to “push” out a post today seeing that the Fedex guy brought some goodies by.

Push Box

Those who have seen my cross-country bike lately can atest that it needs some TLC.  My Fox 100RLC fork on that bike has about 7,000 miles on it and while I have changed oil and seals as needed, it was in need of something more significant.   The fork on my single-speed is a F100X with the first generation of the terralogic aka “TERRORLOGIC“.   Man did I hate that autolocking feature.   Basically it took the first bump to get it to unlock, which might be okay in someother part of the country, but not here in LoSoCal.   The trails are quite rocky and it seems like I’m always hitting the first bump even which the fork’s bump threshold set to the lowest setting.   Basically I’m not a fan at all.  Anyway I opted to send in the F100X into “Push Industries” to have them put the goods to this fork as well as get rid of the terrorlogic and put in a RLC configuration.

Pushed Fork

So I had some fun in the gararge putting this fork on my XC bike.  The SS will have to wait a little longer for some forking love.  The plan is to send the other fork off to Push as well.   I have not been out on the trails yet, but it feels pretty good just tooling around on the street.