Pimping New Kicks

So my MTB shoes have been getting pretty ratty and have enough “extra” ventilation these days that I end up with more dirt on the inside of my shoes than I do on the outside of the outside of the shoes.  I have found that I hold out on my shoes as long as possible just because it always seem to be such a painl to pick out a pair of shoes.   I used to just use the SIDI Dominators as they would last me for several years.   That was until I became more skilled in riding technical terrian and spent more time exploring  “Back 40” type trails.  Those same shoes that were light and comfortable started lasting less than a year.  The toes and outer edges of the shoes were being shredded from brushes with rocks, brush and other chunk. With the price of those shoes I was not willing to spend that kind of money that often for them.  So the search for a comfortable well working shoes that did not kill the bank was in order. 

My awesome girlfriend sprung for the Happy Feet effort with a nice birthday gift certificate to BikeBling.  The number of different shoes available was crazy and I spent at least an hour farting around with all the different model.    I ended up with getting a pair that was felt really comfortable, had a nice stiff sole and looked like it would hold up well.  The shoes is a bit on the flashy side for my taste but I predict it will dull down quite nicely once I get a good dirt patina on it.   I was told that much like wearing a Spongbob Squarepants jersey, (i.e. photo above) if you are going to wear shoes like that you had better bring “IT” on the trail. 

  New Shoes

I’m also going to to try out one of boot protector products out there.  Either KG’s Boot Guard or Tuff Toes.   If I could spend about $20 extra bucks and get a year or two more out of  the shoes that would pretty cool.   That also means I could delay the whole process of getting the clipless pedal cleats all dialed it.  Stay tuned for photos of loud jerseys and shoes in action.

How Many Bike Does One Need?

How many bikes do you have?  How many bikes to you need?   Well now, those are a couple of serious questions that simply can not be answered simply.  Yes these are some of the things that keep me awake at night.  Don’t ask me why.  I don’t why. These are just some of the stuff that floats around between my ears from time to time.   There are a multitude of sects in the tribe of bike riding tribe.  I think the largest group is the one bike – because well I got one bike crowd.   These folks are not really tied to having just one bike, but that is what they have.   There may of course be “The Old Bike”  (or part of it) hanging from the garage rafters but for the most part they are the one-bike folks.

Then there are the one bike purist camps.   I’m not even going to go into the the sub-group of the one bike – one gear folks.   It is not that they could not have another bike in the stables, they only want one bike.  I have to admit that I like the concept of one bike and the simplier (and often more challenging) experience of riding in a one bike world.   I even know a guy who rides a rigid singlespeed fixie.  He even rides it on some gnarly trails, bottom line is the guy has mad skills to do such a thing.

Me, well I think I am in the more reasonable group (okay not more reasonable, let’s go with more common).   I have multiple bikes.  There is the XC Full-Suspension rig, the hardtail, the singlespeed, the old long-legged bike, the new long-legged bike, as well as a couple of frames waiting to be pressed back into service.    Yep, plenty of bikes in my garage.  Bikes are like a good handcrafted beer.  There are plenty of great ones out there and what kinda of person would not like to enjoy all different types of the them.     I mean I love a good IPA, but you know I also like Imperial Stouts,   Porters, and all sorts of other yummy beverages.     Some days I want reach for that Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale but then there is the Dogfishhead Squall IPA.  Or maybe its the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, ohh I know the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.   They choices go on and on and on over the tasty dark malt beverage horizon.     A couple months ago Bicycling Magazine did a piece on Sam Calagione, the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery, discussing his love for brewing and cycling.   He made a comment about the microbrewing competition out there that I thought was really awesome.  “…I embrace it. Craft-beer drinkers are promiscuous–I drink plenty of other beers.”    Well I think mountianbikers much like craft-beer drinkers (amazing how many mountainbikers are also craft-beer nuts) are a promiscuous bunch as well.   If we can get away with it, for the most part, we will have more than one bike.

Such was the case this past Sunday,  not just about beer, but about bikes.   Sure I have a brand new UZZI that I am complete digging, but Santa Cruz was having a demo day out at Lake Hodges so I felt the urge to see what the new stuff was from these guys.   Santa Cruz and BikeBling were putting on the event together and when I got there they were doing some hustling to keep the 30 demo bikes rotating with sizable of pool of folks looking to get onto the latest two-wheeled Santa Cruz creations.

Of course with any such kind of MTB gathering in San Diego County, some of the usual suspects were on the scene and lots of chatting occurred about bikes, trails, potential roadtrips and even some of the latest craft beers to hit the market.  It would have been a good morning of socializing even without the new shiny bits to galk and paw over.  So how many bikes do I need and how many bikes do I own?    Well the answer that question in the simplest of terms in I have have one more bike than I need and one less bike than I want.

Feeling Blue about Trucks and Bikes

The last couple handful of months have been a bummer  on the Truck and Bike front.  


Last summer my beloved Intense 6.6 was stolen.   I knew that bike so well and it was one hell of a capable rig for get out and about and even the occasional launching.  In the last month  it has actually been seen in Kelso, Washington (where it was stolen) being ridden by some “crackhead”.   There is hope for it recovery as the locals are on the lookout.

Then about two months ago, my Tacoma was totalled when a bonehead thought that the red arrow on a left-hand turn was a suggestion.   Man I loved that truck as I had it just the way I wanted it.  A leveling lift, onboard air system, hidden off-road lights, In-Cab 115VAC and a tricked out infotainment system. 

So while I was in Washington for six weeks all the insurance stuff was settled out and I was online shopping for a replacment Tacoma.    I pretty much wanted the same truck I had before.  Double Cab 4×4 with the Tow package and either the TRD Sport or Off-Road package.  It also had to be in good shape and have descent miles on it.   I found plenty in the category but hitting the price mark was the tough part as I was not interested in having a truck payment.    Cash is king and the day after I got back from Washington I was able score a killer deal on a truck that meet all of my specs.

The new MBB Mobile.    A 2007 Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 with the TRD Off-Road and Tow Packages.   It even had a brand new set of BFG AT on it (My favorite all-terrian tires)

I had thought about a camper shell with my old truck but never got one. I’m still not sure wither I’m a shell guy or not but I going to see if it will work out or not.  I can always take it off.

You may have noticed I have have a new website supporter/partner up on the site,  BikeBling.com.   Recently they have moved to huge place in Escondido and have a ton of goodies in the story.  For users of my site you will periodically see MountainBikeBill promotional codes for BikeBling that are good for a discount on online purchases.   A regular good for me –  good for you relationship.    

Part of the good for me relationship was that when I got back from Washington there was a brand new steed waiting for me.  A well equipped Intense Uzzi.

A brand new set of SpinergyXyclone Enduro wheels were waiting back a Casa Del Bill to bring the build to its ready for launch state.  Considering this rig has a 7″ travel coil fork  up front and a coil shock givng 7.5″ in back this rig  weighs in at a respectable 35lbs 6 ounces.    This rig is built well above my skill level so it should be fun to see what kind of “trouble” I can get myself into with this beauty.  

Closeup of the “Works Blue” finish that Intense did on this.  The finish is slightly translucent which allows the weld mark to show through giving the finish a marbelized look that I think rocks.

Now the color of the bike was picked out long before I brought the truck and the color was pretty low on the criteria in the selection process.   It is however pretty uncanny how the bike and truck are pretty much a spot on match.   One thing is for certain they both need to be taken out and gotten dirty!    I’m feeling pretty damn good about feeling blue!