Sunday, January 27, 2013

thaw


Woo, it's been a while since we four were on a ride together.

This last storm brought a much-needed January thaw to our high desert, leaving temps into the high 50's, tacky trails in its wake.

With the sun's warming rays streaming through grey scudding clouds, it proved just a perfect day to shrug off the winter doldrums, celebrate the outdoors once again.


Our shakedown cruise was not without its challenges- Will drew first blood in his Christmas clipless setup, taking a timber just sitting there taking a breather. Sweetness kept dropping her chain, took me half the ride to get that figured out.


Foibles aside, the weather remained beyond beautiful, and we found yet another Secret Stash, hidden right under our noses these many years.




Saturday, January 26, 2013

uncommon

Uncommonly wet that is.

Tried to sneak in a ride before we got socked in. Was only partially successful in staying dry, but I imagine my grin upon soaking up the tacky trails told a different story entirely.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

who we are 2012

Whooops!  Forgot to showcase Who We Are results from 2012.

Looks like we are a diverse group of folks, who apparently can agree on two things: fly fishing and mountain biking are simply awesome.  I am in complete agreement ;-)


As for 2013, I placed no less than (3) polls sidebar right.  Dive on in there peoples!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Area 51: Continental Trail Kings Protection

conti trail king protection
One Tire to rule them all
As far as gearing up the mtb, I like nothing so much as fresh treads for my 2WD.

At anywhere from $40-$90 per wheel, I really don't experiment around all that much. But over the years I've experienced my fair share of winners and losers.

Losers- can't get much worse than those ubiquitous WTB VelociRaptors that clog the sale bins at your LBS.  Slow, squirrely, prone to washing out. Let's just say I found their best use cut up and jury-rigged as chainstay protectors.

specialized ground control 2bliss
GC's weeping stans- the horror, the horror
Amongst the Winners, CST Caballeros will always have a place in my heart.  They were my first Twoo Wuv, ahem, True Love- priced right for a family of 4, wearing like iron, the quintessential bargain. 

Or Schwalbe's Fat Alberts- durable, grippy, they definitely have your back leaning into the loose corners.  Just don't ride them wet over roots if you like your teeth, comprendes?  While they work great for our desert riding, at $90 retail, it wasn't long before I grew tired of bowing at the altar of Schwalbe.

Then there were Specialized's Ground Controls- fast and lightweight, nearly as grippy as the Fat Alberts, but sadly a bit delicate in the sidewalls.  Definitely a race tire IMHO, prone to weep Stans through the sidewalls at 6 months.  Average length of a racing season? 6 months.  Coincidence, I think not Specialized R&D! I mean c'mon guys!

conti trail king protection

That said, when it came to resolving to start the new year 2013 out right, I returned to the newly formulated Continental Trail Kings, black chili with Protection sidewalls.  And they are ohhhh so sweet,  my preciiiiious.

conti trail king protection

To start, the TK's sport a new RTR tubeless-ready bead.  The stiff Protection sidewalls prove a real PITA to seat initially, ask me how I know.  Once seated however, that bead is really embedded in there, staying locked up at 55psi for the record.  Say it with me mis amigos- no more burping, hallelujah!


The Protection sidewalls are a big upgrade for this tire, you can feel the reinforcement difference between the previous generation TKs or a racing tire like the Ground Controls.  Fingers crossed I'll finally see an end to wheels-up trailside repairs on West Ridge Trail.
 
conti trail king protection
black chili goodness steeped in every pore
Durability for the TK's is beyond question.  The past generation tires have lasted a solid 8 months on the back, 12 months on the front.  I expect no difference with the new generation Protection.

On the bike, the tires are light, in neighborhood of 730g if I have my figures right.  And oh so grippy.  So veeeery grippy, hooking-up like nobody's bidness.  There are certain step-ups in the Otero network that consistently prove my undoing, many times due to my back tire spinning-out at the critical moment.  My first attempt with the TK's had me hooting in victory over my former nemeses, they are indeed that good.  In the loose corners now, let's just say Schwalbe ain't got nothin' over Conti.

Last, pricing is completely reasonable at $50-55 per tire, especially considering the Schwalbe line has you paying nearly double, and Specialized might have you replacing nearly twice as often.

conti trail king protection

So if you value durability, grip, economy in a tubeless-ready tire, you owe your bike to give Continental's a spin. All said and done, they make me a better rider.

 Who says it's not about the bike, amirite?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

secret stash


What with winter doldrums upon us, it's easy to get jaded with the lack of diversity the weather offers ABQ by way of riding. Around here, the middle of winter leaves us but a few of options with clear singletrack- White/Red Mesa, Placitas, and our adjacent foothills.
 

It's always right around mid January when the days are shortest, the cold most wretched, that my usual loops seem all played out, bleh.

Add to that, we've been beset by a covert trail sanitizer since way back into summer. Our beloved trails are unmistakably under attack- rocks and obstacles removed, vegetation cut back, technical sections slowly smoothed and widened akin to a jogging path. Sigh.


To beat those blahs back, lately I've taken to exploring 'new' trails in our foothills- little used by bikers for one reason or another. Each one narrow, sketchy, offering a bit of a challenge to this weekend warrior.


And not yet on The Sanitizer's radar.


Here's hoping they stay that way.



Friday, January 11, 2013

I pledge allegiance

...to Craft Beer Nation.

New burger and beer joint opened down near UNM.

La Cumbre's el Malpais Stout, mmmm. I've come home.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

a call for critics

Need some input from mis compadres in internet land- can yuse guys throw a dog a bone?

I'd like to throw (3) images Gink and Gasoline's way, see if I can win some schwag.

But what (3) you think? If you can help out- please select three of the below images and enter a vote in poll immediately below.

Thx for playing along!


awesome brown trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #2 below:
backcountry cutthroat trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #3 below: 
la junta red rio grande
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #4 below: 
san juan river rainbow
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #5 below: 
arkansas puterbaugh foam caddis
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #6 below: 
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #7 below: 
backcountry cutthroat stream
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #8 below: 
arkansas caddis fly fishing
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #9 below: 
rio grande cutthroat trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #10 below: 
backcountry cutthroat trout fishing
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #11 below: 
rio grande cutthroat trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #12 below: 
backcountry cutthroat trout fishing
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #13 below: 
colorado cutthroat trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #14 below: 
backcountry cutthroat trout fishing
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #15 below: 
backcountry fall brown trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #16 below: 
colorado cutthroat trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #17 below: 
brown trout
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
Pic #18 below: 
san juan river rainbow
From Dry Flies Stoke 2012

brews 2012

the brews of 2012.  It was a very good year.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in pixels

dry flies and fat tires 2012


should the great apple-google war prevent my embedded slideshow from showing on your mobile device, feel free to click on into the images and jumpstart the show the old skool way.    Thx for riding along!  mjh

From Dry Flies Stoke 2012
From Fat Tires Stoke 2012