Monday, May 22, 2006

Tamarancho 5th b-day Ride

Last Sunday's ride in Tamarancho turned out to be a really fun day....

Tamarancho No Dab Race
Around 9:30 am I called Julio: -- Hey Julio, can you pick me up on your way to Fairfax?
-- Okay, but call Joe and tell him we will be late, he replied (He is a good friend, for once Julio could have been at Deer Park on time but he sacrificed his punctuality and the possibility to get coffee to pick me up in Mill Valley)
-- Did you call Joe? Julio asked when he arrived at my house.
-- Fuck! I forgot to call him!
-- Chinga tu madre! Julio replied, now Joe will think we are late again because of me!
We arrived to Deer Parl at 10:15 am instead of 10:00 am. I thought they were going to be there since we usually wait for about 30 minutes. But nobody was waiting at the parking lot.
-- Oh well, I told Julio, probably Philip and Joe didn't want to wait any longer and took off already so let's forget about them and and do our own Tamarancho ride.
-- Chinga tu madre! (you know the mother is always blamed for everything) it's your fault!, said Julio. But I thought it was okay since we could be the Latin representation on the "Tamarancho No Dabs Race"
On our way to the camp while climbing Iron Spring road, I got a phone call from Philip (who was supposed to be with Joe). -- You turrrrrist! why you didn't wait forrrrr us? (Philip trying to imitate my accent).
-- What?!, I replied, I saw Joe's car at the parking lot and thought you took off with him.
-- You turrrrrist!, Philip yelled, don't underrrrrstand English! Wait forrrrr us.
When we rendevouz, it turned out Philip was with Steve and his brother Kurt.
-- Wherrrrre is Joe?, was Philip's first question, after a good laugh, we all said: -- Probably Joe had some coffee this morning, saw some girls going toward Tamarancho and just took off following them.
-- It is 11:00 am already so why don't you do my ride?, asked Steve, so we all decided to ride with Steve and Kurt.

In the meantime, we all were trying not to dab to see if we could get a free beer from Danny later on at the Iron Spring Brew b-day party. I was on my single speed so I was not taking my no dabbing very seriously, but after clearing the face rock and the rock garden wihtout any dabs then I was really paying attention to every detail on the trails.

Right before the rock garden, we finally found Joe with two girls, Drew and Terry, and with Jim. So for a while we all rode together, some of us trying not to dab although some like Joe and Philip were putting their feet or their whole bodies on the floor a.k.a. dabbing.

Before the ride was over, Joe joined Steve, Philip and Kurt. Jim stayed with Drew and Terry. And Julio and I ended up finishing the camp together. I dabbed on a tight left stwichback on the last climb before the last dirt road. I was bummed. But Julio's flat made me forget about my dab. We put some air so the stan could seal the tire, swap bikes since the tire was still loosing some air and I weigh a little less than Julio. Barbara's friends lent us a pump at Iron Spring road so we could finish the ride, go back to the cars and get ready for beers.

Click on the map to see ride stats, and other GPS goodies!

Map of Tamarancho 5th b-day

Tamarancho 5th B-day Party
Iron Springs Brew was filled with bikers, their families and friends. I can't mention everybody I saw because the list will fill pages and pages of this blog. But I remember Michael Moore, my favorite plumber, who got a free beer from me because he saved my family from a week of not having hot water. Eric Muhler, the Maestro, playing the piano who didn't get a free beer from me because he was sick. My neighbors the Colombians: Julio Leon with his son Juan and nephew Jorge playing congas and the tambora drum (yes, they got free beers too). Julio's wife, Ellen with their other two kids David and Daniel and niece Alejandra (Juan's daughter). Sally, my partner, chatting away with every biker at the place. My kids Alejandro, Nicole and Andrea, trying not to be too bored. Dana and Cowboy who were flirting with each other while Sally was jealous. Eric Sayetta and Lena who was filled with poison oak! Dolores and Tom who donated cute mini-skirts and arm warmers. Karen and Russell, John Sarter who was covered with mud from head to toe, Ron, Pete and Mo, Susan missing his boyfriend Rob. All the friends I rode with mentioned above plus Dave and Wayne who did their own ride too. Other Freewheelers Robyn (who will probably kick my butt at the Tamarancho race this July), Vernon, Larry, Molly, Barbara (who drunk Sally forgot she was at the last book club), Randy (who thought I was Sally's husband), Val (who I also hugged at Deer Park), Matt, Jim (who is coming to a focus group with me today to talk about Headlands trails) and Michael Kelly and Lloyd (who even danced to the music!).

And the best part of the party (besides the beers, seeing friends and playing drums of course) was the 2007 free Tamarancho pass Danny gave me since there were no females with no dabs present at the time!

Monday, May 15, 2006

My new hybrid XC/SuperD/DH bike


For some time, I have been flirting with the idea of a bike with enough travel to help me clear more technical sections, race Super D and Downhill while keeping it light enough to to ride it all over Marin trails with all its climbs and descends.

I wasn't sure a hybrid bike like that was possible but after riding in Santa Cruz with my friend and MotionBased team member Dan O'Connor (he rides a Nomad), and also hearing that Mark Weir rides his Nomad as a trail XC bike all over the place, I decided to give it a try...

About 32 hours of research later (gosh the equivalent of 3 full working days!) I was able to come up with a list of components to go with my brand new Santa Cruz Nomad frame.

The end result is a hybrid mountain bike with 6.5 " rear travel and 6.3" front travel that weights only 29 pounds, light enough for XC and Super D riding and also for lots of Down Hill riding!!! That is what I call VERSATILE.

To give you a better idea, here is the weight of my 3 mountain bikes with equivalent tires:
* Hardtail SS bike, Seven Ti Sola frame, 22 lbs (it could be 20 lbs with a lighter fork, but got a Fox Talas perfect for technical riding)
* Full suspension Santa Cruz Blur XC: 25 lbs (it is 23 lbs when I swap to my racing wheels Olivier built for me with lighter racing tires)
* Full suspension Santa Cruz Nomad XC, Super D & DH: 29 lbs!!!
(I also got a road bike, Seven Sola Ti frame, 17.5 lbs and I hope this is it for me!)

But before I tell you the components, I have to thank 3 guys (and good friends) that knowing how I ride helped me so much to give birth to this awesome hybrid bike:

* Joe Towbis, the guy in the picture below building my bike, who besides advice and deals, built the bike with me in his garage. He actually has built 3 of my bikes and I know how to maintain and work on my bikes mainly thanks to him. (Tom, Olivier and Frank have also taught me and encouraged me to work on my bikes).

* Olivier Bock, my favorite MotionBased team captain and the one encouraging me to keep training hard and stay in shape for XC races. He actually sent me the original list of components he would put on the bike which is not very different from the list I ended up with!
* Michael Yares, Dana's boyfriend, who gave me critical advice for the DH components I ended up putting on the bike e.g. awesome gravity dropper!!!

Olivier and Joe's advice based on XC riding got balanced by Michael's advice based on DH riding. This was critical for the creation of the hybrid versatile Nomad.

I also wanted to thank Eric Admunson from Pleasant Cyclery, for his business and my bro the Puertorican Frank who I am already missing at Sunshine Bicycles.

Santa Cruz Nomad Components list:
Frame: Nomad Anodize Small w/ DHX 5 Air rear shock
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X0 Rear Med Derailleur
Front Derailleur: my old SHIMANO XTR (the SRAM doesn't work for that frame!)
Trigger Shifters: SRAM X0 front & back
Cassette: SRAM 9-speed PG-990 11-34T option
Chain: SRAM 991
Pedals: SHIMANO Shimano PD-M647
Chainguide: e-13 DRS Dual Ring Security
Handlebar: Easton MonkeyLite SL riser handlebar
Brakes: Magura Marta SL Brakes w/ 160 rotor in front & back
Wheels & Hubs: Stan’s Rims ZTR 355 light with silver revolution spokes, front WTB 20 mm thru-axle hub, back wheel American Classic hub
Seatpost: Gravity dropper with 30.9 shims, 3 inches drop, 350 mm long
Fork: 36 Van RC2
Crankset & Bottom bracket: 3 rings Truvativ Stylo Team Giga X Pipe 44/32/22T 165 mm arms
Stem: Thompson Elite 0° x 50 x 25.4 mm
Headset: Chris King Black
Tires for XC: front Kenda Nevegal 2.35, back Kenda Karma 2.0 or Kenda Short Tracker 2.1
Tires for Super D/DH: front Kenda Nevegal 2.5, back Kenda Karma 2.2