Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Second Weekend Riding in Laguna Beach

Some weeks ago, I got in touch with my Southern Californian friend, Geof, to let him know I was going to a wedding (my friends Tracy and Eric) and a lovely and yummy pre-Thanksgiving Dinner with Sally's family. In between events, I wanted to do some downhill and technical cross country riding. And last weekend I had two perfect days doing so!.

On Saturday, we did the "downhill thing". From left to ride: Celia, Daniel, Rob, Bill, Geof and Brian. These are the name of the riders and you will have to believe me since it is a little hard to recognize anybody with those sexy full head helmets!

As I said before, we did the "downhill thing", meaning the car shuttling coordination thing with all of our vehicles. Look at these hot bikes on the hot truck:We were shuttling to descend on the Telonics (awesome DH trail, click here if you want to see pictures and descriptions). But back to the "downhill thing", it takes some brains to efficiently implement it, it could be challenging to design the car shutles order so you get as many downhill runs as possible with the least amount of driving. And Geof was seriously thinking all the time how the next shuttle was going to be!

Here are some action pictures I took on the Telonics.

This is Geof

This is Brian

And this is Rob On Sunday, we did a technical cross country ride that included steep fire road climbing and sweet downhill technical singletracks: T&A, Old Emerald, Rattle Snake, Nothing Better to Do (heritage trail), Marie Calender's (heritage trail), and Lizzards (heritage trail).

Here are the cross country riders: Brian, Natalie, Dave K., Rob, Geof and Daniel (from left to right).
Here is Geof showing some class going down on T&A
Here we are in one of the rest stops

I am glad I didn't crash on one of these cactus!

It would have been painful!!!!!

And here is a picture of the Telonics and the Laguna Beach Canyon (You can click on the picture for a bigger format):

And this is me with my dorky biker look after the ride....

To read about my first time riding around Laguna Beach Canyon, click here, read about and see pictures about a DH trail called Telonics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

North Bay December Rides

Come and join Dana on these two fun only-girls rides:
  1. December 7th: Beginner, Helen Putnam Park, Petaluma. Meet at Sonoma Bicycle Company 11:00 am
  2. December 14th: Intermediate/Advance, Annadel State Park, Santa Rosa. Meet at Santa Rosa Cyclery 11:00 am

For more information, email Dana Beckstoffer at

These rides are sponsored by:
  • Sonoma Bicycle Co. : 265 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, Ca. 94953 (707-776-0606)
  • Santa Rosa Cyclery: 4325 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa, Ca 95405 (707-537-2254)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thanks to Magura, Gravity Dropper, Manitou, Shimano, Tom Fallon, Brian Popplewell, Richard, Martin, Tom Mac, Brian Herrman and Josh Orland

If you are one of those "do-it-yourself-bike-mechanic-wanna-be" like me with many questions on how to fix, clean, replace or service bike parts, I encourage you to ask for help. I frequently call or email bike companies and visit bike stores with questions on what to do and how, and almost always I find incredible support. Here are some examples:

Magura: for many years I have used Marta Magura brakes on my three mountain bikes as you can appreciate in the picture below. These brakes are super light and great for feathering for super smooth riding. Jeff, Jude and Matt (all of them work at Magura) have taught me their tricks to calibrate, bleed, replace master cylinders and calipers through emails, phone calls and in person at the races.
The coolest thing of Magura is that they take their products very seriously so when I have an issue with my brakes they always help me to take care of it or guarantee the part. Below is a picture of the recently replaced master cylinders on one of my three mountain bikes.

Gravity Dropper: I ventured myself into servicing the gravity droppers I have in two of my mountain bikes. I changed the housing and cable and cleaned all the parts. In the process I ruined the screws that hold the cap of the lever and the seat post cap where the magnets are located. I called them and not only they sent me new screws but they gave me several tips and encouraged me to go ahead and service them myself. Now they both work like when they were brand new!

Manitou: I decided to purchase a Manitou Swinger-SFS X6 Coil Shock to install it one of my bikes (I had an air rear shock but I like coil suspension so now 2 of my mountain bikes have front and rear coil suspension). But the bolts I ordered with the rear shock didn't fit the frame. I emailed and called Shanan at Manitou who told me which bolts I needed and sent them to me! My bike now is ready to go!

Shimano: one of my Shimano SPD pedals lost one of the screws holding the pedal spring. I called Shimano and somebody (I forgot his name!) really nice and patient not only sent me several extra screws but took the time to tell me over the phone how to put the screw in the pedal without forcing it. I then sent him an email thanking him so much for his explanation and he sent me 3 pairs of Shimano socks!!! And my pedal is working just fine!

I want to thank my friend Tom Fallon for encouraging me to research how to work on my bikes, for showing me how to do it and for pushing me to do it myself. Also thanks to him I ride probably the only Santa Cruz Blur XC with front and rear coil suspension. Tom fabricated special parts for the frame to fit an longer eye-to-eye rear shock so he could fit a coil one and with a Titanium spring so the bike is still quite light, great for technical cross country riding and some dirt jumping too, check it out below:

Also thanks to Brian Poppewell, Richard and Martin at Mike's Bikes for their continuos support, and for inviting me to one of their bike mechanic training which gave me the opportunity to observe an expert from Fox shocks servicing several fork models. And guess what... one of the forks being serviced at the training was mine! :-)

And last but not least, thanks to Josh Orlando, Brian Herrman, and Tom Mac at Fairfax Cyclery for helping me finding out the right bolts I needed for my new Manitou rear shock, and also for encouraging me to finish servicing my fork and celebrating me for doing it!