May 29th/06: 3:45pm - Trish
Ralf Hauser puts the Six through it's paces at Woodward.
May 30th/06: 10am - Trish
Home Sweet Home
So, this is it, back into the office and back to reality. Although, really, my reality rocks pretty hard - working at Norco is a sweet deal and I'm actually stoked to be here. The best part about working with an entire office of riders is that they're all as excited about my roadtrip as I was - although it sounds like next time if I try to go back to Cali without them I'll probably be mobbed, beaten, and killed. (watch out Cali…next time I'm bringing the whole office!)
Jason mentioned the bikes we rode in his last entry, and I wanted to add my two cents worth about our gear before we wrapped it all up. Bike-wise my favourite choice for this trip was definitely the Six 1. Although the Fluid 1 is a much better bike on the climbs, and a better all around XC bike, I loved the stability and angles of the Six. This probably has more to do with my 'shore/freeride' upbringing then anything else, but the Six just felt really solid on all the single-track descents, especially on the loose, sandy soil.
If I were going to ride that sort of terrain all the time, I'd opt for an air shock in the rear (we were running one on the '07 prototype, but the 06 runs a coil shock), use clipless pedals, and probably make a few other modifications to lighten up the bike a little more. Other than that, it was choice!
We were also given a few other interesting parts & accessories to bring along and test out to see if they were 'roadtrip worthy'. The Axiom Nero pack, Mace NOS helmet, Mace ladies gloves, and Axiom Dirtworker were my favs.
I didn't think I would like the Axiom pack at first, it looked like it wouldn't carry enough gear, but with the expandable pouch, helmet/armour optional mesh, and room for a 2L reservoir, I actually preferred it to my older, bulkier pack. Although my old pack was 'showier' looking, with the Axiom pack I was carrying more gear and less pack. As well, for '07 the pack has mesh shoulder straps & a deeper back vent, so the pack didn't turn your spine into a sweat-box. Oh…an a side note for other female riders - one feature I appreciated about this pack is that the chest strap was adjustable vertically. This was nice since you could avoid awkward, uncomfortable chaffing…nuff' said, I think you know what I'm talking about *grins*.
I LOVE the Mace NOS helmet. I'm stoked that so many manufacturers have come up with an 'all mountain' alternative to the old XC style lids. I know it's vain, but I just hated looking like the mushroom kid from Super Mario Bros. I'm glad people have realised that if they want to encourage people to wear helmets when they ride, they need to make them stylish, as well as functional. Although, I love the look and feel of a traditional dirt lid, a well-ventilated helmet for these rides was a must. Another nice part about the NOS was a dial-in feature in the back so that you can snug the helmet right up without strangling yourself on the chin strap.
Mace also found a winner with their women's gloves. I'm a sucker for well-made, women's specific gear. My biggest complain with small sized men's gloves is that the palm is always too wide and the fingers are always too short. The Shackle gloves were just right. Before I'd gotten to use them much we called them the 'crest white-strips gloves' because the white material on the fingers was SOOO white. Not every rider is a big fan of white, mostly because it turns to a lovely light brown-grey within one or two rides, but I actually like it, even if it didn't stay that way for too long. Best of all, and this is totally a personal preference thing, I love that these gloves don't use Velcro straps. I HATE Velcro closing tags on gloves - it rubs & chafes your wrist, it wears out and flops around, it captures dirt and crap and won't close……the list is endless. Anyhow, Mace uses a material called Airprene (like neoprene for wetsuits but lighter) on the backings so you can slide the glove on and off, sans Velcro. That scored huge points with me.
Last but not least, if you're going on a roadtrip, get a Dirtworker - just be sure you actually fill it with water before you leave. Although it might seem like a luxury to be able to hose down your bikes and your body after a ride, it's essential on a trip like this where stanky, dirty bikes, gear, and bodies can turn your normally sweet smelling vehicle into a cesspool. It was great to be able to hose everything off and leave it to dry for a few minutes rather than watching over the week as the dirt from each ride accumulated on every item of gear & clothing we owned. Although we didn't end up camping, I think the Dirtworker would be even more essential in a situation where you don't have a guaranteed shower at the end of the day.
May 29th/06: 5pm - Trish
BRAIN, Bike, & the San Juan Trail
Whew, lots of typing to catch up on all the stuff we've seen and done in the past couple days. On Friday we had the chance to go in and check out the BRAIN office. (that's Bicycle Retailer & Industry News). The folks at BRAIN are probably the coolest & most under-recognized in the business. I wasn't sure what to expect visiting an office that primarily deals with dealers and high-level industry folks, but the entire crew was super chill and welcoming. Plus, they took us out for lunch to try a Baja classic: fish-tacos (yes, Megan, I'm convinced - they're really good). Although we didn't get to spend too much time at the office I'm so glad we were able to stop by and put some faces to the voices/emails from the past two year. Next time though, they ARE going to come out and ride with us - no excuses!
After that we jumped onto the I-5 for a quick trip down the Bike Magazine offices. Unfortunately, we managed to catch those guys right before a production date so they were all looking a bit stressed, but, despite that, Dain & Dylan still managed to make time to give us a tour of the office and a trip out to a local favourite, the San Juan trail.
There were a few things I loved about Bike magazine headquarters. First, they're walls are covered with many of the breathtaking shots they include in their magazine. Second, they share office space with Powder and Surfer magazine. There was a high 'coolness' vibe around this office.
Now, I've saved the best for last...the ride. We ended up leaving a bit later than planned for this one so it didn't have the leisurely pace of our other rides. Unfortunately, that means I didn't get many pics of this ride, so you'll just have to take my word for it, that the trail is WORTHY. If you're done in the area you've got to check it out. This ride is what Jason & I now refer to as a 'Cali shuttle' - that doesn't mean you don't climb, you just climb less. The first half of the ride was more of the swoopy, rolling single-track we'd come to expect and love about Cali riding. The second half however, was entirely different. By the time we started the descent it was getting pretty near dusk. Luckily, the trails down here are a light, sandy colour that really stands out against the darker brush. The descent was amazing...it was endless! The sandy soil was still fairly packed down from the rain earlier in the week, so we were able to just pin it down the trails. Our only challenged was trying not to fly off the trail on the switchbacks. Once again, a MUST ride, if you come down this way! (just watch out for ticks)
OH...I can't finish talking about friday without mentioning Dain and his..uhm...'challenging' roommate. Dain (the gear editor from Bike) graciously let us crash out in his living room for Thursday and Friday night. His roommate, however, was not so excited that we were there - at the time (6:30am) it wasn't so cool, but in retrospect, it's much funnier. When she woke up in the morning she greeted us by continually running the blender & stomping around in her stiletto heels - it was charming. How such an easy-going, awesome guy like Dain ended up with a roommate like that is still beyond me (he's the nicest guy). Luckily, he was moving the very next weekend. (good choice Dain!)
May 29th/06: 3:40pm - Trish
K, to backtrack a little I need to tell you about our ride on Thursday with Matt, Mike, and Ron from Bicycling/Mountain Bike magazine. The pictures & captions will probably sum it up best, but I still wanted to talk about it bit.
We met up with the guys at their office in Burbank, CA around noon for a short tour. Their office was unreal. The place was filled to the rafters with gear and retro-memorabilia.
The ride itself was the most challenging and 'XC' of our entire trip. Once again, I was impressed by how fit the local riders are down here. By midway up the climb on the fire-road, I knew I was in for it. As the rest of the guy's happily chatted and spun up the dusty road in their middle rings, I had to drop it into my granny as I started to hang further and further off the back. But, I slapped on what Roddi Lega would call my best 'suffer-face' and pushed through - the result at the end of the first climb was totally worth it! The view from the saddle was stunning and it only got better from there.
This ride normally takes these guys around 2.5 hours…it took me a little over 4. If you get a chance this is a trail you definitely NEED to check out. Just be sure to take plenty of water & a couple of powerbars, especially if you aren't used to riding in Cali temperatures. (the first climb is totally exposed)
Afterwards, Mike & Ron treated us to the best meal of the whole trip at this crazy Brazilian restaurant where they serve all-you-can-eat meat. It was like something out of a vegetarian nightmare where they walked around the tables offering you everything from pieces of bacon-wrapped chicken to slices of marinated sirloin tip - we were all in heaven, especially after an epic ride like that. *Thanks again you guys - for showing us the amazing trail & the amazing dinner!*
May 29th/06: 2:47pm - Trish
Who is J-Bot?!
At the very beginning of the trip, Jay did a short Bio on me so you'd have an idea of who I was. I've waited till the end to return the favour (mostly because we've been so busy). Jason, also known as Jay or J-Bot, is one of those great riders you'll never hear about. Jay has some serious skills, but he's so self-depreciating it almost annoys me. For example, if you follow the North Shore Ripper series, Jay has placed in the top 4 in every event so far, but have you seen a picture of him or heard of him? No, probably not. See…solid abilities but he's a guy who just loves to ride for himself and really doesn't care if other people ever know what he's about. Hmm..I suppose that's not entirely true, Jay will occasionally unleash his inner rock star, but sometimes he needs a bit of encouragement.
Jay has been riding BMX since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and he's one of those all-around versatile riders who can do a bit of everything really well. Although Jay is a great rider, what I really love about riding with him is how aware he is of other people on the trail. He's fun to ride with because he's a natural coach. He loves to see people achieve their goals, and he's encouraging without being pushy (probably why he's a great personal trainer, and why the folks at Endless Biking love having him as an instructor).
Personality-wise, Jay's fun to have on a trip like this because he's such a wise-ass. He's got a bit of a 'cheezy dad-joke' thing going on sometimes, but we forgive him for those moments because most of the time he's witty and observant, except when he's really tired or hungry…then he's just grumpy.
Oh ya...we call him 'J-Bot' because, when we used to go ride skatepark on Saturdays, the rest of us would be falling over dead from fatigue and Jason the Robot (J-Bot) would still be going. 'Just one more try guys..seriously...then we can go'
May 29th/06: 1:20pm - Trish
On the road again...
So, we're back on the road and headed towards the Oregon border. Our little shredded tire episode has put us back a bit, but in some ways it was nice to be able to get a good nights sleep after spending 3 hours in the foam pit at Woodward yesterday morning. I am officially SORE! Pretty much every muscle in my body hurts right now from the collected effort of this past week. Whew...but so worth it! *Jay is laughing at me right now - yesterday he said, "Wow Trish, I didn't realise what a princess you are.* Ah well, the best part of being a female rider is that you can go out, get muddy, and play with the boys, then have a shower and be a princess again. Life is good.
The crazy thing about our little side-trip is that I don't think I've ever had such a pleasant disaster. Scott the two-truck man not only drove us to Wall-mart to get a new tire, he also gave us a ride over to the hotel (we had to wait till the tire store opened this morning). Plus, when Scott found out we had bikes we couldn't leave in the van he offered to bring them over to the hotel with us so we wouldn't have to pedal them over. On top of that, the 24hr. security guy at Wall-mart promised us he'd keep an eye on the van all night. Despite the reputation, our experience so far with your average American has been really cool - even perfect strangers have gone out of their way to help us out.
May 28th/06: 8:06pm - Trish
So, we're sitting on the side of the road right now just south of Modesto. Our front right tire is thrashed. No worries though, Jason has BCAA and...oh..the tow-truck has just arrive. All good - I'll report back soon. (plus, I need to tell you about the last few days of riding..and WOODWARD WEST (SNAP that place was cool!)
May 27th/06: 9:21am - Jason
Weapon of Choice
Alright - it's Saturday morning and we're headed off to Woodward West! I wanted to talk about 'weapons of choice' for a trip to Cali. Park bikes for Woodward are the obvious choice, although I am excited about trying the Six out on the mountain bike sections. I think Gareth Dyer had some input on those sections so it should be cool. For the trail riding around here, even the "downhill shuttles" ideally require a 5-6" travel bike around 30lbs with a 2.35 tire max. There was no consistently popular tire among the locals, although the Kenda Nevegals were always considered a safe bet. Basically, you'll be looking at a lighter, faster, all-mountain bike. Only one trail we rode really needed anything bigger.
Another thing I noticed is that everyone we rode with was clipped in, and even the local freeriders were prepared for extended saddle time. The Six with clips was great for the shuttle rides we did, since most of them still involved a fair bit of singletrack climbing, and the Fluid with proper rubber was ideal for everything else.
The riding around here was really about flow and momentum. It's entirely different from anything we have on the shore, and it was often humbling to ride with such fit riders. I could easily spend 4-5 months exploring down here and still just scratch the surface. The fitness level of the riders is impressive. I would encourage anyone who's serious about racing to spend some time down here. If you want to build up your technical skills the shore is great, but if you want to build up your stamina and cardio, this is the place.
May 26th/06: 9:36pm - Trish
Cardiff-By-The-Sea: They grow oranges in their backyards here - how cool is that?!
Only time for a quick update right now, but we'll be giving you a full report on the EPIC ride we went on yesterday with the Mike, Matt, & Ron from Mountain Bike magazine. Plus, we've got a fresh new batch of photos on the way as well. Right now, I'm typing this from Dain's (gear editor from Bike mag) house in Cardiff-by-the-Sea (about 45min south of Laguna Beach, CA). From the window I can see the ocean and tons of lazily swaying palm trees. Dain generously offered us the use of his surfboards and I'm SOOOO tempted to go and learn, but, we've already made plans today to head up and visit Megan at BRAIN (Bicycle Retailer & Industry News), who by all accounts, is one of the coolest folks in the industry, and to go for a ride with the crew from Bike mag. Should be good times!
Oh, as well, keep an eye out the next couple days as we report on WOODWARD WEST tomorrow, as well as giving you a run down on how our various bits of gear held up throughout the week.
May 24th/06: 6:33pm - Trish
Attention Oregon Riders:
To everyone who has written us emails from Oregon (this also applies to a few of you Californians as well). First, to those of you who yelled at us for skipping Oregon - I'm SORRY!. Second, to those of you who gave us ride invites, directions, shops & people to talk to, and offers for accommodations and food - YOU ROCK!
Getting emails like these just prove over and over how much mountain biker's totally rule. Oh, for the record, the reason we haven't stopped or made plans to ride in any Oregon locations is simply because there are way, WAY too many good trails between SoCal and Vancouver. We only have 10 days, but I promise. Next trip will be an excellent adventure to Oregon. So, if we don't get in a pedal with you this time around, keep a few bevvies cold for us, caus' we'll be back.
On a different note, best trip quotes so far:
"...and that's why you're the janitor - caus' you keep losing your pants." - Ralf Hauser
"Free is a flavour enhancer." - Pablo (as he steals Ralf's food)
May 23rd/06: 11:14pm - Trish
So, as you can see from the frequency of our postings - we're having an incredible time riding down here. The last two days we've gotten to hang out with the magazine guys (and girls *you rule Nili!*) from Decline, Road, Mountain Bike Action, and Mountain Biking, and then of course, we've gotten to ride, and ride, and ride some more. The experience has been unreal. Everyone we've met is super cool and welcoming - proof once again, that we really are a part of the best sporting community out there.
After our ride in Santa Barbara, Jason commented that if we turned around and went home right then, it would have been worth it (yes, the ride was THAT good) then yesterday, Richard & Ryan from MB Action took us up into the mountains behind Pasadena. On the record we have been ordered to say the following: "Riding in LA is terrible and you'll hate it - just don't come here. It just stinks!" Off the record, if you ever get the chance to find out how horrible it is - DO IT! You'll absolutely hate it as much as we did. (check the pics)
Today, we had the chance to experience some SoCal freeriding on a fun trail called G-Spot. Alan & Mike from Mnt. Biking acted as our tour guides down this wicked little trail. The best part about this trail were sandpaper-grippy steep rock faces, and the rad, natural jumps built right into the trail.
OH...as a side note: On our way to Alan's house (where we're staying tonight) we saw Ridgemont high - the real one! Ya, that's right - THE school that was used in 'Fast Times in Ridgemont High'.
May 21st/06: 11:46pm - Trish
Santa Barbara in the Rain
Just arrived in Valencia after an AMAZING day! We did a breathtaking ride in the mountains just outside Santa Barbara with Mark, Adrian, & Ralf. It was about an hour or so climb up a fire road & some fun single track with a few techie spots. The guys (including Jason) were killin' it - they're all such talented, strong riders whether they're climbing or descending, and on top of that, they're so much fun to ride with.
The descent was an amazing swooping singletrack you could just fly down (we were being cautious of hikers but it was unnecessary since the rain seemed to scare everyone else away). If we'd only came down here to do that one ride, it would have been worth it - it was THAT good!
Tomorrow, I'll try to get some pics of the bikes we're all riding so you can check out our gear. Jason, Adrian, and I all rode the Norco Fluids. They were perfect for both the climb and the descent, although Mark & Ralf on the Norco Sixes were definitely able to power through the downhill portions a little better.
Anyhow, must get some rest. Tomorrow, we're going to meet up with Richard Cunningham & Ryan Cleek from Mountain Bike Action mag. They're both super nice guys over the phone, and I know they're stoked on riding so I can't wait to see where they'll take us.
May 21st/06: 10:45am - Jason
Who's this Trish chick?
We are in Cambria, CA. This was the finishing point of an incredible drive from Monterey (route 1) south along the coast to Cambria. Yesterday was an epic stint of driving. Trish decided to stay awake for well over 24 hours so we could have some extra time to get over to the coast. By the end of our trip she had polished off 6 Redbull, that's right folks SIX redbull, and a coffee. Needless to say that's not something I can indorse. She managed to hold it together and her driving didn't make me nervous. Add Trish to 7 hyped up drinks, add some sleep deprivation, stimulate with some amazing scenery along with excitement for what lies ahead and you get some very entertaining conversation. By the end of it all I learned Trish's take on artistic license (she takes a lot more than I realized and to top it off she encouraged me to do the same). I also learned that trains in America are being decommissioned, that Cypress trees do not grow on Cypress Mountain (West Vancouver BC Canada), American border guards have a license to kill, and that all the best skateboarders come from Portland, OR. The things I learn (?). If anyone out there can verify these claims I would be grateful. I haven't had a chance to do the research myself.
This leads me into an intro/bio for Trish. For those of you that don't know Trish she's pretty darn cool. She doesn't carry the jaded I've-seen-it-all attitude. Not much will ruffle her feathers and if she is upset she is good at articulating her issues. On a road trip that's important. When it comes to riding and playing she can push pretty hard and when she is done she's happy to do her own thing. If you're having a good riding day she will take note and tell you how great you're riding. If you're having a rough day she's really good at changing the subject and adding a little humour to the situation. She writes well and is my go-to person for editing my writing. A lot of people have read her contributions to NSMB.com She looks after press releases for Norco bicycles and has had articles published in various other publications. She makes killer cookies and this ability has been our ticket to stay with at least one friend during our trip.
Today we have to drive a couple of hours to get to Santa Barbara. It's raining hard in Cambria. Trish optimistically thinks that it won't be raining in Santa Barbara. I'm not concerned. We're doing an XC ride and I'm excited about stretching my legs.
May 20th/06: 10:36pm - Trish
Just a quick one tonight - we'll write more tomorrow on our way down to Santa Barbara for our first ride with Mark, Ralf, & Scott from Decline magazine.
Last night was intense - Jason took the first shift and drove through Oregon till we stopped at the strangest gas/trucker refill station in southern Oregon called, Loves. Loves is the only gas station I've been to that didn't sell a single magazine, but DID sell a fine collection of confederate flag do-rags, hunter print hats, and a glass case featuring some seriously freaky knives and daggers.
I drove the 2am to 10am shift and we officially crossed into California just after 4am. We were pretty keen to get down into Cali so we could take advantage of the advice a bunch of you gave us that we get over to the coast and drive down that route. (THANK for the advice!) Today we dropped onto the coast just below Santa Cruz and drove along this intense road from Carmel-by-the-sea to Cambria, where we are staying tonight.
OH...as well, my boss, Pete recommended that a combination of Red Bull & sunflower seeds can get you through the tough, all-night driving shifts - He's totally right! It worked great....but I've been up for almost 35 hours...gotta get some sleep.
May 19th/06: 6:17pm - Jason
Advice from Taco Bell
Location: Taco Bell just outside Tacoma, WA
It's amazing what you see on a roadtrip, so far, in the last hour alone, we watched a crowd of TOPS enthusiasts invade a fast food restaurant, an extremely tall man get a free drink just caus' he's tall, and a Tacoma driver take out a fire hydrant trying to get in the parking lot - is there any better place to answer our very first email:
Dear Trish and Jay (or should I call you the love doctors?
Here's my problem. There's this guy... let's call him Mr. X. OK, it's pretty obvious Mr. X likes me from the typical signs... he calls all the time, compliments me a ton, tries to impress me, etc. OK, you know what's coming, I don't like him.. in that "way".….Am I under any obligation to remind him of my "friend" stance? Should I assume since our last conversation left us as friends he knows we're still there? Would it be unethical to key his cousin's BMW for putting undue pressure on two friends who … can't even look at each other without everybody jumping ahead to "do you think he could be the on?"
Thanks for any advice on this age old question,
Spare me in the Spokanoes
Jay: Dear SMITS,
I had a longwinded email about what to do and what to say and the computer proceeded to lose it. At the end of the day I think you just need to chill. I can't endorse keying cars. I think it would be worth giving said cousin a good earful about the state of your friendship with your guy friend. Be sure that both the cousin and your guy friend are within hearing range. In order to avoid drama you need to communicate. Think Seinfeld. Half the drama, and the comedy for the audience, in that show came from people communicating poorly or not at all. It's funny when it happens to others but not so funny when it happens to you.
Trish: hmm…he calls all the time, compliments you, AND tries to impress you. Does he bike?! Is he hot? Tell you what…you give me his number and I'll give him a call to fix things up for ya *wink*.
May 19th/06: 2:14pm - Trish & Jason
T: So, we finally escaped the office (thanks so much to all you guys who helped get our gear together!!) We just had the most painless boarder crossing ever! If you ever have to get out of Vancouver on a long weekend, I highly recommend the Aldergrove crossing. All the guard asked us is where we were headed, then he proceeded to tell us how awesome our trip was going to be.
Since we crossed the border J-Bot's witty comments & sarcasm factor have gone up 200% - I think he's excited to finally be on the road (me too!!)
Jay: Sometimes you kick, sometimes you get kicked - right now we're KICKin' it! Still shaking my head at the border incident. I'm trying to wrap my head around how much driving we have to do. All systems go!
May 17th/06: 4:38pm - Trish
The Essential Roadtrip Tool Kit (for mt. bikers)
Today I was gathering together all the tools we'll need for any unexpected bike repairs. You can't prepare for everything, but if you have the basics you can save yourself some time and money by fixing things yourself (save the big stuff for the bike shops).
Luckily, since I work at bike company, I was able to ask some of our very experienced wrenches what they would consider the 'ideal' light, portable tool kit.
The kit includes:
- Cone wrenches
- Chainring tool
- Cable cutters
- Pedal wrench
- Crank puller
- Cassette tool
- Chain whip
- Cleaning rags
- Cleaning brush
- Lube (we packed wet & dry for variable conditions)
- Spoke wrenches
- BB tool (depending on the type of BB you run)
- Patch kit
- Crescent Wrench
- Allen keys (several sets since they always go missing)
- Box cutter
- Duct tape & Electrical tape(not shown)
- LOTS of zap-straps (not enough shown)
- Needle-nose pliers
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Measuring tape
- 3 tire levers
- Axiom KompressAir foot pump w/ gauge (not shown)
- Axiom DoubleheadAir DLX shock pump (not shown)
- Beer/Pop cozy (who can fix bikes with a parched throat?!)
In the photo gallery we've included a picture of all the tools in the bag. I've also included a shot of the Axiom bag here because it's a prototype with a neat feature (check out the bottom zipper pouch for carrying small parts)
May 16th/06: 10:08pm - Jason
Finally making this happen, and I'm so stoked. Only a couple more sleeps and two of us will be hittin' the road in the Astro-boy.
Road trips are an experience I live for. It’s an opportunity to explore and discover and create vivid memories. Some like to stay close to home and strive for a constant comfort. I like to step beyond my comfort zone, explore new lands, new cultures and new people. In terms of riding the road trip means a chance to ride new trails, new stunts as well as meet up with riders to share the experience. Travelling with friends means you have a shared experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
On a road trip you’re setting yourself up for a little risk. There’s the chance that you won’t find trails as good as back home, the locals won't be very friendly or helpful, the vehicle breaks down, or you can’t agree on music. (T: I like that not agreeing on music is higher on Jay's 'risk-scale' than car troubles) A little planning mixed with an 'anything-can-happen' attitude will make the road trip a success. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get my fill? I think road tripping to me is similar to my passion for riding a bike. I love to ride and ride and ride some more. When I think I have had enough, it's really my body telling me to take a break so I can ride again tomorrow.
May 9th/06: 12:15pm - Trish
When we started planning this trip J-Bot had one small, simple request (since then he's gotten WAY more demanding...*he's gonna yell at me for writing that - heh*). He wanted - more than star-spotting, going to Venice Beach, learning to surf, or meeting that big mouse guy at the theme parks - to go to Woodward West.
Well...WE'RE GOING TO WOODWARD WEST!!
For those of you who know what it is, you're probably as psyched as we are right now. For the uninitiated, Woodward West is the Disneyland of street riding; it's a completely incredible place! I could try to explain it, but just go check out the pictures and you'll see what I mean: woodwardwest.com.
When we first made it a goal to get into Woodward, everyone told is it was basically impossible unless you were a super-Pro...well, I'm here to tell you, it's NOT. During the winter (in the summer the run these amazing kids camps) anyone can go and stay at the Lodge there and ride in the facilities.
We'll be going and riding all day on Saturday the 27th and staying overnight in the Lodge, so we'll be sure to give you a full report and lots of photos once we get through the doors. Maybe we can even learn how to do backflips in the foam pit! Whoohoo!
May 4th/06: 2:24pm - Trish
We've already had a few questions about the trip since the site went up officially yesterday so it seems time to post up our first little FAQ.
When are you guys leaving? Right now the little astro-van on the map says 15 days, but for those of you who don't feel like doing the math (and I don't blame ya) that's May 19th. We're going from May 19th till May 29th.
Who are you guys and why should be care about your trip?Why should you care?! Becuase we're FANTASTIC! plus, we're going to ride bikes... Isn't that reason enough?! Actually, we're working on a little Bio section that we'll post in the next few weeks.
Can I send email, comments, and snide remarks to your work address? NO! Well, you can, but we have an email address just for this trip. If you want to contact us with comments on the site or our trip send your messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As well, after a brief phone consultation with Jason, we've decided to offer our expert relationship advice from the road since we'll have 40+ hours of driving time to ponder your questions and give you a unique we've-been-up-for-over-30-hours-he-said/she-said-approach to your most troubling personal issues.
PS - thanks to all of you who're checkin' in already...we appreciate that you care *awwww*
May 3rd/06: 1:46pm - Trish
I'm getting so stoked for the trip! And, just a little bit nervous...well, mostly exited. The reason I'm a bit nervous is because most of the magazine guy's we're planning to ride with are uber-fit climbing fiends. I really enjoy climbing (seriously! I know, it's sick) but I'm not very fast. I've already warned the guys with phrases like, "K, I'm not fast and I'm not a pro, but I don't whine." Apparently, that's all the promise they need caus' they're all still keen to take us out on the trails.
Oh, I should mention, Jason suggested a few weeks ago that If I was concerned about the climbs, I should start training - did I mention that Jay is a personal trainer? He's a great to have around that way since not only did he suggested that I train, he also made me up a training schedule right there on the spot. He's got me riding every day for around a half hour at about 70% effort - basically that means I go for a spin around the neighbourhood each night and make sure there are a few hills along the way. Even if it didn't make a difference for the trip, it totally feels good mentally and physically to get out for a chill sess- on the bike.
So ya, if you get the chance I would suggest making a bit of time to train! Obviously, you don't need to become a fitness maniac unless you're planning some kind of epic trip, but it's really nice to go into a trip feeling like you're ready to tackle the terrain.
April 28/06 : 9:21am - Trish
Like most people, we're doing this trip on a pretty tight budget. One huge money-saving tip is figuring out cheap/creative places to stay other than hotels. It's a bit tough when you've never been someplace before since it's not as likely you're going to know someone, but this is one place where being a mountain biker gives you a huge advantage.
If you don't know anyone in the location you're going to ride, I highly recommend using the web to make friends (we're hoping to get in a ride in Oregon on the return trip that way). 9 times out of 10 there is a local who would be stoked to show you the trails and often they'll offer you at least a post-ride shower and a cold bevvie.
For this trip, J-Bot and I are going to be staying with a bunch of the guys I've met through work who write for magazines down in SoCal. Although I've only talked to most of them on the phone or through email, they've offered us a place to crash for a night or two, and of course, they're more than willing to show us the best trails. I LOVE MOUNTAIN BIKERS!! Seriously, it's the coolest and most welcoming sports community out there, unlike surfers or skiers/boarders, mountain bikers get completely stoked to show off their favourite riding spots and secret lines.
April 27/06 : 10:04pm - Trish
Alright, my first major piece of biking/roadtrip travel advice is to choose your companions wisely - the people you travel with will make or break your trip. We highly recommend you avoid: recently broken up couples, friends that are 'potential' couples, whiners, complainers, light-sleepers who refuse to wear earplugs, and anyone with completely opposite tastes in music, entertainment and creature comforts (eg. 5-star resort lover + with rough n'ready camper type = BAD)
April 26/06 : 2:24pm - Trish
Well, here we go! Planning for J and I's road trip is now in full swing. I'm so glad we started planning early since it seems like there are a million small details that need to get sorted out. Plus, we figure, the more we can have dialed before we leave, the more fun we can have on the road. 23 sleeps...whoohoo!!
Before and during the trip we'll both be posting up travel & prep tips we're learning along the way (mostly by learning from our dumb mistakes). After we post them in here, we'll summarize them in our 'Advice' section.