We finally got some snow in town! It wasn’t much, but it was light and fluffy. Saturday snow days are the best; no school, no work, just endless opportunity for adventures! After spending the morning fixing our furnace that decided to go out on a chilly night (12 degrees), Everett and I seized the opportunity to hook up our Fat bike to the Weehoo, Polar Stroller, and sled. With temps below 20, I didn’t have high expectations. In fact, I was already thinking about the complaints coming from my backseat driver… “My hands are cold, I’m hungry, are we there yet? Daddy, lets go home, I’m cold!” What happened next not only surprised me, but also inspired me to share my snowy adventure.
I asked Ev if he wanted to go sledding at our neighborhood park and see if his buddies wanted to join. It was a resounding “YES!!!” Luckily, my Fatback was ready to roll – tubeless – carbon – sweetest fatbike ever! I hooked up the Weehoo Turbo, slipped on the All Weather Canopy for a little added protection from the elements. I was pretty excited to put my Polar Stroller ski attachment to the test on my Weehoo. Can’t forget the sled, but that was a no brainer!
Mom helped get all the layers of clothing on – key to success with such frigid temps. Ev really wanted to ride his pedal bike but I explained how cool his set up was and how Daddy’s Fatback was going to be our best chance at getting all the way to the sledding hill. Now he wants a fat bike, go figure! He stayed nice and cozy inside the Weehoo – I kept checking to see if he was cold: “NOPE!” and if he was having fun: “YEP!!
The conditions were perfect! There was about 3-4″ of fresh snow and it was perfect for cruising around with the extra cargo. Snowflakes were falling but not too heavily. We shredded throughout our neighborhood, hooting and hollering, while lots of neighbors were shoveling their driveways. One guy was using a leaf blower to clear his driveway.
We rendezvoused at the park with some friends and had a blast!
The amazing part of this adventure is that we made it home before dark, no meltdowns, no complaining, not even cold – and Ev was so pumped on it that he wants to go again first thing tomorrow!
Go out and play in the snow! If you live somewhere warm, I don’t wanna hear about it!
This past weekend was the second annual Golden Giddyup mountain bike festival. First, I would like to say that this was one of the best events I’ve ever attended. Everything from the expo set up, course/route, timing system and results, to the creativity and level of professionalism that everyone involved contributed to. I will elaborate more on why I had so much fun and why I think every mountain biker needs to experience the Golden Giddyup.
It started off with a neighborhood rollout with some buddies at 6:45 Sunday morning… it felt like our normal Tuesday morning group ride! We pedaled into downtown Golden and I snapped the above pic when we arrived just as the morning sun had hit Lookout Mountain (Stage 1 climbed up Chimney Gulch). I decided to race my hard tail Alchemy Oros instead of my new Arktos. Lots of people have been asking, “Why?!” My response: 33 miles with 50% give or take, uphill, I knew that I needed all the help I could get on the climbs. Going downhill was the easy part, especially since I am familiar with all of the trails because I ride them regularly… some weeks, daily!
At the start it was about 50/50 in terms of riders in spandex vs. baggies. You have the endurbro crowd in baggies and the xc racer crowd with spandex,mixed in the same race… and then there was the one CX guy that showed up on a hard tail and spandex! I definitely brought the xc race mentality and was anxious to get back to the park and hang out at the creek with Lauren! I pinned it up Chimney and felt pretty good about my effort. One strategy I had was not eating a huge breakfast at 6am, but rather wait until the first uphill stage was done and eat a pb&j near the top. The picture below shows the spot I chose to pull over and take a little break on a mossy rock.
When we got over to the top of Enchanted Forest descent for stage 2, I let Yeti Chris roll first. (Pictured above) Mr. Heath is wicked fast on the dh and put down an impressive 8:33 minute time with a flat tire. Come to find out it was the fastest time of the day -Unreal, man! He also works for Yeti and I run into him regularly on lunch rides on this exact trail – kinda cool.
With luck on my side I was able to take home the win. It’s not so much about the win, but the fact that I was able to put together 6 solid segments without any major issues. It was the perfect day and it was awesome to see so many friends out there getting after it! The highlight of my day was tubing the creek with Lauren after the race and before the podium. The venue was perfectly situated in the heart of Golden, CO, adjacent to the creek at Lions park. Lauren and I had so much fun wandering the venue, listening to bluegrass from Rapidgrass, playing corn hole, eating Biju’s Little Curry in the park, doing the REI barrel races, talking to vendors, enjoying several ice cold la croixs compliments of Yeti Cycles and being a part of our community! This place is magical!
Some key reasons why the Giddyup is awesome and you should sign up next year:
Someone asked what it was like to race on Golden trails for the very first time and to have the parks closed for this event. My response, “It was like racing in my backyard, front yard and living room without any of the crowds. Getting to ride from the house and finish off 33 miles with a tube float down Clear Creek made for a pretty awesome day.”
I’m super thankful for my incredible sponsors. Weehoo (#1 kids bike trailer in the world), Alchemy Bicycles (handmade bikes that will make your wildest dreams come true), Primal Wear (custom spandex and baggies for any and every ride), Kask Helmets (safety, style and comfort first), Kogel Bearings (ceramic bottom bracket, hub bearings, derailleur pulleys and some exciting new bits that I can’t spill the beans on quite yet!), Enduro Bites and Beta Red (nutrition goodness that I will NOT race without), Industry Nine (wheels that are damn sexy, light weight and stiff!)
In other news:
I’ve been loving my new Arktos. It is one helluva mountain bike!
Our daughter turned 5 months old and our son started preschool.
My wife did her first cyclocross race!
We have been doing demos for Mountain High Yoghurt, Epic Bar, Larabar and a few others in our free time (when grandma is in town!)
I’m coaching again for the cyclocross season with GBX Juniors
I’ve been building some fixture prototypes for a new tech business that I’m starting up with 3 partners. Check us out at etekkers.com and if you know anyone tech savvy looking for a sweet job in Denver, send them my direction firstname.lastname@example.org
Click through the gallery and then go ride your bike!
I haven’t checked in here for over a year… it’s crazy how life takes ahold! What a wild ride it has been. Ups and downs, trials and tribulations. Still riding bikes, growing vegetables and having fun raising two amazing children!
We welcomed our baby girl, Sage Macy Allen, into this world on April, 13th 2017. I got a new job; Global Business Development at Weehoo Inc. My son is riding a pedal bike without training wheels! I had my worst crash on the mountain bike, ever. I won some races although racing has taken a bit of a backseat on this ride called life. I’ve been coaching GBX Junior cycling program. I’m building a new bike and it’s green! I married the love of my life 5 years ago and I recently completed my 31st revolution of the sun. I’m also heading into my 3rd season racing for Alchemy!
There are so many directions I could go with this “catch up” post, but I think I will keep it simple with a goal to update it more regularly. Since lots of folks have been asking about my new Alchemy Arktos that I’ve been posting about on insta, I figured I would share some of the awesome work that the whole crew at Alchemy have been cranking out! This is their new 6″ trail bike that has been getting rave reviews across the board. I have been fortunate enough to be riding a demo Arktos for the past several months and it has exceeded all of my expectations for a longer travel 27.5″ bike. It is harder to pedal uphill than the hard tails that I’m used to, but the reward on the descent has significantly outweighed the added weight on the way up… I find myself effortlessly floating through rock gardens that used to require scrubbing speed and picking slower lines to avoid obstacles. I also find myself having insane amounts of fun when I ride the Arktos. I cannot wait to get my personal Arktos built up.
I am over the top thrilled with how this custom paint job is turning out! Metallic green with gold pinstripes and roosters, finished off with black hot legs and glossy clear coat to boost! I can’t wait to hang my new Industry Nine Enduro 305 Torch wheels on this beauty and take it for a rip on some local single track.
Meanwhile, the family and garden are growing rapidly. Some days I feel like I can’t keep up but I have to stop myself and remember that life is not a race. I’ve been focusing on enjoying the small stuff like; walks to the park, rides to the pump track, reading bedtime stories, singing to baby Sage, watering the yard, and spending time with friends and family. This summer I’m taking one day at a time. I’m trying really hard to be present and live each moment to it’s fullest instead of seeking the next adventure all the time. It’s not easy… but there is something so satisfying about this newfound approach.
We have been blessed with a community of amazing friends, neighbors, and beauty. It takes a lot of work to maintain a garden and the same goes for my family and my job. I make a lot of mistakes, but I stay focused on the positive aspects and know what really matters most to me. Getting to be there and watch my son play with his buddies, be a little firefighter, kiss his baby sister and literally memorize my every move… it’s incredible. He’s growing up so fast.
That crash I mentioned, yeah it was ugly. Night riding on mountain bikes with buddies in Phoenix over Christmas holiday. The trail was mellow and it was sort of a freak accident. Next thing I new I was on the ground and blood was pouring from my face and knee. I think most of the initial impact was on my right knee, then I tumbled down a granite slab, landing directly on my face. Broke my nose in 3 places. Pedaled out about 5 miles to the truck and was driven to the Hospital. Long story short, ended up with 10 stitches in my nose and some more in my knee. The recovery was tedious and I was completely off the bike for 2 months. It took quite awhile to get comfortable on the bike again, I was pretty traumatized by the incident. All good now, just some gnarly scars on my knee and nose.
This was definitely my personal highlight of last CX season – Winning the Wheelers and Dealers race at Cross Vegas. Having the support of the entire Weehoo company, industry friends from all over the world and putting together a solid ride! It’s crazy to think that we’re only 2.5 months away from racing in the Vegas heat again!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Alchemy, Weehoo and gardening updates to come…
I’m trying to find a balance. A life balance that inspires ikigai – the Japanese concept meaning, “a reason for being”. Ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day stress, but enjoying life and living it to the fullest is essential to finding ikigai. Raising a family, working 8-5, and racing cyclocross creates quite the hectic schedule. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time.
I usually wake up to the sound of my 20 month old son saying, “Mama” from his room across the hall. Then brew up some coffee and before I know it I’m rushing out the door, late for work! If I drive it takes 15-20 minutes, if I pedal it takes 30-40. Lunch rides are a definite perk of working at Feedback Sports. Typically, we ride for an hour and have 15 minutes on each end to eat, shower and change. It really is amazing and I feel very fortunate to be afforded this luxury. 4pm is beer:30 and that’s usually enjoyed with a crisp Coors Banquet. Riding home and avoiding the manic rush our is the best way to decompress and when I walk in the door to see my wife and son, I realize why I’m on this planet!
This past weekend was particularly intense and perhaps one of the best yet this season for many reasons. I signed up to race the Cross of the North – a 3 day omnium cyclocross race in Fort Collins, CO. Our expo set up was pro and we had several of our new Omnium Trainers for people to try out. I personally warmed up and cooled down on one all 3 days. Friday night was the first race and it started at 8:45 under the lights! It was awesome – fun course, great atmosphere and lots of friends out there. It made for a late night since we were eating Yellowbelly chicken in the parking lot until 11pm and the drive home took well over an hour.
Saturday morning was all about family. We slept in until 8 – which is late for us – Lauren made us an awesome breakfast, then we headed out to the pumpkin patch! Everett loved it and we met some other co-workers with kids out there to hang out and have a picnic before heading up to the race. I love when my wife and son come to the races. Now that Everett is getting bigger, he is riding his strider around the venue and we actually did a couple laps of the kid course together! As I was getting prepared for my race at 4:30, I noticed Danny Summerhill roll up. Turns out he rode from Boulder to Fort Collins and was going to jump in the race. I already knew how this was going to end up… he WON! It sure was fun racing with him and cooling down on the Omnium together – he’s such a cool dude! After the race, Lauren, Everett and I went out for a nice steak dinner.
I knew Sunday was going to be tough, especially since I turned myself inside out to stay with Summerhill as long as possible on Saturday. I managed to get the holeshot and lead the first lap, but then I detonated and went backwards to finish 8th on the day. Luckily, my points added up from all three days were enough to win the Omnium. I was thrilled to take the top step for the weekend and proud to take my new Alchemy bike with me! Everyone that cheered me on out there really made the experience that much better, so thank you! There was heckling, beer hand ups, mechanicals, and of course lots of cowbells!
I thought it was ironic that warming up on the new Omnium Trainer was vital to my success in winning the Omnium at Cross of the North. I’ve never really been much of a “trainer/roller” guy much less a “warm up/cool down” guy. When you have a trainer as smooth and easy as the Omnium, there is no excuse not to! It folds up smaller than my duffle bag and weighs less than 14lbs. It utilizes a rear wheel roller platform that easily adjusts to any wheel base and will accommodate essentially any fork mount on the market! With our universal fork mount and the free floating roller platform, you don’t need to have any balance – so that gives me some time to keep trying to find mine! The internal progressive resistance is a magnetic system that is built into the rollers and is unlike anything else on the market. As you increase wattage, the resistance gets harder – it’s about as close to riding the road without the actual road. Needless to say, I was thouroughly warm for all 3 race starts. Cooling down afterwards, with a cold one and my son was the best way to cap off the weekend! I’m pretty sure I’ve found my ikigai…
Handmade in Denver, Colorado. HAND MADE: These guys literally manufacture custom bikes from start to finish. When you arrive at the Alchemy headquarters, you will most likely be greeted by Ryan Cannizzaro, the unassuming, consummate professional. Since their showroom also doubles as a coffee shop, you would be wise to order a double shot before taking the tour!
In the back, you will meet Cody Baker. He sells Alchemy Bicycles for a living and does a damn fine job. I’ve known Cody for some time now… first meeting at a cyclocross race in Golden. If you show up with a bottle of bourbon, you’re guaranteed a grand tour of one of the most sophisticated and elaborate operations in the bicycle industry. Below is a sneak peak into their facility… Enjoy!
Each frame starts out on the drawing board. Matt drafts up each masterpiece; specifying the tube shape, length, diameter, and material. Then crafts the perfect geometry for its future owner. The metal designs then go to Jeff, and the carbon ones go to Sam. Jeff then takes the drawing and brings it to life with a welding torch and an enormous amount of skill. You can tell by the pictures of his work space (below) – the dude is meticulous. Sam has his work cut out for him as well on the carbon side since, again, they do EVERYTHING by hand. Starting with sheets of carbon fiber that are stored in large deep freezers, he makes each tube individually by laying out each layer into their mold and then baking them to perfection. This allows them to use several different types of carbon and make the bike carry specific ride quality characteristics. Each tube is then mitered and epoxied together before wrapping each intersection with more carbon! Shane takes them to paint; hand painting the bike of your dreams, he can do it all. I’ve seen some of the loudest paint schemes and also some elegant subdued paint jobs – it’s really up to the customer.
The whole process is mind boggling and has been really fun to not only witness, start to finish, but to actually ride the bikes that these guys pour out their passion on, day in and day out. It’s incredible that they are one of the only domestic bicycle manufacturers that is actually laying up their own custom shaped tubing and CNC machining their own molds. For more of the technical details and an in depth overview of their process, check out this (article).
This cyclocross season I am fortunate enough to be riding for Alchemy. I will race on a Chiron (Titanium Disc Cross) and a Balius (Ultralight Carbon Disc Cross). They are both built to my ideal geometry with the only difference being the material and paint job. This is really exciting for several reasons. I got to work closely with the Alchemy team to watch them create two race bikes that are WAY out of my league. Being able to choose between carbon and titanium on any given day is a real treat. There will be courses that are super bumpy and rough which will cater to a titanium bike. What is sweet about the Alchemy is that it was built with larger diameter down tube and chain stays to keep the bike laterally stiff while using skinny curved seat stays and a shaped top tube to give the renowned feel of titanium. Basically, they created a bike that is plenty stiff to race, but will be comfortable to ride all day long. The carbon Balius will most likely be my “A” bike based solely on weight. Since it’s made from a super light high grade carbon fiber it will be an incredibly light machine (more details to follow on the Balius build in the next week).
My first ride on the Chiron was different from any other “new bike day”. It was superb. I built it last night and finished it up this morning. It went together so smooth – one of the easiest bike builds I’ve ever encountered. Today, I rolled out from the house for a mellow 30 miles of familiar ground. Starting out on the dirt around North Table, then through Coors Brewery, along Clear Creek to check out the tubing and farmers market, then up Chimney Gulch to where it intersects Lookout Mountain. I started riding up the pavement and met Sebastian. He was from Arizona, just visiting. As he passed me, he complimented me on the bike and we got to talking. Turns out we know lots of the same folks and ended up riding the rest of the way together. Needless to say, it was an AWESOME ride with good company.
Here’s a quick first impression: Normally, I’m used to the road vibration and harsh cracks that resonate through the frame… The washboard dirt that creates that obnoxious chatter. Not the Chiron, not at all. It may sound cliche, but this bike is smooth as butter. When I got on the rivet (sprinting as hard as I could), it responded, like a carbon bike would respond. Spry! This was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had on a cyclocross bike. Ever.
Please check out Alchemy Bicycles. Follow and like them on the social sites too!
If you are going to Interbike, be sure to come by the Feedback Sports booth and join us at Cross Vegas!
I’ve been riding Industry Nine wheels for the past few seasons for several reasons that I would like to share. First of all, the company is based in Asheville, NC and they are a group of like minded, intelligent, envelope pushing individuals. Everyone at I9 that I’ve ever met is genuine and passionate about what they do. Take Drew for example; he shows up at a random CX race in Colorado one day with the Shimano Tech rep, proceeds to jump in the open race with the sickest wheelset I’ve ever seen and that’s how we met. After the race, come to find out, he is responsible for anodizing each and every hub that they make. Not only is he willing to explain the process, but he will leave you wishing to own a set of I9’s. He’s no slouch when it comes to throwing down on the bike either!
Industry Nine manufactures all of their hubs in house and prides themselves on domestic production, which is hard to come by at this day in age, especially in the bike industry. The first set of I9 hubs that I ever owned were red anodized Torch mtb, QR 6 bolt – works of art, seriously. The craftsmanship that goes into each hub is top notch. (With the help of a friend at Golden Bike Shop) I laced them up to some carbon tubular rims and created a badass cyclocross wheelset that I still own/ride today! Thus, the beginning of what has turned into a great partnership. Now I own 7 wheelsets including two mtb, two road, and 3 cross and I thought it would be cool to share some of the different applications that I chose and why.
These are my 2014 geared race bikes. Both are skating on Industry Nine C41 Disc Tubulars. These wheels are unmatched in weight, stiffness and performance. They are I9 system wheels utilizing straight pull spokes for increased stiffness. Of course, the Clement tubular tires are the perfect mate for these race whips!
I raced all over the place on these Foundrys, including Tokyo! The amount of mud, sand, rain, dust, and power washing that these hubs encountered in one season is mind boggling. Yet, I have never needed to rebuild a single hub or free hub body. They are all performing flawlessly! For that reason alone, I would not recommend a different hub for cyclocross.
This Niner Air 9 Carbon, single speed has been in my quiver for several years. In fact it’s one of the first carbon Niners ever made. I recently upgraded to the Ultralite 29 Torch wheelset and it’s amazing the difference. Especially on a SS, you will really notice when your hub is engaging fast or slow. In this case, when trying to clean technical climbs, I need every bit of help I can get. These wheels make this relic a pure joy to take out on the occasional lunch ride!
The 2014 Cyclocross National Championships were held in Boulder, about 30 minutes from home. Pictured above is the original wheelset that I mentioned previously. I was stoked to win the ss race and even more stoked to do it on I9 hubs!
Here’s another shot of the course conditions at SSCX nationals. Needless to say, the mud and snow was not a factor for my Torches.
In short, all my race bikes are equipped with I9s and they are better off because of it. I couldn’t be more happy to work with a company that “gets it” and makes the wheels that I want to ride! I will leave you with this quick story about a bike shop that I used to work at. One day I asked GBS about their thoughts on Industry Nine. It was a resounding answer; “We build lots of custom wheelsets and sell lots of aftermarket wheelset upgrades. I9 is the only company that has proven their quality and adaptability to new and ever-changing standards. We pretty much steer all of our customers towards I9 because that’s what we all ride and they are just the best. You’re lucky to be racing their wheels, Tim!” I could not agree more… Now do yourself a favor and check them out: Industry Nine
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently went to Japan for what I would describe as a trip of a lifetime. I was in Tokyo for 8 days and it was nothing short of an incredible adventure. Since it was technically a business trip with Feedback Sports, it wasn’t all sight seeing and sushi sampling. The reason I was able to join Doug on this trip is because we were invited to compete in Cyclo Cross Tokyo. Our distributor, Mizutani, is based in Tokyo and is a title sponsor of the event. It’s one of the largest cross races that I’ve ever been to and it draws some serious international talent considering the grand prize is 200,000 Yen. Now that my cyclocross season is officially done, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on my trip to Tokyo. Not to mention, we have well over a foot of snow on the ground here in Golden!
My flight landed in Haneda at 5am on Monday. With a 16 hour time change and very little sleep on the plane, I was in a state of delirium and excitement. I was traveling alone, but not in terms of luggage – with two bikes, two bags, and my backpack. Later that morning I met up with an old friend, Yuki. He’s from Tokyo, but lived in Colorado while attending Denver University where he found his passion for mountain biking. We raced mountain bikes together for several years. When I told Yuki that I was going to be in Tokyo for business and had a few days during the week to explore and visit some bike shops, he invited me to join him for a tour. I had no idea what I was in for!
When Yuki and his wife, Saya picked me up we headed straight to Tsukiji (ski-gee), the world famous fish market. It turns out, Yuki has some friends who work there and the owners of MilePost Bike Shop are also good friends with the Tsukiji crew. We went on a tour inside one of the most elaborate fish distribution centers in the world. Everyone was super friendly and Yuki was a great Japanese translator! Some of the tuna is flash frozen on the boat and brought in to be sliced on a band saw and packaged for sushi restaurants around the world… Denver and Vegas are very good customers they explained! It’s dangerous inside Tsukiji for numerous reasons and most tourist access is prohibited. Forklifts are buzzing around delivering fish to customers, humongous knives are used to filet equally ginormous fish, and the power saws are notorious for taking fingers off. I was very fortunate to experience Tsukiji with the locals! Click on the gallery below for a closer look at my first day in Tokyo.
Tuesday, we rode into the mountains and stayed overnight at his friend’s Ryokan which is a traditional Japanese style inn. The gallery below does a better job describing everything, but if you are bored and want to skip ahead to the racing action, scroll down to the next gallery.
Now it’s time to race! The host hotel was super plush and breakfast was a few levels above our typical American continental breakfasts. Huge thanks to Champion Systems Tokyo for providing the accommodations and getting us into the race! The location of the race was on a beach in Odaiba, which is a man made island built in Tokyo Bay. Needless to say, the beach provided the most grueling sections of the course. It was soft sand with lots of turns which meant most of us were running a good portion of the sand. The rest of the course was awesome; A legit Kona flyover, concrete stairs that were barely ride-able, tight single track in the trees with multiple lines around the trees, and tons of spectators. (There were no concerns of root damage here in Tokyo)
It started pouring rain about an hour before the pro race! Unfortunately, the sand did not get packed down enough to be completely ride-able. I started in 20th and finished 8th. The running crushed me, I was not prepared for that much running! The fans were awesome and the event was super fun. I plan on going back next year and I am going to implement one run per week into my training in preparation.