The morning of June 3rd there was a certain electricity in the air unraveling in Truckee, CA. Mountain bikes lubed with Gnar, tires pressure checked, and coffee sipped. The anticipation of and early morning shuttle ride via Tahoe Mountain Guides to the Tahoe Truckee Super D along with our friends Arielle and Abbey from Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Santa Cruz bikes was on their way to Truckee from Downieville, CA. If you have never heard of Downieville, look it up…it’s a mountain bikers mecca. But that’s not to say Truckee isn’t in the same category. Santa Cruz was going to host a mountain bike demo in Truckee, but first…let’s ride!
All we had time for was a quick loop on the Tahoe Truckee Super D, but faces were all smiles. The trail was riding the best it possibly could and the view of Lake Tahoe in its early morning haze was magical. But, with half an hour to spare, it was now time to deploy to the Sawtooth Ridge trail head, set-up tents, get the Santa Cruz mountain bikes ready and hope for a decent turn-out of mountain bikers.
The crowd was a perfect size and bikes would roll out as soon as a bike was returned. Arielle and Abbey fit bikes to the demo seekers as TMG signed-in guests, bike of choice they wanted to demo and talked bikes. The fleet of Santa Cruz bikes included: Blur TRC, Tallboy LT long travel 29er, Superlight 29er, Carbon Nomad, Carbon Blur LT & XC and Juliana women’s specific trail bike.
Each rider returning via the Happy Face trial was doing just that, smiling. Exclaiming “I love this bike”, riders were then sent to Cycle Paths Bike Shop to order a new Santa Cruz bike. The event was a huge success with many thanks going to Arielle and Abbey of Santa Cruz; Cycle Paths Bike Shop and all who came out to demo a new Santa Cruz bike.
The TMG Crew
Mountain biking is a sport that can involve some speed; especially while on a downhill descent. Often we reach for the brakes slowing into those turns, and sometimes we find ourselves falling over, or just biffing it. Why does this happen? Lack of speed. Getting out of our comfort zone can be no fun, fearful, yet exhilarating. Here are a few tips to use speed as your friend, to help push your personal envelope and become a more confident rider.
Ride a downhill section you have ridden before and note where you apply the brakes into that coming corner. The next time, wait a few second longer. Remember, speed is your friend. The wheels act as a gyroscope and want to stay upright. The faster those wheels spin the more rigid they become. The only way to accomplish this effect is with speed. Start this new maneuver gradually, and practice, practice, practice. Soon you will be taking those corners leaving friends in awe.
Hold on to those handle bars! We all put a finger or two on each brake lever, right? Well, instead of placing your fingers on the lever, wrap all five around the bars. This will also give you a more secure grip. I know, this can be intimidating, but trust me, when it comes time to brake you will know where the lever is located. Don’t forget to keep that head up and look down the trail.
Going faster is not something I recommend doing overnight. Ease into the feeling and gradually enhance those skills. Before you know it, you will be mountain biking faster and ready for any trail.
The TMG Crew
Hello Mountain Bikers! The snow is melting at a much faster pace and spring mountain bike season is going strong. Today we took a ride up Western States Trail and conditions were great. At the start, Temperatures were in in mid 60’s, which is nice for this trail; Western States from Hwy 89 begins with a good 20 minute uphill climb. You then get a short reprieve until you move towards The Wall.
The Wall, most appropriately named, adds another 10-15 minute uphill grunt, depending on your fitness level. This section is always great to see what condition you are really in. When conquering the wall, you then have a plethora of choices. I usually like to continue towards Painted Rock, because I like uphill, but the trail system from here is vast and plentiful. If you need recommendations where to ride, let us know.
The best part about today’s ride…no snow! That’s right, we made it all the way to the top of The Wall with no snow. Under the shrouded areas at the top a few patches of snow exist, but nothing to worry about. The trail along the Western States had few moist areas, lots of dried out pine needles from last season, and the relaxing sound of flowing creeks. So that’s it…time to get on the trail and if you need assistance, a mountain bike guide, or just want to talk trails, hit up Tahoe Mountain Guides.
Happy Riding from the TMG Crew.
Did I say WOW after Day 1?? Well, I’m saying WOW again, after Day 2. It was an amazing, exciting, fun and Humbling day out there (70 and sunny once again, by the way).
After starting my day with a killer “locals” breakfast burrito (at the Love Muffin Cafe no less) with a nice couple from Denver. Yes Kenny, he will be coming to ride with us at some point it was off to explore. I began my day on the Amasa Back Trail and damn was that a fun uphill. Not ashamed to say I did not clear all of those ups on my way. Took the Pothole Arch spur for some incredible Colorado River views, then it was decision time. Do I descend the same way I rode up (which I knew would be fun and technical in spots) or take the “DUDE” route, combining the Rockstacker and Jackson’s sections. Well, my desire and confidence got the better of me, so I chose the “route less traveled” Dude option.
Damn was that a humbling experience. I can see my riding ability, confidence and cajones have a long way to improve…What a humbling descent!! I was off my bike and walking over and down way more sections than I anticipated or wanted (and yes what I read did warn that this was difficult and dangerous). I must say that it gave me a new appreciation for the riders that “can” ride stuff like that. I did make it without any incident, as my level headed perspective (and riding alone) kept me from attempting anything foolish. By the way, I did not see another soul or rider on the route I descended…go figure! What a ride!! Next time I will descend on Amasa Back and giggle all the way down.
Grabbed a short break and lunch at my truck at the trail-head then decided to head north to the Bartlett Wash/Jedi 3D Trails/Playground. That was the perfect 2nd ride compliment to my 1st ride of the day (Kudos to Chris Moore for suggesting Bartlett). I spent a couple of hours out in those 2 areas riding and playing freeform on sandstone/slickrock and again, had the place to myself, not seeing a single other rider out on that mesa-like rock playground. Way Fun. Big ole cajun burger and large margarita at the Moab Brewery and the day was done.
One thing that I am learning/getting more clear on, during my sojourn experience, is to not be in a hurry to get done, with anything. Becoming more appreciative of “the moment I am in” and my patience level and self appreciation are growing.
I have decided to stay in Moab, rather than go to Fruita or Gooseberry as there is way too much to ride, explore and see here. Save those for another time. Plus, I wouldn’t want to leave the ant infestation in my bathroom to another guest. Just starting to make friends with them.
Today’s plan: Hit Poison Spider Mesa this morning (after another local’s breakfast burrito) and then The Magnificent 7 this afternoon. Yes, my legs and body are a little tired and beat up, but so what! I forgot to mention that near the top of Amasa Back a gust of wind actually blew me over. No soft landings anywhere out here…OUCH! and now have the scrapes and bruises to prove it.
Saving Porcupine Rim for tomorrow as what I am hearing every day it gets drier and there is a chance that LPS may open up too. Fingers Crossed…
After a long day on the road Saturday, with lots of straightaway highway, I arrived in Salt Lake City, visited the local brew pub for a couple of local pints and a much needed ruben sandwich. Got a good night sleep and was on the road up to Alta early. Was on there as soon as the lift rolled and made my way up the Collins lift and over to the Sugarloaf lift. Spoke with 2 different ski patrollers on my first two lift rides (skiing fast groomers) and their off piste report was grim, based on daylight savings and the warm weather they had the previous couple of days. Riding with a local, he told me Devil’s Castle and East Castle were easy traverse areas visible from the lift but he didn’t believe it was going to be doable.
After skiing 2 groomers, I had to find out what kind of day this was going to be, so I disregarded the off piste reports and made my way up the step and traverse line to Devil’s Castle…much to my surprise, the line I picked had nice chalky cold snow pretty much the whole way down; no ice. I headed back out there, going further and further on each run with a variety of nice chalky and some soft almost powdery snow; I was stoked!
skiing collectively about 15 runs all season, my legs/quads were screaming at me after a couple of hours, but there was no stopping me for fear that this might be my only good ski day of the year. I did venture up the Supreme lift (technical challenging terrain) and the conditions over there were crap. So, back to Sugarloaf for more quad burning. Broke to take down that beautiful frothy headed local pale ale and tuna sandwich before wrapping it with a couple of good off piste runs off the Collins lift and on the road to Moab at 3.
What an incredible visual display of rock and alpen glow along that whole route, as I happily arrived in Moab near sunset. Quick meal and bedded down, knowing I had a challenging and fun day ahead for my first riding experience in Moab, Utah. “Woo Hoo,” is what I can comfortably say after I am safely back in my hotel room.
The Slick Rock Trail is nothing short of AMAZING! No way to explain it to someone and do it justice. I was out there for 2.5 hours; stopping to check out a few of the vistas. So bitchin’!! and felt like I was either going up or down the whole time. Mind blowing riding up and down pitches that are so much steeper than anything we can do on dirt; 20+%grade in places. Sadly, I finished that magnificent experience, had a lunch that I brought with and then headed over to do a new trail called Pipe Dream. Way different ride experience than my morning session. It is an out and back; about 10 miles. Then I started south of town, rode south to north out of the gate paralleling Main St and up pretty high. It was a pretty challenging ride with a never ending series of climbs and descents. The whole trail was one turn after another, so there was never a point going downhill that I could really cut it loose. Lots of rock bridges and ladders, sharp turns, some sheer drop-offs and a variety of soft and firm dirt conditions. So, I had to be on my toes the whole way. Got a little tired on the return (go figure) but had a great ride all in all. Oh yeah, 70 degrees and sunny.
Miguel’s Baja Grill was the perfect wrap up to an exciting and grueling day (loving it) with their special fish taco’s and perfect margarita. Doing the Amasa Back-Rock Stacker-Jackson’s Loop in the morning. Gonna have to be on my game. Supposed to be very very technical and lots of dangerous ledges…