I'm building a new bike. My first bouncy bike. This is it's story.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

using what i got

using what i got
Originally uploaded by benjiman.
Another amazing session in the Demo. Got a bit bigger on some notable sections. My comfort in the air is growing...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Soquel Demo Session!

Had a blast with Charles, Berry, Peter and friends down in the SDF. Lotta fun. Peter snapped this cameraphone vid of me on a little technical up...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Downieville Bachelor Sessions!

Top of Chimney Rock trail?

Brian and I went up to Downieville again, this time with Jeffro, for my Bachelor Weekend. No snoorting blow off of hooker's tits for me! All I wanted was to get in some ride time with the boys.

And we had a blast. But we almost didn't!

Why? FIRE.

The Bassetts fire broke out on the 18th, and we were driving up the 22nd. As of Thursday Yuba Expeditions were still shuttling to Packer Saddle via one of the alternate routes up. By Friday AM the sheriff had told everyone to stay out of the area and they had closed all the roads up. The reason being that if you were up there on your bike you could potentially get yourself right up into the fire area and they'd have a hard time finding you if the fire grew.

As it happened on Saturday we opted not to shuttle and we road the Divides Loop, which amounted to going up first devide, up third divide and then back down Second Divide and down First Divide. Second Divide was tons of fun! A few bits of tech stuff, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. It was a blast, but I was sort of expecting more...

On Sunday we shuttled up somewhere well below Chimney Rock trail and then rode up to Chimney Rock and then down Empire Creek. WHAT AN AWESOME RIDE. The total milage wasn't that insane, definitely under 20mi for the whole ride I'd say, but the miles were not mild. The climb was at least 7+ and the down was at least the same. And like I mentioned on the ride, Empire Creek really does "shed elevation". It drops. Fast and super fun. Its a slightly more primitive trail, but hopefully it will recieve all the trail maintenance love it deserves.

Speaking of which, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship folks have done some incredible work up on these high country trails. Mongo, our shuttle driver on Sunday, is worthy of particular praise as he as put in some incredible switchback reinforcements on Chimney Creek. Great work. Perfectly banked and set. Many thanks to Mongo and everyone else doing that good work for the rest of us.

As for the Nomad? It just rocked. So fun. I tried lowering my seatpost on some of the DH stuff and it made a huge difference. I usually just leave it at standard height, but now I'm going to have to look into scoring a Gravity Dropper post. It seems like the shit.

Meanwhile, we were Team Santa Cruz up there, with Brian on his new Superlight, Jeff on his rented Heckler and me on the Nomad. Oh, and Asa and George on their Nomads too!

obligatory bike porn

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Yeah. So fun. Went up with Brian and Grover. There we are! Raced the XC for the second time after a few years of missing it. Three flats, four major cramps and one major drivetrain snafu... But still crazy fun.

Riding the Nomad added another dimension to the downhill stuff. Just sooo fast. And not nearly as beaten up at the end compared to my old Ti Mojo. Which makes sense. Still, there are some things I've learned based on the Downieville experience. In no order....

1) I need new grips. My buddy Nica has been recommending the ODI Lock-Ons for a while now and I need to just get some and be done with it. The Saris shits I have now SUCK on the long DH's.

2) I need new tires. Bigger = Better. Yes, I'm starting to see the light on the big tire front. I like the Nokian 2.35 I'm running now, but they are a small 2.35 and perhaps a bit too squirrelly. After 3 flats in one ride I'm also suspecting their ability to hold up to punishment.

3) UST Rims & Tires? I almost went with Mavic 819's when I specced this bike out and now I'm wondering if I should make the switch to their slightly wider size and the purported benefits of UST. Hmmmm...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More recent fun... Soquel Demo Forest, aka "SDF". I'd heard so many good things about this spot that I knew I had to get my ass down there and hit it. And thats just what I did.

It was me, Brian, Erin, David and Sam. Good times were had by all. If you haven't ridden SDF you owe yourself to do so. Super fun.

And the Nomad? It just keeps on kicking ass and taking names.

I love this bike.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pine Mtn "Ahem" ride... This was the first big ride on the Nomad. Pine Mountain isn't super technical in a singletrack sense, but it has some rough parts including some rough climbs that can test your ability to keep things turning. It was a great ride and the Nomad really shined. I felt like I started to really get to know the bike.

Its such a different beast from my Ti Mojo. Night and day. I do feel that the Nomad in some ways climbs better then the Mojo despite the weight deficit. Its all about staying hooked up. It maintains traction over objects on the trail that would otherwise cause the rear wheel to disengage from the trail. The flip side of this is that it feels like it requires a slightly different riding style. Its more then just "sit and spin", although that does work. Its more like "work that contact patch". Its like you can feel the wheel being driven into the dirt and your body language changes slightly. On the HT Mojo its more about balancing forces. On the Nomad its all about putting energy into that point of contact.

Or something.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ride reports... Weeeeellll... Yeah, its been raining. And raining. AND RAINING. A lot of rain. I've done a total of four rides now on the Nomad. Rockville in the rain, Skeggs in the rain, Pine Mountain in the rain and Skeggs just sorta wet. I love the bike and it was really on Pine Mtn that it really started to shine. Details to follow...