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Entries in Rocky Mounts (20)

The Family is behind you, J'Rome

The one person who can rip your legs off any time of day, any time of year is sick my friends. This is the one person we all literally, not figuratively, look up to for so much inspiration. He guides us out of the shit more often than you know, and for me personally has influenced my career and spent the time helping guide me. And now it's time for us to do what we can to guide him as he gets up out of his life's saddle to crest this fairly sizable hill.

It's just another hill Jerome. You've crested plenty before. Plenty.

This beautiful vid was put together by Just Keith at the Boulder Cup. We all had "Get Well JC" taped to our stems that day. We hope you felt the energy JC. Just a little push from your domestiques.

We love you Jerome. Be well and your family is here waiting. Mostly to try and drop you.

Jerome Contro Day at Boulder Cup 2008 from Andrew Unkefer on Vimeo.

You've got to love boulder...part deux

So I CrackBerry pic'd this Ducati a few months ago and rolled my eyes (but still, thought it kind of cool). Yesterday on my lunchtime ride, I spied this baby. Complete with RockyMounts Lariat tray. Sick.

You've gotta love Boulder....

RM'ers at the Coal Miner's Classic Crit

Our newly upgraded Cat 2, Ryan, assembled this short film of he and the rest of the RM 3's at the Coal Miner's Classic criterium. Lots of RM Blue on the front which was rad to see. We need to keep these guys cool and hidden in the pack more! Lots of horsepower amongst the RM squadra and some great racing, but as you will see, hiding out helps win crits...

Nice work guys and congrats on the upgrades!


Oh Lordy, Spring has exploded and is showing us the first signs of summer. You know when there are like your 'top 5' days of the year, weather wise? Well, this was probably No. 2....only it is a staged No. 2 as it could be a No. 1 if all other days of the year fail to live up to the expectation. Sick. No wind. Fluffy clouds and cobalt blue sky.

The day had to be celebrated. Picking up Amy last night from her trip she demanded it of me to get out today. She just wanted full uninterrupted time with the boys and just be silent in and around the house with thoughts of her week. All is moving on, slowly.

The WB, Batey, Wals, FRZ, J-Fry and I got it on. Super Walker ++. We pushed out 4.5 hours and 5K of climbing...the WB and Batey: 6 hours and 7,100 feet. Monsters. Or Bastages. I wish I could have continued on with them! We were boys and railed it all. FRZ, stitches and all, put on a down hill clinic on his sponsored Giant Trance...along with no handed wheelies. Sick.

Unbelievably deep breaths today in these living lungs. It was so easy spinning today as it was inspired. Flag was less problematic for me and rolling the singletrack was so fun. It was...inspired.

Look at the pics below. Look at the smiles, my friends. Life. These boys inspire me every day.

Ride. Breathe. Laugh. Progress. Talk. Laugh. Oh, and laugh.

This is NOT how you want to see an ex team mate

My GOD, this sucked to see on yesterday. Our RockyMounts alumnus Corey Collier was in a clearly ridiculous crash with Ben Day and local boy Tim Duggan. You've all ready that by now but MAN, we all hope you guys get better, especially you, Timmy.

Corey's good bro and our team mate AC2 got a note from him last night. And I quote:

"....I'm doin alright. yeah, hittin the deck unexpectedly at 72k an hour is not good...doc stitched me up last night, took a chunk of bone out of the tibia, other than that pretty luck. here to battle another day!"

Holy crap.

Corey was a 'devo' rider for RM in 05 before MOB took him to the next level and truly showing his class at the Gila last year. Health Net grabbed that talent outright. Road Magazine did a nice spot in all the North American teams this year with a great interview of Tim Johnson and Corey chiming in on his being the newbie and hoping not to be a full on 'nail' versus all the talented 'hammers' in the peloton. He's proving his grit in this TdG.

Corey man, we are SUPER proud of you beyond belief. This is amazing to see one of our 'youngin's' make it! SHOW 'EM WHAT YOU GOT, BOY!

Corey, 4th from left.


I didn't even know how to pronounce the town when I moved to CO some years ago. Fruita, Cahlaradee. Say it: Froo-tah. And it was, as legend already has it: epic. Our family and about 5 others packed up Griswald style and pointed our Family Trucksters towards this great town Thursday through Sunday. We set up camp and commenced some serious play.

First, some background: Fruita as you'll see on Google Maps is essentially as far west as you can get in Colorado before running into Utah. It's right near Grand Junction and on a couple of our MTB excursions were right at the border. The town of Fruita has...well not a helluva lot. It's got dinosaurs, shale oil deposits and mountain biking. And, oh, the mountain biking. I've been on epics before and this ranks at the top. The riding is very 'high desert' but is pure single track. What you trade for in deep-woods East Coast rooted single track, you make up for in other was like slick rock features, riding up through snake-like riverbeds (e.g. imagine a star wars like 'tunnel' of twisty/rhythm singletrack with walls on either side of you and you're railing this thing at mach speed). So, the terrain is very Colorado/high desert, but not all open and exposed slick rock riding in barren desert. It is single track amongst tons of greenery, over rock features with vistas like you see above.

Before I left, a team mate of mine, AC"2", sent me a the most beautiful and thoughtful note on Fruita about its riding, the name it. Written as a local due to the fact he was one. While I am an advocate of trail preservation as an IMBA and BMA member, AC had a very particular and personal way of putting it. And I quote...

So Fruita virgin,

First of all you are gonna love the one track man!!! Can't wait to hear what you think after all the hype and shit over the last decade.

I am envious of your "first time". Remember one thing though, it is bad ass cuz its narrow!!! Keep it narrow!!! All the trails in the valley were 18 inches wide for a long time until the onslaught of front rangers and the like in the last half dozen years. One simple rule... Your tires should NEVER leave the trail. Not to pass oncoming traffic, not to "go look over there", not to pull up beside your homey and chat about how this is better than workin', nor to avoid that cow pie.

The Desert doesn't heal, one tire track in the harmless looking grass or "bare dirt" will be there for years, and if it doesn't attract more tires it will surely act as a water channel and really eff up things after a while. If you do "miss your line", and we all have, take the time to stop, lift your bike back to the trail and kick dirt over the tire track, thank the desert for its mercy and giv'er.

I tell you all this, now, at you most vulnerable time, as a virgin, and out of respect that I believe you have the wholesomeness as a bike rider to appreciate it. Preserve this for your kids!

Perfectly said AC. And it was as pristine as he describes. The singletrack is PERFECTLY carved into the terrain. Each side bordered with this micro-biotic plant life. Think lichen but softer and greener and leafier. The trails were clearly designed by someone who has a vision of literally making someone smile for hours. The trails rhythm perfectly and leverage the terrain to keep you sailing and railing. If I were to explain them very generally (e.g. across many of the rides we did), I'd say that they were like a flat land dual-slalom course with high banked berms that come in succession one after the other after the other after the other so in some sections your momentum and skill at rhythming without pedaling will keep you flying. There are PLENTY of climbing sections if you link up the appropriate trails which we did along with natural stair cases going up and of course down...all formed from layers of rock. Some were so beautiful I actually said "Is this legal stuff we're on????".

I asked about some of the history when I met locals and all roads seemed to come back to Troy Rarick. This is the apparent Godfather of MTB-ing in Fruita and founder of Over The Edge Sports. While I am not here to spark a debate, on many occasions of the conversations I had, Troy was described as the guy who essentially 'saved' the town of Fruita. In other words, pivoting the town's economy from nothing to a true destination spot for mountain bikers...and with them, an injection of cash for the economy. It was he and others who worked hard to create the trail networks and work with BLM et al to make the trails what they are. I went into the shop to see if I could talk with him but he was at Sea Otter this weekend. Bummer. There is however an interesting interview Troy gave on Fruita and its 13th Annual Fat Tire festival in the latest 5280 Magazine (cover above) if you can source it.

To the riding specifics....

There was a GREAT crew for the weekend! It ranged from Rocky Mounter team mates Rich Z and John G and their posse of friends like Li'l Dave, 'Precise' Andy, Rally Sport Paul to our mutual family friend, supreme fast man and former GT rider Antonio G. In addition, ALL our wives and kids were there and had this huge, fun communal atmosphere. We did 3 epics....with the last day being the mother-load.

Day 1 we did at dusk which was beautiful. We railed for ~ 2 hours parts of the Kokopeli system...e.g. Horse Thief, Prime Cut among others before it got too dark and we needed to get back to the families.

Day 2 was a semi-epic wherein we did the "18 Road" network including Joe's Ridge which we did parts of in reverse...e.g. I climbed and cleared the 31% climb you see to the right. Ha! The Ahrens 29'er was SICK on the steep climbs! Don't worry, we railed it all in reverse to get in the spine-like descents at speed. Unbelievable. My day ended prematurely (although at the very end which was cool) with my Mavic Cross Max 29'er front wheel essentially coming 'undone'. I couldn't believe it! I have the 26'er version on my 1 x 1 and have NEVER taken a trui9ng wrench to them in 100's of miles. On less than 300 miles the front whee; undid itself. The front effectively came un-tensioned and spokes popped out of their hub housings. I was able to get it dialed in though at Over The Edge in Fruita.

Day 3. Boing! Epic. we went back and railed a fairly monster section of the Kokopeli system at fairly insane speeds. We did Mary's amongst a variety of other trails. This should be on EVERYONES must-do-before-I-die list of trails.

Each day, all the wives would do their own daily epics as well, covering much of the same ground the guys did. A whole crew of the ladies would gear up and take off while the guys watched the kids, then we'd switch off when they came back.

As you can see above, the trails literally circumnavigate the whole rim of the mountainside and give you insane views of the Colorado River. The terrain is mostly single track, extremely technical rock sections and short link-up sections of fire road. We did one section, Troy Built, which was ridiculously fun. It was a complicated set of 'problems' that had you thinking and thinking...if you are drilling it at speed like we were. It traversed through this whole bizarre volcanic rock section then sent you up, climbing single track to you gain altitude to come back down a bomber decent.

Best of all was the 'scene'. 5 or so families all camped out in tents and pop-ups around a communal cul de sac with no less than 15 kids ripping around on their bikes, unicycles, Razors in addition to fishing at this huge lake and eating 'smores until they were all collectively psychotic from the sugar rush. Nothing better on earth than seeing the kids in that much bliss.

So kids, the Fruita trip will become an annual. I do not feel like I 'completed' enough and am craving to get back. So go and have an epic time but heed AC's advice above and keep those fat tires center lined with the singletrack!

Some digital celluloid....

A stoic John G...
John G and crew at a stop on Mary's...
Rally Sport Paul, Antonio, John, Rich, moi
John and moi
Camp site...
Li'l Dave
Rich's 3'rd child
Li'l Dave finishing the Joe's Ridge climb
Za crew at the top of Joe's

Bicycle-induced anesthesia

Friday was one of those days you don't want to have. It was a day where I needed to play manager and to a larger extent, overseer of our business. Issues arose and they needed to be solved to ensure continuity and at the core, a copacetic group of team members who can communicate and proceed to do the right thing for the business.

Drama must end. I needed to let someone go.

Terminating someone's employment is never easy. But each time I am forced to do this, or an old friend leaves this business, it is interesting in "modern times" how the right of passage (at least for me) in acknowledging the departure of a coworker is when I move them from the ''Work Folks" bucket to the "Friends" bucket in my IM's. Sad but true. The simple click/drag/drop from one simple IM bucket to another helps me with closure. At least I think it does. It sucks regardless.

What also helps me with tough weeks is turning the brain to channel zero as I write about constantly. I do this with rides....especially rides with those I consider close friends and team mates which always helps focus on them, and not 'real life' for a while. Today, il squadra's ride was super fun and fast and woodsy and windy....and epic. Today, we railed Hall Ranch with the Rocky Mounts boys (and girl!). More on this below by way of pictures.

Some other things that helped me fight through the toughness of the week: White Sex Arriveth. I laughed to myself when the box arrived from our team deal with Boulder Cycle Sport when I normally would have been a surly beeatch due to the work drama. I literally said to myself, "Ah, the white." And I laughed a laugh to myself.

My wife saw me holding the new white goodness while maniacally smiling, and made HUGE fun of me. "Ah, nice, Greg. More white shoes. You are a little bitch." And then I walked out to my workshop and laid the new set of Sidis by his brothers. And I realized, I am Imelda Frigging Marcos.....

And the realization was understood. And it was momentary. I am a bitch, yes. But I am a sexy bitch. I will deal with my Marcosian issues at some point in the future. Maybe next year. Maybe after I quit sniffing Testers Model Airplane Glue.
I shall not apologize.

The new Dragon SRS are carbon this year. Some small style changes but fit like a glove again. 10 year sin Sidis. There is no finer shoe. Should you want to debate me on this point, save it.

We got to Hall Ranch and I pulled up with my new 9'er on my grocery getter.
And then the WB pulls up in his grocery getter. This is how the boy rolls. He, like it, is like buttah.

RM was in effect. None of us had on our new Verge kits...none of which fit the entire team after a $25K order. But that is another story...

The WB needs to eat. But for those of you out for a spot on the podium of the MSC, you will need to beat him. You ave been warned.

We almost all got blown over like dominoes at the top of Hall.

Holy crap on a stick. She climbs well. She rails like a BMX bike with 29 inch wheels. She is balanced. The Revolver is so un-f-ing-believably sick, I do not know what to say. Miguel built me the perfect bike. Note the tightness of this bike. I;d say maybe another 1/2 to 1" on the chain stay but it is so dialed as is, I am not sire if it would be a detriment to handling characteristics. More in an upcoming review....

Gregoire and Wals. RM elder statesmen railing it today.

Encore of Za crew

And again....

The Couchinator smiles....and did Hall on his 'cross bike. Good boy.

Do the math...

Race fans: What do you get when you add...

The total sum is extraordinary. I am talking about a sum that will leave you in shock to the extent that you'll have one. And if one is scored, likely you'll want to rub and get all freaky with yourself. You will be....


The sum, you see is the 2008 Limited Edition, full up Bling Daddy kits. No, these are not the 'official' racing kits we'll be rocking normally, you see. Just a special kit for the not-afraid set for just the right a velvet smoking jacket or your speedos. Will we have skinsuits: Likely, beeatches, likely. This shit's gonna get me into Cross Vegas, you see just because of how sexy I'll be. I'll be irresistibly brown and gold. Likely with a matching Louis Vuitton saddle if I can beg my boy Corey...oh and if I can score it, some gold bar tape. Mmmm.

Start your jealously now.

The Fortress of Truth and Righteousness

Ah, back from the paradise that is otherwise known as Romania. Mmm. Romania. Mmm, business travel. Sometimes I hear people talking at the airport about their travels. You know, business people discussing their goings-to and comings-from in the small-talkish....or possibly one-uppish....manner you often have to resort to with fellow business travelers to pass the time. I often hear: "Yeah, just finished up 3 days in Vegas. Whoa! is my liver tired." Responded to with a "Yes, my clients in New York City took me to a show with dinner in SoHo." Alas, here's what I hear:

"Greg, we need you in Romania, pal. You do you have your shots, right?"

Shots?? Romania?? This is the story of my life.

These trips take the tar right out of me, and unfortunately I do about 100K worth of these a year...which you all know by now as I rant how I balance all that with trying to be uber husband and dad and a bike racer. I am naturally high strung so it's hard to let stuff roll off the back, so business -travel...which by its very design is neither fun, nor the Darth to vacation-travel's Luke. It turns me into Postal least on the inside of my overactive brain because I can't stand those fat slob million mile flier fools with bad business guy shoes and haircuts with their idiotic blue tooth things sticking out of their fat heads going ape-shit on the United person behind the desk.

Whoa. Sorry.

I want to now dip into some dark secrets of (my) travel. That being my nemeses and my love all intertwined in this inseparable helix of mind-strain passing guilt and pleasure like a ping pong ball between the hemispheres of my brain crescendoing in ever increasing volleys as if miniature Koreans have entered and made my brain their ping pong table. This dark secret I speak of is of course...


I try so hard when traveling to be Pope-like. I figure if I can avoid the sauce, I can maybe try and keep some sort of fitness. Ha. I was DETERMINED on this week long trip to avoid it. I get in my car to DIA and I am chanting it. "Long week man. Stick to your goal. Get the work done, skip the beers, get home. One week. You can totally do it." I get on the plane, first flight, sit in my seat, take off and the lady swings on by like clockwork once we've reached our cruising altitude. "Can I get you something to drink, sir."

Oh my God. Moment of truth.

"Um, sure. I'll take a Ginger ale." She turns her head and begins to start to walk down the aisle and my Fortress of Truth and Righteousness suddenly caves in like the walls of a communist-era pre-fab building in a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. "Oh, miss! Sorry, and whatever beer you have in there. Please."

And so, I have a series of after shocks while in the great City of Iasi, Romania taking on board their golden brown and bubbly delicacies as a mechanism to cope....and because I did not trust the water.

But, I digress and am home. Back in the Republic with fam and friends. I get in Friday night late and spend the day with the fam. My kids never leave my side and we get our play on something fierce. Sunday is riding day with the RM-Izze crew. Can't wait to just BE with my compatriots. We assemble and we have a great crew. Newbies and old crew alike. Men's team and womens. We set the compass to Carter Lake and get our game on. The ride out is civilized and fun. That is until, of course, yours truly smiles, looked a Boups and we go. Game on. I start the first salvo on the rollers out there and go from a nice and calm 144 BPM to a vomit inducing 182 in a matter of seconds. It goes on like this to the top of the climb including sprints and other throw down frolics. We take a breather at the lake's crest. I am absolutely, positively going to vomit. I've never had this ball of not in my stomach. Water rushing into my mouth. I'm done for. This is what you get for not touching the bike or raising your heart rate for 8 days at sea level. OK, 285 feet.

We turn around and I am done for. I have to let the boys go and spin my spin and ensure that if it comes, they won't see me boot. Of course, God himself kicks up an insulting 45 MPH head wind which seems to change direction to face me no matter which way I turn. Indeed, I make it home, vultures circling above me. I crawl off my bike and limp inside. Done.

Oh, yes, we'll be getting it on again next weekend. Wouldn't want it any other way.

Some digital celluloid before we kicked off and I proceed to forget I have the camera.

Higher ground...

Ah, the Rocky Mounts team. What can I say? we are core 'cross geeks. Here's Greg H (white helmet) and Ryan H (black helmet) getting their 'cross training on. You go boys.