Friday, April 30, 2010

George Wisell

Before I get to the interview with the great George Wisell, please go check out the contest over at AHTBM. If I didn't have such a hangover, and owned a set of rollers I'd be at my house attempting this challenge right now. I would most likely fail miserably, but hey what better way to try to get rid of a hangover than by drinking 3 beers and failing from a set of rollers and giving yourself a concussion. Speaking of hangovers, the most recent installment in my "interviews of people I think you should know more about, and therefore gives me something that kinda resembles content to post" involves Mr. George Wisell of Bike29. Since I got to know George in February down at SSUSA, there have been two certainties when doing something with George, 1.) if it is before noon I am really hungover and 2.)if it is after noon I am either riding bikes or drinking. Needless to say it has been a glorious friendship.

George owns a bike shop and online bike store up in Vermont, and despite the fact that I typically cannot stand people from New England, George gets my seal of approval. Dedicated to the greatness that is big wheel love, George has kicked 26 inch wheels out of his life like a prom date who won't put out. George knows bikes, because he rides them, and more importantly is an overall cool guy. With that enjoy what he has to say, and once again, George chose to answer the questions in purple because according to him purple is the new pink.

George down in AZ

You have 50 words to describe yourself to the world, go.

Seriously passionate bike nerd, with a penchant for the tech. Unfortunately, I spend way too much time working on bikes than I do actually riding them. When I do get to ride, I most enjoy riding with friends, and the beer and food that follow.

How did you get into the wonderful world of bikes?

I had to ride my ass to school from the age of 10 . I started out on a BMX bike, but graduated to some old crappy Raleigh 10 spd. I kept the BMX for little stealth missions in the woods near my house. Having few friends that lived nearby, bikes were a great way to get to hang with my buddies, and we often raged on our bikes long after dark.

In high school it was more about transportation than fun, and then I got into snowboarding and hardly rode the bike at all. After a few years chasing winter around with my snowboard, I grew weary of that lifestyle and found that biking was something I missed. I worked at a shop for a while as a basic assembler, then worked my way up to the title of sales manager for a small southern CA frame builder over the course of 6 years.

What made you decide to open up a bike shop in a small town in VT?

This is somewhat of a saga, but the short story is that it kinda came about because I was out of work, and I needed to find something to do. I had exhausted all the local possibilities of doing something I had the qualifications for and that paid actual money, and we weren't about to move anywhere.

When did you make the switch to the big wheels, and what caused it?

After my time in SoCal, I was pretty burned out on the whole bike business. I hated biking, which sucked because it had been such a motivating and fulfilling force in my life. I picked up a Surly Karate Monkey in 02 when I had moved back to VT and was working at Burton Snowboards, and presto, riding a rigid hard tail that was heavier than my pimped out 6" travel full squish bike was way more fun. I sorta didnt look back.

There is a pretty clean line drawn in the sand regarding the debate of local bike shop versus buying online. You do both, where do you see faults in both side’s arguments?

Too many bike shops try to be every thing to every body. They are cluttered with irrelevant items. I specialize in a certain type of bike, therefore everything in my shop is relevant (almost). Not every bike shop has the knowledge or experience with these big wheels, and thanks to the internets, people will find them here. It is time consuming to run and operate an online store AND a fully functioning retail and service shop, as I am a one man show for most of the year. But, I compete with all the big shops locally, and I compete with other big shops that are not local because of the .com side of things.

The single biggest negative about the .com thing is having to be competitive with dirty mail order stores, who shall go nameless. They are all about making the deal, but they don't back it up with service, and unfortunately, their cut throat prices aren't sustainable for the long term. This erodes my margins, but hey, it isnt like I take a paycheck or anything. I've outlasted at least one of these places, and I imagine I will outlast a few more.

You recently stepped it up and became a big time sponsor for a couple riders, what prompted this?

We had a couple of friends who were not getting the help they needed from their support organizations, so B29 stepped it up and did what we could to make life easier for these folks. It kinda sucks not physically being there for our riders or customers all the time, but we'd do just about anything for them to help them along the way to attain their goals. We don't make any product, so the only thing we can do is try and make people happy.

When do you feel like it is proper to use the word epic when describing rides, or things in life?

Epic is over used and has lost it's true meaning. Our Sabino Canyon hike could be described as epic, but we really weren't in danger of serious harm (except Robb and his guts, and maybe eating lunch in that river bed while it was raining). I'd describe that as awesome. I once was on a big stupid bike ride in Moab. I ran out of water, cramping and bonking hard on Gold Bar Rim, the sun was going down, and it was either going down the Portal Trail, or going down Poison Spider and eventually staying in the desert overnight. We chose the Portal. That was pretty epic. Other than that, unless someone dies, epic should not describe burritos, long rides where no one has a mechanical or gets a flat, or bowel movements

What is your ideal bike setup, give us all the details?

Mr Furley is doing it for me right now. It's the bike I brought to SSUSA/AZ, he's a Niner One9, 100mm Reba and I9 wheels, weighing in at 22.81 right now. He is wicked playful. I'm currently using a Rotor chainring, and turning a much higher gear than I am used to, but I find that I am starting to develop some actual power and speed. It's like the BMX bike I always wanted as a kid.

What do you find yourself doing to survive as a bike shop owner during a Vermont winter?

Besides getting all Jack Nicholson in the Shinning, over the last five years of doing this I have: taken other seasonal jobs and working the B29 remotely, stayed put and gone snowboarding in the morning and worked in the afternoon, stayed put and built tons of wheels and shipped them all over the world. Occasionally, I get to go to nice warm places like Tucson and get to meet new people who like doing the same things I do. It all boils down to the fact that I have to do what it takes to make ends meet. Sometimes it's a lean winter, other times it's a party.

What are your top three riding destinations (based solely on the riding) in the states?

I have to pick 3? I've been all sorts of places and want to go back to all of them, but here's my top 3 places I've been to and top 3 places I've not been.

I'd like to do more riding in mid and north coast CA,

I'd like to do more in Pisgah,

more Durango

I want to visit Idaho and Montana.

I hear Tsali is amazing

Have you ever had customers try to trade you Ben and Jerrys ice cream, or Cabbott cheese for bike parts or work?

Mostly I get folks trying to buy my services and stuff with snowboards, outerwear and stuff like that. Snowboards do not pay the bills, and I'm already hooked up with more equipment than I'd use, ever. I really like to trade goods and services for cash.

Mount Snow has played a large role in the domestic racing season over the past decade, do you think the riding there is a proper representaion of east coast riding?

No. While it certainly has heritage, it is not representative of what is going on in VT. Mt Snow is lift access resort riding that caters to western Mass, NY and NJ (no offense). I very am active with the Stowe Mountain Bike Club, and we were the first club in our state to build trail using the IMBA guidelines. In the past we've had to fight tooth and nail for access, but we are making great strides every year in both the amount of legal trails, and the QUALITY of these trails. Most of what is really happening in New England is happening at this grassroots level. It pales in comparison to the massive trail networks of Colorado, Pisgah etc, but it's all we have, and we've worked very hard to get it.

Do you have a favorite MTB ride in Vermont, and how would you describe riding those trails?

I love our annual weekend trip up to the Kingdom Trails in north eastern VT. We've been doing it for over 10 years now, it started with a couple of friends going up there to camp and ride. Now our group has grown and nowt we rent 2 houses to accommodate the 20 or so humans that go there. While we all have kids now, we still throw down like its a kegger at Dejay's house. We generally ride our asses off for 2-3 days as our schedule allows, eat til we can't move, and destroy at least a full keg of local craft brew and several bottles of tequila.

Describe to me your ideal bike trip (time, money, wife, kids, and jobs aren’t issues you have to worry about in this dream scenario).

I turn 40 next year. I want to do the Colorado Trail high roller style. I want to eat awesome food and stay in a bed as many nights as possible while taking 10 days or less to complete the trip. I want to have as many friends with me as possible, be it for one, some, or all of the stages. I had originally set my sites on some "epic" riding in the Swiss Alps, but that is going to be way too expensive, especially if I want friends to come.

Your wife is the current SSUSA champ, how much does she rub it in your face, or use her awesome status to get out of things like dishes, laundry, and bike clean up?

I used to be a chef when I chased winter around, so I always make sure the kitchen is clean. I am the default household bike mechanic, so I work on the bikes no matter what. I do make sure she has a pimped out ride though. We both work full time, so home life is sort of a shared effort. The laundry never ends, the dirty dishes never end, but I do mow the lawn and deal with the trash as my assigned tasks.

Feel free to add anything else you wish to let the masses know, except support for the Red Sox

Yankees SUCK!


The lady killer up close. Hope you enjoyed, happy weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother Nature



Like any mother, she can either whack you upside the back of your head with a wooden spoon, or comfort you and make you feel loved. Right now with the weather, she is giving me the former. And this is an old fashioned smack with the wooden spoons similar to what my grandmother used to do, until I realized that I was quicker than her, and if I ran away she couldnt hit me. The weather for the next day blows, really hard. I can deal with shit weather while riding, thats what wool and layers were invented for. But this weather will affect brewfest here in Missoula on Saturday, drinking outside should involve some sunshine. I guess I got spoiled with the top notch weather last week, the kind where the rides get longer, and tan lines become more visible. When that weather will return is anyone's guess.

Came across this photo from SingleSpeedAPalooza, and in my humble opinion, it should be an option on any commuter bike. Those guys over at Surly should work on mass producing them. Along the same lines of awesome things that deal with alcohol, Wordens is now carrying six packs of Victory Brewing Cos. delicious suds. I saw this and almost wet myself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Speedwagon Photos

Yeah it's been about a month since the event, but everyone's favorite photographer hooked me up with some additional photos he snapped. Tom Robertson knows his bikes, and his way around a camera, when you combine them, you get tons of great cycling photos. Here is some of his work from Speedwagon. Feel free to sample his work at Tom Robertson Photo, and at Hellgate Cyclery.

First trip over the climb

Heading out with J "The Motor" Doll

Crossing the Flathead

Climbing

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GDH

That's short for Goddamn Hippies, now before you go off thinking that I am some crusty old man who complains too much, keep in mind I am a crusty young man who complains too much. Anyway, I came across this article on the CyclingSnooze, and was forced to chuckle. Let's be honest here, I'm sure that a Pro Tour bike race produces a lot of trash that never finds its way into a garbage can, and three riders got singled out by an environmental group. Sucks to be them, I guess sometimes the luck of the draw is bad luck. Prior to today I had never heard of La Coalition Nature, but this seems like a PR stunt with a dusting of actual care for the general well being of the planet.

One of the cyclists who was singled out found it humorous, and said that "it's difficult to find a solution of the problem." Guess what in about three seconds i just came up with two workable solutions. 1.) Don't fucking litter, last I checked your jersey pockets won't self combust if an empty food wrapper is kept in them. 2.) Just get the kids from the local juvie to follow behind the race cleaning up any leftover trash (hey it worked at the first Red Bull Rampage). The other great piece of news is that Team Sky is starting to use bio-degradable bottles during races. Makes you wonder how long it takes these bottles to bio-degrade, is it like the new bags from Lays which apparently decompose in 7 weeks? What are the odds that one of these bottles begins to biodegrade during a race, leaking precious liquid fuel? Is there an online sports book where I can bet on this?

You ask who I side with on this. Personally I'm on the side of La Coalition Nature for a few reasons. 1.) We only have one planet, and it's already fucked up enough, so let's try to keep things clean. 2.) Professional athletes need to be reminded that they aren't above the regular folk. 3.) This article introduced me to the word "Walloonian", which for the time being is my new favorite word, I plan to use it in a sentence today. I just personally wish that the environmentalists had gone one better and gone after the entire peleton, and had a paddy wagon waiting for them at the race finish, and just start arresting people. I bet a bunch of rides would have dug that cause they would have been able to avoid doping control.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

JedZilla

I think it was back in February I said I was going to try and get some actual content posted up at this site. Let's face it me rambling on about my rides, what I think about the world of cycling, and getting pissed off every now and again isn't a recipe for greatness. With that in mind I figured I'd start to interview some folks who I think more people should either 1.) know them, or 2.) if the know them, learn more about them. With that in mind I bring to you an interview with none other than JedZilla, a man who is a fixture in the Missoula riding scene. Here's the backstory in my opinion, Jed is the man, and if you don't agree with me, feel free to get off this planet. Enjoy the interview, and for the record, Jed chose to respond to my interview questions in green.

Jed getting his swerve on

You have 50 words to describe yourself to the world, go.


Sensitive, new age redneck who digs chili dogs and sunsets and whose favorite color is magenta. In reality, I am happily married to a wonderful mountain biker (member of Biker Bitches group ride) with two sons 4 and almost 2 years old. I own/operate ZillaState, a realty company.

How did you get into the wonderful world of bikes?


I am a recovering Texan and being from Texas I played high school football. I had knee surgery my junior year and biking was part of the re-hab process. After my first year of college ('81 -'82) I bought a Raleigh touring bike and rode it into the ground. I started road racing in '84. I eventually was a bike sub-rep in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi the early '90s. I went to the Fat Tire Festival in Crested Butte, CO in 1993 and moved to Colorado that fall to mountain bike and umm, work.

You have done a lot in the past as far as putting on XC and DH races in the Missoula area, how did you get into that?

I noticed that there were no mountain bike races being held in Missoula and I wanted to get the ball rolling since Missoula is home to some of the best trail riders in the world.

Do you see yourself putting on anymore MTB races in the future?

Yes, I am working with a few folks on a project right now. The venue will be a different place than races held in the past. I will also be more of a "facilitator" than a promoter if this happens.

Just how long have you been enjoying the bike riding up here in Missoula?

I have been riding in Missoula since I moved here in 1997. I had one phone number when I rolled into town. I called the number and I was riding up Sawmill within an hour of parking my car in Missoula.

Are there any aspects of the “old days” that you still feel are present today?

I still see the "old school" camaraderie in the enduro/24 hour mountain bike racing. Where you are part of a community that camps and races. I remember my first 24 hour race at Moab; Kieth Bontranger and his family camped next to us. By the way, he really liked the Kettlehouse beer we had.

Word on the street is that you are a big time sponsor of UM Cycling, how did that happen?

Cycling and mountain biking in particular, have given a lot to me and presented opportunities I would have never dreamed of. My goal is to give back and help out when I can to Montana cycling and especially Missoula teams when I can. My main focus of sponsorship will be: Juniors, Collegiate, Mountain bike/ Cyclo-cross.

Do you have any hopes for the team and it’s riders over the course of the season?

I would say Bryce and Lindsy. I also have a challenge for UM Cycling "Podium (nationals)= Party"

Do you have a favorite MTB ride in Missoula, and how would you describe riding those trails?

There are a few: 1)Margie (my lovely wife) and I have a ride we call the "hour of power" which goes up the MOZ trail through Cox and then straight up the single track in Pattee to the saddle road and back. That is the limited time GRD ride, which has it all. 2) The Sidewinder to Sheep via Blue Point down the east fork to the Corridor is a good one. That was a date ride while Margie and I were "courting". I like the views and the epic-ness of it. 3). Stateline trail to Heart Lake in the Great Burn. I mention this trail as it is in danger of being shut down due to legislation. Please contact Senator Tester and let him know that we would like this loop kept open.

Describe to me your ideal bike and place to ride (time, money, wife, kids, and jobs aren’t issues you have to worry about in this dream scenario). Hmmmm, there are two rides in Colorado. 1) The Monarch Crest trail connecting to a series of trails getting you back to Salida, Co. 2) I can't remember the name of the trail but about a 6 hour ride out of Crested Butte. I have only done it twice and it was awesome! As far as a bike; I have been looking at carbon 29er hardtails. So, that would be my dream bike...


So there ya have it, big thanks to Jed for going along with my interview idea without hesitation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Riding and Getting the Word Out

Once again another perfect April day results in me going and riding my MTB bike in the Rattlesnake. Working that long gradual climb up the old Marshall Grade then riding some of the Woods Gulch and Three Larch trails (big thanks to Laurel at MBW for letting me know the snow was gone). When all is said and done, I couldn't have asked for more out of two hours on the trail. I brought the camera along to try to capture some of the greatness that is mountain biking in Montana in April. It just seems like it is an ironclad lock that if I tried to recreate these pictures come the end of June there will be a whole bunch of the smoke in the background. Enough talking for now, pictures will do that for me.

Buffed out singletrack, you can't ask for anything more.

Top of Three Larch (or whatever the hell people call it)

Doing my best to work with the 10 second timer on the camera

In the world of bigger websites dedicated to bikes, Homie Gnomie over at DC was kind enough to post an email of mine regarding the whole Wilderness debacle outside Bozeman that I went on a rant about last week. Gnome even threw in his own two cents, which was a nice taste of logic that few can deliver as he does. Think what you may about a website that for seven years was dedicated to nothing more than bikes booze and boobies, but trust me those guys know and love bikes. It was nice to see the comments that had accumulated as of this morning of people who agree that the decision made was stupid. So big thanks to Gnome for getting the word out, I'm sure good karma will come back around for him in the future.

Other than that it looks like Montana's most well known XC man could be missing the first World Cup of the year due to Mother Nature. Not much you can do when a volcano decides to erupt, so this situation blows not just for Sam, but his whole team, who from the looks of things still have an ocean to cross. This has the makings to rival Planes, Trains, and Automobiles as one of the greatest travel stories if the Subaru-Gary Fisher folks manage to make it over there. I'll say a quick prayer to the travel gods for em asking the winds to change and blow all the ash somewhere else.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Breakfast for some MTB

The powers that be always pound this shit into your head, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Guess what that is only true when the breakfast is delicious, and gives you a happy belly for multiple hours. Half a grapefruit, a small bowl of plain oatmeal, small bran muffin, and some sort of fruit juice might be great on paper, but mark my words the only thing it does for you is make you want more food in 12 minutes. So how is it that I prepare for a few hours in the saddle, using one meal as my main source of fuel, with mancakes, some form of pig, and caffeine.

What's a mancake you ask yourself? Simple, cook up a pancake or twelve, keep the batter thick so the pancake is thick and fluffy. Once pancakes are cooked, remove and cover in a coating of peanut butter, cover peanut butter in powdered sugar. That's a mancake, it's got everything your body supposedly needs, tastes wonderful, and will keep those cranks a turning on the bike. As far as the pig goes, pick the form you like, cook it up, and enjoy. It's a scientific fact that foods like bacon and sausage make you ten time more mentally efficient, and thirty times more physically efficient. The caffeine part can be tricky because everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes. For me it depends on the time of the day and the mood I am in. Anytime that you wake up due to an outside force other than your body simply saying, "it's time to wake up", means hot coffee is a requirement. Other than that time of day, I am partial to soda (thanks Dad).

So in the end the moral of the story is that a proper breakfast is a good way to start the day, but tweaks need to made in order to make it part of your ride prep. The past four days of top end weather have resulted in many a hour in the saddle for self. And these ain't your mommas lolligagin hours, I'm talking about spending some time feeling your heartbeat in your eardrums. Fuel before each of these rides has been the same except for the number of mancakes prepared. So my gift to you today is the perfect pre-ride breakfast, which has helped me to pillage singletrack these past days, 2 mancakes, 4 strips of bacon, and a large glass of orange soda (hey it was free at Albertsons). Eat up, enjoy, and maybe later this week I'll provide you with my secret hangover remedy morning beverage.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Got out for a top notch ride following being pissed off Friday morning. Four hours of hitting dirt in two of Missoula riding areas can calm me down from just about anything. No need to bore you with details, I took some pictures from the ride, enjoy them and explanations. As far as the trail closing down in Bozeman, I got the idea to have a "funeral ride" where all who ride bikes on the planet are welcome to attend. I'd like it to be New Orleans style, so "When the Saints Go Marching In" can be sung. However, while discussing the idea with EMule last evening he said that the trails will are most likely going to be covered in snow and unrideable. Regardless if any of the trails which will be closed to the MTB love are rideable next weekend, I will try to put this together, and will post details here.

Crazy Canyon

30 minutes in and I'm salty enough for butterfly love

This is what a happy SSer looks like

Big thanks to the City of Missoula for building water fountains, than covering them up

Thats a wide COCK...pit


Knees Eye View on ride home

Friday, April 16, 2010

Losing 150 miles of trail

I came across this article on Dirt Rag today, its a little late, but still worth all the effort I will devote to this subject. There is an article from Billings Gazette written about the topic, and unfortunatly it looks like the story got passed over by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. For those who know me, you know I can complain about anything that pisses me off, and it may be in a long winded and over-blown manner, so with that I have just finished the last of my coffee, collected some thoughts, and will now go off the deep end. I apologize in advance for any language or vitriol I may direct towards certain individuals or groups, but in my opinion they deserve it. It looks like May 1 will be the cut off date for 170 miles worth of God's greatest gift outside of Bozeman. For anyone who attended the Race Across the Sky premiere here in Missoula this past March you have a stake in this because your money went to help to try and stop this.

The future of hundreds of miles worth of singletrack, and its availability to mountain bikers has been debated for years now (or at least since I moved here three years ago) in Montana. Politicians and other Bureaucrats want to designate lands as wilderness so they look environmentally friendly, and yet still want to find away to let the woods get logged. It's that basic please everyone mentality that they all have, and the only end result is that they look like standard political jackoffs who make too much money for the little work that they actually do perform. Organized groups do everything they can short of pulling down Politician X's pants and blowing them in the middle of town square to try to get what they want. The Politicians do whatever they want based on who gives them the most money or the best BJ. This time there is what I will call and innocent bystandard. The mountain bikers, who are shunned by the motorized trail users, because our bikes lack motors, and thought of as outsiders by groups who already have access to wilderness areas (hikers, etc). And now starting on May 1, mountain bikers are getting bent over the corner of a table, and having to take it raw from far too many groups, judges, and politicians.

First and foremost I wish to extend both of my middle fingers to The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Montana Wilderness Association, and The Wilderness Society. You have fucked over mountain bikers as a whole because you want "solitude" to exist in this area. You can disguise your selfishness all you want by claiming the only thing you care about it preserving the land. That is a crock of shit, you wish to preserve the land for what you want to do. If you really wanted to preserve the land in its natural state it would be completely closed to any human activity. I have half a thought to go to over to these 150 miles worth of trail on May 2, with a string of pack mules, and a bunch of ghetto blasters, and crank up some Slayer. That will let you have your fucking solitude. Guess what people on bikes, motorcycles, or ATVs dont ruin solitude, other people (regardless of their mode of transportation) ruin solitude. Horses that shit all over the fucking trail ruin solitude, a pheasant that jumps out from behind a bush when you walk too close to it can ruin someone's solitude.

It is my opinion that as a whole mountain bikers are always worried about losing access to their sweet sweet singletrack that they will do anything they can to keep it. You want someone to clean up parking areas, tell the MTBers that if they dont do it their access is gone, I promise you that will be the cleanest parking area in the state. Need cheap labor to get some trail work done? Tell the MTBers if they don't do it the trail will get closed, that trail work gets done for nothing. The MTB crowd searches for solitude as well, just like the hikers. Last I checked getting out of the town limits to go ride trails by myself is not something I do to get closer to other people and be distracted by blinking lights and honking horns. Just because you read Into the Wild, and want to get back to the roots of nature, doesnt mean you have the right to fuck others over. If you want solitude buy a rowboat and paddle into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I promise you that you will be left alone.

Another reason mountain bikers got fucked over in this whole decision is because mountain bikes were not considered when the first wilderness plans were drafted some 30 years ago. Never mind the fact that back in the day a group of soldiers rode bikes off road from Missoula to Yellowstone. Bike have been ridden off road for a long fucking time, before Frank Church was taking all of his 50 mile walks where the groundwork for his future wilderness protection work was laid. I've said it once and I will say it again, the original designation of what activities are allowed in Wilderness Areas needs to be revisited and changed. I promise you that a horse carrying a 200 pound person will do as much damage to a trail as that same 200 pound person riding a 25 pound bike.

Aside from that the mountain bikers (and cyclists in general) really need to come together to stop any more miles of trail being closed down. Write letters and emails to politicians, tells The Wilderness Society to piss off, write letters to newspapers, get mad and let the masses hear your voice, get others who live in other states to try and help the cause. If all that fails practice some good old fashioned civil disobedience. Go ride those 150 miles worth of trails your not supposed to on May 1! With that, I'm done being pissed about this for now, I'm gonna go ride my bike.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making it Count

Thanks to Tuesday's snow, riding the MTB was out of the question yesterday. This caused me to get out and do an oldie but a goodie ride on the SSCX bike. Head on over to Trails End, and get hill climb repeats in. Ten had been the most I had ever done in one ride, so I figured I'd shoot for that. By number 7 the climb was starting to hurt, and I figured I'd just take it easy on the last trips. Right as I was finishing number 9, Big Shot Gallego crests the hill to start his own out and back trip. He turned around and finished up with me, then we agreed to do my final trip together. As we started I figured once Alex took off, I would let him go and just ride my own pace up. None of that, riding with Alex pushed me to make that last trip hurt and burn, getting all the goodness out of the climb. I don't know if it was my fastest trip of the day, but I'm going to say it was my most worthwhile trip of the day, just doing what I could to make it count.