Its seems I rarely post two days in a row anymore. I used to post almost everyday. I suppose Im busier than normal. Right now Im to the point where the bike store is pretty much where I want it. Now I move to the coffee shop. Machines look to be here next Thursday\Friday. I still need the electrician to stop in for finishing touches. The Plumber too. I’ve got Colectivo coffee school next week. I hope to send me and two others.
A week from today I should be brewing coffee here. And then a week later open to the public. Again, a very stressful two weeks ahead.
I did ride on Tuesday this week. I took a fat bike off the floor and rode the beach. I always say I never do that but I wanted just one more beach ride before spring. Done and done.
This is one of the few springs that I have not a demo bike to ride and Im not sure what Im doing with that either. Now that I have no fat bike Im looking at getting by first straight up MTB this summer. Im looking at the Trek EX 9.8. I can get that bike in both a 29 or 27.5 plus. Im partial to 29 and Im partial to plus so I have to sleep on this one.
I see Trek has a new 2.6in tire out and wonder if that fits in the 29in bike. If it does thats the way I would go. If that tire does not work it would be a 2.4 for the 29er and thats a smaller tire than Im used to. But doable I guess. I could get a 3in tire on the 27.5 plus and thats what Im used to. Its crazy how back in the day I used to race on 1.9’s and now I want 3 inch. Having as much traction as I can means less potential for disaster. At my age when you hit the ground you are down for the count.
Ultimately another Farely EX would be the ticket but they are not available until Aug. In fact, Trek has released info to dealers on the 2019 Farley’s and I did not see a EX. That could mean two things. 1) they are not making them anymore, or 2) They are the same as last year which is fine by me. Either way I can’t wait until August. So it a Fuel EX for me, and then most likely will get another carbon rigid fat bike for the winter again.
As far as road bike its either going to be a Trek Emonda disk or another BMC Roadmachine like last summer. But thats over a month away. First things first.
While I go up to do the race, it’s not the real reason I get up there so much. It’s the trails. I was pretty excited to still be able to hit up some trails after the race Saturday. I can’t believe I still had some gas in the tank. Not a lot mind you but enough to hit the woods for a good hour.
I wish I could say how awesome the trails were but I can’t. I was very disappointed to find both Seeley Pass and Makwa trails petty much ungroomed. For an old fat guy like me pretty much unrideable. Both trails run from the OO trailhead. Pretty much the most popular and easy to get to trailhead. Seeley Pass starts off with some downhill. After I hit the bottom riding all over the trail I flipped it and pretty much had to walk back up and out.
I can’t and wont stomp my feet and raise hell over it. All those trails are groomed with volunteers. Most of whom own their own equipment. But guys…. you have 1000 bikes converging to the area from all over place. Putting on the biggest fat bike race in the world, and you leave a majority of the trails un groomed? There was plenty of snow. While the temps hovered above freezing in the afternoon the nights were cold to set things up. A Friday groom would have made those trails amazing. I guess all I can say is I was disappointed. Moving on.
After a few phone calls it was determined that the best trails were Seeley Hills. Not to be confused with Seeley Pass. This trail system is right off OO just 100 yards from HWY 63 (Sawmill Saloon). I rode these trails about 4 years ago. I liked them. It’s the same trail system that I skied on a few years ago in my shorts….
So we hit up those trails Sunday morn before we headed for home. Sadly, many did not attend due to a few too many drinks the night before. Just me and Jon V. woke to hit the trails Sunday morn. And they were much better than the other trails the day before. These trails were groomed of late and we put in a good hour on a nice ride. Things were warming up quickly and it did get a little soft deeper in the woods so we just turned around and rode out. A nice ride to cap off the weekend for sure. The last ride on my Borealis Crestone.
As we were heading out of the woods we saw several groups heading in. Maybe a little late. One group had at least 10 bikes.
So this last weekend puts the final touches on winter 2017\18. My fatbike is sold. I cut off my beard. Time to move on to spring. This weekend will be remembered for the super fast Birkie trail to race on. And that’s good enough for me to call the weekend a success.
While the fat bike birkie is the reason to go to Hayward last weekend it really isn’t. I mean, it’s going on but it’s not the real reason I go up there. I guess I just don’t need a reason. I got up there on Friday at noon and headed to the Birkie offices in Hayward to do a podcast for them. Ben Welnek does a podcast called Mountain Bike Radio and he has since moved to Hayward (lucky!). So I stopped in to do that as soon as I got in town.
After the interview I headed to the Birkie start area to get in a pre ride. It was not long after hitting the trail that it was apparent this was going to be a special year. The trail was just perfect.
Just look at that. This was by far the best conditions this race has had in its six year history. I had 15 pounds of air in the tires. Look at the rear and you can see what little was contacting the snow. It was for all practical purposes a highway. Or as we like to call it now “white asphalt”.
Which was great as I was not putting much faith in my fitness and was going to just go out and ride. And that’s what I did. And I had a great time. It was a blast. And I did not do as bad as I thought. I came in 159th last year and just ten spots later this year. I was so worried about doing so bad to the point of getting embarrassed. I had nothing to worry about. I was able to strike up many conversations during the race. I love doing that. I was doing my patented “blast down the hills to get over halfway up the other side” moves. I was passing rides on the bottom of the hills going 20 mph faster than they were. i apologise to anyone if I scared them. Then, they all passed me back before the top of the next hill only to bomb passed them again down the next hill. I did this to some riders maybe 6 or 7 times before they either they or I pulled away. I did notice timing strips across the course at several spots. I have not check yet but I would be curious to see where I lost\gained the most spots.
One thing I noticed is last year I finished 55 minutes behind the winner and this year it was only 24 minutes. Most likely the fast snow helped me.
I walked two hills. One I was just exhausted and the other I missed a shift and had to get off as I didn’t want to break a chain. Its crazy how many broken chains one sees on this race. The sun was out. It was in the 20’s for temps. Perfect. This was payback for the terrible weather last year.
I finished up the race, watched a few friends hit up the podium and then, as planned, hit up some trails. I plan on trail riding after the race every year but this was the first year I got to do it. I was proud of myself to be able to save a little from the race to ride a little more.
So in closing the race was amazing. This was the only race I registered for last year and most likely this year. And I have every intention of registering for it next year. I guess I have to since I need to keep the string going of doing every one to date.
I was going to ride the fat bike on the beach this morn but didnt. The surf was way up and the beach was limited. Some ice too (I took off the the studs). I already sold those tires for some fun money for this weekend. Just before I take a weekend up north I have a eBay spree so I have some spending money…
It snowed quite a bit yesterday. The pic does not show it but I had a hard time getting out of my drive this morn. My car sucks on snow tho….
Im in the store very early then this morn. Im putting the finishing touches on my 2017 books to send off to the accountant before I leave for Hayward. I task that Im always happy to complete.
The coffee equipment was officially ordered yesterday. $7800 dollars worth. I hope to sell enough coffee to cover that. Then there’s the table, chairs and all the other stuff that goes with. Freezer and ice machine. I hope to get everything up and running by the 15th with the grand opening on the 31st. That gives us some time to get up and running. I’ll make myself a nice latte every morn….
On to the weekend. This will be my last post before I head up there. In my mind, there is a small chance I will leave Thursday. Thats tomorrow. Maybe a 20% chance at best. I sure would like to get more ride time on my Borealis before I give it up. But I do have a lot to do here still.
The weather in Hayward looks perfect. Slightly above freezing in the afternoon and then single digits for lows. The trails should be super firm. Im not going to want to come home.
Yesterday I read the the short course has some single track in it. Im not sure about that. Thats a lot of bikes to put in such a narrow trail. But I heard the trails have so much base that it should hold up. I’ll trust their judgment.
If I leave Friday, which is most likely, I will leave at 6am and try to get there ready to preride at noon. I hope to put an entire lap in. About 12 miles or so…. Then register and figure out where we are going to eat. Saturday, as I mentioned earlier, will be a slow race for me. Im going to try and take it easy. Don’t care where I finish. I no longer do this race to race. I do it on principal now. I’ve done all 6 to date and I’ll try to keep that string going. Last year it was the only race I registered for and that will be the same this year Im sure.
Just finish pedaling is a win for me. Then another win would be a little bit more trail riding after lunch. Even if its just an hour…..
Last weekend on this beauty. Gotta make it count.
I’ll be back bright and early on Monday morn. Im sure I’ll have some stories to tell.