Archives for August 2013

Mountain Biking Stanky Creek aka Nesbit Park

July 2013 – Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Stanky Creek is a local mountain biking trail that offers well maintained fast [Read more…]

Gotta Ride Them All!


It wasn’t too long ago that I saw someone complaining on Facebook about how they were tired of riding Austin area trails.  They were lamenting that they were not in Colorado or the Pacific North West and how we just have sucky trails.

I nearly fell over…

Do they not know, as mountain bikers, how completely awesome we have it here in Austin?  We have literally hundreds of miles of trails in and around Austin.  Yes, a large percentage of those trails are rocky, limestone filled trails, but there is also plenty of other options.

Want to do exotic slickrock granite riding?  Load up and head to Reveille Peak Ranch for some truly unique hill country riding.

Want to ride fast and flowy through tall pine forest?  Head east to Rocky Hill Ranch or over to Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda.

Take it easy for a fun spin?  Head to Walnut Creek.

Looking for gnar, rock crawling and technical challenge?  Look at Barton Creek Greenbelt back trails or City Park.

Sure, we don’t have long sustained descents, but that also means we don’t have long sustained climbs either.

While it is easy to get 1k feet of climbing per 10 miles, you will get it scattered throughout your ride instead of all at the front.

Having ridden a fair amount of trails around the country, and seen how far some people have to drive to get to ride, I can say I am very thankful for what we have here in Austin.

We have spectacular trail options, and lots of them.  There is variety and quantity and trails of varying degrees of difficulty for all riders.

As a mountain biker, I am so happy to live in Austin!  We have it so good here and I hope all local mountain bikers realize that and don’t ever take our Austin area trails for granted!

Here is a list I have put together of surrounding trails that I know of, and the ones I’ve ridden and that I still have yet to try!

Austin Area Trails

Mountain Biking Bent Creek

In July of 2013 I was in western North Carolina for some family business. I took my bike planning [Read more…]

Giant Trance 27.5

I haven’t had a chance to demo a 27.5 yet, but I can say that I have typically really liked Giant bicycles. The arguments for a 27.5 are pretty good ones.

This video from Giant about their new Trance 27.5 a great video and helps really show off and explain some of the benefits of their 27.5 platform.

What is Enduro?

Other than the ‘SICK BRAH’ high fives, this Orbea “What is Enduro” video is pretty sweet!

I know Enduro is all the rage lately and I can understand why. The description that Enduro is what we do when we get out and ride rings true for me. Climb/banter with friends on the way up, pin it and shred on the way down!

CTS Field Test – August Road HRM Test

CTS Field TestI’s been 2 months since I did my last field test and as I’m planning on trying to ramp up my ride time again, I felt it was good to do another field test.  Hopefully this will give me a good baseline for the next couple of months of riding.

I haven’t been getting much saddle time over the past couple of months so I really expected my test to come out pretty close to the last time, or slightly worse.

The Nitty Gritty:
Weigh In: 164 lbs
Test Time: 9AM
Nutrition: Oatmeal & coffee, 1 honey stinger 15 mins before ride, 1/2 water bottle during ride
Temp: 90 degrees
Humidity: 70% (!)
Wind: None!
Dress: Bibs and short sleeve jersey
Last ride: 2 days prior
CTL: 33.4
TSB: -7.1 (falling)

Time Dist Avg Spd Avg HR Max HR Cadence
8:00 2.78 20.8 173 181 97
7:58 2.78 20.9 173 181 94

A couple of observations: 1) I went faster. 2) HR increased somewhat.

Brek Epic Info

No, I’m not going to be riding the Breck Epic this year, but the planned courses are of particular interest as Todd and I have not picked out our destination for our mountain biking trip next month.

At any rate, I wanted to save the posted Breck Epic info in case it disappears into the nether!

2013 Courses

We’ll fill you in on aid station locations and mileages when you get here, but if it’s GPS data on the official 2013 courses you want, come and get it –

Stage One – Pennsylvania Creek – 36.06 miles/5509′

Stage Two – Colorado Trail – 38.06 miles/5312′

Stage Three – Mt. Guyot – 38.28 miles/7740′

Stage Four – Aqueduct (Keystone) – 43.41 miles/6539′

Stage Five – Wheeler (Here there be monsters. Also, there’s a 1-mile intro NOT INCLUDED IN THIS FILE.) 30.2 miles/5131′

Stage Six – Gold Dust – 31.74 miles/3573′

Stage Seven – The Gold Pan Saloon (a post awards banquet drinking-only stage)


EQUIPMENT NOTES (from Rich Banach, co-owner of our longtime tech and wrench partner, Avalanche Sports):


Greetings riders! We’ve compiled just a few notes from our years of wrenching on Epic race bikes and thought that we’d pass them along for you to chew on as you begin your final prep for the race.

  1. Arm your bike with tires offering sidewall protection. Light is not always the best in this situation (it’s rocky here). Tires that we found work best are:  Kenda Slant 6, Small Block 8 and Karma Pro. Maxxis Ardent (EXO or UST).  Continental Mountain or Trail King (Race King if you must have very light.)  Without naming brands, we’ve seen many lightweight setup catastrophes. Sidewall cuts are the end of your day and sealant won’t fill the chasm!  We’re happy to inflate tubeless tires for a reasonable fee, but with apologies, it’s a very busy week and we will not lend out our air compressor. 
  2. If you’re racing a bicycle with a whole list of proprietary parts meaning special bottom brackets, headsets, headsets integrated with forks, it would be wise to have the condition of these components checked prior to arrival (some examples are Specialized S works and Cannondale Scalpel). It’s difficult to track down bearings for these systems, and impossible to have your lefty overhauled. Come prepared!
  3. We stock just about every brake pad on modern machines; however, if you have an obscure Magura, Formula, or some one off Acros model, you may want to have those pads checked, or just bring a spare couple sets.
  4. Speaking of race enders, a few of the new house-brand carbon wheels are a real roll of the dice.  A racer involved in the Breck 100 last week drove from Denver and the altitude jump burst his tire and shattered the rim. We’ve seen many mishaps with certain house brand carbon wheels in the Epic. Again, we don’t want to throw anyone under the bus – if you want more details (or info on a service plan for the week) please call us.
  5. Stan’s wheels are a good bet, Arch EX, or Crest for the weight conscious. ZTR race/podium will suffer some serious wear by the end of the week, but probably not a race ender.

On the topic of wheels, there are many other great hoops out there that are perfectly worthy. There are some however that are known to pop a spoke once in a while – if you know that you own a set of these, plan on bringing spare parts. The terrain here is moderate and not very technical, but parts of the course are rocky. If your bike or its components have an engineering or design flan, the Epic will reveal it.


Hopefully we haven’t scared you away! Trust us – you’re in for a great week. If you’d like to get in touch to have us help pre-flight your race set up, give us a shout at one of our two Breck locations!