|A little airtime over a camera never hurt!|
With such a mild fall and winter here in the Midwest, the miles have been racking up when normally they are dying a painful, abrupt death. Jeff and Josh have been ripping it up in Kentucky and West Virginia since the mountain bike trails are still perfect. They have dropped some amazing fall foliage photos on us over the past three months, and managing to teach people how to mountain bike with frequent skills clinics at Greenbo State Park. Super awesome dudes!
Josh even managed to pound a 100 mile group ride with the boys and girls of A.C.E.....ON HIS MOUNTAIN BIKE!
|100 miles. On a mountain bike. Dick.|
Jeff, as usual, makes people feel bad about themselves while leading the train through the singletrack trails, as seen below.
Ara was doing great in the So Cal Cyclocross Series, even looking to take the overall series victory! He then found out that an earlier crash was causing blood clots in his knees. This removed him from the series final, and I'm pretty sure he was not happy about that. The docs released him, he did a few short recovery rides, then BAM! Clots came back. He is still dealing with them, and we wish him all of the best.
|Beautiful shot from Phil Beckman.|
Mark Thome has been landing on the podium for the Over The Hump Series, and blowing up his HRM on the Fullerton Loop in the evenings. Amazing to think that one could be THAT OLD and still ride a bike!! Hahaha...his son and Backboner Mark Thome just had HIS first child...that we know of...in November. That makes Mark a grandfather. Old bastard.
|Mark Thome thinks it's a biscuit.|
Charles has been racing his Subaru like a freak, and bringing home ALMOST as much bling as he did racing downhill mountain bikes! Check out this latest medal..pretty sweet.
|Randy, asleep holding his nuts.|
|NICE WIN'S WHEELS KIT!|
|October along the reservoir's single track near Westerville.|
|The ol' 26er hardtail still works. Go figure.|
I have been doing what Randy Rush does...drinking beer and being surly. It's in the contract. Seriously. The riding in and around Columbus is certainly the best between September and January. The leaves are popping, the air is cool and dry, and mosquitos aren't the size of pterosaurs. The road miles for me have been racking up well, with roughly 2400 miles between September and November. Most of it was rolling the country farm roads, but at least this year it was above freezing on most days....except two Sundays ago. See the hail in the photo below...
Admittedly, the cold days last year were awful. Negative 11 degrees is not fun to ride in. It beats CrossFit, don't get me wrong...but it's still not ideal. All of my rides begin and end on bricks, and all bricks seem just a little bit harder and less forgiving on days that are that cold.
|Carpel Tunnel? You betcha'!|
The open country roads appear quickly from our home here in Westerville. Vast swaths of flat, glacial scraping turned in to corn and soybean fields await me, just minutes from home. Open skies give you at least a fighting chance of seeing the approaching, almost daily storms that roll in from August to November. There are not many places to hide out there, so the reality of having to lie in wait snuggling up to deer ticks in a swail is legit. The trees are amazing though in the fall, and worth every bit of risk. The Cuyahoga National Park roads and trails are perfect in the fall and winter.
|Big sky, beautiful roads.|
Vegas Bob has moved to Santa Rosa, CA. He has been racing in his new home town, and has also been very active in the high school mountain bike racing scene as a coach! He has also been consuming large quantities of beer. Star Wars is coming by Christmas as well, so there is a good chance he will be found somewhere without pants, in a storm trooper helmet. Just sayin'.
|Vegas Bob, carb loading.|
All things considered, it has been a magnificent year to ride bikes, from the left coast to the right coast and everywhere in between. Hope you all are out enjoying it while it lasts!