Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tookie Takes First!

HELL YEAH! Jeff Williams nailed the top spot on the podium today in the baby-head filled recesses of Dillon State Park. Thank GOD his now-four-year-old TOMAC CARBIDE is still rocking that shit like the day it was born, because the baby-head laden trail was so bumpy and rooty, only the crack-heads (like Jake Scott) were out racing on fully rigid bikes. Jeff had caught up to the man in front (his home turf trail, as it turns out) after never riding here before in his life, but then dropped back after not cleaning a rock-garden. Much hammering ensued after that, and with just three miles to go, Jeff reeled in first place, then took it to the checkered flag. Great race for Jeff, and great to see he and the family last night! GO TEAM!~

Monday, August 23, 2010

You & Your Johnson.

This short film sent to you by our friends at SIGMA. I love those guys.

Beautiful Disaster; The San Francisquito Canyon Ride.

**The mountains between L.A. and Palmdale provide epic lessons in riding and history. This is Santa Clarita in the winter.**

I run into a ton of customers here at roll: who make frequent trips for business/family out west. Many of them ask for tips on "secret" places to ride road and mountain. Last week I had the chance to send a customer through one of the most amazing rides
in the greater Los Angeles area...but not just because of the elevation or scenery. The ride has a tragic history as well...but you'd have to know where to look to see it. San Francisquito Canyon in Valencia is a place few Angelinos have ever seen, and fewer know what happened here on March 3rd, 1928.

The L.A. rivers actually only produce enough annual water from the local mountains to provide for about a thousand people year round. Yeah..that's right..a thousand. Despite the parks, fountains, and Bentley's, Southern California is mostly desert. We get more rain on a Columbus afternoon in August than they get all year. Solution? William Mulholland. This once great hero of Angelinos brought water from the Central Valley (totally stolen) via aqueducts and pumps, dams and flood catch basins all the way in through "The Grapevine" to L.A. One such reservoir and dam was constructed in what was (up until a few years ago) still a very rural Spanish Land Grant farming community.

San Francisquito Canyon was chosen as a great site for the construction of a dam. It's a VERY narrow slot canyon, and ran a direct line into the West Side to provide much needed water. The engineers however had a problem. The dam's south side was anchored to less-than-ideal sedimentary rock...and the dam was to hold a ridiculous amount of acre-feet of water (12 billion gallons!). Well, it broke. At midnight. William Mulholland received a phone call from the dam's superintendant warning of a crack in the dam wall, and he said "it'll be fine." Hero to zero in about two seconds flat.

The mighty dam burst, and a ten story tall wall of water flushed the canyon, and it's inhabitants all the way out to the beach in Ventura. It swept every town clean from Santa Clarita to Fillmore, Piru to Valencia. No one will ever know how many perished that night, but rough estimates are at about 500. Bodies would continue to be found as far south as Mexico in the ocean for weeks after. This would be the end for the once great William M. Slowly being driven mad by the hatred cast upon him for not emptying the reservoir and saving lives, he would die all but penniless and alone.

Riding up the canyon's narrow two lane road, you are hemmed in to an ever-narrowing pair of canyon walls, and climbing steadily. the climb stays fairly reasonable as you begin to pass Pump House #2...huge 20' diameter pipes still pumping water down to the L.A. basin. This place was swept clean on the night of the dam break, but rebuilt later. You continue up, and right when the canyon couldn't seem to get any thinner, you see these HUGE white "marbles" about 40' around. Most ride right on by, completely unaware that those "marbles" were once part of a mighty dam. When it blew, it send concrete flying so forcefully, it turned it all back into powder-like dust. As the water re-mixed with it, it began to snowball down the canyon and roll into enormous spheres. As the water receded, the marbles slowed to s atop and have rested there for decades.

**The Ruiz family cemetery plot, made full by the dam break.**

Just past this point, you see what could be an old road, gradually increasing in elevation, then seemingly crossing in front of you. Then it just disappears. You ride along the road, and go around this escarpment and continue on to the more climby and scenic portion of this ride. You just rolled right past the remains of the dam, riding along the road on the side where it gave out that fateful night. If you were to dismount, and take a short walk up the unmarked and often overgrown path, you would reach the top of the dam. Tangled re-bar and bits of rusted ornamental iron where the gangway used to be are littered everywhere. Once on the top, you can see it all laid out before you. After eighty two years, you can still make out the old water-line in the surrounding valley where the billions of gallons of liquid once sat calmy in it's comfy confines. below the dam, devastation.

As you continue on, you climb like a goat on espresso. Starting the ride at almost sea level in Piru, and now ascending to a lofty several-thousand-feet, the final pitch past the town of Green Valley is brutal. Down the back side you go, making a right onto Elizabeth Lake Rd. It's a downhill cruise for several miles until you make another right turn onto Bouquet Canyon Road.
Climbing again up and over the back side of the mountain, you have a short descent to the blue waters of Bouquet canyon reservoir. A short climb, then downhill for so many miles on this narrow two lane canyon pass, it's just unnatural.

**The Bouquet Canyon aqueduct, looking out over the Santa Clarita Valley.**
You are so close to the stream at times you feel like if you lean the bike over any harder, you'd get wet. Finally arriving back in Valencia at the corner of Bouquet canyon and Newhall Ranch Road, you make another right and head west back into Piru. This one is epic, and the total mileage is about 90. the climbing and death-to-legs factor is much worse than you could imagine, but take a camera (or a helmet cam for the downhill) and lots of food and water.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Tomac Supermatic

The new carbon/aluminum trail-bike from TOMAC, the SUPERMATIC, is pictured here after being thrashed in Colorado by Tomac main-man, Joel Smith. this platform, new also for 2011, will have 120mm of travel, and uses 26" wheels. None of the TOMAC bikes will feature the BB30, as bearing failures are still commonplace in the current "standard."

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Diplomat

In order to keep the stays of the 29er full-squishy DIPLOMAT short, they smartly engineered the bridge forward of the seat tube!

It's brand new. It's as elusive as the mythical "Female Orgasm," and here's the first good sneak peak. It's the TOMAC DIPLOMAT! 29" wheels, and full suspension. Jeff Williams may have actually crapped himself right now. Don't act like you don't want one. It's O.K. When a carbon one comes out next year (likely), you'll buy one of those too. RUN to your TOMAC dealer now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New SIGMA Video!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Vegas Bob Does Three Things In One Day!

World Famous Vegas Bob entered the Camp Pendleton Tri, and actually kicked some pretty reasonable ass! Gingers are not known for the ability to swim, yet VB dropped the ol' hammer and had a GREAT race. Finishing 12th (out of 10) in a field of over 100 other athletes, Bob actually kicked some ass! Great job VB...maybe Olympic Tri in 2011?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

M.C. Spandex Gets Dirty.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

'Til Death Do Us Part. The Greatest Prank Ever.

My beautiful wife, Ms. Lydia Sharp. This was what she looked like yesterday at 5:55p.m., right before she checked the mail.

My wife at 6p.m.

I love our sponsors..I really do. Thankfully I do, because the box sent to the house yesterday by Brian, James and Chad from beloved computer and light sponsor SIGMA almost wrecked my marriage and ended in my wholesale disembowelment at the hands of my 5'8", 120lb wife. This is what was on the doorstep, labeled with an "Office Depot" tag, addressed to me and the team in general. Has to be legit, right?

I was at work, and at 5:50pm had called Lyd and begged for a sandwich delivery. Glad to help (as always), Lyd made me some lunch and ..while still on the phone..stepped out the door. A box was there, and she brought it in. She told me of said box, and not having ANY TIES to Office Depot, asked her to open it in my abject confusion as to what it was.

The phone went dead.

An hour later, my lovely wife, dressed in a very small and very cute Dairy Queen t-shirt (funny, since she would die before eating that) arrived at work. Walking quickly and with a purpose, slightly demonic smirk embellished on her face, she approached me with a sandwich and said something "pleasant," leaned in for a quick kiss, then 180'd it and walked out the door. I said to my co-worker Nick that I just had the "Kiss Of Death." He said " What do you mean, she was perfectly nice?" Oh Nick, how a single-man's mind distorts the truth. Poor bastard, he'll never make it. Turns out that I was right. Inside the box were a pair of nasty, ratty, genetically filthy hooker-shoes. In her eyes, I was a cheating bastard and wouldn't live to see another sunrise. Seriously. I'm not kidding. As it turns out, skinny white girls will skin you alive with a potato peeler, and dip you in a pool full of acid.

Having dropped off the box for my mental torture, Lyd was gone and my mind began to race. Did I get with someone while drinking Vodka at Interbike with Amino Vital's Pete O'brien? Did I enter into a Hostess-induced semi-coma with Jim Wannamaker at Nationals and end up with a funnel cake girl? Nothing came to mind. That's not unusual, since there's very little mind left anyway, but no less confusing. I called Office Depot Corporate to ask where store number "84215" is located, in an attempt to track down the culprit. Nada. Frantically searching the box for a clue, a very small label appeared. It was a corporate mailer stamp. In very small red ink I found a number. Feeling like Fred from Scooby Doo, I hit zip-code search on the ol' Google...and up it came, clear as day.

Batavia, Illinois.

Now, the only thing besides bad Mexican food in Batavia, Illinois is SIGMA. Disaster averted, right? Nope. You see...something you learn early on about women is that even when they THINK you did something....even if they had a DREAM you did totally f*****g did it in real life. Guilty. None of this Lindsey Lohan, O.J. Simpson "glove don't fit" bullshit. Guilty-ass-guilty. Even after James made a personal call to Lyd late last night, and even sent the photo to her of the shoes in the SIGMA parking lot...she still is holding me somewhat accountable. Let this be a lesson to all men. I have no damn idea WHAT that lesson is, because we are all dealing with our wives/girlfriends and that in it's self is a mystery...just let that be a lesson. Here's the deal, though. Shit flows downhill. Someone on this team, or affiliated with it..will get the "shit-gift" sent to them. It is now on you all to receive, then send out this box of disgusting, parking-lot-hooker shoes to the next person in line. Who will that be? Nobody knows.

Thanks to the guys at SIGMA for what was actually some very funny stuff last know..if you like being scared to death and fear for your very life...that's what I mean by funny. :()

Channel 10 Live T.V. Spot!

Here's that live T.V. spot on Channel 10 with A.J. Smith! Surprisingly enough, they didn't bag my face...sorry about that!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Anger Management.

Just a little update on the Lake Hope race. Everything went great the temp. was 89-91 degrees and low humidity for once. I meet up with Sean to complete the Backbone double threat. With a short warm up and a quick tune up (Thanks to the guys at ROLL BIKE). The start of my race was going just the way I had wanted until I was trying to pass a slower rider one mile into the sweeping downhill single track, I clipped a tree going about 25mph just on the inside of the slower rider. I then planted my face and shoulder into ground, trashed my knee and ankle on the bar. After a two minute system check to get my shit together and to make sure my shoulder wasn't broken or dis-located. I then set out on a pissed off mission to hunt down all the riders in my class and try to re-gain a few positions for point. The next 16 miles I continued to move up and finished in 2nd place.
Talk Later
(A very sore ) Tookie