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Archive for the ‘Telluride’ Category

The Art of Shifting

Monday, April 30th, 2012

How much do you know about shifting? To make riding more fun and bike repair less frequent, check out these tips from seven-time Canadian national cross-country champion Andreas Hestler from Bicycling magazine for a better ride and a longer drivetrain life.

  • Is cross chaining the answer? Riding in a combo of the big chainring and big cog, or the small ring and small cog, is generally not a good idea. But Hestler says, it can at times offer the ideal gear and races set their bikes to handle it. However, it’s rough to shift into.
  • Think before you shift. Your eyeing that hill climb before you and it’s all about anticipation. Anticipate your next gear and when to accelerate. Shifting after terrain changes sets you back energy-wise and slows you down. Same goes for sand and water crossings—think before you get in gear.
  • Care for your chain. Changing the chain, Hestler says, keeps you from having to replace your cogs and rings as often. And be weary of wet-dry riding, chains weaken in these conditions. Check your chainring and cassette for burrs and nicks.
  • Go easy. Make shifting light, careful and timely to avoid breaking something. “If you love your bike it’ll love you—shift lightly and carefully,” says Hestler.

 

Get Back in the Saddle, Comfortably

Friday, April 20th, 2012

If you don’t ride year-round, you know the outcome of those first rides in the saddle as summer approaches. Ouch: lower back and glute pain, hamstring, hip flexors and quad aches. How do you lesson the strain in these first rides? There are some simple answers that require a stability ball, some floor space and, most importantly, your motivation.

Bicycling Magazine offers up some stellar advice and it starts at the core—your core.

Try this one: Lie with the middle of your back on the stability ball with knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on floor. Place hands behind head (don’t pull on neck). Squeeze belly button toward the spine, lift upper back off the ball. With your shoulders off of the ball, make a circular motion with your torso while applying pressure with lower back to ball through motion. Clockwise 15 ovals, counterclockwise 15 ovals.  Works the transverse abdominus (inner abs), stabilizes lower back, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors.

“Why It Works: Despite the straightforward motion of the bike, your body moves in three directions: forward as you head down the road, vertically as your legs pedal up and down, and laterally as your hips and upper body rock side to side,” writes Bicycling author Dimity McDowell.

What’s Ready to Ride Regionally?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

The best way to know what’s ready to ride is to just get out there and ride it. Snow can linger on north facing terrain and mud can last in the shadier zones, but hike-a-bike is just part of riding in spring in Southwest Colorado. And when it’s dry, fast single track is ready, you’re ready to ride it.

For single track conditions in Durango, check out Trails 2000. Currently, they’re reporting that both Animas Mountain and Dallas Mountain Park are good to go. Overend Mountain Park and Powerline are still a little snowy and muddy but in fair condition.

In Cortez, the word is the famous and fun Phil’s World is ready to ride, and at Boggy Draw and Bean Canyon in neighboring Dolores, fair conditions exist with areas of mud.

Here in Ridgway, the Rock Quarry (a.k.a. Angel Ridge, World Class, Mountain Lion Alley, etc.) is in good, dry condition with spots of mud.

Remember: It’s best to ride what’s ready as muddy and snowy single track makes rutted single track once ridden–and no one likes that.

Skiing on snow is much more fun than trying to bike it. Patience…

When Does Our Bike Season Begin? Ready to Ride?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Riding to the Gateway Hut mid-summer

Here in Southwest Colorado in spring it’s flip-flop weather one day, Sorels the next. With iffy spring conditions, summer sounds real appealing and perhaps far off. But it’s time to book your bike trip. Do you know when the huts are available?

Both the Telluride and Durango to Moab routes open in June, but dates vary due to high elevation hut locations where snow can fall and linger past the summer solstice.

Telluride to Moab: June 2, 2012 

(High elevation huts include Last Dollar Hut at 11,000 feet and Spring Creek Hut at 9,100 feet)

Durango to Moab: June 15, 2012 

(High elevation huts include Bolam Pass Hut at 11,411 feet and Black Mesa Hut at 10,625 feet)

Remember, too, when booking your hut trip to keep in mind winter can make an early appearance, as early as late August. But late September is generally the time we warn riders most about potential snowfall. Be prepared!

Our summer season is short, but oh so sweet!