Tag: Salsa

Agua Caliente Fatbike Camp Day Deuce

In going through my pics I noticed something. I didn’t have too many pic of fatbikes being pedaled. No gnarly jumps, rad wheelies or sick skids. I wish I did, but I didn’t get anything like that. Instead what I found in my camera were people. People stoked to be out in the desert. Stoked to be pedalin’ fatbikes with like-minded folks I suppose. Heading to this ride I knew three people. That was it. But by the end of the weekend there were no strangers. This was one of the best trips I’d been on in a long time. Ok, maybe the only trip I’ve been on in a long time, but that’s besides the point. This was just what I needed, when I needed it.

Oh, and if’n for some reason you don’t know about Brendan and Mary of The Hub Cyclery in Idyllwild, well now you do. Do yourself a favor and go ride in their neck o’ the woods. You’ll be glad you did.


Agua Caliente Fatbike Camp

I spent the weekend down near Aqua Caliente hot springs for a gathering of fatbikery. Brendan and Mary from the Hub Cyclery in Idyllywild scheduled a weekend of group camping and desert pedalin’. Pretty low key and good times were the plan. Pretty much nailed it.

Saturday we pedaled, cooked and then soaked in hot springs. Sunday we cooked and pedaled again. What else can I say? Oh yeah, it was rad! Here are the pics from day one!


Strawberry Peak Loop

I got an invite from Erik to ride on Sunday around Strawberry Peak in Angeles National Forest. The area has been closed for a few years since the Station Fire in 2009 but has recently re-opened, which is exciting news. The loop was going to be mostly singletrack with only the first part of the climb on a fireroad. We parked the truck at the parking lot for Switzers and rode up the highway to the start of the dirt. Right at the start I had an issue with my bike. My derailluer hangar was bent and I kept throwing the chain. Erik helped to get it back aligned and while it was finicky, it managed to make it the rest of the day without any issues.

After the fireroad we started up the singletrack. I was admittedly out of my element, but that’s why I was out there. I wanted to push myself and spend time learning to ride tight singletrack better. I was pretty nervous for a chunk of it and had to walk a few sections. Either because I lost momentum and it was steep, or because I looked down. Don’t look down! Look where you want to go and not where you don’t want to end up!

We made our way around the peak and on the backside we dropped down to a sandy flat. The descent was pretty sketchy with all the loose sand and exposed dropoffs so we walked parts of it.

After the meadow we climbed pack up to the saddle. It was slow going at the start. Lots of pushing and hiking and the Stoke Meter was dropping into negative numbers on that section. It’s funny how a ride can so quickly change when there is not much riding happening. It wasn’t long before we made the saddle and the Stoke Meter started to climb back up again. The descent down the 2 near Red Box was super fun and fast. I felt like I was figuring things out and was feeling more confident. What a blast!

Look closely and you can see Erik.

We made it to Red Box where I enjoyed a refreshing beverage as Serbrina calls them. From there it was about 4 miles or so more back to the truck. This final section of single track had it all. Rock gardens, sand, drops, rock steps and fast sections. It was the most fun and also the most challenging section. It was also the section where I started cleaning more obstacles. Confidence inspiring was how I would describe that section. Only problem was that I was having so much fun I didn’t take any pics! Guess that means I’ll have to go back. Thanks for a great day out on the bike Erik!


Bikes and Friends

A few weeks ago I got word that Ben was gonna be out in California for a few days for work. Work for Ben is demoing the current line of Salsa bikes. Not a bad gig right? He brought out three different rides for people to try out. Mostly for the mountain bike crowd. They had the Salsa Spearfish, Horsethief and the Carbon Beargrease! The lightest of fatbikes was gonna be here in So Cal! I’m in! Oh, and I get to hang out with Ben too. Bonus!

Salsa Van!

Ben and I met back in 2012 when we fatbiked the Northern Shore of Lake Superior in March. Yeah, March. Cold and, well, cold. Then we pedaled again together in 2013 touring part of the Stagecoach 400 route. He’s a super fun dude and I was lookin’ forward to just hangin’ out all day. It’s not often that he’s out here.

New Salsa Van!

I loaded up my Spearfish on the back of my moto. Yep, that’s what I said. On the back of my moto. It’s a crazy idea that I’ve been wanting to try out for some time. What a great idea right? Moto ride to a bike ride? Best of both worlds? Well, I’m not convinced personally. As you can imagine it really affects the handling of the bike. I’m sure some motos are better suited to this than others. Also, lighter bikes make for better handling on the moto. Hangin’ my fatbike off the back is really tough in my opinion.

BMW GS800 Adventure with Salsa Spearfish on the back.

It’s quite the head turner. I think I counted at least five people taking pictures on the way south and back north again. And those are just the ones I saw!

Carbon Beargrease

I rode the Carbon Beargrease for the first time. I thought for sure that I’d love it, but I have to say it didn’t do anything for me. Yeah, it was light. I guess it rolled fast, but I wasn’t that impressed. I suppose having a Mukluk Ti makes it tougher to impress me. Go figure.

Salsa Spearfish

The bikes I had the most fun on were the Spearfish and the Horsethief. I was surprised that I liked them as much as I did to be honest. Neither one is for the type of riding that I normally do. Maybe that’s the point though. Something different to liven things up? Something new? I rode a short loop that included a fun water crossing, a rocky climb and a technical (to me anyways) climb. Then all of that in reverse!

Salsa Spearfish

I’m not skilled or comfortable in singletrack and technical riding but I tried pushing myself a bit. I pointed the bikes both up and down the rockiest, steepiest and rutted out sections of the trails. Both bikes just rolled over everything with total ease and made me feel like I knew what I was doing. I even got a compliment from another mountain biker when I “cleaned” a section that made my clinch my cheeks! Maybe there’s something to this mountain biking stuff after all!


As I type this up I realize that I didn’t take any pics of Ben! Nothing of us sitting around and laughing. Eating salami. Talking about past trips or making plans for new ones. I guess that’s something that I need to work on for the blog side of things. Making sure I have what I want to tell a story. Too often though it’s best just to be in the moment and enjoy your time with your friends. That’s exactly what I did. Spend time with an old friend and make some new ones. I can’t really say I messed up if I look at it like that right? See you soon Ben!


JPL and Beyond

I’ve been lookin’ at this route on paper for a while and it was time to pedal it. To figure out just how bad, or not, it was. How much walkin’. How much pushin’. I emailed the usual suspects and only Bruce was able to join me. The rest of the gang said they had “shit to do”. I think I should ask people to join me first and then describe the ride. Maybe that’s my flaw.


We both rode our Fargos which were going to be perfect for a ride like this. Lots of fireroad, some single track and a good portion of pavement to get there and back. We actually both agreed that our older Fargo builds with a triple really shines on this bike. It’s so good to shift into the big ring and chase down roadies after using the little ring in the morning climbing dirt roads.


I don’t like to carry a backpack, but I opted for the good camera today. In fact I had three of them, counting my phone, which made Bruce laugh. Good for him though, since he had his own photographer all day. I used my Topo Designs Trip Pack to carry my camera, some snacks and my map and compass. It is the perfect size for that stuff. (If’n you’re interested in their bags let me know. I have a discount code!)



We started the dirt at JPL which was smooth for a while and then we hit the washed out section. We pushed for about 20 yards and then were able to ride again. A large group of Boy Scouts stood to the side of the trail and allowed us to pedal past. I thanked them all as we rode by. We should’ve yielded to them so it was very kind of them to wave us past. We started climbing out of the canyon and taking advantage of the incline I practiced my non-existent wheelie skills. The second one I held for a solid 1.5 seconds and when the front touched down I heard a hiss from the rear. Was that a snake? Some bugs in the brush? Please? Nope you idiot! Horsin’ around I cut the sidewall on the rear. My tubeless tire didn’t have enough jizz (that’s what I call it) to seal it up anymore. I tried adding air and the cut grew with the pressure. Oh well, that’s why you carry tubes right? I handed Bruce the camera to document the process.




Rolling again it was up and up and up. We could see the Angeles Crest way above us and, at the time, I didn’t think we would climb that high. I was wrong. We finally popped out at the Crest and decided to pedal up some more to another fire road. One that neither of us had been on, but had passed probably hundred’s of times. Mt. Lukens fire road.




We were running out of time so I suggested we climb to a point where it looked like we could see the front of the range. We had been climbing up through the smaller canyons and I was hoping for a view.




So we pushed on and rewarded with not only a view, but a bench to sit at. Sitting there we could see most of our route up the canyon and the many “steps” we took to get up there. It was the perfect place to wrap up our day.


The payoff for all this climbing of course was a fun downhill. I guess that’s part of why we do what we do. Pedal up to shred down. That’s what we did, and it was good.




Fatbike Friday

With all the news this week of fatbikes getting more boingy and less bouncy I decided I should ride my old style one. It has no suspension and no carbon, but it’s a smile maker through and through. It always brings out the kid in me and fuels the stoke.


When I was 8 lounging on the beach I couldn’t have imagined I’d be riding bikes like this. I mean I was too busy working on my tan and making sure my bear Yogi was cool too. Hope your weekend is as rad as this pic of me from ’82 is. And by that I mean super f’in rad!



Salsa Spearfish Framebag

I’m headed out this weekend on an overnighter with a couple of friends. After some local intel from Brendan at The Hub Cyclery I’ve decided to ride the Salsa Spearfish for this trip. The Spearfish is not a bike that I’ve ever used for bikepacking, and to be honest I’m still figuring out how to ride it. Having suspension is a foreign thing to me. I know it’s working, but it just feels weird. Who cares about that though.

The main issue for me is that the frame makes it tough to carry gear inside the triangle. I don’t like gear on my back, so this has been a concern for me. Also, the forks don’t have bottle mounts like my trusty Fargo does. So I made a custom framebag that is just big enough to carry a water bladder, which will equal the amount of water I’m used to traveling with The problem of course is that all the gear that I carry in my framebag will have to go somewhere else. That’s for another night though. Here are some in progress shots of the framebag and the payoff is the framebag mounted up. I still need to trim the straps to the right length, but the hard work is done. Now it’s time to ride it!






Mt. Lowe in the Wet

I’d been itchin’ to get out and pedal. Been a while since I’ve been wrestlin’ with a cold and an annoying cough. Friday was lookin’ good but we woke up to some rain on Saturday. I wasn’t really looking forward to riding in the rain, but Bruce wanted to break in his new Fargo. I guess we were riding.

We left the truck with a steady down pour and headed up. I felt like I was back on the Divide. The constant wet, the creek forming on the side of the road. I sure didn’t feel like I was in Los Angeles. I was though. I love this place.