Race report by Matthew Palmer, member of The Path Bike Shop race team
I've heard about Counting Coup and Vision Quest for a couple years now. It's the local ride (race) hosted by the Warrior's Societythat starts way too early in the morning, and covers a majority of the Santa Ana Mountains I ride in isolated segments all year long. I tried to register for the 2012 race, but after logging on an hour after registration started, I was immediately denied. So for 2013, I was eager to register, not knowing what the ride demanded.
When it comes to producing cool bikes, Kona is on it! The 2013 Kona Operator is definitely one of the best downhill bikes I have owned and pedaled and honestly I was really sold on a Specialized Demo 8 thinking there was nothing better. Once I rode the Kona Operator, I was blown away!
It didn’t feel like a big, sluggish DH bike and I immediately noticed it sat higher in the travel. When I corner in braking bumps it feels way more stable than all my other DH bikes I have ever owned and the bike tracks very well through high speed corners to rocky off camber turns. The short chainstays really enhance the cornering and at the same time is still super stable at high speed chunk and straightaways. I felt comfortable the first time I jumped this bike, it handles well and was very predictable in the air and getting back on the ground!
The email from UQ race organizer Dave Wonderly the night before was as simple and it was true: “It’s going to be epic.”
And when the morning dawned wet, cloudy and warm, there was ample conjecture among UQers about what we faced in heights above. Speculation was as thick as the mud we’d be riding through as to how much frozen precipitation the mountains might hold. And with routinely minimal fanfare, DW lifted the flag and the pedaling began.
Sixty meters later, it ended.
Kudos to all The Path Bike Shop team and shop riders - (pictured, left to right) Jesse, Gerrin, Jake, Darin, Sanjay, and Josh - for their participation at the 2013 Ultra Quest this past weekend! They rode 38 miles, 12,000' elevation gain, 90% single track. Whew!
The conditions were amazing, the riders were stoked, the finishers were tired and a new course record was laid down.
Five Weeks, Zero Chain Drops
SRAM's XX1 Still Causes Fits
Live with SRAM XX1, the new 11-speed, single-chainring, slackless drivetrain for five weeks and you're going to have some regrets.
First, you'll find yourself stuck with the urge to burn all front derailleurs. Not just yours, either. Your friends will be beating you away from theirs, too. But that's not all. Oh, no. All your old-school chain-slapping rear derailleurs will be destined for the flames as well.
Truth is, if you ride in a way that's ever made your chain fall off, you'll be riding this stuff inside of 12 months. It's that good. With the switch from a Shimano 2x10 setup I lost both the chain-dropping antics common to clutchless drivetrains (yes, Shimano makes one. No, I didn't have it) and three quarters of a pound from the bike. It was like losing a noisy anchor. Missed it about as much, too.
The annual 12 Hours of Temecula Endurance Race Series had its first race of the season on January 19, 2013. The Foothill High School Mountain Bike team came out with a strong four-person team. They ended up landing a solid 3rd place finish in the 2-4 person Jr class, completing 12 laps in just 10 hours and 58 minutes.
Upcoming races for the team include 5 High School races, then State Championships in May 2013.
The Orange County Register did a feature on mountain biking in Orange County that included an interview with Ross Bennett, head coach of the Foothill High School team. This article also appeared in the print version of the OC Register with an additional interview from Tani Walling, owner of The Path Bike Shop.
We're really happy to sponsor and support such a great group of young local riders, and they're really proving what great accomplishments they are capable of.
For more information, race schedule, and to support the SoCal High School Cycling League, visit their website.
Top photo: Foothill High School team member McHenry Carlson prepared for his first lap with teammate Chris Taylor at the 12 hours of Temecula.
This is the 2013 Banshee Rune. This custom build features a 27.5" front wheel and a 26" rear wheel, plus SRAM's new 1x11 drivetrain.
Why do we like the Banshee Rune here at The Path Bike Shop?
The annual Path Bike Shop Turkey Day Ride rolled out of the Maple Springs trailhead at 6:30am or so with temps in the mid-forties. Dense fog socked in the lowlands of Tustin, but at the trailhead, sunny skies and crisp weather welcomed 15 riders to conquer the Maple Springs pavement and experience epic views from Four Corners.
by Bryan, a.k.a., "The Lad"
It was a great turnout for the last race of the season at Casper Wilderness Park on November 3rd, 2012 for the Enduro Stuff OC Parks Tour Race series. We had perfect weather conditions, an exciting technical course, and lots of energy all around.
Being a US Kenda Cup racer for the past 2 years, it was a pleasure to have participated in a local race series which utilizes the mountains I consider my backyard. I was thrilled to have placed 1st for the Single Speed category and placing podium for all 4 races which resulted 1st for the season.
I’m grateful to have support and motivation from my family and friends. It is of great honor and privilege to be riding with some of the best riders out there. A special thanks to Tani Walling, Neil Adams and my fellow teammates from the Path Bike Shop. It’s been a great season, and I’m pumped up for what’s to come for next year’s series.
Last Saturday September 29th was the SHARE Poker Ride, benefit for OC Parks. Great turnout, 350 riders came out to ride through Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
Special thanks to our The Path Bike Shop employees and friends for coming to help out! Heather, Auk, Andy, and Jordan, way to represent.
"…no sir, I'm holding on too tight, I've lost my edge…" (Top Gun)
Ten months ago, my left Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) was completely ruptured, every other ligament in my knee was at least partially torn, and one of the meniscus required repair work (basketball injury). Enter one magnificent orthopedic surgeon (Dr. David Gazzaniga), one stellar rehab center (Breakthrough Physical Therapy), and six months of arduous rehab and the knee is back FSA (Full-Speed Ahead).
Six weeks on crutches, 10 weeks off the bike, and about 14-weeks off the dirt messed with my mind: Or perhaps it was just mental games of wanting to avoid another blown ACL. I felt like that pilot, Cougar, in Top Gun, "…no sir, I'm holding on too tight, I've lost my edge…"
Visiting Kona Bicycles Headquarters in Washington, then driving up to Whistler, B.C. - a trip I will always look back on with great pleasure.
Every summer for years, I have been telling myself that this would be the summer I would make it to Whistler. After years of letting myself down, I was beginning to lose hope. So when our long time friend and Kona rep Kelly invited me to join him for three days in Whistler following the 2013 Kona product launch, I jumped at the chance. We flew in to Bellingham, Washington on Wednesday August 22nd. We arrived at around 4PM, and before sunset, we were racing around Bellingham on Kona Dr. Good bikes. The team up at Kona all are passionate and ripping riders who really know how to share a good time.
Really fun race on August 25th, 2012 out at O'Neill Regional Park as part of the Enduro Stuff OC Parks Tour Race series. The overcast conditions that have been hanging around the past couple days decided to stay around just long enough for the race to conclude. The weather made for comfortable riding on a fast and technical course. For me, it was awesome to reconnect with the local race community after participating in so many sanctioned races up in the mountains for US Cup and Rim Nordic.
I felt really sharp for being so late in the season. This race was one of my last for the year for XC MTB, so I was ready to go out on a high note alongside other Path riders and spectators. I continued to feel great during the fast 14.5 mile race with 2,200ft of climbing, finishing 1st in the Open Single Speed class.
I thought I'd share my experience racing downhill for the first time in the Pacific Northwest.
I've raced out at Fontana and at Woodward West in California. That's the extent of my downhill racing experience, which is not very extensive to say the least. It's been a couple of years since I've tried racing DH again. An opportunity came up to race at the NW Cup Race #5 which was held at Skibowl in Mt. Hood, Oregon. I thought I'd give it a shot.
Saturday's practice day was bright and sunny, a welcome sight around these parts. Dirt was in perfect shape since it had rained the night before. Skibowl has a chair lift, which was separated into two lifts in order to get all the way to the top.
The chance to enjoy the independence that was declared by our forefathers on July 4, 1776 with a Path shop ride, what else could one ask for? About 20 riders showed up for good times at the future Live Oak location of the Path Bike Shop. The mood was light: with a rogue water gun roaming the area, Tallboy manuals abounding, and frequent explorations through the new location
Course Marshall report? What the heck? This is a slightly different perspective on an age old tradition of ride reports and race recaps, the "Course Marshall Report."
The Path Bike Shop was the featured bike shop at the June 19th Over the Hump Race: an hour long lactic acid sufferfest and all around good time!
Matt Wenger and crew put on a great race and encourage a strong family atmosphere with kids races, music, and good food: oh yeah, the adult races are well put together too! The Path Bike Shop had: 1) racers (shop regulars, employees, and race team members) in virtually all categories (Experts, Super Sports, and Sports), 2) a tent with fruit platters, special edition water bottles, and mechanics, and 3) a small army of volunteers to help with course marshaling the race.
So I got back from a week and a half shindig in Hawaii a couple days before the Idyllwild Spring Challenge May 5th. I new it was going to be a painful race after a week and a half of sun and gluttony so my plan was to ride my own race and not get caught up in the hype of a world cup start, blow my load, and try to recover over the rest of the 25 miles of dirt and pavement. I wore a Camelback filled with my delicious blueberry pomegranate sports drink, confident enough that I would stay hydrated and I wouldn't need a feed. I normally would bottle feed, but an unfortunate injury to my FEED thumb told me otherwise...by the end of the race I was shifting with my palm. I had my Gu's and my tools and even got in a decent warm up.
I was ready to race, but within about 40 minutes I would find out that I wasn't prepared.
May 14-18 is National Bike to Work Week, and Friday May 18 is Bike To Work Day. This month is filled with lots of cycling events across the country, and a renewed commitment by many to ride more often and to encourage others to ditch their cars and try taking their bicycles instead.
Even small steps can make a big difference. According to the League of American Bicyclists, 50% of all household trips are 3 miles or less, yet nearly 90% of those are made by car.
Using a bike for short trips (to work, school, the library or supermarket) leads to improved health, reduction in traffic congestion, and a noticeable savings in your wallet.
Aliso Woods Wilderness Park has been one of the best places to ride your mountain bike in Orange County for a very long time. Park authorities have never allowed a mountain bike race in the park until this past Saturday!