dawn and sunrise on the road rideby Eric Akiyoshi, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

After a 15-week hiatus, the Path’s Friday Dawn Patrol road ride is back!   

One might wonder why the break (well, maybe two people might wonder since that’s the usual number of folks that show up…)?  In late October, one of the ride leaders had ACL replacement and lateral meniscus repair surgery and was: 1) immobile for 5-days, 2) on crutches for 5 more weeks, 3) off the bike for an additional 4-5 weeks, and 3) continues to be embarrassingly slow as he recovers!  But we digress…

Team Trials Alliance riderphotos and report from Team Trials Alliance, sponsored by The Path Bike Shop

Team Trials Alliance made an appearance this past weekend at the Enduro Stuff Challenge mountain bike race at the Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  The event featured 200 registered riders enduring two challenging loops within the park.  Team Trials Alliance members Monica Thompson, Shaun Goldman, Joshua Barney and Scott Thompson performed observed bicycle trials demos after the event wrapped up and entertained those waiting for the race awards. 

Members would like to thank race promoter Ron Sawicki and The Path Bike Shop for allowing trials to be at the venue and gaining needed support and visibility for the sport.  Check out Facebook.com/TrialsAlliance for pictures of Team Trials Alliance members in action at the event and www.TrialsAlliance.com for the latest on the crew.

-Team Trials Alliance

Salsa Ti Fargo bikeby Eric Akiyoshi, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

Salsa Ti Fargo


Evolution – “the process of working out or developing” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Road Bike…Cyclocross (CX)…Monstercross…Fargo Cross (FX)?!?!?!

After almost 9 years of commuting to work via bicycle on everything from an Ellsworth Joker to a Moots Compact Road bike, I met the Salsa Ti Fargo.  The Fargo has been around since 2008, and in 2011, Salsa released their Ti version:  US made (by Lynskey) and weighs in right around 3.25-lbs +/-.  The Fargo is Salsa’s “…drop-bar, offroad, adventure bike” complete with 3 (on the small) or 4 waterbottle bosses on the frame, rack tabs, and disc only brakes.

road cyclists out riding at dawnRide report by Eric, a.k.a. "Auk" - The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Team and Friday Dawn Patroler

Like cooking a good prime rib, this morning's Friday Dawn Patrol took time and care to come together.  Early in the week I got an e-mail from Drew asking if the FDP was on for this week;  I'd been asking him for weeks if he'd join us.  A day or so later, two other guest riders were in as well.  

It takes time and care to make a great prime rib.  Today, time and care produced an all-star cast of solid riders looking to stretch their legs on a 5:30am pleasure-fest through the Santiago Canyon.

Santa Cruz Tallboyby Josh Jacquot, member of The Path Race Team

Conventional mountain bike wisdom says that the quick way through feature-filled backcountry trails is with five to six inches of travel and 26-inch wheels. Conventional mountain bike wisdom is changing.

Big-wheel bikes are proving themselves capable in virtually any environment – from the World Cup to the Downieville All-Mountain World Championships to, well, wildly insignificant races here in our local Santa Ana Mountains – like this year’s Ultra Quest.

Here’s a closer look at the bike that won that race – a Santa Cruz Tallboy built specifically for covering ground quickly in the backcountry. At 24.8 pounds ready to ride, this bike is three to six pounds lighter than most long-travel small-wheel bikes, yet it’s at home on the same terrain.

UltraQuest rideUltra Quest 2011: A Tale of Carnage, Suffering, Reward and Friendship

Race report by Josh Jacquot, member of The Path Race Team
  • - Doctor bill for closing the puncture wound sustained in training: $233
  • - Tire testing to determine the optimum rubber for wildly varied terrain: $314
  • - Derailleur, pivot bearings and other neurotic parts replacements: $375 
  • - Suffering massively but finishing strong in a race with no number plates: Priceless

Once again, DW, the Prime Minister of Pain, ushered in spring with a day of back-country racing of unrivaled difficulty. The route through the Santa Anas remained the same as last year: Upper San Juan Loop, Chiquito, Blue Jay, The Wall, Bell Ridge, Yeager Mesa, Trabuco, Los Pinos, San Juan, Chiquito.

A big congrats to all the participants of the 2011 Southridge Winter Series! Five races total for the series that spanned from January through to March. The last race of the series was last Sunday March 6th. Way to go Path team!

Southridge Winter Series 2011 Overall Standings

  • Mark Herrmann - 1st Place, Expert Men
  • Roger Gutierrez - 3rd Place, Expert Men
  • Nancy Harris - 3rd Place, Open Women

Team Matias in ChileTeam Matias from ChileThe Path Bike Shop is represented all the way in Chile!

Team Matias members:

  • Luis Matias
  • Jose Matias
  • Francisco Matias
  • Pedro Ferreira

These guys have been longtime customers of The Path Bike Shop, and now they're sponsored riders. Major  riding talent in this crew. They took part in the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race this past February, with such elite world-class riders as Cedric Gracia, Filip Polc, and Christopher Van Dine.

Tani and Milton with Santa Cruz Tallboy bikecontributed by Milton, a valued customer here at The Path Bike Shop

I purchased my Santa Cruz Tallboy from The Path a few months ago (I’m the one with Tani in the pic).  I am writing this unsolicited update of my experiences. 

Let’s first start with the basics.  Why did I choose the Tallboy?  My rationale was I wanted a 29er.  But, the main drawback of 29ers was the weight.  Based on simple physics, the heavier the bike, the more effort the climbs.  On the flip side, I come from a road bike background, and the 29er just feels right.  Also, descents are better/easier because I feel 29er rolls over stuff better.  With my skills (or lack thereof), I need all the help I can get.

Sunrise on a road rideby Eric Akiyoshi, member of The Path Ambassador Race Team

 <4:40 am - Alarm buzzing in the background>

"?!?!? What the heck ?!?!?  Where am I?  Whuh?... Oh yeah, darn that Friday Morning Dawn Patrol road ride!  Maybe it'll be raining and I can go back to sleep...nope...maybe Brian will have called me saying he had a rough night and wants to sleep in...nope...maybe my bike, sitting in the living room will have spontaneously flatted both tires, and I can make up some lame excuse why I can't ride today...nope..."

These are the thoughts that roll through my mind every week before the Friday Pre-Dawn Patrol Ride.  So why do we do this ?  Hmmm...

Canfield Yelli Screamy bikeby Eric Akiyoshi, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

Canfield Brothers tossed the “Yelli Screamy” into a whirlwind of 29er frames and evolving geometries. I, for one, have been yearning for a 29er with chainstays shorter than 17.75-inches and a head angle slacker than 69.5-degrees.

We’ve all heard that a 29er that's too slack feels like your driving a truck, blah, blah, blah…but instead of “steering,” the Yelli Screamy respectfully asks that one “handle” the bike. You know, push left to go right, lean, keep your elbows from tucking into your side, and look through the turn type of stuff…

Santa Cruz Tallboyby Erik Williams, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

Finally got a Santa Cruz Tallboy, size XXL. 

Initial thoughts after my first ride (Harding to Motorway):
 
Osprey Raptor 10 packby Eric Akiyoshi, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

In 2010 Osprey Packs entered the fray of mountain bike / adventure racing hydration packs. They released a series called the “Hydraulics.” They have done an outstanding job with the Raptor 10 pack (competitor to the Camelbak Mule).

For those of you unfamiliar with Osprey Packs, they have been around since 1974 and have been primarily a backpacking pack maker. This reviewer has been using Osprey packs since about 1993 or 1994. One thing that I appreciate about Osprey is that they continuously make improvements to their products, never satisfied that they have, “arrived.” This is quite apparent with the Raptor 10 pack.

The Raptor 10 has approximately 600 cubic inches of storage, holds 100 oz of water, and has three zippered compartments. There is also an outer stretch woven pocket for a little external storage - visit the Osprey website for more information . The “key features” tab has some very informational pics as well. Some other cool features include: a built in magnetic retainer for the bite valve, pockets on the belt to hold some food / energy stuff, and a bladder that’s worth an entire review itself.

three DH racers at Woodward Westby Carla Bray, staff member at The Path Bike Shop

Representing The Path Bike Shop at Woodward West: Carla, Mark, & Eric. Photo: Six3Events, Mike Lord

Eric and I were unable to practice the course the Saturday before, so we were there first thing in the morning on Sunday to run the course. Mark had gone to practice on Sunday, so he guided us through the course for our first run. The dirt was perfect; it had snowed a few days before the weekend, so the melted snow had soaked in and made the dirt nice and tacky. There was some mud in a few low spots, but otherwise it was completely "hero dirt" throughout the entire course. Weather was great with temps in the low 70s.

Mark was racing in the Expert Men class, Eric was in the Sport Men class, and I was racing in the Sport Women class.

Vision Quest 2010 mountain bike raceRace report by Leslie Williams, The Path Bike Shop race team member

Last year at this time, I was much larger, watching Erik come in from the Counting Coup, with baby due in just a few weeks. Since then, I have replaced long endurance miles with long endurance night feedings, and the only intervals I have done have been up the stairs for diaper
changes.

Two weeks ago, however, someone wanted to sell their spot in the Coup, so I tentatively took it. I miss the long hours in the dirt. What I don’t miss, as I was reminded of this morning, is getting up at 3:45 am. So two weeks ago, my training began with Blackstar to the Motorway. Then the following weekend I added the paved part of Maple. Perfect.

Ultraquest 2010 mountain bike raceRace report by Josh Jacquot, member of The Path Race Team

“This all seemed like a good idea back in January.”

That’s all I could think as the eternity of push climbing and small-ring suffering on Los Pinos trail conspired to wholly crush my spirit for racing in such brutal and unforgiving terrain. But what else should I have expected from our friends at the Laguna Rads?

This had all started more than four hours earlier at the National Forest parking area at the Upper San Juan Loop trailhead. Race Director DW began the day by offering the route (Upper San Juan Loop, Chiquito, Blue Jay, The Wall, Bell Ridge, Yeager Mesa, Trabuco, Los Pinos, San Juan, Chiquito). His speech included the notion that we couldn’t cheat by riding down the easy way to hit Chiquito. Instead, he said, we would drop out of the back side of the lot “into the steep, rocky shit and that after that all the shortcuts were fair game.” And with those gloriously sincere and informal words he began to pedal. Apparently, it was on.

Stan’s Crest 29er Wheelsby Josh Jacquot, The Path Bike Shop race team member

Here’s a quick way to shave half a pound or more of rotating weight from your 29er trail or race bike. Stan’s new Crest rim offers similar weight to the company’s 355 but provides a wider rim cavity (21mm) than the Arch or 355 in order to maximize tire volume. At an average weight of 370 grams, these rims are a full 100 grams lighter than the Arch. 

Here are some pics from the past DH race in the Southridge Winter Series, Race #3 in Fontana, CA. Some of The Path Bike Shop team riders in action!

DH racing at Southridge Winter Series
Jim McNeil, Pro Men. photo: Chris Wood Photography

Ventana El Ciclon custom Path Bike Shop geometryWe've got a small run of Ventana El Ciclon frames coming in...but these are no ordinary El Ciclon frames.

Made and developed for The Path Bike Shop, this Ventana El Ciclon Special Edition is still a 5-inch travel bike, but with some differences in geometry. This special custom geometry is made for those who want an all-mountain bike made to attack the climbs and the descents equally well. Great option for a lightweight Super D race bike.

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