See the look on my face in the photo of me with my bike? Not happy. Went off a jump wrong, leg came off the bike and hyperextended my knee really bad. So bad I thought I dislocated my knee (although that's hard to do). So bummed.
I partially dislocated my left shoulder in college on my first mountain bike with front suspension. A Haro Escape- hard tail. Fun bike- but that messed me up for a while. Took forever to be able to paddle surfing correctly again.
My doctor doesn't think my meniscus is torn, or my ACL. He thinks my muscles and tendons were really strained- and they are just taking their time to heal. On week two and a half now. Walking and rehabbing. Light cycling and acupuncture too.
I'm watching mountain bike vids every day and focusing on healing up quick. I never took my health for granted- but it does make me relish the thought of not being hurt. But you learn from your mistakes- and that's a big part of biking... Lots of learning.
It could've been worse- so I'm grateful it wasn't. I can't wait to ride again... Hopefully sooner than later!
We make great shorts. That's not self-inflating hype, that's the consensus of thousands of customers who have bought ZOIC shorts over the years, as expressed by all of you who tell us about it in reviews you post online and the stories you share with us at events, and as evidenced by all of you who come back to buy multiple colors of your favorite styles.
Mixed in with all of those reviews and stories are often requests. A common request we hear is "Why don't you sell your shorts without liners? I wear my ZOIC shorts for (choose any combination: hiking, rock climbing, trail running, yard work, etc. etc.)" Well, our original proposition was to give you the versatility of a pair of relaxed fit cycling shorts with a removable liner so you could wear the shorts any way you liked; and it sounds like that's working. But now so many people love our shorts that they want more for every day wear, or want to upgrade to our Premium or Impact liners, so they would like to just buy more outer shorts.
In response, a few months ago we made the liner optional online for some of our best-selling shorts, offering the shorts without liners for a savings of $20, and the response has been impressive. Now over 30% of the shorts we sell directly are sold without liners. Thank you all for showing us the way!
Summers are cool here in West Virginia. Temps rarely go into the Eighties and let's face it, its a rain forest! The last two summers, I've been getting people to come up from the city lowlands to take one of my skills clinics or guide them on a ride. Its so nice riding in head high ferns and soaking legs in cold creeks, while getting to ride technical terrain.
Seven lucky ladies attended the Canaan MTB School and honed log hopping skills, off camber roots and rock gardens. It was a beautiful weekend of sunshine and warm temps.
Next up was a Women's Pedalpalloza Skills Weekend at Bryce Mountain Bike Park in Virginia. This was my first gig teaching at a bike park and it was awesome. Bryce is a very well built, user friendly park. It is a great place to learn jumping, berms and gaps. I'll be back there in September hosting a Queen of the Mountain Women's MTB Festival.
July wrapped up with a second place at National Championships in the Super D. I was stoked to get second to Olympian, Georgia Gould, by a mere 5 seconds on the tricky Pennsylvania roots and rocks. That second place fuels my fire for attending Nationals next year in Bend, Oregon where they will replace Super D with Enduro.
Today I met Gangju Jo from South Korea at 7-11 in Cardiff as I was walking in to get something to drink, since it was like 83 degrees. I noticed his bike first, loaded with riding, camping and travel gear… but not as much as you’d think. It was packed up pretty nice and neat. Then I saw Gangju who was wearing a long sleeve Race Face lycra shirt- and I realized he was on a long ride. Little did I know how far he’d come.
He flew over from South Korea on a 30 day visa to ride his bike from Montreal Canada, all the way down the east coast to Florida. Then from Florida he rode through the south, down through Texas, up into Las Vegas and over to San Diego… in two months! His Visa is up in 2 weeks, so he wanted to get going up to San Clemente as he is ending his trip in San Francisco. Camping the whole way for the most part.
I bet he had some awesome stories to tell, but he spoke limited English, and I don’t speak a lick of Korean, but I wish I did.
I was not only impressed and stoked about his journey, but his attitude was so positive and happy. He was having a blast. His motto for the trip was: “ I gotta do what I wanna’ do”. He could’ve flown anywhere in the world and he chose to fly to America and see our country on a bike. That’s pretty damn cool.
I wish I’d had some Zoic gear to give him, but I didn’t have anything. I told him I was a mountain biker- he nodded and approved. But I bet he was tired of sitting on his bike seat.
Here at Keystone Colorado for the 3rd stop of the Big Mountain Enduro Series, and also part of the North American Enduro Tour. Its been a fun but rough month of training and racing. I found myself over trained and in a hole for the first two stops of the Big Mountain Enduro Series. Riding with no power and tired. My last couple of races I felt like I was holding on for dear life, never in control. Never good signs for any athlete. So I took 4 days off the bike to recharge the batteries. I later found out after a Chiropractor visit that my back and body are severely out of alignment. So I have been working with a chiropractor to get that resolved. The first round I ended up 21st with a crash and a mechanical. The second round of the series I ended up 9th with 9 hours of sleep for the whole weekend (lack of sleep is the main sign of overtraining and not enough rest). That's when I pulled the plug and decided to take some time off the bike.
June was a really busy month for me. I started out the month getting back to some racing after a nasty rib injury kept me on the race sidelines. One of my favorite races is the Massanutten HooHa Enduro and XC races in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Its one of those long standing rocky east coast races that added an Enduro to the mix last year. I was stoked to see some young female riders in attendance and even more tickled to fend off the youngsters for another year taking the win both days! The next weekend was another double doing the Cooper's Rock Enduro on Saturday placing first and the Cooper's Rock XC Classic on Sunday and taking second place. It's a really great trend that is happening on the East Coast right now with all these double weekends. Some events are even doing downhill races one day and Enduros the next. It really hones in on skills and fitness to do both.
It was a pleasure to once again be in Slatyfork, West Virginia to be an instructor for the Elk River Touring Center Women's Singletrack Weekend. Its a special weekend because the riding is really tough and rugged, but then we come back to a beautiful lodge that serves amazing food. It was great to have ZOIC National Sales Manager, Abbie Newell, in attendance. Abbie is always fun to be around and she really gained some confidence in her mountain biking.
Cascadia Dirt Cup Rd 1 was this past weekend. I couldn't have been a more different experience than round one of the Oregon Enduro Series the previous week.
OES #1 was located in wonderful Hood River, OR. You've got breweries breakfast spots, coffee and great bike shops and all of it's located within 15 minutes of the trailhead. Hood River is an epic outdoor adventure destination location! CDC #1 was located in the middle of nowhere southwest, WA. You've got… a correctional facility nearby. Seriously. And if you drive 30 minutes or so you can get all the prototypical restaurants and amenities.
Advantage = OES
OES #1 = sun.
CDC #1 = rain.
Advantage = OES
OES #1 was dry but not too dusty. If you're from California, I imagine you felt right at home. If you're from Washington state, the dry marbles are mostly foreign. I'd estimate we get somewhere between 8-10 weeks of dry conditions in an entire year and they are between the months of June and September. That means I hadn't ridden in these conditions in almost a year. On the other hand, CDC #1 was the complete and absolute opposite. It was a mudfest. The sort of conditions that you'd stay home on an average weekend instead of take months of life off your drivetrain. These are conditions that result in replacing bottom brackets and chains every couple months. The pre-ride on Friday greeted us with puddles galore and by the time Saturday morning rolled around, it was deep, sloppy, mud. Energy sapping mud.
Advantage = Neither
Just one weekend ago, I competed at the first round of the Oregon Enduro Series in Hood River, Oregon.
It was an Enduro. In case you've been sleeping under a rock, it's the latest and greatest form of mountain bike racing.
If you listen closely throughout the event, the words of these riders, riders with both incredible fitness and superb bike handling skills, you begin to appreciate why enduro has taken off. The insights you can gather from these riders is profound.
Without further ado, let the riders speak for themselves...
- Fanny packs. Seriously, DaKine has a fanny pack and all the cool kids were wearing them.
- Water bottles. They're back! Okay, for some, they never went away, but for Enduro, they're almost as cool as fanny packs.
- Water bottle holding spandex. Seriously, there's a spandex bib that holds a water bottle so you can ditch your pack. Definitely cool, but seriously, does it get any more enduro!? And if anyone wears these without baggies they need to be punched.
- 6 inches is the way to go. Guys and gals all seem to agree.
- "I'm the Sam Hill of Enduro". I'm. Not. Kidding. Two 'kids' not quite of legal drinking age had a conversation between stages 7 and 8 that included this quote because he was riding with flat pedals.
- "You know that one corner with the [enter trail feature here]." For instance, "You know that one corner with the super dry dirt" or "You know that one corner that has a berm". For crying out loud, we've ridden 20 miles today, no, I don't know that completely nondescript part of the trail!
In the past 5 years, enduro racing has taken off. Alas, it's not surprising. The convergence of technology and trail building has created an opportunity. Suspension alone has come a long way in the last decade. Add the incredible effort of passionate cyclists working tirelessly with land owners/managers. The two together are a powerful combination and voila, enduro. (At least that's my story today. Happy to hear your theories on why now and not 10 years ago though!?)
And there's also the natural tendency of the mountain bike industry as a whole to segment and fragment into niche upon niche. And while that's no different than the motorcycle or automotive industries, the relative size of the mountain bike market makes for some comparatively small segments. And the upside of small segments is the formation of another relatively tight knit cycling community, the enduro crowd. And a bunch of likeminded people sharing in the thing they love to do makes for some epic times.
Headed up to Big Bear on Sunday June, 1st with a crew of friends to shred some brown powder, and we
were greeted with perfect weather and riding temps. I was having some mechanical issues with my
Yeti 575 and left it at home and opted to rent a full DH bike to see what that was like… holy crap it’s
a different world of riding.
I rented Trek Session 88… that thing was so plush and absorbed every hit, bump, rock and turn... it was
insane! However, I forgot that riding park is a whole different deal than a normal XC or Enduro ride.
And when you have a full DH bike you aren’t used to riding, you’re body is getting a full workout that by
the time you get to the bottom you can’t wait to sit on the lift and collect yourself.
Luckily, we didn’t have any accidents or bad crashes (a couple spills though) with our crew. My boy Marco was shredding on
his Santa Cruz Bronson. My new friend Alex was making me feel like I just started biking as he
boosted off of every jump and was pinning it with exceptional speed…. guess that’s what happens when
you spend time getting trained in the Whistler bike park learning sweet skills. HIs girlfriend Marie
had her first day on the mountain of the year on her DH bike and she was cruising and having a blast.
Needless to say, we were all wiped out after our 8 or 9 runs and ready to crush some Mexican food
on the way home and pass out that night with big grins on our faces from a rad day of bombing
Snow Summit. Also, I was born in Big Bear, so there is a special spot in my heart for that town.
Can’t wait for the next trip…