Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holidays

    It's been a while but I didn't forget about it. I can't describe in a enough words what work has been like these past few months. In all it's great to be at a busy ad agency. Enough about that.

    Winter has arrived and for the first time, I keep hoping it gets cold. Why, because the ground will freeze and I won't have to ride in the mud. When I first started mtn. biking, I loved riding in the mud. I really never knew the bad effects I caused doing that but thought it was a lot of fun. Now a days, after doing trail maintenance at my local riding spot, I try to stay away from the trails, when it gets muddy.

    I finally broke down this year and bought winter mtn. bike shoes. The day after Thanksgiving, my favorite bike shop, Halter's Cycles had a black Friday sale. 20% off on bikes and 30% off on everything else. I picked myself up Lake MXZ302 winter mtb shoe. Yea, they aren't cheap but I'm sure they will last a lot longer than any other mtb shoe I ever had. They are pretty toasty warm, but I haven't had the chance to actually wear them in a ride because I needed to order an extra set of Time ATAC cleats. If you use these, this is the best price on the internet.

    Christmas has come and gone (Merry Christmas to you!) Santa brought me a nice long sleeve Fox Jersey, a cool 2008 mtn bike calendar, a Price Point gift card and Roam dvd. I also got the green light to purchase a road bike. I have no idea what brand to get but I want to get a good frame and fork, that way, I can always upgrade it from there.

    Many thanks to those who have listened to me rant in 2007. I want to be a better blogger in 2008 and HOPEFULLY design a new blog/site in the new year.

Have a safe New Year!

happy frozen trails
~dirty bert

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Upgradin'!



    i'm look to do a lil upgrades on my bike. when i first set out to build my bike up, i selected all the parts that i wanted and knew that were good. so i basically got my dream bike and parts to boot. after riding it for 2 years, i finally figured out that i need a new stem. it's not like i broke my old stem but it's to short for me to climb with. the front end of the bike pops up on steep climbs. it has nothing to do wit weight distribution but for the fact that it's a 90mm and i want 110 like i have used in the past.

    i saw this stem, called Rotor S1 stem. It's being sold by Speedgoat. the 110mm weighs 108 grams and cost 160 bucks!! i mean i'd like a light stem. i'm no huckster, nor smooth on my bike but the price of the stem out weights the actual cost of the stem.




    i'm sure i will need to replace the cassette soon, as well as the chain and the rear tire has seen better days. i will try to get the XTR cassette, i got the chain already and new tires, i'll ask around and see what everyone else is using and liking or dislikin'.

    i went to local bike store and bought 3 tubes for $19.50!! jeeze! u got to be kiddin' i just saw online at Price Point, 10 tubes for $19.98! yes i know, i'd have to pay for shipping and then have to wait for it to come, but the mark up at the shop is insane! support yer local shop, yea yea yea, i know but come on!

happy trails
~dirty bert

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New bike friend!

2008 giant yukon fx


    so one of my friends wants to jump into mtn biking. "find me a bike between 5 to 600 bucks wit full suspension and disc brakes!" finding a bike in that price range can be difficult, if you ever notice all the bikes are the same parts and different colors. yer looking at a bike at least 35 pounds, a coil shock, a low end front fork and disc brakes and maybe some flashy colors on the frame with a fancy name. i'm not trying to be a snob by saying negative things about these bikes but, when it comes down to the long run, these parts will fail you quicker than you expected AND with mtn biking being so addicting, you will want to head back to the bike shop and buy something better.

    as you can see above, this is the 2008 giant yukon fx. it's equipped with a RockShox Dart 2 100mm suspension fork, Giant air shock, SRAM SX-4 trigger shifting, SX-4 rear derailleur, Hayes MX-4 mechanical disc brakes and a WTB Dual Duty XC rim/Formula disc hub wheelset. honestly not a bad setup for a beginner bike, the way i look at it, it's something to build from for a year or 2. swap out the shifters and rear derailleur for SRAM X7's or X9's and maybe go with a lighter wheelset and you got a great transformation of yer bike.

    i'm going to try to get more close up pics soon, i saw it in person today and i gotta say it's a sweet looking bike. I'm sure he'll love it and soon we can hit the trails together (as soon as the mud dries).

happy muddy trails
~dirty bert

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

911

    i remember my parents talking about when they first saw the man land on the moon or when JFK was shot. they ask each other, "do you remember where you were?". Well today marks 6 years since 911 and i will never forget where i was on that day...

never forget.
~dirty bert



Sunday, September 09, 2007

NEW Favorite Site!

mtbnj.com





    so i was lazy today. the first time in a long time that i actually did nothing. it was beautiful outside, in the 90's and i didn't ride. i couldn't find anyone to ride with and usually that doesn't stop me to ride but their was a lil urge to go but was deflated when i saw i had a flat rear tire. UGH! i HATE changing the rear tire, it causes me some many issues, i feel like i need another set of arms to change that tire.

    so i pretty much spent the day on ebay, surfin' the web, looking for a good deal on bike lights and reading posts on mtbnj forums. It has become one of my favorite bike site/forums for New Jersey. I can now find new people to ride with and share my experiences, opinions and hopefully make new friends.

happy trails,
~dirty bert

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My All-Time Favorite Video

    here is my favorite all-time bike video.

video

    whatever made him think that this was going to work!? i also like listening to the crowds reactions to his attempt. i'm sure he's glad he had that tree to fall into.

    ride this weekend, saturday is 90 and sunday is 86. i'm thinking about heading to allaire or hartshorne.

happy sweaty trails
~dirty bert

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bargains and bike catalogs

    i'm a bargain shopper. i continuously look for bargains on the internet for bike related stuff. it seems like i spend hours of time trying to save 10 bucks. i found a bike related search engine called Spadout. they seem like a good search engine for bike related products. go check them out!

    i also found another cool site that has old bike catalogs. you remember those things, that bike shops loved to give away free but now a days, the websites want you to download the pdf. it's just not the same. so here's a bunch of pdf's of the old catalogs. there pretty interesting to see how mountain bikes came such a long way.


happy trails
~dirty bert

Thursday, September 06, 2007

5 Days a Week

    well not quite 5 days this week, 3 so far but this summer i have been getting more ride time in during the weekdays, than the weekends. the rides are lasting from 2 hrs or 45 minutes, my range is huge because of the daylight i'm losing. i still didn't plunker down money for lights, not just yet. i'm still not sure whether i want to drain my money clip with HID lights. time will tell, more like me getting the urge to spend.

    i have met A LOT of people this season riding. i'm a lil bit more sociable and invite people to come riding with me or try to join them. i have been riding for about 15 yrs now, and by no means a pro or an expert but still an intermediate rider. i really don't mind it. i like looking around, checking out the what trees the beavers are trying to chop down, spottin' deer, yelling at the rabbits to make up ther minds and get off my trail or just plain ol' talking to myself. who the hell cares. my job causes so much stress at times, that i look forward to ride and unwind and not rush or race others.

    i like to call myself a technical rider, i really like to think that but i know i'm no where near that skill set. at times, i bash thru the obstacles, no finesse is used. my logs skills are ok, after 15yrs, i still can't bunny-hop over them nor pull a wheelie intentionally. man, i would love to learn how to do a nose wheelie, on purpose and not followed by me OTB.

    i got a new toy, the garmin 305. wish i could use it on my mac. i always want these new gadgets but never really learn the full potential of them, god i hope that doesn't make me a poser.

i know i'm rambling, so take care and be good to yer bike.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

    I know rain is good for the environment, it makes my flowers, weeds, and grass grow and my trails wet. It's been raining, literally 5 days straight. 3 days of it has been the misty rain, which I personally like the best. At least with the misty rain, you still can ride, it delays the point where you are completely soaked. Of course this weekend will be beautiful, i have a wedding to go to that's at least 2 hrs away, nothing close to home, where I can get home at a decent hour and squeeze a ride in. And with summer drawing to a close, the hours of sunlight and warmth are going to end.

    I have been thinking more and more about buying lights for my bike. It would extend my riding time but being the way that I am I would want something good and that means trying to buy HID lights. I can't find them lights for under $300. I also had a hard time finding reviews on lights, word of mouth is helpful but I wanna see what the lights look like at night. So I searched on the MTBR forums and found this lights shootout. Yes, it is from 2005, 2 years old but at least it shows what the lights look like at night. There was a set-up on there that seemed as bright as HID lights and it was TurboCat S47 system. Now I know a lot has changed since 2005 and i also know that a lot online retailers don't sell TurboCat. I hear from the forums that Light & Motion is good and so is Nite Rider but what do you buy. Magazines never do an in-depth articles, a shoot-out of lights and if they do it's all the high-end lights kinda like what they do with their bikes (i.e. mountain bike action). So who do we turn to?

    So what are you using? Why do you like it? How much was it and where did you buy it? Did you buy and extra battery and how much? Do you know how much the bulbs are? All important questions that need to be answered by... YOU!? who knows but I NEED ANSWERS!

~happy muddy trails
dirty bert

Monday, August 20, 2007

LOTSA SLIPPIN' & SLIDIN'

    It's been a long time since we last talked, and a lot has gone on. I lost and found a new job. A better commute, a bigger company, tons of work to keep me busy AND more opportunities to ride.

    See the new job is centraly located for me to ride at 4 spots. 2 of them is less than an hour away, 1 is about 30 minutes and the other is about 25 minutes and with me getting out of work by 5 pm, that gives me plenty of time to ride. So I have been fortunate this summer in getting a lot of riding time in. For awhile there I was riding 5 to 6 days a week, hence no postings.

    So tonight i met up a few people from NJ MTBR forum. We all met at 6 Mile Run but when I got there, the dark clouds already rolled in and in the faint distance you heard thunder and quick flashes of lightening. The wind picked up and the rain came and we all went to our cars hoping it would pass thru. Well it rained lightly, then harder and then hail dropped, about the size of marbles and of course the wind. Well it finally let up a lil and we all came out of our cars and started the ride. I say we had about 7 people, all different ranges but with the way the trails were, the playing field was even. It seemed like a quick ride, lotsa slippin and slidin' but on the way back, the wind picked up, some thunder was heard and the rain came back, heavy. Now riding in the rain is fine in the woods, half the time you don't feel it thru the trees unless it pours and thats what it did. So as we climbed up the trails, the trails themselves became lil rivers or like lil log flumes of fun.

    It was fun. The ride was cut short from the rain earlier. I wish I could ride a bit longer, but hey, that's what the weekends are for!

~happy trails
dirty "muddy" bert

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

QUICK RELEASE BANNED!?!?!

    I know most of the readers of this blog aren't from New Jersey but I thought you'd be interested in how ridiculous this sate has gotten.
    How crazy is this crap.... New Jersey is trying to pass a bill that would outlaw quick release wheels on ALL bicycles. There are no commercially available wheel retention systems that would meet the requirements of this bill. If this bill is passed, it would put all New Jersey bicycle dealers out of business IMMEDIATELY.
  1. NJ Assembly Bill No. 2686 would make it illegal to sell any bicycle, including ADULT bicycles with current quick releases

  2. It is wrongly promoted as being directed only to children's bicycles

  3. This will have an immediate, significant, adverse impact on NJ bicycle consumers and dealers.

  4. None of the bicycles currently on the market could meet the standard in Assembly Bill 2686

  5. This would IMMEDIATELY shut down the bicycle retail business in NJ

  6. The Bill would require a quick release retention system on adult bikes, that works AUTOMATICALLY, ALWAYS retains the wheel.

  7. There is no commercially available system that meets this impossible standard

  8. The quick release has been in use for over 50 years

  9. A properly used Quick Release is SAFER than a bicycle with a bolted axle.

    So as usual we are to contact our state senators ASAP and let them know this bill will put them out of business. Here is the link to find your Senator's contact information.

happy trails?
~dirty bert

Thursday, June 14, 2007

ESCAPE ADVENTURES, FOR SALE... AGAIN!!!


    I got a lovely bday gift last summer. It was a gift certificate to Escape Adventures. AND yes, I'm re-posting this again!

    After much though I decided that I can't use these gift certificates. I have a new job and 2 weeks of vacation (my last job i had 30 days off). I initially wanted to take a week to do a tour with Escape Adventures, thinking that would be the best thing to do since I probably will never have a good chance experiencing anything like this. A week or weekend would be enough to quench my thirst of west coast riding in Utah's Moab, Canyonlands & Arches or Bryce & Zion National Parks.

    So I got a gift certificates valued at $400 that I'm willing to sell for $350. Check out their site, the gift certificates are still good and I'm allowed to sell them. there also a discount if you book before a certain date, so there you will save a little more extra cash. The price is discounted for what was spent on them but they seem to be well worth the trip of being fully supported guided tour. So please, is there any takers out there who will help me and help yourself to a worth wild trip?

Thanks,
~dirty bert

BIKE(S) FOR SALE?

    It hurts me to even do it but I don't even use them anymore. I'm willing to part with my 2001 Trek Liquid 20 and a original 1991 Klein Rascal (fully rigid).
    I really hate to sell them because I'm afraid that they will go to a home where they won't be appreciated or cared for. I know, I know, these aren't living things here, these aren't kids but to me there memories that brought me joy and excitement and I just hate to have someone buy it just because it looks cool or even worse a phase that there going thru.
    Yer thinking, why sell them then? Well, because it will be the easiest way for me to finance a 29er frame and or a road bike. I'm looking for 600 bucks for the Trek and 400 bucks for the Klein and somewhere on this blog there's pics of both.     The Klein is all original parts and if you find pics of the Trek, for 600 you get a 5" bike with a tubeless wheelset and disc brakes. The only things that aren't for sale on the Trek is the red Chris King headset and the Time ATAC pedals, those would be extra.
    I will post additional pics of the bikes and the specs soon. Right now the Trek is at the shop getting it's last service, so see I do take care of my bikes. the trek is a good bike, I would consider it, a good starter bike, a building bike in a sense, an easy upgradable bike. As far as the Klein, it's, I'd say 95% original. the only thing that isn't original is the brakes, Scott SE brakes, tires and maybe the huge gel seat. It's got the original one piece stem and handlebar, xt shifters, i think it's a Topline crank. Let me get the specs together to make sure first and I will post back onto here.
    Soon I will post some other bike realted stuff I have for sale. I wanna try to sell it on here first, than on ebay or craig's list. So check back again, soon.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A DAY AT THE RACES


    I think it's not fair that we all work 5 days a week and ONLY get 2 days off. That's less time to squeeze in for a ride. Not fair and I know life is unfair.

    With the new job, came new perks. My drive is 40 minutes rather than the hour and 15 minutes of before and that was days with no traffic. With my new job and short commute I gained the option of being able to ride after work. It's a nice perk. I bring my bike to work and jet at 5-5:30 to ride at the closets spot which is about half and hour away. Lately, I can squeeze in 2 hours and like tonight 10 miles. 10 miles and 2 hours seems like, ima snail but lately, I have been taking out a newbie with me or my other friends that have some "ride-time" under there paddy shorts but we do like to stop often, catch out breath, drink a lil water and tease each other. I find that type of riding fun.

    I got some friends racing this year. I'm not a racer nor do I want to compete in any races. With my job, I have deadlines everyday and often it seems like on every hour. I feel like I race to work to get there on time and race to get home or race to get to the park for a after work ride. I don't want to race with something I really enjoy, something that unwinds me after a day at work, something that I look forward to do on the weekends. I just don't need another job, a commitment to do well or compete with others, I don't need to prove myself or with others.

    I do compete with my friends when we ride. I just did it tonight. I just need to be in front, to guide, to warn and just be ahead of everyone. When someone got ahead, i made sure that I somehow, got around them. Maybe tonight I was more of a control freak because I wanted to be able to cover as much ground as possible before it got to dark.

    We all compete with our friends when we ride. We all have our "fast" friends, that when we ride, we need to push ourselves to keep up. I still do it but I get more enjoyment riding with slower people or even newbies. I choose to be slow now and i rather ride with them because in my mind there still taking their time to enjoy and absorb there surroundings (maybe just to survive) and not fly by as a blur.

    Side Note: Cambria is having a tire sale. The tire coupon code is... CBOTIRE7. Save an extra 11% on all tires. Offer can not be combined with any other offer.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

STAN TO THE RESCUE!

    I need Stan, Stan's tubeless system. I gather some people from work, 3 people and 2 more at the last minute, for a fun group ride at Mercer. Mercer seems to be the best meeting spot during the weekdays, since it is the quickest place to get to after work.
    Well within 15 minutes into our ride, someones tire started to hiss. We all stopped and helped change the tire and as usual we made fun of each other. The ride was good, there was one newbie riding with us, that was doing well and Mercer is a relatively easy place to start mtn. biking and a good place to get back into shape and start the new season.
    On the way back, my rear tire decided to finally go flat. I have been having an everlasting low/flat tire for about 5 months now. i think this has been the longest streak of not having a flat in my rear tire. I gotta say this, I HATE changing my rear tire. There is so much to deal with, aligning the disc with the caliper, then rerouting the chain around the cassette and trying to align the quick release back into the drop-outs AND all doing this with 2 hands. NO f-en way, can i do this by myself. Well anyway, I rode that tire, completely deflated on that rim to long. So long, that the rim nipped or cut into the sidewall.
    When we got back to the parking lot, I had my chance to get some help changing the rear tire. So Jeff kindly, held the bike up for me, while I cursed at the chain, disc and rear derailleur for about 15 minutes. I have learned valuable lessons in changing tires and one of them is to NEVER turn the bike upside down when you have hydraulic brakes. Why, because you will always get air in yer brake lines causing yer brakes to not work properly. AND as you can already tell from this post, that I'm mechanically challenged and can't handle bleeding my brakes, let alone changing my rear tire.
    Well, after I changed the tire, 3 people bailed to go home and ME and 2 others wanted to join me for some more riding on the other side of Mercer. We had a quick pace because at this point the sun just set and I needed to squeeze in a lil more trail time in. We hustled around the trails, stopping very lil but it became dark quickly, than I expected and once again we were out riding the trails in the dark. Thank god, I know the trails, so well and my eye sight is pretty good, well my squinting is excellent. We made it back to the cars by 8:25, with the lightning in the distance.
    I have learned, once again, I seriously need to invest in a couple of things, if I want to keep up riding like this.
  1. Lights: Relatively cheap, under 100 bucks for a system. Any suggestions?
  2. Stan's: I still need tubes but I heard and read this system works.
  3. CO2 Inflation System: Ya still gonna need it, if you are using tubes or No Tubes and it beats killing yer arm for pumping (there's a joke in here somewhere and I'm not gonna touch it)
  4. Tubes: 10 boxes of tubes for 20 bucks, not a bad deal.
I think right now, that would be a good start. I know, them lights can be expensive, especially the HID lights. I think the cheapest i saw them, were for, maybe 300 bucks. LED, here i come! On eBay, you can score Stan's for under 60 bucks.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Sunday, April 29, 2007

MY NEW, KINDA OLD 1991 KLEIN RASCAL

    Here's my new toy. A 1991 Klein Rascal with some original XT parts and I'm planning to convert it to single speed. I'm looking to buy Cooks Brothers or Kooka cranks, I may keep on the Scott Pederson SE brakes until I an get my hands on more powerful Avid stoppers. The 26" wheels, I'll keep and also the rigid fork. The one-piece Mission Control stem and handlebar looks cool, as well as the black to green fade. The bike is in great condition, since it's 16 years old.





~happy trails
dirty bert

Monday, April 23, 2007

SHOE DEAL



    Hey I know it's been awhile, the new job is sucking the life out of me but that's a good thing. I have been riding until the monster rain storm came. Mercer got flooded BIG time, i will post before and after pics of that and 6 Mile became a mud bog.
    I was just bike window shopping online and noticed this great deal on Performance Bike for Northwave Celsius GTX winter bike shoe. I know spring may be finally here in the US but for 99 bucks, it's a great bargain that's hard to pass up. IF you do buy them, remember to order 1 size up, to allow for heavier socks.

happy muddy trails,
~dirty bert

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

IT'S SHOE SUCKING MUD...

    Sorry for the delay with the postings. I know my avid readers, all 3 of you have been patiently waiting for a posting. But was consumed with job hunting and finally landed a new job. I had dedicated 9 years to 1 place and I had to move on, it was definitely hard to do considering I lost my 6 weeks vacation in the process but I gained a commute closer to home (25 minutes) and a chance to work in a growing company. In a matter of 2 weeks, I'm starting to see my desk again. I have had a 2" pile of work sitting on my desk and maybe by Friday, I will see the fake wood grain of my desk.
    Anyway, to more important things... I have been riding, which is good. I rode just right up till we had our first and second snow fall. But I have been patiently waiting for the snow and mud to dry up a bit to ride again. It's funny how things change, when I was younger, I would think of nothing better to do than ride in the mud. The muddier the better but now if it's muddy, i think twice about riding. I really think that comes from all the trail maintenance I have been doing lately.
    So a week ago, I volunteered my time to ATUG, Allaire Trail Users Group. 8 am was the start time, so that meant I was up at 6:45 on a Sunday, so I can get a bagel for breakfast and be on the road by 7:15. There were about 20 people waiting in a circle in the parking lot. Hikers, bikers and horse owners were there to help, a great crowd for most places. We ended up splitting into 3 groups, the horse people went somewhere, the bike people rode off to re-route a trail and we stayed near the entrance to fix the muddy areas. it certainly was a learning experience and I learned a lot that day but it was a long day. We wrapped up at 11:30, i figured people would ride afterwards but everyone left, i stood around and talked to a new friend and left to go ride at Mercer.
    I was at Mercer this past Saturday doing TM. Filling in the trail with much needed wood chippings. The mud in some areas was as deep as 4", shoe sucking mud is what it is. I spent a lot of time there 9:30 till 12:30 full of fun. I didn't care it was a good time and I'm hoping this year we get to ride after TM and enjoy what we did.

Happy Trails
~dirty bert

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rumor has it...

    Rumor has it, that Redline is strictly going to just make single speed bikes. I also saw in my most current issue of Performance catalog, the Redline frames were on sale. I think the non 29er was about 100 bucks for a frame and fork, not a bad deal. Have you seen any great deals on the internet?

    Well it isn't a rumor but I just got a email today from Bike Nashbar. Hurry it's only good for today! 15% Off discount applies to all web or phone orders, no minimum purchase amount is required. Coupon Code DAYLITE must be presented at time of purchase. Coupon/Discount can not be applied to previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offer. Discount does not apply to shipping/handling or taxes and is not valid on gift certificates. Code expires 3/12/07 11:59 est.

    I also got this email from Beyond Bikes. Here's lots coupon codes for you all to enjoy! Now I have read on the MTBR forums that people had problems with Beyond. I haven't had any, well because I never ordered from them. Has anyone had any problems with them?

    Well with day light savings starting early and the thaw out here on the east coast, trail maintenace is about to start. For NJ, you can find information on the JORBA and find the chapter, where you ride. It's important to support your favorite trails with some hours and it's also a great way to meet new people and of course being able to ride with them afterwards. I wish that here in NJ, they would stagger the TM dates to Saturday & Sundays. So I can do TM at Mercer on Saturday and TM at Allaire on Sunday. I bet they would get more people out if they'd do that, hell I know I would. Do you do TM?

~happy trails
dirty bert

Friday, February 16, 2007

VANDALS!


    It's always good to give back to your community but in this case it's trail maintenance. I do volunteer, it may not be for every meeting but I try to make a conscience effort in volunteering my time to a trail that I use and enjoy. It's a good way to meet other people, a sort of a way to network and also to share yer passion or riding experiences with others.

    Lately I have been doing it here at Mercer County Park. Like I said, I'm not out there every month but I try to make a conscience effort in volunteering some time. Over this past summer I helped with 2 bridges (repair and a build), pruning of a trails and picking up garbage from the fisherman.

    The one bridge I helped build has just been vandalized, again! It's in a remote area of the park, where I think not a lot of people frequent because it's on the other side of the lake. I think this weekend a group of people are going back out to fix the bridge and I'm hoping I'm one of them.

    I just don't understand why people can be so bored and need to destroy things. Is trail destruction like this all over the country? I haven't read many places that receive this kind of destruction. Granted, it isn't the "end of the world" but it makes me believe that people don't respect others enough. It's a shame.

happy safe trails
~dirty bert

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

WIN A NEW MOUNTAIN BIKE!

    The guys at winanewmountainbike.com are giving away a brand new Giant Trance 0 mountain bike. All you need to do to be sure it becomes yours, is go to win a new mountainbike and purchase as many $5.00 tickets as you can. A portion of each ticket will go to benefit Wheels4life.org.

    Wheels4Life is a non-profit organization that provides bikes for people in 3rd world countries in need of transportation to get to work or to school; including health care workers. This charity was founded by extreme biking legend and former Mountain Bike World Champion Hans Rey. With Wheels4Life Hans wanted to give something back to the people he met on his journey's, he so very grateful for the opportunities and career he had through the sport.

    The winner of the winanewmountainbike.com Sweepstakes will win a brand new Giant Trance 0, 2 pair of Utopia shades, a set of SixSixOne knee and arm pads, a pair of SixSixOne riding shoes and a pair of SixSixOne gloves and a helmet from Pro-Tec.

    The Giant Trance 0 is designed with a balanced Maestro 4.2 and 4" of rear/front travel and uses lightweight aluminum ALUXX SL. You can check out all the specs and features on the official Giant website.

happy trails and good luck!
~dirty bert

p.s. happy birthday dad!

Monday, February 12, 2007

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BIKE OR IS IT YOU?

    What gives with Mountain Bike Action!? I do subscribe to that glossy magazine but lately who are they trying to target? The past 2 issues they reviewed nothing but high end bikes! I do like looking at the high end bikes like anyone else but constantly reviewing ALL high end is a bit annoying. AND I'm not talking about 2 to maybe 3 grand bikes but 6 thousand plus bikes!?!?!?

    In the February issue, they reviewed the Santa Cruz Nomad at $4,427. Then there's the Cannondale Rush Carbon Team in at $6,499. Also there was the Jamis Dakar XCR Expert coming in at $3,087. Ok, it was a 1k to 2k of a difference but still, I'm sure there's more people out there who can't afford to buy these high end scoots than there is to buy them. Ooh, wow, they threw in the KHS AM1000 in there at $1,599 for us low end users, how nice of them.

    In the March issue, they tested the Intense 5.5 FRO at a staggering price of $5,800. What a bargain, the frame and shock is only, $2,225. Hahaha, then we got the Felt Virture One coming in at $6,199. And also in this issue, is the ever so popular "Buyer's Guide". Where they showcase tons of more bikes ranging from $350 to $6,500.

    It's a shame, not everyone can afford those high-end bikes. I can understand reviewing at least 1 high-end bike in the mag but not dedicate the whole mag to those bikes. When we first start out, people usually spend, I'd say a grand or less for there first bike. My first bike cost me 350 and it lasted for 6 years. But now people today, just shoot for the high end bikes without learning to graduate and evolve to the next level on a bicycle. Think of it this way, it will be less a waste of money, or if you have less time to dedicate to ride or if you don't like it or even if yer passion turns to something else. Maybe technology is to blame and maybe it's the industries fault to accelerate the growth the growth of a bicycle from fully rigid to freeride bike. I always tell the newbies when we ride, remember it's not how much you spend on a bike, or the latest technology or all fancy, clothing yer wearing, it's just you.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Saturday, February 03, 2007

CLIPPIN' COUPONS, well kinda

    I like to save. Who doesn't. We all do. And when it comes to upgrading our bikes, some of us like to get it the cheapest way possible. I have only come across 1 bike store in NJ that will price match online prices. That's a pretty good deal but its gotta kill the store for doing that. I have been finding some deals online at some of these bike sites. Here are a few I'd like to pass along to you.

    FIRST up is Sage Cycles. I haven't ordered anything from them but I would and take the chance if I needed something. WHY would I order from them? Well first and foremost, they offer a 15% off on the 1st order and FREE shipping on orders over 50 bucks. Not a bad deal. But the 15% is excluded from complete bikes.

    And SECOND is Universal Cycles. I have order from them in the past and I received my order on time and it was correct. No complains from me and occasionally I will receive via email some VIP coupons like 10% off of 100 bucks using this code, febvip10 (original huh?) and 15% off 300 bucks using this code, febvip15. This coupon will end at midnight of 2/28/07. Also another plus, I like to say about Universal, is that there website is easy to navigate on. It's not overwhelming like these guys.

    Air Bomb.com has a fantastic price for Lake MXZ301 Winter shoe BUT only if yer a size 36! Or you can call this place, Lickbike for the 07 Lake MXZ301 Winter shoe for $194.88!

    Icycles has BB5's for $39 each.

    Colorado Cyclist tends to be EXPENSIVE. Check out there print catalog and look at the prices.

    Or look at Richard Bicycles and drool on all the big name custom mtn bikes out there. Major drool right here.

happy trails
~dirty bert

GROUNDHOG'S DAY

    I still haven't cleaned the bike from last Sunday's ride. I just haven't had time. It's no excuse but work has been crazy despite what's going on and cleaning my bike is the last priority i need to do on a week night. I did take 2 pics to show how caked it is, in the mud.

where does the chain go?

    The Turner frame is sweet to look at. It's milled out in certain areas of the bike frame, to cut down on the weight. It's a great idea until those areas clogged with the mud, as you can see in this one picture above, the nooks and crannys are clogged and even the chain disappears in the semi dryed mud jam. I cant wait to chisel the chain out of that mess.

spring is here, the grass is growing!

    In this picture above, i guess it wasn't enough to carry all the extra poundage of mud around but I was also lucky enough to get some grass as well. Or maybe Phil is right and spring is just around the corner and by the look of things, the grass has just sprouted in my rear derailleur.

happy muddy trails
~dirty bert

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

MUD SLINGING AT 6 MILE!

there's v-brakes under there somewhere



    WOW, what a ride! I thought last weekend ride was muddy but this was insane!

    For the first time, I rode with Mike, Pat, Andy and Lee at 6 Mile. The weather was nice, a sunny 40 degree day with no wind. I was sportin' my fenders again and the same outfit as last weekend because that seemed to work for me.

a major mud dam begins



    As we hit the first section of trail, it became a preview of how the ride was going to be. The mud was as slick as ice and sticky like GU. I thought my fenders would give me an advantage but it only protected my eyes from the flying mud clumps as i rode down any hills.

I know everything seems to blend together, but you understand what's going on here



    I fell twice. I leaned into the slope and when I leaned to far, the front tire would just slide out and down i'd go. The tires got completely clogged to the point where my tire's mud extended a good inch past the tire and the big brown tire looked at least 4" wide.

here's the bike after the ride on the rack


    As you can see from the pictures, it clogged everywhere. I think my bike gained at least 5 pounds of mud. Would I do it again? Sure. Why? Because, I was out riding, first and foremost. Secondly, the mud made me somewhat a better rider, with all the braking and steering that I had to do. And third, I got to ride with new people and share one of favorite NJ riding spots.

happy muddy trails
~dirty bert

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Buying Bike Parts. Wouldja do it?

    eBay does it, so does Craig's List and also MTBR. BUT why not ME!?

    Well I'm interested into, start selling some bike stuff, I figured this would be a great forum to do so. I wouldn't have to pay any fees other than the cut PayPal gets. I just wonder if people would be interested in some of my new and 2nd hand stuff.

    For instance, I got a great Trek full suspension sitting in my garage begging to be ridden. Somewhere on this blog, I have posted pictures of this bike. It's about 4 years old, it hasn't been beaten, I'm far from a huckster, it's been professionally been taken care of, tune-ups regularly and was given lotsa love. What would one wanna pay for something like that? Is it like buying a car, where it depreciates once it leaves the car lot or in this case, once it's been ridden on a trail? Or how about this concept called Trade My Bicycle. Where you trade your bicycle for instant store credit, I like the concept but I just wonder if it will really work. In the condition section of that site, I'd rate the Trek to be in "excellent to excellent plus" condition and it will probably see a tune-up prior to it being sold.

    I may also got some parts for sale. I got a pair of Eggbeaters sitting out in the garage. I tried to use them on 1 ride but I didn't like them and went back to using my Time ATAC carbons. I bought them because they were light and we the latest cool pedal out. I think they are the CrankBrothers Egg Beaters SL. They weight in at 266 grams a pair and that's pretty sweet! I also have Easton 2006 MonkeyLite SL riser bar.

    I will have to look around the garage this weekend to see what else I got to sell, I think I might have tires in there, maybe the Kenda Nevegal 2.1 tire. While yer on that link, check out the size of the outer knobs on the "King of Traction" tire, jeeze i could have used that mud tire last weekend.

    Has anyone had any luck selling outside of those forums mentioned above?

happy trails
~dirty bert

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Mud Buddy & Me!

    Wow, what a muddy day. Well I met Jen for a nice, bitter, windy cold ride this past weekend at 6m (aka 6 Mile Run). I arrived late and not only do I do that but lost my disc brake pad in the gravel parking lot. Yea, it was like finding a needle in the haystack. The pad was black and gray and the gravel parking lot was black and gray and to add insult to injury, I think the dam pad floated away in the wind.

    Not to be discouraged from no front brake, I decided to ride anyways and not be denied of this ride wit Jen. Off we go, Me sportin' front and rear fenders, wool socks, over my thermal thighs and a long sleeve coml. shirt tucked into the tights and another warm jersey over that and my heavyweight jersey/jacket over that and under my helmet i was wearing balaclava.

    The trails were muddy, the logs looked wet but you never know if they were actually wet or just iced, either way, my rear tire slid along them. All the mud ruts were frozen, which is always interesting to try to ride in or over them. You always fall a victim of riding in them, hoping the other person before you, picked a good line.

    We got to ride over the new bridge, thank god it was much wider with a nice approach, I walked my bike over it because the snow/ice that formed on it made me second guess myself. On the way home, I did ride it but was so paranoid thinking that I would ride off of it.

    The mud we did find, was thick and heavy, nothing like the soupy kind you find in the summer. This crap stuck like crazy glue to the bike and loved to clog every hole on the bike, I think my bike gained 3 pounds of mud over the 2.5 hrs. we rode. I forgot to spray the underside of my fenders with Pam, you know that "non-stick" cooking spray, the crap wipes off so much easier, try it next time.

Very lil traction in da mud.



Look at the mud nest.

    Well the ride was a lot of fun and we got back to the parking lot in time to see the bow hunter head into the woods. I didn't wipe my bike down in the parking lot, I probably should have, so instead I placed the bike on the roof and the wind, froze the mud onto the bike but not before some mud splattered and froze to car. I got a frozen mud splatter on my roof, back window and on the trunk.

My brown & silver Turner.

    It took me 3 days to clean the bike, along with me doing the dumb thing of washing it outside. The sudsy bubbles on the frame, actually froze, good job, dummy! Anyway it's clean, well kinda of, but I'm dropping it off at the shop tonight for sum repairs. Real quick, one time i didn't clean my bike off, well not that labor intensive as I did this time and the bike shop charged me additionally for cleaning the bike so they could work on it. It sounds crazy but it's true. I don't care about the cold weather, nor the wind or the sno, all I care about is getting back to 6m for more mud madness.

happy trails
~dirty "muddy" bert

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's So Intense!


    I just found this and I wanted to share this with you. This bike looks PHAT! I don't know whether it has to do with the brand, Intense or the fact that the black and silver look HOT or it's a full suspension 29er. I'd be more excited (if that was possible) if this was a 96er.

    It looks like a custom selection for the parts. I see on it Thompson Elite X-4 stem, the red version of Magura Martha SL disc brakes, a Recon Rock Shox, red Salsa skewers, SRAM XO trigger and rear derailuer, a Thompson Masterpiece seatpost, a WTB saddle and a RaceFace crank. A real nice parts selection and if I was to guess how much this bike cost, I'd say $4,750!! I cheated and got it from the Hammerhead bikes website.

    I also found another cool bike product website for custom fenders. It's called, Woody's Custom Fenders. I can't even imagine what it would cost for these fenders. Then again paying 4,750 bucks for a custom bike is a drop in the bucket for sum custom wood fenders!

happy trails
~dirty bert

Friday, January 12, 2007

Riding with Dark Cycles

    I noticed this company, Dark Cycles about a year ago, when someone posted ther bash guard on MTBR.

Here's a close up of what my bash guard looks like.



    The bash guard i got is called Black Guard. Up close it looks SWEET and the CNC engraving is well done. I had never had a bash guard on a bike but it makes a world of a difference for me to get up and over a log pile. No more, chainring digging or scraping over a log. It's makes me into a better rider or less sloppy looking as I cross over the logs.

    As I roamed around thier website I noticed they have a DH bike called, Scarab DH. A cro-moly steel frameset with 8.5" of rear travel and a frame weight (incl. shock) of 11.8 lbs. I'm no DH guy but this bike looks pretty menacing and with 8.5" of travel, it sounds like it has more travel then my civic.

    They also have a hard tail bike called, Supernova. What stood out the most from the picture of the bike was the CNC engraving of the flame dropouts! I gotta say that's pretty phat and original on their part.

    If yer looking for a bash guard, I'd recommend Dark Cycles, Black Guard. You will have to give up yer large chainring but I didn't mind because I rarely used it, so it wasn't a big lose for me. I bought mine at Red Barn Bicycles. Chad was the guy I emailed and eventually call and ordered from. You can email Chad at sales@RedBarnBicycles.com. I'd say mention me when you order but I doubt he'd remember me, since it was so long ago.

happy bashing!
~dirty bert

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Winter Fun!

Here's a photo of what it look liked last winter.



And here's me, minus that sleeveless T but I'm wearing a short sleeve T instead.



Here is a pic of the flesh piercing, tire puncturing, tube poppin' Mercers' thorns.



A new bridge at Mercer, at a differrent angle.



happy trails and warm weather!
~dirty bert

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sun, Mud and Fun!

    Well it didn't take long, but i did it. I broke my 1 of my New Year's resolution by not posting everyday. Thursday was my last post but I did start to create a post for Friday about how nice global warming has been with it extending my riding season. I know it's bad but this season is actually livable on the east coast.

    Well I got to ride the whole weekend. Saturday was insane, we broke a record here, at 73 degrees and I got to wear shorts and a short sleeve jersey. I was planning to ride at 6 Mile but I was warned that it was swampy there and then thought about going to Hartshorne but I didn't want to do the drive and then I thought about Allaire but I hate to ride somewhere, where I'm still completely unfamiliar with the trails, so instead I rode at Mercer.

    The trails were slick, lotsa slippin' and slidin' in that goop. I think I rode for 2.5 hours on Saturday and 1.5 on Sunday. Both days I fell, Saturday I clipped a tree and I tried to correct the direction I was heading after the clip and the tire tire just washed out and down I went. No big deal, I just receive some minor scrapes. On Sunday, I cut the corner to slow and tight and the front tire again, washed out and I fell to the ground but this time my back found a way to smash and scrape down a tree nearby. I'm so thankful that lil tree didn't break like they normally do or otherwise I would have been jabbed in the side with the stump. I also unclipped at a bad moment, where I just got over a log and my left foot unclipped and whipped back around to smash and scraped the back of my leg. Remember the days, where we rode with metal cages and toe straps and yer shoe was wet or the pedal was and you'd slip on the pedal and it would reel around and slap you on the shin! Oh god, there was no other pain like tha in the world!

    I got re-invest in some fenders. I had a pair that snapped on but a lil accident broke them. I saw a pic at the Interbike show, of some company has made inflatible fenders. i really like that idea because you can always carry that in yer camelback. I also like THE fenders. The THE fenders are kinda more fancier and I guess prettier than the ordinary Topeak fenders that I currently run. The "THE" in these fenders stand for "Toby Henderson Enterprise". Here's a lil bit of a background in case yer wondering who the hell is Toby Henderson is.

    I took some pics of when I was riding this past weekend but I need to upload them on my computer. I hate not posting a lil pic along with these ramblings but I will try to get them up, sometime tomorrow.

happy muddy trails!
~dirty bert

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spinning the Night Away!



    I slacked last month with riding. I think I missed the whole month and it wasn't because of being sick or having to do with the weather but trying and I hate to say it, trying to finish christmas shopping. Work was hectic and on top of that, I got a frantic call from my mother, that she fell and broke her shoulder. So with taking care of her and shopping and working, my bike was buried in the garage under all the boxes of outdoor lights and furniture AND still covered in the dried mud of the month before.

    Within the month of bike slacking, I also neglected going to the gym so I asked santa to bring me a bike trainer. I figured I could spin in my unheated garage amongst the mountains of cardboard boxes while staring at the garage door. I thought it would be fun. I ruled out asking santa for rollers because i thought it wouldn't be fun, careening off the roller and smashing into the garage door or better yet into the beer frig.

    I thought about getting the trainer that ran along the rim like, Minoura's Progressive Rim Drive. It's ideal for mtn bikes so it cuts back on the noise and tire wear. Tire wear!? Like I need something that eats away at my 40 dollar tire. I'd rather have a rock rip the sidewall than this to happen. But I ended up asking santa for Travel Trac Century Fluid Plus trainer (wow, that was a mouthful). My plans were to take my Trek Liquid and put a slick tire on it and spin the night away.

    This never happened. Instead santa got me a much needed Fox Racing Launch knee/shin guards. I now look like a baseball catcher riding a bike. Don't get me wrong, there real nice and will save my knee when i do go back to riding at Chimney Rock. And they look pretty sweet, in a heavy duty fashion.

    Well anyway, I know I got off topic here but I was wondering if anyone uses a trainer and or what brand are they using? Thanks!

Happy Trails!
~dirty bert

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Single Speed Anyone!?



    Have you noticed the sudden population by bicycle companies to make SS and 29er's? Nearly every bike company has a 29er or a single speed. I haven't jumped on the band wagon but I am certainly interested in the concept.

    Going SS would bring me back into my early childhood days, where I rode back and forth in from of my house on my Ross. My Ross was blue with a gigantic banana seat. I'm sure the monster weighted more than my 5" bike now. I remember having blocks on my pedals, to help me reach my pedals.

    This past summer I was trying to decide whether to jump on the bandwagon and build a SS or 29er up or just get a road bike. I figured I'd have more fun customizing a SS/29er than a road bike and still be able to take it off road as well. It would cost a lot less than what I would spend on a road bike. So over the past months I have been thinking about what are my favorite single speed or 29er would be. I also like the idea of having a 29er wheel in the front and a 26" wheel in the back with Avid BB7's. The jury is still out on whether or not, i'd go with a suspension fork. Ok, here are my few choices.

  1. Niner Bikes and i like this model, it's called ONE 9. I like the Godzilla Green, then Tang and then Hot Tamale. There's no price list on the website but I'm sure they don't come as cheap as some of my other choices.
  2. Monoco Flight 29er by Redline. Pea soup green, is the color with Avid BB5's and a rigid fork. That's gotta feel good, while truckin' down a rocky hill. It will be like riding on a jack hammer.
  3. Now I know, I have no chance in buying this bike but it is still sweet looking bike with all the custom details to it. Offroad by Independent Fabrication. I bet this is bike costs close to 2k.
  4. I bet you thought, they were no longer around, but GT is back with their Peace 9r. V-brakes are used and it looks like there's no disc tabs on this bike but I think I'd upgrade to Avid v-brakes and there line of cables as well.
  5. We can't forget about Gary Fisher and his bike called Rig. A lot of cash for a SS/29er, but for $1199 but you get a Reba SL fork and Avid BB7 brakes, it makes it a sweeter bike.
  6. I'd like this bike, the 1FG Ultra by Cannondale even more if it had a Lefty fork and BB7's. I wonder what a Lefty fork would look like with a big 29er wheel on it. Is it possible or was this a dumb question.
  7. Now Trek has a sweet looking SS called 69er. The price scares me but a custom double crown Maverick fork and Juicy 7's, it sounds pretty serious for that root beer color bike.

    I could go on and on and bore you even more but like i said everyday, there seems to be another bike company making a SS or 29er. I also can do what everyone else does and convert an old mtn bike into a SS. I got an old Giant Iguana laying around with Suntour thumb shifters and a crank. It might be even more fun to restore that old bike and maybe even get it repainted. I guess it would be fun to breath life into my old bike that gave me hours of fun, all over again.

Happy Trails
~Dirty Bert

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

    People tend to make new year's resolutions that there never gonna keep. They do it for a few weeks or even days and then give up. I'm going to try to make some new year's resolutions, that can be attainable. Here are some of my ideas...
  • Try to post everyday. Try is the key word.
  • Make this blog into a RSS feed.
  • I wanna re-ride Ringwood (i haven't been there in 2+ years)
  • I wanna re-ride Huber Woods (i haven't been there in 3+ years)
  • I wanna re-ride Mahalon Dickerson (i haven't been there in 2+ years)
  • I wanna ride Waywayanda (Mmm bear)
  • I wanna re-ride Allamuchy (i haven't been there in 6+ years)
  • I wanna ride Wissahickon, PA
  • I wanna ride Fairmount Park, PA
  • Sell my Trek Liquid.
  • Learn how to maintain my bike.
  • I want a road bike.
  • Clean my garage and make it stop growing cardboard.

  • AND most important, to ride more!

    I think my list is doable, we will see. I'm sure I'll break #1 very quickly.

    I'm thankful and happy that I had so many people visit this blog last year. I don't get a lot of people who comment so it's had to see if anyone is reading it other than my friends. So I started to keep track of how many people came to the blog but I had only tracked it from November to December and reached a total of 539 people.

    I was really interested to see where people viewed this blog. Here's the US breakdown. 24 from California, 20 from NJ, 10 from Wisconsin, 3 from Pennsylvania, 3 from Texas, 3 from Massachusetts and so on. Also here is other countries. 9 from UK, 1 from Australia, 1 from Czech Republic, 1 from Korea, 1 from Netherlands, 1 from Canada and 1 from Finland.

    Anyway, enough of that and let me get back to the important stuff. In the coming blogs, I'll be posting some of bike parts that I'm willing to sell and that trusty new/old Trek will be up for grabs. Some else should love it, like I once did. I'm sure I can find a loving home for it. So who what's it!?!?

happy trails
~dirty bert