Category: mtb

"Klunkerz" interviews on on 6/24/09


Modern mountain biking was born on the trails of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County in the 1970s. We talk to some of the pioneers of the sport who are featured in a new documentary, “Klunkerz.”
Host: Scott Shafer
• Charlie Kelly, creator of the Repack races and founder of the first magazine devoted to mountain biking
• Gary Fisher, founder of Gary Fisher Bicycles and mountain biking icon.
• Joe Breeze, founder of Breezer Bikes
• Wende Cragg, one of the first female mountain bikers and a photographer whose pictures are featured in “Klunkerz.”

Ride with Levi

Have dinner with Levi Leipheimer at the the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League’s 2008 CycleFest Benefit Dinner in Mill Valley, California. Join other League enthusiasts on Saturday, November 8th, for an eventful evening with Levi, the two time winner of the Tour of California. Join Levi for a group ride through Marin County on Sunday, November 9. Advance purchase price for the dinner tickets are $125 until August 15. More details here.

SoCal cycling league launched

The Northern California High School Mountain Bike Racing League (NorCal League) will launch the Southern California Interscholastic Cycling League (SoCal League) in the 2009 academic year.

The new league is based on the successful model of the NorCal League, now in its eighth year and which currently has reached a membership of over 400 high schoolers, 150 coaches, and 35 schools in the region.

Matt Fritzinger, executive director of both the NorCal and SoCal leagues, said, “We are tremendously grateful for the generosity of Mr. Easton and his foundation. The grant allows us to launch a new league, and that has been a dream of ours for several years. With the SoCal League, we’ll be fostering the same values of life-long physical fitness, community, and self-confidence combined with athletic competition that has been so successful in Northern California.”

The NorCal League has developed methods and curriculum for introducing young riders to the world of mountain bike racing, as well as recruiting and training coaches that are committed to producing amateur athletes who are gracious in both victory and defeat, and are respectful of their environment and community.

The year-round cycle of events organized by the SoCal League is scheduled to include:

  • a Winter-Spring five-race series, including participation with NorCal riders in the May state championships;
  • a Fall coaching conference;
  • rider training camps;
  • an annual benefit gala (tentatively planned for November 22 at Ca Del Sole and hosted by mountain bike pioneer Gary Fisher); and
  • promotional outreach events at bicycle stores and pre-existing cycling events.


Sea Otter Classic 2008 photos

So you can wish you were here. You still have Sunday to see bike stuff, bike races, bike people, bike fun, and try lots of samples of organic energizing health drinks and foods and teas and concoctions and ride high end mountain bikes for free (after you pay the entry fee, of course).

Tara Llanes is at Sea Otter. You might recall that she broke her back and became paralyzed below the waist. Here she is with my daughter.

Tara Llanes with Ivy

The crazy folks at Clif Bar were up to their usual antics and passing out tons of free samples of Clif Bars, Luna Bars, Shot Blocks, Clif KidZ bars, Builder Bars, and their other products. I’m still stuff from all of the wonderfully tasty free products, and I had fun watching them do some urban surfing from the top of an Xtra Free Radical.

Clif Bar bike surfers Clif Bar antics

It’s gettting late; I’ll try to post more tomorrow! I haven’t uploaded them all yet, but I have 120 photos so far in my Sea Otter Classic 2008 photo set at

Spot single speed 29er bicycle

I’m trying a lot of bikes out at the Sea Otter Classic 2008 in Monterey, California. A lot of them feel like any other bike, but a real stand out is the single speed belt driven 29er from Spot Brand Bikes.

Spot bike test Spot steel 29er mountain bike with belt drive

I took the Spot 29er for a spin on the demo trail and flew down the singletrack with absolute confidence on this bike. I feathered the brakes a little approaching some of the sandy curves (and that was only because I don’t know the bike), but other than it was full speed ahead. On the uphills the bike goes like it should — I didn’t miss the lack of gearing at all. I didn’t have the legs for a couple of especially steep uphill sections, but that’s because I rode my fixed gear to Sea Otter some 40 miles from Santa Cruz County yesterday morning.

I tried to make the Gates belt drive slip like Guitar Ted did last fall at Interbike, but I couldn’t do it, but again, my legs weren’t quite up to snuff. The belt drive is absolutely smooth and clean.

Spot Brand’s steel framed bikes are hand built in Golden, Colorado. The bike I tested retails for about $3400. They’re selling their demo bikes from the show, however, for as much as $1,000 off of list. These are brand new, hand built, nicely equipped bicycles.

Visit the Sea Otter Classic near Monterey, California this weekend to try these and other bicycles from a number of vendors.

More info about the Spot single speed 29er and their other bikes at Spot Brand Bicycles.

Haro Beasely 650B first ride

Jill Hamilton is the “Bike Biz Babe” and she’s brand manager for Haro Bicycles in southern California. She rode one of the new 650B bicycles Haro is offering this year: the steel, fully rigid, 650B Beasely.

Don’t get me wrong…I love my 29ers. But for a “little” person like me (at 5’7″), a 29er is a lot of bike. The Beasley didn’t feel like such a big bike…it felt very nimble and quick, yet very stable. Just like a 29er, it climbed with what felt like infinite traction, cornered with stability, and rolled over trail obstacles with ease.

The fact that the Beasley is steel also lends to the fun factor…steel truly is real. It yields a ride unlike any other material. It’s lively, yet stiff enough so you “feel” the trail. Steel frames also just look great…since you can make frames out of smaller diameter tubes, steel frames look sleek and svelte.

Read more and see photos at Bike Biz Babe.