First came the fires.
Specifically, back in July of 2012, Lambert Park — a small but well-crafted network of singletrack at the foot of the mountains above Alpine, UT, just one mile from where I live — caught fire in a huge way.
“It could have been a lot worse,” we said. Presciently, as it turns out.
Because a year later, the floods came. And they were amazing. Without any vegetation holding the water back, it cut an amazing gash down the mountain.
That’s me, standing at the bottom of one of the trenches the water cut — it was well more than twenty feet deep and thirty feet wide.
And all those rocks and dirt that the water picked up? Well, they had to wind up somewhere.
Anywhere the water went, it left boulders behind.
Yeah, that trail suddenly gets a lot more technical right there.
And honestly, I didn’t think the flooded, rock-strewn part of Lambert Park would ever be rideable again.
And I am so happy to announce that not only was I mistaken, but I was mistaken in the best possible way.
UtahMountainBiking.com To The Rescue
UtahMountainBiking.com is one of the sites pretty much every single mountain biker in Utah knows about — it’s the best resource there is for getting ride information and access info for trails throughout Utah.
But they also do a lot of trail work.
So after the rains and the floods, the UtahMountainBiking.com guys got to work. Within a few days — amazingly — they got parts of the trail into rideable condition.
And then more rain…and floods… came.
I thought it was over; I assumed this section of Lambert Park was done.
And I was wrong. The UTMTB guys went back at it.
And they made the trail better than it used to be. Specifically, they took the Zag trail, which used to be one of the least interesting trails in the park, and turned it into a fun and challenging ride.
It’s twisty and technical, but if you pay attention you can keep your momentum.
The Hammer and I have been out to Lambert every day for the past few days; the trail salvaged by the the UTMB folks has become our favorite.
Who’d have expected that fire plus flood could equal a fantastic reimagining of a new trail?
Thanks, UtahMountainBiking.com guys. You’re amazing.
The premise of Star Trek: Voyager is that the Voyager is far from Federation space, and operating with limited supplies. The ship starts the series with 38 photon torpedoes and "no way to replace them." Okay, so how many photon torpedoes are actually fired by Voyager in the show? Watch and learn:
Because the Internet is awesome, lots of people have already done the math on this, though they tend to give up in frustration after a while (unlike the intrepid video editor above). The short version is that the writers did keep track of the photon torpedo count until the fifth season, then decided they needed a way to make more. And eventually they ditched the count entirely, because who really cares? Anyway, you can read a brilliant writeup here that attempts to tie together all the threads of this very nerdy problem. Another useful resource is Rick Kuzma's Star Trek: Voyager Statistics.
"We need more firepower," indeed!
For Jan. 1 I usually write an editor’s message, looking back and then ahead to the next year. This year I thought would be cool to try something different – I asked some of the PEZ-Crew for a few words on what they’re “Looking Forward to in 2014″.
Richard Pestes – The PEZ
For me it’s going to the 2014 Tour de France – I was last there in 2003, but I’ve already booked my flights to France to cover the Vosges mountains and Alps.
I got my first taste of the World’s greatest bike race in 1986 when I stumbled out of the train in Paris to catch the final laps of LeMond’s first win. I recall easily crossing the Champs Ellysees and finding myself wandering around the Place de la Concord as the racers charged down from the Arc de Triumph. ‘No gendarmes’ was pretty cool, and something that will never happen again.
In 1990 I chased the race through the Alps, and loved every minute, except for the 24hour food poisoning picked up in Grenoble, and my amazing recovery over a plate of pasta in Torino (an interesting reaction to two different cuisines)…
I was last there in 2003, the best Tour I ever saw, when Lance was on the ropes every day, and each stage brought some completely unexpected and totally amazing feat of bike racing.
But I love the Alps, and am keen to explore the Vosges mountains for the first time – I’m looking forward to this Tour more than any in the last decade.
I often joke that I got into science so that it could pay my travel bills. 2013 was a relatively quiet one for that unless you count three weeks in New Zealand, but we’ll be making up for that in 2014.
There should be a couple of trips to Amsterdam, one of my favourite Euro cities, and hopefully they’ll be timed so that I can join my Dutch friend in celebrating his 50th birthday with a trip up Ventoux. I’m also looking forward to a new cycling science book that I’ll be co-editing with Mikel Zabala, performance director for the Movistar team. Science, travel, and bikes. Doesn’t get much better in my books!
There’s no doubt that 2013 was a tough year for Professional cycling with the loss of numerous sponsors and teams the employment market has been very difficult. Surely never seen before, here we are on the 1st January and the recent winner of the Vuelta still doesn’t have a contract for this year.
For every negative though there are positives and for me it’s the fact that less WorldTour teams means more wildcard invites to the GrandTours, classics and all the big races. Smaller teams like Bretagne-Séché Environnement, NetApp-Endura and the like now have a real shot at making the Tour de France and I love it when the small teams compete and even better – win a stage like NetApp did in the Vuelta this year. Each and everyone of the riders on the Professional Continental teams know that early results will get them the invites necessary so look for these squads to come out firing from the vey first race. 2014 should be a good one!
When the Pez asked me for my hopes for 2014 I must admit the thought of a lottery win came to mind, but no, it’s from a cycling point of view I guess. Like everyone I don’t want to see any positive drug controls this year to prove that the page has been turned. I guess the boring answer is to see as an exciting season in ’14 as we had in ’13, the Tour de France has lifted its game and followed in the wheel track of the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia and has got interesting. The return of Tom Boonen to do battle with Fabian Cancellara on the cobbles is probably the main thing for me, that and maybe going to some stage of my home Tour, La Vuelta, plus the World championships are in Spain this year, so maybe I’ll get to go there?
Or maybe Fabian will be taking up imitating more film stars next year when I interview him again…..
As every winter comes I like to go through the things that happened last season and give me new targets for the incoming year. Doing more (in terms of quantity) than 2013 it’s really hard but in terms of quality I will try to do really more. Something I look forward to is to write some route previews. I may sacrifice some afternoons in family but I think that it is worth it to check out some new routes. At least for those races which are not far from home; I have the luck “to live in place” differently from many other Pez reporters and I would like to give some nice route preview to Pez readers knowing very well some of them. The first one is Strade Bianche. It should be very nice to discover all hidden places of this beautiful race in Tuscany. But there’s more: the Pompaiana climb is the new addition of the Sanremo, I’ve been already there in mid December and I’m working on pictures to show you something really new that will probably change the Classicissima.
Than I have to show something about the Carpegna stage at Giro (stage 8). They are lovely places but now are ski runs at the moment. I have to wait the time the road will be back to tarmac. So really looking forward for something new from me and hopefully something better than usual from my side!
In addition to attending the Six Day Races in Rotterdam and Berlin in January, I am looking forward to covering the Tour de Romandie for the first time in Pez history but maybe not as much as riding myself at “In Velo Veritas” through Vienna’s wine district on my 1975 Rickert Spezial in June. Or discovering new scenic roads in Franconia. Or getting fitted for a new custom Italian steel racing bike in Tuscany. Every year brings something great in cycling and something fun to share with readers – Happy New Year to all!
Thanks again to everyone for reading, and making 2013 our best year ever at PEZ, and here’s to 2014 – may it be full of great racing, sunny ‘wind at your back’ riding days, and the chance to meet a few more of you out there on the roads.
Happy New Year from all of us at PEZ.
- Richard Pestes
what, a contemporary country song?
Oh, you have a two stroke chainsaw huh? Think it's cool, do ya? Well, we see your little two-stroke and raise you a 4.1-liter V8 chainsaw.
In some vain effort to remind you during these freezing days that summertime was one of the best we’ve had in a while, The Albion thought we’d show some of the highlights and outtakes from issue 14′s ‘Eternal Optimists’ article on Epsom, Brighouse and Villij trails in the UK (with a shot of Freddie Househam thrown in for good measure). A round of applause again to all those guys who put in the hard work and allowed us a little glimpse into some of the best spots in BMX.
“That is correct. PROFILE RACING IS NOT SOLD BY WAL-MART*. But, other IBDs (Independent Bike Dealers) like BikeWagon have affiliated their stores with Wal-Mart. Why? Read below… It’s all about 3P retailing or third party retailing and it’s growing quickly in the bicycle industry. The big players are Amazon, eBay, Sears and now Wal-Mart.”
“You can think of 3P as the classified ads of the Internet. 3P sites have been developed to connect sellers with buyers in an electronic marketplace that is provided by the 3P. The idea is that bike shops use 3P marketplaces to reach more customers. The 3Ps charge retailers a monthly subscription fee plus a commission for each item sold on their web site. The fee is for the use of their web site and transaction services. Essentially, in 3Ps the bike shop or retailer is renting space on a different web site.
Currently, Amazon and eBay are the most well-known 3P markets. Amazon is easily the biggest, but eBay is continuing to aggressively chase them. Now Wal-Mart has entered the race as well, but their website makes it look like they’re selling the merchandise. Other 3P sites to be aware of are Newegg.com, Sears.com and Rakuten.com.
So, when you see Profile cranks being “advertised” on Wal-Mart’s 3P site, it’s not Profile. Look closely and you’ll see a name like BikeWagon, the bike shop in Salt Lake City, selling our cranks. So, when you see this, don’t think that Wal-Mart is selling our products. They aren’t. And, please spread the word when someone tells you that Profile is now sold at Wal-Mart. It just ain’t true.
*Profile Racing is currently working to end these 3P affiliations and thus, this confusion.”
MADISON, WI (BRAIN) — Schwinn is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Paramount model with a limited edition, U.S.-made, steel road frame made at the former Schwinn-owned Paramount factory, now operated by Waterford Precision Cycles in Wisconsin.
Just 25 of the custom frames will be made and retail pricing will start at $4,175 for the frame and fork. The frames will be built with limited-edition 75th anniversary lugs. Options will include internal or Di2 routing, and decaling and paint options. The Paramounts will be available in three frame level options: the Paramount Air, Paramount front/stainless rear, and Paramount full stainless.
Customers who buy one of the 25 frames will be invited to visit Waterford Precision Cycles for an in-person fitting. The Waterford factory was once Schwinn's Paramount factory and was managed by Marc Muller, who bought the factory with Richard Schwinn soon after Schwinn Bicycle went bankrupt in the 1990s.
“Schwinn and Paramount have been synonymous for so long, and we’re happy to have them back together for this special collaboration,” said Jeff Rogers, global general manager at Schwinn. “We asked Richard Schwinn if he and his team would be willing to collaborate with us to create a 75th anniversary Schwinn Paramount, and he answered with a resounding ‘yes,’ illustrating the passion this project has had from the outset.”
“The 75th anniversary design lets us offer 21st century technology while paying homage to the Paramount's glorious past,” said Richard Schwinn. “We feel honored to be able to celebrate another milestone in the Paramount's legendary history and to once again be building Schwinn bicycles.”
Stick with it, it starts getting pretty good after 2 minutes. I don’t know if you recall from your childhood trips to the Roller Garden, but doing anything on rollerskates is pretty hard.
Creepy, for sure. And the jogger was just in a weird place at a weird time. As she came around the corner, and saw all of us idiots in masks, she was first surprised, then amused, then less amused, then she looked pretty weirded out. Yep. Sorry pink jogger.
This is the latest from Wood. Enjoy
Is this not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?!
My friend Jake races with a certain dude named Eric on the CRCA CycleLife/GF Capital bike team based out of NYC. Eric (master architect and owner of some incredible bikes) went through 15 design revisions to get all the angles just so in his apartment. Note that it has bike shoe and bike kit storage spaces as well. Jake tells me I’m obliged to add that it’s a work in progress, with wood staining and bench completion to come.
I want one. Don’t you?
Im willing to puch a homeless, thats how much i want it
That’s a lot of wall space for three bikes, a few pair of shoes, and a couple of helmets. You could fit ten bikes there if you hung them vertically. The question is do you want ten bikes or three?
You are probably wondering what this is doing on TCU, but trust me you’ll watch it to the end. Michelle Steilen AKA Estro Jen throws some Bones bearings in her skates then hits a ton famous skate spots all over Los Angeles.
And the dog is impressed.
Which ladies set the roads on fire this year? One name may dominate, but there were a whole host of riders who made their mark on the women’s racing scene in 2013.
Deservedly, the profile of women’s cycling is building with greater uptake of the bike in terms of leisure, health and transport in a growing number of countries. There have been significant changes at the top of the UCI with Tracey Gaudry appointed to sort out some of the glaring oversights that have blighted the women’s pro scene in the past.
There are superstars and personalities, teams with strong ethics, and high-quality races so 2014 promises much. But before we look forward, it’s time to pay tribute to the women who made 2013 so fascinating. PEZ’s Top Ten Performers for the Year are …
1: Marianne Vos
Marianne Vos is the best rider on the planet. Male or Female. No question. A brief history of her 2013:
* Worlds Cross-country title in the mud in Kentucky
* Five individual World Cup wins from six starts (Ronde van Drenthe, Flanders, Fleche-Wallone, Open de Suede Vargarda, Plouay)
* Overall and stage wins at the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, and the Trophee d’ Or Feminin
* Stages at the Giro d’ Italia Femminile
Strongest rider, great tactician and a superb bike handler. Marianne managed to hold onto this one and not crash after hitting a pothole in the closing meters of a stage at the Giro di Rosa this year.
* Stages and abandoning as leader when the Giro di Toscana appeared to be being run as an event for those with a death wish
* World Road Championships in the rain in Florence
(Oh yeah, some mountain bike racing and winning to keep her hand in …)
Beat that, anyone?
1.5: Emma Johansson
The caveat to the ‘Vos is the best’ statement is that Sweden’s Emma Johansson had her best ever season, hitting number one on the UCI rankings. Emma J’s consistency this year was staggering. She finished (by my count) 74 race days, and was only outside the top ten eight times – seven times placed 11th to 19th, and once in 31st!
With a solid Orica-AIS team supporting her, and looking for strong leadership, Johansson delivered, especially head-to-head against Vos at the Emakumeen Euskal Bira in June with road, TT and overall victories. She also took a national ITT title, stages and overall at the Thuringen Rundfahrt, and led the Route de France from the opening prologue until the whole field was undone by Linda Villumsen on the last stage. She’s just won the Swedish cyclocross title. Targets for next year – World Cups and the road Worlds.
3: Ellen Van Dijk
The smiling and genial Dutchwoman blazed her way through time trials this season, powering a super-strong Specialized-lululemon squad to world team gold in Florence and then backing it up to take the individual rainbow jersey just days later. She’s got road-racing form, too, putting her TT skills to use in winning Le Samyn des Dames by over three minutes in February and the Energiewacht and Gracia Orlova races overall. Then a key role in Vos’s worlds team to round out a successful year. In 2014, she’s off to join the Dolmans-Boels squad.
4: Mara Abbott
After a difficult couple of years, Abbott returned to the top of the podium with a supreme victory in the Giro d’ Italia Femminile. The season built up gradually with a win at San Dimas in March, then a win at Redlands in April and two stages and the overall at the Tour of the Gila in May.
She went to Italy at the head of the USA squad and stormed to back-to-back stages at Beigua and San Domenica (putting over eight minutes into Vos in two days!). It was an outstanding win from an outstanding talent, and hopefully it lays to rest some of the doubts that seem to afflict Abbott about her own abilities.
5: Kirsten Wild
The Argos-Shimano rider is more than just a sprinter. Starting the season full-gas at the tail end of January with three stages and the overall in Qatar, Wild took the Dwaars door Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem, went top ten in Flanders and notched four stages at the Energiewacht Tour in a little over a spring fortnight.
More wins followed at the Giro d’ Italia Femminile, the Lotto-Belisol Belgium tour and the Boels Rentals Ladies Tour … before silver on the track in October at the European Championships. Mighty.
6: Giorgia Bronzini
The fastest finisher in the women’s game? Probably. Sprint wins in France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and China are the bare bones of the story: Bronzini won six stages in a row in La Route de France, took three at the Giro d’ Italia Femminile and one at the Giro di Toscana.
Wiggle-Honda got a lot of bang for their buck, with 17 season wins for Bronzini. More of the same for 2014?
7: Elisa Longo Borghini
Longo Borghini is one of a new breed of Italian women who seem as comfortable on ‘foreign’ teams as they do on an Italian squadra. Racing for Hitec Products, the season started with a bang – winning the Trofeo Alfredo Binda world cup at home.
The versatility of ELB is proven by fourth at Flanders, second at Fleche Wallone, second at the National ITT … and then the season almost ended with another bang. A huge crash in the Italian road race put the 21-year old out of competition with a fractured pelvis. Incredibly she came back just two months later and built up to go top ten at the brutal Worlds road race and third at the Chrono des Nations.
What will she do with a full, healthy season to play with next year?
8: Linda Villumsen
The Dane-turned-New Zealander had seemed to suffer from a bit of ‘career drift’ for a while but 2012 and 2013 saw her redirect onto well-signposted highways to success. Thanks in part to Marco Pinotti, who coached the TT specialist to new heights, Villumsen has nailed her place in the upper reaches of women’s cycling.
Solid in 2012, Villumsen staged one of the coups of the season with a monster solo breakaway win on the last day of the Route de France taking six minutes out of the field to win overall. Second in the TTT, second in the ITT and sixth in the road race at the worlds seem to suggest a broadening of horizons …
9: Anna van der Breggen
No major wins for van der Breggen, but incredible consistency for a woman who’s still only 23. Five top tens in six World Cups, and a fourth in the Worlds road race riding as enforcer for Marianne Vos mean that if the number one doesn’t deliver (probably because she’s been abducted by aliens or something), the Dutch have a ready-to-go replacement. She also picked up seven overall top tens in eight stage races. Watch her turn some of those into big wins in 2014.
10: Francesca Cauz
Not the biggest star yet, and a controversial choice, but making huge progress this year. The Top Girls Fassa Bortolo rider turned 21 in September, breaking through at the Giro d’ Italia Femminile.
She outclimbed almost everyone there, barring Mara Abbott, coming second and third in the hilly middle stages. Cauz ended seventh overall and best young rider – with the likes of Rosella Ratto, Elisa Longho Borghini, Dalia Muccioli and Cauz, Italian women’s racing has a bright future.
“The Super Galactic Cycling Squad has traveled from a galaxy far far away. They came to Earth and conquered. This is what they thought of our planet. God & Famous tends to agree.
Introducing the Fuck Earth Shop Rag. Wipe the whip down (or the shuttle) with this G&F x SGCS limited edition collabo available now at God & Famous.”
Bike polo champion.
People tend to really want a seat when they got on the subway, so I totally get this. The joy on their faces just from being able to get on is completely understandable. The insane rush though, I'm still working on.