Gone Riding

December 2016

posted Dec 13, 2016, 12:54 AM by Scott Bixby   [ updated Dec 13, 2016, 1:14 AM ]

You probably came to this conclusion quickly when you opened this page but It's fatbike season as far as I'm concerned! You might recognize some of these places but in case you don't, Hunters Creek Park above and Bay Park West below.

The top picture was taken at Long Point State Park on Lake Chautauqua on 12/4. Global Fatbike day was 12/3 and our group was nearly twenty-five riders. Not all fat, but all fun. And then it snowed! Lots of granny gear pedaling at Sprague Brook Park below.

November 2016

posted Nov 11, 2016, 12:06 AM by Scott Bixby

Unfortunately, not every ride turns out the way you'd like, especially in the fall when leaves and branches start falling on the trail. My brother and I tried to ride at Tryon Park in Rochester but only made it a couple of miles. My brother kicked up a branch into his rear wheel that snapped two spokes and broke his derailleur cage.

When the spokes broke, the tension release caused them to puncture the rim tape resulting in immediate and total air loss. I was riding in front of him but I heard the bang from the breaking spokes and the "whoosh" of sudden air loss and knew that his ride was over. Fortunately, we weren't too far from the parking lot.

September 2016

posted Oct 10, 2016, 1:20 AM by Scott Bixby

The dry summer weather continued into September making for fantastic riding. These were taken at the Trails at Jakes Rocks in Warren, PA. Phase One of this riding area included roughly eight miles of machine built single track.

I wasn't sure if eight miles of trail would be worth the long drive down but I must say that it was fantastic. With nearly forty miles of trail planned, this place is shaping up to be one of the premier riding areas in the northeast!

Carlton Hill State Forest, just south of Batavia, NY, has become one of my favorite WNY riding destinations this summer. I rode there a few times earlier in the year with a friend who knows his way around. I've done enough rides there now that I can find my way around.

Carlton Hill shares many similarities with Hunters Creek near East Aurora, NY. There's lots of trail intersections to learn but Carlton Hill has at least twice the area. If you go, please be courteous to the equestrians!

August 2016

posted Aug 12, 2016, 10:45 PM by Scott Bixby

The summer of 2016 has been exceptionally dry here in WNY. After 3-4 wet summers in a row, I've really enjoyed the drought conditions. 

I've been riding the fatbike intermittently throughout the summer and last week I did some slow speed exploring around Hunters Creek Park in East Aurora.

As you can see, there's not much left of Hunters Creek. I'm not sure how to explain it but there's something uniquely enjoyable about riding a fatbike in a stream bed. Caution is in order, especially where the water is standing as the green stuff is very slippery. I managed to avoid falling in though!

Lest you think cycling is the only outdoor activity I enjoy, here's some pictures of my father and I kayaking on Lake Erie in Derby, NY near the mouth of 18 Mile Creek.

The creek was actually too low to do much kayaking so we spent our time out on the lake. The water is very clear here and quite shallow far from the shore. And very warm! 

24 Hours of Summer Solstice 2016

posted Jul 10, 2016, 7:11 PM by Scott Bixby

The self proclaimed "greatest old man team ever" headed up to Canada for the 2016 version of the Summer Solstice 24 hour race. So it turns out on this day we were only the third greatest old man team as we ended up third in the 250+ age category.

The weather was hot and the course was really dusty. Only a couple crashes and no mechanical issues made for a relatively uneventful race. We had lots of laughs in the pits and the camaraderie is really the most enjoyable part of this race, at least to me.
This is solo 24 hour racer Brian Phillips. He had been riding his bike since 1200 Saturday and this is what he looked like when I woke up at 0500 on Sunday morning. I half joked that we should check him for a pulse! He survived and soldiered on to complete fourteen ten mile laps over twenty-four hours. That's hard core and something I really have no desire to attempt!

May 2016

posted May 20, 2016, 2:37 AM by Scott Bixby

I've been fixing lots of bikes and building wheels but have still managed to find a little time to ride. My new friend Jake and I drove down to the Harris Hill Forest in Chautauqua County earlier this week.

The fatbike is not my preferred bike in the warm months but I'm trying out some lighter, less knobby tires and wanted to get some miles on them.

I've never had carbon wheels on any of my bikes until recently. My RSD Bikes Sergeant is wearing 38mm Nextie asymetric rims that I laced to SRAM Boost hubs. Tubeless setup with Schwalbe Nobby Nics was simple and so far, I really like the feel of carbon rims.

I've also been working on some skills with my dirt jumper. Endos and wheelies are cool but I'm most excited about my progress with manualing. I'm dialing in my technique and going longer each ride.

Winter 2015/2016 or, the winter that wasn't.

posted Mar 13, 2016, 4:25 PM by Scott Bixby

If you're into snow and cold than the winter of 2015/2016 was supremely disappointing. Fortunately, I can do without either so I rather enjoyed it! The fatbiking was inconsistent at best but I managed to get a few rides in. Check out my Strava for the details.
This is the Alegrippis Trails in Huntingdon, PA and this was taken 3/7/16. A local rider told us that winter storm Jonas dropped 28 inches here in February but you'd never know from the picture. The trails were a little wet in places but we had lots of fun here and here.

Harris Hill Hustle

posted Sep 29, 2015, 3:26 PM by Scott Bixby   [ updated Nov 19, 2015, 12:31 AM ]

Riders on Blueline wheels made it to the podium at the 2nd Harris Hill Hustle in Gerry, NY this past weekend. My brother Ben took the overall win, Lance Johnson was second and my other brother Jason was third. Jason rides on Dt Swiss/carbon 29er wheels that I built.

Jon Suita below took the win in the SS class on a NoTubes ZTR Flow Ex 29er front wheel that I rebuilt a couple of weeks ago. Jon is one of the faster road/cx racers in the area but I've only seen him at a few mountain bike races.

Jon didn't know the course and he was riding full rigid and he let me by on lap one on a downhill section. When the trail turned back uphill a few minutes later, I moved over and let Jon by and he quickly disappeared into the woods. He told me afterwards that he crashed numerous times during the race but the Blueline wheel "held up good to the beating". Hopefully I'll see Jon at a few more MTB races in 2016.

And there I am on the 40-49 Expert podium next to Lance Johnson. My brother Jason should have been on the 2nd barrel but had already left for home. Lance rules the 40-49 Expert class around here so I'm lucky to have gotten third.

Of course I'm riding wheels that I built on my hardtail 29er. The front has a White Industries CLD hub and a Specialized Roval carbon rim. The rear has a DT Swiss 240 hub and Nox Composites Teocali rim. With CX Ray spokes, they are light and strong, and way faster than me!

Thanks to Greg Snow for this picture!

April 16-18, 2015

posted May 3, 2015, 11:45 PM by Scott Bixby   [ updated May 3, 2015, 11:46 PM ]

I had the opportunity to attend the IPMBA 25th Annual Conference in Chandler, Arizona last month. I rented this Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Evo from Global Bikes. The picture below is from the South Mountain Park. One of the local guys said it's the largest city park in the US, in this case, Phoenix, Arizona. There's some trails up on the mountain but the conference seminars stuck to the fast, flowy trails on the desert floor.

After the conference concluded, I had a chance to sample some of the trails close by Chandler. The top picture is from the McDowell Mountain Competition Loops. There were a few technical features but mostly the trails were wide open and fast.

After McDowell, I headed to the south east and the Hawes Trail System. Twisted Sister was challenging and fun but I didn't make it all the way to the end. Desert riding is fun but I prefer trees and forest. Temps were in the high 80's, summertime must be brutally hot! You can never carry too much water in the desert.

Dairy Capital Stampede 9/14/14

posted Sep 15, 2014, 3:40 AM by Scott Bixby

Marc and I headed up to Woodstock, Ontario for the 15th Dairy Capital Stampede hosted by the Woodstock Cycling Club. They lease a riding area known as "The Pines" that is closed to the public except for this race. This may be my favorite six hour venue in this area. The soil is a gritty, sandy mix providing incredible traction and the course is filled with berms and other fun features. It's also very flat so I figured it would be a good place to get his first six hour race experience.

I started the race and did two laps and then tagged off to him. I made sure to be in the transition area each time he came through but he did great, plugging along and finishing five laps.
Some days are great on the bike and others, not so much. Today was a great day. It was pleasantly cool and I was top three or better in the two man class on each of my laps.

Marc was tired at the end but he raved about the fun factor of the course. He was upset by getting "passed so much" but I told him we were just there to have fun. He was also upset that he had to walk the steep, rooty section each lap but we agreed that riding that section cleanly could be his goal for next year.

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