Gone Riding

November 2017

posted Nov 20, 2017, 2:31 PM by Scott Bixby

Early fall in WNY was fantastic but if you've lived here long enough, you know winter will be here soon. We're into that late fall rainy season but I've managed to get out a few times when the trails were acceptably dry.

I whacked a rock with the end of my thru axle in Tryon Park. At first, I thought it was a gun shot! I stopped expecting to find a broken spoke but was "relieved" to find it was just the axle. 

With my new work hours, I've been able to ride to work more often. Some days it's hard to get motivated to ride in the cold but I never regret riding.

One of these days, the trails will freeze up and I'll get out on my fatbike with its new carbon wheels and eleven speed drivetrain. I took it for a test run around town the other day but fat tires and paved surfaces don't mix!

October 23, 2017

posted Oct 23, 2017, 6:51 PM by Scott Bixby

Sorry for the blood, I've had a bit of bad luck lately and my left knee has taken the brunt of the abuse! Last week in Bay Park West, a stick flew up off the trail and jammed one of my wheels causing me to crash.

This week in Tryon, I was practicing wheelies on the road by the mulch pile. I went to pedal up into a wheelie and the KMC connecting link in my chain broke. I went flying forward into the handlebars and then crashed.......onto my left knee!!! I also managed to rip the skin away from my pinky fingernail. I probably should take a break from bikes for a few days.....

October 2017

posted Oct 11, 2017, 5:41 PM by Scott Bixby

If asked to pick a favorite bike of the ones currently in my stable, it'd have to be my Santa Cruz Jackal. Fall is very busy for me so when I don't have lots of time or I just don't feel like driving to the trails, I play around on the Jackal. Saddle up for wheelie practice, saddle down for manual practice and other antics.

I recently replaced the old coil spring Rockshox with a new Manitou Circus Expert. What a difference! It has a much firmer ride and is WAY stiffer than the old fork. Stoppies are so much easier when the fork doesn't bottom out!

August 2017

posted Aug 11, 2017, 9:38 PM by Scott Bixby

I'm really bad about stopping to take pictures, even after I promised to post more updates here. Anyhow, in a reversal from the drought of 2016, summer 2017 has been much wetter. The riding has still been good, just have to be patient while the trails dry.

I met my brother and his son at the Greek Peak Bike Park recently for some lift access riding. Of course it rained some during the week so the trails were a little wet in places but overall, the riding was good.

I'm going to be honest and admit that I was in over my head on nearly every run down Greek Peak as evidenced by my tortured rear brake rotor! It almost looks as if it's glowing in the top picture but that's just the ambient light.

This is the first time I've done this type of riding and it was a real eye opener. I have a new appreciation for downhill racers and the skill and courage needed to be successful. I also understand why DH bikes have big suspension travel and powerful brakes! My 140mm travel Giant Trance did well but maybe next time I'll rent a true downhill bike. Or maybe I need a DH bike of my own??

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!

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!

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.

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