Saturday, August 1, 2015

Alex Mabey Plays Frisco Colorado

An Artist Not To Be Missed!

While hitting the Frisco Bikeway, we stopped in the mountain town of Frisco, Colorado.  Wow!  We were in for a heck of a treat!

Alex Mabey was playing Frisco main street.  Alex was stopping traffic and pedestrians with her strong melodies which could be heard for several blocks in Frisco.  While the song recorded is a cover song, Alex writes her own music.  Stay tuned for one of Alex's original songs which we will post once we have it edited.

We asked Alex if we could film her and said yes!  You can book Alex at

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clipless Shoes and a Broken Rib

Should you wear clip less (clip-in) shoes?

Everyone has to make these decisions for themselves.  Clip-in shoes, which attach to the pedal to make both down and up-stroke more efficient, are also very dangerous.  If you "forget" to un-clip, (or can't) then the truth of all bicycle riders comes home in spades:  When forward motion of the rider stops, either he gets his/her foot down, or he/she falls over.

The truth is, everyone falls once in awhile when wearing clip less shoes.  In most cases, the fall leads to an embarrassing situation.  People who don't ride bikes have a hard time understanding why someone comes to a stop in traffic and then falls over.

In my case, during my second fall, it lead to a broken rib near my sternum.  I fell with my full weight, heavy as this is, on the end of my handle bar.  The pain of the break was incredible.  

The pain of the heal process has been eternal and intense, including the huge pain a week after the incident when the rib popped out of position again during a body stretch.  

My buddy was kidding me about how much I was carrying on over a little scratch on my chest.  When I was still in horrible pain a week later, I went to the doc, who told me I broke my rib.  Had I gone to the emergency room that night, which I should have done over the risks of potential damage to the heart or lung, the experience would have set me back a huge sum of money.

I can't say wearing clip-in (clip less) shoes is a good or bad decision for you.  For me, they were a disaster.

Planning Your Bicycle Tour

The Long Distance Tour

How To Pack Your Panniers

How To Pack Without Panniers

While there are some practical tips to adventure cycling, this is not rocket science.  You don't have to have a lot of money, or a fancy education, or special licenses or certificates.  You don't even have to be in great shape, as conditioning will come with the territory.  What you do have to have is a strong desire to see the world one pedal at a time.

Learn more about bicycle touring from the Adventure Bicycling Association!  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bicycling Touring Pro Answers Your Questions

Do Men Have To Wear Tight Bicycle Pants To Tour?

This youth, Darren Alff,  has years of experience on touring bikes.  He answers many questions which will help the bike tourer get a start in this passionate sport!

Warm Showers, A Place To Camp, Sleep, Cook, Meet Others 

In The Lifestyle-No, It Is Not KOA

Are you planning on a long term tour but don't know where to clean up along the way?  Try Warm Showers, a non-profit organization which helps bicycle tourers world wide find a place to sleep, to shower and to relax from the road.  You might be a person in need of these volunteer services, or you might be a person biking through and in desperate need for a place to let your hair down for a few hours.  Warm Showers matches traveling cyclist and a few others a place to crash while on the road.  Each host has his own set of rules and may limit the kinds of things the host can do for the rider.

Some hosts offer sleeping space in their homes.  Others offer a yard where you can pitch your tent in confidence.  Sometimes the host will provide a meal, or let his guests have access to a kitchen so they can prepare their meals on their own.  Those who become hosts have often been themselves riders so they know what bicycle tourers want when they retreat from the trail or wilderness.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Riding Vail Pass, the riders

Jimmy Packs the Panniers
Our goal is to ride from Frisco in the Colorado Rockies, to the resort town of Glenwood Springs.

The forecast was for partly cloudy skies.  Seeing as there was no rain predicted we felt pretty safe in heading out for the great divide, a trek up the old ten-mile railroad grade, now a bicycle path, to the ski resort of Copper Mountain.  With luck, we would pass through Frisco and then Copper Mountain.  Next we would summit Vail Pass (10,662 feet) and find a place to camp on the West side.

Ten thousand feet into the sky is plenty high for heavy endurance riding.  The Federal Aviation Authority requires oxygen for pilots who fly above 10,000 feet.

Shortly before Copper Mountain rain began to fall in huge sheets.  The ground turned into a million little rivers.  We found shelter at a small covered bench at the lakes below Copper.  After a half hour of non-stop, drenching showers, we made a run for the coffee shop at the base of Copper.  That was to become our headquarters for the next several hours.  

With only light rain falling, we left the comfort of the coffee shop and headed up Vail Pass.  Night was soon to fall.  We needed to find a place to camp, fast!  The regulations were clear, our site had to be 100 feet from trail, road and stream.  In the pinched median of the opposing lanes of I-70, making up the East side of Vail Pass, options were limited.  Finally, I spotted a fairly level spot above the path.  Jimmy hauled the last bike up the steep grade as I put the finishing touches on the tent.

Then the cats and dogs style rain began again and we settled into a wet night in the alpine environment of the Colorado Rockies.  My 20+ year old North Face Tent could not keep the water out, despite a fresh sealing of the seams.  We are doing this tour on tiny budget made up of centavos and a prayer, so things like expensive tents are out.

Jimmy Rivera packing the tent on Vail Pass

The next day, we crested the summit of Vail Pass in beautiful sunshine.  Should we press on to
Glenwood Springs, or should we head back to the valley?  Since I had to be at work on Monday, we reluctantly played it conservatively, and headed for the barn.  Glenwood Springs would have to wait for another day.

All trips have the risk of a downside.  While laboring up Ten-Mile, a skateboarder zoomed down the path, veered into my lane, shoved me nearly causing a fall.  If you recognize this thug, let me know so we can report him to authorities.  

Unfortunately, the skateboarders often take over the Frisco-Copper Mountain bike path, with little respect for others who use the path.  We won't let that ruin an otherwise great ride!

See The World By Bicycle!

Iohan Gueorguiev Leads the Way

Iohan Gueorguiev takes us on a wonderful tour of his first year cross country on a bike.  This guy will warm your heart as he interacts with humans, horses and nature's creatures!  It does not take long to fall in love with the notion of bicycle touring after watching Ihoan's videos.

This is adventure, adventure, adventure!

In 2015, Iohan was elected 1 of 6 Blackburn Rangers who will represent Blackburn Designs products on the trail.  The rangers run either the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, (GDMTBR) from Canada to deep into New Mexico, or the Pacific Coast.  Iohan chose the GDMTBR.

This is Iohan's second stab at the route.  On his first effort, in the dead "heat" of winter, Iohan deviated from course shortly after Boreas Pass in Colorado to take in some of the finest national parks the U.S. has to offer.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tour de France 2015 a Wrap

The Winner Comes In Last

Chris Froome won his second Tour de France, finishing the last day of competition well in the back of the pack.  Instead, Andre Greipel won the day on the Champs Elysees Sunday, July 27th, 2015.

Fromme has been fighting unsupported allegations of doping.  He has had urine thrown at him by a spectator, as well as being spat upon by another.  The insults did nothing to stop the determined Fromme from fighting with everything he had up the steep ascent to the famous ski resort, the Alpe d'Huez.

Today, Nairo Quintana and his movie star teammate, Alejandro Valverde of Spain, sealed the second and third place trophy at the 2015 Tour de France.