Let’s learn cornering

I’ve spent a lot of time cornering but I still have a lot to learn. I found this paul the punter’s video where he is working with a local pro he knows on cornering. Towards the end of the video they start breaking down what is holding Paul back and to correct the problem, he is told to point his inner knee towards the center of the turn, drop the bike and keep his heels back, but his pedals even, push his inside arm out and hold with a light grip. The first recommendation is the only trick I knew about cornering and I used it quite a bit. I can’t wait to get out and work on the other items on the list and see if I can start improving my speed in cornering. Here is a link to the video so that I can keep working on cornering my mountain bike.

Frosty’s Fat Bike Race Series 2018 – Sundance DH

Frosty’s Fat Bike DH Race at Sundance

Here is my full video of the race.

Watch this to see the fat bike action on the course.

The Frosty’s Fat bike Race Series of 2018 came to Sundance Utah in a big way.  Sundance provided fat bike riders some excellent lift service up Ray’s Lift and dropped racers off at the top for some crazy downhill fat bike fun.  This was my very first bike race ever.  To say that I was nervous all day long would be an understatement.  I have only 1.5 seasons of experience on a fat bike, and I am not someone who seeks out competition…  Unless you are referring to strava.  Then again, I like to be quiet about trying to do better.  So getting out there on my fat bike was a big stress to think about.  When I actually got to Sundance, the atmosphere was so chill, I pretty much quit worrying about it.

The Lift

Little did we know that we would get to hold our bikes on our laps.  Well, not exactly, but you had to hold your own bike somehow.  My first ride up was with another rider too, that was crazy to have 2 fat bikes on the same chair.  Basically I hooked my fat bike by the seat onto the chair.  Can you imagine dropping your fat bike from 40 feet in the air?  Would the tires explode?  I didn’t want to find out how durable the bike was that day, so I just held on to my 34lb tank.  The guy sitting on the inside of the chair lift had a much more dangerous situation to deal with because the chair is very close to the poles on that side.  He had to keep moving the bike to avoid the pole.

 

 

Contestants

The race had 3 tiers, A, B and C.  A was for “pro” or advanced, B for intermediate and C was for beginners on a fat bike.  I was going to go for intermediate but my friend who invited me (Steve) thought that if we were racing at all we out to be shooting for the money that they were offering only to the group A riders.  So we rode with those guys.  We got showed up.  We just really need more racing experience.  I can think back to things that I could have or should have done differently to have done better in this race.  But I suppose that the opponent would also have time to reflect, so it is probably pointless to think in specifics.  I am thinking more about racing and how I would have handled any track.

 

Awards

The awards were fun and it was great to support the winners (see the end of the video for more details).  I think that the prizes were just 150 for 1st, 75 for 2nd and 25 for 3rd place.

 

Warming Pit

This is where we went after to try to warm our hands.  I love that Sundance has these toasty natural gas fire pits where you can warm up outside.

 

Would I do it again?

Would I do another Fat Bike Race?  Yes, for sure I would do this one.  And I might consider doing a Race with some climbing in it.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 | Bike Review | (the same one I compared to an Ibis Mojo 3)

Trek Fuel EX

Why I’m reviewing the Trek Fuel EX

A while back I made a video of an Ibis Mojo 3 that I tried out when the Ibis guys came to Corner Canyon (one of my local trail systems).  I had recently done a demo of a Trek Fuel which I believe was the Fuel EX 9.9 29.  I didn’t take notes of the specs on the bike, but I do have some pictures from which I have tried to piece together this article (feel free to correct my mistakes).  The Trek Fuel EX is an 8k-9k bike which seems like has the resume of a winner, but was not a good fit for me (and not only because of the price).  As I was riding the Mojo 3 I couldn’t help but compare it to both my Tallboy and the Trek Fuel EX.  The comments that I made were definitely in favor of the Mojo 3 and down on the Trek Fuel.

 

Here is that video review of the Ibis Mojo 3 if you haven’t seen it:

 

 

I have had a few people interested in the references that I made to the Trek Fuel EX so I thought that rather than try to capture my thoughts in Youtube comments, I would instead do this quick write up.  Because I unfortunately didn’t have my gopro working that day I don’t have my full review (which would have been so much more compelling), I did take some pictures of the Trek Fuel EX which I have included below.

 

What are the specs on that thing?

With a 29″ wheel, running the Bontrager Team Issue 29×2.40 tire

Carbon frame

Carbon wheels

130 mm FOX factory Float fork / 130 mm FOX Factory Float rear shock RE:aktiv

SRAM XX1 Eagle drive train 1×12

Sram Guide Brakes

Bontrager Drop Line dropper

 

I’m pretty sure that it was this buildout: Trekbikes Product Page

 

My thoughts after… a bit of time.

Looks Great!

A very gorgeous bike.  Looks amazing.  Seems like it has all that you could want.  The shocks, the carbon frame, the brakes, the dropper, the EAGLE!!!  The 29″ wheelset!  I love my 29″ Tallboy.  Amazing setup right?  Wrong.  I hated this bike.  I couldn’t wait to get off it and get back on my 2013 Tallboy.  Looks can sometimes be deceiving and for me, these looks were not backed up by the performance that I expected.

 

Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29
Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29

 

What I didn’t hate

I had no complaints about the Sram Guide brakes.

The Sram XX1 Eagle was nice, and was necessary to get the beast up the hill.

 

 

 

 

 

What?  I hate it?

The Leaky Dropper

What did I hate about it?  Well, my opinion was first soured when the dropper post wouldn’t stay up on my climb.  It would slowly drop.  I am sure that was a leak in the dropper.  With a small repair I’m sure that problem would be solved, but it put me in a very bad mood.  I am very particular about my seat height when I am climbing.

 

The Bulky Linkage

The second thing I hated was that both as I was climbing and descending, my calves would actually hit the linkage.  From the pictures you can see that the linkage does protrude a bit, but it doesn’t seem like it would be problematic.  But it was very annoying.

 

 

 

No Agility

Third, cornering on the DH was abysmal.  I felt like I was driving a tank, there was no agility to this bike.  I didn’t try anything special coming down as I felt like the bike was just off balance, bulky and awkward.  What I mean is, I didn’t try to clear the tabletop that I hit in my Ibis Mojo 3 review above.  I was very careful on the step-ups and I didn’t throw it around on the jumps and hips nor did I fly up the wall rides like I would have on my Tallboy or on the Ibis Mojo 3.

Basically I just didn’t feel like I was getting any clean lines on anything.  Maybe I should have taken it down a more basic trail, but I really think that the bike I buy should handle the tight flow and speed that I run on the trail I chose.  The bulkiness and clunk just got in the way of having a good time.

 

 

 

To Wrap things up…

This bike and me didn’t click.  That’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for you.  I am sure that this has a lot to do with my riding style and my body geometry.  But the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 although it has a high price tag didn’t have the performance value that I was looking for.  I am just starting my quest to review all the bikes on my list before I buy my next bike…  Which I really hope is next summer.  But I can tell you for sure that the Trek Fuel won’t be the one.

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments below.  I’d love to hear about your experience on this bike.  Do you like it?  Does it work for your body type?  Am I totally out to lunch?

 

 

bear canyon suspension bridge

Bonneville Shoreline Trail – Draper, Corner Canyon

The Bonneville Shoreline trail “system” (if you can call it a trail system) is one of the most unique trail systems that I have seen.  It’s location isn’t secluded to a zip code or a city.  The BST is a trail system that follows the shoreline of the ancient Bonneville lake.  It follows the Wasatch Front and I have ridden segments of the BST in Provo, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Alpine, Draper, Sandy and Salt Lake.  The Bonneville Shoreline trail also extends south as far as Santaquin and as far north as Idaho.  The segment of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail that I am reviewing today is just the small piece that goes from Corner Canyon out to the Bear Canyon Suspension bridge.

Bonneville Shoreline Trail (Corner Canyon)

Bonneville Shoreline Trail System (within Corner Canyon)

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Start At Andy Ballard Equestrian Center

You can start anywhere in Corner Canyon.  I decided to just start at the Equestrian Center.  I wanted to do some other trails, not just BST, so I went up past the temple along the lower BST, then to Gasline, up towards Ghost Falls, then on to Rattler.  Then I headed over to where the Draper segment of Bonneville Shoreline Trails begins and I took off from there.

 

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - BST Towards Sandy

You do encounter some cool sights as you head towards Sandy on the slightly inclining trail.  First off you can see the whole Salt Lake valley.  It is even more impressive when riding as the sun is setting.  Seeing the sun set behind the west mountains is spectacular from that vantage point.  There is a small bridge with a good rocky climb and then there is the giant suspension bridge at Bear Canyon.  I really enjoyed riding out to these bridges and hopping through the rocks.

 

mountain biking the bonneville shoreline trail
Eric riding the BST

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - The Return

Since it was mainly (light) climbing out, the return is fast  enjoyable experience.  Since there are only slight turns as the trail winds along the Bonneville Shoreline you can really keep your speed up.

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge really is the highlight of the Draper segment of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  This bridge is 185 feet long and is super fun to cross.  The view is gorgeous and the sturdy bridge will make you want to come out to this segment of the BST again and again.

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge

 

Suspension Bridge, First Person View
The view midway headed north

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Variations

Since I was actually filming this and it was sunset, I was not able to do what I normally do which is continue on until the trail ends.  Not that Bonneville Shoreline trail ends here, it just disappears when it runs into a road somewhere in Sandy.  The fun part is that after the suspension bridge, things get a lot more technical and the climbing increases.  Notable things are the cave where you ride through a section of giant rocks that are piled upon each other (with cave access obviously).  There are some cool water break logs going down a trail, those are really fun to come down.  And there is one technical climb and one very technical climb that you will encounter if you continue on past the suspension bridge.  I highly recommend it.

 

view of sunset from bonneville shoreline trail

Bonneville Shoreline Trail : Quick Facts
Start GeoClick for map to 40.512038, -111.846879 (Draper, UT)
LocationAndy Ballard Arena Parking, 1600 Highland Dr, Draper, UT 84020
Length9.3mi
TypeOut and back (on BST), loop through some other trails
Treadsingle track, double track
Physical
This isn't a major workout, but it is fun
Jumps
you can find things to jump
Obstacles
some rocks to jump over
Technical
there are some technical rock gardens, it gets harder if you go further on towards the cave, but I didn't this time
Flow
not too curvy, but just enough turns with good speed enhances the flow
Gain1111
Overall
This is a fun trail to get out and see the salt lake valley, check out the suspension bridge and just cruise around

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Map
Total distance: 9.36 mi
Max elevation: 5318 ft
Min elevation: 4649 ft
Total climbing: 1424 ft
Total descent: -1424 ft
Average speed: 11.96 mi/h

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Summary

In summary, the Draper Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a beautiful fast flowing trail that is perched above the valley and gives you a beautiful view and a little excitement.  Break out of the well worn Corner Canyon trails for a minute and enjoy what the BST has to offer between Draper and Sandy.  You’ll be glad you did and you probably won’t run into as many people along the way.

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Additional Resources
More resources on Trailforks
Check out my ride on Strava
Watch my ride on Relive
Dig deeper? See the official Trail Maintainer

Should I do the Summit Challenge?

Here is the deal… I just got offered a spot for $50 to do the Summit Challenge which is 100 miles and 6800 vertical feet.

 

Total distance: 99.69 mi
Max elevation: 8182 ft
Min elevation: 5226 ft
Total climbing: 6795 ft
Total descent: -6795 ft
Average speed: 36.42 mi/h

Summit Challenge Site

Has anyone done this?  Should I waste my whole Saturday on this?

 

To be continued…

Corner Canyon - Mercer Hollow Trail midway

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow – A flowy little run intersecting Suncrest Drive

Mercer Hollow is one of the Corner Canyon trails on the south side of the mountain which can get you access to all the trails in the trail system from Utah County.  It is a quick ride up providing a good workout if you push it and a fun flowy ride back to the bottom.

 

Corner Canyon

Corner Canyon is a trail system that resides along Wasatch Mountains to the east of draper and the giant sandbar south of Draper (called the point of the mountain). This sprawling trailsystem has probably 100 miles of rideable single track.

Corner Canyon Trails: mercer hollow view from the top
View from the top

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer hollow view from bottom
view from bottom

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow - Intro

Mercer Hollow Trail is one of the 3 (and a half) gateways to the more well known Corner Canyon trails from the Utah County side.  The others being South Maple Hollow, Hog’s Hollow and 3 Falls (incomplete at this time).  Mercer Hollow Trail will give you access to some of the best of the central/northern Utah Mountain Biking.  Although short itself, mercer hollow trail provides a fun sprint up to the top with some nice views and a fun (albeit quick) downhill flow type of wide single track downhill which will leave you with an appetite for more of Draper’s popular well groomed (and growing) corner canyon trails.

 

 

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow : Quick Facts
Start GeoClick for map to 40.461579, -111.818250 (Draper, Utah)
LocationSouth side of Suncrest road, first pullover spot (on the right) after Skye Estates. Look for the big tractor tires.
Length4 miles
TypeOut and back (short), or use to access CC proper.
Tread1/2 double track, 1/2 CC cut trail
Physical
The top half (single track) can be a strenuous climb, if you push it, but it is pretty short.
Jumps
There are handful of fun roller style jumps
Obstacles
Nothing to note, unless you can figure out how to incorporate the big rock that is right next to the trail
Technical
CC "groomed" single track has most of the technical stuff removed.
Flow
This is a pretty fun flowy downhill run. While in the upper half you have enough open space and berms to keep your speed up. There are portions of switchback that you can jump over if you are fast. Overall a fun flowy downhill experience.
GainStrava, Trailforks and my own analysis disagree, but somewhere around 600 feet +
Overall
Fun, but mostly good for access to the rest of Corner Canyon

 

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow - Map
Total distance: 4.23 mi
Max elevation: 5951 ft
Min elevation: 5374 ft
Total climbing: 1394 ft
Total descent: -1414 ft
Average speed: 11.95 mi/h

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow - Trail Description

Mercer Hollow trail is divided into upper and lower sections.  The lower section is breezy double track and ends at the gravel road coming down from Mercer Hollow Cove.  After the gravel road, you will enjoy the “Draper style” single track (i.e. a really wide single track, cut with Draper’s super duper trail cutter). The single track gets you to the top where you can then cross Suncrest Road and jump on Eagle Crest (to access Maple Hollow, Vertigo and Levitate), or you can head over to the Peak View trail head (otherwise known as “The Corral”) which is the main intersection in the Corner Canyon trail system.  From there you can access the north side trails and up to Jacobs Ladder.  The climb is a decent workout, but very short. There are a few rocky sections but the trail is well built and easy to climb. It will get you to the top with lots of energy for the rest of your CC adventure.

 

Coming down mercer hollow you can find these types of pretty views.
Coming down mercer hollow you can find these types of pretty views.

 

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow - Summary
Since Mercer Hollow is a quick fun ride, you should grab your bike and take a sprint.  It is a fast ride alone and a great way to access the other great trails in the area.  

 

Corner Canyon Trails: Mercer Hollow - Additional Resources
More resources on Trailforks
Check out my ride on Strava
Dig deeper? See the official Trail Maintainer

 

Nate skating the sidewalks..

It was a beautiful evening and Nate wanted to hang out, so I thought that I would throw the drone in the air and follow him around as he skated around the driveway.

 

 

Here is just a quick video I made of Nate skating around the house.

 

 

Here I am trying to learn to do some following with my parrot bebop 2 drone.  I was not using any follow-me modes, just by hand (which is why it is not very cinematic in many parts).  But I am improving.  Super excited to learn to fly the drone lower to the ground, flying backwards and things.  Drone flying is just so fun!  And it’s fun to see Nate land that 360 flip.  That was nuts.  I can’t do those 🙂

Hilarious near crash

We (Stephen and I) were riding Levitate (I’ll link the review here when it is ready) and I had the weirdest almost-crash.  As I came off of one of the jumps, my foot popped out of my super duper crank brothers pedals (cleats getting worn down?) and my foot just flew around.  I had to sit on my top bar for a long time to try to get the situation under control.

 

foot off pedal
Foot flies off pedal at the wrong time.

 

Shortly after the left foot popped off, my right followed suit.  At some point I was able to drag myself onto my frame, my seat was crooked.  I just rode out sitting on the frame as I tried to reduce speed to a manageable level.

You might also notice the deer scattering when I came dragging my feet around the final corner.  Glad we didn’t hit a deer.