The benefits of near-zero tire pressure for riding in the snow

I rode Leb a couple weeks ago on my 29’er hardtail. I had about 15 PSI in my skinny Maxxis Ardent 2.4″ tires, with rear tubeless. I’m 150 pounds. Since the intermediate loop was packed pretty well and reasonably wide, I thought I’d be fine. NOT.

If I didn’t stay in the hard center, the softer edges of the packed area would often derail me. I kept thinking “lean the bike more” and “keep your eyes ahead.” I tried standing up more, then sitting down more. Nothing worked. I then ran into Bob Shepherd and a small gang on fatties and told them my tale of woe. Bob and another guy squeezed my tires and said they were way too hard, and in a way that left no doubt of their convictions. I wasn’t as sure but I promptly began letting out air and as Bob got ready to depart, he asked me if I had a pump in case I let out too much. I did.

The difference was shocking. Continue reading The benefits of near-zero tire pressure for riding in the snow

I want a fatty but my 29’er is still fun on the snow-packed singletrack

I last blogged about my experience of riding my skinny-tired 29’er in the snow back in late February of 2012. It was a very poor winter for snow lovers here in southern Minnesota and that day at Murphy-Hanrehan was one of the only times I got to ride my bike on snowy area singletrack trails.

Maxxis Ardent 2.4" knobby tires Maxxis Ardent 2.4" knobby tires winter night riding at Lebanon Hills

Last winter was much snowier and once I purchased a set of Maxxis Ardent 2.4″ knobby tires, I got out a several times at Leb, mostly at night.  Continue reading I want a fatty but my 29’er is still fun on the snow-packed singletrack

Paralyzed mountain bike trials rider Martyn Ashton: his philosophy of life is one to emulate

Tym Manley, editor of the British cycling magazine Rouleur, has an article titled Reasons To Be Cheerful – One, Two, Three about his visit to the hospital bed of legendary mountain bike trials rider Martyn Ashton, paralyzed from the waist down from an accident during a trials demo in September.

Martyn Ashton - photo by Steve Behr

I really resonate with Ashton’s answer to Manley’s question, “Are you a religious man?” Continue reading Paralyzed mountain bike trials rider Martyn Ashton: his philosophy of life is one to emulate

Progress on cornering: berm turns vs. flatland turns

I blogged a little bit about cornering back in August when I started  learning how to pump a flat surface. Practicing pumping flat ground has helped me make some progress in my cornering ability, as you’ll see in the video of  me below riding at Lebanon Hills a month ago or so.

Two of the how-to videos I linked to in that post also had segments about cornering technique, and the one called Hip Flexion by MTB coach Simon Lawton (free Fluidride videos here) recommends a slightly different technique for a berm turn vs a flatland or off-camber turn.

Simon Lawton flatland turn Simon Lawton berm turn

He says: Continue reading Progress on cornering: berm turns vs. flatland turns

BikeMN guys Dorian and Nick are now mountain bikers, thanks to Cuyuna

Dorian Grilley and his new mountain bike Nick Mason and his new fat bike

I got an email last Friday from Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN), and at the bottom of the email he attached a photo of him standing with his new mountain bike.  He said that his experience on the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System at PedalMN Bicycle Summit this fall won him over. (See my blog post about the Summit: Minnesota is a state that works for mountain bikers).

Continue reading BikeMN guys Dorian and Nick are now mountain bikers, thanks to Cuyuna

Winter Bike Expo 2013: my first MORC booth duty stint

Winter-Bike-expo-2013

Freewheel Bike held their Winter Bike Expo 2013 at their Midtown Bike Center this weekend and I was around both mornings, primarily wearing my MORC/IMBA member hat (unlike last year), as I did my first ever booth duty stint. Continue reading Winter Bike Expo 2013: my first MORC booth duty stint