All Posts By

Stephen Fitzgerald

Point A to Point B

By Adventures One Comment

Bikes roll over things. This is due to the roundness of their wheels.

Early in the mountain biking days the bikes were simple and versatile. Suspension had not yet been invented. Technical skills were required for negotiating trails strewn with rocks or roots. As time went on mountain bikes became more specialized. They got better at going fast, they got more comfortable, they handled better. Along the way though both on and off road bikes seem to have gotten more discipline specific. If you want to go road biking you take your aero road bike, if you want to shuttle fast dirt descents you take your long travel full suspension bike. This is all great. But I think there is a style of riding that has become lost due to specialization: The Point A to Point B ride. Road, dirt, trails, paths, singletrack, doubletrack, bushwacking. The point A to point B ride is fundamentally about compromise. There is no perfect tire for covering all manner of terrain. There is no perfect geometry for both road and trail riding. Point A to Point B rides require a certain degree of adaptation and even discomfort from those who undertake them. On the other side of that coin though there is a reward: On these sorts of rides your route is limitless, your terrain variable, and your challenges constantly shifting.

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Mount Evans Nocturne

By Adventures One Comment

I’ve only ridden my bike to the top of Mount Evans once. It was a wild day spent riding and laughing with friends.

Even though I live in Denver and the 14,240 foot peak is relatively close I’ve never gone back and done it again. Evans is a bit of a rite of passage for local cyclists around these parts. The annual hill climb race is well attended and on any given weekend streams of riders can be seen striking out for the incredible summit via Squaw Pass or Idaho Springs.

Many serious cyclists ride the peak yearly or even many times per year but I’ve never felt the draw to go back and ride up it again. I think maybe I’m just a bit scared of the whole thing and maybe I have such good memories from the first ascent that I don’t ever want to go back and try to top it.

Sometimes though life conspires and mixes together just the right elements in a way that motivates you to do something that you had no intention of doing. On this occasion the events were a full moon, persistent invites from friends, and my own personal funk.

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Prototype: Flaanimal Ti

By The Lab, Uncategorized 2 Comments

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The Lab is a restless place. A lot of ideas get tossed around. Good ideas get made, bad ideas get dust binned.

The Flaanimal is an idea that we have been brewing on for a while. It’s roots can be traced back to the Traildonkey, Belgium, and Texas (affectionately known as Tejas). Conversations swirled then turned into action. We made a Version 1 design, tested it, then moved on to Version 2 with refinements, added features, new tubing draws, and reduced weight. The choice of materials that we use for the project has always been a point of discussion. 853? 725? 525? Custom? For Flaanimal the go-to option was always steel, but we kept saying “what if”. What if we built it out of titanium? Steel is amazing, but Ti has some special properties that steel doesn’t have. It doesn’t corrode like steel, it’s stronger and lighter than most steel blends, and it has it’s own lively feel that is distinct from other materials.

Enter the Flaanimal Ti. Flaanimal Ti is a continuation of the Flaanimal project. It uses the same geometries and basic specifications of the Flaanimal but keeps the conversation going.

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Traildonkey vs. MTB race = Win

By Races No Comments

A few weeks back I lined up for the Battle Of The Bear endurance XC MTB race in Morrison, Colorado. I was using the race as a way to get 3-4 difficult hours of training in for the leadup to Dirty Kanza, not so much with any specific race goals in sight. Bear Creek State Park is a flast, flowy, and often smooth XC race so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try something new on Traildonkey 2.0.

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Photo Essay: The Unspeakable Ride

By Adventures No Comments

Some rides haunt you. You see a peak or a road out of the corner of your eye and you know that you must go and find where it goes. Until you do there will be no rest and yet when you decide to go there is also no rest. Fear creeps in, and doubt. Is it do-able? Can you do it? These are the scary rides with unknown outcomes. Yet these are the rides we most love.

At Rodeo failure IS an option. It’s OK to turn around and go home if necessary. But if you manage to press on and push through you accomplish something special. Something outside of the measurements of distance, power, calories, and altitude gained.

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Andrew, eh?

By Quickies No Comments

The surprising thing about Canadians is that many of them actually do say “eh” a lot. I’m not going to lie, it kind of makes me smile when they do.

Andrew is from Vancouver, BC and he also uses a fair number of phrases that I haven’t heard since moving to Colorado from Washington state. I think there is a mix of Canadian and Northwest Corner factors involved there…

Andrew has been visiting Colorado over the last week. He’s been Rodeo since… well, for a long time, so we saddled up and headed for the hills together looking to see and ride some of our very own stereotypes: Peaks, Buffalo Bill’s Grave, Gravel, and Red Rocks, that sketchy part of town with lots and lots of green buildings…

It’s always great when a Rodeoer visits from far off places. Watching them see our state through fresh eyes gives us an added appreciation for what we have.

I can’t wait to visit BC some day and ride Andrew’s roads.

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Bad weather. Good people.

By Quickies No Comments

The weather had been rain, sleet, and snow for three days. The forecast predicted a four hour break on Saturday morning from 10am to 2pm.

The forecast was 100% wrong.

We don’t ride in foul weather because we are suckers for punishment. We ride in bad weather because there are good people to do it with.

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