Spork 2.0 // The SS Donkey

650b single speed donkey

The fourth featured build for Spork 2.0 is an in house build.

When we moved into our new office in January 2018 I found an old prototype Traildonkey 2.0 frameset that hadn’t been seen any use in over two years. Putting a perfectly good albeit old frame out to pasture seemed like a huge waste to me so I thought that it would be fun to simply use it as a canvas on which to experiment with paint. I spent a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon sanding it back down to raw carbon, a process I found strangely therapeutic. When it came time to lay down some paint I hit a wall. I had no idea what I wanted the frame to look like or what I wanted to use it for.

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Traildonkey in CX: A State Championship win

Co CX Champs

Race photos by Kit Hunders

As the end of 2017 arrived, the Colorado State Cyclocross Championships arrived with it.

Cyclocross has changed for me over the years. A half decade ago I was so jazzed about the bike racing discipline that I couldn’t even sleep the night before a race. I would genuinely dream about it. I wanted go fast, I wanted to see if I could win. I had a pretty singular mindset.

Gravel racing is great and all, but in terms of drop bar bikes Cyclocross delivers the quickest, most intense punch in the thrills department.

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Bailey Grinder, CO, Sept 30th 2017

Come join us for 110km (67 miles) of mixed terrain riding through Colorado’s high country during peak fall color.

Two route options will allow riders to keep things mellow and sublime on a route consisting primarily of gravel and paved backroads, or to chose a route that adds some of Colorado’s finest flowing singletrack into the overall mix.

This will be the first year of the Bailey Grind so we’re keeping it simple.

Registration

Please RSVP here so that we can get a sense of attendance. Registration is free.

We need to cap this ride at around 60 people per insurance and courtesy to other trail and road users. If registration fills up we can’t force people to stay away but it would be best to stagger the start.

The Basics

  1. The Bailey Grinder starts at 9:00am on Saturday, Sept 30th.
  2. This ride is not a race. It is not timed and there are no prizes.
  3. This ride is self supported with water / food available at the start, at the lower parking lot of Buffalo Creek (bring a little bit of cash to donate), at the store where we join Platte River Road, in Deckers, or at the finish near Bailey. Plan on multi hour stretches before refuels!
  4. The course will not be marked but GPS files will be provided and cue sheets can be printed if you follow the maps below.
  5. This is a day to ride bikes with friends, challenge yourself, see the aspen trees turning, and sample some of Colorado’s best offerings.
  6. Bring clothing for inclement weather. Conditions change very quickly up high. A sunny morning can change to thunder snow in the afternoon with little warning. Consider bringing a headlight just in case.
  7. A cyclocross bike, gravel bike, or mountain bike will be suitable for this ride. A road bike might survive but isn’t really ideal, and definitely not on the route option that includes singletrack. A mountain bike will survive but might feel a bit sluggish out on the mellow road sections.
  8. The start / finish area is the same as the Bailey Hundo and has been generously donated by private owners. Be sure to be courteous and respectful of ALL private and public land that we ride on the 30th to ensure that we can continue to do this event in subsequent years with the good graces of the entire community that shares these lands and trails.
  9. We aren’t tracking starters and finishers. Cell phone service will be limited or completely unavailable. We won’t be out rescuing people on the course if they have a bad day so be prepared for anything, be self sufficient, and bring a friend to ride with you.

Route Options

To download maps or cue sheets click on over to Blackriver.cc below.

Route 1:

GPS File: LINK

Cue Sheet: LINK

We start in Bailey and take gravel roads towards Wellington Lake before descending through the Buffalo Creek area into Sandy Wash. The donation supported tent provides an opportunity to fill up on water and fuel before continuing out along the Platte river where the road surface varies between degraded blacktop and gravel. Mellow, undulating roads arrive in Deckers, CO for another opportunity to refuel before heading up hero dirt roads and gravel to the Hayman Burn area. Continue climbing and descending through quiet backroads and increasing stands of aspen before climbing up and over Stoney Pass. Hang on for the ripping fun dirt descent to Wellington lake and onwards towards the finish. After ride food options in Bailey will refuel tired legs and bodies.

Route 2:

GPS File: LINK

We start in Bailey and take gravel roads towards Wellington Lake before dropping onto a section of Colorado Trail Segment 3. Wipe the grin off of your face then climb up some of Buff Creek’s finest singletrack before descending the main North Side singletrack descent. Re-join Sandy Wash to the Buff Creek parking lot. The donation supported tent at the lot provides an opportunity to fill up on water and fuel before continuing out along the Platte river where the road surface varies between degraded blacktop and gravel. Mellow, undulating roads arrive in Deckers, CO for another opportunity to refuel before heading up hero dirt roads and gravel to the Hayman Burn area. Continue climbing and descending through quiet backroads and increasing stands of aspen before climbing up and over Stoney Pass. Hang on for the ripping fun dirt descent to Wellington lake and onwards towards the finish. After ride food options in Bailey will refuel tired legs and bodies.

Can you do Route 2 on a CX or gravel bike? Yes! We do all the time. It takes some finesse (and as big of tires as you’d like) but rewards the adventurous rider with an incredibly fun route where even the climbs are fun. Less experienced mountain bikers may need to dismount certain sections but there is plenty of flowing singletrack on this option.

 

questions? contact us through the site.

Here is a sampling of what conditions may be like on the ride. The route for this year is completely unique and not identical to these videos, but these both show the Bailey, Buff Creek, Pine, Deckers, and Stoney Pass area.

Don’t expect rugged hike a bike conditions on this ride. This one is all rideable and we were careful to make it so.

Gravel Ring Rodeo Rally, Fort Valley, VA, Jun 10th 2017

Join us Saturday, June 10th, 2017 for a Rodeo Rally in and around the heart of Shenandoah County, VA.  While slightly less challenging than it’s big brother, the 135-km Gravel Ring will challenge adventurous riders with multiple traverses of the east and west Massanutten ridges as it encircles Fort Valley and surrounding towns.

(click title for full post)

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Flat Tops Roundup July 21 – 23 2017

We’re working up something new for 2017. Traditionally an organized Rodeo ride is a Rodeo Rally, but for 2017 we want to do a couple of longer, more adventurous multi day events. Thus, the term Rodeo Roundup has been coined. We want to offer a few events big enough to attract out of town Rodeoers and non-Rodeoers alike for the sake of building community and sharing some of the gems of our state.

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Mid Season Cyclocross Musings

Words by Nik Van der W00ts, Photos by Brett Stakelin (@das_guy)

Cyclocross is a niche within a niche, but there is something I love about this high energy, gritty sport. I got started grinding my gears on the grass, sand, mud and barriers on the east coast. Some would cite this as the unofficial heart and home of American cyclocross. The days spent racing and volunteering in Gloucester and Providence were cold, muddy and certainly epic affairs. Those memories have stuck with me and often are the first that come to mind when I think of cyclocross.

After a hiatus from cyclocross (prompted by grad-school and a 2,000 mile relocation to Colorado) I re-tested the waters. I was in for a shock. The climate and terrain were unfamiliar compared with my first dirt-covered memories. Gone were the days of racing in parks with pristine grass that turned to rutted muddy lines. In Colorado if a race is on grass, it is spiky unfriendly blades. All the moisture is evaporated, leaving dusty loose conditions. Many a time I have come home from racing and felt like a miner, hacking up dust for the next few days. Some of the rugged courses tested my nerves on cantilever brakes and left my hands sore from trying to modulate my speed.

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“At least we’re here”

In August a group of Rodeoers in Colorado struck out on a ride through roads not-yet-ridden-by-us. The ingredients that make these sorts of rides are always dynamic. Peder had been brewing on a Mosquito Pass expedition for years, Jered was in town and wanted to do big high mountain rides, and I tossed out the invite to the team. Eight of us jumped in on the adventure.

The word “Adventure” is rapidly transitioning from an awe-filled catalyst to a very tired marketing word these days. Flip through any cycling magazine and you can’t go very many pages without seeing a tidal wave of products advertised as the very keys you need in order to unlock this mythic “new” genre of our sport.

And yet, true adventure is unimpressed by the collective marketing departments of our industry. True adventure has been happening for centuries and will continue to happen long after humanity has achieved singularity with holo-lenses and virtual experiences. Adventure just means pointing your willing self into the unknown and having the naivete, courage, or even audacity to proceed directly into it. No fancy gear required.

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Unspeakable.

Words: Phil Elsasser

Images: Lliam Dunn and Stephen Fitzgerald

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Scared.  I haven’t been scared about doing something on a bike since, well, probably 2009 when I got the chance to do my first NRC stage race at Cascade Classic.  Lining up against guys that you have held in awe while watching pro races for years can be at the least, a tiny bit intimidating.  So to be scared the night before a bike ride, with a few local guys in the mountains seemed silly.  But when you looked at the stats of the ride, maybe it was worth being scared.  175 miles, 17,000 feet of climbing across a mixture of single track, gravel, and plenty of pavement for good measure.

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Traildonkey vs. MTB race = Win

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

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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