Category Archives: Videos

Adjusting the Rear Derailleur

How-to: Rear Derailleur

There are many times when your drivetrain will start making weird noises or just not shift as smooth as you would like, but adjusting the rear derailleur has always been a bit intimidating. There are many factors involved that will cause this to happen. With how tight the tolerances are in 9, 10 and even 11 speed drivetrains, it doesn't take much to cause shifting issues. Extreme changes in temperature, cable stretch, dirt, water, etc. all play a role. So knowing how to quickly adjust for that, especially on the trail, can mean the difference between an awesome ride or a very frustrating one.

Oil Well Flats

Oil Well Flats

"The trails at Oil Well Flats wind through a stunning, rough-and-tumble slice of high-desert breaks about 6.5 miles north of Cañon City in a Bureau of Land Management recreation area. Visitors are rewarded with vistas dominated by the Sangre de Cristo range to the south and pine-covered slopes and mesas all around - offering equal incentive for hikers and horseback riders, who are also welcome.

Experienced mountain bikers will be well-equipped for the relentless rock-hopping on twisting, moderately technical singletrack. Beginners will be sorely tested - even as they're awestruck by the scenery, which features a striking 200-foot cliff of pitted slickrock, a jog through a shaded patch of woods and an old burn area that's been transformed into an idyllic, rolling prairie." - gazette.com

Location Details

ELEVATION:  6,000 feet – 6,600 feet
LOCATION:  6.5 miles north of Cañon City
ALLOWED USES: Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
MILES OF TRAIL: 13 miles
TYPES OF TRAIL: Two-track roads, 8 miles of singletrack
SEASON: October-May (this area is closed to motorized vehicles during wet weather conditions)
FACILITIES: parking, informational kiosk
WATER AVAILABILITY: None
CAMPING: Dispersed camping is allowed throughout this area. Please camp only in existing sites and do not create new sites or fire rings. Contact the BLM office for information on current fire bans and please follow all fire restrictions.
DIRECTIONS From U.S. Hwy 50 in Cañon City, you can turn north onto Dozier Street (at Wal-Mart) or head North on Raynolds.  Travel north on either road as both will curve to the left and intersect Field Avenue.  Turn north (right) on Field and travel on this two-lane road for about five miles. It will join Fremont County Road 9 (also called Red Canyon Road) at a “Y” intersection.  From here, continue north for 3.5 miles to BLM road #5940 which will be on your right. Head up the steep grade to the parking area on your right.

Homeless Camps

Homeless Camps Affecting Colorado Springs Cyclists

Last week I posted a video about the Homeless Camps popping up around Colorado Springs (see above), specifically the Tent Cities on the main bike path (The Greenway) that stretches nearly 40 miles (north to south) from Fountain, CO thru Colorado Spring north to Palmer Lake, CO. One that is used everyday by the locals for commuting and exercise. I was quickly contacted by the local news station - here are the interviews:

After watching the KRDO13 clip, I was curious to know why the city's hands were tied - it didn't make sense to me. I contacted Aimee Cox (Community Development Manager for Colorado Springs) and spent an hour on the phone with her. This was an excellent conversation that lead to some discoveries that I don't think the public readily knows about (I didn't). But first a little back story to the homeless situation.

Homelessness is a problem everywhere, but in Colorado Springs we see "tent cities" popup almost every year and they are horrendous to say the least. This year is no different, except that now they are utilizing the bridges that span over the our bike paths. And with over 300 miles of bike paths though out Colorado Springs there are a lot of bridges for them to camp under, and that is presenting a huge safety and health risk to them and the general public.

Homeless Tent Cities

Trash piled up just a few feet off the main bike path present a serious health hazard to kids and adults alike.

You'll hear Aimee speak to the fact that Colorado Springs can't really do much to move them because there is this thing called The Right to Life-Sustaining Behavior and this is what private and public organizations tend to use to act on and file lawsuits - we seem to want to sue everyone is this country - I just don't get it.

The issue seems to be because the city doesn't have a place for them to go, they can't make them move. It's that simple - they are allowed to break the law and camp without enforcement. Which from personal experience has lead to observing drug usage and safe-haven for at least one known potentially violent person. Why, I repeat, all because there is no where for them to go. It's kind of a homeless "get out of jail free" clause if you ask me! Some feel it is the responsibility of the citizens to take up the slack and take care of them. I say BS, this is a city government problem, not the law abiding, tax paying, hard working citizens of Colorado Springs. Why should we be expected to care of the lazy, alcohol/drug laden, bums - who choose to abuse the system anyway they can for a free ride? Now, that's a harsh simpleminded perspective of the situation, but in my opinion, not that far from the reality of things. I understand that it's much more complicated than that - I get it, but again, we are not talking about "all" the homeless, just a few of those who choose to drink and use drugs and homestead any piece of dirt they can find vs follow the rules - this is a small sub-set of the total homeless population!

To summarize: We are at where we are because Colorado Springs doesn't have a place for the homeless to go, therefore they can't enforce the laws without violating their right to live and potentially land in another lawsuit.

With progress, there is hope.

Step 1 (Long term): Colorado Springs needs a year-round facility that will have enough beds for the homeless in order for law enforcement to be able to enforce the law, it's that simple!

In comes the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission:

The Colorado Springs Rescue Mission is undergoing a $14 million expansion aimed at dramatically improving services for the city’s homeless population. The two-stage expansion will include adding beds to an existing emergency shelter, doubling the capacity of a kitchen and building a new day center.

“For the first time in our community, we’ll have a day center that consolidates several essential services including showers and laundry and case workers," said Ben Robb, the mission’s development director.

Robb says about 240 homeless people live on the streets of Colorado Springs. The expanded emergency shelter will provide 150 beds year for those in need. The first phase of the expansion will be complete by fall of next year.
Source: http://www.mlotw.com/go/cpr-org/

Springs Rescue Mission Expansion Rendering

Springs Rescue Mission Expansion Rendering
Photo by: RTA Architects, Inc.'s

Perfect and with another $2.5 million added to the kitty back in April, there seems to be a good plan moving forward. But, Aimee Cox mentioned that these beds will not be ready until sometime around November? Are we seriously going to have to deal with all this through out the summer? Well maybe not exactly!

Step 2 (Short term): After the call with Aimee on Thursday, the idea of the well-being of the homeless was the center topic and yes, it's not in the best interest of the homeless to keep pushing them from place to place, but there are issues of safety for them so close to Fountain Creek and under the bridges which are considered Flood Hazard Zones. As cyclists using the bike paths - we know how too often we head down there only to find the flood gates closing the access to the the trail system. Well that flooding potential can become somewhat problematic if a weather event turns out to be one of our infamous flash floods! Knowing that Fountain Creek can easily take out a 3,000 pound car - a simple homeless camp is no match, and if it happens in the middle of the night, than not only could someone get hurt, but possibly killed - not cool!

Manitou Springs, CO September 21, 2013-- Roads were badly damage in the Manitou Springs, CO area. The Manitou Springs area were badly damaged because of recent flooding in the area.

Manitou Springs, CO September 21, 2013-- Roads were badly damage in the Manitou Springs, CO area. The Manitou Springs area were badly damaged because of recent flooding in the area.

As I understand it, Aimee and the CS Homeless Outreach Team have been looking at the bridges from Bijou south to Nevada and comparing them to a variety of official surveying documents, weather charts, etc. - all that special city gov stuff - to see what areas are a hazard potential for flooding and addressing the safety of the homeless in these camps from that perspective. While not a total solution - that comes from the long term plan - it does open up these "funnels" that can seem to be very intimidating to hikers, runners and bikers alike. It's a start of a short term plan that will lead into the long term solution.

It's awesome to know that there is a "plan" in the works and something is being done to make sure that both the homeless are safe as well as the general public, a week ago - no one had any idea this was going on - booyah!

Note: These ideas are my own opinions of the situation as I understand it. I have made every attempt make sure this post is as accurate as I know it to be. But I can still be wrong!

MTB Commercial

As some of you know I like to dabble int he video world - here is a TV Commercial I shot for Spaghetti O's a while back that I totally forgot about. I used Mountain Bikers for the actors!

Stans NoTubes Conversion

I first remove the factory rim tape and installed one layer of the Stan's yellow tape making sure that I covered all the nipple holes.

The instructions call for expanding to inner valve stem hole to 3/8" with a drill. After looking at the valve stem on Stan's rim strip, it is clear that more room was going to be needed for everything to seat properly. I used a tapered bit that is designed for metal and it worked awesome. A regular bit can be used, but this tapered bit only cut the first layer and protected the second. After seeing the rim strip installed, I would not have been able to get my tire on had I opted to skip this step.

The soapy water is the key to installing Stan's rim strip on center. I used plenty of soap in my water to make sure things were wet and slippery. Once I got Stan's rim strip on, I did have to move it and play with it a bit to get all the edges under the tire bead area. But this was actually very easy. If I got a dry spot, I just added a little soapy water, and voila, was able to to easily move into position.

I installed the tire back on, soaped it down, and filled with air to 60 psi and everything snapped into place. Surprisingly it held air rather well - even without any sealant!

The directions called for 3oz of fluid, and I pulled the valve core and use their syringe to get the sealant into the tire. I then re-filled with air to 60 psi with a pump. Note: The first time, I did not add so much air, but my tire did not seat properly and was out of round quite a bit. Once o got it to 60 pounds, everything snapped into place very nicely and the tire was sitting on the rim as expected.

I jostled and bounced the tire around a bit to get the fluid into the tiny holes, and set it flat on its side on the bucket and let it sit for a couple of minutes. No leaks! The tiny little bubble that were first coming out quickly disappeared! Did this for both sides.

All in all, this us a very simple and painless process for going tubeless and I am always  pleased at how everything goes with the NoTubes products.

Replacing Your Chain

Replacing your chain does not have to be difficult. There are many videos there talking about the math to get the correct length - and they can be rather confusing. In this short 3 minutes, I show you how to get the correct length every time!

Note: I am using a SRAM Chain with a split mater link (KMC is the same)  - everything is the same for a Shimano Chain , except the master link which you use the chain tool to push in the master "pin" instead.