Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jeff Bates-cyclist, friend, inspiration

Spoke(n) has been quite for a bit. As you may know, our friend and real hardcore cyclist, Jeff Bates, had been battling a recurrence of melanoma cancer which had spread throughout his body.  This past weekend, Jeff fought his last fight with this demon rust and passed this Saturday morning, assisted by the presence of his son and a Greek god. When I say "fight," I mean something of heroic proportions as Jeff battled all the way to the end, the suddenness of his passing is stunning for the many who spent time with him just last week. 

The day after Jeff passed, many of his friends honored and remembered Jeff through our common connection, done Jeff's way: alpine, singletrack, hurry up-break, xc assault.  29er's, SS mostly, ruled the day, but there was a diversity in the 35 or so riders rolling together.  Periera and Lucid bikes (9, maybe) were strongly represented  as their builders, riding, are close friends with Jeff and family.  Like these builders, I think most everyone in the group was inspired and encouraged by Jeff at some point; Jeff saw opportunity quickly and encouraged our bicycle passion.

As in the end of his life, Jeff was not afraid to suffer on a bike, a former elite level racer, SSWC and 24hr competitor and often daily cyclist.  For Fahzure, our ride, on freshly dampened aspen and pine forest singletrack, involved a fair amount of suffering on his 38lb Swiss army bike. We know that our suffering was infinitesimal compared to what Jeff had to deal with for the last few years.  We also know that he handled it like a champion, never dwelling on the difficulty, always looking for opportunity and keeping his friends and family close to heart. We thank Jeff for the many great rides he shared and inspired, he'll always be with us as we ride forward with his passion and encouragement.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Greatest Snow(bikes) on Earth

You may recognize this guy from his Little Devil video, the hallways of of the Sands convention center, or, as I did, loitering around SLC's downtown dead zone (soon to be the Fear Factory):

If you don't recognize him, you might recognize his backyard or spare bed(rad)room:

Matt Beringer, long time S&M  and 5050 BMX rider, has pushed BMX creativity to new heights for more than a decade.  He called himself an "old man."  I'm not sure that Fuzzy and Fahzure would agree, but with his creative output, you could certainly call him "storied."  Matt and Fahzure talked about the wash that the Red Bull BMX tour was in Moab, in fact, often a wash in Moab for Matt, with Josh L. leading the hard late night charge (there are GREATS to be had in Moab, let's nail it BMX style sometime).

Matt looks at the environment differently than you or I or transportation engineers, for that matter.  When I ran into Matt he described an "X" shaped barrier, designed to stop trains, which he was exploring new tricks on.  Being a Ute, Matt has had to make his peace with winter, learning to front flip on a board at Pow Mow.  But Matt sees opportunity for bikes in winter, that most don't, BSX:

Matt's been working on a dual suspension BSX bike design of his own for a couple of years now, with the Cobra gang.  His design features a floating rear end that make manuals and other tricks more plush.  Fahzure had the opportunity to try BSX at Pow Mow and OR Winter market last year and loved the way they performed on packed snow conditions, a little bit like a reverse camber board with dull edges...kind of skatey; also very light. However, in the Pow, the snow bikes were unable to maintain float cause of their limited contact patch. Fahzure would like to take a fattie out in deep pow, steepin' up the terrain a bit, and hit a winddrift hip. Freeride.

Matt is getting ready for a small run of protos, then a small production run. With his background (that's right, Colorado, California, BC...where you get 350 or cement) there is probably no more qualified person than Matt to take BSX to the next levels.  You might be able to get in on this (find him on Facebook or at Interbike)...Fahzure placed an order for one of Matt's creations, on the spot.  Make mine a custom Fattie.   

This also looks interesting:
More on powersports models here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stop signs, who cares?

Simple, elegant and, it's a Bridgestone:

Powder Mountain Kings

Pow Mow is a great place to get stalies (clean turns three days after the dump) in the winter and take the kids adventure boarding.  For the past couple of years they've put up a super cross track in the summer.  This year they added a BMX jump contest (this is Utah). Check it out: