First 2019 Road trip – Hurricane MTB Festival

We’re heading to the fun Hurricane MTB Festival at the end of this month, March. Hoping that it doesn’t rain! That wiped out my Moab trip last year and flooded out 2 days of Outerbike. Totally sucked.

1) We may demo a bike or two but not a priority. Yetis are our beasts of choice and they won’t be there this year. Of course I’ve had good rides on others. Fezzari from Salt Lake City area is a very good performer. Ibis as always is strong but I’ll demo them in San Jose in April.

2) It’s a festival! So fun to hang out with other riders and the breakfasts and dinner are tasty and fun. And, weather permitting, a BBQ at the Guacamole TH! This is one of our very favorite trails.

3) We have tricked out our 97 Ford Aerostar road trip van with a cargo box and awning on top and upgraded our bike tray rack to the new Yakima Dr. Tray. 34 pounds instead of 50 for the other Yakimas and Thules. Better on my lower back. We also had the van detailed inside and out and wow does it shine! Looks almost new! Auto detailing shops do a much better cleaning job than I can do.

4) I’ve added the iPhone XS to my cameras and I added a little more equipment. The GoPro 6 and the Evo SS gimbal are still the main setup. I’ve worked all winter and didn’t produce any new videos. I’m still working on the concept for the next ones and reshooting the trails in Moab, Grand Valley, and Virgin / St. George in 4K. A lot of riding to do!

So in a couple of weeks the road trip season begins! After Hurricane Katya flies home from Vegas and depending on weather I may go on to Moab and Fruita or down to Sedona, then maybe Moab and Fruita. Such great options, heh?

October 2018 MTB Road Trip – Too Many Troubles!

I just returned from Outerbike in Moab and the end of a 3 week road trip. The first part was a visit to Yellowstone and that went well. We rode Fruita, CO a little then over to Moab where I ripped my lower back and was off the bike for five days. Ugh.

That is rare for me but when it happens I’m almost totally disabled.  Even down and up on the toilet because hellish torture.  Living out of our van is no worse than a motel room and at least in the van I have a 360 degree view!

Finally back on the bike for a couple of rides and then the weather turned to rain, rain, rain on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday of Outerbike. The weather looked bad for the rest of the week so I drove home. Fortunately few trips have this level of disappointment.

I was able to shoot some additional video near Fruita and the Horsethief Trails near Moab.  Besides my other problems I forgot my GoPro chest harness at home.  When Katya flew home she sent it to me – $40.  Ugh.

We did enjoy showing off our repainted Yeti SB95c’s! They look so new and shiny! Photo on Horsethief Bench above the Colorado River.

Fall 2018 MTB Road Trip Plans

In mid Sept we have this trip planned for 3 weeks!

Yellowstone Moab route

We plan to ride Jackson Hole, Park City, Fruita, and Moab.  About a 3,200 mile trip with all the driving around to trailheads.  The leg to Yellowstone, which Katya hasn’t been to yet, is about 15 hours as is the return from Moab.  Ugh.

There is one more thing!  I just scored a Red Bull Rampage ticket so I’ll be riding the Virgin / St George area at the end of October for a week or so!

Las Vegas Great Santa Run Plaza Hotel Offer

Thank you for registering for the REDBULL RAMPAGE!!!

This General Admission ticket allows 1 person access to the Red Bull Rampage on October 26, 2018.  Access is via a rough 4-mile road and a bike valet is included with this ticket.  Bicycles or walking only, no vehicles of any kind allowed.  Tickets must have the name of the person attending on them.  Tickets are transferable within the Strideevents.com platform for a fee of $15.

Tickets are non-refundable and will be sent digitally to the purchaser 3 days prior to the event.

This ticket includes a $5 donation to both Dixie Mountain Bike Trail Association and Wings for life Foundation.

Jim Preston

#3226098

Category Name

General Admission Ticket

Category Price

$65.00

 

 

Spring 2018 MTB Road Trips – A Little Late…

My last post was at the beginning of the spring 2018 road trip season.  I forgot to post anything here but I made two trips that included Virgin / St George, Sedona, Moab, and Fruita.  Unfortunately my last trip was cut short but a very bad case of hay fever.  I was struggling for a few months until I found a med that worked great.  So nothing got posted because I was too busy coughing.

However,  I did shoot a fair amount of 4k video with the Evo SS Gimbal on my chest.  The gimbal wasn’t as awkward as I expected and the videos came out super!  I’m deep into working on a project since then and no time to create some interesting videos and post them.  Hopefully this winter.  I want to do something different than in the past but not sure yet what that format will be.

On the drive to the Hurricane MTB Festival in Moab in March my GoPro Hero Session 5 camera died.  This was the beginning of a three week shoot!  GoPro said they would replace it, which they did after we got home, but we were almost to St George, Utah and the receipt was 10 hours behind us.

So in St George I went on Amazon and ordered the new Hero 6 to be delivered to Over The Edge Sports in Hurricane.  I ordered on Thursday and picked up the camera on Monday.  It worked great for the trip but died soon after.  GoPro replaced that camera and the new one is still working.

We only biked twice during the summer.  Katya’s carbon bike frame broke and her 2017 Fox Factory fork lost most of its travel even with full air pressure.  WTF?  She doesn’t jump off cliffs, or even 3′ rocks!  So beside my working a lot it took Fox a long time to rebuild it for $180.  Only a month older than one year.  We are supposed to get the bike back in a few days and it is the end of August!  Great fork but this sucks.

So after all those problems we are looking forward to a big fall MTB road trip!!!

Jim

 

 

MTB Road Trip Season Starts This Thursday!

The van is half packed already and heading for the Hurricane MTB Festival this Thursday March 22!  Rather hyped now and ready for big MTB action!

Shooting video with a GoPro Hero 5 Session on my new EVO SS gimbal for smooth 4K action on the most interesting parts of the trails you’ve heard about.  I’ll replace my current Moab trail maps YouTube series with maps + visuals this year.

 

Change of videography plans

I’m going to buy a gimbal and reshoot the trails of Moab, Grand Valley (Fruita), and Zion / St. George, and all in 4K. I tried working with what I have this winter and wasn’t satisfied.

Meanwhile I’m changing format and will soon have videos of me explaining the trails on maps in 4K while showing my 1080p videos as picture in picture.  They will be replaced with 4K gimbal shots of trails after that for the best ever explanation and orientation of these trails.

This is only interesting if you haven’t rode the area before but want to know what is there. The next step for you would be to focus on specific trails that interest you at http://utahmountainbiking.com and YouTube.

Katya and I will be riding Sedona near the end of March then hanging out at the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival.  See you there?

Jim

New Videos Update

I’m trying something new, basing the videos on me explaining the trails with maps and added a few images and videos at the more interesting trail sections.  I’m experimenting and progress is very slow.  Also swamped with work if I’m to get back on the Moab trails in April.

Somehow I have to stop coding for a while and get this done but not easy to do.  Meanwhile, I’ll be in Hurricane, Moab, and the Grand Valley (Fruita / Grand Junction) for much of April.

 

Fox Fork Update

My 2017 Fox 34 Factory was installed on my Yeti in October, 2016.  I’ve biked about 3+ months since then and have not crashed.  Really amazing for me.  I’m really good at going over the handlebars and not getting hurt.  I’m going to lose that skill.

I’m riding much more technical than previously, as is my wife who now has the same fork.  Starting to do crazy shit like about half of the drop-in to Horsethief Bench near Fruita, CO and part of Flying Monkey in Virgin, UT.  I’ve become fearless…

I will never ride a Rock Shox again.  If a demo bike has a Pike I’m waling away.

I have a new theory.  When riders say you have to have the technical skills to ride Rock Shox, it really means they figured out hacks for the poor design.  Of course they are proud of their hacks, err, skills, they earned them.  For the rest of us there is Fox.

 

 

Starting To Edit The New Moab Videos!

Christmas Day and starting the long edit process for new videos. The first one will be Moab West Side, then North Side, then East Side. After this I’ll move on to Fruita / Grand Junction, Lake Tahoe, and remake my Zion / St. George production which will include new trails and clips.
 
I’m using an editor that is new to me, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and a totally different approach to telling the story about MTB trails. It will be modeled after how I advise riders on the trails but with video clips of what is in my head at the time. Voice-overs of course but very little music in these videos.

Bend Oregon For Intermediates

The Deschutes River Trail up river from Bend is a very scenic and mostly easy ride.

I’ve done two road trips to Bend, Oregon this year, one for a week with my wife in May and another a few weeks later by myself in June.  A few thoughts:

  • The trails near Bend are mostly flowy beginner / low intermediate with few rock gardens and gentle climbs.  My wife loved them!  I wanted a bit more technical so when I returned in June I rode the higher elevation trails that were buried in snow in May.  More rocks but mostly ridable rock gardens.  I don’t find the lava rocks to be as much fun as sandstone though.  There are several flow trails with berms but Tiddlywinks is by far the best.  Big features and long descent.

 

  • Both Bend and Sisters are great fun to visit!  Bend has 22 breweries and a few distilleries.  We really enjoyed the fine dining on Wall and Bond Streets and tasty elk burgers at Deschutes Brewing.  Sisters has a very good intermediate level trail system, interesting fine dining at Open Door, cozy cafes, and the the Euro Sport bike shop has local brews on tap in the mechanic shop!

The beer bar at Euro Sport bikes in Sisters, OR.

 

  • There are a LOT of trails and loops.  However, the lodge pole pines get a bit boring as they are often the only view.  Higher elevation trails near Mt. Bachelor have some terrific views of the volcanoes and the Deschutes River Trail is a scenic gem.

 

  • I rode nearby Oakridge a couple of times.  I’m not excited about hanging on the brakes for long descents.  Two good shuttle companies available.  Mostly upper intermediate level.  It was OK but not my thing.  Enjoyed the town and meeting folks though.  We upgraded our XT brakes at the bike shop and that went well.  You’ll need the better brakes to ride Oakridge and probably Mt Ashland which is also a shuttle served big descent destination.

We will return to Bend.  Fun trails, people, town, and a great bike culture.  Not an expensive place to visit and I park in the forest for free.  Go for a swim in the river to clean up.  Toilets at major trailheads.  Some nice state parks to camp at but a lack of Forest Service camps close to the trails.  Better camping is out at the lakes.  Cheap motels available, especially compared to Moab and Hurricane.

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