Monday, December 7, 2009

Turkey & Dirt

Rimrocks Shred from John Maxwell on Vimeo.

With the single digit temps today, it is hard to believe that a little over a week ago I was shredding dirt with Larissa and my Dad. The bikes are now put away for the season as we await for the snow gods to unleash their fury on the Wasatch. As always a great way to close out the season with some shred in Billings over Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Don't Hate Me..................

Just Because I'm on the Level.

Friday, August 28, 2009

TR #2 - Colorado (Part 1)

I am now a firm believer that everything is bigger in Colorado. The mountains are tall and the rides are long. Larissa and I got a chance to tag a long with Ben and Laura for a four day trip to Crested Butte. Ben had spent some quality time patrolling at the Crested Butte ski resort in the winter and wandering the bike trails in the summer, so we designated Ben as our tour guide. Needless to say, Ben did not let us down.

We got into town on Thursday afternoon, and headed for a stroll on the Snodgrass trail to get warmed up for the weekend. I did seem to be breathing a bit harder than usual as we were staying at an elevation of 9,300' and the riding only went up from there.

After a night of eating dank pizza with fresh figs, we headed out the next morning to the 401 trail. The 401 trail received the runner-up for trail of the year in Bike Magazine, so I was it wouldn't disappoint. Prior to leaving for the day, Ben recommended we link the 403 trail to the 401 trail. Being new to the area, I gladyly agreed. Little did I know it would be 7 hours, 40 miles, and 4,800' vertical of climbing before we were back at the condo. We were all a bit worked, but extremely stoked for such a sick day in the mountains. The climbing was tough, the descents fast and flowy, and the scenery was off the charts. If someone asked me to link the 403 trail to the 401 again, there would be no hesitation in my decision. "Yes!"

Larissa and I with Mt. Crested Butte in the background. Doing a bit of acclimatizing on the Snodgrass trail.

It was still all smiles at this point prior to the real suffer fest. At the top of Washington Gulch headed for the 403 trail.

Contemplating in the mountains. We have to ride how far?

Larissa ghost riding towards Gothic Road.

The summit of the 2nd mountain pass for the day. But wait, it isn't over yet.

Finally arriving at our destination. Just a bit more of climbing before a ripping downhill.

Right at this moment I was discovering what the Rocky Mountain High was all about. This photo was taken around mile 30 and well over 11,000 ft. and somehow I was feeling good, actually a bit buzzed. It is amazing how the mind can play tricks on the body, I was somehow convinced that I could ride forever.

Larissa hammering out 40 miles and 4800 ft. of Vertical of climbing all in style.

Ben scouting the descent on the 401 trail. Are we there yet?

Sick Views at the end of another sick day.
(Stay Tuned, For Crested Butte Part 2)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TR #2 Colorado (Part 2)

After a day of hammering out 40 miles, we had hopes of getting up the next morning and repeating, but our bodies told us differently. Instead we opted for a shorter shot on the Upper Upper loop which runs from the ski hill into town. Although this trail was about a 1/4 of what we had ridden the day before it provided a joyous romp through techy rocks and flowy tight singletrack immersed in plush wild flowers.

Having finished up the ride by early afternoon it gave us a chance to cruise downtown Crested Butte. Even though there is a great deal of wealth in Crested Butte, the town still has a wild west feel to it. The locals are also bike crazy. Everyone either pedals the epic singletrack surronding downtown, or hops on their townie and heads for the local watering hole. Crested Butte is also home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The true roots of Mountain Biking started here and gave the Californians the ideas that have ultimatley led to one of the sickest sports today.

In an attempt to work on my Multi-Tasking skills, I attempted the Karate Kick/Biking maneuver.

Larissa too busy shredding the Upper Upper Trail to pick wild flowers.

You have to love a town that has incorporated the Community College's track into the bike trails. I figured it would be a good time to work on my sprinting. Didn't help much, still slow.

No need to worry about Dragons. Crested Butte has a full-time Dragon Slayer. Here is Larissa being saved.

Although the Californian's claim to be the founders of Mountain Biking, it truly began in Crested Butte and thus is home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Definitely a place I feel comfortable hanging out.

When coming from a state with repressed liquor laws you are always stoked to score out of state high point beer. Ben and Laura can't hide the excitement.

The mountain thunderstorms rolled through Saturday evening making the trails perfectly tacky for Sunday Morning.

Larissa finishing up the trip with some shred on Stand Hill

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

TR #1 - Idaho

Things are starting to settle down a bit after a whirlwind of mountain bike travel. I am going to try and catch up with a few blog entries of the recent travels starting out with a trip to Ketchum, ID. After first visting the area 3 years ago I have become addicted to the flowy backcountry single track. I made my fourth visit this July and introduced Larissa to the goods. The Fisher Creek Loop is always a fun way to kick off the weekend. The following day we did a bit of exploring and discovered the Oregon Gulch Trail. The upper section was a blast of flow mixed in with steep and techy and then finished out with some awesome meadow skipping through the lower section back to the highway. We closed out the trip on Curley's, another winding steep downhill that always leaves you wooping. I highly recommend you check out the trails of Sun Valley.

Always good to start the trip out with a Classic.

The famous burnt forest of Fisher Creek.

Vino from Oregon and Brew from Canada. Does that have "I'm from Utah" written all over it?

After ride "recovery drink" on the banks of the creek.

At the top of the Oregon Gulch trail. You are always a bit leary after a 2 hour climb and it doesn't appear that many people ride the trail. It is either going to be a gem or heinous.

Sometimes you have to earn it. Larissa hammering out the 10 mile stretch of highway to get back to our campsite. This is after 16 miles of riding trail.

I couldn't wipe the grin off my face after an epic downhill session on the Oregon Gulch Trail.

Scoob figured he would go for the Exon Valdez Oil Spill Look before we hopped in the truck and headed home.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sun is Good

Larissa and I have been on the road quite a bit as of late with a trip to Sun Valley and Crested Butte with only a few days of work mixed in. I hope to have trip reports up soon. Until then here is a short video that I put together of a few of the trails in Sun Valley. I had fun editing the footage even though I am bad at it. Enjoy!

Mountain Bike Session Sun Valley - Go Pro Helmet Cam from John Maxwell on Vimeo.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Summer Shred Is On

After 3 weeks of daily rain at the beginning of June the weather has finally cleared and the upper elevation trails are starting to shed their snow. Summer riding is in full swing and I am working on my tick list of trails for the season. The riding season has jumped off to a good start with my first Super D Race at Wolf Mountain and and an afternoon shralp on the Wasatch Crest Trail with Darek. Larissa and I also got to hit an epic while visiting McCall, ID for Walt and Devin's Wedding. The Ruby Meadows/Loon Lake Loop outside of McCall rivals any ride that I have done in both scenery and enjoyment.

The heavens unleashed the rains right at the start of the Super D race at Wolf Mountain. Made for a slick course.

Can't get enough of the views on the Crest Trail. Still quite a bit of snow on the peaks of the Wasatch. Maybe enough for a 4th of July ski?

Darek finds one of the few patches of snow left on the Crest Trail.

Larissa burning up the Loon Lake Loop.

The singletrack through the burn section on the Loon Lake trail rivals the burn section on the Fisher Creek Loop in Sun Valley.

Larissa scored a new 5 inch rig this spring and she has definitely been getting her shred on.

Sick views and singletrack along the Secesh River.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dirty Snow

I made a quick visit up to Montana to visit my parents for the weekend. I managed to talk my Dad into driving me up to the Beartooth Pass on Friday for a bit of skiing. With the gloom and doom of rain forecasted for the rest of the weekend I was stoked to have a bit of sunshine and made a couple of fun runs on the Gardner Headwall, but when I moved over to ski the Rock Creek Headwall the rain and fog had set in and I decided to call it rather than stumble around looking for the entrance into the Headwall. Needless to say it was another good trip to the Pass.

We bypassed the lift on Twin Lakes Headwall and aimed for the Gardner Headwall.

The left line off of Garnder Head Wall was a fun one. It started off with some fast steep turns off the top and funneled into a choke that was a left a bit boney from a wet slide.

Here I am on the Gardner Headwall. I am the little spec in the upper left hand corner. There is another skier in the lower right the skiing the main shot on Gardner.

Wildflowers are amazing. They can thrive in the barren tundra at 10,000 ft.

I attempted to ski the Rock Creek Headwall, but got shut down by the thick fog. This is a photo of my Dad creeping around in the clouds.

Wouldn't be a trip to the Beartooths without a little fog and tundra.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chicago's Mountains

Larissa and I headed to Chicago for Memorial Day Weekend. Although Chicago is an awesome city with plenty to do, I found myself most drawn to the views of the skyscrapers. The highlight of the trip was taking an architectural tour of the birth place of the skyscraper. The tour consists of a boat ride down the Chicago River which puts you right in the middle of Chicago's Skyscrapers. Although I prefer natural settings, I was in awe of the immense structures that man has created.

Larissa, Peter, and I at a Chicago Whitesox game with the skyline in the background.

The Bean in Millenium Park. I was amazed by this thing as was everyone else

Is that sand on the banks of the Chicago River? Nope that would be concrete, glass, and steel.

The Sears Tower with a little lean.
I kept seeing reflections of this sketch ball. As if he was following me?

The view from the top of the Hancock Tower.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beat the Heat on Box Elder

With temperatures forcasted to be near 90 degrees for the day, I decided to head for the mountains to cool off. The goal for the day was to ski of the summit of Box Elder Peak (11,101 ft). Didn't make the summit, but learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Lessons Learned:
1) Starting at the crack of 11 am is a little to late this time of year.
2) Get a map. I thought I could figure it out once I hit the trail but quickly realized this wasn't the case. I kind of got some directions from some horsemen that eventually got me headed in the right direction.
3) Bring adequate water or means to get water from a stream. I spent a good portion of the day eating snow to keep hydrated. Doesn't work so good.
4) Dogs are great ski partners, but they don't set a very good boot pack.

I ended up on the trail in the middle of the picture which led in the wrong direction and cost me about an hour of time.

Enough of the dirt, time to hit the snow.

A lot of the day was spent staring at this guy?

Mayes thinking about a swim in Utah Lake.

Don't let the smile fool you. I was a bit disappointed to be out of time and juice to make the summit.

Lookers left is what I wanted to ski.

Looking back on what I got to ski.

Had a fun day, but stoked to be back at the Truck 9 hours after I started.