Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chi Reporting : 2008 IMBA Conference


Ahhh... This sucks....

UA lost my bike between SFO and SLC!!!

I've used up my whole load of expletives already.

Anyway, the kind lady from IMBA here, Patti, says that she'll set me up with a bike for the trail rides. Choices are either a Trek or Cannondale.
Decisions decisions.

I can see the big Trek demo van outside and the weather here in Park City is really nice. It's turning out to be very hot though, up to 37 deg C in Moab.
The riding vibe is fantastic as the whole town has been invaded by MTBers.

I'm hoping they find my bike bag.



Ok, some good news is that they found my bike bag and it's on its way to me as I type this. It's about midnight here now and will arrive by 2am. Hope nothing is broken.

Today, while the rest were busy with the IMBA conference, I went for a walk around town hitting all the bike shops. Trek got me set up with a Fuel Ex 9.5 full carbon rig for today's ride. I found it a little twitchy but I'm not complaining.

Hui Min did the Intermediate advance, while Max, Ling and myself did the Intermediate. After our NZ experience, we thought we'd better start off easy. Good thing we did coz we are at 2800 masl, and whatever short climbs we did, we were breathless.

It was nearly all singletrack and the bits that go down were fantastic. All swoopy and curved. Nothing very technical at all. Our ride leader was a guuuurrrrrl. And man, was she fit but a little crazy. She went riding when she was almost 9 months pregnant (2 days before the baby was due) and her water broke on the trail!
We spent about 2 hours riding before returning to base. I had to return the demo bike but I get to collect a different one tomorrow. He did ask if I wanted the Trek Session. I think that bike is more up Wayne's alley.

So to top it off, we gathered at the local library after showering and indulged in free beer (as many bottles as you can take) from the microbrewery that supports IMBA and is situated around the corner. This was followed by a screening of several short films done by bikers and chosen by IMBA to showcase IMBA work as well as riders who ride really remote places in Canada and one guy who rode a fixie along the Great Divide, which is only about oh 2500 miles long (soul riders).
One of the short films (which was screened in High Def here) was this one :

Then they threw lots of schwag into the audience (stuff like gloves, socks) and there was a raffle with stuff like forks and a full sus frame being given away.

After that, they screened Seasons by the Collective.

And then it was off to buffalo burgers for dinner.

Ling has all the pics.



Day two was much better.

Collected rental car from the airport (Dodge Grand Caravan - mahal man!).

Fixed up my Blur which finally arrived. Found that they warped the front disc and also bent a bit of my big chain ring (kinda like what happened to Nik's in NZ).
Brought it to the SRAM tent and they fixed me up. Straightened my disc brakes (Avid belongs to them), tuned my Revelation (Rockshox also belongs to them), found a loose pivot, and gave the bike a free tune up.
Couldn't do anything about the big chain ring though. I would have to go buy one here but looking at the terrain, I don't think I'll be doing much pedalling in the big ring.
When I told them that my brake pads were Koolstops, they immediately gave me 2 sets of Avid metallic brake pads. How cool is that??!! Then they showed me their new Ultimates in blue (Nik's previous Volvo's blue) and in white and told us they will be out soon. When Max saw these, he had a gleam in his eye.
I ended up buying them beers for all the free work they did.

After an IMBA sponsored lunch and group photo of all the IMBA participants, we split into 3 groups and went for the rides. Max, Ling and I did the intermediate again, but today, there was a lot of climbing. The reward was of course the downhills that followed.
Hui Min went off with the Advanced Group (check out the guurrrls.jpg) and did dirt jumping.
3 hours, only 24 km, and we're so dead but all with big happy grins. We started at 5pm and ended at 8. Long summer days. Heaven.
There were all sorts of bikes on the rides - full sus, hard tail, full rigid, full rigid single speed, full rigid fixie, full rigid fixie hand built in Montana with a waiting list of 10 years, etc etc...
Tonight, the main street in town is closed to traffic and they have a Jazz and food festival!!!
They also have a night ride, which HM is participating in right now at 10pm.

Brave soul.

The rest of us will pack and sleep. Tomorrow at 7.30am, they have arranged for us to shuttle to the trail head where they will serve us breakfast. Then at 9am, we head out for the Kona epic ride. It's only 20 or 28 miles BUT there are lots of climbs. Somewhere in the middle, I heard that they also arranged for some bbqed sausages. Must be a rumour. At least that will keep me going.


IMBA World Summit 2008

Earlier in June this year, Max, HM, Chi and I flew all the way to Park City, Utah for the 2008 IMBA World Summit. It was the first time that us DirTraction folk had attended one of these summits. I must say it was well worth the effort in travelling that distance to rub shoulders and exchange ideas with other like-minded folks in MTB-related industries both local and international.

The summit was held at the Park City Marriott over 4 days from 18-21 June. We met mountain biking advocates, land managers, ski resort professionals, trailbuilders, park and urban planners, tourism officials and other representatives from the bike industry.
A typical summit day ran like this :-
- Yummy breakfast and chit chat
- The all important opening / closing speech for the first and last days
- Choice of workshops throughout the day (the topics were so interesting it was a tough decision just choosing which workshops to attend)
- And of course the moment we've all been waiting for *drumroll* - the guided networking rides! We could even pick and choose which ride was wana join to suit our riding levels!
K, enough said. Let da photos do da talkin'.
Big thanks for IMBA Trail Specialist, Joey Klein who beckoned us to go join other like-minded mountain biking enthusiasts from around the globe at this summit! We'd definitely try to save up for the next summit! And to Patti Bonnet for taking care of us!
Watch this space for more photos of our rides in Crested Butte, Moab and Hawaii!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Extreme Sabbatical

I know, I know. It's been more than 5 months since I last posted! Can't believe time flies when ya havin' the time of ya life!

Lemme see, what have I done so far this year? a nutshell....

1. Helped out with the organisation of Bike Asia 100 (no riding, fat cells unite)

2. Helped out as a bike lead rider for the 84 km Sundown Marathon and 70.3! Also led a Lexxus who blasted his way through 50 kilometers of off-road running for TNF100, which DirTraction organised! Never done so much lead riding for events for the two legged athletes! (still no real ridin'! hmmm.....well, not at the pace at which the runners were going, save for TNF100! That fella was flying I tell ya!)

3. Joined the 3-day Sabah Adventure Race and got drastically lost twice on the first day! My race partner, Ken wanted to quit on me at the end of each day, but I managed to coax him to suffer yet another day...and another...and another. On the last day, heat stroke lashed at him, and our team DNF! Sigh.....but I made it to the finish line with 2 other competitors from 2 different teams, whose respective partners had also DNF! (no lucky breaks this time - sigh)

4. Team Mingling reprised their roles in City Chase 2008, but alas, luck was definitely not on our side when enroute to CP1, Ming lost his IC, credit card, $200 and MRT card! And that was only the beginning of a really sad, sad story! Will leave the story for another day! (lucky breaks? think quota used in last few years already)

5. Wanted to form an all ladies team for the Ace Adventure "From Dusk to Dawn" race, but Becks recently discovered her spinal injury re-surfaced, so kissed the ladies team goodbye! My other slack male buddies couldn't tahan all the knee-busting running, signature of almost all Ace races I've joined, so no team, no race! Sigh....

Now, for the good stuff that makes all the nightmares go away.....

6. Attended the 2008 IMBA World Summit in Utah! Managed to cover more riding in Crested Butte, Moab and Hawaii! Photos to be posted soon! [Teaser photo above taken at Moab]

7. Just came back from a week's riding in Bali! Sweet! Again, photos and videos waitin' to be screened!

Looks like this is a better year than never to take my sabbatical (from extreme gruelling suffering)!

Lock ya eyes on this space.....for more riding photo journals of Ling the Merciless....