The Stoke, It Comes and Goes

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Photo courtesy of Will!

I’ve never been one of those guys who can maintain stoke for an entire season. It comes and goes in waves, and sometimes I take some time off to step back and see where I’m at. A week off the bike? Not a good thing…but sometimes necessary. Ya see, I used to work in a shop. Did it for a long time, and that sort of took the fun out of bikes for a while. Now I don’t work in a shop and my stoke for bikes has returned, but I have to be careful because for me, riding bikes can be something of an abusive relationship.

This summer, it’s been full stoke.

I have a job that allows me to travel a bit, and I get to ride cool bikes while I’m there on business. It’s a good gig. So, this summer, yes. Maximum stoke. So much stoke that I haven’t had much time to share with you what I’ve been up to. So here’s a photo journey for ya. Get a beer. This might take a while.

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D2 Photography

That one’s a self-portrait (thanks for being a great assistant, Jeff!) from Press Camp in Deer Valley, Utah. I’m riding the new Orbea Orca. Pure badass.

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Photo from Jeff!

The day before the road ride at Deer Valley, Jeff and I hit the trails on a Turner Flux. It was my first foray into 27.5 wheels and I can safely say I was impressed. Deer Valley? A bit of alright.

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Photo from Jeff!

Banksy put a flower in my hair while we were in Park City. That makes me legit or something.

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Photo from Will!

A few weeks later, Will and I hit up Copper Mountain here in Colorado for another industry event. Fun trails, perfect weather…yes. Yes. And Fuck Yes.

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Photo from Will!

Fat tires. I’m hooked. Seriously. This was the most fun I’ve had on a bike in a long time, even if it was a Specialized. I think I see a Salsa or Surly fat bike in my future. If you haven’t ridden one, trust me on this: you cannot ride one of these and not smile like an idiot.

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My left foot.

Well how about the everyday ride? I’ve been spending a lot of time at Apex in Golden, CO. It’s my go-to afternoon ride. A few days ago, I went to Apex and rode for two and a half hours…and saw three people total. That may not sound all that impressive to some of you, but for those of us living along the Front Range of Colorado, this is a goddamn miracle. Thanks, monsoons, for keeping out the riff-raff.

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The singletrack has been gnar.

In case you’re wondering, that tire SUCKS HARD. Just swapped it out with a Nevegal.

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Front Range. It’s more than just traffic.

The view just before the rains rolled in. I live in a pretty cool place.

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D2 Photography.

We talk a lot about badass women who ride bikes on this blog. Sometimes we talk about badass women who just sit on bikes. Both are cool, but goddamn if a woman who rides isn’t just the coolest shit ever.

I was fortunate enough to catch the women’s race here in Denver a few weeks ago. A friend of mine was in the Cat 3 race, so I went to grab some photos. She races for Naked Women’s Cycling team, which is full of badasses. Seriously. Just look at the photos and tell me otherwise. I dare you.

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D2 Photography

That there’s some intensity. It was a fun race. These ladies know how to throw down, and every single one of them could tear my legs off in a race. Lots of respect.

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D2 Photography

Here’s Brittany. She’s a certified badass.

 

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D2 Photography

Having friends who ride bikes has other advantages, especially when they can do cool shit in front of my camera. Here we have Downey shredding the proverbial gnar at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. I took these photos shortly before the skies opened up and poured on us, so I didn’t get a ton of shots, but here’s a few good ones.

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My job is cool.

Downey is cooler.

Sick wallride, brah.

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D2 Photography

I was going to try to get these in the magazines and get some exposure for D2 Photography, but fuck it. They look cooler on Drunkcyclist anyway, wouldn’t you agree?

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D2 Photography

I pooped a little watching this. Seriously scary shit.

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D2 Photography

So, without getting all deep and philosophical, suffice it to say that it’s been a good summer on two wheels for D2. I love it here in CO and have had some great opportunities to see trails I’ve never seen before, roll singletrack that is ever-life-changing, and meet folks who are just plain strong on the bike. That’s what it’s all about.

Hope you’re near the end of your beer now that you’ve reached the end of the post. Now grab another and start again from the top. It will help you bide the time until tomorrow when the sun comes up and you can ride once more.

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

9 thoughts on “The Stoke, It Comes and Goes

  1. It’s funny how working in a shop can do that to you. It can suck the stoke right out of anyone. People think, “I like to ride bikes, working in a bike shop would kick ass.” Well do you like selling bikes? working on bikes? dealing with every detail of why a bike makes a noise? That’s the shit that sucks the stoke.

  2. I’ve had two more friends move west in the past month. My bro-in-law in Parker keeps asking me out to ride the Front Range (which I’ve done in the past…and yes, Apex is awesome)…but I can’t bring myself to do it. Right now, its just a slap in the face and a harsh reminder that I live in the wrong place and I should really do something about that.

  3. Sommerflies

    I hear ya bro, I went from Montana fighting wildfires to Houston TX sitting at a desk for an engineering job. The only thing keeping the stoked up is DC. I need to get back out West.

  4. There is a nugget of true wisdom here; the stoke does indeed wax and wane.

    The trick is, when it’s on the wane, don’t fight it too hard. Take a break.

    The other trick I use is, when I start to think, “Not the same old ride again? Boring.” Well, imagine it’s January. All of a sudden, it’s, “Holy shit, I gotta ride. Summer’s so short!!”

    Rubber side down, brothers and sisters. See you out there.

  5. I’m in a stoke-lull right now, too, mainly from work kicking my ass (I’m a roughneck on an drilling rig) and then four to six days hard riding on my days off (I work one week on/one week off). I know I should step back a bit, but I remember waiting so damn long for the season to hit. Winter is coming, friends. We’ll rest when we’re dead.

  6. Glad you’ve been riding some awesomeness AND you love your job. Didn’t make it to Downieville. Guess I have to move back.

  7. Whoops, read that post too quick and mixed the D’s up. Oops. Nice photos either way D!