Category Archives: YEG

Even I will draw a line somewhere

If I have a thing, it’s the ability to make something from next to nothing. I have enough parts piled up that I can take a $50 bike in need of work, and turn it into something maybe worth $200. But, even considering that, there are times when it’s gone too far.

This is one of those times;

It’s a Rocky Mountain Fusion from 2002. And it’s in terrible shape.

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How to be a bike mechanic

Years ago, I bought a Dekerf Team ST that was very well used. The fork oil was all over the outside of the fork, the fork crown was cracked, the frame probably had never been cleaned, the cables were messed up, and the wheels… The wheels had a clunk in the front – like there was a loose bearing – and a rumble in the back, which usually means a pitted cone.

And on top of that, the rear rim is very concave on the braking surface – the metal has been worn away and the brake pads will soon break right though the rim. They rim really should be replaced before it breaks.

The problem is  that they’re weird wheels. The nipples are at the hub instead of the rim. The rear is offset bigtime. Getting a new rim to fit these wheel is probably not an option.

Cane Creek WAM

Cane Creek WAM

I was pretty discouraged by all this at the time. They’re Cane Creek WAM Cronos, which was a pretty high end wheelset from the late 90’s. It really seemed dumb that they were essentially garbage.

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#YEG MTB Trails

Recently, a rogue trail namer here in the city got into the news because someone discovered the signs he/she had made.  I’m not sure why this was a new item as the trails are legal to my knowledge.  I believe the problem was that the wood plaque style signs were bolted to trees.

I watched a video about this from the local news, but I watched it without sound, so there’s a good chance that I missed a lot of information.  To be honest, I didn’t care all that much. Part of the reason for that may be that TeamCow named all of those trails back in the late 90’s.

I’m positive that we were not the first people to name these trails, so I’m not going to pull any “we were cooler than you were way back when” nonsense.  In fact, one day while we were out building trails we had to listen to the rather unhappy ramblings of some guy, sitting out in the woods going on about how he and his buddies built those trails back in the 70’s and just who the hell were we?

Clearly these trails are old, and they were probably named by the creators way way back when.  So new sign guy is not a pioneer, and neither were we.  Also, that encounter made me wonder just how did these trails come into being in the first place?

But I digress.

The important thing here is that our names were way better.

We named them all after songs.  Root Down (Beastie Boys), Rollercoaster of Love (The Ohio Players), Seven Words (Deftones), 400 Bucks (Reverend Horton Heat), March of the Pigs (Nine Inch Nails), and there were others, but the names escape me.

Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to describe where they are.  That was, in fact, the reason we came up with names.  Trying to tell a story about what happened to you on that trail after the bridge where you turn left and then go up this hill and then – it was a whole lot easier to say; ‘you know that trail that’s always muddy, like a pig sty? What if we called it March of the Pigs?’

I thought about drawing up a map, but never got around to it. I don’t know that we ever considered putting up signs.  There’s a good chance that we weren’t supposed to be on a lot of those trails anyway as I recall one year the city deciding that all singletrack was off limits for bikes.  Generally, if we wanted to show someone the trails, we just went out for a ride.

Maybe someday we’ll bring out the definitive TeamCow trail guide, but as always, we’re in no hurry.