Who we are

Northern Colorado Grassroots (NCGR) is a team of mountain bikers based out of Fort Collins, Colorado who like to have a good time and love riding bikes. We like to race our bikes, be good stewards of the trails, give back to the community, and be all around good advocates for the sport of mountain biking.

Monday, February 17, 2014

NCGR Late Winter Group Ride

Seven members of the Northern Colorado Grassroots Race team met at Full Cycle bike shop on Saturday for a late winter ride to Eden Valley and back to town. Riding conditions were near perfect until we topped the ridge at the end of Harmony Road. At that point, the wind was strong enough to justify turning around. Probably encouraged by the warm sunshine, all of us pressed-on without a second thought and for the most part enjoyed the circuit of hills and drops between Harmony and Horsetooth Mountain Park. From that point, the descent to Masonville was truly epic: gusts of wind were uprooting vegetation, combining what remained with sand, and throwing it in our faces as we struggled to keep from being blown into the road. Fortunately, everyone arrived at the village store intact and smiling! As we contemplated our options, the wind seemed to intensify, gusts may have exceeded 40-50 mph - not ideal for light carbon road bikes! The decision to abandon a large part of the planned ride was inevitable, we rode through the village and quickly looped back. At the turn-around point, fun resumed in large doses as we were literally blown out of the valley and back towards Horsetooth Reservoir and eventually to Fort Collins. Despite the conditions, it was a great group ride! Thanks to everyone that was able to make it. Brent Beck and I broke off from the pack near the end ... and made our way to Equinox for a perfect conclusion to an awesome day on the bikes.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hot Kickstarter Project to Fund Handmade Beanies by Akinz in Fort Collins!

Everybody loves a good beanie when the weather turns cool!  Fort Collins' own Akinz makes hundreds of beanies every year, by hand!  Akinz has taken to Kickstarter to generate revenue to keep the beanies handmade with love, instead of having them made in bulk somewhere else.  Have a look at the Akinz Kickstarter project and be sure to swing by the Akinz store or the Akinz website to see what all the fuss is about!  Oh yeah, they are big supporters of cycling in Fort Collins, so give them some love!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest & the 1st Laramie Mountain Bike Series race of 2012

It's been a busy week for NCGR!  Several of us went down to New Mexico for the 3rd annual 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest over this past weekend and a crew went up to Laramie last night to race the first event of the year.  None of us sucked.

Mike, Bryan, and I stole away with Doug's suburban (thanks again) to head down to NM for 24 hrs of racing fun.  Mike and Bryan went after the male duo category and gave it a pretty good run too!  If it weren't for dead cell phones and no alarm clocks they probably could have been on the podium with the lap times that they were putting down!  As it was, they finished 5th in their category!
I gave my best effort at my first single speed solo attempt.  It was awesome!  It's pretty great to start riding your bike knowing that you will be able to keep riding for (almost) as long as you want; of course, your body has to oblige...  I felt like I was really well prepared mentally and physically. Funny thing about life, you always learn a lesson when you think you've got it all figured out.  My arms, back,  neck, and to a certain degree my hands and feet, were destroyed by lap 6 and mile 96.  My legs felt great and my head was in a good place but my rigid bike abused me on that course.  I was able to put one more lap in during sunrise, after a nice nap, for 112 miles and 10th place.  Next time I roll in a race like that I will add a bit of suspension to keep my body a bit happier.
We had a great time and left wanting to ride our bikes some more.  I'd say that's a good sign considering that we rode a total of 288 miles in less than 24hrs.

Laramie Mountain Bike Series
Looks like it was nice weather for the first race.  Seeing as how I wasn't there for it, maybe I can talk one of the guys into giving a better write-up of how it all went down.
For now, here are the results:

Open Men
Brian - 5th
Doug - 11th

Advanced Men
Ralph - 4th (missed 3rd by a 0:01!)
Jeff - 13th

Open Women
Libby - 3rd

Great rides!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back Into the Swing of Things

It's already the end of May and Memorial weekend is upon us.  The racing season has come back around!
Brian going hard!  (Photo credit to Yann Ropars @ Yannphotovideo.com)
The New Belgium Short Track series has gone through 3 of the 4 races for the season and NCGR had a good showing with Brian and Ralph, even though Ralph looked like he came out of a coal mine at the end of the race (thanks Mike Woodard for capturing that one!).  Brian roped in 3rd place in the Single Speed division at the third Short Track race!  Ralph fought a hard battle to ride into 11th in the Mens Expert division
Ralph gettin' work done!  (Photo credit to Yann Ropars @ Yannphotovideo.com)

Is that Ralph or his Klingon brother?
In addition to the Short Track races the Gowdy Grinder went down on May 20th.  Brian once again represented us on the short, but technically challenging, course.  Brian finished up in 16th place out of 55 in the Men's Open category where he raced his single speed against the geared boys.  Great job Brian!  Brian was even quoted in a post-race interview with Josh Cooley of Examiner.com.  You can find the article here.
This is just the beginning to the season and as things get into full swing we'll keep putting up the results!

Ride on!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back in Action

Wow!  It has been quite some time since we posted anything here... I'm gonna try to get back on it and publish some of our team stuff, race results, and other fun stuff.
First an update from last year.  We were fortunate enough to get a variety of sponsors for the 2012 season!  We would like to thank Full Cycle Fort Collins, Long Building Technologies, Hines Irrigation, Wright Environmental Services, Blue Sky Coaching and Training, Akinz Boardwear, and Equinox Brewing for their support this season!  Thanks to the support of our sponsors and team riders we will be rocking a custom team Jersey this year, so keep an eye out on the Fort Collins trails for the NCGR jersey and say hello!

Here is a selection of the races we are riding in this year:  Gowdy Grinder, 24hrs in the Enchanted Forest, 40 in the Fort, Steamboat Stinger, Dakota Five-O, Lory Mountain Challenge, and the Laramie Mtn Bike Series.

It's looking to be a promising year for us with a group of strong riders so keep an eye out for us!
I'll post more team information as things come up and season starts rocking!  For more frequent updates and group ride info, follow us on Facebook here.

Ride on!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fatback Rides

Well I'm back in Fort Collins and ready to ride some dirt.  Until then, I thought I would share the tales of my snowbike rides.  I was able to get three rides in that were only a half-hour to an hour and a half long but they certainly gave me a good idea of what snow biking is all about.

When I picked the bikes up from Greg the first thing that I noticed was how light they were compared to what I was expecting.  Granted, they were titanium.  But still, with the Surly Endomorph 3.7 tires it was much lighter than I anticipated it being.  The frame was made by Lynskey and had a really cool twisted downtube.  I'm not sure if that serves a purpose of any kind but it sure did look cool.  I also wasn't expecting to see grip shifts on the bike but the more I thought about it the more they made sense.  All of the commuter bikes that I saw in Alaska had big mitts attached to the bars to keep their hands warm in the cold weather.  I realized that it would be difficult to use trigger shifters with this setup and that grip shifts really were smart.  What was even better was how the grip shifts performed.  I forgot to take note of what kind of shifters they were but they shifted really well.  They didn't have that sloppy feeling that most of the grips shifts I have used had, they were sharp and crisp feeling.

We decided to ride at the Hillside park so we got up nice and early and headed out.  The area had received some fresh snow the day before and it was snowing again this morning.  As we got ourselves and the bikes ready to roll a local guy came rolling through the parking lot on another Fatback.  We exchanged waves and it made me feel better to know that this is a spot the locals ride.  From the parking lot we rolled up to a large general trailhead that immediately dropped us down a fast, wide descent.  There were two things that I immediately noticed.  (1) This bike rips even though it has huge tires on it and (2) I just passed a moose a couple feet of the trail!  Luckily neither of us seemed to bother the moose that was literally a bike length off the trail so we stopped to snap a couple of pictures as it crossed the trail behind us.  After that initial excitement we kept a constant eye on the sides of the trail.  The trails we were on were mostly double track covered in snow but every once in a while we saw a side trail that lead off into the woods that was the exact size of our tires.  There was no way that I was going to pass up some single track so we decided to take the next one we saw.  This is where it got interesting.  There were a couple of inches of fresh on the single track and these bikes just ate it up!  It was awesome!  There were climbs here and there with some fast descents through tight spruce and paper birch trees.  The Fatbacks climbed amazingly, even more amazing than how they descended.  Climbing really didn't feel much different than on a normal bike.  There were a couple of times where I decided I would cut a new trail right next to the established trail and the climbing became more difficult, as you might expect.  But all things considered, I felt like I was riding a normal bike.  Although when I looked down it looked more like a motocross bike...

We continued to ride through areas that were obviously swamps that had frozen over, bogs that were lined with stunted trees from the lack of available oxygen, wide open birch stands that reminded me of amazing aspen glade skiing, and eventually we reconnected with the double track trails that we started on.  The trails in Hillside park were great.  The main trails were well marked and had a map at every intersection and all of the side trails dumped us out onto the wide double track.  We did make a wrong turn but because each intersection was well marked we were able to figure it out and get back to our car.  It was an incredible morning.

That evening I was supposed to take the bikes back to Greg so I decided to take a quick trip up the Tony Knowles coastal trail.  It was a paved trail that sees lots of use but it was still covered in snow and made a fun little ride.  I took it far enough to get a good shot of downtown Anchorage with the mountains in the background and the Knik arm of the Prince William sound in the foreground.  I decided that I had to ask Greg to keep the bikes for one more morning.  Without hesitation Greg agreed!  Sweet!

The next morning I got up nice and early.  My colleague decided he wanted more sleep instead of more riding so I went back out to Hillside Park by myself.  This morning was a bit different.  There was some fresh snow but the wind was howling.  I pulled into the parking lot and assessed the situation.  It was still pretty dark so I sat and listened to some classic rock and waited for a bit more light.  After about ten minutes I decided to roll.  It made me feel better to see the same rider this morning that we saw the previous morning.  At least I knew I wasn't the only one out in this nasty weather.  I rolled into the forest and took the first single track exit I could find.  This trail was tight in a spruce-fir stand which made things even darker.  I only had my sunglasses to wear and even though they have lenses that adjust to the amount of light it was still really dark in that stand.  I could only hear the sound of the wind gusting through the tree tops.  There were three things in my mind that morning.  The first one was keeping an eye out for moose, second was watching for falling trees, and third was enjoying the trails.  As things started to lighten up I felt a little better but the wind was still howling.  The trails were amazing though so it was still pretty easy to have a great time.  But, the further I road the more branches I saw fall around me and I counted three trees that had snapped in the wind.  I came upon a birch stand and stood for a while watching the trees move and bend in the ferocious wind.  I made the decision to call the ride a bit earlier than I had planned.  While I was definitely enjoying myself, I decided that it wasn't worth having a tree fall on me.  I started back to the car and quickly came across a moose.  This one was smaller than the one that we had seen the previous morning but we were both startled by our encounter this time.  She ran off into the forest (fortunately) and I powered up the last climb to the car.  It was a good morning, albeit a short one.  I later came to find out that the storm had felled a lot of trees in the area so I was pretty happy with my decision to boogie a little early.  I just hope that the other rider was as lucky as I was.

I had three great rides on the Fatback bikes.  Even though they weren't the epic rides that I would have preferred to take, they certainly were a lot of fun and a great experience.  I really have Greg at Speedway to thank for the opportunity.  He was really great about getting us hooked up and helping out with some tools to take along for the rides.  If you ever make it up to Anchorage be sure to check out his shop because it's full of great bikes, components, and people too.  It seems to be a common occurrence for some locals to be hanging out after hours drinking some great local microbrews and talking shop and about life.  Sound familiar?

I'll be heading back to Anchorage in May and Greg has already told me he'd hook me up with a trailbike and a group ride.  Hopefully I'll be able to join them and check out the local trails sans snow.  I'm already looking forward to it.

Enjoy the pictures!

Ride on!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Time in Anchorage

Hey NCGR land!
I'm up in Anchorage, AK on a work trip and connected with Speedway Cycles to demo a Fatback bike!  We just got 4-8" of snow throughout the Anchorage area this morning and I will be taking a ride tomorrow morning around 6am.  The weather is looking good so I'm hoping to get some pretty sweet pictures of the adventure.  The best part....  Greg at Speedway Cycles hooked me up with Titanium Fatbacks!!!  Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about this.  Big thanks to Greg and Speedway Cycles.  Check back in the next couple of days for a review of the ride and hopefully some photos!

Ride on!