Friday, April 18, 2014


we DOUBLE DAWG DARE you to ride this...

New and improved starting location, same great ride with a bonus Old Farm start/finish!

This is a 2 day VES event. Folks will start to roll into the beautiful Slamhouse located at 2700 Meadowbrook Drive, Blacksburg on Saturday afternoon. Sharing this amazing location are our hosts this year Graham, Tommy and Stephan. In addition to the sweet events on the flyer we will likely be rolling a 10-15 mile road bike party (road bikes not required) on Saturday as well. NO pace lines, NO bitchin about terrain choice. Also, bring your game for some dual slalom downhill slopeside racin behind the barn next to the pump track as well.

If interested, bring food for the grill for after the delicious ride on Sunday. We have volunteer(s), JP Gannon (the oh so liberal croquet official himself) that is willing to get the goods ready as we finish up the ride! Bring what you like, he'll "allow it".

See you there!

We hope to pull together an updated VES quality map soon...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thank you! And, I'm thrilled to announce ... jerseys that are even cooler!!!

Thanks so so much to everyone that came out to the Terrapin Mountain Predicament. I especially want to thank Bill Hazlegrove our VES cartographer superhero and the legend Kyle Inman, the creator of the TMP route.

I can't tell you how many revision, enhancement and tweak requests Bill has to endure and parlay into a thing of beauty for every VES. The Narrows map was the most beautiful we'd made at that point, the TMP map is even more gorgeous AND it adds a number of outstanding navigational assistance features which enable mountain bikers to only carry this map and successfully navigate loads of unmarked backcountry trails. There's no way to thank Bill enough for the massive amount of time he invests / volunteers so that we all can have a blast in the woods on our bikes.

And, a little over a year ago Kyle Inman crafted the TMP route expressly for the Virginia Endurance Series by masterfully linking together rides that he and his friends have secretly enjoyed for years. I trust Kyle like none other when it comes to course creation. He knows what's best, he knows where it is and his routing optimizes the experience of the rider. Don't take my word on this though, go race the XXC at Kyle's "Middle Mountain Mamma" on May 4th

I've been telling everyone that we're going to do another order of VES Factory Team clothing, and we are, but since we're moving toward the hottest months of the year, today I asked Bill Hazlegrove to create a new design using white as a primary color expressly to optimize rider comfort and performance during hot weather.

Not only did Bill deliver, but he took the bold, distinctive good looks of the VES Factory Team jersey to another level of "cool". I couldn't be more excited to introduce the 2014 VES Factory Team "Cool" Jersey:
The *new* VES Factory Team "Cool" design jersey has also been FREE upgraded with 4-way stretch lycra side panels (the same material used in the F1 Aero jerseys) by Starlight to further optimize rider comfort and performance when its hot outside.

And, we're also re-ordering shorts and bibs. These will be unchanged (see below) and will look phenomenal with all three VES Factory Team Jersey designs. 

This round of VES Factory Team clothing will just consist of the "Cool" jersey design, bibs and shorts. Women's, Men's and Youth sizes are available, and all items are club fit. 

Regarding fit, we want you to look fantastic and for your gear to fit and feel exactly the way you'd like, therefore I highly recommend stopping by Starlight Bicycles (1502 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 2401) and getting fit / trying on their club fit gear. Also, I will be bringing a fit kit to the 4/28 Double Dawg Dare VES Event so you anyone interested can try on items.

We would love for you to be part of the VES Factory Team. 
The VES Mission = reveal and celebrate the very best backcountry mountain biking destinations in Virginia | offer FREE monthly ride events in these destinations, with volunteer ride leaders and various distance options (something for everyone) | GIVE riders the maps and information they need to explore these areas | help create, enhance and preserve Virginia’s great mountain biking experiences.
Our VES Factory Team is a completely inclusive group of riders, adventurers and titans of mtb fun! If the VES mission sounds and feels good to you, then we would love for you to join the VES Factory Team and you're welcome and encouraged to order team clothing at cost. VES Factory Team members can also be on other club, shop, race, junior or high school teams.

In addition, for every VES clothing item purchased, Starlight Custom Cycling Apparel will donate $5 to IMBA the International Mountain Biking Association!

PRICES: (All prices are cost and Starlight will donate $5 to IMBA for every VES clothing item ordered.)
  • SS Jersey = $50
  • Bibs = $65
  • Shorts = $60
To order, email, include the items, quantities and sizes that you want and a shipping address if you would like the item shipped to you upon arrival (shipping is $6).

This order will be placed Monday 4/29, the turn around time is roughly 4 weeks, so we should have our "cool" new jerseys before the end of May!

Thank you so much for your support! Let's Ride!!!!!

DATE CHANGE: 4.27.14 Double Dawg Dare | FREE Event #4 in Virginia's Mountain Biking Endurance Series

Date: Sunday, 4.27.14
Link: DDD Facebook Event Page

    The route connects the incredible trails of the Rowdy Dawg and Dirty Dawg mountain bike races, showcasing many of the best trails in the Blacksburg area.

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Endurance Gear Review: OneUp Components 42T+16T Wide Range 10-Speed Cassette Upgrade [Initial Impression]

    I believe the new wave of 42T cogs is hugely applicable to adventure / endurance / backcountry mountain bikers who are often riding trail, all-mountain bikes or enduro bikes, carrying lots of gear, and, attempting to ride steep extend climbs to get to bliss-inducing ridgeline rides and downhills tears.

    You know the feeling. You're struggling to stay on your bike on a tough climb, it's looking like you're going to have to submit, to get off and push the rest of the way, you press the shifter hoping that somehow there's another gear ... but there's not, and in a few more feet you're off the bike and pushing.

    Enter the new wave of 42T cogs and that extra gear IS there. You're now able to stay on your bike longer, you sit and spin and ride! You're not going to be flying up the climbs in a 42, but you are going to stay on your bike longer - ride more, push less.

    I've been riding / testing the Wolf Tooth GC 42T (Giant Cog) and just today I received the newest gear from OneUp

    OneUp's offering is unique in that it now comes with *both* 42 and 16T cogs, enabling users to remove both the 15 and 17T cogs and replace them both with their 16T.

    Previously both OneUp and Wolf Tooth instructed riders to remove the 17T to make room for the 42T, BUT, that left a 15T to 19T shift, which was the worst on the cassette and I personally felt like it was an uncomfortable shift gap.

    The alternative (which I did) was removing the 11T and purchasing a 13T final cog and a larger lockring. I sourced both from Miche at a cost of roughly $10 each. This does result in fantastic shift performance across the entire 13-42 cassette, but, for many riders losing the 11T is far less than ideal.

    Enter the new custom 16T OneUp final cog. Keep the 11T, add the OneUp 42T, replace both the 15 and 17T cogs with the OneUp 16T, and ... enjoy a no compromise wide range 11-42 cassette.

    In theory, OneUp has just created the most user friendly, functional and cost effective 10-speed cassette upgrade that's on the market today ... effectively OneUp-ing all of their competition.

    Check back soon for my ride / trail / torture test report on the brand new OneUp 42+16 setup.