This is the final installment in my series of ride reports from my vacation to Colorado during the first week of August, 2011. By the time this blog post goes live, it will probably be December. Man, how time flies.
Click on over and read the full article here!
Aaron Gwin
Photo Credit
2011 was a big year for the USA in downhill mountain biking: it marked the first time in the history of mountain biking that an American took the overall men's World Cup title! Despite the fact that America was the birth place of mountain biking, it took us 34 or 35 years to grab this title, and it was done by a talented 23 year old by the name of Aaron Gwin.
Click on over to Cranial Collision to read the rest of the article!
Click on over to to check out my final review of the Ibex Maroc Carbon Fiber 29er, complete with photo gallery!
"The Blurry Relationship Between Consciousness and Memory" began life as a memoir for my Intermediate Composition (creative nonfiction) course (read more about that here). After having written the paper, adapting it for use on Singletracks was easy.

Head on over to to read the full piece: "After the Crash: The Blurry Relationship Between Consciousness and Memory."
This memo was written for my Technical and Professional Writing Class during fall semester 2011. We were to analyze an instruction manual for a product based on the measures of excellence detailed in our textbook. As you can see from the attached grading sheet, I did rather well, receiving an A-.

This memo was written for my Technical and Professional Writing class during Fall Semester 2011.

The writing prompt reads:
In a memo of 1 to 2 pages, evaluate Document 1.1 (Markel, p. 17), according to the measures of excellence described in Markel, Ch. 1. Your memo should refer explicitly to the measures and be organized around them. Do not assume that the document is a good example of professional writing.
As you can see from the attached grading sheet, I did well, and received an A!

This assignment was dubbed "Project 0" and was written for my Technical and Professional Writing college course, which I am currently taking (Fall 2011). The writing prompt reads:
This first project will be a personal essay of 2 to 3 pages, 600-900 words, answering these questions: At this point in your life, what career do you anticipate entering and what role will writing play in it? This essay should represent your best writing in its clarity and correctness and is worth 50 points.
As you can see below, I received an "A," so I'd say I did a good job on it!

Photo by Jeff Barber
I’ve been a serious mountain biker for a little more than 6 years now. I enjoy exploring new trails, traveling the country, and pushing myself and my bike to the limit. I always try to improve my times and my technical handling skills… but somehow this continual progression has not led me to the competitive realm of mountain bike racing.
Until now.
The Baker’s Dozen 13-hour endurance race this past weekend was the first time I had ever raced my mountain bike competitively. As a serious rider just getting into the racing scene, I thought I’d write up a few random thoughts I had during my first competition (in no specific order):
Click here to read the full article!
My college gives us one day off for “Fall Break.” I’m not sure how a 3-day weekend qualifies for a vacation, but apparently it does! I decided to make the most of this precious time, so I hit the road and drove over to Ellijay, Georgia to investigate a couple of trails I’d never ridden before.
Read the full article here!
This essay is the result of an assignment to write a "letter to the editor" for my Intermediate Composition class during the summer of 2011. I also transformed this piece into a blog post on Cranial Collision.

While I don't normally relish getting this political, I'm happy with how the piece turned out. Apparently my professor was too, because I received an "A."

I just shared a link to a cool article and started a discussion thread over on the forum, but I wanted to re-share here a few of the thoughts I wrote up:

But I'd also like to add that riding a mountain bike while on your commute also opens up an amazing number of route possibilities that just aren't open to a road bike. With a mountain bike, you can take short cuts across grassy parks and avoid traffic, ride stair cases, tackle curbs and speed bumps quickly and easily, and basically dominate the entire city instead of being worried about hitting a small dip in the pavement and throwing your skinny wheel out of true.

During my short commute to campus, there's one section where I routinely come flying down a hill, rocketing over speed bumps, straight over a sidewalk into a grassy hill, launch off of a man-hole cover that's right above a steep hill and catch some air, and them come blazing down that slope and merge onto a sidewalk at ~25 mph as I bust on over to the appropriate building. You just can't tackle a short cut like that on a road bike or urban cruiser...
 Read the rest of the post here.
My Trail 401 ride report is now live on Go check it out!
I have a new product review of the Dakine Syncline short now live on! Be sure to check it out!
My review of this hydration pack is now live on be sure to click on over and check it out!
Sometimes I hate people. Please, don't be like the person that left all of this trash at this beautiful overlook. Please practice Leave No Trace Mountain Biking. Click here to read my new post about it over on

Hey guys, I recently published a post on my other blog with some of my thoughts from my recent mountain bike trip to Crested Butte. If you're interested, please check it out here!

I have a new blog post live on! Click on over to read my "On Test" post for the Ibex Maroc 29er.
Getting There

From Fort Collins:
Find County Road 21/South Overland Trail that runs along the west side of the city. Turn off of this onto County Road 42C/Dixon Canyon Road. Go 0.6 miles, turn right, go 0.2 miles, and the trailhead should be on your left.

From Loveland: 
Head north 9 miles on US Highway 287 North/North Garfield Avenue. Turn left onto West Drake Road and go 3 miles. Turn right on County Road 21/South Overland Trail and go 0.3 miles. Take the first right onto County Road 42C/Dixon Canyon Road. Go 0.6 miles, turn right, go 0.2 miles, and the trailhead should be on your left.

All About the Trail
Click on over to to read my Foothills Trail Ride Report!
Guidebooks are essential when exploring new terrain, but they can be spendy! Fortunately, you can create your own guidebooks for free using Click over to the main article for step-by-step directions!

I'm currently testing an Ibex Asta Pro out for Click on over to read my unboxing/first impressions post.
Getting There
From Hartwell, head north on GA-51 for 7 miles to the stop sign. Take a left onto Boleman Hill road and drive 2 miles. Head straight off of the corner of the turn and continue onto Paynes Creek road for 0.8 miles. You should start seeing signs for Paynes Creek campground/recreation area. Follow signs for the last couple of quick turns, and get ready to mountain bike!

All About the Trail
For my take on the trail, please check out my post on entitled "Fresh Dirt: Paynes Creek, GA Ride Report."
I am extremely pleased with how my memoir turned out in the end. It took a long time to get there, but I am very proud of the finished product!

It seems that my professor thought I did well too, as her final comment reads: "You have a lovely way with words. A+" That's right... A+ ! I'm so stoked to have earned such a great grade.

As for the future of this piece, I really want to get it published somewhere, but I'm just not sure which publication would be best. If/when I get it published, I'll be sure to let you all know!

The Chilhowee Trail System lies deep in the mountains of Tennessee and offers close to 30 miles of  challenging singletrack trails with plenty of technical obstacles, tough climbs and fast descents. The area offers amazing views of both waterfalls and the surrounding mountain ranges!

To read more about my experiences riding the trails, click on over and read the article I published on

But as for directions to the trail system:

From the East and South: 
Head West out of Ducktown on US 74 for 16 miles. Turn right onto TN 30, and the trailhead is immediately on the left.

From the West:
Head East out of Ocoee on US 74 for 9-10 miles. Turn left onto TN 30, and the trailhead is immediately on the left.

This is my rough draft for the Personal Memoir assignment in my 2000 level Creative Nonfiction composition course. Tomorrow I'll post the final draft so you can see the improvement after several long stints of editing.

Click here to view the final draft.

Sunglasses are an absolutely essential piece of mountain bike gear, but they are often overlooked, or at least misunderstood. With prices ranging from $15 at your local convenience store to well over $200 for a pair of name-brand shades, it can be difficult to decide what you really need in a pair of sunglasses.

Hey guys, part 2 to my MTB Videos how-to mini series is online at!  This second installment focuses on how to edit your videos in order to make them fun and entertaining to watch.

Missed the first post? Click here to catch up!