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Rising From the Ashes a Review

Rising from the Ashes the MovieI was invited to go to a screening of Rising from the Ashes. I had no idea what to expect was it going to be a boring documentary. Was it going to be a bunch of raw footage strewn together. Was it going to be.. worth the effort.

After viewing the film and having an opportunity to speak with the two of the producers. (Peb Jackson and Dan Cooper) I can say this – See this film! Even if you are not a cyclist. The story will move, you it will educate you, it will lift your spirit and leave you feeling grateful for all that you have.

The story follows Jock Boyer (The first american to compete in the Tour de France) and a group of riders from Rwanda who through the help of Jock, and each other go from riders with raw talent and diverse backgrounds to a professional cycling team and family. The story culminates with rider Adrien Niyonshuti’s 2012 Olympic finish.

Rising from the Ashes touches on Rwanda’s past and the genocide that took place. Some have criticized that it does not give justice to the history and merely glosses over the death of millions. But this is not a story about death and tragedy of the past. It is about the hope and triumph of the future. The riders and their coach all have tragedy in their past and we learn about their personal struggles.
Through the film you get to know the characters. You will grow to like them, and cheer for them. You will laugh with them and you will be saddened even cry with them. I know this because I experienced first hand throughout the film it was going on all around and within me.

Rising from the ashes Opens in Boston at the Landmark Kendall Square in Boston on August 16th
In Atlanta August 23rd at the Landmark Midtown Art
In Port Orchard, WA at the Dragonfly Cinema on September 7th

For more information and previews Please visit rising from the ashes

If you would like to donate to the team and their efforts Please visit

New Jersey Transit Offers Service to Mountain Creek

NJ Transit Bus Service to Mountain Creek Bike ParkOrdinarily when a bike meets a bus it doesn’t end up too good. But Beginning this Saturday….

 NJ Transit will offer Bus Service to Mountain Creek Bike Park

NJ Transit has Partnered with Mountain Creek to offer some great discounts


  • A Mountain Creek Full Access Lift Ticket – Save $5
  • A Mountain Creek Cross-country Lift Ticket – Save $2
  • A Mountain Creek Experience Downhill Package – Save $10
  • A Mountain Creek equipment rental – Save $5

The Bike Park discount can be obtained by presenting your bus receipt at the Bike Center. The NJ TRANSIT bus receipt must be dated for the day of redemption for the discount to apply.

These offers are not valid on previously purchased tickets. Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable. Cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Offers expire September 2, 2013.

You can even bring your bikes on board the #304 since there is storage space on the bottom of the bus. Please note that NJ TRANSIT is not responsible for any damage caused to any bike stored below the bus.


  • Grand Cascade Lodge – Save 20%
  • Minerals Resort & Spa – Save 20%
  • The Appalachian – Save 20%

NJ TRANSIT customers can book lodging by calling (973) 827-5996, extension 2 and mention promo code PARTNERS

Restrictions apply. Subject to availability. Valid through September 2, 2013. Guests must present their #304 bus fare receipt dated for the day of arrival to receive the discount at the front lodge desk. Discounts only apply on same day of fare.


NJ TRANSIT’s #304 bus will depart from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, making stops in Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen and NJ TRANSIT’s Wayne Transit Center. This service will begin on June 15, 2013, and conclude on September 2, 2013. The bus route will make interim stops upon request along 30th & 31st Streets in Weehawken, Union City and North Bergen and at NJ TRANSIT’s Wayne Transit Center in Wayne.

Bus service will operate on Saturdays, Sundays and on the holidays of Independence Day, Thursday, July 4 plus Friday, July 5 and Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

I spoke with Leslie at Mountain Creek and She stated that bikes would be able to travel on the Bus via the under bus luggage bays – Not sure how well that is going to work.

Some buses are equipped with Bike Racks on the Front and or Back of Bus but that would allow for a maximum of 6 bikes to be transported. I sure this will require some kinks to be worked out. If you a have an Experience positive or otherwise please post here I will followup with Leslie next week to see if she received any feedback.


Port Authority Bus Terminal (Gate 326) Union City (31st Street & Bergenline Avenue) Wayne Transit Center (Route 23 South & West Belt Parkway) Mountain Creek (Red Tail Lodge)
8:45 am 8:55 am 9:15 am 10:25 am



Mountain Creek (Red Tail Lodge) Wayne Transit Center (Route 23 South & West Belt Parkway) Union City (31st Street & Bergenline Avenue) Port Authority Bus Terminal (Gate 326)
5:30 pm 6:40 pm 7:10 pm 7:20 pm

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure time. Give the bus operator your bus ticket and he/she will give you a yellow fare receipt. Be sure to keep your receipt so you can take advantage of the discounts at the mountain.

At Mountain Creek Red Tail Lodge, customers may transfer to/from a connecting shuttle provided by Mountain Creek serving the Crystal Springs Grand Cascades Lodge, Crystal Springs Minerals Resort & Spa and Crystal Springs Black Creek Sanctuary.


Adults (12+) Children* (5-11), Senior Citizens (62+) & persons with disabilities Children (4 and under)
Port Authority Bus Terminal One-way Round-Trip $12.75 $25.50 $5.75 $11.50 FREE* FREE*
Weehawken/Union City One-way Round-Trip $6.20 $12.40 $2.80 $5.60 FREE* FREE*
Wayne Transit Center One-way Round-Trip $4.40 $8.80 $2.00 $4.00 FREE* FREE*

*Family SuperSaver Fares allow 2 children, ages 5 – 11, to ride free with a passenger paying a valid fare on weekends and holidays.

If you are departing from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, be sure to purchase your ticket before boarding at Ticket Windows 1 – 10 or from a Ticket Vending Machine. Departing from Wayne Transit Center, purchase your ticket from a Ticket Vending Machine. At all other locations, you may pay on board the bus.

For additional Mountain Creek information, visit or call 973-827-2000.

via New Jersey Transit.

Remembering Al Fritz – Inventor of the Sting Ray Bicycle

Al Fritz passed away on May 7 2013  from complications related to a stroke he suffered several weeks ago. He was 88.

Mr Fritz was the inventor of the iconic Stingray bicycle produced by Schwinn between 1963 and 1983.

He got the idea when a friend from California had contacted him about a fad out there where kids were putting low rider seats and ape hanger bars on their bikes. That Trip in 1962 planted the seed and led to the production of the first commercially available Stingray in 1963. Priced at  $49.95, Schwinn sold over 40,000 Sting-Rays in 1963 alone. They would have sold more if the company hadn’t run out of 20-inch tires.

These “Hot Rod” bikes were designed to give young peddlers a similar experience as their older peers who were customizing their cars and motorcycles.

The Stingray and the Krate lines over the years offered so many options: Cool colors, a gear shifter, shock absorbers, drum brakes, chopper styling. A kid could find themselves in this bike it was an extension of who they were. And with available accessories each kid could make their bike a one-of-a-kind.
I don’t think  kids today have the same attachment that me and friends felt. A bike meant so many things back then. It was freedom, it was status, for many of us it was a way of life. Starting out early in the morning we would get on our bikes and ride all over town (and a few towns over) until it was time for dinner. We rode bikes, we cleaned and polished them, we built ramps to jump them, and we learned to fix them.
stingrayI think that is one of the things that made my Coppertone Stingray so special. I had a role in making it mine. I NEEDED a bike. My old bike’s head tube cracked coming off a homemade jump. My grandfather had this Stingray on the porch. The wheels were rusted, it had a banana seat and high rise ape hangers but  I immediately saw the potential for this bike. I replaced the seat with a nylon bmx style seat. The rear wheel just needed some Brillo, elbow grease, and a little truing. The front wheel was replaced and each wheel got a new knobby tire. The handlebars and stem were swapped out for yellow anodized bars and a bmx style stem. I added some pads to the handlebars, stem and top tube and I had my first bmx racer. Turns out I wasn’t the only one converting the Stingray into a bmx bike because in 2010 Al was inducted into the bmx hall of fame for his contribution.

Every BMX bike on today`s track and trails can trace its roots directly to that first Sting-Ray, built by Al Fritz in the winter of 1963. – USA BMX 

Al’s contributions didn’t end with the Stingray.
Fritz served as executive vice president of Schwinn Bicycles and also was president and general manager of Schwinn’s Excelsior Fitness Equipment division. Besides the Sting-Ray, he was instrumental in developing Schwinn’s ten-speeds and the Air Dyne exercise machine, and in offering Schwinn bike dealers an off-season product line of fitness products.

His son Michael had this to say:
“Dad is one of the most respected and admired men in the bicycle industry. He was an even better father and mentor. Our family is now trying to cope with this incredible loss”

Our condolences and appreciation go out to the Fritz family. 

2013 Sea Otter Classic

The 2013 Sea Otter Classic saw Jill Kintner continue her dominance this weekend, finishing ahead of Tracy Moseley in the pro women’s downhill race aboard her 27.5″ wheeled Norco Sight. Aaron Gwin snagged the top spot in the pro men’s field on a Specialized Enduro 29er, narrowly beating Mick Hannah. Weekend update – March 17 2013


Bike thieves are now using GPS to steal bikes.
Cyclists who use mobile phone apps and websites to plan, track, and share their rides are being targeted by bike thieves.
Thieves  use the technology to pinpoint homes that have expensive bikes (based on rider profiling)
More than 370 high value bikes have been stolen from Staffordshire in the last 4 months.
In order to minimize the risk of being tracked do not start at stop tracking your rides from your home and be careful what data you publicly share. As a rule you should not publicly share information about your bikes or their value.

Upcoming Mountain Bike Races:

March 24 US Cup East/SERC #1 Gainesville, FL
March 24 Chickasaw Trace Classic Columbia, TN
April 6-7 US Cup East/SERC #2 Bryson City, NC
April 13-14 Rumble at 18 Road Fruita, CO
April 21 Greenbrier Challenge AMBC, MASS/MARC #1 Hagerstown-Frederick, MD
April 28 US Cup East/SERC #3 Winder, GA
May 4 The Idyllwild Spring Challenge Idyllwild, CA
May 5 Iron Hill Challenge MTB Newark, DE
May 5 Wawayanda Spring Cleaning MTB Race – Campmor H2H Race #2 Hewitt, NJ
May 5 US Cup East/SERC #4 Ducktown, TN
May 18 On the Rocks at French Creek Birdsboro, PA
May 19 US Cup East/SERC #5 Conyers, GA
May 26 US Cup East/SERC #6 Jackson, GA

Upcoming Events
Tired of the cold weather is taking it on the road to Rays Indoor Bike Park the weekend of March 22nd
We will be there filming, hanging out, riding, and most importantly bringing all the action back to you.

Mountainbike magazine ran an article on best Mountain Bike tires for wet muddy trail conditions
They reviewed the Hutchinson Toro, Kenda Kommando, Schwalb Hans Dampf, and a few entries by Specialized. Click here for the reviews.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

Two Road bike races to be held at Hunter Mountain in 2013

The Hunter Mountain Spring Classic and the Hunter Mountain Fall Classic will be held on May 11 and Sept. 7, respectively.
These are Two well supported bike race “classics” that came to the area last year.
Both races are presented by Anthem Sports and from the organizers of America’s Queen of the Classics, the Tour of the Battenkill.

The Hunter Mountain Classics are stops on the Stan’s Notubes Great American Cycling Series of Events for 2013.  A 39 mile road race with NO dirt road sections with an exciting start and finish at Hunter Mountain!

The complete circuit is 38.6 miles, with those in the Juniors category, ages 15-18, making the loop only once, but everyone else except Cat-1 doing it twice, for a total of 78 miles.
The Cat-1 Elite Men’s Pro category will travel 117 miles — a full three times around the circuit.

The initial category will start off at 9 a.m., with the race generally concluding about 3 p.m.
The Spring Classic race is the fourth in the year’s Great American Cycling Series, which is sponsored by Stan’s NoTubes, a distinctive tubeless design created by Corning businessman Stan Koziatek.
The race is preceded by the BattenSpring Classic in March, the Tour of the Battenkill in April, and then the Tour of the Dragons in Vermont in early May.
Tour of the Catskills in August is the seventh in the annual lineup, and the Hunter Mountain Fall Classic in September is the eighth on the circuit, after which it finishes up with the Tour of the Adirondacks and the BattenFall Classic.

Drake said the beauty of the region and the variety of the course challenge is what makes riders love coming to the Catskills.
“It’s been real positive,” he said. “It’s such a great area to race.”
Drake said that last year, the Hunter Spring Classic drew in more than 400 riders — a very respectable number for a race’s first year — and he is hoping to see even more this year.
“We’re hoping to improve on that this year,” he said.
“The whole Northern Catskills are just a great place to ride our bicycles,” Drake said.
“And,” he added, “it’s close to New York City, so it’s very convenient (for many participants).”
For more information on the Hunter Spring Classic, visit

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

Weighing in on Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey has sparked a lot of emotion from viewers and the media alike.
There are a few things from the interview that surprised me. First the level of doping. I expected to hear that Lance had been blood doping (removing blood and then putting back in at a later point in-time) The increased red blood cell count is supposed to increase oxygen delivery. But I did not expect to hear about the use of EPO and Testosterone. I also felt that even though the interview was dubbed as no holds barred it seemed somewhat scripted and allowed Lance to deliver an agenda.
In the case of Lance Armstrong and in life, I try to see the good, take that with me, and leave the rest. With that in mind I think that Armstrong was a great cyclist one that inspired millions of people. The tours that he won were some of the most exciting tours that I have ever witnessed the rivalry between him and Jan Ulrich (also found guilty of doping) made for some of the greatest moments of televised tour history. His sponsors reaped the benefit of being associated with him. They aligned themselves with the values that he represented simply stated hard work, determination, stamina, preparation, technology all delivered positive results. And this was true.
Yes there were additional illegal elements that  played a role in getting Lance on the podium 7 years in row. But let me be clear to those who speak about cheating and doping and credit Lances victories to the use of illegal practices but have not had to dig deep, deeper than they thought possible, who have not had to fight through the pain of cramps so severe that that can see your quads pulsing. That have not continued to push through searing lungs or stopped to throw-up and then keep going. Who have not pushed on until they couldn’t go any further but somehow did. You have no place reporting on this story because you are only regurgitating part of the story.
You want everyone to believe that the only reason Lance was a champion was because he was doping and that is just not true. The illegal practices may have given Lance an advantage over those who were not but EPO and Testosterone are not the sole reasons he stood on the podium 7 times.
I used to have a picture, in my indoor training area, of Lance racing on a mountain stage in the rain  (You can tell he is miserable but at the same time driven) This picture used to inspire me to push a harder during interval training. It inspired me to get on the bike at 10:00 at night after I put my daughter to bed and finished up other tasks for the night.
While watching the Tour de France I saw an advertisement for Carmichael training systems (CTS) and signed on with them to design my training programs for over 5 years because I believed in what their programs offered. I followed the plans that were designed for me, and I made improvements and enjoyed the sport of cycling all the more for it.
I completed my first century during the Livestrong-100 in Philadelphia.
I still ride at the Livestrong event and believe in the good it does to help people with cancer.

So this is the Lance I will take with me the one who inspired  me, who through his story indirectly introduced me to my coaches. The Lance who was the founder and the face of  Livestrong foundation – Best of Luck to Doug Ullman and the rest of the Livestrong leadership team in delivering the Livestrong vision.
I will take the good and leave the rest.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

Riding in a Palace

Red Bull has hosted events in some pretty exotic locations but  The National Palace of Culture in Sofia is probably one of the most unexpected locales for a Downhill race. Riders raced from the rooftop through the 7-floors of the Palace eventually landing at the marble tiles around the monumental building, an iconic symbol of the communist era in Bulgarian history.

Red Bull Ride the Palace challenged 60 riders from 6 countries to compete at a unique urban DH course that attracted a few thousand young people from the capital city, crowded together to witness a never before seen mountain bike race. 

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

Thanksgiving Day Rides for 2012

Thanksgiving Day Rides – 2012 

Waywayanda – A Local classic and favorite of mine always a great turnout Meet at the Boat Launch Around 8:00 Ready to ride at 8:30

Jungle Habitat – For those of you who are out a little too late on Wednesday night this is the ride for you Meet at 10:00 am
The West Milford Pump Track will be closed

Lewis Morris – The “tradition” continues this year on Thanksgiving Day.
Where: Meet at Parking Lot across from Sunrise Lake on Rt 24. Please note that last Sunday, there was a fallen tree blocking access to this parking lot. I’m not sure if it will be cleared for next week.
Time: Start at 9AM
Due to the recent storm damage, be prepared to climb over some fallen trees.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

West Milford Pump Track

West Milford Pump Track payed a visit to The West Milford Pump Track this weekend.
What’s a pump track you might ask. Well it is a series of tightly linked rollers and berms.

The origins of the pump track are rooted in the BMX tracks of the late‘70s and ‘80s. The first pump tracks appeared in Fox’s Chainsmoke in 1996.

Pump tracks get their name from the method of pumping the terrain for momentum. A skilled rider can get up to speeds of 20 mph without pedaling. But don’t be mislead, pump tracks provide a serious full body workout while developing bike handling skills.
Pump tracks build confidence, strength, and lightning fast bike handling skills.
Intimidated by the Pump Track? Don’t be pumping is simple. Just follow these two rules from Lee McCormack (author of Welcome to Pump Track Nation)
1) absorb any surface that faces the way you’re coming from,.
2) Push into any surface that faces the way you want to go. Part of this push gets translated into forward motion and, voila, you gain speed.

During our visit to the West Milford Pump Track there were quite a few riders of all ages. Among them Matt, and Timmy who were there with Mom Aileen and friend Chris.
They were there for about three hours working on trying to clear a tabletop and keeping speed through the entire track.
I spoke with Aileen who was enthusiastic about the track stating “that the town needed something like this”.
There were other parents sitting on the bleachers watching their kids and more then a little tempted to give the Pump Track a try.

I am sure the Pump Track will be a way for families to enjoy cycling together. I brought my 8 year old daughter, by the end of the day her confidence was improved and she was riding most of the track.

The New Milford Pump Track is located at the end of Farrell Recreation Field, 30 Lycosky Drive off Marshall Hill Road.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride