Friday, May 27, 2011

May 26th, Ride report and brief trail review.

Yesterday was the first day in nearly 4 days that we didn't get rain here in Southeast Kansas. I was aching to ride again. As it had been half a week since I last got to ride my rig. And by chance a friend calls me up asking me if I want to go ride. I was down from the second he asked, even though I knew it was going to be muddy as... well, you know.

We loaded up the bikes and even brought my brother along for the ride. We set our path for Wilderness Park in Pittsburg, Kansas. After about 25 minutes of travel we have arrived at our destination. Oh how I love to ride these trails. It has a little bit of everything to offer.

The Vision

Wilderness Park is located in Pittsburg, Kansas at 907 W. McKay. It was donated to the City of Pittsburg by the Casaletto family. This was for its preservation of the diverse ecosystem. Its goal is to become a recreational and cultural resource for the entire Southeast Kansas area to enjoy.


The over 4 miles of trails travel a diverse natural environment that includes wetlands, forested areas, grasslands and a portion of the Cow Creek tributary system. A major portion of the trail system is ADA accessible along with more challenging trails which rise high above on ridges created by open pit mining.


There are 4 nice pits for some fishing enjoyment.
  1. Long John
  2. Little Pit
  3. White Snake
  4. Deep Ell Pit
Park Rules

  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No motorized vehicles
  • No horses
  • No open burning
  • No hunting or trapping
  • Follow Kansas fishing regulations

Park Hours

April - October: 7am to 8pm
November - March: 8am to 5pm

Alright, now that I got all the info on the place out of the way, how about I get back to the ride. So we start unloading the bikes. Giving last minute checks. I pull on my Remedy gloves that Giro sent me (review to come later), grab hold of the bars on my Airborne Marauder, and head towards the trail head. Have to ride about 1/4 of a mile to get to the singletrack. But as we start down the singletrack we come across a down tree. Completely uprooted, made for an interesting hike-a-bike around the crater.

At this point I'm kicking myself in the rear end because I failed to bring my camera. We continue our venture down the chosen line. Hauling major... butt. Over rocks, roots, hills, valleys... anything that gets in our way. Until my buddy nearly runs into a down tree limb, he avoided impact with the limb. He failed to warn me about the issue ahead. I of course try to avoid it, but failed to duck... yeah, how retarded of me right? Good thing I've got a helmet in the works.

Yeah yeah, I didn't have a helmet. Dumb, but I can't let that keep me from riding. Anyways, back to the ride. I stood there for a second to regain my happy thoughts. Then continued on. Hit up some short downhill runs that dump into some narrow trees and twisty technical stuff with lots of roots and protruding rocks. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to get my hands on a GoPro so I can share some footage with all you out there.

Surprisingly the trail was nearly perfect... minus the couple down trees obstructing some paths. Nice and tacky. Got in about 4 hours of riding total. Nobody went down. Although I had 2 or 3 close calls with my feet coming off the pedals. Really need to upgrade my pedals and get a pair of Five Ten's Karver freeride shoe. The Giro Remedy gloves were amazing, looking forward to doing more testing with them very soon. And my Airborne Marauder took everything I threw at it as always.

We load up the bikes again and start heading for home. First we had to stop off so I could pick up a Monster Energy. Roughly 30 minutes later we are back in Columbus and unloading the bikes all over again.

Alright, so that was my first ride report and/or trail review. What did you think? Feel free to leave feedback, thanks for reading.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Airborne Marauder

I was hoping to hit some singletrack on my Marauder this weekend. But unfortunately there has been a series of severe thunderstorms that have drenched the area in rain, pelted us with golfball to baseball sized hail, and even set down a couple tornadoes. So seeing as riding is out of the question, I've decided to introduce you to my bike.
My rig is a 2010 Airborne Bicycles Marauder. I purchased it in January of this year. It's a Freeride rig with 6 inches of travel. I've been riding it nearly daily since i got it. I love to ride on the dirt, but unfortunately where I live, there aren't very many trails. So i have to make due with what i have. In turn my Marauder sees alot of urban freeriding assaults. But don't worry, it spends plenty of time on the dirt singletrack and even some rocky Ozark terrain. It hasn't let me down yet, tackles anything I put in its way. Be it rock gardens, roots, step-ups, drop-offs, dirt jumps, staircases... You name it, it can take it.
Airborne Marauder Spec' List

Frame - 6061 Aluminum 6" Travel Single Pivot Suspension MTB, w/Sealed Bearings 
Fork - Spinner Cargo 340 w/34mm Stanchions, OX-Valving, 150mm Travel and 20mm Axle 
Rear Shock - Marzocchi Coil F 
Headset - Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8" 
Brake Levers - Tektro Novela Sport 
Brakes - Tektro Novela Sport Mechanical Disc 
Rotors - Tektro 203mm Rotor 
Shifters - SRAM X-5 Trigger 8-Speed 
Front Derailleur - Shimano FD-C050 
Rear Derailleur - SRAM X-7 
Cassette - SRAM PG-820 13-32t 8-Speed 
Chain - KMC X-9 
Crank - FSA Dyna Drive 22/32t with bash guard 
Bottom Bracket - FSA Dyna Drive 
Pedals - NONE 
Rims - WTB FX-28 32H Disc Specific SV 
Hubs - Rear: 32h Alloy QR Disc Specific Front: 32h Alloy 20mm Thru Axle Disc Specific 
Spokes - Black 14g Stainless 
Tires - Kenda K877 Kinetics Front 26x2.6 & Rear 26x2.35 
Handlebar - Kalloy Alloy 31.8mm Diameter, 670mm Width, 30mm, 6 Deg 
Stem - Kalloy 2D Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, 50mm, +/- 10 Degree Rise 
Saddle - WTB Pure-V Sport 
Seat Post - Kalloy Alloy 30mm Diameter, 350mm Length 
Extras - Owner's Manual, Clear Coat, H20 Bottle Mount

I've put my Marauder through some punishment and it has taken everything i have thrown at it and then some. Bike feels great in any condition be it mud, snow, loose pack or hard pack singletrack, downhill, and even urban freeriding. It stays stable and maneuverable in even the worst of situations. The Spinner Cargo 340 fork works great, takes a lot of punishment. I haven't bottomed it out yet and I've hit some 5 and 6 foot drop offs. The Marzocchi Coil F shock that its coupled up with works amazing. Crisp response and takes everything you can put it through from small bumps to drop offs and rock gardens. The Tektro Novela 203mm mechanical discs help you come to a stop when blistering down the trails. The Shimano and Sram drive-train is amazing. Fast and reliable, and coupled with the FSA Dyna Drive 22/32t crank with bashguard you can go just about anywhere. Makes climbing pretty easy considering the weight of the bike. The bashguard will save your chainrings from getting beat up on rocks, roots and other obstacles. The WTB wheels are nice and sturdy. Hubs roll smoothly letting you go as fast as possible down the trails. The Kalloy 670mm wide bars allow for great response and handling but yet keeping you narrow enough to make it through tight technical areas. And the Kalloy seat post coupled with the WTB Pure V sport saddle allow comfortable seating. All in all, great bike, great spec list and a great price at $699.95. I suggest you check out Airborne Bicycle's website at and grab yourself one today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here goes nothing...

Alright, I've decided to start a blog... Future posts should include ride reports, product reviews, trail reviews and just random 2 wheeled goodness. Haha. This came about because of several things. At the beginning of the year Airborne Bicycles was looking to find 6 new members for their Flight Crew. One requirement was to have a blog. I said to myself that if i made the Flight Crew i would start a blog. I didn't make it. Bummer, but oh well, there is always next year. They made 6 great additions to their Flight Crew. And then the other day. I got home from a great ride on my Airborne Marauder to find a little brown box on my porch. It said it was from Bell Sports... I found this strange, as i hadn't ordered anything from them. Curiosity finally got to me and i opened the package. When i pulled out the paper stuffing i found a pair of gloves. Turns out Giro sent me a pair of their Remedy dirt gloves. Which is F'n awesome. I was in dire need of a new pair of gloves. After receiving the gift i figured i might as well do a product review over them (to come later after I've put them through some Freeride bliss). Also on March 29th i won a contest on Sea Otter Classic's facebook page. The prize was a CamelBak Capo hydration pack. After i receive it and put it to some good use there will be a product review over it as well. I've ran out of things to say for the time being. So, with that being said. Thanks for swinging by to read this. More to come in the future.