Buy the Good Stuff

10.17.2016 | 10:33 am

A few weeks ago, Dug and I went out on a lunch ride. “There’s some new trail in Corner Canyon you should see,” he said.

What he showed me was a two hour ride combining some of the greatest hits of Corner Canyon with some extraordinary new trail, first and foremost being a one-mile stretch of singletrack called “Mercer Hollow.”

“I don’t know how Draper (the city hosting the amazing Corner Canyon mountain bike trail network) does it,” I said. “New trail, every single year. And it’s so good: well-conceived, well-executed, incredibly fun. I can’t believe how lucky I am to live near this.”

“I feel a little bit like a freeloader just riding here for free,” I admitted, “cuz this must cost someone something.”

Dug’s actually in the Corner Canyon trail-building steering committee or something like that, and told me, “Foundations underwrite most of it. And there’s some fundraising dinner coming up.”

“I should sign up for and go to that fundraising dinner,” I said.

But of course, I didn’t.

Partially it was because I already had plans for that evening. Mostly, though, it was because I could see it was set up to be a long evening of standing in buffet lines, then listening to speeches and a comedian I had never heard of, then a silent auction. I’m sure that’s someone’s idea of a good time, but not mine.

Meanwhile, though, I took The Hammer on what I called “Dug’s New Loop.” Fall had just begun, so the trail was extra-gorgeous.


Then, the next day, we went again, this time bringing The Monster and a friend of hers:


There was just no getting around it: Corner Canyon is just world-class singletrack, right in our backyard, and it just keeps getting better and better.

So this loop — variations of which make it anywhere between fifteen and nineteen miles of singletrack with between 2000 and 3000 feet of climbing, with the trailhead about two miles from our front door — has become our go-to ride. It’s close, it’s fun, it’s great on a singlespeed. It’s about two hours of ridiculously good singletrack, about five minutes from home.

It’s so good. Maybe too good. I didn’t deserve it. I haven’t earned it. This sense of being a cycling freeloader kind of started gnawing at me a little bit. 

And then we ran into an old friend — Kris N — also riding this new trail. And he mentioned something along the same lines: he’d been thinking about that those of us who use things like this ought to contribute, in some way or another.

So — finally — I found the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation Donation page, and I donated some money. Not a lot (way less than I ought to, considering how many people in my family use these trails), but something.

Hey, it’s a start.

Grey mockup

100 Miles of Nowhere

This brings me to the 100 Miles of Nowhere. We’re down to the final week of registration for this event, which supports Camp Kesem, a foundation that proivdes amazing, silly, and fun camps to kids, supporting them through and beyond their parent’s cancer. 

I figured that with this being only $39.95 (with no shipping charge), we’d hit the 500 registration cap right away. But we haven’t even hit 300. So please: register now. Let’s support this wonderful foundation. (And, while you’re at it, allow me to recommend picking up your Fat Cyclist gear, which is now pretty deeply discounted at end-of-season pricing.)

The last day you can register is this <strong >Friday, October 21

Red Kite Prayer

One last thing here: I’d like to propose that if someone’s working hard to provide you really great content, it’s probably worth a few of your dollars to support that someone. I’m talking about, of course, my good friends at Red Kite Prayer. I’ve been podcasting with these guys on their podcast for thirty-seven episodes now. We’ve kind of got a thing going.

And now they’re moving to a paid subscriber model.

I think this kind of subscriber model is awesome, and I think it should be supported. I also know that it’s easy to say, “I’ll get to that later.” But don’t. Go to Red Kite Prayer and subscribe. If you have a lot of money, give them a lot. But if you don’t, set up a $3/mo subscription. That basically a dime per day, and it’s worth way more than that.

Whether it’s the trails you ride, the causes you believe in, or the stuff you read (or all three, in my case), we bike people have got it good. That’s worth paying for.


  1. Comment by Tom in Albany | 10.17.2016 | 11:46 am

    I’m already in for both!

    I’m jealous of your neighborhood trails. I’ve got some nearby but, they’re in a National Preserve so the legal trails are few and not very interesting and the illegal ones are more interesting and need to go away. Sigh…

  2. Comment by owen | 10.17.2016 | 12:36 pm

    Nice Flyod’s jersey! – looks like a great trail system

  3. Comment by GenghisKhan | 10.17.2016 | 12:45 pm

    Great call outs! Another way to “pay to play” is to volunteer. I worked with a group for a morning on Mercer Hollow and it was a great way to get out a help build some great trails.

    Happy Trails!

    Absolutely. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how little I actually volunteer and that I need to do more of that. Great reminder. Thanks! – FC

  4. Comment by tallswimmer | 10.17.2016 | 1:02 pm

    Been a lurker here for many years – first time posting.

    It strikes me that with some of your other wildly successful fundraisers, there’s been a tangible, known pass through to the beneficiary. For example, with WBR, you knew that a $146(?) donation would buy a bike. With the latest 100MoN what part/how much of the $39.95 goes to Keesem? How Much goes to cost of shirts? Are you taking any for your effort (nothing wrong with that, but it should be known)?

    Mitigating circumstances for my participation this year, but $40 is in my ball park, so were I in a place to participate, I’d want to know how much was actually making it into the hands of the cause.

    Food for thought.

    That’s a great question. The t-shirts cost $10, the shipping will cost a little less than $5, though int’l shipping will cost a lot more, so I’m predicting an avg of $5. The race plates will cost me a little less than $200 to make, and then there’s labor for packing and shipping (because I don’t have the time to do it myself). It’s not an exact known quantity, but basically, I’m looking at ~$23 of the $40 going to Camp Kesem. So far, that comes to ~$5700. – FC

  5. Comment by Arizona Guy | 10.17.2016 | 1:53 pm

    I’m in again – no Costa Rica detour this year, si I’ll be right on time (ish).

    Thanks again for all you do Elden.


  6. Comment by The Dentist | 10.17.2016 | 2:56 pm

    Cool cause! Count me in. Always loved reading your stuff and hearing your Leadville stories. Been to the LT100 4 times myself, still with no “big” buckle. If you’re feeling compassionate, shoot me a message and take me under your wing for next year. You could be my Rebecca Rusch.

  7. Comment by Scott D Gilbert | 10.17.2016 | 4:57 pm

    I should be registering by the end of the week! (waiting on funds).
    I’m thinking 100MoN on the Velodrome might just be mind numbing enough :)

  8. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 10.19.2016 | 3:02 pm

    @theDentist Hoping/expecting to try for the buckle again this year. I’ve got a small group of wbr/fof’s who all want the ‘ring’. Join us, we’ll have a ‘paceline’, albeit slowish.

    @Fatty let me know if we need some ‘underwriting’ for this event. I’ll pay the entry, you pick the riders. Sponsored recipients would need to do a write up….mine. ….as well as their’s.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.