Sunday on the Enduro, Monday on the Stumpy.
How can any bike feel better than this?
Yesterday I enjoyed a special adventure up to Bobcat Ridge in Loveland. The Ginny Trail boasts 2,300 bike-specific vert of (from top to bottom) rocky gnar, course speed and easy flow.
Tool of choice: 2010 Enduro Pro Carbon with 2.3 Butchers front and rear. Fox RP2 shock a bit stiffer than called for; 36 Float fork a bit softer. Flat Answer Rove pedals.
The whole family has been sick for a while, and I frankly felt like crap: super tired, super congested, pretty vertiginous and really sore. As such, the climb mostly sucked. I got the job done, but I was too weak to maintain great form. So I kept bonking into things and popping off the pedals. Hey, walking counts too.
But the downhill. Oh yes! The climb gives you an idea of the trail’s general flow, but you’re still riding fresh terrain. Heels down, eyes up, scanning the post-fire homogeneity for backsides to pump and turns not to miss. Oops, just blew past an “ideal” scouted line. Whatever. Ride what’s in front of you.
It’s been a while since I rode this setup on a new trail, and what struck me was how easily it cavorted through the gnar, skimmed over the chatter and just freaking held onto edges. The slack geo and those tires just held … and held. I was nowhere near the limit — but it would be fun to seek it.
Today I rode Heil Valley Ranch, a local staple. Not steep, pretty darn rocky, very turny. Stumpjumper 26 with 2.3 Butcher in front and 2.3 Ground Control in back. Flat pedals. Stock Fox Triad shock and a 2007 32 Talas. Yeah yeah I know the fork is old, and I know it’s flexy with that QR axle, but it works great.
Thanks to a bit more sleep last night and a lot more decongestant and ibuprofen this morning, I was climbing like a champ. And I’m telling you: the $2,000 SRAM Rise 60 wheels feel so freaking good (they better). Those plus the tires make a quick, fast and grippy machine.
Today was all about core skills. Oscillating with the trail, working the wave, looking into the next corner. That last tip is the simplest, most powerful and most oft neglected skill ever. It’s crazy how good this thing feels when your eyes and brain are on the next thing.
The descent felt euphoric: pumping the corners, snapping the transitions, hopping the chatter and plowing through the odd boulder. I was thinking, Damn, his bike feels so perfect. How could another bike feel better than this?
The Stumpy 29 is coming soon. We’ll soon find out.
Know more. Have more fun!
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