Its winter in Colorado. Damn its col… O sweet it’s Spring in Colorado. Ahhh, soak in that warm sunsh… shit, its winter in Colorado again.
Today I departed for what was supposed to be a big ride in the mountains. It only took about 20 minutes to realize that today wasn’t my day. It felt like I had jet lag. I’m actually not sure at all what jet lag feels like, but if it feels anything like the wind-down after 10 days of working my ass off, riding my ass off, and then partying my ass off, then I had it. And I don’t have much ass to lose. Not to mention that my body was still recovering from the 4 ½ hours spent on my new 31 lb full-suspension the day before. It was a shred-fest. More on that later. So after a few short miles this morning I turned it around; something I rarely, if ever, do. I’ve spent countless rides in the doldrums, only the dregs of energy left in my body, pushing on and through, coming out the other side usually feeling worse. It’s not a pretty sight, and today I decided against it. Good thing I did! A few hours after returning home, at which point I would’ve been somewhere high in the mountains, a white cloud engulfed the hills in front of me and proceeded to dump snow. Never have I been so happy with my decision to give up and be lazy. Cheers to being a quitter.
|Not my pic, but much like I saw this afternoon.|
Speaking of quitting, shouldn’t Lance just give up? Jesus man, everyone knows what you did, doesn’t care anymore and you still can’t tell the truth? That “confession” bullshit was so lame. Oh, you’re being SO sincere Lance. But only sincere enough to hopefully get your ass out of trouble. You can just keep lying about everything else that doesn’t matter and hopefully no one will notice. And hopefully not many people did. I did completely waste a couple hours of my life watching the first Doprah episode, and still haven’t seen the second. It was pathetic, that’s it. Rant over.
Back to cool shit. I actually used my day in a semi-productive, semi-expensive, semi-exploratory manner. Sorry, I’m kind of sort of a little bit non-committal sometimes. Anyways, with a new build on the cusp of becoming a reality, I needed to make some moves. Luckily, it’s a singlespeed, so not many “moves” need to be made. I have already secured bars, stem, post, fork(YOU!), wheels, brakes, etc. How am I supposed to make all of this stuff go around? Right, cranks. A few minutes of perusing the interwebs (which usually catches me like a fly wherein the giant spider comes in to suck my brain dry) were all it took to find my match. SRAM’s new XX1 crankset. Still comes in a “normal” bottom bracket configuration, lightweight, and the hottest shit going! Boom! Ordered. Done. Then I packaged up and sent my fancy crabon fibre Lefty off to Mendon Cyclesmith for some much needed maintenance. Maybe a much-needed overhaul. We’ll see. Next up I get an email from some guy at some shop telling me that some color choice for my new frame was only some number of weeks out. Good to know that I don’t have to succumb to the Henry Ford marketing model from the 30’s. “You can have any color as long as it’s black” is not a good marketing option for modern-day bike companies.
So it’s snowing right now. Yesterday was a bit different. I was slightly (tremendously) hung over, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy shorts and t-shirt sunny weather coupled with dry trails and a new shred-worthy steed ready to rock and roll. I made my way to the nearby Heil Ranch trail, which at its best is a rocky trail, at its worst a complete clusterfuck rock garden. I ride this trail about once a month, and the succession usually goes like this:
O sweet, rocks, obstacles, challenges... damn I’m feeling good, this is hard but fun, really making me work... okay a little bit is fun, but can I just get to some flowing singletrack... no! More rocks! Your hands hurt? More rocks! Oh your back hurts? More rocks! Wanna go uphill, downhill, sideways, in/out? More rocks! Screw this; I’m not coming back for a month.
In fairness, the builders have done their best at creating a sweet trail system out of a boulder field, and I’ve been riding it on a hardtail. On this day my experience was different. It was my first time on a full-suspension in over 6 months, and one with more travel than any bike I’ve owned. As I made the initial climb the feeling I had forgotten quickly came back. Just sit back, grind, and let the front/rear do their work. No need for carefully executed line choices. Just plow right into, through, and over those pesky little trail obstructions. And when the trail goes down is when the going gets good. It didn’t take long for me to gain a fair amount of confidence in the Shinobi’s capabilities. With new found confidence in my machine, it was only my own confidence in descending and skill that held me back. Let er rip! 4 ½ hours, 36 miles, including a trip through Lyons up to Hall Ranch, a spin around there and back down through Heil Ranch one more time was all it took for a good day.
I learned a lot about the Shinobi yesterday, but many more rides need to be had on this machine to give an objective review. First, it descends better than any bike I’ve owned. That might be obvious considering the 140mm of travel up front, but I think it has more to do with the geometry and slack head tube angle. What was most surprising to me was the climbing efficiency. I honestly could not tell if the back was bobbing at all while climbing! And when standing up and powering to get up a steep or techy section, it seemed to leap forward without any hesitation. Considering I climbed over 4400ft on a 31 lb bike and left without feeling much tire in my legs means it must be an efficient climbing bike. The handling felt good, but a lot more time needs to be spent on it for me to completely figure it out. Overall, it is definitely an incredibly stiff, burly, and capable machine. The FUN is back!
And then I made rice cakes. Never should your ClifBar expenditure exceed beer. As I am writing this my roommates are devouring them. Fail.
|Dick's Power Mix|