Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 in the Rearview Mirror

Well, another one is 'in the bag' of time as it were, and 2008 is livin' large. I went for a ride today, nothing special, just some time on the bike in between cleaning out my garage, and as I was getting ready I was thinking how I changed more in this year cycling wise than I had changed in the previous decade. Such as:

- Baggy Shorts. I have two pair now and I have not worn anything else since this summer when I got my first ones. I have a good pile of lycra shorts all sitting forlorn cuz of the newfound baggy-ness. I like 'em. I did not find them too hot for summer, they are way warmer in winter (as long as you have leg warmers), and I LOVE the pockets. I am a nook-and-cranny kind of guy and I tend to take a lot of stuff when I ride. Heck, I just love being able to put my keys in my pocket as I get all loaded up to ride without trying to tuck them in the waistband of my shorts or something (most of my jerseys have no pockets). Besides, mountain biking is sooo baggy in nature, if you know what I mean.

- 29ers. Darn those big wheels for making me spend more money. Truth is, I am on my way to converting my entire fleet of scoots over to big wheels. Why not? I don't huck off of stuff anyway and the way they roll over stuff, stick like glue in turns, and are sooo stable, it just works so good for me. Not for everyone, I am sure. I have ridden my nearly brand new Cannondale Prophet twice since I got the 29er. Twice in what, three months? Yep. I got it bad.

- Fewer Gears. The 1x9 setup on the 29er is habit forming. I would have never guessed I could ride so many things in the middle chainring. I don't miss the big ring at all, but I cannot go without a small chainring forever. Too many mountains out here and I am too old to get that tough. So, the FS 29er (upcoming) will have a small chainring, but likely not a big ring. And, I bet I will pedal bigger gears anyway, just cuz I know I can.

- Hardtails...Again. Now THAT is a blast to the past. The last time I rode a HT off road was...hmmm...maybe 10 years ago? Hey, after all it is bumpy out there. But here I am on the HT Karate Monkey and it is darn near good enough to be my only bike. Almost. My back is just not up to the abuse of a HT. The Thudbuster is really amazing. It does a great job for in the saddle time, really great. But a long day on a bumpy trail will work me over too good. And, frankly, I have gotten lazy. My riding technique on an FS is way more point and shoot than on a HT and this last trip to the Utah area showed how much harder you have to work to climb techy, ledgy stuff on a HT. But, till then, I am being spoiled by the get-up-and-go-ness of the HT when I push hard on the pedals. Nice, that. And it really is no bull about how 29" wheels smooth out the trail. If I was younger and I rode in a part of the country that was a bit smoother and less digital than So Cal, a HT 29er is all I would want.

I think that pretty much caps it off. Big shorts, big wheels, 9 gears, and a hard butt. What a year.

2008 should be amazing.

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