Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tiny wheels.

So, I went for a 4 hour tour the other day. No shipwrecks or desert islands like the SS Minnow (Gilligan's Island, ya know), but I knew the day would be filled with a difficult ride as far as quite a bit of climbing and very rocky terrain. Imagine Moab on a bad hair day and this is the area we would be riding through. Nothing big as far as huge drops or anything, but sustained, broken and rutted sandstone. There is a trail in here somewhere.

Knowing that, I chose to take the Cannondale Prophet with its disc brakes, granny gear, and 5 inches of travel. This bike right here:

It had been months since I spent any time at all on the Prophet, a nearly new bike and a great one too. The 29er had just stolen my heart, as it were. But I figured this day deserved a real trail bike. I may have been wrong.

I felt every crack in the rock like it was a tiny hand robbing me of momentum. Ledges tried to stop me completely. I fought to keep the rear tire from spinning on steep climbs and even though the bennies of the fully equipped sus bike were great, man o man did I wish for 29" wheels again. Simply amazing.

Buddy Steve felt like superman apparently, after summitting the first climb.

I just felt awful, like I had cheated on my best girl to go out with a painted up hussy who promised a lot more than she delivered. My thoughts were on the Karate Monkey back at home, even though I knew the lack of a granny would have me pushing right now. The techy downhill was pretty good on the Prophet. There is a lot to be said about disc brakes, etc, especially when gravity is helping.

By the second long climb, I was tired and really fighting the rocky sections that demanded a good line and balance/power to overcome. My timing was off, I just pretty much sucked. Not the bike, really. Buddy Steve rode right up, pretty much anyway.

It was me mostly. I really had become tuned to the bigger wheels. I cannot believe how much better they feel to me when you are trying to keep moving through difficult terrain. Downhill, the other bike was fine, in it's element. Uphill, yuck. Not impossible, just much harder IMO. And frankly. my opinion is the only one that matters here.

Anyway, as soon as the budget allows, I am buying an FS trailbike with discs and more gears. Then, I am going to go back to that trail and ride it again.

I bet I smile more.

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