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January 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm in reply to: What factors make for a mountain bike-friendly town? #206037
For me a good vegan food restaurant is a huge plus. Well, once we’ve got the good, easily accessible trails covered. So is a bike shop that is not only stocked, but also has good local knowledge that they’re willing to share. Nothing worse than showing up in a MTB mecca and hitting the local shop with the stoke level on 11 only to be met by apathetic employees who have nothing but snark to offer.
Oh, and a chill local hang that brews some good IPA or imperial stout where folks like to chat with one another.January 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm in reply to: Busy Lives Call for Faster (Electric) Bikes–Retch! #206025
Yeah, sorry to see them go this way. It’s not like they need this market share to be successful. But, on the other hand, it does take A LOT of money to sponsor all those top pros while ignoring all the people who actually pay for their gear.
Great topic, Jeff.
Mine could include a few but I think about one often because it resonates weekly now, 27 years later. It involves my wife, who is what I’d call a new/beginner mountain biker.
When we were first dating, I told her I was obsessed with bikes and she decided that she should ride, too, so we could spend more time together. I took her to Blue River Park in Kansas City, Missouri, which is really technical and rocky. First mistake. She fell, hard, on one stretch, and came back up with bloody hands that were really hurt. I responded rather coldly, “that’s just part of it. So get up and get going and stop acting like a baby.” I know, not cool.
That really pissed her off and though she is the most easygoing person in the world, once she’s mad, she’s stubborn as a Missouri mule.
Thing is, Diane is a dental hygienist, a profession she has loved since she first started. Read: needs hands to do a job she dreamed of doing since she was 6 years old.
That was pretty much the end of her mountain biking. I have raced and traveled the country for bike events with her in tow. She has loved those events and had many good friends from all those adventures. But she never really got on a bike and went off into the woods again. Until recently that is. She got a plus bike and is now tearing around with me riding trails all over and loving it. The moral of this story: be good to those beginners because you might not get them back out for nearly three decades.January 6, 2017 at 8:10 am in reply to: What is the worst mountain bike you've ever owned? #204136
Ha, Jeff, good question. Undoubtedly it was the first one I owned way back in 1987: A Specialized Stumpjumper Comp. It was awesome then but I recently got rid of it after using it as a commuter for 15 years. Thankfully it got a home with a guy who needed a way to get to work so it’s still in service.
Thing was, it was a great bike in 1987. But as we learned and bikes evolved, I quickly realized how awful it was to ride on the dirt. It was heavy, stiff as hell, and way too short on the top. I’d endo that thing going over a gnat. It had ovalized chainrings, which always made my knees hurt.
Still a Specialized guy and what I’m riding now doesn’t come close to that original bike. Thankfully bike design has evolved as much as it has. When people talk about not needing a new bike because their ’94 Moonbeam is a beautiful rendition of what a bike should be, I don’t think they really understand how much more stable, capable and fantastic bikes have become. Planned obsolescence sucks; evolution in thinking and design, however, have made mountain biking much better.
I’d definitely touch base with King. A great company and they stand behind what they sell. It should make noise.
Also, fast engagement with the King is awesome. It’s critical for me since I’ve gotten used to it. Had a crap hub on a bike briefly and it caused a broken finger and destroyed a Garmin. That’s because I was used to the hyper fast engagement of the King hub and got used to waiting until the last minute. Only with a slow to engage hub, I ended up turning the pedal to pop the front wheel too late and I ate the ledge before the engagement kicked in. Over the bars and now I have a crooked finger and a new Garmin.
Wow, not that far from Chattanooga and in the general area of where we’ll be at that time. Might have to make a go of this.
Was going to suggest Old Rasputin but Greg beat me to it. Others to think about: Green Flash Double Stout, Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Boulevard’s Dark Truth, Avery’s The Czar and Mephistopheles (careful on that last one — great balance but huge alc. content).