I didn't plan this at all. A friend of mine started talking about getting back into road bikes and I was just helping him out by going to a LBS to check something for him.
I had some time to kill and there was a Kona Hei Hei sitting there and the clerk was friendly and encouraging and next thing I knew I was riding around the parking lot, amazed at how good these new fangled 29ers feel under my 4 decade old butt.
A few more days, shops and brands later, I come across a friendly LBS with a bike that just squeezed all the right glands. But alas, it was on hold and the only one they had. But I get a call at 6:00PM that no one claimed it and I showed up at closing time and shared a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with the crew after they closed the doors. Next morning I find myself at the top of a ridge in Henry Cowell:
At first I thought that maybe I couldn't hang with this. I was riding up way too much of that steep sandy singletrack and having to walk the bike a bunch. At least there were a few jumps to scare myself with.
The good news for me is that once I started going down the other side of the ridge, the sand went away and we finally got under the trees and onto some of those wonderful cushy redwood trails.
Even got a chance to see the steam train up at the top of Bear Mountain, here's my son holding my bike up for a quick photo op.
And the treat was bombing down all those nice wide fire roads, and I finally realized that it's not all deep sand and everything fell into place and it got fun. Really freakin' fun.
Hard to tell from the crappy cell phone pics but it's a Santa Cruz Superlight 29. I can't articulate why but it just feels "right" for me. Good enough to not outgrow, but cheap enough to get my foot in the door without too much guilt.
Had a great 4-5 hours. I'm sore and I'm going to walk around like an 80 year old beet farmer at work tomorrow, but that's OK. Can't wait to discover all the great trails I know are around us here in Santa Cruz.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Back in the saddle