Wow! An Actual Mountain Bike Ride!
I decided to take a ride on the Dakota Ridge/Matthews Winters State Park loop to test out the 69er, this morning. I left early to avoid the hordes of hikers, bikers and dog-walkers I expected to show up due to the unseasonably warm temperatures, today (50 degrees F when I left the house at 6:45 AM!). I was on the trail right at 7:15.
That is parking lot I had left ten minutes earlier. The first part of this ride is pretty much straight up. My truck is the whitish blob farthest away on the right-hand side of the parking lot.
Really, how hard could it be?
Hard enough. I chose this trail for the first ride on the 69er because Dakota Ridge is one of, if not the most technical trail on the Front Range. Apex is technical on parts of the climb, but Dakota Ridge hands out heaping helpings of the rough stuff. If any trail is going to prove or disprove the theoretical advantages of the big front wheel/small rear wheel setup, this is it.
I've never actually made it up these steps. Back in the day, 10 or 12 years ago, before the steps were there, I had about an even chance of making it up this spot or not. Now, I just get off and walk. I'm sure this feature prevents erosion, but it sure isn't an improvement for actual riding.
in the distance, just over the top-tube of the bike.
Another view from the same spot illustrates part of what makes the ride a thrill, at times. There's some pretty extreme exposure at places.
I have to say that this ride really sold me on the bike. I was quite pleased with how the big wheel, in combination with the rigid fork and softtail rear on the frame, allowed me to ride down some of the more technical stuff I have had to walk on the pink bike. I wouldn't race this bike, but it is probably going to be my "go-to" bike for shorter trail rides even after I get the STP built up.
I plan on using the STP for epic-length rides and any racing I might do (24 Hours of Moab, for instance), because it will be a little less harsh on my old bones over long distances.
1. Chainring gouge to left leg
2. Bruise on right knee from striking handlebar end while climbing.
3. Bruise on left knee and left hip from augering in on a downhill switchback.
I love mountain biking!
So far today, I have driven the truck to the trail, and ridden the motorcycle to lunch. Maybe I should take the scooter somewhere, just so I can run the entire fleet in one day!