Sunday, May 6, 2012

So, That's what I've been missing out on.

Let's see here... Saturday was the first Loop Trail construction day of the year. So, in my fashion, I decided to make a day out of it... sort of.

I wound up getting there exceptionally early, despite my riding Henry, and taking my time getting there on as much dirt as I could.
You don't see one of these in someone's front yard every day.
 Lacking exact directions to the actual meeting spot, and the little green arrows that usually direct us to the event site weren't up yet, so I sat on Henry, and waited for an adult. I may or may not have used the time for some extra sleep.

Eventually folks showed, arrows went up, and trail was built. This is a segment that will eventually connect into Campbell Mesa, on the east side of town. We got a lot done, and once it gets some use to smooth it out, it will be a great little section.

The high point of my day, however, was getting the chance to lay down the first tracks on fresh trail:
End of line.
 Then I turned around and rode the other segments of the Loop Trail that I hadn't ridden yet, because I didn't know they existed. As a result, I can now take singletrack routes from one side of town to the other, either north or south of town. There are gaps, yes, but there are connector trails to bridge them if you're willing to go out of the way by a bit.

I like this idea.

After the dirt, I swung by the store and got food, before heading home. Proof that you can work, and play, on a Big Dummy.

Which brings us to today. *story time!*

Now, I should start this by saying something about why I haven't been riding a lot this week.

You see... there's this bike.

Yeah, yeah, there's always a bike. But, this one is special. It's a bike that I have seen in the showroom at Absolute for 3 years. I've admired it, read about it, and drooled over, and sometimes on, it. It's the only full suspension bike that's really ever caught my eye.... the Pivot Mach 429. There's only one problem... I'd never ridden anything with full suspension, nor had I any desire to. I really liked this bike, but I had also decided that it was not going to make me a better rider. I had to do that on my own, thusly deciding that I could do without this bike.

Even after I read about it being very on sale in the Absolute Bikes newsletter, placing it into the price range that I could afford, I decided no, I wasn't going to get it.

Until Wednesday, when Exegete convinced me to at least test ride it.

And what I was afraid of happening, actually happened.

Everything I had read about, even everything I had imagined about this bike... it was all true. I was definitely "in like" with the Pivot. Just on the short test ride, on very short technical sections of singletrack, it worked very hard at changing my mind. It gave me confidence to roll over things I wouldn't even try otherwise, and more confidence still to turn around and roll right back up. It was an amazing ride, for only being just a few minutes.

But I didn't bring it home Wednesday. I had to think about it. I have 6 bikes already... 4 of them which could be classified as mountain bikes, 3 of them definitely. Even as Exe and I rearranged the garage, making more room for bikes, we discussed, and I thought. Even after discussing it with TC, I was still on the fence.

The next day, I rode Tri on the same trails I test rode the Pivot on, and was amazed at the difference. Maybe it was subconscious, maybe it was want, I don't know. But I couldn't even try to do the same moves on Tri as I had done on the Pivot the day before. Sure, they are entirely possible on Tri, but I didn't have the same confidence in myself on Tri as on the Pivot. So, I rolled in to Absolute with Tri... and rolled out with the Pivot. Then I went for a ride. I cleaned sections of Skunk canyon I've never been able to before, and flew down familiar trails with speeds I was afraid to hit on Tri. The Pivot ate everything up. I think it was happy to be on trails, actually being ridden, after being in the showroom for the past year. I know I was happy.

Then Friday, I rode Henry to Absolute to pick up Tri.

What? I can't exactly ride 2 bikes at the same time...

So, today, I took the Pivot out on a "getting acquainted" ride. Which was also "Ok, I'm gonna hit trails that I'm scared of" ride.

It went rather well.
A small slice of Flagstaff from most of the way up Elden Lookout Road.

The Catwalk. It's a long tumble down, if you fall to the right.
 I was excited at this point. I had only been on the Catwalk for it's entire length once before, and I walked most of it. This time, I only walked one short section, and rode the rest. I was still scared to death, especially after the front wheel skid, but still... better than before.

Here it is.. the Pivot. Isn't it pretty?
 From there, Sunset Trail drops steeply into, over and around boulders, a section of the trail dubbed "The Hobbit Forest," another section of trail I was scared of, and walked nearly all of, the two times I'd done it.
Find the trail! Would you believe I rode this?

I didn't ride this part... the only section that I walked.
 From there, the trail starts to resemble a trail again, something I'm a little more familiar with.

"And that's what we call a show stopper."

 At the bottom of Sunset, I took Schultz Creek Trail down the rest of the way, another familiar trail to me.
I love this view.
After a few more trails, I rode home, as the chain was getting a little noisy, already time for some lube.

So, all in all, my thoughts on the bike so far? I'm in love. It lets me get away with things I couldn't bring myself to try before. It's fast, it's smooth, and I know it'll get me in trouble. And it's pretty. I think that's it's name. Pretty.

Is it worth the years I spent pining for it?

After the fun I had on it today, absolutely! It's also the last bike I'm allowed to buy, both by myself and Exegete. (We'll see how long that lasts...)

Mileage: 34.7

1 comment:

JZ said...

That's a damn fine looking bike. Hongera sana. I'm jealous.