Friday, February 05, 2010


As I mentioned on Wednesday, while in Vegas, our Friday ride was a semi bust because of all the snow and mud we encountered so when Kevin and I headed out to Bootleg Canyon on Saturday we weren't sure what was in store for us. Truthfully, if we hadn't already paid for the rental on the bikes we probably would have bagged the ride. Nobody wants to fly 2500 miles to a warmer climate only to find that they have more snow and mud than you do back home. Thankfully, as we approached the venue, our fears were allayed and we were greeted with dry, almost moon like conditions.

The riding at bootleg is unreal. Miles and miles of beautifully designed and built trails. For a right coaster like myself, the speed, length and openness of some of the downhills were truly terrifying but fun as hell and all of the more gradual stuff had great flow and a very high fun factor. Our ride window for the day was pretty short at under two hours but we got to sample close to half of the trails there (I'm guessing). Unfortunately, both Kevin and I forgot our cameras that day so you'll have to make do with a couple of crappy camera phone pics:

You may remember that back on Tuesday I mentioned three things I learned while in Vegas:
I still prefer 29'ers. I hate gears. Specialized's stumpjumper sucks balls.

After two days of riding I didn't hate the 26" format as much as I expected to but I did find myself constantly thinking "my 29'er would roll through this stuff so well" on multiple occasions so I guess I still much prefer 29'ers. I also got a bit of justification for riding single speed while at Bootleg. While I was just riding along (I know all you bike shop types just love to hear this!) my rear derailleur just barely touched a rock. Literally, all I heard was a little tink and all of a sudden my shifting was completely gone and I was in my hardest gear. I expected to see a mangled derailleur when I looked down but everything looked fine except for the completely loose derailleur cable bolt thingy. How in the world does that happen? Spot on shifting for 3 1/2 hours and then all of a sudden the cable has pulled out and the bolt about ready to fall out??? Anyway, after a bit of fiddling I was able to get the bike to sort of shift but it was missing a couple of gears (I'm guessing a slightly tweaked hanger) and it totally messed with the last half hour of my ride. Stupid gears.

Finally, the biggest revelation of the weekend was that Specialized's stumpjumpers should be stump jumped right into a dumpster. What a stupidly crappy bike. The shop set the rear suspension for my weight but no matter what I did the rear suspension wallowed so much that pedaling while in full suspension mode was out of the question. So I ended up doing most of both rides with the rear locked out and only occasionally going full squish. This bike was a 2010 and I guarantee you that my 2001 trek fuel was a shit ton more efficient. One would think that with the improvements in suspension designs and valving etc that this bike would have felt like the xc bike that it is and not some sloppy pathetic excuse for a downhill bike.

Man did I miss my dos niner and selma. What I wouldn't have given for either of those bikes!

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