Yesterday, Carlos and I enjoyed a short ride through the Marin Headlands. We've done this ride several times before -- it's always great fun and an enjoyable way to get the blood pumping, especially on a warm sunny day . The thing that made this ride somewhat noteworthy was that instead of riding my cyclocross bike, I rode my mountain bike -- a bike I haven't ridden in nearly seven months (the bike was having some chainsuck issues and I hadn't made time to address those until recently)! I was wondering whether the bike would feel odd after all that time, since all of my other rides are rigid 700C drop-bar bikes with much skinnier tires and level top tubes. I'm happy to report that this was not the case. Well, maybe it was for about 5 pedal strokes, but after that it was like welcoming the return of an old friend. A green friend, in this case.The typical wide, knobby tires of a mountain bike always fortify my confidence when riding off-road, and the 2-inch-thick tires on my bike certainly helped when I fudged my line during the high-speed descent into Tennesee Valley -- I didn't brake enough before dodging a group of slow-moving cyclists on the trail, and found myself headed towards a deep rut and a likely face-plant. Miraculously, the bike found its own way out of the trouble, and despite my muttered "Oh shiiIIIT" and frantic SPD-unclipping, I remained upright. Later, after blasting down Tennessee Valley Road, I came upon a usual trip-up on the shortcut trail to the Mill Valley Bike Path: a drainage pipe laid across the path with a small, rocky drop off on the other side. Normally I'd have to put a foot down here, but this time I just followed Carlos' line and the Bonty rolled on through. Usually I loathe riding twenty-sixer knobbies on pavement, but as we pedalled through the streets of Sausalito, despite the audible buzz of the tread I noted that pushing the pedals didn't seem any harder than normal and the bike seemed to roll happily enough. Finally as we climbed up towards the Golden Gate (a climb I usually dread) I found that the summit came more readily than I'd remembered, and certainly more easily than I'd expected, given that I'd not ridden for the three weeks prior. Clearly i need to ride this bike more often! A final thought: I'm really glad that, on the bikey forums I seem to be addicted to, mountain bikes in general, and new mountain-bike technology in specific, aren't discussed more often and in-depth than they are, otherwise I'd probably get the urge to tweak this or try that -- instead I can just continue happily riding my thirteen-year-old bike in ignorant bliss! My Bontrager is perfect and I don't want to change a single thing about it (other than maintenance issues, and maybe a different saddle, ouch)!
Although, if anyone has a Bontrager Ti Lite
frame in a size Large they'd sell cheap, do let me know! ;)