October 08, 2007

Ride Time . . .

Due to my extended run out at Stinson and getting home after midnight on Friday we decided that we would pass on the Xterra Scramble at Pt. Mugu this weekend. Turned out to be a good choice as we have been on the road for . . . a few years or so now? Staying home gave us the opportunity to do some gardening at home and hang out with Nacho in our local hills. We also made our way back up to Keyesville for some ride time!

This would be my last time to ride both my Epic and Alma on the same course. I pretty much decided that I cannot keep both and am leaning towards the 29er. More testing is not a bad idea so I started out on our first lap with the epic. This was also Moniques first ride at Keyesville with her new bike and she was rockin' it. She dropped almost an hour off her first lap and conditions were not helping the situation... The dry of the summer had turned everything to sand and the dirt bike crews left some pretty deep ruts to navigate.

(chain snap just at the end of our first lap)

Our first lap was down and I switched to the Alma just in time. My chain snapped on the Epic as we made our way up the last climb back to the truck and Monique had to give me a little push. I didn't bring a chain tool but I did have an extra bike.... 29 inches it is. Our second lap felt better but maybe it was because we were a little warmed up. Some of the advantages of the 29er started feeling more like home on this lap. Maybe I am getting use to ridding a hard tail or just settling into the feel of the Alma? My initial hesitation about the Alma was that my first ride did not feel "confidence inspiring" on the technical downhill sections but now that exactly what I am getting from it on the turns. Confidence inspiring cornering and the big wheels/wheelbase feels like I am on a plane that is making my own line. As far as the technical downhill sections I have just learned to let it bounce when needed and focus on wheel placement. I got over the worries of downhill on the Alma at Hurkey Creek.

(Monique rolls on with it)

So I would say that downhill is a tie between the two bikes. Climbing on the other hand is a new world on the Alma. I think I can feel the acceleration from my toe twitching on that thing. 'nough said. Then there is the "fun factor" element for each bike. Perhaps I am leaning towards the Alma because it is the new bike on the block too but it is just so much fun and when I get back on the Epic it just feels like I am on a bmx bike... More testing to follow fo sho!

We wrapped up our ride time and headed home in time to enjoy the rest of the weekend and no worries from having to pack/unpack. A very welcomed change. What are we going to do with kids and a dog? I guess we will climb that hill when we get to it but for now we were stoked for some good ol local mountain ride time...


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