Wednesday, October 05, 2005

.ebdb. / Maxxis Hansventures / Lake MX220

This past weekend's ebdb (epic black diamond biking) was just that. Conditions were absolutely perfect, with clear skies and temps in the low 70's. Daren was on his amazing handbuilt rig (the Wraith) for only the 2nd time, while Andy rode his Gaint VT2 and I the Litespeed Pisgah. Daren's workmanship is incredible. It's hard for me to fathom thinking to yourself, "there isn't a bike on the market that's perfect, so i'll just design one, cut the steel, have a master welder put it together and then test it out with my buddies", but that's what he did - and the bike is incredible. Rides so smoothly... with excellent power efficiency. Of course, there are already things he'd like to do different on the 2nd version, but so it goes. For now, he's been working to have a couple made out of carbon - that'll be one phat freeride/all mtn bike! I just hope he makes a bunch of money selling 'em! Not that Daren seems to care about that...

At 10a, we started-out on the Red Tail Trail at Cranmore and climbed, climbed, climbed. Every few minutes i'd look around and think - man, this is it, this is the best trail i've ever ridden, but later in the day, after our only hike-a-bike section up some mountain, forget the name, we rode an unmarked trail (down) that was unbelievable. In the entire day, we encountered 1 person (and 2 labs). Miles and miles of epic singletrack and not a sole on it. ... after about 5hours, we found ourselves back in the Cranmore parking lot, staring-up the slopes. Should we climb cranmore and get a run down the Red Tail Trail to finish-off our day? or hit-up those cold beers in the car... Gulp-gulp-gulp. Too easy of a decision...

Learned a couple new things about trail riding... being a racer-type, i'm always using the same components i'll race with. Can't expect to master something w/o practice... Well, now that the season is wrapping-up and i've decided to focus on epic rides with friends vs racing, i'm all about finding the best feeling ride vs the fastest ride. To help my cause Andy brought (then bought) me a set of Maxxis 2.3 HANSVENTURES tires and holy crap! What a difference. It's like having 1/2-1" of suspension on the hardtail. Amazing. Fantastic! I'm totally hooked on these tires for epic riding! The gripped great, filled me with confidence when chasing 2 guys on 4-5" travel bikes down screaming singletrack - and after the ride my back wasn't sore at all. They really absorbed the trail. HANS!

And to make the ride even better, i wore my new Lake MX 220 trail shoes with Vibram soles. Good, stiff bottom with just enough flex for hiking, but stiff enough to get good pedaling power - and the vibram soles make 'em feel like a pair of good boots when forced to hoof-it. What really rocks is that these shoes are a warranty replacement from Lake after my last set blew-out - but the MX 220's are a couple steps-up from what i warrantied. Nice. All thanks again to Jamie at Western Cycle. He's the man.

a nice view from the trail

more of the same

the wraith


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