Monday, June 13, 2011

The First Dance

Do remember that first dance you had back in high school or whenever? You probably thought about how exciting it was and maybe even fell in love. I relived the experience this weekend, but it was on a mountain bike. Now, I'm not saying that I'm in love or anything like that, but I think it is going to be lasting relationship. It's sad to think that yesterday was June 12th and it was my first real single-track dirt ride of the season.

Untitled by Vito1958
Would you like to dance?
My first dance with the new Salsa El Mariachi was a memorable one. Kenny "The Cook", Turbo, and myself ventured down to Murphy Hanrehan for several fun hours of single-track bliss. I thought this would be a day for tweaking, dialing the bike in and what not, but apparently I did an OK job of getting this set up because the ride felt phenomenal. The only change right now will be to cut the bars down to a narrower width.

I cannot believe how buttery smooth the ride is on this bike. I believe that the combination of the frame geometry and the proprietary Kung Fu tubing (Seamless, Triple-Butted, Japanese-made Sanko) give it a ride like no other mountain bike. The aluminum and carbon frame bikes may be much lighter and faster, but I can assure you that they don't have the ride quality of steel. Although "The Cook" would disagree. You see, our amigo Kenny is a full suspension kind of guy, and after taking the Salsa for a quick spin he determined that it needed a rear shock. As for myself...I can hardly wait to get her up north.

Untitled by Vito1958
Ribbon of Dirt
This was also the first time in quite a while that I rode a mountain bike with gears. To be honest, I was skeptical and still am to a certain degree. Murphy is not really technical and offers little in the elevation department. The El Mariachi has the 2 x 10 set up and I will say that the shifting was phenomenally smooth, but the fact of the matter is, that I only used 2-3 of those gears. That being said, I'm sure those other gears will come in handy down the road. It will also take some time to get used to the SRAM trigger shifting. There was definitely some fumbling around when it came to shifting gears.

The trails at Murphy are in wonderful condition and my thanks goes out to the folks that keep them maintained. A job well done indeed. Not to mention that the mosquitoes were few and I had no wood ticks when the ride was completed.

Untitled by Vito1958
Turbo and Kenny "The Cook"
Kenny, however, had a little treat for us when we got back to the trailhead parking lot. In his cooler he had a few 14.5 oz. cans of ice cold Stella. The perfect way to end a perfect day of mountain biking. Next weekend we will find ourselves in the Chequamegon National Forest of northern Wisconsin. This should be a weekend full of stories.

1 comment:

Joboo said...

Gotta agree with ya on the "nothing rides like a steel frame" comment!! Right on!!
This coming from a guy who has rode nothing but FS for the last 10 plus years!!
I love how the steel frame of my Pugs sucks up everything, and the fat tires act as somewhat of a suspension. Lol

Glad you're happy the the new rig Bill!!