It's been exactly one year since my last ride on a full suspension bike. I've grown to love the simplicity and efficiency of the hard tail. Enter my new bike, the Santa Cruz Tallboy. At 4" of travel, front and back, it could not be more different than my current ride. I am always anxious when switching mountain bikes. I get so used to what I'm riding that it becomes an extension of myself. Changing is like getting a new arm or leg.
I finished building it up in time to get one ride in before the Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival. I rode over to Turkey to do a hot lap of the most recent race course. Riding a hardtail is a total different riding style and it took me a while to adapt to, so I figured it would be the same going the other way. Not! I took to the seated climbing quick, but when I did stand and punch it the Tallboy shot forward immediately. The travel is very smooth and had me wondering where the roots and rocks were. They seemed to disappear under the big wheels...picking perfect lines wasn't necessary, read...faster. After a lap I was all smiles and found myself looking for the gnarliest trails at Turkey. It soaks up the hits like a trail bike, but is light and nimble like an XC ride. This bike is a keeper.
Hard to see, but that's 23.83lbs with Stan's Race Day wheelset!
Thanks 918XC Bicycles, Ray, Scott, and especially Ginger.
Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival was this past weekend. Eureka is one of Ginger's and mine favorite places. We enjoy the town, the people, the trails, and the lake. This is probably my favorite race of the year. All of my important races are over and it's not that I don't want to do well, but I'm much more relaxed.
Tulsa had a great showing with alot of our team there and a great Team Soundpony presence...thanks Giff for the beer!! I didn't get to see everyone's result, but typically at Eureka you usually have a great race or terrible one due to the meanness of the rock on the track. And, just chatting afterwards that seemed to be the case again this year.
Long story short on my race...Ray and I went into the woods 1-2 with no one in sight. We rode together enjoying some of the best trail in the region until I wadded it up for no reason, a complete yard sale. I told him to not wait knowing Bryan Fawley would be coming. He did. And he and Ray rode to the finish alone Bryan nipping Ray at the line. I finished 3rd overall and 1st in my age group.
Dave of Progressive Trail Designs did a great job this year, probably the best organization I've seen at this event. Thanks, Dave and all the officials and volunteers. It also appeared the number of officials and volunteers was much more numerous than years' past which I'm sure helps. Thanks! Oh, and I received another of my favorite trophies, a pint glass...this one a New Belgium Brewery model with a #1 on it!!