I have been changed...
It was the most natural change I could have ever made, yet I hadn't. I needed catalyst, and I received that catalyst a week ago Monday while still on vacation. I experienced shock and awe, but in an awesomely magnificent bicyclally kinda form. I went REAL Mt Biking. well, real mt biking by Florida Standards at least, the guy at the bike shop said the place we went was "for the masses". usually that is shop speak for easy, and stuff. Kelly and I rented full suspension bikes, Specialized to be exact. She had the XC, I had a Stumpjumper. It rocked. We rode a couple of trails, and went to a waterfall. We both fell in the water, and Kelly skinned her knee. I skinned my knee too, but Kelly's looked a lot more impressive. We were having so much fun that we didn't take many pictures. Next time, I'm mounting a camera on my handlebars or something. The trails rode great, too great almost, like maybe people take a lot of time maintaining them and stuff ;-)
Anyway. My main point is that I've been ruined now. I rode an awesome trail, on an excellent bike, and I can never ride the local trails the same way again. I've been refusing to go to the local bike shop for fear that I'll come home with a bike. I've been thinking Cannondale Rush. Kelly really liked the XC, so I think I'll buy one for her. I've also been thinking about upgrading some parts on my hardtail to make it into a machine worthy of taking to work and back. Disc brakes and an upgrade in shifting would do a lot. ultimately, I would like new brakes, drivetrain, and fork, something with a lockout preferably. So that's my life. I am crazy in love with gettin' on a trail with a better bike. I had too many, "this is awexome" moments the short little time we rode.
Some things to note:
If you go to Brevard, NC, visit Sycamore Cycles to do your bicycle outfitting. They didn't pay me to say that, we just had an awesome experience there. The helpful staff turned us on to some trails that while not the hardest I've ridden, they were a lot of fun. Very smooth. The only bad thing about them is that they don't open shop until 10am, but because the weather is usually pleasant, it's not such a big deal to a Florida boy to start riding at 11 or 12. Go see Wes, and tell him that the guy who was sent by Nixon sends you now.
Buy a map of DuPont state forest. It's kinda like a fundraiser for park maintenance and they keep the trails there in great shape.
watch out for horses, and associated horse poopy.
see you out there.