This past December I purchased a Surly Instigator; a mountain bike extraordinaire. I rode her for both commuting and playing in the snow during our winter months here in Minnesota. Then in May, I took her to Montana for a real mountain bike experience. I was not disappointed! I have found the most challenging workout of my life in the mountains of Montana!
What freedom to ride any terrain! Though I prefer challenging, technical courses with obstacles, while riding in Montana frequent breaks were a necessity as these trails proved most demanding. I have a lot of admiration for the people that passed me while grinding up the switchbacks and loose rock at high altitudes.
After riding a mountain bike, it didn't take long before narrow tires, such as those on my road bike, carried no interest for me. Who cares about going fast when you can surmount logs, rocks, mud, and sand?!
Labor Day weekend, I was up north with my family and had the great fortune to do a lot of mountain biking. And as a bonus, I learned about a mountain bike race right at the resort at which we were staying (http://www.racethegrind.com/). We rode much of the course, which was a muddy mess due to overnight rain, and found a diverse, arduous landscape. And of course, after watching the race, I began thinking it might be a fun adventure for next Labor Day weekend! After all, I have the perfect vehicle.
Back in May, while NOT looking for a new two-wheeled friend, I saw my dream bike. She was the most beautiful bike I had ever seen; a Salsa Cutthroat. Uh oh, instant obsession. So, I set forth to find and own this new love. Except I couldn't. There were none to be had — anywhere. She was sold out in my size. But, since my mind was made up and I was willing to wait, I sold my road bike and pre-ordered my dream bike in June for a sight-unseen, ride-unridden, all-new fall 2018 edition.
My fantasy bike was unveiled on September 8th (the day of my board exam!) and delivered to me on September 23rd. She was worth the wait — more gorgeous than last year's model by a LONG shot. I have never had a more comfortable, easy to use, versatile, sturdy bike. My maiden voyage lasted four and a half hours, and the only reason I stopped was that I was hungry. Designed as an adventure mountain bike, she's perfect for bike packing in any terrain - including mountains! Load her up with all the supplies you need and take off for anywhere! And in the absence of adventure, she's a perfect commuter bike. Who could ask for more?!
Now, I'm the proud owner of two adventure giving, comfy riding steeds (yes, I know they're not horses, but I love them like they're living creatures); my dilemma is choosing which bike I'll ride in next year's Long Grind at Giant's Ridge! Hmmm ... how about I just appreciate all the exploring I get to do in the meantime?