Velo Bella-Kona Ride

Putting it into perspective

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This past weekend I made a very spontaneous trip to Fruita, CO. It filled all my lusty desires for sunshine and singletrack that Northern California has been denying me lately.

The local bike shop was awesome and I opted to rent some fat tires rather than lug or ship my own. No Konas (boo) but at least I was supporting my homies up north. Sweet ride, oh yeah. And as they say in Bicycling Magazine, this may no longer be a want - I think it has become a need.

This was a solo journey so here is the requisite dorky self-portrait (not afraid to rock a little fashion in the desert):

Alas, I have finally given up on trying to squish my head into a Giro (even though this year's colors look so pimp). It seems to be a round hole, square peg sort of thing. The melon is so much happier in its new lid.

Did I say singletrack? Everything on the menu - fast, swoopy, scenic, technical, rocky...

...there was even a 30 foot "rappel"! This trail ran through a dried out river bed for several miles and had a waterfall (more like a watertrickle) in the middle of it. I'm not really sure if it counts as a rappel if you awkwardly drag your ass down while clutching a rope. I lowered the bike first thinking "nothing parties like a rental".

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of this freaky guy. He had awesome yellow toes that matched his outfit.

Pretty stuff grows in the desert:

One snowstorm (over I-70 in the Rockies, not in Fruita) and one flight later I was back in NorCal. Now it's time for some local sunshine and singletrack. Yehaawwww!

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Queen's Maiden Voyage


I think I can finish two laps now.

Thanks to my new Kona King Supreme (painted up like a Queen Kikapuu).

As anyone who knows me knows, I love my steel mtb hardtail. So much so, that although other mountain bikes have come my way, my hardtail has been my main mtb for over 5 years now.

But along came the Queen.

And one lap on the Sea Otter course was enough to convince me. I had so much fun on my ride that I wasn't ready for it to be over. I wish it would stop raining so I could ride it here on my local trails after work (hurray time change!!)

2.5" of travel in the rear was just enough to soak up the bumps and chatter. I was bombing down the center instead of tiptoeing across the best lines. And the Fox RP3 rear shock has this cool on the fly adjustment thing so I could lock it out on the paved or fireroad climbs, or open it halfway for those bumby climbs. I could stand on this bike and it felt just as solid under pedaling as my hardtail.

In addition, this bike handles very well. After a few miles I found that sweet spot of where to lean and felt almost as agressive in the turns as I do on my hardtail. I found that I could be even more aggressive on bumby turns because I could stay seated. I think I gapped my fiance on one of those turns. And I know I gapped him on the firebomb descents. Neener neener neeener.

Overall, for a course like Sea Otter, this bike rocked. I feel a little better about having to do two laps now that I have a bike that will allow me to go faster and save energy. ........And look good.

Installing the new SRAM X-O shifters

SRAM X-O rear derailleur and Easton XC wheels

Fox RP3 shock and cool bella graphics

Kula Primo (above) waits its turn. The Queen built up lighter than my steel hardtail with the following components:

Easton 70 Seatpost and Stem
Easton Monkeylite SL bar
Easton XC One Wheels
Avid BB7 Brakes

Crankbrother Eggbeater pedals
Chris King Headset

SRAM XO Shiters and derailleurs
Fox 80X Fork
Schwalbe Jimmy tires