Monday, May 7, 2012

Proven Paradox Proficiency

                So, another weekend of riding has passed. Even though it's another week of riding coming up, I still like the weekends where I get to travel a little, ride with old friends and make new ones, have a couple of brews with said friends and maybe ride some things I hadn't before or send a few things I had chickened out on before. This last weekend I made a few calls and wound up with a ride to GJ to go to the Grassroots Cycles Ranchstyle, a buddy's buddy was driving his big truck and had some room, which saved me around 125 miles of riding to the event. I like to tour the bike, but getting some freeriding is always better. I packed my bag and rolled out with the guys, a few hours later we watched the best trick comp, Huge is the first word that comes to mind. There was an eight foot wooden lip to a big dirt lander, and a whole bunch of bad ass dudes showing off their bulky bags of tricks.
                The next morning I got my new friends Matt and Jack out of their tents to go and ride the unique and challenging Ribbon trail. Look it up. We rolled down the long rock slab sending little rock lips and styling out the terrain with long manuals and wheelies. I showed them the tunnel at the climb out, a little side jaunt that was carved by water through soft stone and mud layers. There is now a rideable way out of the canyon, thanks to local volunteers. We then rode Free Lunch, starting from epic views of the Grand Valley and dropping down twisted and rocky as hell singletrack with a bunch of drops, none of which are much bigger than eight feet. Then it was on to Pucker Up, and trail with super tech drops and jumps with blind landings, along with parts of plain old faast rolling fun. The Lunch loops have come a long way over the years.
                As I was cruising along the road at the end to meet the glorious Grassroots Cycles shuttle for a lift back to the top, I got to thinking about the Banshee Paradox I was perched upon. I've ridden that bike for several seasons now, hardly ever changing anything. I've taken it to Washington state and ridden around the entire Olympic Peninsula and finished in Seattle. With all the twists and turns, I ended up pedaling nearly 700 miles in those eight days. My Paradox has seen all the lift access mountains in Colorado, and ridden almost all the d.h. courses on those mountains. I've ridden from my front door up Transfer trail, a grueling climb that goes up five thousand feet in nine miles, and descended through lush alpine forests back to my high desert home at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers. Last summer while working at a bike shop in Carbondale, I had a twelve mile commute one way, and rode it nearly every day for six months. 125 miles a week, plus whatever I rode that week in the hills. Almost always on my Paradox.
               I went to sleep thinking of the adventures we've had together, Paradox and I, in a tent high on a plateau in western Colorado. I thought about what might be the next adventure. In the morning I watched a little dual slalom racing and caught a ride to my ride home. We met at some local dirt jumps, at the base of yesterday's trails, and spent three hours or so hitting it up. My friends on their dirt jump bikes were putting up some great style, hitting all the lines, no handers and throwing feet. I just kept riding the smaller lines, and got a d.s. course dialed in. Sure, I didn't hit the biggest lines at the park, nor did I throw any tricks bigger than a one footed table, but I did get the lines I wanted, like the small six pack and part of the main line. The lip just feels sharp on my twenty nine inch wheels. Still, I have a little hunch that, as far as big wheels go, I just might have put on a pretty good show.

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