A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Friday, July 16, 2010

A NEW PROJECT

   If you have been following this blog for the past year you will know how much I enjoy having Annadel State Park as my own personal playground right outside my back door. Be it hiking, jogging or riding my mountain bike I never tire of the place. I have explored all of the trails in one way or the other except for one, Marsh Trail. This is a 4 mile trail on the south edge of the park and it involves a couple miles of trail just to get to it. So I am saving it for a long day in the future.
   I would guess that at least two thirds of the over 40 miles of trails are of a narrow rocky single track. This is great for hiking and challenging on a bicycle. Make that bicycle with 29” wheels (most mountain bikes have 26” wheels) and that ratchets up the challenge factor a few degrees. Now add my advanced years and lack of skill and courage, and things cease to be fun sometimes. So for the most part I stick to the open trails and fire roads while on the bicycle.
   Having sold the Honda Trail 90 I got to thinking of getting another bike; one suited more for those “not so fun” trails. I felt I could get away with having another bicycle much easier than getting another motorcycle. I would get a standard mountain bike with 26”wheels and maybe I could do better in the technical stuff. I would buy a used bicycle one rather than new as I did with the 29 incher. This way I would have something to putter around with fixing up and such. With a brand new bike all you can do with it is ride. The bike in mind slowly evolved into a full suspension bike rather than another hard tail – one with no shock absorbing system in the rear.
   When buying a new full suspension bike the cost jumps up from anywheres half again as much to double of that with front suspension alone. As I perused Craigslist this held true for used bikes also. Anything of quality was hundreds or a thousand more than I wanted to lay out. Add to this me limiting a purchase to the North Bay communities only (I really didn’t want to drive into the Bay Area for anything) proved the pickings to be quite slim. I would just be patient and wait it out till something interesting showed. This last week my patience was rewarded.
   It was a Santa Cruz (high end quality mountain bike maker) Heckler (a model for cross country riding, not jumping, downhill racing or other special types requiring different geometry in frame design and components) and at a low price for it was 13 years old. Santa Cruz still makes this model due to it being such a successful and popular bike. The bike originally belonged to a bike mechanic/racer in Santa Cruz and the current owner bought it from him 10 years ago. He since moved to Petaluma and mostly rode the bike around town. I immediately liked the bike. It was funky looking with its quirky rear suspension design (this was only the second year of production) and one that hasn’t changed that much over the years. Most everything was original and all in working order. It just needed some TLC and new tires. I made the bike mine and took it to it’s new home.


   The forks and rear shock are basic bottom of the line by today's standards. The brakes and shifting are primitive in design but all were state of the art 13 years ago. For example disc braking is the norm today but that doesn't bother me that this bike has the old style braking system. In fact this may be a benefit for me in preventing my going over the handlebars as I did early on with the new bike. The fun part though, all of this leaves me open for upgrading components as time goes by.

1 comment:

  1. I found myself going over the handle bars too. Finally had to give up riding on those roads. Be careful.

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