Rippin Ash Canyon on my '85 Raleigh Elkhorn (Photo: Jonny Mandio)
About a week ago I managed to put my regular ride (2011 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er) out of commission for a while. Conditions were perfect up in Tahoe. Rained the night before and cloud coverage during the day let the dry decomposed granite soak up the little amount of summer rain we see and stay tacky. I'd never seen the trail so perfect and I couldn't wait to get to my favorite section, a perfect step up step down that flows effortlessly. Unfortunately, I carried more speed than usual into it and snapped my derailleur hangar which, sucked my derailleur into my rear wheel completely twisting it into a mangled expensive piece of scrap. Bummed I couldn't ride for the rest of the day, I set out to gather the parts to fix my bike.
Since I was already plotting on converting the Stumpy from a 2x10 to a 1x10, I decided to order up the entire kit and get it over with. As always, the boys at the Reno Bike Project helped me out and filled me in on what I needed. Now, the waiting game begins as I sit here in Reno watching each summer day pass by. The parts should be here soon, but I can't stand wasting perfectly good days. In part, this "downtime" is what got me to finally start a blog.
After two days of waiting for parts and watching mountain bike videos I had to get out of the house. The phone rang, and thankfully it was my brother asking if I wanted to go ride Ash Canyon out in the foothills of Carson City. Now the question became: what would I ride? My choices were split between my single speed dirtjumper or my townie 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn. The choice was obvious. The Klunker, the grandfather of today's bikes would be perfect for the short smoothish single-track that sits on the verge of sagebrush desert and sierra mountain pine forest in the north end of Carson.
I had been wanting to take the Klunker for a while to see how trail worthy it was. While my expectations weren't low, I wasn't expecting the amount of fun I had on a $70, full rigid, bull moose barred, cantilever braked bike; thus, the inspiration for the title of the blog hit me like a brick wall. It was perfect. What else can take you out of the newest, next, best, pricey, useless, ridiculous frame of mind that not only mountain biking but sports and society in general induce. We MUST have the most expensive components, frame, package, whatever to be cool when in reality you can pick up a $70 bike and rip up some trails with your buds, drink some beers and have some awesome stories to tell.
Here's to having fun, the inspiration for this blog and not wasting summer days.