Greasy Side Down/Shiny Side Up

I don’t mountain bike. I don’t own a mountain bike. I am a rode cyclist. Purely. But isn’t it strange that when my son comes into town with his mountain bike and asks me to go that I am immediately on the phone with a local bike shop trying to borrow one? Flat Rock Park, here I come!

Okay, let me back up. I have been asked several times to join mountain bike groups in the cold months. No, I say. Why? I have a strong tendency to love all forms of cycling. I pour too much money into rode cycling as it is and will only want to the ride the best and wear the best when it comes to mountain biking, if I am not extremely careful. My wife (also my CFO) is very patient and understanding with my current addiction to the road, so I need to be thankful for that and leave well enough alone.

Into the dirt and trees, Justin and I go. I was excited just to be with him and for him to show me some things about his love of cycling. The first thing I noticed is that the tires were freaking me out! Every time I went over a rock or log, the sound the tires made reminded me of what a rode bike tire makes when a puncture has occurred. Another thing was instinctively trying to avoid all gravel and rocks (and pointing to them) . . . impossible on a mountain bike trail . . . duh! The triple crank set and huge cassette were also a bit of an issue . . . so many gears for climbing! It kept me thinking about having that many options on a road bike with a 17-20% grade climb.

Not use to this! In the end of our ride, I was enjoying it very much . . . careful, Scott. I can hear the Sirens’ call! As T.S. Elliot conveyed through J. Alfred Prufrock:

 I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

I am just kidding! It’s not that bad, but for all of you who dabble in the world of the gyro you understand. And if that made you think of a sandwich, you are not deep enough into cycling yet.


7 thoughts on “Greasy Side Down/Shiny Side Up

  1. Great piece buddy! Glad you found out how cool mtb’ing is! I like the similarities both offer, but really love the stark differences too. Such a contrast to road riding…It’s good to change your riding up once in awhile. Mtb’ing is great for cultivating and maintaining bike handling skills too. Peaceful, laidback atmosphere on the trails and in the woods.

      1. Yes, good point! No worrying about cars.
        Much like Jim, my mtb is a basic model. I bought it for 300 bucks from Performance back in 2007. I don’t ride it that much so it’s fine for the amount I use it. I don’t put the time or effort like I do on the road bike either.

        But it hangs there in the garage and it’s reliable, so when I want to hit the trails, it never fails- me! I say get one if you can. You could probably get a real good rig for under 500 and, it will provide one of the best ROI’s for money…

  2. I feel your pain, at least as it pertains to worrying about wanting to ride the best mountain bike when you already own a stellar road bike. I had the same worry but am happily pleased with my Rockhopper Sport Disc 29’er. It’s heavy on the front end, maybe 10-11 pounds more than my road bike, but I’m really not as ridiculous about the mountain bike… For me, it’s enough that it matches my road bike. In the end, at least for me, I know I’m not going to put the time in on a mountain bike the way I do on my road bike so I’m content with the one I’ve got. Give those tires a kick, you may find that you really don’t have to own the nicest mountain bike to hit the trails every now and again with your son. Glad you had a good time by the way.

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