It started back in 2011 when Pat and I visited our friends who live in Crested Butte during the Fat Tire Bike week. Specialized was there with some demo bikes. I rode my Specialized Stumpjumper to a Leadville 100 finish back in 2001. My husband rode the same bike to a finish the next year. That's still my primary bike and needless to say, it's a bit behind the times. Even though it was against my better judgment (we couldn't afford to buy me a new bike and I knew I'd love anything I test rode and it would just torture me to not buy a new bike) I decided to test ride a Specialized Epic 29er, a $10,000 bike.
I can't explain what it was like riding that bike. You couldn't scrape the smile off my face. Instead of avoiding any rock bigger than a pebble, I was searching out the biggest, baddest things I could roll my tires over. The 29 inch wheels were incredible. This bike rocked. I was born to ride this bike. It had a 1x10 gearing set up which I had never seen before but really liked. I wanted it. Bad.
|Sweet singletrack for test riding|
I sure didn't want to return that bike but I guess taking it home with me wasn't a wise idea (I left my 10 year old Stumpjumper with the Specialized folks as collateral, isn't that a fair trade?) Needless to say, we left Crested Butte without a new bike and I returned home and continued to ride my faithful Stumpy. But it was getting more and more difficult.
Fast forward over a year and things finally fell into place and I was able to get a great deal on a new 2013 Specialized Epic Expert 29er. My first ride elicited the exact same feelings I had experienced in Crested Butte over a year ago. I was born to ride this bike. And this bike was born to take on Leadville. I decided right then and there that I was going to sign up for Leadman. First time I've had disc brakes and I put them to the full test on Wednesday when I discovered a new trail aptly named Scott's Drop. It's geared with a 2x10 which I prefer over the 1x10.
For the next couple months my run training is officially going to take a backseat to bike training. And I have no problem with that. Buzz and I have many dates planned on the local trails. My new best friend.
|Buzz after a muddy ride|