A few weeks ago I got word that Ben was gonna be out in California for a few days for work. Work for Ben is demoing the current line of Salsa bikes. Not a bad gig right? He brought out three different rides for people to try out. Mostly for the mountain bike crowd. They had the Salsa Spearfish, Horsethief and the Carbon Beargrease! The lightest of fatbikes was gonna be here in So Cal! I’m in! Oh, and I get to hang out with Ben too. Bonus!
Ben and I met back in 2012 when we fatbiked the Northern Shore of Lake Superior in March. Yeah, March. Cold and, well, cold. Then we pedaled again together in 2013 touring part of the Stagecoach 400 route. He’s a super fun dude and I was lookin’ forward to just hangin’ out all day. It’s not often that he’s out here.
I loaded up my Spearfish on the back of my moto. Yep, that’s what I said. On the back of my moto. It’s a crazy idea that I’ve been wanting to try out for some time. What a great idea right? Moto ride to a bike ride? Best of both worlds? Well, I’m not convinced personally. As you can imagine it really affects the handling of the bike. I’m sure some motos are better suited to this than others. Also, lighter bikes make for better handling on the moto. Hangin’ my fatbike off the back is really tough in my opinion.
It’s quite the head turner. I think I counted at least five people taking pictures on the way south and back north again. And those are just the ones I saw!
I rode the Carbon Beargrease for the first time. I thought for sure that I’d love it, but I have to say it didn’t do anything for me. Yeah, it was light. I guess it rolled fast, but I wasn’t that impressed. I suppose having a Mukluk Ti makes it tougher to impress me. Go figure.
The bikes I had the most fun on were the Spearfish and the Horsethief. I was surprised that I liked them as much as I did to be honest. Neither one is for the type of riding that I normally do. Maybe that’s the point though. Something different to liven things up? Something new? I rode a short loop that included a fun water crossing, a rocky climb and a technical (to me anyways) climb. Then all of that in reverse!
I’m not skilled or comfortable in singletrack and technical riding but I tried pushing myself a bit. I pointed the bikes both up and down the rockiest, steepiest and rutted out sections of the trails. Both bikes just rolled over everything with total ease and made me feel like I knew what I was doing. I even got a compliment from another mountain biker when I “cleaned” a section that made my clinch my cheeks! Maybe there’s something to this mountain biking stuff after all!
As I type this up I realize that I didn’t take any pics of Ben! Nothing of us sitting around and laughing. Eating salami. Talking about past trips or making plans for new ones. I guess that’s something that I need to work on for the blog side of things. Making sure I have what I want to tell a story. Too often though it’s best just to be in the moment and enjoy your time with your friends. That’s exactly what I did. Spend time with an old friend and make some new ones. I can’t really say I messed up if I look at it like that right? See you soon Ben!