It was a big weekend in barn door land. It started with a mountain bike ride from a secret location we call Dog Pen. The post where this ride was generated can be read here, its pretty funny to see everyone’s reactions. Essentially it was a mud bog that went about an hour longer then it was supposed to. Not everyone was happy, driver trains were destroyed and souls were crushed.
I actually really enjoyed the entire ride, except for the part where I ran into a tree. Well not a tree but a large fallen tree limb, it was on the side of the trail and I thought I could get around it. It speared my knee and knocked me off my bike. For a brief moment I thought may have broke my knee, but in a few seconds it was working again and I finished the ride with some pain. My glasses had been fogging up so I put them in my jersey pocket and I think that may be why I didn’t judge the tree limb right, or maybe I wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
Sunday was the big Midwest Bike show and Swap meet. I went to this last year and had a big time, this year I really enjoyed it, but I let several super good deals slip between my fingers while I walked around and looked for better deals. I had been planning on making a list of stuff I wanted for a week and never got around to it, I wish I would have.
So the swap meet has lots of individuals and bike shops selling off excess inventory and used stuff at super low prices. I bought 4 very nice, slightly used 29er tires, for 12 bucks, any of these tires would have been 50 plus new. I bought some sweet gloves, a nice jacket, some shoe covers, and a handlebar as well, but the real item I was shopping for was a frame.
I recently sold my 26 inch Trek Fuel EX mountain bike frame on ebay, it was a great bike, but I’m so used to riding 29 inch wheels and rigid bikes that when I rode it I was freaked out by the little wheels that moved up and down. I wanted another 29er frame or complete bike to build up because its nice to have a back up, plus while I love the Bandersnatch its starting to get long in the tooth.
There were only 2 29er frames that were even close to what I was looking for, in fact there were really only a few frames at the whole place. Both frames were the same model a Salsa Dos Niner, a very funky soft-tail design that is a bit dated. One was a 2009 model that was in excellent shape, the owner wanted 200 and would take no less. The other was a 2006 model that was in worse shape and the owner wanted 250. I should have bought the 2009 model, almost did, but I was afraid of the design and perhaps maybe a bit I didn’t like the color, it was gun metal gray and I had just sold a gray bike. Yes this is really stupid I know, but the older bike was A really nice deep green and had really cool graphics.
After walking around for 2 hours and finding nothing I went back to buy the 2009 model and saw someone walking off with it. Now with no other options I began haggling with the owner of the 2006 model. It took 3 attempts but I got him to take 200 and throw in 50 dollars in merchandise.
After the Swap we went to St. Louis bike shops and REI. Next to the REI is a Whole Foods grocery market. I bought stupidly expensive olives, cheese and bread and sat in their cafe and watched people walk in and out. DID YOU KNOW, that 77% of all patrons of the Whole Foods market and REI will be wearing a NORTH FACE JACKET, usually an insulated down model, talk about target demographics, upper middle class posers.
So I built up the Dos Niner last night and took it on its maiden voyage today. The good news is it didn’t break. The bad news is the seatpost slips and the steering doesn’t feel right. I may have the onlysoft tail bike with a rigid fork in the world.
I built it up as a 1×9 and took it out to Eagle Mountain today to see if I could climb it without a granny gear, was a little tough, but not really a problem.
I’ve got enough air in the shock so that it rides almost like a hardtail, but you can still feel a bit of movement back there, not a like a full suspension but it did take the edge off bumps.
I love the color, and I spent 220 dollars on parts, so if it lasts a year I’m going to be happy.