I roll with some guys who live on the edge. I mean we’re talking about movers and shakers here, trend sitters. They’re on the bubble. The current thing is big tires, but we’re talking about useable big tires, not 5 inch “Moonlanders.” I got my first look at Mark’s “Jeff Jones Spaceframe” with it’s elaborate truss fork and monstrous front tire, and I got in a second ride with Eli’s 29+ 3 inch front tire on his Spot. Oh did I mention there were two Rholoffs on this ride. That’s just how we roll.
Mark has completely bought into the wider is better philosophy. He’s built up wide rims so even his relatively normal 2.4 rear tire looks really fat. The wide rims allow the tires to work better and be wider. The Jeff Jones geometry places the rider farther back over the rear wheel and the truss fork is all about keeping the front end as rigid as possible. The H-bar is wide and has massive sweep so that arms are much closer to the body, he claims it’s really comfortable on his back. I rode the bike for a short time, it’s super plush.
We left from Gossage and road towards Bethesda Church then took a secret piece of singletrack known as the green carpet. We set a record slow pace up the 2 mile climb which was wet and nasty, because we stopped and played on a steep rocky section to see if we could climb it. Mark got it on the the first try with the Jones, it took me 3 tries. The warm weather has brought out the traffic to the forest, saw a big group of ATVers and a few horseback riders out enjoying the super nice day.
We crossed the road and as we continued on the long fast downhill. I heard some strange sounds coming from my front tire then tire sealant was fired at my face from the tire. My glasses became covered in spots, the tire continued to spray out gobs of sealant for several more rotations, which was freaking me out, but it eventually sealed up.
As I continued I couldn’t help but feel horrible. My rear end was killing me. At the bottom of the first downhill section I got off the bike and checked out the saddle, it was fine, so I reached back and checked my shorts and found that they had pretty much disintegrated back there. Not a good situation. I rode back to the truck carefully, my day was over.