Monday, March 6

The 2nd Maxxis Appalachian Summit: Days .5 and 1

Towards the end of my five hour drive down to Mulberry Gap on Thursday, I started getting texts from The Pie.  A "structural engineer," our landlords, and the contractor who "fixed" our bedroom had a meeting that afternoon.  The topic was the hump in the floor.  The floor in our bedroom. The bedroom we're still not back in yet.  It's been almost five months.

I was in the mountains in Georgia where phone signal is hard to come by.  This situation needed discussion.  My phone needed to navigate.  We talked in between the turn-by-turn directions and dropped connections.  Then I lost signal entirely.  Welcome to a relaxing long weekend.

I checked in, unloaded my gear at the cabin, found out that I could indeed ride a demo Pivot, went down to select a "whip."  So many squishy and shifty bikes to choose from.  So many wheel sizes.  So many knobby options.  Only one of these tho, so I take it.

No drooper, but I'd always wanted to ride one of the newer LES frames, so fuck it. Compatibru with 27.5+ (front and rear), internal drooper rooting, more than 1.5lbs lighter frame than my Stickel, Boost, dope swinging dropouts... it's got a fair amount of what I'd want in a bike (aside from ten too many gears).  Shod with a Minion DHF+ front, Rekon+ rear, this will do for day one.

Dinner, beer, wake up extremely dehydrated in the middle of the night but too lazy to slide out of the upper bunk to do anything about it.  Rough night.  Self-inflicted.

I got up and made my way directly to the coffee.  Life started to turn around.  Breakfast brought me to normal levels of being human.  Get changed and wait for the first shuttle.

Pinhoti 2.

We got dropped off in two giant groups almost at the top of the climb.  The sorting process began and we got to hit it twice (shuttle again, sure and please and thank you) before riding back to camp. 

And now it's time for our presentation.

I don't remember the order of the presentations over both days, so I'll jump around a bit.  We got to learn about what a tire is made out of, the science stuff, the engineering stuff... the cool stuff.

A reproduction of the special Aspen that Nino Schurter came to Maxxis asking them to make for him.  For the Olympics.  Oh, just Nino giving up his Dugast tubulars because he wanted the absolute fastest tire... like anywhere.  Normal Aspens weigh 565 grams.  If this thing was over 450 grams, it couldn't have been by much.  Yes, I asked.  No, they wouldn't tell me.

And he didn't flat... on a tire that weighs almost half as much as my Ardent 2.4 front tire.

Anyways, with the presentation over, we were off to another shuttle run.  We headed much further out to hit Bear Creek Spur to Bear Creek.  I fell in with Scott Williams from Dirt Rag and his girlfriend, Jess.  We decided we wanted more out of the ride than just the descent, so we looped around and hit the descent down Bear Creek again and then returned back to camp VIA Pinhoti 2 sans shuttle.  Odd thing being that once again, I forget how easily a pretty short route around here can stack up some serious elevation, and my one water bottle and no food plan was not very bueno.  My brain was fading badly before we even got off the final trail with some garvel still between us and dinner.  Doh.

Eat and then another presentation.  We learned so much about rubber compounds at this one. I discovered that while there is a vast difference in squishiness between 42a and 70a compounds, they all pretty much tasted the same.

I handed my bike back to the guys at Pivot, and although I coulda swapped to a squishy bike for tomorrow's rides, I wanted to stick with the LES.  I was really digging it, and they agreed to put a drooper on it, so I wouldn't have to drop the saddle manually like it was 2003 all over again.

Beer, hot tubs, beer... beer.

I was in for another thirsty night's sleep.


Anonymous said...

Need more feedback on how you liked the plastic frame.

dicky said...

I'll be doing that when I wrap things up about the event for sure.