My old mountain bike was a K2 that had been used by a pro racer. It was a great bike 12 years ago. I had a hunch that bike technology had made big strides in the last decade or so, and went in to see Bryce at Tam Bikes in Mill Valley. By that time I’d given up the idea of a road bike (I live on the edge of wilderness, so why spend any more time than necessary on pavement?)
But I was still fascinated by carbon fiber frames. Bryce, owner of the store and also one of Mt. Tam’s top riders, told me he’d gone from carbon fiber back to aluminum and had me try out his bike. Wow! What a change. Apparently motorcycle tech has infiltrated bike tech, so there are disc brakes and air shocks. I ended up getting a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, with front Revolution Rock Shox and rear Specialized Fox shocks — all adjustable for degree of shock absorption desired. It’s got 30 gears. It’s about $2400 retail, kind of mid-range between lesser bikes and the $5000-$8000 range available to Marin County bike nuts. Big investment for me but way worth it.
It rides like a dream. I get excited just thinking about getting on it. Looks like I’ll be riding a lot more from now on. Way easier on the knees than running. Yesterday afternoon I rode about 5 miles north along the coast. The ocean was silver and glassy, day before the storm. On my way back, the biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen bounded across the road and disappeared in the coyote bushes.