Incidentally.... make sure you type that one in right. (No, Google, I wasn't looking for http://www.sexbike.com/ .... this time.)
My goals were pretty simple. Ride bikes all day... see some cool stuff... see some friends... and likely eat and drink to excess that night. I'd say I succeeded.
I arrived pretty early and of course my first stop was with Mike Stanley at NINER BIKES. Mike had organized this entire little event in conjunction with Brian from THE HUB down in Athens, GA. While this year was definitely a success, I think it's going to be even bigger next year. The February date is a little dicey, as it can be a total crapshoot weather wise... But we certainly lucked out this go round. Despite the wind it was pretty confortable and the trails were in decent shape.
After checking in and doing a round to see the vendors I knew, I grabbed one of Niner's RIP 9's for the first demo of the day. I had a blast. I'd forgotten how much fun a high quality full-suspension bike can be to play around on. As all I ride of late is rigid single speed I enjoyed opening it up on downhills and feeling the control that 120 mm of travel gives you. Climbing wasn't bad either. After returning the RIP 9, I started a binge of riding. I decided to ride things I don't typically hop on, so I did at least three 7 mile loops on some 26" full suspension bikes as well. I had fun throwing them around in some tight turns... and was starting to think that maybe 26" has it's merits. Then... I took out one of CYSCO CYCLES 29er singlespeeds belonging to a man named Pilsbury who sported a resplendent waxed moustache. That thing was as responsive and quick as anything in the corners. Best in show, without a doubt. After two hours of riding it, I was reluctant to give it back. I finished off the day (so I thought) with Niner Mike's personal AIR 9 carbon singlespeed, which tied the Cysco for responsiveness and crazy fun. (Though I don't know how on earth he pushes that gear. I typically ride a 34x19 and whatever he had on there felt STOUT. After changing back to my pedestrian clothes and having a few TERRAPIN Hopsecutioners, which went straight to my head... I went to hang out with friends Rich (Strauber) and Rich (Richie Rich), who were out hyping Stan's No Tubes. Then, at dusk, just as I was settling into being very drunk and very content with a full day of riding a total of seven bikes somewhere in the vicinity of 55 miles on trails.... I got coerced into going out on one more adventure with the No Tubes Richs's and Andy from NEW RIVER BIKES in WVA, who had something surprisingly delicious in a flask.
(the only picture I have for this post... stolen from Muddiman)I knew that this was on the razor's edge of a horrible decision... but damn... it sounded fun. So we went back out. At first I was having fun testing the edge of my sobriety on a full suspension JET 9... (SORRY MIKE... I forgot to mention how drunk I was)... but then things started going badly..... quickly. My extremely low caloric intake for the day started to catch up, my stomach began to revolt with its fluid contents, and I started to feel.... less than good, shall we say.
About three quarters through our second lap I made the declaration "I'm going to puke." Rich, Rich and Andy graciously waited for me to recover (though I never did puke) and then I sent them on their way as I shortcutted back to the demo site, feeling chagrined and a wee bit awful. Eating a donut of extremely dubious date that I found in my car, I immediately felt better and resumed drinking with the king of bad ideas, Dicky , as well as Chris Muddiman, and Andrea, who I'd seen at a number of NUE races but had never officially met (save for the time she stepped in to help a crew of us drunkenly set up Neil Reitzel's brand new and at the time endlessly confounding tent at the SM100.)
We sat for a while around an imaginary fire sharing stories and reminiscing about the many ne'er do wells, sycophants and remoras in the bike industry until I hit the food wall and had to find sustenance.
Strauber, Richie Rich and I made our way to Mellow Mushroom where we ordered 3 large pizzas, some pints, polished off our friendly neighboring tables full pitcher of beer and had fun guessing badly at bands on the surprisingly good XM radio station... a little My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and a little New Order.
(Cool story, Watts!)
I'll be back next year for more.... (And probably in an hour or so to give you actual details of the things at the thing. Because there were a few. Things, that is.)
Also... did you notice that I learned a new blogging skill? Making random words into links? Yeah... maybe I abused that a little in this post. I'm on the up and up with this technology thing.
Now... to make up for the fact that I took no pictures and thus had nothing to include in this save for other people's photos... here's a little bit of rad for you.