|Overnight trip to Robert Cota's 2016 Bikepack Extravaganza.|
One mountain bike? Hmmn. One bike to confidently and comfortably ride single track of all kinds. Short local jaunts. Afternoon excursions. Day long explorations. Overnight adventures. Multi-day expeditions. One mountain bike? Casual cruises. Group rides. Events. Races. One mountain bike?
Why not? That's how I started out, more than a few years ago. That's how most everyone started out.
|My Black Mountain wearing the effects of the 2017 Robideaux Quick and Dirty gravel road race.|
What would that one mountain bike look like? Back in late 2015, I started to wonder. Then I started to research. Over the course of more than a year and a half, I studied reviews, reports, blogs, forums, press releases, web sites and anything else I could find. I asked loads of questions to lots of different cyclists. I rode as many different bikes as I could. I pushed the fun limits of the Black Mountain, unloaded and loaded, on rough roads and trails. The options expanded quickly, narrowed gradually, and expanded again as more bikes appeared on the market. Mountain bikes, fat bikes, plus bikes. 26 inch, 27.5 inch and 29 inch. Drop bar, flat bar, not-sure-what-it-is-bar. One or two derailleurs, internal gears, single speed. Chain drive, belt drive. Even generator hubs. Every combination imaginable. This was going to take some time.
Meanwhile, I adored the Black Mountain monster cross, prompting me to further thin my herd of bikes from 11 to 3, leaving just the Black Mountain, a rigid single speed and a fixie. I also shed some other weighty possessions, including a room sized home gym and a 40 year old four wheeler. I downsized quantity to upgrade quality.
Then, about a year ago, I found it. Maybe it found me. It wasn't love at first sight. It took time. But I just kept going back to it. All the others lost their luster. Eventually, I committed.
The one mountain bike for me. And now it's on its way here.