Sunday, September 14, 2008

JORBA Fest!!1!

I couldn't say how long it's been since I've gone out to ride trails on my mountain bike. I've ridden rail trails a couple of times and maybe even taken a few short cuts where I'm glad to have been on an mountain bike, but mostly my riding has been on streets.

Yesterday, however, I attended the first annual JORBA Fest at Waterloo Village. It was a great day with an amazing (and probably unexpectedly high turnout). There were bands playing, raffles, contests and much else on the concert field, not that I would really know- I spent most of the day in the woods on group rides on the great trails in the surrounding areas.

Honestly, it took me a little time to re-learn how to ride off-road. How to hold a line on uneven surfaces and how to clear obstacles took some time to come back to me, but thanks to my bike commuting, I was still strong and fresh when I finally started "getting it." I now remember how much I love riding trails and just how right a good hardtail bike feels.

Speaking of which, the people partaking in yesterday's festivities tended to have pretty nice shiny high-end gear. As much as I like the Fishy, early in the day, I found myself a little humbled by all of the full suspension, carbon fiber and state of the art bike tech. Sure, I saw other less interesting bikes, and maybe even a couple of older bikes, but it was still hard to get past the notion that the Fishy was just a little more odd and cobbled together than the other bikes in attendance.

That was until the rides started. Out in the woods I was reminded why I love that bike. It feels quick and lively like a steel bike should. It responds to what I ask. It just feels right.

At times I wonder if maybe it's just an OK bike and just happens to be the best one I've spent much time on. The complements I received from those who have been around lots of bikes for a long time told me different, though. This one is a keeper. It's not about shiny geegaws, it's about the ride.