One Word: Fun

Patrick and I are planning a 3-day mixed-terrain mini-tour for this Friday-Sunday, so we decided to do a shake-down run of our respective gear, and dragged "One Bike Dave" along for good measure. After coffee we hit a few hills in Cherokee to get the juices flowing and then started the Cherokee trail loop, I on my Sogn, and Patrick and Dave on their Fargos.

I hadn't done any trail riding on the Sogn nor had I done any on a rigid trail bike in ages, so it took me a bit of time to relearn to not barrel through roots and rocks and to modify my line and speed to fit the confines of the rigid fork, much less not wanting to tear the front end of the Sogn; I think it is/was designed for some off-road riding, but I have the feeling more for gravel and open California style trails instead the roots and rocks that populate KY and mostly anything in the East. Admittedly we all had some trepidatious moments, but as the ride lengthened, I found myself having more and more Fun. No, it wasn't a 'Strava' moment pushing the limits and garnering ribbons (and competition-laden pride); it was just fun, challenging riding with some fitness thrown in. PJ and Dave were both learning the limitations of the Fargo design. The dropbar mtbike is optimal for gravel and long days in saddle, but not necessarily the best position for the slinky, tight turns on Cherokee. The 29er size would outroll the 650b in a gravel race, but it proved more challenging to muscle the larger wheel (unsuspended) around the many rock and root sections we found. It's interesting, too, to ride with folks without as much trail experience as I have. Which is to say, I'm not fast and not particularly skilled, but I have been riding the trails of the 'Ville now for 20 years or more, so I simply have a bit more experience. It was fun to see them gain confidence and speed and daring as they became more comfortable on their machines. At one point, Dave was having a challenging time clearing an early trail, but we kept dragging him along "one more" trail. He finished with us and I think cleared the later trails with more confidence than the first. In a way, it's too bad neither of them has a suspended cross-country rig like my C'dale. We could crush it. I think we're motivated to hit it again, perhaps a bit more prepared for pure trail riding and without all the tour baggage.

As for the Sogn, I'm calling it the 2.0. The pic below (not, not very good) shows how I intend on running it this upcoming trip. The cockpit is controlled by the Jones bar with Ergons and Pauls Thumbies. Frankly the cockpit was perfect for this morning's ride. I'm using 2.25" RacingRalphs for my footprint, again just about perfect for the trails, and I'm satisfied with how they behaved on the road and on the trail. As a bonus, the rear end fit the 2.25s with plenty of room to spare. Impressive. The rear rack sports the tired Nashbar mtbike panniers. They're a bit small for a tour, but I think will suffice for 3 days worth. I'll use them for clothes, tent and food. The Tangle bag on the frame will sport tools, extra water, and odd-n-ends. The 2 Mtfeedbags up front will hold one for snacks and other for camera. I'm thinking of using the front rack for my sleeping bag inside a dry bag.

I was incredibly pleased with the Sogn's ride this morning and look forward to three days worth of beating around. Should be great.


Pondero said…
The Sogn looks great, and its good to see Dave out in the woods too.

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