24 July 2012 - 9:09It’s All Downhill From Here
Since none of us were around or free for Father’s Day, we had all agreed to postpone our annual ride until a time more convenient. I spent Sunday with the usual suspects at Sugarbush Resort. We thought it might be fun to hurl ourselves down the mountainside at hight rates of speed on bikes with gobs of suspension.
It was fun.
Except I was the first one to remember why full face helmets are such a necessity for this aspect of cycling. Being on a strange rental bike that wasn’t set up for me was only part of the problem. The other part was poor piloting skills, but the result was swift and severe. I lost the front end exiting a turn, and my face hit the ground at alarming speed. My hands never even left the handlebars. It took me a minute to get up, and when I did, I found that I had ripped my shirt, scuffed up my belly, and scared the crap out of myself. Not literally, but it did take me a few minutes before I could pull myself together and hop on the bike again. In retrospect, it was probably a good thing I had my confidence shaken so early in the day, as I kept the rest of my runs on the conservative side.
Besides being a banged up rental bike, the Banshee Scythe was actually a blast to ride. It was equipped with a Boxxer, and some sort of Marzocchi rear shock which had about 4 different knobs on it that did precisely nothing. The brakes were a 4 piston Hayes something or other that had terrible lever feel, and barely adequate stopping power. The front end was too firm, the rear to gushy but it didn’t stop us from riding some of the steepest and gnarliest stuff we’d seen in a long time. It’s amazing what these bikes will allow you to do.
Reveling in the trails we were riding, we all agreed that we could each use a new bike, something big slack and heavy, and most importantly, set up correctly for it’s pilot. Of course, downhilling is an expensive sport. Not only do you have to have the bike and equipment, you also need access to lifts. And the time to ride it, which is something that none of us really have much of.
Still, off in fantasy land, I picked myself out a real nice bike.
I used to race DH on a GT STS back in the day, before upgrading to an Ellsworth Dare. But I had always wanted a Schwinn Straight 8. I always thought that thing was pretty boss. These frames were made in Colorado by Yeti, and Yeti made some of the nicest stuff on earth. So I decided that my fantasy DH bike would be a no holds barred 303.
It comes in black.