Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All Dressed Up and Ready to RIP

The straight carbon seatpost, scalloped brake rotors and delicately etched bashguard finally arrived and Steve, wonderful husband that he is, got the RIP 9 all dressed up and ready for the trails as a 2X9. I could not be happier!
All Dressed Up and Ready to RIP!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Niner RIPs!

As (bad) luck would have it, I came down with a nasty cold the very next day after taking the RIP out for its brief initial ride last Monday, so I could only lie on the couch and look wistfully at that beautiful bike and the pleasant weather all week long. However, this weekend I finally felt well enough to head out to the trail for a more extensive test ride, so this morning Steve and I joined up with our friends Ajay and Carl who graciously offered to guide us around Carolina North Forest. After 10 miles of singletrack boasting plenty of roots and rocks of all sizes, tough climbs, fast descents, tight turns, steep chutes followed by twisty wooden berms, skinny bridges and all variety of terrain and other nifty mountain bike trail obstacles, I can definitively say this bike RIPs!
The flowy smooth sweeping sections were even more delightful on the Niner than any other bike I've ever owned - and that is quite a long list, I might add.
The descents, roots and rocks just seemed to disappear under the RIP, and I have never felt so confident on any bike in the nearly 20 years I've been mountain biking. I never once had the sensation that the bike might not be able to clear any obstacle I tried, and I didn't give a second thought to just rolling right through sections that previously I would not have even considered trying to ride, like some of the skinny bridges with difficult angled entrances, rock gardens, chute type drop-ins, rocky rooty climbs and bigger logs that I normally used to walk.
The feeling I get riding the Niner is one of pure joy - this bike puts a smile on my face and gives me courage when riding that I honestly never thought I'd find. I found that rock gardens were as easily traversed as smooth dirt - this bike just seems to eat rocks, roots and logs for breakfast - and feels as stable and secure through tight slow sections as it does at speed on the straights. It corners beautifully, handles like a dream, and is just so easy to ride. It makes me feel like all I have to do is relax and enjoy the ride, so I think I will...

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Ride on the Niner

This evening I finally got a chance to take the new r.i.p. 9 out for a test ride and what a fun bike it is! I'm temporarily using a layback seatpost while I'm waiting for my permanent one so my seat is not exactly where I want it yet (although it will be soon!), but I can already tell this bike is a blast to ride.
The Niner's suspension is plush without feeling sluggish, easily handling rocks and logs, and the bike climbs surprisingly well too.
I had no problems even in tight turns, and riding whoop-de-doos on the r.i.p. was more fun than an amusement park.
Fry says the Niner gets four paws up, and I have to agree!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bike Build - Day Two

This evening the wheelset and fork arrived, so Steve promptly got busy with Day Two of the bike build. First, the fork, bar and stem:
Straightened and adjusted properly:
Brake and shifter levers and cables went on next:
After the cogset was attached, the rear wheel was put into position:
And the chain added:
Adjusting the controls:
Derailleur fine-tuning:
The finished project:
Fry thinks the RIP 9 is awesome:
I think it's pretty awesome too!
Can't wait to get out on the trails.

Bike Build - Day One

With the arrival of my new Niner RIP 9 frame, the build began this evening. Fry was quite excited when we brought the box in.
The frame itself is quite frankly a work of art in my humble opinion.
My goal:
You're doing a good job Daddy!
Pressing in the headset:
Next, the bottom bracket:
Isn't it lovely?
Time for the cranks, pedals and temporary chainrings - I'm switching it to either a 1X or a 2X once I decide which I prefer.
Rear derailleur:
Rear disc brake. The front will go on once the fork arrives.

Front derailleur:
All finished for Day One - Many thanks to the Best Husband Ever for working late into the night on this. More to come with the arrival of the fork and wheelset.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Enjoying The Ride

It's been a slow process trying to regain years of lost fitness and bike handling skill, but after several months of heading out to the trail almost daily, on albeit slow and short rides, I'm finding that old joy gradually but surely coming back.

With the assistance of course of my constant biking companion, Fry, I'm quickly gaining confidence on sections of trail that had previously always unnerved me.

Even on the hardtail, I'm finding it easier to relax because riding is fun for me again.

It almost feels like floating sometimes...

Or gliding...

And nothing beats having my best buddy at my side. :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Sweetest Thing

Our little Fry never ceases to amaze me. When Steve and I arrived back home from our trail run with the little man this evening, we saw that one of our neighbors had gotten a new 9-week-old Boxer puppy named Beanie and had her out to meet everyone. Fry, being the social butterfly that he is, of course wanted to meet her too, so we walked over for a visit. The two of them got along immediately, so we invited Beanie over to our fenced back yard to play. Even though Fry, at 48 pounds, is significantly larger than Beanie, he was the absolute perfect gentleman and played so gently with her.
They ran around the yard, and Fry showed Beanie how to chase a ball, He tried to teach her how to pick the ball up by its handle, but she was still a bit too small to do that yet, so he just patiently waited while she pushed it around.

Beanie jumped and climbed all over Fry and he was perfectly happy to let her use him as a Jungle Gym, rolling around on the ground with her, and then very sweetly guiding her back to her feet with his front paws when she flopped over.
I was amazed at how sweetly Fry played with the little puppy, demonstrating the softest "Lab mouth" I've ever seen. He reminded me so much of the way our precious Zoe used to play so gently with little doggies.
Since Fry is much quicker and stronger than Beanie, when they ran around the yard in a game of chase, he made sure to allow her to "catch" him often and happily let her dictate most of the play, never getting annoyed or irritable, no matter how much she climbed on him, barked or play-growled. This is the first time we've seen Fry interact with a baby puppy this young and I'm so proud of my sweet, gentle, patient boy - he really is a treasure.