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...