Mountain Bike Ride Near Scout Mountain

Trying to look like a real MTBer.

A few months ago, a couple of friends of mine, Dan and Darren, expressed their yearning for a mountain bike ride, so being the avid cyclist that I am (or try to be), I agreed to come along.  I’ve never been very good at mountain biking for several reasons:

  1. I weigh 200 lbs, so I am not optimally designed for hill climbing.  Dan and Darren are a couple of lean, mean, climbing machines.  Yeah, skinny dudes.
  2. My bicycle, a Motobecane 300HT (see cost me $199 on Ebay back in 2007, had a 28 tooth granny chainring and a 28 tooth large cog.  Yeah, not the best for climbing steep grades.
  3. Besides not being a big fan of climbing steep grades, I also don’t like descending them, unless it’s paved and I’m riding my favorite road racer.  Descending trails around Pocatello usually means bouncing over roots and rocks, and trying to avoid deep ruts and other nasties.  I’m not exactly an adrenaline junkie, ok?

But I went along anyway because I love riding bikes and exploring the great outdoors at the same time.  It’s awesome.

We began the ascent on one of the trails near Scout Mountain (I forget the name), and things were lovely.  It was a not-too-steep trail through some shady forest, and we were having a great time.  And then about half way up the trail, things got a little more rough and steep.  Then we eventually encountered snow (welcome to spring in the Rockies).  Trudging uphill through deep, sloppy snow and mud proved to be very difficult.  It made winter commuting through urban Pocatello to work every morning seem not so bad.  I would spin out in the snow, tip over a little, and feel the goo seep into my shoe.  I wanted to head back, but my nutty cohorts were enjoying themselves, so we made our way through.

After reaching a bend in the trail, we decided the few hours of climbing we’d done was enough and that we’d head back.  As to be expected, the adrenaline junkies sped down the trail and were soon out of sight.  I meandered my way down much slower, with my ass over the rear of my saddle, and my fingers carefully pumping the brakes.  Oh crap, a root, a rock, aahh!  Oh snap, here comes another tricky part.  Blargh, mud, slippery, gah!  Ah, whew, some straightaway section… gah, more tricky stuff!  I’m sure some of you can identify with my trail anxiety disorder.  I only fell off my bike three times.  :-)

I was so damn glad to see the entrance to the parking lot.

Windsor Cliff 4300

So, anyway, I recently sold my Motobecane 300HT along with my Dawes Lightning Sport.  Yup, it was time to push out the old and buy something new!  I’ve been wanting a mountain bike with lower gears and some disc brakes!  I want the lower gears so that I can climb easier without fatiguing my legs so much, and I want the disc brakes so that snow doesn’t muck up my brakes in the winter time.  Introducing the Windsor Cliff 4300.  It’s got a 22 tooth granny gear, a 34 tooth big cog, and some cheap-o disc brakes.  I’ve been warned by a few people about buying cheap disc brakes, but I really can’t afford a bike with nice disc brakes right now.  If I decide I hate the cheap ones, I’ll just replace them in the future.

Stay tuned for my future review of this bicycle!

3 comments to Mountain Bike Ride Near Scout Mountain

  • impy

    Don’t get disc brakes at all…I hate em.
    Mine has disc brakes and not even cheap ones. (magura).
    Still hate them.

  • Meh, I’ve heard all kinds of good and bad things about disc brakes. It all depends on what you’re used to, your skill at adjusting/maintaining the brakes, and what brand/type you bought. Just like any other component :-)

  • RainMelon

    I love my disc brakes! I think one of the great benefits is that you can set the cables a little looser to make them feel similar to a padded brake. When I am on a distance ride I usually tighten the cables up and take advantage of the quick braking abilities of the disc, but on the mountain I loosen them to make it easier to move slowly. I have had these brakes for 6 months and they have not been negatively affected by my adjustments. I will give it a few more months and see what the outcome is. =)

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