If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
It would be a titanium version of the Salsa El Mariachi 29 inch wheel mountain bike. I’ve been thinking about the viability of a ti version of Salsa’s new
Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
I have two steel El Mariachis now, and consider these words my initial plea for such a frame.
Do you already have any coveted dream bikes?
I find your use of the word “covet” interesting, because I was raised to not covet things.
The bikes I value most have a springy, responsive, compliant, absorbent ride quality that disappears under the rider, yet is at the same time engaging and inspiring to interact with.
In my life, some of my favorite bikes I’ve owned include the Bontrager Ti Lite and Race, which I still have in my collection, and my rigid green Salsa El Mariachi singlespeed 29er, which sits next to me as I type this. Another Salsa, the La Cruz disc-specific steel cyclocrosser is on my favorite bikes list too. It is perhaps the fastest, most versatile bike I’ve ever ridden. Believe it or not, the 2004 Klein Palomino, the 26-inch full suspension bike with a Maverick rear end, makes it onto the list too. It was an amazing bike.
Two of my current favorites -- my '08 El Mariachi and my '07 Dos Niner.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have owned and sold so many dream bikes, but I realized about four years ago, when I sold the pristine green, white and pink fade 1990 Klein Team Attitude that that I had supposedly purchased “for life,” that I am not the bicycle collector in our social group. I have friends that are way better at it than I am, like Nate Woodman, Mark Janike and Dave Chase, and while I appreciate what those guys are doing, and the iron they are collecting for the history it preserves, I simply don’t have the time, space or patience to do it myself. Thank God for those guys.
If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
What is this, a commie conspiracy!? Just kidding… You didn’t specify dirt or pavement, so I’m going to choose dirt, and believe it or not, if it weren’t for the two-way traffic, I could ride
What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride for the rest of her / his life?
… A sick individual.
Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow minded?
I typically ride mountain and ‘cross bikes – I don’t currently have a road bike built up. Hopefully with all of Salsa’s new road bike offerings coming down the pike, that’ll change soon!
Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent?
Back in my shop days, I test rode various recumbents we got in at Cycle Works, but I’ve never spent a great deal of time on one. It would take an injury that forced me off of a standard bicycle to ride a recumbent. I don’t have anything against recumbents. Far from it, in fact. I admire their grace and efficiency. That said, I prefer to ride dirt, and the weight distribution of most recumbents is less than ideal for stellar handling on gravel and dirt. Ripping singletrack? Not on a recumbent. And that’s what’ll keep me off of one more than anything.
Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Nope on both of these. I’m not a good swimmer, and that’s being nice.
Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
That’s not a world I’d want to live in… but since you asked, it’d be ice cream. I like bikes.
What hobby or passion could pull you or overtake your love of bikes if given enough time, money or resources and support from your significant other?
Aviation. It would be the realization of my dream of flight. They aren’t as far apart as you might think… Remember the Wright brothers?
What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it...
...Do you think the ability to have a support crew and base camp, and presence of the larger “community” at 24 hour, lap-type races, like the 24 Hours of Moab or any of the other 24s, make them more or less appealing to participate in than point-to-point (or big-loop) type races, like TransRockies, Trans Iowa or the Dirty Kanza 200, that don’t have support or a base camp?
This is something I thought a lot about recently as I rode at the 24 Hours of Seven Oaks. On one hand, I was riding these incredible trails, and they were manicured especially for us. I guarantee nobody got them in better condition than we did all season. That said, I rode the same trails fifteen times. 15 times! That’s a lot. But it was all singletrack, so that’s a definite check in the plus column.
From a sponsor’s perspective, I can see how the lap-type 24s are appealing too. They’re packaged well. They aren’t out there in the middle of nowhere. And the crowd/community aspect of it is awesome too. In
With point-to-point races, whether off-road or on gravel roads, the “middle of nowhere” feeling is definitely present and accounted for. From a racer’s perspective, if you’re the master of your domain in these races, it’s an empowering experience. These are the types of rides I love to do, so it stands to reason that these are the types of races I’d love to do. But it’s all about balance, and I think that if I can work a little of them all into my schedule, I’d be good to go. I know I can’t do that many solo-24s in a season – it just isn’t that realistic, so I’ve got to find something else to fill the time. ;-) The necessity of self-sufficiency and the focus on adventure are the aspects of point-to-point races that have strong appeal to me.