Having backed away from my destructive attitude towards the Ripmo I discovered that most people cover their new toys in all kinds of protective shielding. I made an appointment with the bike shop to have them outfit the Ripmo with all the protective stuff. Think iPhone protective plastic but all over your bike.
Whenever the bike goes to the shop I take a detour to ride Green Canyon. It’s one of the popular if not the most popular trails in the local area and for good reason. The climb to the top is constant but gentle. Turn around and the trail is forgiving, fast and flowy.
The Ripmo is not amused and yawns for most of the climb. In the chunky section it roars to life. It’s overkill. It’s smooth like a Cadillac and tackles everything with minimal effort. It might be because I road my svelte Bianchi yesterday, it might be because the mellow climb never really tests the climbing prowess of the Ripmo, or it might be that I’m sluggish this morning but I do notice the extra bit of weight that comes with the heftier frame and longer travel. If you’re hoping for a place on the Strava leaderboard an XC bike is going to be your tool of choice.
Where the Ripmo eats the XC bike is on the last ¼ mile of the trail. By this point you will have lost your spot on the leaderboard but you can laugh as you watch all those XC riders carry their bikes. Green Canyon mountain biking ends at the Mt Naomi wilderness boundary. The lead into that point is a series of steps constructed of fallen logs and one tight rock section. I was stoked. The Ripmo was stoked. I slammed the front end into the rock step, we rose together. It was impressive right up until I couldn’t quite make a sharp turn and rode out of the trail. My bad. I backed the Ripmo up for another run and then did the same thing. On the third try we rose over the rocks and hit the corner just right. The log steps that followed were nothing for the Ripmo. Have I mentioned how good this bike is in technical climbs?
Having spent an hour climbing I could now be excited about the descent. I effortlessly tore down over the steps and the rocks. Then I hit the curves and for some reason totally lost my flow. It might be that the grass was waist high and I could only see 10 feet of trail in front of me, it might be that my body wasn’t feeling it or it might be that I’m still not dialed in on swooshing back and forth on the Ripmo. It was fun. It just wasn’t ye-haw level synergy with the bike.
I guess it might also be that you go faster on this bike without feeling intimidated by the speed. I was almost done with the ride when I passed a fat bike and a guy on an Intense. That gave me a shot of confidence and stupidity that I carried into a short rock garden. I was blowing through it when I remembered I was taking the Ripmo in to get coated in protective things. My concentration blown and my concern now shifted to not scratching the paint. I miscalculated the last rock and BOOM stood on end and went 100% vertical. I was headed over the bars when my brain was like no way am I scratching this sucker. A quick shift in weight and both our rear ends smacked into the ground. I totally avoided any scratches at the expense of my dignity.
Today I rode tired and timid. The Ripmo smells fear. It does not behave under a tired and timid rider. Ride it hard and it will excel under the pressure.
The ride – Green Canyon