A Weekend Full of Surprises

This past weekend was my 40th birthday, and what a great time it was. Shannon surprised me big time with great friends and family in a beautiful Chalet up at Mt. Washington. She posted about that part of the weekend yesterday, so I want to talk about another surprise I had.

I really didn’t know what I was in for, Shannon was amazing at keeping this weekend a surprise so when we got up to Mt. Washington I tweeted where we were and how awesome it was. Lucky for me Teresa and Colin tweeted back welcoming us to their awesome part of the Island and agreed to show us around the kickass Cumberland trails…YESSSS! After a great breakfast with friends and family we headed down the mountain for a good old dirty time.

As we were pulling into the parking lot I noticed a tent and was kinda bummed because I thought there may be a race on and that some of the trails would be closed, but to my surprise the tent was for the Devinci Bikes demo day.

What else do you need, bikes and bread. This guy was pretty awesome.

As we got out of the van to unload the bikes Mitch the awesome Devinci rep said that we should just leave them and take one of their sexy new steeds. After thinking about it for a bit Kyle took out the Atlas and I took out the Dixon, we decided we would switch back and forth a few times to get a feel for them, little did I know that there would be some issues with that decision up on the mountain.

Mitch set up our bikes and then told us to go have fun…and that we did. I started out on the Dixon as we started pedaling up to Bear Buns. It’s all logging road and a bit of a slog but but the bikes pedaled quite well, then we saw there was lockout and pro-pedal (something that I have never used…I usually buy the simple set it and forget it type of suspension bits), I was happy to get any help grunting up the roads as possible.

At one point I caught up to Kyle and he said “I used to think that it was all the person that rode the bike…but boy was I wrong.”. The Atlas was a big departure for him, he is used to pedaling a Knolly Delerium up the hills, so having a more XC oriented rig that was lighter, had a granny gear and lockout was eye opening to him. He was cruising up the hills faster than usual. The Knolly is an amazing climber, but it is more of a FR bike and the Atlas is a XC/Trail machine. The Dixon was a good climber too, a lot like my Rune, just likes to be pedaled up the hills without much fuss, but I wanted to see what Kyle was smiling about and so we made the first trade of the day.

The Devinci Dixon

I had never ridden a fully 29er so I was pretty stoked get a chance to see what all the hype was about, after years of reading so many “expert” opinions on the Internet it just was great to be able to actually get some time on one. We chatted about the new steeds for a bit and then started pedaling up the mountain again. Right away I can see what Kyle was talking about, this bike loved to be climbed. It could be the super short chain stays, the lockout, how light it was, or heck even those big ol’ wheels chewing up the gravel but whatever it was, was nice and I could almost keep up with Kyle on the Dixon which is saying something, I am not fast when fighting gravity.

Once we got to the top and rested a bit we swapped back for the ride down. If you look at the numbers on the Atlas it does not look like a bike that wants to be shredded down a tight, twisty and steep trail like Bear Buns, but right from the beginning I lost Colin and Kyle as they carved their way down the trail.

I ran into a few issues on the Dixon, mainly the brakes were brand new and I am used to running Saints, the Avid Elixirs just can’t compare and I lacked the confidence when things got steep.Then I played a little tree pong, nothing like high speed tree hugs. After that I settled into the bike a bit more and felt the flow of the trail, I loved how the Dixon felt, a fast and confident descender.

The Devinci Atlas

Once I caught up to the rest of the crew we started chatting about Kyles thoughts on the Atlas so far and he was very impressed “It just wanted to go faster”. Huh…this trail is the epitome of what people say 29ers should not excel at, but here is one of my 26″ riding, freeride loving friends saying that it just wanted to go faster than he would usually go. The more he talked about it the more I wanted to ride it, but he did not want to give it up, thank god it was my birthday as I don’t think Kyle would have let me have it otherwise.

At this point we went back up the hill to ride lower Thirsty Beaver and I was stoked to see how these big wheels would handle not only the tight, rocky, and rooty, flow of the trail but my big 260lb ass and hack riding style. Right off the bat, I was thinking..well so far this is like any other bike, huh…those roots were pretty easy, wait how did I get going so fast there? Then came the awesome bridge, just amazing work by the trail builders, the hardest part was not falling off because you just wanted to take it all in. Once off the bridge things got fast and flowy and I could feel what Kyle was talking about, it just wanted to be ridden faster and harder. I am used to a beefy 6″ AM bike and this was  a 4.3″ Trail bike, and I was not missing the extra almost 2″ at all.

After Thirsty Beaver we headed up to one of the newer trails called Slick Rock, this has to be my favourite trail of the day. There were tons of little lips to pop off of and it was just fast, flowy and fun. Whoever said 29ers were not playful has not ridden the Atlas, this bike loved to pop and play and was easy to lift up the front end to place the front wheel wherever you wanted it.

Have the “Internet Experts” on the forums who feel they need to tell people that 29ers are not good on tight twisty singletrack or not playful even ridden the newer 29er trail bikes? I think if they threw their legs over one of the new breed of big wheel bikes they would change their tune. The Atlas was one of the most fun bikes I have ever ridden. Yes I only got to ride it for a few hours and can not tell you how it will last long term, but I can tell you that it is a really fun bike that likes to be ridden hard and has really opened my eyes to how awesome 29ers can be.

Teresa rockin’ up the mountain, awesome to ride with such great people, thank you both for being awesome!

If you want more info on the bike check out their webpage and if you see the Devinci tent in your area, go ride their bikes you will not regret it.

Thank you to Teresa from MTB4HER.com and Colin from CVMTB.com for showing us around the awesome Cumberland trails, it was awesome meeting you both finally, we could not have asked for better guides for the day. I can’t wait to get up to your hood again soon!

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