Saturday, November 12, 2016

Minus Ten Review- 45

Wow! An actual image from 2006! The first C'Dale 29"er model.
Ten years ago on the blog I was honored in two very special ways. The first was that our Cannondale Rep at the time, Evan Sayre, was kind enough to get me a demo bike which was the first Cannondale 29"er model, the Caffeine F-29. He didn't have to do that, and especially after I had given him no end of grief for C'Dale's lack of a 29"er model for a few years prior to this.

Thanks again, Evan, if you read this.

Anyway, the bike was actually pretty cool. It was my first experience with a Lefty front "strut". (Please do not call a Lefty a "fork") It worked really well. The hidden gem at the time was that the Lefty used a huge, (for the time) offset on the fork, which made the bike handle really well. It pointed to our current state of 29"ers that utilize the offset first promoted by the Gary Fisher Bikes company in their "G-2" geometry, which was 51mm. 

The Caffeine F-29 was a really great first effort, and the only real negative was rear tire clearances. Otherwise it was quite nice, actually. Look at the stem on that thing though! Looooong! Certainly not the fashion of the day now.

The second great honor I was to experience was that Jason Boucher and Mike Reimer of Salsa Cycles (at that time) coming down to ride with me. That was a messed up trip due to bad weather that came the day of the planned ride at Sugar Bottom. It started out with rain, then turning to snow. We ended up riding at the South Side of the Camp, (Now Ingawanis Woodland), and that was the first time I really explored that side of the Boy Scout Camp up there. I remember Miker saying that the place could end up having some spectacular trails. He had a clear vision of that, as today Ingawanis Woodland has become a destination riding venue for mountain bikers from the area and beyond. I'll talk about the South Side more in next week's "Minus Ten Review".

But the biggest deal coming out of that time with Jason and Miker was that I became friends with those two guys and that was a bonus that I forever will be thankful for. Looking back on 2006, it was a pivotal year for me and relationship making that lasts right up to this day.

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