|The leaves of ten years ago.|
Ten years ago, trail riding was still dominated by 26" wheels. That's amazing when you think about that. The longest travel, mainstream suspension fork for a 29"er had 4" of travel. There were oddball efforts with longer travel, but these were rare. In fact, I was using a 120mm travel Reba, which at the time was the long end of suspension fork travel for any 29"er.
My.....how times have changed! Now days anything with two wheels going off road is available with 29"er wheels. 26"?
Ask anyone ten years ago if 26" wheels wouldn't be available for trail, much less DH, in the near future and you would have been run outta town. Just ask Chris Sugai of Niner Bikes. He could tell you.....
The image used today was from a mid-week ride ten years ago on Camp Ingawanis' North Side. These trails are largely unused by cyclists today, and as far as I can tell, it will remain so unless there is some movement by the Boy Scouts to invite cyclists back again. That's really a shame for the locals here. Of course, Ingawanis Woodland, the trails formerly known as "The South Side", when the BSA owned that parcel of land, is a fantastic resource, but those old North side trails were technically more challenging, faster, went "cross country", and had far more variety than anything on the South Side. Just one trail, the old "Broken Finger" section, was ten times more challenging than anything on the South Side. But, yeah...... I could talk for days. Only those who were on those trails can really understand what it is I am trying to convey here.
Obviously, I miss riding there. It was my choice to always do the North Side trails and then maybe do the South Side if I had the time. If you did all the North Side you were pretty tuckered out. There was more mileage there, (even considering today's Ingy trails which didn't exist back then), and the efforts required to do all the North Side were more taxing too. It was just all-around more fun.
At least I had the opportunity to taste what that was like a lot ten years ago. I am very grateful that I did get that chance.