Alright, Alright.... Alright! Where do I begin. First off I'm going to apologize about the lack of pictures, I'm a nub and forgot the battery to my camera at home so I couldn't take shots of the trail or riding. So I'll just start with a quick run down of the weekend and then a ride report, then a bike review and any other tid bits I have left.
The weekend started on Thursday for me. We pretty much we cleaned up the house, got the everything packed and hung out with Jerry. I had to take my car in for a noise from the rear tire. Yeah that ended up costing me $560 to get the wheel baring replaced. At least it is running well now, lets hope that stays the case for a long time to come. I need some time to recover from the last 3 months worth of repairs. I also got my new bars put on my bike. Answer AM pro tapper 720's and they got put to good use but more about that later. We dropped Jerry off at the kennel about 430 and ate dinner and hit the sack early as we were leaving at midnight to head to Tulsa.
Midnight came early, really early. The drive wasn't actually that bad. We got there about 10am and putzed about the town for a while and checked into the hotel, which was really nice, and crashed for a couple hours. That evening we had a the rehearsal since Kelly was in the wedding. It was my first rehearsal and it wasn't actually that bad.
Saturday I got to sleep in a little bit. Kelly had to leave at 7am to start doing her wedding preparation stuff. I woke up at about 830am, grabbed my stuff, filled my water bladder, hopped in the car and was off to find Turkey Mountain! It was time for the maiden voyage of the Reign deuce! After the ride I went back to the hotel sat in the hot tub, stretched out and tried to crash but I couldn't fall asleep. About 4pm I headed over to the church for the ceremony. It was a pretty nice ceremony. Short, how I like it. Then it was dinner time. Fettucini, lasagna and spaghetti was on the menu, along with some good beer. Not the usual cheep beer like Miller lite, thank God! haha. Over all it was a good wedding.
Unfortunately with the day light savings time we lost an hour of sleep. So we went to bed at 12 or actually 1am and got up at 430am and hit the road at 5am to make it back home in time to rescue the pup from the boarding place! It sure feels good to be home, it was great to see the pup but I'm not looking forward to going back to work. The weekend went way too fast.
Alright, the place is called Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness and it is located on the river bluffs of the Arkansas River, right in the heart of the city of Tulsa. It was about 8 miles from my hotel. I don't have a lot to compare it to but it was like nothing that I've ridden. It would kind of be like riding on the superior hiking trail. It was super rocky, with a fair amount of roots, steep short climbs and some fun down hills. There is a sign with tree loops on it that were marked. A 1mile, 3 mile and a 8 mile loop but on top of that there was a spider web of trails shooting of in all directions and criss crossing each other. It was kind of confusing and it felt like I was lost most of the time and riding and re-riding the same trails, so I started following a couple guys and they were cool with me tagging along. It was like a Giant bike reunion, one guy had a '09 Anthem X 1 and the other guy was on a '09 Trance X 2 and I of course was on the '11 Reign deuce! It was pretty fun riding with them. The guy on the Trance wasn't all that competent of a rider. He told me he just started last summer and mostly rides road, so it was to be expected and of course he was rocking clipless pedals and almost killed himself a couple times. The other guy was a pretty good rider. Riding was pretty fun when I was riding behind him, we got to rip at a good pace and flow through all the rock gardens and I mean lots of rock gardens! It was pretty much all rock garden. Nothing like the trails I've ridden around here. It was rock gardens non stop, on the climbs on the descents on the flats. I'd have to say it was about 80 rocks gardens and 10 roots and 10 smooth flowy single track. If was a blast though and if you had decent kung fu you could really put the braap down. Unfortunately when I was behind the dude on the trance he stopped in the middle of about every other rock garden and really killed my flow. At the end of the ride with them was a killer down hill which I finally got to let the Reign's 6inch mastro suspension loose and man I was not let down but more about that in a minute.
I was pretty shot when I got to the parking lot but I didn't want to call it a day yet. It was only 11am and I had all day to kill so I took about a 20 min break and hit the trail again. I decided to go explore and was really flowing, pumping through rock gardens launching off some rocks and then bam the trail was gone. It was completely washed out, so I had to decide if it was worth hiking back up the trail I just ripped down or hike up the steep. I chose the steep, it was way shorter but damn it wasn't easy with a 30lbs bike on my shoulder, haha. Not too much longer after getting back on the trail I ran into a group of riders and they were super cool and said I could tag along with them. It was fun riding but I ran into similar issues as with the first guys I was riding with. The group was riding too close, so if any one messed up in the rock garden everyone had to stop and it was almost impossible to get restarted so I ended up walking some of the rock gardens I was sure I could ride. The other issue I ran into was that they were in a bit better shape then me. They were all road riders and have been riding in AZ and TX for the last 2 months and it showed on the climbs but all but 2 of them need to pick up a Lee McCormack MTB skills book because they had no skills when it came to flowing or descending. I would ether rip by them or have to ride my brakes and couple times almost killed my self in the rock gardens since I didn't have any momentum! But I couldn't stay in the front because I couldn't keep up with them on their climbs, probably had something to do with there cardio and might have something to do with them all riding XC 29ers but I was holding my own most of the time. Over all it was a great place to ride. I was told it is the premier mtb spot in all of OK. So if you get a chance ride Turkey mountain do it, it's worth it and I'm so glad I brought my bike down. Unfortunately now I have to just look at my bike in the basement till the snow melts, haha!
WOW!! the bike was amazing, it did everything Giant claimed it would do and even exceeded my expectations. I would never have guessed it was a 6inch travel bike, it climbed like a machine. I would like a hydraulic dropper seat post because I ended up riding with the seat post slammed most of the time because it wasn't cool getting nut slapped on the descents and it was a hassle moving the seat post up and down so I was standing most of the ride which my have lead to some premature leg fatigue, but that's ok. So it climbed like a champ and ripped down hill, the rear end ate up the rocks, roots and any other bumps like a champ. I never bottomed out and it felt very plush. The rear end tracked great through all the rough stuff and I felt in complete controle the entire time. The 67deg head tube angle and 6inches of travel were definitely confidence inspiring. I felt almost invincible on the downhills. I can't wait to shred all summer. It was definitely the best investment I've made in a long time. I'm so glad I went with the 720mm handle bars and the 70mm stem. It totally made the bike handle like a champ. There was very little to zero noticeable pedal bob. I feel like I had the rebound and psi at the right spot. I had the rear shock at 3 clicks from wide open and about 180psi, and the fork at about 160psi and about 5 clicks from wide open.The bike weighed in at the bike shop at 29.7lbs which was only 2lbs heavier then the '10 anthem x 1! and it felt super light and very nimble! The only things I would change would probably be to add a dropper post, which probably wont happened this year. They are just too expensive. The other would be to drop the top chain ring and add a bash guard and maybe put a chain guide. I didn't drop a chain but a couple times I was surprised I didn't. Over all the bike is amazing and everything I was looking for. It isn't a XC machine or a DH sled but it can hold it's own doing both and I plan on testing it in both fields this summer.
On that note, there are a couple DH races I am considering doing. The first is at the Cuyuna Rec. Area Grand Opening Ceremony happening on the weekend of June 10th thru 12th, it's located near Crosby MN and the other is at Nordic Mountain in WI on the weekend of June 18th and 19th, probably wont be able to make that one since we are going to Tennessee for that week after and I'm not sure when we are leaving, plus it's pretty far away. I'm not really planning on doing a lot of racing this summer simply because of the budget short falls caused by my car breaking so much. We will have to see how the money situation is when the time comes! As for now, lets hope the snow melts soon and the flooding is minimal!
Keep it real!