Today I spent a little time with an old friend...my Haro Xeon. I'm not really sure why I haven't ridden this bike in what seems like ages, but it certainly had a thick layer of garage dust on it along with a couple of not-quite-flat-but-close tires.
When go to take a ride, it goes something like this: I walk out to the garage and stare at the bikes on the wall for a few minutes. Then I decide which bike I feel like riding based on whatever trail I plan on going to.
This morning, I actually picked the super-sonic pink Sonix off of the wall, but discovered the front brake needed to be bled. OK, I'll bleed the brake. After pouring a bunch of mineral oil into the caliper and watching it flow through my little makeshift bleed kit hose after a series of lever pumps, I closed the bleed valve and capped off the resevior only to find that brake fluid was seeping out under the cap. After opening the resevoir back up, I found that the seal was roached.
Since I sort of value having a front brake, I had no other choice but to choose another bike. I've been spending a ton of time on either "big wheels" (650B or 29er) and my road bike, so I really wanted to ride 26" full-suspension. My trusty Xeon is the only other squishy bike I own at the moment, so off the wall it came and went straight on to my roof racks.
I headed out to Daley Ranch; a nice little trail system about 30 minutes south of me in the foothills of Escondido. Sure, a 6.3" travel bike is a bit much for those who are familiar with Daley Ranch, but there aren't too many 6.3" travel bikes that climb as nicely as a Xeon.
I can honestly say that I had forgotten just how much fun that bike is to ride. The Xeon is classified in the "all-mountain" category. A few of us at Haro agree that it's a downhiller's cross-country bike. This bike has admittedly been a bit of a challenge for us...people either "get it" or they don't. It seems that the "lycra set" just doesn't quite understand the slacker seat angle and the longer travel. Those of us who have more of a "gravity " background think this bike rules.
Daley Ranch is sort of mixed bag of climbs (some are particularly nasty), rolling single/double track, and some rutted-out technical downhill sections. What I love most about my Xeon is the fact that it's just so damn comfortable in wide variety of terrain and riding conditions. Even though it's been a couple of months since I've ridden a squishy bike, I felt right at home on my Xeon. I was having so much fun on the bike, I ended up riding far longer than I had anticipated. That's OK...what else was I going to do? I really didn't have anywhere I had to be, so I might as well just ride.
During my drive home, I kept thinking about how nice it was to visit my "old friend" and enjoy a nice ride. I think my Xeon will be seeing a lot more of the trail in the very near future.