Ian and I played tour guide today for a ride at St Ed/Finn Hill, our local wooded stomping grounds. Fellow bike nut and work pal, Brian, scheduled to met us, along with his pal Rob - new to mountain biking, but has been hitting the road a bit and comes complete with a BMX background at no additional charge. Brian and Rob are also band mates, playing in a band titled Fall on Fall. Brian actually plays in a few bands - pretty cool.
When Ian and I headed over to the park, cloudy and 63 degrees - a nice break from the 90+ degrees we experienced last week. I bike commuted almost every day last week and was dragging by Friday. Took two days off and today I felt pretty good. We gave Brian and Rob the full tour, about 12 or so miles of fun singletrack. Newbie Rob did just fine, as did Brian. Despite a mid ride upset stomach, Ian rode great today. He has a habit of almost draining his entire Camelback in the beginning of the a ride (burp). He wound up with a 15 mile day, almost all of it singletrack. He continues to impress me with his riding, especially for a 10 year old. That's my boy!
My 29er experiment also continues and I dig more after every ride. I'd now consider myself converted - for hardtails - there's no going back to 26" wheels. The 29er rolls faster, feels smoother, and is more stable. Sometimes on a really tight switchback, you can feel the extra length - but not a big deal. For my alleged riding style, it all works great. This was maybe my 10th ride on the rig and it's flowing nice. I can even wheelie it now, which felt a little weird before. Overall, I'm totally digging the 29er deal. Yabba Dabba Do.
After heading home, we checked out the other Tour - the real one - as in France. Watched the Verses coverage and Lance take a beating - 3 crashes in one day. I don't think Lance crashed 3 times in the previous 8 Tours. In any case, he is out of the running now - many minutes down. It was cool to see Andy Schleck take the stage win and Cadel Evens get a yellow jersey. Lance will presumably work for Levi now, who is still in the GC running.
Seeing Lance continue on in his battered and beaten state, actually makes me more of a fan then when he was untouchable. Say what you want about him - the doping allegations, only focusing on the Tour, whatever - the Lance version 2 has proven to be the real deal, bad-ass, pro rider. I doubt we'll see anyone else pull off 7 Tour wins in a row anytime soon - if ever. In some ways, Lance is the Eddy Merckx of our generation, and there's no denying what he's contributed to cycling - especially in the U.S.
I for one, will miss him in next year's Tour.