Sophie's Choice

I am suffering from what I hesitate to call, yet can’t resist calling, because I love to use the phrase, and I think you love it too, Sophie’s Choice. And no, I don’t think it’s right to use the holocaust for my own personal amusement, and yet, what, what are you gonna do? It’s out there now, I called it Sophie’s Choice. History will be my judge. Or rather, Elden will be my judge. Hey, he’s the one who left me with the keys to the site while he left for New York City for the week to see the Empire State Building and Spamalot. I’m the one doing him the favor right? And who’s watching out for you, dear reader? Nobody, that’s who.

Anyway. Here’s my dilemma: Fall Moab 2006 is fast approaching (well, it’s in November, but still, seems like it’s right around the corner, a speeding freight train coming right at me). And while I have ridden my Surly Karate Monkey singlespeed almost exclusively for the last two years, and while I have openly declared my intention of riding Leadville next year on a rigid singlespeed (because it’s there), my Cannondale Gemini, with its 6 inches of fork travel and 7 inches of rear travel, sits in my garage and plaintively calls to me.

The siren call is not so much about gonzo downhilling (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I feel like I can downhill just fine with a short travel fork, or even rigid fork, Fatty’s travails notwithstanding), but about technical riding. At Fall Moab 05, I sat and watched while others tried and scored on the zig zag move on Slickrock, while others made the cave hill move, while others made the triple stair on Gold Bar Rim. And by others, of course, I mean Rocky. And I had to sit there and watch, and mumble “I made that last year.”

Now, I will be the first to admit, if you pull my fingernails from my fingers, that Rocky is the superior technical rider. There, I said it. And yet, to sit on my single, and watch him make move after move, well, I’m not getting weepy or anything, but geez. It sucks.

On the other hand. Riding Moab on the single was a rush. Slickrock is made for singlespeeds. As long as you stick to the little white lines. Which we haven’t done in, oh, ten years.

But when you leave the trail, look for ledges, especially multiple ledges with twists and turns, well, that requires a bit of finesse. That may be fine for the likes of Kenny, or Brad, but I’m not that talented, I need mechanical advantage.

Alright, I’ve decided, thanks for listening. Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to get the Gemini into the shop (that’s the next dilemma, which shop? I’m kind of between shops right now.), get her cleaned up and non-squeakified, and ride her the rest of this season, up to Fall Moab 06, to get back into the groove. Then I’ll sell her, transform the Karate Monkey into a rigid speed demon, and ride that all of 07 getting ready for Leadville.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Thanks for working me through that. The check’s in the mail.



  1. BotchedExperiment

    Revolution bike shop. Locally owned. The owners work in the store every day. They sell and work on more c’dales than anyone around, and they are a rider’s store.
    I know a guy that’s selling a sweet Giant Faith. Look on SLC craigslist. Give me the Gemini, upgrade to the Faith, and then we’ll go DH’ing at Deer Valley. Now THAT is one hell of a plan.

  2. Unknown

    many things jump to mind.
    1.  is it sopie’s choice, or is it sophie’s choice?  is there a twist there that i somehow missed?
    2.  why did fatty give you the keys?
    3.  rigid single in leadville, huh?  ouch.
    4.  did you really use the word "gonzo?"
    5.  racer is likely emotionally injured at the "in between shops" thingy.
    6.  fall moab should be fun, what with you cleaning everything in sight.  you have the move kavorka.
    7.  i located a few new moves on the gbr at spring moab ’06.  you will likely like them.

  3. Lofgrans

    Better then a shop, get a good independant mechanic. Its cheaper, its quicker, and you’ll get personal attention. I know a guy who’s been a bike mechanic for 10+ years. He’s also a cat 2 rider and once won the now defunct (sp?) 8 hours of Ogden mtb race, so he knows his stuff. Not to mention, he could use the $$. He just also happens to be the attractive man in the picture with me. Email if you’re interested.

  4. Random Reviewer

    I’m doing Leadville too next year, only I’ll be on my cushy full-suspension bike. My goal will either be to set my personal best or to break 12 hours, depending on whether I get into racing shape and lose weight (or, as they say on the internet, "loose" weight — when did everyone forget how to spell "lose"? Answer me this, Mr. Dug, Mr. Answer Man, Mr. I’m Hijacking Mr. I Don’t Want to Write Anymore’s Blog).

  5. Fat Cyclist

    rocky, i have a hard time giving racer up, but he’s become geographically difficult. i mean, it’s like a day’s drive to his shop.
    i’ve been frequenting, to my chagrin, contender bicycles, in slc. i say "to my chagrin" because this shop is too shiny by a wide margin. they have signs that say "don’t ride bikes in the shop." they have friendly, helpful personnel. in short, they’re like no shop i’ve ever been in, and i find myself out of place and uncomfortable. i can’t stay there.

  6. BotchedExperiment

    I went into the new Timp cyclery near American Fork the other day. They have all these bitch signs up all over the place. "Please don’t get the bikes out of the racks or mess with the shifters or brakes and parents, don’t let your childeren. . . blah blah blah." Such crap. Are you telling me that you’re selling bikes that can be damaged by someone shifing the bike while it’s sitting in a rack?
    P.S. Bob, are you going to Fall Moab? ‘Cause if you aren’t going, there’s no way I’m going; I don’t want to be left alone with all those loosers.

  7. BIg Mike In Oz

    Pssst.  I know a guy.  Don’t go to a bike shop.  I’ll IM him, to text me, so I can email you, then we can get our people to call your people and organise an initial sit down to decide on the terms of the relationship.  If everyone’s comfortable after all that, we can perhaps do coffee and see if the colour of your bike suits the decor of his repair stand.  With any luck, if the wind’s blowing the right way, and the planets are aligned, and he gets all green lights on the way in, we should be able to book your bike in for about 6 weeks time.

  8. Kenny

    dug,  It’s not fitness, it’s the fact that your bike is 10 pounds heavier than mine or brad’s bike.  I’m going to ride a 20 tooth cog on gold bar this year.  My goal is to do the tripple move on the single.  You guys should do a single rigid team this year at the 24 hour race.  Get fatty to sponcer you. Think about it.

  9. Jsun

    Why did Rocky call you Kervorkian?  Do you help people ‘off’ themselves via dangerous and off-trail riding in Moab? 
    Since you have stated that you will be riding out of bounds and FC will give the full details on your little Moab party, your plan now is to give me the Gemini before I call Ranger Rick and narc on your party’s escapades.  Or is that Icecapades?

  10. BIg Mike In Oz

    Botched – You forgot to tell Jsun that Rocky is also out of bounds.  Everybody asks him to stay out there (or away from them, at least) just in case his Karma flairs up unexpectedly.

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