Okay, so I'd actually had the bike for a week before the "Official" maiden ride. But on Thursday, the Stumpjumper was all mine. I could wipe out and scratch the frame and it wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't be happy about it - but it could happen. So I picked a trail I don't usually ride (like only three times...), invited Alicia and headed into the hills. Palmer trail and Section 16 was calling our names. It was the perfect trail and a perfect night for a ride. A beautiful quiet day on the trail, despite the full parking lot. We saw only four groups of hikers the entire time. It was also a great Colorado fall day, with a crisp chill to the air and brilliant blue skies. The trees aren't quite changing yet , but the greens and almost golds were vibrant thanks to the recent rains.
Alicia and I climbed up Palmer trail, maintaining a steady pace the entire time. It's a good climb, no super steep sections and nothing super technical. I tried to keep conversational effort and kept an eye over my shoulder the entire climb. After some major injuries, Alicia is getting her climbing legs back. We're a great duo for riding though, since she schools me on the downhills. Finally, we reached the top. Time for a leadership change - I yielded to Alicia, hoping to be be able to stay close enough to see her lines. For my fourth trip down Section 16, it was a blast. The Stumpy handled the descent like a charm and I was able to throw the Tonka truck wheels around without issues. Having handle bars the right size helped for sure! And while I wasn't able to keep up with Alicia, I made more of the technical sections then before. I just need to remember the fork takes the initial braking and I can't just cram on the brakes anymore!
And I kept the rubber side down, so it was a successful maiden ride. That first crash will happen - I know it. But until then... I'm going to enjoy my Stumpjumper. I'm not sure why we waited so long to get me a trail bike!