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Showing posts from March, 2013

First ride: 2013 Diamondback Sortie 1 29er

I had another opportunity to head south for a few days, so I decided to go big and break in my new 2013 Diamondback Sortie 1 29er at Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama.

The loop at Oak Mountain is challenging and takes me four hours at a touring pace.  It has elevation, rock, roots, water crossings and sections of fast logging roads for a complete experience. I rode the course on two consecutive days, allowing eight full hours in the saddle.

Here's a rundown on some of the essentials:

I have to give a shout out to the folks at Fox. Send an email and within half a day you get a professional response from their tech experts. I had checked in to see what air pressure they recommend for a take-it-easy rider like myself; they responded "we recommend setting up suspension using the sag method so that when sitting on the bike in your natural riding position the suspension should compress approximately 25%. This will provide an optimum spring setting no matter what bike you are on.&…

You were a good one, Henny Ray

This is a day where I'm trying to force feelings into words and it isn't going well.  I'm reeling from the untimely death of my friend of the past 33 years, Henny Ray Abrams.

I first met Henny through Cycle News East, where I was associate editor from 1979-1982. Henny was our man on the scene in Europe; he lived and worked for United Press International in Brussels and on weekends covered anything that raced with a motor on two wheels.

Henny Ray Abrams was my portal to the world.  My first trips to Europe consisted of crashing in his flat in Brussels, then taking trains to other parts of the Europe. Truth be known, I was scared at first, overwhelmed by the cultural shift.  But I never feared when traveling with Henny Ray.  He had a sense of the world that was not to be equaled.  This guy was the ultimate global gypsy. It was not unusual for Henny to fly from New York to London, have dinner with friends, and fly back. Frequent flyer miles will do that to a guy.

When it comes t…