In order to maintain optimal fitness one must often "keep the body guessing" by switching up exercise routines. Well, as the dog days of summer come the mind begins to yearn for something more than endless gravel and twisty single track. Enter the Salsa Beargrease.
A sudden Facebook message from Salsa friend John Gaddo included a request to "hook up" as he would be in Duluth for a Salsa demo. John wanted to ride. As luck would have it I had a light day at work and some flexibility to accommodate him. We talked on the phone and I instinctively started to talk to him about sweet single track near my house. He politely interrupted me and asked if I'd seen the Beargrease yet. "Uhh...only in pictures", was my response. He went on to ask about possible beach riding in the area. I got excited, this was just what I needed. A plan was hatched and he had a Beargrease for me to ride.
We met on Duluth's Park Point, made some quick adjustments to the bikes and we were off. Immediately, I felt the bike's aggressive stance, but I honestly could not get over how light it was. Seriously, this thing comes in at the weight of a full suspension XC bike (actually lighter than most). I felt right at home on the rig. I recall telling John that I felt like I was riding a hard tail race bike that just happen to have really wide tires. I could start to talk about head tube angles and geometry specs, but I'd be making it all up. Truth be told I don't really understand all that stuff, that's why when I'm hanging out with my Salsa friends like Pete, Joe, Sean, and Tim I do a lot of nodding, smiling, and profuse amounts of agreeing. I guess I "feel" bikes, I don't always know what I'm feeling, but I know if I like it or not and I liked this.
I met John last year in Spearfish, SD and we hit it off right away. We agreed to get in touch whenever we were near each other's home as bike riders often do. This was a good thing, because John is the type of guy you can hop on a bike with and find yourself riding all day. Twenty minutes into our casual ride down the beach I wished it could have been all day. We laughed as John timed the waves in an effort to get around logs and I mistimed them soaking my feet. I wondered if he questioned my sponsorship with Salsa as I dabbed over and over again in the loose sand while he cleaned the same sections without breaking conversation. I could see that John has spent a fair amount of time on a bicycle.
We stopped at the end of the "point" for our version of a photo shoot, secretly hoping Miker would use one of our shots on the Salsa site. Once John disclosed that he wasn't as good of a photographer as Mike Riemer or Jason Boucher I admitted that my photog skills consist of pushing the button on the camera constantly and hoping that I get lucky.
I told John that if we had all day I would be sure to send him home with a permanent smile on his face, but we only had about an hour and a half. Thing is, when I jumped back on my Warbird, shook his hand and rode away we were both smiling.