2013 Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon EVO 29 on the lift line
Two ways to tell this story. One version is I big-ringed a 5-inch travel 29r to the top of Puke Hill and descended down it. Think that’s how others should do it too, like HTFU, and just climb it.
A view from Puke Hill
The other is I thought the bashguard, X9 moniker, and chain roller meant this bike was a 1 x 9 and rather then mention I’d prefer maybe another gear or two for the ascent to the top of Puke, I just pedaled. This is how mountain bikers do it these days, I thought. Ned and Todd Wells were in sight and having established some cred the previous night in the cross race, didn’t want to lose any by announcing my pussyness needed more gears. So I pedaled and breathed in a mantra that keep me out of the asthma attack zone. Up to 10K ft of elevation, I kept pedaling and breathing. Also wondered why I had a weeks worth of rations on my back in a hydration pack. Later, upon discovering the Evo has TWO chainrings and geared like a tractor, the ride was even better!
Amateur hour, I know, but the hard climb and fun descending was why I was out there in the Wasatch Hills pushing myself and skills. I’m a roadie back on the mountain again. What I rediscovered was I don’t think about work when I’m on the trail.
Other side of Puke Hill with the Solitude Resort in the distance
After some singletrack cut into the side of a hill and a few rollers, we arrived at the Spine. I walked the first section like an old man with a walker. Then my hands hurt through the big root drops cause I was holding the brakes the entire time. As we got lower down the mountain, my confidence increased and I let the bike flow like it was designed to do. The 29r tires rolled over roots, rocks, and big drops into creek beds. This is what Gary Fisher told me these bikes were all about once. He was right.
Autosag and stuff
Bouncing into the parking lot at the end of the trail, I punctuated the finale of the ride with the words
LIKE A BOSS!
And wanted to do it again with Ned.
Puke Hill is a local favorite and here’s my GPS from the ride.
Also see what Pinkbike thinks of the Evo.
For the Puke Hill ride, I took photos with my iPhone and the lens kit. Spesh provided the high-rez photo of the rear shock.