so.i've been practicing riding bicycles on gravel and sand and rocks and through water and in other places where it is both generally uncomfortable and impractical to ride bikes. It's fun. In the process i have fallen off a few times, punctured my ego many times and my skin once.
anyway, i thought i would share with you, my dedicated readers, what i have learned from my brief foray into riding dirty in socal;
1) in a 3 hour mtb ride i did not pass a single piece of sheep poo, or indeed a single sheep, nor was i, at any point told to "slow down" by someone in knee high socks - this all confirms my suspicion that "we're not in Wales any more jimmy". Sadly this also means there were no welshcakes.
2) cacti, are spiky
3) disk brakes are mega, mega is an adjective (and for that matter so is gnarly)
4) the cut off jersey makes you feel faster (and scar bigger), the mountain dew makes you feel like you fit in (the high blood sugar makes you feel like you don't), the beer afterwards, that just makes you slower
5) mountain bikers are really nice, they'll give you advice and they very rarely come flying up the inside of a corner screaming "inside" in much the same way that i imagine Kamikaze pilots used to shout "Banzai"
6) as far as i am aware, there is no "zone 2" on the trails, this is good, very good
7) tubeless wheels are great (hello road bike wheel manufacturers)
8) i'm not an expert in camelbak operation, in fact i seem to be an expert in creating "camelbak blowbak"
9)that wasn't a trail, it really was a drainage ditch
10) when you get lost off road, nobody can hear you scream (and worse yet your phone can't find you on googlemaps)
11) embro is frowned upon - this is not cyclocross (although i imagine frites are shared between the disciplines)
12) yes, that bottom gear looks ridiculous, so are some of the hills
13) it's a whole different diabetes game (more on that another day)
14) you can't run your road position on an mtb, no way
15) mountainbikers are winning the "how many gears does your bike have" race, their bikes also have suspension. no child will ever be 10% as impressed with your roadbike, children don't get aero, they do get gnarly