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Exit, pursued by a bear.

2009 September 7
by Jim M.

I had a wonderful ride this weekend during our labor day visit to the cabin on the South fork of the American river in California. I decided to do an out and return ride from the river up to the ridgetop and back. Its about 1000 ft of vertical climbing over about 8 miles. Not something I’m even close to ready for on my road or mountain bikes, but on the Optibike I enjoyed the ride up and the workout that went along with it. In all, according to the handy dandy computer on the bike running in Fast Mode, I covered 17.24 miles at an average speed of 17.16 MPH in 59 minutes and 8 seconds. Average cadence was 80 (too low) and a maximum speed of 45.3 MPH. Finished the ride with the Red and Yellow LEDs glowing. Past the statistics is was a lot of FUN!

On my climb up a brown bear crossed my path. At first glance I thought it was a cub but the more I looked, the more it looked at me, and the more I tell the story the larger the bear has grown. I immediately started wondering, and looking, for where the rest of the family was. But no one was in sight so as the bear continued on his/her way I continued on mine. Luckily for me there was no pursuit.

The road was great, 1 1/2 lane improved mountain roads with great vistas. The climb was quite enjoyable. As I stated in my intro I’m looking up at the climbs with a smile. After reaching the summit I headed down the other side for a couple hundred feet of vertical, but wasn’t completely sure where the road headed so turned back up the hill and down the mountain.

The decent was a blast, maxing out at a touch over 45 MPH in one section, and I was being conservative not knowing the road well and having to share it with the occasional jeeps and sightseeing dune buggies headed the other way. The Optibike was very stable, the suspension and brakes working flawlessly.

Before reaching the river I spotted a bunch of ATVs parked at a dirt road going back up. I decided to take a detour and headed up. Loose sand and rocks. Having just (well almost) bombed the downhill on macadam I was curious how the bike would handle the change. I was very pleased to see that the change wasn’t even close to being a challenge for the bike. I was able to just cruise up the road under power of the MBB and my legs. With the MBB I was able to maintain speed in the loose sand and ‘float’ over the top of it. It was a lot of fun. Now this was again not to steep but again more than I’m ready to tackle without the Optibike helping me along.

I should mention that the ride down the dirt road was covered at about the same speed as the ride up. Again completely under control. Jim Turner did a fantastic job working out this bike. With each ride I’m just more and more impressed with the design and execution. His expertise as a designer and his personal experience on two wheels really shows.

Jim M.

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