Trusty old mountain bike is today’s ‘townie’ |

Trusty old mountain bike is today’s ‘townie’

Scott CondonAspen Times Weekly

I was thrilled the other weekend when someone asked about my old mountain bike. It was kind of like having someone ask about a child who has gone off to college.I ran into three other riders on a trail on the Crown. One of them was a really good rider named Mark who sold me my prior bike earlier this decade. Mark gave me a good deal on a Ventana hard-tail racing bike in 2000 or 2001, at a time when I desperately needed a new bike but didn’t have a lot of extra cash. I recall that I paid $800.The bike was a classic in its day. It was super-light and stiff, so it was a climbing machine. It has Shimano XTR components, Marzocchi front shocks and a saddle with a shock absorber, although I don’t know if that really did any good. The coolest thing, however, was the color, affectionately known as “Toxic Green.” Think neon Gatorade.The bike is kind of like a favorite old dog. It doesn’t get out much anymore, but I love it just the same. It was relegated to a hook in the garage when I bought my latest mountain bike two years ago.Now, the Ventana serves as my “townie” for trips over to City Market or a dash to the Willits General Store for an emergency Peanut M&Ms fix.It’s weird to sit in the saddle of the Ventana these days. The dimensions are a little different than my current bike, so I feel much more upright. The old style of brakes are squishy after growing accustomed to disk brakes on my current bike.Mark couldn’t believe I still have the old bike, but I reckon I’ll keep it around for a while. It’s good for the first ride or two of the spring on the Rio Grande Trail, when you know the cold, snowy weather is coming back so you don’t want to commit to your road bike.Besides, I can’t bear the thought of ditching the Toxic Green

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