I actually pulled my ’97 Ventana Marble Peak full suspension mountain bike down from the rafters, got it sorted-out so it would be trail-ready, and then paid my first visit with it to the Allatoona Creek Mountain Bike Trail today!
I’m almost embarrassed to say, the last time I rode my Ventana Marble Peak was on June 3, 2000 when the Blanket’s Creek mountain bike trails off of Sixes Road in Canton, Georgia first opened.
Now, to be fair, Debbie and I have done a fair amount of off-road riding on our Ventana El Conquistador de Montanas off-road tandem since June of 2000. In fact, we’ve gone through two different Ventana tandems since then! Our oh-s0 awesome, never should have sold it translucent red ’98 Ventana ECdM with it’s polished Stratos FR4T fork (left) and then our ’02 Ventana ECdM in Superdust (right) that good friend Alex Nutt at MTBTandems.com put together for us.
Anyway, today’s adventure was designed to check-out the Allatoona Creek Mountain Bike Trail to see if it might be off-road tandem-friendly for a future outing with my sweetie on our Ventana ECdM… yet another great bike that has not seen much use in the past few years, but far-more use than my Marble Peak. In fact, it was a bit of a wake-up call getting back on the relatively “short” single mountain bike after spending all of my off-road miles on our 7′-long off-road tandem for the past 12-years. I’m thinking we’re good-to-go for giving the trail a shot on the tandem. There are a few tight sections where some trees might catch Debbie’s handlebars and there are a few berms that might catch the boom tube, but overall I think we can have a pretty good time on the basic loops. Debbie even seemed somewhat enthusiastic about the prospects of getting back on the Ventana so that’s pretty exciting! I really enjoy hitting the trails in the winter and have very fond memories of our off-road tandem rally weekends.
I must confess, even though I didn’t have my sweetie with me, I had a ball and was really impressed at how well the somewhat long-in-the-tooth Ventana Marble Peak held-up. Even though it’s essentially a new bike with less than 50 miles, it received a rear shock update a couple years back, but the Rock Shox SID fork is easily 10-years old. But, even being a bit less than fresh, the bike worked incredibly well. The SID fork is still running the original fork oil, but it looked to be in good shape when I pulled the caps off and changed-out a leaky valve stem on the negative pressure cartridge. Sadly, the Shimano 9 speed trigger shifter pod was FUBAR so I had to pull an XTR 8-speed trigger shifter pod, XTR rear derailleur and an 8-speed XT cassette out of the parts bin to get the transmission working, and went through three tubes in the front tire before I found one that didn’t have a bad stem.
Just a good day!!!