In general, I don’t love things.
I love people; I love places; I love activities, memories, and journeys. But things? Things are good only for the utility to foster euphoric externalities. I would rather make do with less than do less with more stuff. Things like multiple pairs of shoes, pants, devices just never get me jazzed.
Even in the bike world, I am never one to fetishize a new innovation or invention, and I am almost always the last one to pony up and adopt it. For me, cycling has never been about the bike, the bike has only been the important in its ability to get me as far out as I can get.
Then I got a Trail Donkey and my perception of the power one bicycle could have changed. Over the last year, starting with the madness at the Sugarcane 200 as my first ride on it, and continuing through the road team camp I just completed, this one silly little bike has fundamentally changed my life.
I am sure that this news is all too unsurprising to all of you – it’s inherently unnoteworthy whenever any sponsored athlete makes bold claims of a certain equipment’s superiority. However, I cannot help but believe that this endorsement truly comes from a place of transformative joy, and so this endorsement will not be a claim of superiority, but instead an ode to the instrumental worth my Donkey has given me; a celebration of a truly eloquent master of none.
That is fundamentally, the power of the Trail Donkey. Not in its supremacy, but its profound dexterity. One moment, paired with deep wheels and some slick, narrow – or not so narrow if you’re true to its spirit – tires and you have a bike that you’ll mistake for your new favorite road bike. I found myself in this precise situation in the desert of Tucson, Arizona, and ended the week with 600 miles of amazing tarmac riding.
The next moment, slap those beefy boys into the roomy interior of the Rodeo Lab spork and let the Trail name shine. Trust me when I say the capabilities will astound you, just as I learned on my week two miles high in the sky around Silverton, Colorado. Reaching, rumbling, and rodeoing my way through rubble that would stop many machines in their tracks, but terrain the Donkey handles will chundery aplomb that brings giddiness to even the most forlorn souls.
But, even though the polarization is what conjures up the most visceral memories of the bikes capabilities, it is the spectrum of excellence – the grey zones in which the grandest spontaneous adventures transpire – where the Donkey takes all the cake.
For some, these in between adventures are hardly wonderful. Either they lack the efficiency of a road ride or lack the absurdity of a proper mountain bike ride. Yet for others, they serve as true bastions of cycling’s capacity as a tool of varied spontaneity. For us, these untethered adventure rides serve as murder mystery novels, throwing us as many variables ad they do views.
With the capabilities of the bike to digest rides that dwell in the grey area comes some gnarly side effects. From time to time, a Donkey journey man will find themselves outgunned. Whether you are stuck deep down a jeep trail reduced to rubble in Bozeman or stranded with some holey tires on a darkening Ozark back road (the Quoc running shoe review is coming soon) the misadventure comes with the thrilling capabilities of the machine. And while at the time the ten-mile run through an ink black wood may not have been my favorite moment, the confidence to take myself in to those positions in the first place make the return tips feel like beautiful tales of redemption normally reserved for story books.
That mentality is what Rodeo Labs is truly about. It what is meant with the phrase #rideexplorecrete. Ride the bike. Explore what you do not know. Create a better life.
Love your angle and prose, Logan! Really enjoyed it. Thanks.