After cold, rainy Macon Georgia, I headed west to cold, rainy San Luis Obispo, California for a combined Rocky Mountain/WTB press camp. The agenda? Face time with WTB and Rocky staff to learn more about the latest tires from WTB and the 2008 Slayer SXC bike from Rocky Mountain. The drill? Presentation of the goods, lunch, then ride.
WTBâ€™s Wolverine is a general-purpose tire for what they call cross-country to all mountain terrain. Whatever, Itâ€™s 26 x 2.2 and has a light 60tpi casing for a weight under 600 grams. The tread pattern states its function with short knobs, fairly closely spaced for the widest variety of conditions and styles.
After the presentation, we walked in the rain to chow on BBQ and discussed the option of a nap followed by spending the rest of the day at the bowling alley. Bleak.
Miraculously, a window of opportunity opened up at 3pm. We hopped on some Slayers and rode some sandy, well-draining trails at Montana de Oro State Park, stopping for a photo shoot with shooter Forrest Arakawa. It had actually turned into a fine day and Forrest was able to get some killer shots of us riding as the sun went down.
On day two we spent a good bit of the day changing tires and watching the weather. The What? trail was the order of the day, starting with a major shuttle to some radio towers high up. This time Prowler tires were on tap, bigger, more voluminous, they sure came in handy on the rocks.
As for the bike, the Rocky Mountain Slayer is a 150mm, all-mountain trail bike. Whatâ€™s that mean? Itâ€™s all about balance. Up vs. down. Pedal up hills. Bomb down. A slacker head angle and the long travel kept me on course through baby-head shaggy followed by mud from hell. This is the kind of bike I like to ride. Tech feature is the interrupted seat tube, which keeps all the moving parts down low on the frame to improve maneuverability and quicken handling.
For the Dirt Rag photo gallery from the Rocky Mountain/WTB press camp click here.