You'd have thought that a bike as swish as the Yeti ARCC would be out-of-the-box perfection. Like bananas to Eric, I would be transformed into a biking Bananaman, setting the world on fire with my bodacity.
It didn't quite work out that way. Until the boffins create a bike-building android, you'll always have the pesky factor of human influence and operator error. The sum of a tremendous frame and perfect components from the gurus at Silverfish was a head scratching, frustrating month.
When Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder got together we all had it down as a match made in Brat Pack heaven but despite all the tattoos, it all went tits-up. Me and the ARCC started our relationship in the bickering phase; all blaming, nit picking and name calling that nearly had me heading back to my ex. Luckily, Rockets and Rascals run a counselling service headed up by Dr. Scrappy. After a few sessions of so-called 'Rusty Love', we were finally man and machine in perfect harmony and the Yeti had bloomed.
The ARCC's strengths are well documented, and the reviews usually contain a 'but', normally followed by the words, 'stiff', 'harsh', 'unyielding'; you get the picture. This is no sofa. On that basis, taking it to Wales for the first round of the Scott MTB Marathon series would surely be unwise, but at least it would be unwise and stylish.
We'd signed up for the 75km which in classically predictable fashion decreased as we approached the event. 75 became 68, then 65 and my Garmin actually read 60km at the finish line, which was only a ten metre roll away from the bar. While we are on Garmin factoids, those paltry 60km contained 6000 feet of climbing and what felt like 6 feet of downhill. In the first half hour I was marvelling at the view, grinning sheepishly at, well, the sheep and passing pleasantries with other riders. 3 hours later I was staring fixedly at the floor, muttering under my breath. I am also now the world's leading authority on grassy, headwind climbs. This was a day of relentless toil; even for riders used to Dartmoor suffering, this was tough.
But the bike? Against all the odds, the Yeti was a joy. My legs were mangled and my spirit was broken but the usual suspects - back, shoulders, arse were ship-shape and shiny. Next day I am as fresh as a daisy and reminiscing about my fave bits of the course. Those last ten metres...