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By Andrew Juskaitis, VeloNews technical editor
A funny thing happened last week – my house almost burned down. Well, to be perfectly honest, the Jamestown fire that started last Wednesday morning burned to within about five miles of my house in the Boulder foothills. Other than worrying about losing everything I own, and possibly getting burned alive in the box canyon that encloses my place, the experience was quite enlightening.
I say “enlightening” because the unpleasant situation afforded me less than an hour to evaluate all my stuff and decide what to cram into the back of my little Volkswagen. Sure, grab the important documents and family photos. But what next? I’ve got a ton of bike stuff that I would hate to see burned up. My cherished Santa Cruz Blur (which isn’t technically mine, but on loan), my favorite off-road shoes, a custom painted helmet. All those things are great. But in the end, they are all replaceable.
What I found myself frantically searching for wasn’t the pricey road bike or high-end wheelset, but instead my first “real” jersey and dilapidated Slingshot frame (which I received when sponsored by the company a decade ago). In went the genuine signed John Tomac Raleigh poster. In went the Greg LeMond-autographed Time sticker. I had to grab my original Tioga T-Bone stem and Grafton Speed Trap pedals. Oh, and couldn’t forget my cherished pair of Marinovative decelerator brakes.
Running back and forth between house and car, it became clear I wasn’t grabbing the “expensive” items (except for my nearly irreplaceable Pet Shop Boys CD and vinyl collection), but instead the “worthless” memory-laden items. The toolbox my father gave to me when I first developed an interest in cycling. My first workstand. The scratched sunglasses I received as an award from my first mountain bike race. Not worth much on Ebay, but priceless to me.
Overall, it was a pretty hectic hour. Pack up the car, hose down the house and hope I’ll see it standing when I return. Thankfully, in my case the fire never reached my neighborhood. But 12 other residents of the area were not so fortunate. My best goes out to them.
Many California residents (including some close friends of mine) either had even closer calls or lost out to the ravaging wildfires. Unfortunately, more than just property was sacrificed – firefighters and civilians alike lost their lives in the blazes. My sincerest condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the maelstrom.
My point? Next time you’re rummaging in your garage or closet, take a minute to consider what you’d grab with only minutes to spare. It’s a great way to put your material possessions into perspective … and maybe reflect a bit on your most cherished cycling belongings.
Magura now offers high- and low-speed compression damping for its line of suspension forks and rear shocks. “Albert Plus” allows the rider to adjust actuation points for both the high- and low-speed compression damping circuits on forks and shocks. Albert’s genius senses the rider’s speed and direction force impact to actuate the suspension based on either the high- or low-speed setting. This technology is designed to offer both sensitive and generous travel on fast downhills and stabilizes suspension to eliminate dreaded bobbing during climbs.
Albert Plus technology is available on Magura’s suspension forks, including the Thor and Ronin forks and Draco and Odin Plus rear shocks.
The oversized Thor Freeride Fork features the Albert Plus technology, 32mm stanchions in a carbon-aluminum casting with dual arch crown, a steerer tube available in two dimensions and a thru-axle. The travel is adjustable from 150 to 110mm; weight 2600g. MSRP $999.
The Ronin air-suspension fork, featuring Albert Plus technology, 30mm stanchions, disc-brake mounts and a triple-bolted crown, is oversized and ultra-stiff. Travel is 80-110mm; weight 1595g. MSRP $599.
The Draco rear shock for freeride and downhill features seven different adjustment possibilities and coils over rear shock with piggyback in addition to the Albert Plus high- and low-speed compression adjustment. Travel 45-75mm; weight 950g. MSRP $579.
Finally, the Odin Plus rear suspension air shock with auto-inflate negative air chamber and damping unit is super lightweight at 290-340g (depending on length) and super rider-friendly with the Albert Plus feature. Travel 31.2-50.5mm based on length. MSRP $399.