When we started planning for All-City's demo day in DC, there was some debate over where we would have the demo, since within the District it's pretty tough to find interesting rideable off road trails that you can make into a loop. My favorite spot, Ft. Totten, has been my go-to place to practice for cross season, but to be honest, I like keeping the little trails there a secret, and I was afraid of blowing up the spot.
But to care is to share, so it really wasn't much a debate. Ft. Totten has grassy fields with trees you can wind around, a short gravel road, and even some singletrack trails through the forest: all conditions you would find in a typical cyclocross course. And upon further reflection, its hidden-gem nature is part of what All-City is about, so Ft. Totten ended up as the perfect staging ground to test the latest dirt-friendly steeds from All-City.
And All-City did not disappoint with their new cyclocross and dirt options:
The Space Horse, our favorite all-rounder bike, got a new color: British Racing Green, which is simply goregous in the sunlight. The venerable Natureboy single speed cyclocross bike got a disc update for this season, for better stopping power and modulation. The very limited (only 150 made), and very fun JYD is new territory for All-City. It's not quite a mountain bike, not quite a street bike, but somewhere in between, and a whole lot of fun.
Of special note is the Macho King, Limited Edition. Our shop is one of the lucky vendors to recieve one of the fifty Macho Kings LTD in the world, and boy are we lucky. If you've never ridden ultra-high quality steel with a nice carbon fork, you are missing out. This is one smooth ride. And that paint job? Don't even get me started.
Wilson and myself, both All-City devotees, got all excited and All-City'ed out and rode our Space Horse and Nature Boy to the demo course.
The BicycleSPACE macho man himself, Phil, took to a Macho Man Disc to charge through the woods. Those logs didn't stand a chance.
We made some PVC barrier to further simulate a 'cross course setup. Jake, a competitive 'cross racer himself, showed us how it was done, dismounting his bike and running over the barriers without losing any momentum. Wilson won the award for most jaunty hop over the barriers, as seen above.
Lots of orange blurs through the park. The Macho Man Disc and its various iterations, The Macho King, and Macho King LTD, were the crowd favorites.
For most of our demo riders this was their first taste of cross, and at the end of each lap they were breathing hard and smiling harder. Nothing but good times in the woods.
One thing I really love about the All-City bikes is that they have internally-routed cabling for the rear brake. Not only is it an aesthetically nice touch that gives the bike a cleaner look and distinguishes it from similar bikes, but it makes shouldering the bike a little more pleasant. In cyclocross, you end up shouldering your bike quite a bit, so for 'cross a clean top tube makes a big difference.
Who says steel bikes can't be snappy and responsive? Not Grace: Grace was so stoked by the nimbleness of the Macho King she couldn't stop talking about it all night. If someone wants to make her year, they'd get her a 46 Macho King. Just sayin'.
Another nice touch that sets All-City apart: signature singlespeed track dropouts featuring the iconic Hennepin Bridge of Minneapolis.
Thanks to Adam from All-City for bringing the demo fleet to DC; we had a blast getting all aboard the 'cross train!
We're thinking about making cyclocross rides at Ft. Totten a more regular thing. Interested in doing some weekly cross rides? Let us know in the comments.