Road Trip to Sun Valley & A Orbea Occam Demo!

Kathleen Crowley, our new Events Coordinator, took a trip over to Sun Valley to ride the Orbea Occam H30.   Here is her trip report with beautiful photos from John Slaugther.

Kathleen on the Orbea Occam 29er

Truth be told: I rode my first 29er ever last week.  Yes, that’s right.  I finally sold my thirteen year-old mountain bike this spring.  It was a beautiful relationship, but when the shocks broke, we were doomed.  I had no choice but to start demo-ing other bikes.

So…I decided to grab the Orbea Occam 29er H30 from the shop for a quick trip to Sun Valley.  I knew how sweet Orbea’s road bikes were, so I was excited to see how one of their mountain bikes would perform.  We arrived to nice weather in Hailey and it was getting late, so we took a left off of Highway 75 on to Croy Canyon Road.   Two-ish miles later, we took a right on Rodeo Drive and parked in front of Rotarun, a steep, tiny ski area on the left a half mile up.   A trail head was across the street, 75 yards up.

We rode up Two Dog, a chill singletrack with nice views over the valley.   From there, we descended down a series of two to four foot tall “rolling jumps” to the Bullion Connect Trail. This brought us over to Punch Line, a 1.5 mile stretch of BMX-oriented “pump track.”   Its S-turns really tested my skills and retaught me how to stand on my bike going in and out of corners.   Everything about riding the Orbea Occam 29er was new to me — the larger frame, the wider handle bars, the responsive disc brakes, the 29 inch wheels and its overall light weight.  Regardless, I took to it immediately.  I loved how I rolled over everything easily and how stable the bike felt going downhill.   I knew that there was more to come.

Gotta love the Twisties!


We spent the night at a very quiet Murdock Creek Campground, 8 miles north of Ketchum.   After delicious eggs and bacon the next morning, we drove south towards Ketchum and then another six miles to the Greenhorn Gulch Road.  From there, it was a short drive to the trailhead through some ridiculously majestic homes and scapes.   We embarked on a singletrack loop that took us up Lower Mahoney Creek, a relatively smooth trail with gradual climbs, to Lodgepole Gulch, which proved to be much steeper going up.   I liked the way the Occam 29er climbed.  It felt peppy and rather light.  I locked out both the front and rear suspension for these climbs and it really helped.  I didn’t lose any of the energy I put into the pedal.

After what was supposed to be a gorgeous view at the top (we were “misted” out), we began our descent down a loose, rocky section on the other side of Lodgepole Gulch.   Eventually, this let up and we were treated to a series of nice, flowy downhills before reaching the junction with Greenhorn Gulch.   Next, we climbed a grinder of a switchback hill up Imperial Gulch Trail and high into some cold rain.  But, thankfully, the weather ended up breaking as we began our descent.  What a downhill!   Long, beautiful stretches with perfectly planned turns nestled into the hillside.  I switched both shocks to the soft setting and dropped into what I could only describe as “nirvana.”  I rolled over everything, nary feeling a bump or a rut the whole way down.   I finally understood what everyone was talking about when describing suspension as “plush.”   The Occam 29er felt beyond plush, if that was possible?!

Eventually, our sweet 15 mile ride came to an end.  We celebrated with some chips and salsa, and a cold beer or two in the sunny, warm parking lot.  Whew, I was exhausted!   My long winter of “not doing much” because of injury had come back to haunt me.   I had to sneak in a little Recoverite just to make it to dinner.   But, I was so happy.   I had fallen in love with a bike.   Fallen in love with the different suspension settings on a bike, really.  I definitely needed to ride the Occam 29er again!   Unfortunately, though, the weather turned sour the next day.   We headed to Boat Box Hot Spring, just outside Stanley, and soaked alongside the river in a piping hot tub.   It was great way to end the trip and to rehab my tired, achy muscles.   Now, I can’t wait for the next ride!

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