So when Specialized said they wanted to introduce us to a new road bike, nearly the only detail they revealed ahead of time was that we'd be riding in the mountains north of Santa Cruz. The riding there includes long climbs, disused roads with surfaces as scarred as a shark attack victim’s skin, and descents as unpredictable as the moods of the stock market. Generally speaking, it’s not a place you take someone riding a borrowed bike.
In two days we rode 145 miles and climbed more than 16,000 feet. Too often I've gone to product intros where the roads are smooth, the climbs negligible, the descents pedestrian. The point isn't that the riding wasn't cool enough, it’s that you were never on terrain sufficiently challenging to make you focus on your effort, on the road ahead, to forget about the bikem and let it talk to your body.