It has been said that when the world was made, the good Lord upturned the wheelbarrow containing the remaining rocks and called it Alaska. The loose stones that remained were thrown at the UK and named North Devon. I have never seen or rode so many hills in my life. It was A-grade on the Marco Pantani scale. Awesome, anaerobic, and painful. Anyone in the UK, head for Combe Martin on the north coast and by the harbour, is an amazing single-track that runs along the cliffs to Little Hangman, and Great Hangman points. When you get there, you'll know why. The coastal track then winds itself down into the Heddon Valley, and the descents and off-road excursions would receive a thumbs-up from the US folk used to that thing every day. The way back is, ahem, harder than the way there. Some places you have to carry the bike.
Pedals? I currently have a set of Shimano MX30 and they were really super. The Eggbeaters will have to wait a while longer, as flatties suit my riding style at this moment.
And, I took my first fall on the Gemini. The downhill guys would have been proud of me. I was picking up speed on a descent. A few rocks suddenly popped out of nowhere and I swerved slightly to avoid them, and then ran into a deep rut that cunningly accomodated the front wheel. There was a sudden and instant loss of forward momentum. The bike came to a bone-crushing halt, and I, with the good Mr. Isaac Newton laughing at me, "I told you so." flew almost a perfect handstand over the bars. Fortunately, I landed in a thick patch of ferns and had nothing but some nice scratches and bruises. I had a wet sensation running down my butt, but blood is not cold. I'd filled the bladder in my Camelbak to capacity and it popped the tube off the bladder and a rush of water spewed forth. The bladder was not damaged, luckily.
Oh yes, the bike? Nothing to mention. It eventually bounced once or twice over the edge with me but nothing broke, only the chain shifted downwards on the rear cogs. Sorry, KleinMp99, but this is one bike that can go beyond the mailbox to collect mail.
I like this mtb-thing. Very cool. The cuts will heal and the bruises will clear. Pride damaged? Not a bit.