Me an my bro’ have both had our entries accepted for the Big Red Randonnee. It’s a charity off-road event in aid of the British Heart Foundation. That’s 100 miles, in a day, down the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne, this June, all off-road, on bikes.Needless to say we are gonna do a lot of training for this, and we hope to raise a good amount of sponsorship money for a good cause. You can sponsor me on-line at my sponsorship page on the British Heart Foundation website.
The second weekend in February was marked by the fact that Carla got her new bike. Just like my bro’ Carla had gone ‘full sus’ with an FSR. The setting up phase took a little longer, but the transformation phase was much faster.
Setting up a new bike is something that Carla does not enjoy, and it’s always the saddle position that gives the most trouble, the ‘chuff’ being the crux. Anyway, we finally got it to ‘acceptable’, and set out on our first ride. It took exactly one hour for the transformation! Within one hour she was riding things with a relaxed ease and confidence that would have you thinking that she’d never rode any other way. I had flattered myself thinking that I would have to teach her how to ride it, but found myself thinking that maybe she could give me a few tips.
Normally on our rides it is left to me to go on the front down descents, but not this day, and on more than one occasion I found myself having to go a little quicker than I wanted to just to keep up. Needless to say she loves her new bike, and I’m really looking forward to getting out on some good rides with her this spring.
The first weekend in February was marked by the fact that my brother Andrew (Supawal), got his new Specialized FSR. I collected it from the shop for him on Friday, and he was banging on my front door, having hot footed it from London, next morning at 8 o’clock.
Like a child with a new toy, he was very excited, and wanted to get on with setting it up straight away. Two hours later we set off on his ‘first ride’.
Saturday was a familiarisation ride. We visited Habberley Valley, for some singletrack shenanigans, before making our way to Kinver, via some tough climbs, and white knuckle descents. Supawal began a transformation as he became more at home on his new steed, trying new things that he would have never considered on his old hardtail bike.
Come Sunday, I decided it was time to turn up the wick, and rode out on my S-works race bike, this would give Supawal a run for his money. But no, the transformation continued, no longer could I keep up with him on the descents, he made it look so easy and casual as he dropped like a stone leaving me fighting rock’n’root all the way. Even on the flat, he was so smooth, his body language giving no indication of the terrain ahead. I, on the other hand, was hitting things left right and center, I found my self having to drop back.
By the end of the weekend the transformation was complete. Supawal is now a committed ‘full-suss’ rider with a penchant for riding more extreme trails than would be healthy for the average rider!
Some pictures from the weekend can be found here.
Since I tested the FSR things have moved on. I liked it so much that I had to test it again. Then I liked it even more, but I felt I needed some back-up, some second opinions. Enter my brother Andrew (Supawal), and my friend Dave. Both veteran mountainbikers with thousand of miles under their belts. But even better still for testing purposes… Continue reading
I’ve been racing XC on a hardtail since 1989, when I bought a Muddy Fox Courier. Back then there was no such thing as a full suspension mountainbike.
The first ‘full sussers’ appeared a couple of years later. I was riding for the Mycycles team and our sponsors Cannondale sent us their first full suss incarnation. I can’t remember the name of the model, but we called it the fish bike on account of the way it moved when pedalled. At this time, full sussers were not an option for serious xc racers… Continue reading
Out riding today you could forgiven for thinking that spring had arrived. I saw lambs, snowdrops, catkins, and some daffs. I know spring is really a long way off, but just for today it was nice to pretend. The only thing that was missing from my three hour tour of the lanes was my training partner Carla, who is still chained to the tiolet by her arse. Get well soon lover.