Well, nice to see that the BBC weather report is as accurate as ever. There we were, bracing ourselves for cold, windy conditions, with heavy rain…and instead we got blue skies, a calm breeze, and a decent temperature. Nice.
Tried out an Orange Diva, and it was startlingly different from my Trek. For a start, Oranges just look HUGE. They bought out the 14″ Diva, and I thought it was Mr Toast’s bike!
I sat on it, and it bizarrely felt like I was riding a Harley. The handle bars were quite a bit wider to what I’m used to, but I actually kind of liked it – it felt like I had a bit more control when turning. Whether I’d still like the wider bars when going through the narrow tree-lined sections of the Follow the Dog, I don’t know! Brakes were fairly hilarious, as I nearly faceplanted the first time I used them. Yes, £280 hydraulic brakes are a bit more bitey than the V-brakes that I’m used to. So good though, being able to brake with the slightest pressure from one finger, instead three (or four, if it’s wet!). Quite scary that just the brakes on the Diva are nearly two-thirds of the cost of my current bike!
It would have been nice if I could have tried the Diva out over trails that I’m familiar with (OK, Follow the Dog), as I could have got more of an idea of how riding a full suspension compares to my hardtail. I’ll get that chance when I go to the Singletrack demo day at Cannock Chase next month – I’ll be riding a Giant Anthem and a Specialized Safire, but it would be nice to take an Orange as well. Hmmm….
Mr Toast was quite taken with his Orange 5, and I think is now trying to justify why he needs three bikes. He uses fabulous reasoning like ‘I ride lots!’ and ‘I deserve it!’
Ride: Woburn Sands
Trail: Er, various, just rode where there weren’t ‘No cycling’ signs. Not really familiar with the area, so I don’t think we found the best trails.
Highlights: Trying out a new bike, and a different trial. Going hell for leather down a hill and not worrying about rocks or roots.
Bad bits: Not taking any ibuprofen, so my knees rapidly swelled up like balloons, slightly reducing my enjoyment of the day. The deep sandy and muddy bits paggering my already battered knees!
Post ride food snaffled: Pub meal at the Malt Shovel!
Good dogs seen: Bit of a disappointing haul, quite frankly – there was a Cairne terrier and a wire haired jack russel, but that was about it.