‘Twas my birthday yesterday, and Mr. Toast gave me the most excellent gift of an upgraded bike! My V-brakes were replaced with hydraulic discs – Avid Juicy 3s, my Dart 2 forks replaced with Rebas, my pedals replaced with V8s, and my narrow Bontrager handlebars replaced with slightly wider Specialized handlebars.
The brakes were new, the rest of the stuff was remnants of Mr. Toast’s previous bikes – not that I’m complaining, he keeps his stuff in good nick! 😉
The new brakes were fantastic – it’s amazing how much confidence the ability to stop can give you! The slightly wider handlebars took some getting used to, but it generally made for a more stable ride. Forks were very smooth, but perhaps a bit too squodgy, so Mr. Toast is going to put a little more pressure in them.
My first lap was very slow. I’m not sure whether this is because I was getting used to the new bike setup, or whether I was just fatigued from doing more exercise than usual (I’ve started going to the gym, did a session on Friday night, but I my legs and knees were killing me, and I felt that I couldn’t really push myself.
Despite that, the first lap went pretty well, especially Ill Phil’s Hill. I was a bit disgruntled on the first section, as my flow was disturbed by ‘Harry’ – a large black dog lumbering around the end of the section. At least he stayed off the track, unlike one of his owners – a young boy who was walking up the track whilst his parents looked on. -_-
I started doing a second lap, and I was much, much faster. Again, my flow was disturbed near the end of the track – this time by a huge mass of fly covered horseshit, right on the berm. Nice to know that people pay attention to the ‘mountain bike only trail/bikes only/no entry’ signs. Ho hum. I tried biking up the fireroad hill – failed again – and my knees were screaming at me. So I decided to do on last bit of FTD, before exploring. Found an awesome path which was literally like a rollercoaster, and it made me want to explore more. Maybe next week – got to lay off the risky stuff before the wedding!
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: Follow the Dog – one and a bit laps
Highlights: The first three sections of the second lap, and having consistent braking!
Bad bits: Inconsiderate bastards on the track. What, you can’t give the mountain bikers their one track, which they’ve built and maintained themselves.
Post ride food snaffled: Quavers and a chocolate muffin – the café had stopped doing sandwiches. 🙁
Good dogs seen: Meh, it was a bit barren for good dogs. There was something that looked like a staffie/jack russell cross – he was nice.