Sunday, 21 December 2008


I thought this fit the ride quite well,

"Take you down to the dirt
Drag you through the mud
Drag you through the mud
Drag you through the mud

Got a trip for two on a one-way ride
I'll take you anywhere, there's no place to hide". *

Funny kinda ride today . Set off on one bike ,and came home on another. That don't happen too often.
Another 'local ride ' ,for 'local people'.I've made arrangements to meet Alan with his two lads up near Haigh Hall somewhere.Jeff and I hoof it along the canal and hit the woods about 9.45 as planned. Alan's having trouble getting the kids out of bed at such an ungodly hour ,so I give him another half hour and Jeff and I have a mess about in the bottom end of the woods. It's very wet and slippy today . ( I can see a pattern developing here . It seems to be wet and slippy around this time of year . Every year . Hmm ).
I'm on the Commencal super 4. I'm getting the feel for this bike . It's good. I'm not really sure where it fits in the lineup,but it rides well so who cares? Someone who wants a 5.5"er ,maybe?As I've said ,it goes down very well,so close to it's buddy the Meta it's not worth calling.And it's not so stupid XC lite as to be a whippet up the hills ,again ,close to the meta. A bit tighter maybe . All in all you're splitting hairs.With the fatter tyres I've fitted it seems that way ,to me at least.
So we mess about a bit ,slip sliding away ,and head up to the rendezvous spot.

Alan turns up with a van full of bikes and two super eager juveniles. Kids these days get such a bad rap.Staying up late ,being grumpy and not eating their greens.Such bounded enthusiasm I have never witnessed in ones so young.I know our future is safe in their capable hands.
We faff around with the bikes a tad,and a few pedal swaps later I'm suddenly on a Cannondale Rize.I'm not sure what exactly happened ,but I'm not complaining.It's a cool bit of kit . The 2 grand aluminium one. Fox forks ,XT ,avid juicys.

Jeff who came on his Specialneeds Stumpy is now aboard a Cannondale Moto. A beast of a thing. Not bonkers downhill big ,put pretty hefty nonetheless.Not overly heavy either,triple ch/set,magura brakes,Rockshox lyrics.Freeride ?
Alan is also on a Cannondale(another pattern developing here).A full carbon Rush.Carbon lefty "fork",( or is that 'fo' or 'rk'?),SI carbon ch/set,XT,pimpy mavics. Dead light.And it's NOT the top XC whippet in the range . Mad.
So we set out back into the trees.Up,down, all around. Toby is on 'my' Commencal ,Jeff's bike's in the back of the van ,there's only Ralph on his own bike,a Commencal 'combi' hardtail. Talk about leaving your keys in the ashtray.

The riding was a bit like last week really. Wet /slippy/muddy.Which was a bit like the week before. Nothing much to report . A few 'offs' by all accounts but nothing on film . Drat.
Toast etc etc.
Cannondales are good.It's a bit like the meta though ( I'm on the Rize ,remember),which is a bit like the Super 4 ,which is a bit like the Fisher Hifi ,which is a bit.........
Maybe all bikes are created equal.Maybe some are created more equal than others ,but like I said I said ,it's splitting hairs.A change of tyres here and there.
The future is'nt what it used to be. Or maybe it's exactly what it used to be.

So we get back to the van. The kids instantly eat the steering wheel and then fall asleep,and I don't know what happened next but Alan went home with Jeffs dirty sloppy old thing ,and after knocking the back end out of the big un, Jeff took home posh spice.
I dunno ,ever since Bob Geldof said the effing eff word on channel four ,nothing shocks me.
Apart from how good modern bikes are. They cant be any better than this next year ,can they?

All the bikes in this story,apart from Jeff's sloppy old thing ,are available to 'evaluate'.We're hoping to take them down to Llandegla shortly.If you'd like to ride one,let us know.

And then I signed up for a Cyclo-X race.

* Mudhoney. 'Mudride'.

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