Sunday, 15 February 2009


"I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air" *
Barn rd .0830
Met Andy R,usual up to the pike. Taking it easy. Bumped into Andy plumb at the bottom of A-ICR. Misty and mild climbing ,but cold and damp with a fairly strong wind on top. Riding the new Cannondale Rush Ali lefty. First impressions are good . Hotpoint white. Apart from a bit of twiddling with the gears early on ,( it must've been the PDI kids day off ),straight away I'm loving the shimano. Apart from my old Fisher of the other week this is the first time I've ridden the big 'S' in ages. I just prefer it to Sram. It's not as bonkers light as the carbon one from a few weeks back ( hang on ,that was also Shimano),but with the lefty locked and the back Pro-pedalled it's as efficient as a VAT inspector. If the climbing's a bit bumpy ,fully turn it on and it still goes up very well. Benchmark tricky corner ticked off. A fairly prominent feature of the Carbon model that this does not have is the oversize BB30 bottom bracket. I couldnt put my finger on how big a deal that is ,but the carbon one does track amazingly well. It'd be interesting to try them out back to back to see if it's worth the extra dosh just for that.
Had a mo on top and then set off down the back of the Pike. Big rocky bit is becoming a non-event.

Hit the lower section probably just pushing it a little.Fell off riding a rut.Threw me right off the side. I know. I couldnt believe it either.

Rode with Andy 'til he set off down through Wilders Wood. We headed up Wilders Moor. Fell off again ,climbing up . Hmm.
I'd like to blame it on the tyres ,but seeing as how theyre Conti's (2.2 Mtn King ),I cant. It was mega slippy slidey though. Had a crack ish at the ditch . It just werent gonna happen . Claggy clay . The tyres I'd again like to blame were clearing well . Very open design. I'm not 100% sold on them just yet . I cant see that theyre an improvement over the older verticals. They feel a bit 'squirmy',but ,that said , it was very wet and it's debateable if any tyre would grip. Anyway.

Climbing into the cloud towards the mast rd , turn up on the tarmac and then hang a left for the dog kennels. Instead of heading straight down though we first go up to the Two Lads. The other week it was frozen rock hard and bone dry ,flying up . This week is a different story. More mud. A nice slick coating smeared over the moorland like a giant dollop of peanut butter on a giant slice of toast with a giant knife,by a giant.

No view at all from the top of the 'lads. Good little downhill though. Again a bit on the slippy side. Worth doing as an addition to the regular dog kennels run. Opened up the Rush a bit.It's a size 'L' and feels stretched out . 'L' for long. Lefty still feels a bit sticty. O/S bars feel stiff. Overly so. It's an efficiency thing again. Avid brakes are now working.Unlike earlier. It changes direction like the Commencal bluebottle.
"Handles like a fish",someone once said ,blahblahblah.
Like riding a theramin.
I think I've said this before . Being a tad closer to the XC end of the scale ,although not a full on lightweight,it is a bit more planted at the front end . Similar to the Commencal Super4. Whereas the slacker bigger bikes loft the front wheel easily ,this requires a bit more oomph to get it up and over things. As long as you know about it beforehand it's OK. It's a more 'old school' feel ,but with 4" of suspension to pull you out of trouble.I reckon with a shorter stem and some proper big tyres on , it'd be super capable. A big ish hitter. I ran the carbon one ragged down the Ice Cream Run the other week .Conversely some of those silly skinny 1.5s from last week and it'd be a whole other kettle of fish. A bike for all seasons.
Heading back now we go down through the gardens. The steps are coated with damp slime.Deadly ,but after some uncertainty from the 40 yr old we ride em anyhow.

Slightly different way out of the trees ,right near the top barn. We skirt round the back and on to toast and cake nirvana.

* ( very ) Good Vibrations. The Beach boys.

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