Sunday, 1 March 2009


"I work hard all week, and so do you
We deserve to let off some steam
Let all the drugs creep in when we need to rage through this life.
There might be ones who are smarter than you
That have the right answers
That wear better shoes
Forget about those melting ice caps, we're doing the best,
with what we've got " *


Although not as big as last weeks ride , still a good spin . Still a bit gloopy in places. This week I'm on the Rush . I've ever so slightly upgraded it. The bog standard spinny grips are in the bog ,and in their place are some DMR lock-ons ,with fetching red lock on bits. They only have a lock at one end and are a bit BMXy ,but they feel just right ,and dont spin . Job done.
I've also swapped the tyres a bit . I like tyres ,me. Not a big change though . I've swapped the front 2.2 Mountain King ,for a 2.4,leaving the rear one as stock 2.2 . Again a bit BMXy.
Just the 3 of us this week . Andy was just fettling his wheels as Jeff and I arrived at 0830 on the Barn Rd.
We set off up past the top barn ,but took a different way up through the gardens. It was funny weather . Quite still ,and not too cold . The first climb of the day is always a challenge,and this one certainly was. Wet slippy rocky slidy type thing. The last time I came up this I was on the 'Fisher HiFi of last year and it had me off then. Climbing the Rush it does feel something like the Fisher . The front end plants down well , and the back end tucks in and grips well too. Anyway , I had a good go and it wasnt good enough . About halfway up I zipped the back tyre on something slippy and that was that. Still ,it was going OK 'til then. I got back on and did the rest. Well ,after a mo ,I'd had enough and was kinda glad it slipped . It's a tough climb . One that normally we do the other way round as Newton intended.
The long slog continues up to Georges lane and then on to the foot of the Pike climb. Jackets off .
Just for a slice of variety I attack the first tricky corner from the other side than I'd normally do,cutting across from the far right . A couple of different lumps and bumps than usual are no problem and I suppose it's a more objective test.
It's a bit cooler up top ,but not that cold I'd want my jacket back on. We have a minute or two then do the classic drop off the back . The Rush is good on climbs ,but it really shines going down. It's got that more stretched out classic feel ,that I like , that might not be everyones cup of tea. I take mine without milk and a slice of lemon. I found a better line than the other week ,so I didnt fall off . Hitting the stony path I'm aware that once again the Rush is going a bit faster than is properly sensible for a 40 yr old on a 4"er ,really pushing the tyres into the corners ,I'm not sure if theyre not just a bit squirmy. It was a bit greasy at the bottom.
We head on over to Wilders Moor for yet more sloggery. This is a dog of a climb when it's wet ,but perversely I kinda like it. We follow a few lads up. One of them nails the ditch ,so I have what can only be described as a half-ass go at it . Nearly there. Ah well . I ticked it off last week.
We regroup up on the road and it's like turning out time in the Wheatsheaf. Hordes of riders have turned up from nowhere ,amongst them the celebrity MTBer ,Craig Burrows . Craig was best known for his role in Pacific Blue,a popular show in the '90s ,chronicaling the crime busting exploits of cops on bikes on Venice beach.CA. Craig stood in for Hans Rey when he was having his legs waxed.
We leave the throng behind and head down as per last week ,for the trail above the quarry . Wet and boggy in places this week.All good fun.
We turn up on the Scorpion and head over to the now not so secret valley. Another tough climb. Slippy tricky. Rush digs in and spits it out the other end.
Boggy moorland leads to the mast Rd ,and then surprise surprise ,more boggy moorland leads to the Two Lads. But this is upwards boggy. Ace. We all wind up it and have another blow up top.Bit chilly up here.
We do the now essential downhill and once again I open up the Rush . It responds very well and once again I'm probably carrying a bit more speed than makes sense on the slippy ruts. Dropping into the gulley to the dog kennels I'm giving it a right flogging. As I've said ,it feels 'bigger' than a 4"er. Very good . The planted front end ( like the Fisher ) is not a problem but it does require a bit more effort loifting the front wheel . This is the same spot I noticed this with the Fisher last year. OK ,where was I ? Caning it . At speed I drop off one of the ,er ,drop offs ,and heads up I spot up ahead some senior citizens ( mid 40s)pushing their bikes up . I have to stop . Never mind ,eh . It was all going so well.
At the kennels we head off for tea,bumping into Matt on his magic singlespeed.Good to see him. Rumours of his demise are greatly exagerrated.
We wind down through the gardens ,and in an effort to truly push the Rush to the edge and back I open it up again . It doesnt half respond to a stamp on the pedals and in a blink it's away. It's really good. I'd probably run a slightly shorter stem ,but this is a 'large' so it could be that ,but it does feel like a limo ,albeit a big fun ,dead fast limo.Just a bit stretched. Fully in the zone I open it up eeeeeven more and with a big bunnyhop off a lip ,blam, I blow up the back tyre . Shouldve put a 2.4 at that end as well. Hmmm.
Fix puncture.
Cafe .
Earl Grey. No milk . No lemon.
* Sunday . More Bloc Party . It's been on in the car all week....

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