I finally took her out on Sunday for a 12 mile up, down and round Gisburn Forest. It damn near killed me!!!
I've spent ages prepping this bike, and I've been really looking forward to the 1st proper off-road thrash. 7.30am start on Sunday with the bike all clean and shiny, ready to go and...
What an anti-climax, I was gutted!
The 1st hill nearly killed me! Never, never in all my life have I been so knackered. I struggled up every hill. I felt about 20% of my usual self.
Normally I can ride the whole 12 miles in under 2 hours without a stop, Sunday took 2hrs 45mins.
All the way round I was analysing the bike. Sure, it's not exactly light but still, something just wasn't right. The brakes weren't dragging - (I checked several times just because it felt like they were!)
The ups were an absolute herculian task, but the downs - now that was a totally different experience for someone who has never ridden full-sus before! Gisburn is mainly limestone crush trails, 2-4" rocks. I could stay in the saddle!!! The small sections of hard technical climbs up through the woods were made easy too, again I could stay fixed in the saddle and the rear suspension simply soaked up the roots and rocks. While my mates on hard tails got off to push!
Half way round I realised / remembered that I am on anti-inflammatories for a broken wrist I "forgot" to have set, apparently these pills make you feel really unfit. I'd also made the ride harder by fitting 2 1/2" new tyres in anticipation of lots of mud - which there wasn't.
So all-in-all, I reckon it was me that let the bike down - not vice-versa.
I'm looking forward to giving it another thrashing, next time in the dark though, and with some sensible tyres this time.
This sure is a bike with "issues". I just have the feeling that once I get it set 100% right, I'm going to have a bike I'm never going to want to part with.
And you should have seen the attention it draws!!!