Old World Mountain Bike Championships 2010 ~ Wales
So as well as putting a few pictures of this bike on the first page of the thread I thought I'd include a couple of photos and a report from the OWMTBC for which my Traverse was my 'championship' bike.
The number 92 was selected to of course identify the original year of manufacture Blunt but he's got a point
During the concours scrutineering on Friday evening, Melvin was harsh but fair when judging my efforts. Unfortunately I neglected to put on the skinwall tyres before wheeling it over to the judging tent. The midges were closing in by then, and the effort required to fit and then pump up tyres would've given the appearance of taking things too seriously. Undoubtedly this vulgar display of trying would've lost me points. It may have been a greater loss to wheel it in as it was with modern blackwalls though. Who knows?
Melvin clearly appreciated the contrast between the subtle bling of gold cable end crimps, and the rust present on my cantilever bolts though. The day after the night before
Everyone emerged slightly blurry eyed for the Saturday events. I borrowed the much lighter and skinwall clad wheels from my Kili Racer and after the rigours of the Shopper Bike paired trails, headed out for the hill climb after lunch.
With the untimed incline duly despatched at a relaxed pace, I set of on the first timed stage of the Marin Trail XC loop. This was the Traverse's first proper test ride and it performed admirably as I pushed myself and the bike to it's limits. Growing in confidence borne of a great handling machine I felt myself getting faster and faster on the sinuous, but at times brutally rocky, singletrack descents. The relatively high front end and bar position suited me perfectly and the late addition of bar-ends really paid dividends on the long fire road climbs.
Stopping to be photographed between stages by Russell Burton, I proudly stood with my bike and matching 1992 Saracen team jersey, caught my breath and readied myself for the next stage. The organisers surprised everyone by timing this stage too, so it was tough at first as I pushed myself hard on the endless opening climb.
With a minutes head-start, I did manage to keep pro racer Tim Davies behind me for a while until he passed me with a huge grin on his face and words of encouragement.
A brief chat with Mr K and a swig of Cider and a Jaffa Cake half way around fuelled me up for the remainder of the lap.
By this point the descents had become so much fun. The confidence inspired by the Traverse and the way I'd set it up meant I no longer had any pre-conceived fear about under powered brakes or twitchy handling. The XT thumbies indexed through each of my 21 gears perfectly and the forks tracked precisely through tight gaps between rocks and roots. The trail surface was running beautifully after an earlier light shower had threatened to turn the predominantly slate surface into a wall of death.
But I was hopping and skipping like it was spring.
It was almost with regret that it had to end as I returned to our starting point to chat with fellow competitors. The Traverse returned me back down the previous hill climb and was safely stashed away while the apres ride activities began back at the hotel.
But that's another story...