Bike demo day
The day started for me when the alarm went at 5.30 a.m. Managed to creep out without waking the wife and kids and jumped in the car to pick up Stu & Ade to head up to Coed to try out some 2008 demo bikes. Stu had brought along his new Specialized Rockhopper and was doing the right thing stuffing himself full of Muesli and honey in the back of the car - Ade and I plumped for a bacon buttie en route!
First stop was Gary Fisher - I gave the guy a free choice of what to put me on so he enthused about the new 29er range from Gary Fisher so I thought I would give one a try and he put me on the new Paragon- the first time I have ridden a 29er. I had heard and read previously about the fact it was quicker uphill and down but more difficult to control and I guess this was always in the back of my mind when setting off. Visually, it is strange having this big F^&k off wheel staring up at you and the amount of spray coming up from these things is huge although in normal Coed tradition, it had been chucking it down on the Saturday and we were riding in light drizzle. I would also add if you ride DH behind fat bloke Ade as I normally do then big spray is always guaranteed! The uphill was great, I seemed to motor up and the traction on the wet rock was equally impressive. The technical downhill was where I found it tough – the bike seemed to be a little too aggressive for my middle aged style of DH – i.e. one up from the girls.
Second bike was a Felt Redemption One and of the three I tried, I have to say this was the one I enjoyed the least. To be fair, I was on a frame a little too large with the saddle right down as I only have short legs and whether that had anything to do with it, not sure but never felt totally comfortable on this one. I guess it reinforces the point of view that you should try the bike you want to buy before you part with your well earned dosh. No doubt a great bike for some, not for me.
Then I definitely saved the best till last. Being a numptie in terms of bike knowledge, I did not know what I was in for when the Santa Cruz chap asked me if I fancied a Nomad? WHAT A BIKE! I am now in love with a bike I can nowhere near afford and am not looking forward to going back to my second hand Rockhopper. Everything about the bike was awesome – I found myself shouting “this is better than sex” on the uphill as well as the downhill! I want one!!
Other highlights of the day included the fact it was my first brief insight to Coed – I shall be back for a 40th birthday wkd later in the year and can't wait; hopefully the weather gods will be a bit kinder! The carrot cake in the cafe – brilliant. Julie’s not so big back side (you know who you are). Getting such a great reaction to the website from all the manufactures that we met and spoke to.
The worst part was tucking in to a very average cheese toastie on the way back as Stu and Ade devoured all day brekkies all because the wife had just phoned to say there was a Sunday meal waiting for me when I got back!
Mike - UK Mountainbiker