Another weekend on two wheels

I hadn’t ridden the 222 for ages. It’d been in the cupboard since Rheola and was in need of a blast. So on Friday night I dragged it out kicking and screaming, made the siezed bottom bracket and freehub spin again and then changed the oil in the forks. That last job is one I’ve been putting off for months, or is it more than a year now? Either way, they had too much oil in them, which meant I was only ever getting about two thirds of the available travel. So I changed the oil, put less in than Marzocchi reccommend, and huzzah! All the travel is available. Winner!

So on Saturday, Anton, Garry and myself dragged our Oranges (two 222’s and a 224) up Leckhampton hill, covered ourselves in body armour and ragged them down the trails all afternoon. I discovered that I had completely forgotten how to ride a bike and had to re-learn the skill over a few hours. Still, I conquered a few more bits of trail, fell down a few others and generally had an ace time. It wasn’t even all that cold. Anton had just fitted his new 888 RC2X forks (you can buy me some if you like) and was getting used to riding a bike without a 25 tonne boat anchor attached to the front.

Avid readers of Weon’s pages (is my jacket really that pink?) will already know that Sunday took me out on my other silver single-pivot full susser. It’s bonkers how bikes have progressed in the last few years. My XC bike isn’t far off having as much suspension travel as the DH bike. Luckily it weighs quite a lot less, or the climb up Cleeve Hill would have been even more painful than it was. We managed to offset the pain with attacks of the giggles – inventing things like Arse Knuckles and the Wheelie-activated Hunting Horn tends to do that to you. Luckily the descents were a lot more fun than the climb, even if the mud made them as slippery as a slippy thing. The trail down to the washpool was ever so slighly sketchy, but the rocky run down to the Rising Sun and then the Devils Steps more than made up for it, even if Owen did nearly run me over on the final stretch down to the road. You haven’t got disc-brakes mate – you need to slow down before I do!

Speaking of which, I nearly went deaf on the ride back into town – my front brake developed a horrendous banshee-like wail that didn’t relent until I put the bike away at home. Must remember to sort that.

I finished the evening off by returning to Weon and Anne’s for dinner. We watched the very good House of Flying Daggers, whilst gorging ourselves (an understatement) on Anne’s fantastic cooking: A chicken-based cottage pie (alas not made of real cottages), then crumble and custard for pudding. Very good pie. Mmmm pie. Thanks Anne :)