The bars make a world of difference
I’m slowly but surely pimping up the ‘dale. First to go was the stem: The orginal was long enough to resemble a fishing-rod. A nice little RaceFace Prodigy went on in it’s place as soon as I got the bike home. Then there was the seatpost. The original came loose a few times, so I replaced it with a nice twin-bolt FSA FR-200 from Garry.
The biggest difference though? That’ll be the bars then. The original’s didn’t have enough rise or width for my liking, so I whipped them off and stuck my EA70’s on in their place. It felt a bit odd to begin with – they make for a very sit-up-and-beg riding position, but point it downhill and it’s transformed. It felt uber-confident down through the fast open section by the Devil’s Chimney and I was rolling straight into some steep sections that would have fazed me previously (not all of them though, as you’ll see).
I did about 15 miles or so today – most of which was getting to the trails. It was all good once I got off-road though. Up-and-around Lecky, caught and then comprehensively burnt off the dude on the uber-expensive Ti hardtail who didn’t hold the gate open for me, then stopped, waited and held the next gate for him. I absolutely ruled the fast open rocky section down past the devils chimney (BWAAARRPPP!), then rode like a girl down the steep bit to the ruins that follows it. Rubbish. Porbably a good thing I didn’t rule that bit though, or I would’ve run over the people walking up. Oops.
I ran into Alex and Garry and chatted to them for a while, before riding a new section of trail (round there, then back, then wheeeeeee!!!) and linking it into the bit we built last week. It’s quite nice, but there’s no way in hell I’m attempting that jump – it’s monster!
I finished off with a blast down the old tramway. I always forget just how much speed you can carry down that trail when you get it right – a proper fantastic way to end a ride.