Saturday 18 October 2014 – Epping Forest.
Ok, last post from Epping Forest for a while I promise (fingers crossed behind back), but I have been enjoying myself up there and this week was different. This week I was riding my brand spanking new bike and it was a real joy.
After the last couple of rides on the old and too small Kona I had decided that I was enjoying my riding enough to spend a decent slice of cash and get a new bike. After a bit of time looking around the internet and some discussion with Tony from Walthamstow Cycles I decided on a Genesis Latitude 20, a steel framed UK designed bike – I also decided on a bike with lots of gears.
I haven’t bought a bought a new bike for years, the last one was the Kona Dawg full suspended bike I bought what must be twelve or so years ago. The DMR I ride in NZ was assembled from a frame I bought second hand in 2005 and bits from other bikes I had owned. I can definitely say that technology has moved on since I bought or built. The new bike has 27.5 inch wheels, a size I had not even heard of on a mountain bike a month ago – apparently they are the new thing, and it has twenty gears, which is also new to me. It seems I did get very out of touch.
I had a very busy weekend booked but managed to sneak out on Saturday morning for a couple of hours in the forest to give the new beast a bit of a run.
This is the one and only time it will be truly clean…
It was a good ride, I am pretty sure I did not ride any of the same trails I rode last week, I definitely got misplaced twice this time, once in a small section of forest before the main park – I did an unexpected loop, but it was a nice trail. The second time was on a really good section of flowing single track, though sadly I rode up the gentle gradient – twice, before popping out on a road and having to use Google maps to work out where I was. Which was not where I expected to be! It didn’t take long to get back on track though. There are so many trails in the forest, and unlike home there is no trail marking and the trails are two way. Not that there were many other riders out on Saturday morning to meet coming the other way.
The bike rode beautifully. With a large 19 inch frame and the big wheels the centre of balance was significantly higher than I was used to, but it is such a stable platform I barely noticed the difference. It also felt a lot lighter than I expected and even with those massive handlebars it was surprisingly quick to manoeuvre.
The fork is an X-Fusion Velvet RL2, I have not heard of the brand before, but they seem to have a good reputation and the fork was very smooth and even better I could lock it out for the road section to and from the forest. I have never had a lock out fork before, luxury!
I did come off at once stage, the rear wheel just flew out from underneath me in this really greasy section of track on the way back home, luckily I managed to get off the pedals before I hit the ground and came out unscathed – and “clean”.
Actually I was filthy when I finally arrived home, the tracks were either very greasy, very wet or very boggy in so many places. One of the reason I really enjoy winter riding…
Fabulous bike and another great ride.