A game of two halves. Lots of time off the bike due to getting married and honeymoon, but when I have been on the bike it’s been amazing. California in February with SRAM and my stag-do in Aviemore in June stand out as highlights, as much for the company as for the quality of the riding, which in both cases was high. The atrocious weather, especially in our flood-prone part of the world has made me think long and hard about our trails. A week of bad weather did more damage than bikes ever could but but it’s up to us to do our bit and help put the trails right again. Regardless of whether we should or shouldn’t be riding them we take a lot of pleasure from the trails, it’s only fair we put something back into them. Hopefully this will also appease some trail sharing anxiety that lingers.
2013 Plans and Bike Resolutions
I feel 2012 has been spent mostly in my comfort zone, either riding trails well within my capability or riding places I know well enough to not have an emergency-back up plan. Which is all well and good but not really as exciting as it could be. I want to get lost more. I want to ride harder trails. I want to feel challenged. I want to come back with stories.
I’d also like to go on a photoshoot in the sun, or even not in the gloom would do!
2013 Industry Predictions
For the bike industry 2013 is already here, and indeed has been here for a few months now with talk of 2014 creeping into conversation. Stepping back from that but forward from now expect to see lots of bemused customers in bike shops who just pop in to buy a mountain bike, get confused by wheel sizes (“Would Sir like 26, 27.5 or 29 inch wheels?”) and decided a road bike is just easier all round. Crap weather and the high profile success of UK road riding have marginalised mountain biking to an extent and with the potential for three wheel sizes to choose from it seems like just another hurdle for a customer to clear before they can enjoy getting off-road. I might be totally wrong and it inspires more bike sales, maybe they can all live in wheeled-harmony together, I certainly hope so, but it may well be that ‘old fashioned’ 26in is the casualty in the three way tussle. A stack of 26in tyres and wheels in most people’s spares pile means ‘normal wheels’ will be around for some time yet though.
Enduro will be everywhere and like most DH races, oversubscribed. Enduro offers the promise of democratic racing to the masses, no second or specialist race-only bike required to gain an advantage, no dependency on uplifts, just ride the bike you ride every weekend. As long as the timing is nailed down Enduro looks to be one of the best ways to ride some new-to-you trails with your mates at the weekend.