I spent the Bank Holiday weekend up in Swaledale with my other half (who’s a teacher) enjoying the last few days of the school holidays. When you’re a pupil the school hols seem to last for ages. But the six weeks this year seemed to absolutely fly past. This is at least partly due to the fact that in my job (bike journo scumbag) the school hols is the busiest period of the whole year. There’s a bike event on pretty much every weekend, there’s lots of bike launches happening, a lot of travel features are done during this time too.
So while the August Bank Holiday signifies the last chance for relaxing before going back to school for teachers and pupils, for me the Bank Holiday comes the first chance to relax after summer’s Crazy Time.
The Yorkshire Dales is still my favourite place to go for a relaxing time on mountain bikes. Although there’s lots of ace techno singletrack and sketchy plummets to be found (if you know where to look) I like to go to the Dales and do some “Green Lane-ing”. Long, drawn out sections of double track that you can really settle in to and turn your brain off.
Having said that, as I was debuting my new long term test bike I couldn’t help but dive off down some great descents (the descent to Langthwaite and the one down to Barney Beck, for those that care). First impressions of the Kinesis Decade Virsa are very good. Very good indeed. Very balanced feel. No worries going downhill at all. Not too flexy. And the green colour is just ace. The build kit suited the bike okay and worked pretty well. The new Deore stuff (gears and brakes) was faultless. It could do with bigger (tubeless friendly) tyres and a different fork (one with adjustable travel and less linear damping feel). And I’m probably going to put my “standard” Sunline V2 handlebars on as soon as poss.
I’m very much looking forward to putting the Virsa through its paces A LOT throughout September. This month is going to be Mileage Month for me. Not just because I’ve signed up to do Dusk Till Dawn in early Oct either. I need to do some Proper Mountain Biking again.
We spent the August Bank Holiday weekend up at the Dales Bike Centre and can’t recommend the place highly enough. It’s just perfect for mountain bikers. The owner Stu Price is long-time rider (and friend of Singletrack Mag) and he knows what we bikers want. Please check it out - http://www.dalesbikecentre.co.uk/index.html
Posted on: September 1, 2009 by Ben_Haworth