Dave’s 2012 Review
2012 started so well; the drought warnings, the dusty trails and a whole metric ton of riding. Remember the promise of the hosepipe ban? By May I think we’d ridden pretty much every combination of trail in the valley and so headed north to Aviemore for a fantastic long weekend of camping and bikes to celebrate SimStag. I think it probably went so well it broke the weather, it certainly fits well time-wise with the shift to monsoon. Swaledale has seen some return visits too, it was an important part of my early riding career so it was great to get back and do some good long moorland deathmarch routes. Summer saw an escape from the rain and Olympics back down to Bavaria and the Dolomites. We discovered a whole new (to us) riding area with probably some of the most scenic riding in the world. From our return onwards it mostly seems to have been a test of riding resolve and the waterproofness of Goretex. Payback for writing ‘Embrace the Filth’? Possibly.
2013 Plans and Bike Resolutions
Having done very little bivvying and proper adventure riding this year I’m keen to get out more in 2013. The wilderness of Mid-Wales is calling, Scotland needs some extended visits, and there’s the small matter of unfinished business in the Dolomites. I’ve bought maps. I’ve bought a gps. I intend to ride bigger and longer ‘stuff’ to use both. 2013 is very likely going to be the year of international dirtbaggery.
This year I have mostly been riding 29er hardtails, 2013 deserves some long travel love; I want to push myself, I want to ride harder trails on big mountains again.
2013 Industry Predictions
I reckon™ 2013 is going to see the introduction of plenty of long travel 29ers. Now that 29er handling is sorted for more techy riding and Enduro is on the rise; fast, big wheeled, bouncy and chuckable bikes are going to be everywhere.
1×11, once it starts the trickle down to X0 and beyond, will become the popular go-to gearing. Quieter, lighter and simpler. The 11 speed nay sayers will quieten down just like the 10 speed ones before them.
Grassroots racing will catch on and help grow communities of riders. Please.