Welcome to the hinterland. Hopefully it’s a chance for your internal organs to recover before the New Year celebrations – whether it’s alcohol or methane you’re processing (or both), now is the perfect time to get outside and take in the fresh air. Some of us, however, are inside working, sort of. And we know that some of you are waiting for your weekly opportunity to squawk ‘How Much?!’ as you have done for the last decade and more. Imagine, drifting into the ’20s with a vague discomforting sense that something was missing. It’s the end of the 2010s (which is the worst name for a decade ever), it wouldn’t be Friday without Fresh Goods Friday, and we couldn’t leave you hanging with a sense of incompleteness. Let us see out the year with a huge fizzle and a soft whump. It’s Fresh Goods Friday 480!
Specialized Epic Hardtail
- Price: £2,249
- From: Specialized
We start with crimes against log piles. Hopefully Jason Miles got a book on how to stack wood in his stocking, because our man in the north is betraying his city roots with that heap. May we refer him politely to McMoonter of this parish for advice on better log piles:
Those of you not distracted by Jason’s wood will have observed there is a bike in front of it. It’s in for our ‘Race Whips’ bike test later in the year, look out for Jason out and about on it on early morning test rides. It’s a carbon frame in what Jason describes as ‘matt “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” black’. You get SRAM SX Eagle, you get Boost (because, standards), you get SRAM NX gears, Shimano brakes, and Rock Shox Judy Gold 29 forks with lock-out lever. The tyres are fast-to-optimistic Fast Traks, and Jason has already declared the saddle ‘super-comfy’.
Trek Pro Caliber 9.7
- Price: £2,250
- From: Trek
Luckily this test bike has arrived in a lovely, sparkly red paint (although it is also available in
boring black) because otherwise that fence in the background would be causing outrage on the forum. To be fair to Jason, he is a very busy man, he gets up very early in the morning to fit in riding his bike, so there really isn’t a lot of time in the day for him to devote to taming the wilderness that surrounds his new house.
Back to the bike… a big selling point at this price is that it comes with carbon wheels, so you don’t have to have a pre race poo to be fast and light. There’s IsoSpeed coupler for a softtail-alike squishy rear end and added comfort. Build kit features a SRAM NX groupset, Rock Shox Reba fork, carbon seatpost and more fast-to-poop-inducing tyres.
Hannah’s Christmas swag is of the practical variety. Her mum has given her a jig-saw, which Hannah is very happy about. She is going to do lots of chopping and making, hopefully starting with sorting out lots of shelving for her garage. Hannah’s beloved lives far away. He has given her a small purple tool that she can carry around with her always to remember him by. He has also given her pair of thread nippers. Hannah is very happy with her tool haul.
Chipps has wine. Nice wine. A fridge magnet. A book.
And bonus points for guessing what this is…
Mark has this Sage coffee grinder with a kabillion settings. It features automatic dosing direct into the hopper and grind settings from talc to lumpy. It can’t be long before he’s having smashed avocado on toast for breakfast, surely.
Amanda has built up her Piglet replacement: her BigWig. She is enjoying the bigger wheels, and with every ride she is trying to remember that nice people made this bike happen. Thanks to all the generous folks who have helped bring this new toy into being.
What else would our tech guru get for Christmas but more tech? This is a GoPro Max, so he can record the trail ahead and the crashes in his wake, all at the same time. Or, when he’s sitting round the camp fire strumming on his guitar and playing bongos, he can capture the full world peace inducing scene. He might have cut his hair, but we know he’s a hippie really.
Of course, it’s not all about stuff. It’s about spending time with friends and family, feeling connected to those you love, and celebrating all that makes you feel warm and cosy inside. What was the best thing to happen to you this Christmas? Was it the gift of your dreams, or the smile on someone’s face? Get your answers in the comments below, and share that warm feeling with the rest of us.
Here’s something to try and help you feel warm and fuzzy…