Repeat after me: we have broken the back of January, it is nearly over.
Take small joyous – though not quite spring-like gambolling – steps. Breathe a little deeper. Bask in the watery daylight that gets a teeny tiny bit greater every day. It might not feel like it, but things are getting better. They are. It’s just happening really really slowly. But we’re over half way through January. Which means suddenly it will be February, which is good, because it contains good things like school holidays, a fair chance of snow, Valentine’s day, and the on sale date of Issue 129 of Singletrack.
In contrast, January delivers very few highlights. It starts with a hangover. Continues with no remarkable dates at all, unless you are Scottish, in which case you get to feast on turnip and offal for a day. There are no new editions of Singletrack. So far, despite the best predictions of our finest weather forecasters at the Express and Mail, there has been no snow.
So this, right here, is your January highlight. It is Friday, it is past the middle of the month, and – I say it again, take a bright and joyous step – it is Fresh Goods Friday 483. Wriggle and jiggle you happy walks this way, and see what the post has brought us this week.
Santa Cruz Megatower
- Price: £3,299.99 frame only
- From: Jungle
Serial bike swapper Ross has bought himself a new 160mm travel toy to start the year. Bets are on how long he takes to break his first set of wheels, and how long he actually keeps this bike before his fickle eye is caught by something new and shiny. He’s been hankering after one of these since they were launched, and now he’s scratched that itch. He claims this is now his only bike and he’s going to be faithful. We don’t believe him.
Lab 94 Ride Pack
- Price: £130, £140 with back protector or reservoir
- From: Muc Off
This backpack is available in a variety of mix and match bundles. There’s the roll-top backpack, which promises all the features you’d look for in a ride pack, like straps to hold it in place, pockets and loops for bikey things like helmets and glasses, and a waterproof rain cover. But then, there’s a selection of inserts, so you can add a back protector, or a hydration bladder, or swap them out for a laptop sleeve and tackle your commute instead of the trails.
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Lab 94 Dopp Kit
- Price: £40
- From: Muc Off
A Dopp kit. That’s a wash bag to most of us. A sponge bag, even. Apparently this one is military inspired and will withstand ‘the toughest of environments’. So, post race portable showers at a 24hour race, maybe? It’s available on its own or included in a bundle with the Lab 94 Ride Pack.
Dakine Arsenal 3L Jacket
- Price: €189.99
- From: Dakine
A packable jacket that offers great protection against unpredictable weather. A lightweight technical shell with a three-layer, waterproof and breathable build should keep you dry in any weather. There’s plenty of pockets, underarm vents and Velcro fasteners on the cuffs to help keep the weather out.
RockShox Reverb Stealth 200mm
- Price: £395.00
- From: SRAM
Ross will be adding this to his new toy. 200mm of drop. The mind boggles. It’s a far cry for the 75mm crotch grab droppers of yore. This has revised internals with a Vent Valve for improved reliability, there’s effortless actuation, and a ‘Connectamajig’ that enables a few disconnections and reconnections before it needs a bleed.
WTB Volt Cromoly Saddle
- Price: £59.99
- From: Hotlines
This saddle says that it is ‘All set for fast and rowdy adventures, this brilliant model is designed for versatility as it provides fantastic support for riders with mixed riding disciplines.’ That should do Ross’ bottom nicely, then.
That’s your lot. Let us skip tentatively into the daylight of the weekend. The forecast is looking less than grey. We might not even need our waterproofs. To finish, here are some people having fun in waterproofs.